If you were to come up with 2 words to describe the Alexander Technique, what would they be?
Difficult and Confusing?
Complicated and Profound?
Alexander himself – although he wrote many thousands of words on his technique – was very clear on his 2 words (the clue is in the blog heading).
Don’t believe me? Have a look at this quote, from his second book (*):-
‘The desired “end”… would then be gained in that simple and easy manner characteristic of all successful accomplishment’
There they are. Simple and easy.
Now I can already hear the splutters of indignation from students everywhere. Let me just point out that getting to the ‘simple and easy’ stage is quite often hard and difficult. But the difficulty is not in the Technique itself, it is in things like (**):-
1. getting your head around very new and different ideas
2. building up the discipline to “think Alexander” more often than not
3. accepting what the Alexander Technique actually is, rather than trying to make it fit what you think it should be.
All these take time, effort and repetition to master. But the core of the Technique, the stuff that actually gives us successful accomplishment, is amazingly simple.
To put it another way, if you’re struggling and straining, you’re probably not using the Alexander Technique. But that’s ok. Stick to the process, and you will.
(*) Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual, Part I, page 234 IRDEAT edition
(**) this is not a definitive list, I may well expand it at a later date, and if anyone is so indignant they would like to add to it, please do put something in the comments box. I’d love to hear from you.