I’ve been thinking about categories. As the brilliant Seth Godin(*) put it earlier this week, “the mental cost of inventing a new category for every new thing I see is too high”. In other words, people are going to put me and the subject I teach into a category they already know.
Obviously this is relevant for publicising my business. But it is also important when you try to explain the Alexander Technique to new students. They want to connect it to something familiar.
So let’s consider – What category is it like?
Do you know about therapies like massage or osteopathy, where someone pulls and pokes you to get your muscles and joints moving a bit better? You do? Excellent! Well – it’s not like that.
What about yoga or palates – the classes where you have to do the work yourself – are you familiar with these? You are? Fantastic! It’s not like that.
Have you had physiotherapy, or even sports coaching; where someone looks in tiny detail at the different components of the movement you are making? You haven’t, but you know someone who swears by it. Good! It’s not like that.
Maybe you’ve tried Life Coaching, where someone teaches you questions and exercises to turn your thinking around so you can achieve more of what you want to achieve? You did, once? Brilliant! It’s not like that either.
I like the idea of muscles and joints moving better, of breaking a movement in to components, of changing your thinking, and taking charge yourself. These things are all there in the Alexander Technique, along with a few other goodies besides.
But a category – a nice, clear, unequivocal category? Sorry Seth, I’m struggling here. I’ll keep working at it. Meanwhile, what about all of you who are not new students? What category would you put the Alexander Technique in?
(*) Seth blogs daily on business, marketing and customer services. His blogs are short and to the point, and occasionally I think he can read minds as well.