The Alexander Technique is named after Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955), an Australian actor who developed voice difficulties when performing. When doctors could not help his chronic hoarseness he became convinced that something he was doing to himself was causing the difficulties. So he began a lengthy process of careful self-examination and experimentation with the use of mirrors to figure out what he was doing wrong.
He observed that when he spoke he interfered with the natural poise of his head, neck and back, which caused tension and compression throughout his whole body.
Through years of self-study Alexander not only solved his vocal problems and improved his health, but he also came to recognize that most people had similar physical problems and a lack of awareness that he once had.
He went on to teach his method to others in London, England for the rest of his life. He wrote four books: The Use of the Self, Man’s Supreme Inheritance, The Universal Constant of Living and Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual.
The Alexander Technique has been taught world-wide for over a century and has made an invaluable impact for countless individuals.
Quotes by F.M. Alexander
"You can’t do something you don’t know, if you keep on doing what you know."
"Change involves carrying out an activity against the habit of life."
"When people are wrong, the thing that is right is bound to be wrong to them."
"Trying is only emphasizing the thing we know already."
"If people will go on believing that they “know”, it is impossible to eradicate anything; it makes it impossible to teach them."
"As soon as people come with the idea of unlearning instead of learning, you have them in the frame of mind you want."
"Everyone is always teaching one what to do, leaving us still doing things we shouldn’t do."
"When you stop doing the wrong thing, the right thing does itself."
"Prevent the things you have been doing and you are half way home."
"You get away from your old preconceived ideas because you are getting away from your old habits."
"Specific prevention is permissible only under conditions of non-doing, not in doing."
"Control should be in process, not superimposed."
"We can throw away the habit of a lifetime in a few minutes if we use our brains."