"You translate everything, whether physical, mental or spiritual, into muscular tension."
F. M. Alexander
The Alexander Technique is a process of movement education based on clearly defined principles of which the effectiveness is immediately verifiable. It is always tailored to the needs of the individual student.
The AT was developed by F.M.Alexander (1869 - 1955), an Australian actor. Early on in his career he lost his voice and discovered that this was related to his posture and how he used his body. He gradually realised that this "use" of his body had far-reaching consequences.
Having solved his specific problem by altering the use of his body, FMA went on to research his findings scientifically in co-operation with the medical profession to make it suitable for teaching and applicable to others. Over a period of many years he developed the method which bears his name, which amongst others teaches the following fundamental principles:
Awareness - ability mindfully to notice personal movement patterns.
Inhibition - the ability to avoid engaging in a habitual but unnecessary pattern of tension, such as pulling up the shoulders in preparation for getting up from a chair.
Direction - The intentional use of the body in conformity with its anatomical and physiological structure, the rediscovery of the innate postural reflexes and the appropriate mental and emotional engagement with the activity which we are in the process of carrying out.