Discover Alexander Technique

with Melissa Brown

What is the Alexander Technique?

It is neither about stiffening into “good” posture or relaxing into collapse

In this blog post, as the world is opening back up, I want to return to the basics and revisit the question that people so often ask me: What is the Alexander Technique?

Some think I teach “good” (usually stiff) posture. Thank goodness, that is not the case. Others think that the Technique is a relaxation practice, like many other mindful modalities. Though the Alexander Technique certainly teaches us to release unnecessary tension in the body and to calm the mind, it is not a relaxation practice. There are two key components of the Technique and although one of them involves the release of tension, the other helps us find a new and improved organization of the body.
1) The Release
Students learn how to notice habitual tension and compression patterns that pull the spine out of alignment and then to let them go. However, the practice does not end there. We are not looking to release into a collapse of the body; we are looking to be both easy and poised at the same time. This is the aspect of the Technique that is unique and different from other modalities that encourage only relaxation.
2) Finding A New Way
Alexander found a very specific way to re-pattern the body into a new and better organization that encourages the spine to come into its full length. In short, he discovered that after we release the tension that stiffens us, we can improve our alignment by letting the neck muscles soften so they can release their grip on the head and stop the head from pulling down onto the spine. This allows the spine to decompress upwards, so we are both easy and poised at the same time.

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