A dubious mention

Today’s Business Standard has a short article in the Fitness section about Alexander Technique. Although it talks in only very general terms, its imprecise wording makes me think that the author has not actually experienced lessons. A dead give-away is the reference to AT “therapists”:

An AT therapist starts by observing basic movements like sitting, standing and lying down, to understand where the inefficiencies manifest. Then, by words and gentle touching, the therapist shows where the tension is, and how to release it (called “rising” or “lifting”). For minor problems, in 6 to ten sessions you can learn how to use AT yourself.

Being called an AT therapist makes me groan. And I have never, in 25 years of Alexander Technique experience, heard any teacher refer to releasing tension as either “rising” or “lifting”.

Movement re-education helps drama students improve performance

Elizabeth Huebner teaches the Alexander Technique to Luke Daniels, a drama student in the master of fine arts program.
Photo by Peter Morenus

The University of Connecticut’s Advance web site has a full-page article about Elizabeth Huebner’s work in the master of fine arts program teaching Alexander Technique to actors. It quotes one of her students regarding the effect of the Technique on emotional expression, an effect that we teachers perhaps don’t talk about very much.

An actor wants to be able to play the body of any character, says acting student Chris Hirsh.

“To do that,” he says, “you have to get rid of your habits. If you habitually bend forward at the top of your shoulders and protrude your head and neck forward, you have to understand how to correct that. The Alexander Technique helps accomplish that.”

Hirsh says the technique also “opens you emotionally.

When your body is aligned properly, you become a more open channel to the emotions that may or may not flow out of you. You have fuller freedom of emotional expression.”