I spoke to David for almost two hours this morning via Skype.
Here are some highlights:
David: “F.M. Alexander had problems. When he was a kid, he had problems with breathing. Then he had problems with his voice. He tended to have a framework on solving problems. A.R. Alexander didn’t have particular problems. He seemed happy and healthy and OK with his use and functioning. His emphasis with the work was on your thinking and the way you meet the moment, as witnessed by the work of Marjorie Barstow, Frank Pierce Jones, and the people who worked more with A.R. than F.M.”
“It’s unlikely that Alexander [Technique] will ever turn into a drop-in class of 20 people where you go through a set of postures.”
“People don’t realize that there’s no such thing as a stressful job. There’s an attitude they have towards their job that is stressing them. Often people are in a job where there are other people around them who aren’t stressed at all. And they don’t put two-and-two together and go, ‘This can’t be a stressful job if this other person isn’t stressed.’ They don’t think to ask the other person how they see the job to see what they’re not getting stressed by it.
“They’re not used to looking at their own thinking and going, what am I up to and how do I see it? Instead they just go, I’m all stressed and tense. How do I get rid of it? They will often go to any number of different body works but they won’t have changed a thing about how they meet the job. They’ve just gotten good at getting rid of the tension. They haven’t changed. They’ve got a coping mechanism.”
David has a good ebook on fitness: “Obviously if someone is not working on changing their habits, all they end up achieving by exercising their habit is to reinforce the vicious circle whereby they get stronger at their habit. In other words, if they’re pulling down and tightening in ordinary activities, they’ll just pull down and tighten that much more when they exercise. And even if they do achieve a higher level of cardio-vascular fitness and they’ve gotten stronger at contracting, bracing and tightening with weights or fitness machines—the type of activity that makes somebody hard and firm – then they will actually need that cardio-vascular stamina in order for the heart to be able to push the blood through those tightened and braced muscles. In fact, it’s very revealing that often when someone like that manages to achieve the sort of global release in a lesson that takes a lot of pressure off both the contents of the torso and the musculature, their blood pressure can drop so radically that they’ll see black spots in front of their eyes, feel light-headed and maybe even pass out. They’re no longer so hard and tight and hence the blood can flow through rather than being forced through the veins and arteries that had previously been squeezed in the muscles.”