The Scandal-Free World Of Alexander Technique

Go ahead and Google “Alexander Technique.” Look for scandal. Look for debunkers. You won’t find much. I’m unaware of anyone who’s regretted his Alexander lessons from a certified teacher. I don’t know of anyone who’s gotten hurt from becoming aware of his habits of needless compression. I don’t know of anyone who can make a strong case for a down side to this work (aside from the expense of hiring a teacher).

I’m entering a respected profession. Almost all acting schools and music schools have Alexander teachers on staff. And yet there are only about 4,000 certified Alexander teachers in the world because the training is so rigorous (three years of examining your habits and letting go of the harmful ones).

I hate restrictions on my freedom. I love saying what I think. Yet when I belong to groups, I have to take responsibility for anything I say or do that could reflect poorly upon the group.

So now I’m taking up the teaching of the Alexander Technique. How much does that restrict my freedom? Can I make bawdy jokes on my Facebook account? Can I evaluate objectively the claims of those who criticize the Technique or do I have to go into defense mode?

If people don’t send me referrals, that will hurt my Alexander practice. And I won’t even know it, most of the time, if someone refuses to refer students to me. They might find me too outspoken. Too weird. Too edgy. Who knows.

So am I going to surrender my smart mouth? Am I going to become more conservative in word and deed?

I’m reading The Great Oom: The Improbable Birth of Yoga in America. It’s about the flamboyant Perry Baker, a forerunner of Yogi Bajan and company.

As Kelly Clarkson sang, some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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