Is Alexander Technique BS?

Larry writes: “Luke’s Alexander method sounds like bull****, these folks should just do some TM and some yoga before seeing Luke.”

You can do all the yoga and TM in the world and it is not going to help you change your habits of needless tension and compression.

People often go to yoga thinking it will fix them. That it is doing something positive about their posture. And I watch people hobble into yoga and hobble out with the same tension patterns that they had going in.

If you tip your head back and compress your torso every time you get in and out of a chair and encounter any sizable stimulus, all the yoga and meditation in the world is not going to fix that destructive habit.

I interviewed Alexander teacher Bill Plake a few weeks ago.

Luke: “How popular do you think the Technique can be with the general public? Can it ever be akin to yoga?”

Bill: “I don’t believe it ever will until there’s a radical shift in consciousness in the human race.

“The main reason why I don’t think this will ever be wildly popular is that this demands a responsibility and vigilance that most people are unwilling to adhere to.

“I’d heard of the Alexander Technique 20 years before I took my first lesson. When I took my first lessons, I knew that if I had done this at 28, I would never have gone back to my second lesson. I would’ve said, there is no way I’m going to pay attention like this. I just don’t care.”

“Vigilance was easier for me when I came to it at an older age because I was feeling desperate. I was willing to do anything to keep playing my instrument.”

“Many people just don’t want to do the work. Many of these people don’t mind going to a yoga place. I see them where I teach at the YMCA and I see 20-30 people go into a giant yoga class and they come hobbling out with the same old crippled use that they had going in. But they feel good about it. ‘I went to yoga. My posture is going to be good. And life’s going to be good because I did my yoga.’ Many people don’t mind doing that one-hour yoga class two or three times a week. It’s like taking a pill. You do your yoga or you do your pilates or you go to your physical therapist or you go to your chiropractor and then you feel good about it.”

About Luke Ford

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