It’s easy as a student to get hooked on the delicious hands-on nature of Alexander Technique instruction. As a student for three years at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles, I had the privilege of receiving daily lessons from some of the best teachers in the world.
Luckily, the primary thing they taught was how to use my mind to notice my habit patterns and how to let go of the ones that don’t serve me.
I haven’t had a lesson in a month but I’m still making progress. My TMJ problem has largely gone away. After struggling for years to let go of needless tension in my jaw, these days I’m noticing my habits of compression and letting them go. As a result, my jaw no longer hurts.
As I walk about my day, I frequently notice myself compressing or pulling down. That’s human and that’s inevitable. With my training, I’m now able to release these patterns of gratuitous tension and to teach other people how to do the same.
I know I have the ability to use my hands to make people feel amazing — to feel light and poised and expanded and released. But what will people do when they leave my office and go about their day? If they don’t change their thinking to notice their habits and let the bad ones go, the benefits of my lesson will wear out within a couple of days.
So I spend most of my teaching time helping my students to learn something about themselves that they can then take with them into life and apply on their own.