F.M. Alexander (1869-1955), an actor who began his career as a Shakespearean orator, developed chronic laryngitis while performing. Determined to restore the full use of his voice, he carefully watched
himself in a two way mirror system while speaking and observed that undue muscular tension accounted for his vocal problem. He sought a way to eliminate that restriction. Over time, he discovered and articulated a principle that profoundly influences health and well-being: when neck tension is reduced, the head no longer compresses the spine and the spine is free to lengthen. Alexander restored his own natural capacity for ease by changing the way he thought while initiating an action. From this work on himself and others, he evolved a hands-on teaching method that encourages all the body's processes to work more efficiently - as an integrated, dynamic whole.
"You are not here to do exercises or to learn to do some
thing right, but to get able to meet a stimulus that always puts you wrong and learn to deal with it."
"Change involves carrying out an activity against the habit of life."
"You translate everything, whether physical, mental or spiritual, into muscular tension."
"When an investigation comes to be made, it will be fou
nd that every single thing we are doing in the work is exactly what is being done in Nature where the conditions are right, the difference being that we are learning to do it consciously."