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Would the REAL Alexander teachers please stand up?

Alexander Technique in Glasgow with flowcoach

FM Alexander claimed to have invented a new technique. He was therefore obliged to demonstrate that it was different from all others.

Alexander Technique teachers claim to teach Alexander Technique. They are therefore obliged to demonstrate that they follow FM Alexander's advice.

But the Alexander Technique is now such a "broad church", it seems unlikely that all these teachers are part of the same fold. Doesn't it? Shouldn't some of them be cast out? Before presenting you with an opinion, please let me distract you with a Zen-like story...

A great rabbi died and left his spiritual work to his son to carry on. The son was a great man in his own right, but he did the work of a rabbi in a completely different manner than his father.

The people who had become used to the father's ways came to the son.

"You are not doing what your father did" they complained.

The son replied, "But indeed I am. He imitated no one and I am imitating no one"

Those who have read around Alexander Technique will realise where I am going with this. FM Alexander once bemoaned of his trainees that "All they were doing was going around imitating me like a cartload of monkeys!" His oft-repeated injunction was“Don’t copy me!” So who is truer follower of Alexander's principles: the person who copies him, or the person who does not? Or both?

If someone asks the REAL Alexander teachers to stand up, maybe we all should. After all, we've had plenty of practice.


'Doing nothing' by Steven Harrison 1997

'Personally speaking' by Walter Carrington & Sean Carey 1986 pg 10

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