Mind your Manners — 9 Comments

  1. Great blog Robert.
    Funnily, it is sometimes “difficult” to explain “use”, even though in essence it is such a simple thing really. We have no difficulty in understanding “use” when it refers to things outside our own self-definition (who would argue that the effectiveness in the use a pencil is determined by the conditions in which we have to use it, and the manner in which we use it?)
    Thank you for the link to Hilary King’s glossary. That will be most helpful.

  2. Recently my Alexander teacher mentioned he had studied with Ida Rolf, and that Rolfing can go much faster than AT lessons, like how you said we only have one lifetime. . .but the AT approach can also lead to long lasting changes.

  3. Great blog, Robert. You mention other modalities you have benefited from that helped you improve your conditions of use. I agree many other modalities can be very helpful, but I believe particularly so if you have Alexander Technique training as well. As an example, you might go to a chiropractor and get an adjustment (or series of adjustments). However, unless you have good self-awareness (which you get through AT) and can consciously working with your manner of use (a skill learned through AT), in my experience the results will not be long-lasting as you have not changed any underlying habits that either caused or exacerbated the condition. So having some background in Alexander Technique can in many cases actually increase the efficacy and success-rate of various therapies, modalities or programs. Would you agree?

    • Imogen, I fully agree with what you say. I have noticed that effect in all areas of my life, and all courses and therapies I’ve undergone. The AT has helped me reap the benefits of other techniques much quicker and more comprehensively.

  4. I’m routinely impatient with my progress. Until I remember, it is the wanting to get somewhere other than where I am, which hinders me. With that epiphany progress continues effortlessly. After a few weeks I’ll forget again and so the cycle goes on. Now I just accept it’s part of the ebb and flow of my learning.

  5. In my opinion wanting to “have got it” may be a misleading approach in the first place. Why would I want that ? When everything has arrived at its “end” I´m dead. As long as I live there is change – for the better or worse and in every aspect of my life: my self (as in: aging body and growing mindfulness), personal relationships, work, …

    I have to admit, I´m an AT beginner. I am now in my 4th year of taking AT lessons and in the middle of my teacher training course. During this time my feet “grew” from shoe size 39 to 41 1/2, I had to purchase a completely new shoe collection twice ! So tremendous changes took place in my body (and not only the feet, but they are so easily measurable) as well as in my mind. I went from a business management background “brainy” person to someone who nowadays can listen to her gut feeling at least sometimes !
    And indeed, in the beginning of my AT journey I was often wondering: “will this huge progress go on and on … ?” Maybe it´s due to my very low starting level and beginner´s state but as I am becoming more aware and sensitive I realise changes in my self nearly every day – amazing !

    And I love to have to work on my progress, to be able to discover new ways of “using” myself. I have been able to change bad habits and get rid of fierce pain in my left shoulder, neck and fingers. If I understand your definition correctly then in this case my bad “manner of use” of gripping objects “only” with my fingers resulted in a bad condition of my respective joints etc… And with an improved manner of use, e.g. aligning the arm to the back and hence “gripping objects with the back” I improved my conditions of use, e.g. got rid of the swellings in my finger joints. Is that correctly understood?

    So, as for now I haven´t reached a period of standstill yet and I´d love to follow F.M. by saying: “I don´t dare to stop”.

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