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Alexander Technique at Cortijo Romero
‘You are not here to learn to do exercises or to get anything right. You are here to learn to meet a habitual reaction to a stimulus and learn to deal with it’ F M Alexander. Mention Alexander Technique and most people, if they have heard of it, ‘correct their posture’, but just end up sitting unnaturally straight.
Alexander Technique shows us in a very practical way that we are psychophysical beings and the mind and body cannot be separated. Thinking psycho-physically changes our attitude. Instead of treating the body as an awkward added extra it becomes an integrated part of a whole. Muscular pains and tensions become more clearly linked to thoughts and emotional reactions. Habitual reactions start when we are young, and if reinforced on a regular basis, strengthen and grow like stalactites, until they quite literally shape our character, body and the course of life. Often we end up stuck in a rut or fixed in our ways.
Our habits are deeply ingrained, created, cultivated, nurtured and protected by us. We may not like certain patterns, discomforts and modes of behaviour, but we know how they work, and where they will lead, and it can be uncomfortable to change them.
An Alexander Teacher works with their hands to gently physically prevent pupils from repeating their usual postural traits, and thus helps them to break old patterns. Gradually pupils can build a fuller repertoire with lots of options, instead of the usual limited choices.
Alexander lessons usually involve either sitting in or getting in and out of a chair. Not surprisingly, many people assume that they are being taught how to stand up and sit down correctly. However, our reactions to moving in and out of the chair can reveal strategies, postural and behavioural, we create to hide and disguise our fears. Learning about these reactions can teach us about our psycho-physical habits and anxieties in our daily lives including our jobs, operating computers, playing musical instruments, and in our relationships with others, etc. In Alexander we learn not to react to the habits, although usually we desperately want to ‘do something’ in our efforts to correct our perception of what is wrong. By not reacting, it then becomes possible to reduce the deep-rooted tensions, and start to discover living with a new sense of balance.
Cat Jary has founded an Alexander Technique School and runs master classes around the world, as well as courses at Cortijo Romero in La Alpujarra. For information about Cortijo Romero visit www.cortijo-romero.co.uk or call +34 958 784252.