When I first met Miss Goldie she was 86 and looked a frail old lady, but she was physically incredibly strong, and repeatedly criticised young teachers of the time for having weak backs. What was sidelined, that many of us did not develop this fully? I will outline the historical reasons for this: there is no criticism for anyone, as facts of Alexander’s early development of the technique now emerging that were not known before, and there are now science and functional anatomy explanations that have only recently become available.
The emphasis in our work is often now on gentleness, but this can become weak if we do not discover how gentleness and strength can go together. Building strength with the Alexander work is not about building muscle over time, it is about awakening all the muscles of the body so that they can be called into play as needed, so the initial strengthening results can be immediate! This is done through using a wide range of positions of mechanical advantage, with pulls such as ‘pull to the elbow’ that were used on the first training course, and other pulls that FM must have originally done for himself. We will bring lengthening and elasticity back to the arms, the legs, and the breathing system, and integrate it together for Alexander Technique work but also for yoga poses, digging the garden, fitness work or whatever else you would like to look at. Be prepared to feel younger and springier, fitter and more flexible too!
This work is partly my own, and partly springs from the Initial Alexander technique, as reconstructed by Jeando Masoero. We will look at the functional anatomy and postural models that underlie what Alexander, Goldie and other early teachers were doing to understand the rationale behind this often very different work.