Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique

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Gelb Michael. Body Learning has been a steady bestseller since it was first published in This new and updated edition confirms its status as the classic work on the Alexander Technique. The Alexander Technique is now recognised the world over as the most revolutionary and far-reaching method ever developed for maintaining the health and efficiency of the human body. It is not only a means of putting us in touch with our bodies, but also a way of deepening our perceptions and general well-being.

Its effects on all aspects of living and learning are profound. By applying the Alexander Technique, one can reverse unhealthy Use, and replace bad habits with more efficient ones. Lucid Body then works toward finding new avenues in expressing those emotions—through acting out the unfamiliar, or unknown parts of self. Gelb suggests that the Use-change process is slow and subtle, and that changes happen, but over a gradual period of time.

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I think Lucid Body is a little more aggressive in bringing up transformation in the student. This is the same eastern medicinal concept upon which Lucid Body was formed.


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  5. They involve the whole of the body and mind. As Alexander was discovering his own bad Use of his Primary Control and indeed his Whole Person, he came up against an overwhelming force of habit. Gelb goes into detail explaining the science behind this. The synapses in our brain actually re-wire themselves once we create bad habits.

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    The brain expects to receive certain feedback from the nerves and muscles, and when the actual feedback does not match, the brain sends messages for corrective action. However, lifelong misuse can make the entire system go wrong. However, Gelb assures the reader through training, it is possible to make the feelings trustworthy again.


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    Inhibition does NOT sound like a useful acting term, but the more I read about it, the more I realized its extreme importance. Rather, it is a matter of consciously refusing to respond in a stereotyped manner so that true spontaneity can manifest itself.

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    Body Learning: The Alexander Technique

    This provides an invaluable experience with the example of paying attention. Gelb discussed the importance of teachers during the Inhibition and Direction chapters of the book. This is an important duty; one that Gelb feels should be very carefully and specifically approached. A pupil develops the ability to stop responding in her habitual way, when she so chooses, first through her own motivations, insight, and powers of attention and, second, with the help of manual guidance. For me, this was maybe the most helpful of the Alexander principles.

    There is no end except to inhibit the response. Then to think up and expand.

    Body Learning An Introduction to the Alexander Technique, Second Edition

    Each step is the end, until the next step occurs. Means Whereby is another way to articulate the presence of mind that the Lucid Body Non-Judgmental Mind principle seeks to create. Lucid Body teaches that in those moments of non-presence whether it be judgmental or endgaining thought one simply gives attention to the breath, the muscles moving, the sensation produced, and then what emotions are being expressed through the movement.