November 8, 1977: "Direction is a form of meditation.”
It is a simple repetition of words. Just being without trying. No need for results or defining: words can be used anywhere, anytime in any position.
You don’t have to be with it all of the time. It should help, not become a burden, a religion. The interest is in how to get there, not in the result. You want to be willing to have no result. A desired end will or will not happen.
When the training programs began, there was not an attempts made to define. Judy Leibowitz related that she continued to say the words and things began to change: She could not feel the change.
The method is gentle, bland, etc., yet it is deep in its physical and psychic impact. One must move ahead at a speed that meets their own capaciities and needs. Regarding emotions, Judy said the technique has great impact in all phases of life, but this is not the thrust of the work.
What you want is for the thought to create something in the body, but no necessarily have the thought identified with the activity.
When something happens that achieves lightness or works for you, try to understand the thought, the quality of the mind, at the time, and not the feeling. Trust that being in the moment and direction will let you know the experience is there.
The uniqueness of the Alexander Technique is the poised head and conscious control.
An exercise in inhibition: Give direction to yourself then decide to move a part of the body. At the last instance, move another part. Freedom comes from the inhibition because choice arises from it.
Idelle Packer, MS, PT, mAmSAT, certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, has been creatively exploring its broad application for over 35 years. In her private practice, Body Sense, in Asheville, NC, she teaches the Alexander Technique in context of physical therapy assessment and rehabilitation. She authored the chapter on the Alexander Technique in Springer Publishers’ Encyclopedia of Complementary Health Practices (1999). Her current passion is Contact Improvisation, a somatic and athletic improvisation form, to which she has been joyfully integrating the principles of the Technique over the past fifteen years.