Faulty sensory appreciation
You sometimes unconsciously do exactly the opposite of what you want to do even though you have the good intention of correcting a bad habit. It hinders your ability to change.
During his research, F.M. Alexander became aware of this phenomenon and called it faulty sensory appreciation.
The Technique allows you to readjust your sensory system in order to become aware of your bad habits more quickly.
Awareness of your bad habits
If you take the faulty sensory appreciation into account, your first goal will be to identify your bad habits before you even try to change or correct anything.
Indeed, how can you change your bad habit if you are not yet aware of it?
As you learn, you will become aware of your bad habits more quickly. They will seem less bearable. You will then want to consciously stop them.
Conscious inhibition of your bad habits
Learning to stop and “listening to your inner noise” allows you, firstly, to identify your bad habits, and secondly, to consciously redirect your misuse to a better path for your body.
Once the bad habit is stopped, you’ll have the space for the right thing to do itself. The goal is to teach you to stop your bad habit at the pivotal moment when it seems irresistible to do otherwise.
The oneness of body and mind
The Alexander Technique is a holistic and indirect method: if one part changes, the whole will inevitably need to adapt.
A problem or pain in one part of your body may be related to the misuse of another part.
The work on your general coordination allows you to reconnect each part of your body to move towards oneness and a better fluidity of thought and movement.
F.M. Alexander discovered that a certain relationship between the head, neck, back and the rest of the body was necessary for the proper functioning of the body.
When you implement a bad habit, you can systematically find an interference in the head-neck-back coordination.
This relationship then becomes a good benchmark for evaluating whether your habit is good or bad.
The conscious directions
According to F.M. Alexander, there is no such thing as a good posture or a good position: what matters is your direction of use.
Indeed, if you shorten your stature in every gesture and daily action, your body may well wear out prematurely.
On the contrary, if you learn to stop slouching or holding you up straight on a daily basis, all your actions will tend towards an expansion of your body which will have many benefits.
I hope I’ve been clear and concise in this brief overview of the main principles of the Alexander Technique. I plan to write an article on each theoretical principle of the Alexander Technique so that I can elaborate them in more detail.
Which principle would you like me to address first? Don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments.