When Do You Stop Learning?

A couple of weeks ago I went on an Alexander Technique workshop.  Ten days, 7 hours a day, 60 students, 20 teachers,– you’ve never seen such an intensive bout of learning in your life!(*)

But what perplexed the new students more than anything else was that in the group were some students who were also Alexander teachers.  Qualified, and in some cases very experienced teachers.  So what were they doing on the “wrong side of the fence”?


You see, in the Alexander Technique there is no concept of a finite number of things to learn and then you’re done.  Maybe because at the heart of the technique is the discovery of who and what you are, and what you are capable of.  Since human beings are endlessly diverse and changing, the process of understanding is also endless.  Or maybe it’s because the technique is about mastering a skill (or skills plural), and like with a craft or a martial art or a musical instrument, you can always improve on your skills.

Even FM Alexander, the guy who developed this technique and who spent  60 years getting better at it, wrote “After working for a lifetime in this new field I am conscious that the knowledge gained is but a beginning”(**)

Some  people find this concept terrifying.  That’s ok.  Please understand, this is not compulsory.  You can just learn a little bit.  You can have lessons for a while, and stop at any time you like.   Others find it liberating.  It opens up doors onto vast rolling miles of change and improvement.

What it means is that even the most experienced Alexander student – and that includes teachers – always has something new and wonderful to learn.

image www.FreeFoto.com
(*) except at the other summer workshops – they happen every August.  If you want to really give your AT skills a boost, check it out for next year on email (itmsummerworkshop@gmail.com) or facebook (itmsummerworkshop)
(**) Universal Constant In Living, IRDEAT edition p.519

CNHC and ITM registered Alexander Technique teacher.

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3 comments on “When Do You Stop Learning?
  1. qijourneys says:

    Alexander Teachers “on the wrong side of the fence”. Love the beginner’s mind.

    • Hi there,
      yes, it is wonderful to see in action. I suppose it’s a hang up from school, where there was most definitely a ‘teachers’ side of the class and a ‘pupils’ side of the class, and teachers were supposed to know everything. Isn’t it just great to be free of that particular restriction! Karen

  2. Geetha.d says:

    Hi karen,
    thanks for this post.
    Alexander wrote, ‘the knowledge gained but a beginning’ .

    When alexanders working time 18 th century, really there is no electricity, vehicles,electronic items,computers and many more.

    He depended upon feeling to invent his technique . But, finally he invented feeling itself is untrustworthy while directing.

    Even while his working time, there is black and white vedios and photos.
    If colorful muscle images and 3d anatomy vedios are there at that time, iam imagining alexander would have improved much about his technique and his writings.
    Now we are lucky to have thosecolor ful muscle images, 3d anatomy vedios .

    My thanks to those 20 th century teachers, who are applying colors to this technique.
    I hope that they will go some more deep into anatomy and into this technique, to strengthen the alexander directions.

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