‘A’ is for Progress

There is a point in every student’s Alexander progress when they start gnashing their teeth in frustration.  The reason?  They remember their Alexander thinking too late.  Now I know you always get another chance, the very next time you repeat the activity.

But it’s still aggravating when, having the best of intentions, you realise the activity you’d planned to experiment with is gone and past, and you clean forgot to try out your Alexander thinking.

My response to the sound of gnashing teeth is:
“This is normal.  It means you’re making good progress.”

Let me draw it for you.  If you take the letter A to be your chosen Activity, and a dot to be the point at which you remember your Alexander thinking, it usually starts out like this:-

A                                                                 •

A BIG gap between intending and remembering, usually about a week ( ie. until just before your next lesson).

But those who stick to the process, who keep experimenting, reading, thinking and having lessons find something mysterious happening.  It looks a bit like this:-

A                                  •

A              •


See the difference?  The remembering gets closer and closer to the activity.   It shrinks to a few days, then within the same day, then a few hours, then very soon after.  The last but one stage is particularly frustrating.  Having launched into your activity, you remember Alexander half-way through it.  A bit like this:-

But the remedy is still the same.  Stick to the process.   Use it as much as you can, as often as you can, and I promise you there will come a time when the diagram looks like this:-


Thinking before (and during) your activity.

It is one of the signs of progress that a student can usually recognise for themselves – how big the gap is between the A and the dot.  And what brings the two closer is a mixture of remembering, and proficiency, and changing your outlook on life so that Alexander never entirely goes away.

CNHC and ITM registered Alexander Technique teacher.

Posted in Uncategorized
2 comments on “‘A’ is for Progress
  1. Geetha.d says:

    Hi karen,
    this is wonderful blog.

    Remembering the directions is, a progressing.

    But, we can sense the real alexander logic of body parts by thinking the …
    Alexander primary,secondary directions.
    Both has same importance.

    I think,

    neck free
    head up
    torso up
    knees forward
    hips back
    feet to ground
    shoulders out

    how wonderfully fm designed alexander technique giving importance to the habit and stimulus.

  2. Geetha.d says:

    Hi karen,
    i forgot to add,
    ‘elbows out
    wrists in’ .

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