Photo: B. Fertman – Wheeler Peak, NM.
A place where any alexander teacher can post an announcement or flyer promoting themselves as an AT teacher, their work, their website, their blog, their studio, upcoming classes, workshops, retreats, or trainings.
That’s the first goal.
Here is why it’s important that we have a place for this.
Most of us want to succeed at what we want to do, which is teaching AT. The only way to get really good at something is to practice it a lot. So, if we want to become good at teaching AT, we have to have students with whom to practice. Without students we can’t practice, and without practice we can’t get good, and if we are not good…well, you see where I am going. Without students, becoming the AT teacher we always wanted to be never gets off the ground.
Okay. We need to get students with whom we can practice. How do we do that? How can this group be of help to us, that is, how can we be of help to one another? That is really the question at hand.
One. A person places an announcement or flyer onto the site.
Two. We read it.
Three. We decide, for whatever reasons, that we would like to support this person in their effort, or not.
Four. If we want to help this person, we share her/his announcement on our timeline and write some words of support. Perhaps we send it directly to a few people whom we think may be especially interested in this person and what they have to offer.
By doing so we may have just helped a fellow Alexander teacher, whose work we value, get a student, which means getting a chance to practice, which means getting closer to becoming the AT teacher they always wanted to be.
Now For The Second Goal
If we would like to help this person further, we can decide to give this aspiring AT teacher some constructive feedback. Tell them what we liked about their presentation of themselves and their work. We can tell them what didn’t work for us and why. Perhaps we can offer one or two suggestions, keeping in our hearts that the goal is to foster growth and success in each and every AT teacher.
To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give. – Taisen Deshimaru
Why not collectively gather actual material that we are comfortable giving away, material any AT teacher could use to help them get students?
For example, someone’s written a definition of the technique they really like and think may be helpful to other teachers. Why not let others use it? Or someone finds an incredible photo of a beautiful athlete or artist. Or an essay that someone’s just written that is geared toward musicians or psychologists or runners. Or a testimonial from some famous person. Or a quote from a poet, philosopher, or theologian that speaks to Alexander principles like inhibition, or end-gaining, or unlearning, or non-doing, or sensory appreciation. Or some new software or program that might help us reach more people.
Practical, usable material. Free for the taking, always with one eye on the prize, and that is….getting more students, so that we can practice, so that we can get good at what we want to get good at, so that we can become the AT teacher we always wanted to be.
My First Official Offering
Writing a sound definition of the Alexander Technique has been, for me, like Jacob wrestling with the Angel. A holy ordeal. Every year I would go back to the drawing board, some years tweaking this word or that word, other years throwing everything out and starting from scratch.
Here are two attempts I found dating back over 30 years. Yep, I’ve been at this for a while.
I offer these up to our Alexander Community At Large with a deep sense of fellowship. Use them. Don’t use them. Change them, improve on them. Share your definitions with us.
MOVING NATURALLY – COMING TO OUR SENSES – PERCEIVING CHOICE
We are designed for movement. Whether we are dancing, hammering a nail, riding a horse, working at a computer, or singing an aria, we possess an inherent capacity to move naturally. Naturalness encourages ease, flexibility, power, and expressiveness. Unwittingly, we often interfere with our natural design. Energy, delight, and grace give way to effort, tension, and fatigue.
The Alexander Technique offers us a working knowledge of the underlying principles governing human coordination. Through study we learn how to redirect excessive tension into useful energy. We learn how to be at once relaxed and ready, soft and strong, light and substantial, firm and flexible, awake to ourselves and to the world around us.
THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
A STUDY IN THE RESTORATION OF
…to relieve, lighten, set free
…freedom from stiffness and rigidity
…pliancy of mind and disposition
…the degree of firmness proper to the tissues of the body
in a strong and healthy condition
…such relation between the parts of a thing
as renders the whole harmonious
…the opportunity for breathing again
…quickness and acuteness of apprehension and feeling
…the capacity for motion
…boldness and vigor of conception and execution