What We’re Talking About When We Talk About Use

The Alexander Technique is the teaching that imparts the meaning of the use of the self. Ron Dennis Alexander Revisited The Use of the Self is the title of F. M. Alexander’s third book and essentially, that is what the technique is all about. Not the book per se, but rather the idea of using one’s self. How, we ask, can we use our very selves efficiently and effectively? Understanding the idea of self-use is key to learning how to stop misusing one’s self, which Alexander maintained is a prerequisite to doing any-and-everything if one wants to avoid, or at least mitigate, misuse-induced physical, mental and emotional wear-and-tear and, potentially, reach new heights of achievement. When introducing the Alexander Technique to people, I tend to start by explaining what we Alexander teachers mean when we use the term ‘self-use’ because to us, it is a concept – and not as self-explanatory as it may seem. I find it can be helpful to compare the idea of self-use to the idea of … Continue reading

Alexander Revisited – A Book Report by Claire Rechnitzer

Alexander Revisited; Contemplation & Criticism 1979-2014 by Ron Dennis With a General Introduction by Yours Truly… Penning the General Introduction to Ron Dennis’s new book surely disqualifies me from reviewing it, however, in the interest of getting word of its recent publication out to the public, especially to the kind of public that reads this e-zine, I am taking the liberty of offering a brief description of its contents along with my wholehearted recommendation. The book is a collection of articles, research, reviews and letters that have appeared in various publications over the span of a long career. There are pieces that examine what Ron deems ‘a crisis’ in Alexander Technique theory, and others presenting a strong case for formulating core concepts in ways we can all agree upon. His own definitions are carefully reasoned and set a standard that inspired me to check my own thinking. There are descriptions of research methodologies and findings regarding applications of the technique, and research that offers insight to and reflections on Alexander’s … Continue reading