There are many introductory books on the Alexander Technique now on the market – which one is right for you is to some extent a matter of preference. I have a good selection that you can look at and borrow if you wish. Here are a few of my favourites.
Understanding the Alexander Technique: Joan Diamond
A small attractive book which gives a good overview of what the Technique is about
(Free copy with first course of lessons)
The Well-Tuned Body: Penny Ingham and Colin Sheldon
Featuring simple practical advice and tips for looking after yourself in the workplace
Body Learning: an Introduction to the Alexander Technique: Michael Gelb
The classic introductory book
The Art of Changing: Glen Park
Introduction to principles, and also an exploration of the relationship between AT and energy work
Use of the Self: F M Alexander
Alexander’s most accessible book, telling the story of his discoveries
How to learn the Alexander Technique, a manual for students: Barbara Conable
An exploration of ‘body-mapping’ – how our ideas about the structure and function of our bodies affect how we use them
Back Trouble, a New Approach to Prevention and Recovery: Deborah Caplan
Written by an AT teacher and physiotherapist
Comfort at your Computer – Body Awareness Training for Painfree Computer Use: Paul Linden
A comprehensive manual for desk-workers
Constructive Awareness The Alexander Technique and the Spiritual Quest: Daniel McGowan
There are also several CDs available which talk you through semi-supine (the Alexander position of constructive rest), reminding you of the principles and thoughts which help you to become more aware of and to release your habits of tension, which you will learn about in lessons. I have copies of most of these which are available to borrow and then buy if you wish, as preference is again quite personal.
Body Magic – How to use the Power of the Mind to Release Body Tension: Kirsten Harris
Breathe: Lessons in the Alexander Technique: Kirsten Harris
Coming Home to You: Duncan Coppock
The Art of Changing: Glen Park
The website of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique. For more information about AT, and lists of teachers worldwide
The Edinburgh Alexander Technique School in Portobello runs a three year course to train teachers of the Alexander Technique
The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique.
Everything you could ever ask about the Technique, including information about research, and articles about AT and pain relief, ergonomics, sport, pregnancy, Pilates and yoga. Links also to a wide range of video and audio resources on Alexander topics.
Body mapping – see Barbara Conable book above. Lots of articles of especial interest to musicians
A student’s experience of the Alexander Technique
The site of Jim Crow, a Manchester teacher who specialises in helping people with RSI
Alexander Technique holidays in Greece – Penny O’Connor runs holidays with Alexander Technique lessons in Greece. Thanks to Penny for pictures used in the articles of her enjoying semi-supine there.
Cartoons © Colin Shelbourn
The website of Laura Higgins Palmer, the wonderful artist whose drawing ‘Into Spring’ appears on these pages
Cover photo by Lawrence Winram