The importance of attitude for learning the Alexander Technique is emphasised by Alexander throughout his writings.
Several of his early articles emphasize the need for a ‘correct mental attitude’ for learning the Technique, although he never states exactly what it is. From his writings it can however be inferred that it involves an understanding of the principles of prevention and non-doing, an acceptance of present conditions, of the new means-whereby, of new ideas, and of the processes associated with change (e.g. feeling ‘wrong’).
The importance of a correct attitude is particularly emphasized in an article in 1906 where he writes that a correct mental attitude secures ‘the unity of controlled motive power and the vocal mechanism’.
An important aspect of a correct attitude is ‘open-mindedness’, which he discusses in some detail in MSI, quoting a correspondence with William Archer.
In CCC he more frequently uses the term ‘psycho-physical attitude’ (e.g. it heads the ending, ‘Conclusions’) or just ‘attitude.’ Elsewhere in CCC he laments the separation of mind and body inherent in terms like ‘mental attitude,’ ‘mental progress,’ etc.
The following ‘attitudes’ are referred to in Alexander’s writings: a reasoning attitude, an attitude of prevention, an attitude of dependence upon instinct, the attitude towards learning and change, postural attitudes, mind attitude, general attitude, attitude towards life.
Alexander also uses words which are similar in meaning to attitude, such as ‘belief’, ‘frame of mind’, ‘approach’.
‘Attitude’ by Walter Carrington describes and discusses the importance of attitude.
For a selection of F. M. Alexander quotations on attitude, see the Mouritz Key Concepts Library.