Classical Procedures are the activities used by F. M. Alexander to teach his technique. Generally accepted as classical procedures are:
- Chair work
- Going up on toes
- Hands on the back of the chair
- Inclining forwards and backwards while sitting
- Lying-down work
- ‘Monkey’ (a position of mechanical advantage)
- Wall work
- Whispered ‘ah’
The term classical procedures is used to distinguish what Alexander is known to have used in his teaching from later developments. A number of other procedures developed after Alexander’s death used for teaching the Technique include saddle work, Dart procedures and a variety of simple movements called directed activities (‘games’).
‘Chair work’ here includes both sitting and standing work, leaning against the back of the chair (with shoulder blades against a book or the like), and moving forwards and backwards from the hips whilst sitting (but note this also has a separate entry).
See link for each activity for a description.
The use of classical procedures have been criticised for being too limited and irrelevant for people’s daily activities, and for not addressing the need for learning more complex activities. For a defence see Explaining the Alexander Technique.
Marjory Barlow has criticised non-classical procedures such as saddle-work as ‘gimmicks’.