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The Act of Living: Review by Dan Arsenault.

AT Focus: 
Alexander Technique
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Article Text: 
When my brother was laid up and considering a course of Alexander Technique lessons, I borrowed a copy of another excellent book from Mornum Time Press, Curiosity Recaptured: Exploring Ways We Think and Move, for him to read by way of introduction to the Technique. I’m equally impressed with this new volume by Walter Carrington, from the same publisher.

As presented here, Walter Carrington gives wonderfully crisp definition to a very wide range of Alexander Technique topics. The book contains 29 transcriptions of talks given by Carrington to Alexander Technique teachers-in-training over a period of several years. These are amplifications of passages from one of F. M. Alexander’s four books.

Although perhaps not best suited for beginners in the work, for teachers and student with some experience this can be a very valuable resource of insights and fresh approaches to the many subjects on which a student of the Technique is likely to ponder.

Starting with “Thinking to do”, through talks on “Sciatica”, “The feet” (my pet topic), “The length and the width”, “Walking”, and, finally, “The Act of Living”, these talks provide an illuminating view on these and other subjects that perhaps only Walter Carrington can provide. But I gush . . .

I’ almost embarrassed to pick two nits with this otherwise excellent volume, however . . .

As described above, all Walter Carrington’s talks presented in The Act of Living were developed from passages from F. M. Alexander’s works. It would have been helpful to have those passages as well as the follow-on. There may well be a good reason why this wasn’t done. More’s the pity.

If it weren’t for the page of back matter describing the electronic design of the book, I wouldn’t have mentioned it, but the leading (the space between the lines) is uncomfortably large. Truly a nit? Well, yes.

Highly recommended.

© Dan Arsenault. Reproduced with permission.

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