• Explaining the Alexander Technique

An intelligent and succinct guide to Alexander’s writings: Not only are the main themes of each book discussed but also specific points which help to elucidate Alexander’s thinking and teaching. Walter Carrington (1915-2005) trained with F. M. Alexander in the 1930s.              

In these conversations with Seán Carey Alexander’s four books are investigated. Not only are the main themes of each book discussed but also specific points which help to elucidate Alexander’s thinking and teaching. The subjects include many practical teaching considerations, such as breathing, the use of the hands and the role of language in teaching.              

Pertinent passages from Alexander’s books are examined - always from the practical perspective of teaching and learning the Technique. In this way many issues which may appear outdated in Alexander’s books are given a modern setting and shown to be as relevant as ever.


List of illustrations
Foreword by Peggy Williams
Preface and acknowledgements to first edition

1: Introduction
How it all began
Comparable disciplines and techniques
Breathing and treatment
The books and self-help procedures
Huxley, Shaw and Dewey
Dart, Coghill and Sherrington
A piece of autobiography

2: Man's Supreme Inheritance
Alexander's vision
Race, eugenics and romantic primitivism
Exercise and physical culture
Relaxation, deep breathing and rest cures
Hypnotism and faith-healing
Counselling, misuse and visual cues
Children and the 'little school'
Furniture and left-handedness
Posture, standing, walking and running
The use of the chair
Self-generated movements
Sensation and feeling
Antagonistic actions
Positions of mechanical advantage and stereotyped teaching
Arms, hands and thumbs

3: Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual
On earthly inheritance
Mental, physical and a lowly evolved principle
Bradman and Alexander
Poetry in motion and the tottering biped
Pavlov, Montessori and educational 'hot-housing'
Psychoanalysis and trauma
Food, alcohol, tobacco and sex
A dark side?
Happiness and its absence
Fear of falling
Feeling and the senses<
Working with injuries
Alexander's stroke
Principles and procedures
A flat back
Hands on the back of a chair
The whispered 'ah'

4: The Use of the Self
Time lapse and some history
Defining the problem
The primary control
Directions and language
Stimulus and response

A blueprint and its many versions
Misuse, diagnosis and vegetarianism<
Golf, groups and application work

5: The Universal Constant in Living<
A loose structure and self-help
Misuse, health and disease
Assisting Alexander
Anatomy, physiology and osteopathy
Pregnancy, childbirth and infant development
Fitness and specific exercise
Words, anti-gravity and modernity
Mind and body
Alexander's individualism
Authoritarianism and human destructiveness
Operational verification

About the Authors

Book Specifications
Author/Editor Walter H. M. Carrington and Sean Carey
Subtitle The Writings of F. Matthias Alexander
Binding. Pages. Year. Paperback. 163 pages. 2004.
ISBN 095435222X/978-0954352226.
Size 192 x 126 mm.
Errata Page 130, line 2: for “body” read “bony”. Page 148, line 17: for “in out” read “in our”. Page 178, line 1, for “out” read “our”.

Explaining the Alexander Technique

  • Brand: Mouritz
  • Product Code: CAR992PE1
  • Availability: In Stock
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