• Directed Activities

A directed activity is the Alexander Technique applied to a simple, usually small, movement, which will encourage length and expansion of the whole body.

During his training Gerard Grennel kept a diary of the directed activities which Walter and Dilys Carrington taught. These directed activities – also called "games" – have several important purposes for teachers of the Technique. The activities have obvious uses in the teaching of the Technique. Apart from the procedures which Alexander developed (sitting down, standing up, "monkey", whispered ah, coming up on the toes, and hands on the back of the chair), they include walking, lifting an arm, writing, lifting a chair, going up stairs, freeing the ankles, taking a pupil's arm and hand, and taking a pupil's head.         

It contains more than 200 line-drawings and notes explaining more than 100 activities.

NOTE: This book is discounted because after many years in storage some copies have developed a musty smell. This will normally disappear over some time. (Or follow these instructions: Place a cup of baking soda in a plastic box with the book and close the lid. Leave it for 48-72 hours.)


Foreword by Jean M. O. Fischer

Hands on the back of a chair (standing)
Cortical opposition
Monkey, and hands on the teaching table
Kneeling (pre 'crawling')
Rocking (pre 'crawling')
Arms (hands) out to the side
Arms (hands) out to the front
Arms, thinking of the backs of the hands
Hands above your head
Walking backwards
Walking forward
Moving limbs together (arm/leg)
Shoulders back and down
Hands on the back of a chair (seated)
Whispered ah
Spirals (front)
Spirals (back)
Spirals (front of legs)
Spirals (back of legs)
Sitting (from standing)
Standing up (from sitting)
Standing close to a wall - for confidence in bringing your weight over your heels
Rocking on your sitting bones
Chair height (pre-writing)
Writing position, and use of right hand
Touching the ground with one knee at a time
The head acting as a balancer and walking backwards
Hands on the pupil's head
Taking the pupil's head
Book height
Taking the pupil's leg out to the side
Lifting the pupil's leg
Lifting a weight (telephone books)
Shoulder work
Hands on the back of a chair
Knees forward and away
Using the whispered ah to move
Standing up, and knees forwards and away
Shoulders back and down
Moving the arms in a circle
Directing heels away from sitting bones
Releasing your back
Using your back
Lifting a chair
Stepping up (stairs etc.)
Using the whispered ah to move backwards
Bending one knee after the other, and lifting a foot off the ground
Using the eyes to turn your head (and body)
Sitting and standing (hands on our hips)
Hands behind your back
Lifting a chair, and lifting a leg
Shoulder work, and book height
Sticking your tongue out, and whispered ah
Hands (arms) above your head
Whispered ah (with our weight on your hands)
Monkey, and whispered ah
Hands on the back of a chair
Hands on the pupil's shoulders
Lifting (without tightening your biceps)
Carrying a weight (or a tray), and walking
Crawling, and whispered ah
Walking up stairs
Taking a pupil's arm and hand
Hands on the back of a chair
Arms and hands above your head
Whispered ah (your back close to a wall)
Going up stairs
Moving your eyes (but not your head)
Freeing the ankles
Going downstairs
Arms (pre-writing)
Whispered ah
Knees forward and away<
Desk work
Eyes, and turning
Marking time
Back support ('cigar box'), and whispered ah
The atlanto-occipital joint
Widening, and 'pulling to the elbows'
Hands on the back of a chair
Shoulders (widening)
Hands on the teaching table
Shoulders and arms
Hands on the pupil's shoulders
Monkey, and chair work (with the pupil)
Body twisting (head stationary)
Turning (twisting) the hips
Hips and shoulders (into walking)
Up on to your toes
Up on to your toes in monkey

Diagram showing the spirals front and back

Book Specifications
Author/Editor Gerard Grennell
Subtitle A Diary of Practical Procedures for Students and Teachers of the F. M. Alexander Technique as taught at the Constructive Teaching Centre 1989-1992
Binding. Pages. Year. Hardback. 160 pages. 2002.
ISBN 0952557452/978-0952557456.
Size 268 x 190 mm.

Directed Activities

  • Brand: Mouritz
  • Product Code: GRE002HE2
  • Availability: In Stock
  • 25.00€
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  • 5 or more 18.00€