Yesterday, the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) put out a statement to its members. They’ve asked us:
to cease face to face teaching with immediate effect. You may find that you can continue to contact your clients online and encourage reading about the Alexander Technique. It is a difficult decision to take given the impact it will have on our livelihoods, but it is the right thing to do to assist in stemming the spread of coronavirus.– STAT Updated Guidelines Regarding Teaching Alexander Technique Hands-On
The essence, joy and power of the Alexander Technique is in the communication of improved ‘use of the self’ through the teacher’s hands. This is the unique method which FM Alexander (the originator of the Alexander Technique) developed in Australia and then refined on his arrival in London in 1904.
It is therefore remarkable that this hands-on practice now needs to cease for the time being because of the Coronavirus. And yet one of the fascinating characteristics of the Alexander Technique is that it is an inner journey which each individual must embark on. This means that, in the current time of social distancing, there is plenty for students of the Technique to explore, whether that’s through reading, individual experimentation or taking Alexander Technique lessons online.
Such wonderful progress can be seen in my students after even just a few hands-on lessons at my studio. However, for now, as the Alexander Technique community begins to experiment more with ‘hands-free’ approaches, we can remind ourselves that Alexander was his own teacher, and take confidence from his own remark that:
Anyone can do what I do, if they will do what I did.