One Size Fits All
Well I can tell you that is not true for me. Once in Thailand “one size fits all” was a lure too far as I dared to try on something exotic and ended up wrestling out of the baby garment in the tiny makeshift dressing room. Thailand is not a place to shop for this statuesque Celt. I’m not their target market. But it’s not just Thailand. Another time in an English dressing room, as I reached my arms above my head I hit the ceiling and the electricity went off. Not entirely my fault, as I did not wire the place, but it did lead to uncomfortable manoeuvres in the dark.
The “one size fits all” may work ok for magic gloves producers, and the mean of a demographic the item is aimed at, but it does not take in our individuality.
Some say Alexander Technique is a “one size fits all” cure all. While I can apply the same principles to many different activities, and it helps me with each one, I would say the application is different in each case. It takes an ‘in the moment’ creativity and interpretation to teach a principle to a student.
For example. If someone has many compensation habits due to accidents over the years, they may or may not understand how much time it takes to make a change. If I spoke Alexander’s Victorian language I may lose them before we begin. So making the information accessible, and keeping them interested and aware while we visit a new experience, is my job.
They have a different goal to the singer who wants to perfect their voice. Different language, approach and entry point. Their interest is unique to them and so we approach the lesson differently.
The tools may be the same and serve both purposes, but I cannot apply what I used with the last person in the same way as the next. This new brain and body interprets differently.
It’s like when I was learning to cook. 44 of us would witness the same demonstration, follow the same recipe and use the same stock of ingredients. Miraculously 44 different loaves of bread would be produced.
So similarly in the way each student is unique, each teacher is unique. They bake Alexander’s ingredients with their own style and interpretation. And deliver their message, their teaching, their work in unique ways. 44 different lessons would be created for one individual with their individual needs (list of ingredients). Who is to say which would work better. It is to recognise that ease human brings their own ingredients and together we develop the recipe. The outcome is often surprising. It may be the bread you expected, or it may be cake. The important thing is that each lesson is a new invention interrupting, old moments, leading to new ways of understanding movement.
I find Alexander gatherings fascinating to watch teachers from different backgrounds work with students, work together and share ideas. To witness conversations based in historical interpretations, and hear never ending stories of old masters. Each may have a different way and their own ideas but one thing is in common. Always exploring. Exploring ourselves, students, Alexander’s discoveries, each other’s interpretations, and back to ourselves again where we process and live the findings of our explorations.
It’s a grand life, being an Alexander teacher, exploring life and movement and simplifying. Making life easier. Is it not the reason we humans are here?
Don't Hold Back
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Thanks to the internet and the artist Corbett for the cartoon
I am Fiona and I am exploring themes of meeting resistances and allowing ways through. The constant weeding, recognising the stuff that's in the way to live easier.