F.M. Alexander

Frederick Matthias Alexander

Frederick Matthias Alexander was born in 1869 in Tasmania.  He came to live in London at the beginning of last century.  He worked as an actor and used his voice for his living.  Initially he devised the Alexander Technique to solve the problem he had developed of regularly losing his voice whilst performing.  After solving this problem his work led him to explore good body use in general and he became known locally as the ‘breathing man’.

Ahead of his time, Alexander quickly realised that the body and mind are inseparable.  He had the insight to realise that if someone could stop doing what was ‘wrong’, the ‘right’ thing would do itself.  For example if someone tries to ‘sit up straight’ (and do the ‘right thing’) this approach will inevitably be unsuccessful.  Whereas an approach of trying to stop slumping by stopping ‘doing’ is much more likely to succeed.  The page ‘An Introduction to Alexander Technique’ describes the basic principles of the Technique in more detail.

Quotes from F M Alexander

“All that I am trying to give you is a new experience.”
“Control should be in process not superimposed.”
“You can’t do something you don’t know if you keep on doing what you do know.”
“There is no such thing as a right position, but there is such a thing as a right direction.”
“When the time comes that you can trust your feeling, you won’t want to use it.”
“What you gain in one way you lose in another. Therefore you must not try for specific results.”

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