Englischsprachige Bücher zur Alexander-Technik

Introductory Books

Brennan, Richard
Alexander Technique workbook

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An easy introduction to the Technique. It contains details about the history and the principles and gives numerous exercises that you can follow to give you greater understanding of them. It is suitable for those new to the Technique as well as those who have had Alexander Technique lessons. Illustrated with clear line drawings.

Gelb, Michael
Body Learning

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Providing answers to commonly asked questions about the Alexander Technique and a glossary of significant terms, this book is a guide to dynamic relaxation, with information for newcomers to the technique and details of the complex mental and physical dynamics involved.
Besides being a thorough introduction to the seven operational ideas (principles) of the Technique, it is also a personal account of the changes which can take place as a result of practicing the Technique. The author relates how the Technique can be applied to activities like aikido, writing, running, swimming, juggling and giving speeches. It also contains a brief history of how the Technique has been applied in schools and of the author's work. A best-seller, which has become a classic.

Gray, John
Alexander Technique

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Not an ordinary introduction book but rather a work-book for those who are having (or have had) lessons in the Technique. It emphasises the essential, basic procedures in learning the Technique. With its practical approach it contains many chapters on working on oneself: lying down, sitting and standing, working against a wall, monkey, hands on the back of a chair, whispered 'Ah' etc. The text is easy to read, written as a teacher would speak through a lesson, and contains advice for teachers too. It is illustrated throughout with many photographs and diagrams of poor and good use.

Leibowitz, Judith & Connington, Bill
Alexander Technique

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The authors of this book, who both were members of the American Center for the Alexander Technique, answer many questions about the Technique and describe the theory behind it. They emphasize that The technique can only be properly learned from a certified instructor, although they do clearly explain and illustrate a series of physical movements that will help reduce strain.

Nicholls, Carolyn
Body, Breath and Being: A New Guide to the Alexander Technique (with CD)

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Body, Breath and Being explores the Alexander Technique through the experiences of those who have studied it and benefited from it. These include:

  • A keen amateur sportsman who was "reborn" after being resigned to a lifetime of pain.
  • A photographer who overcame a debilitating back problem that was interfering with his professional work.
  • A pregnant woman who used the technique to relieve indigestion and handle her changing posture.
  • A musician who managed an asthmatic problem that was affecting her playing.

"Body, Breath and Being"

  • is ideal for both beginner and expert
  • includes over 100 full colour photographs and diagrams
  • provides practical experiments in every chapter
  • includes a CD of detailed instructions and advice.

The book offers a new view of the way we use our bodies and the consequences not only on our health, but also our approach to life.

Nicholls, Carolyn
The Posture Workbook
D&B Publishing, 2000

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Introductory book about good body use, based on the Alexander Technique.

Stevens, Chris
Alexander Technique

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A brief and easy all-round introduction

Further Reading

Barlow, Marjory
An examined life

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A fascinating memoir, in interview form, on the life and thoughts of Marjory Barlow. Marjory Barlow grew up with the Alexander Technique, and the Alexander Technique grew up with her. She started daily lessons on her 17th birthday with her uncle F.M. Alexander, and joined his teacher training course a year later. She was 21 when she qualified as a teacher of the Alexander Technique and she stayed on as her uncle's assistant for a further four years. She ran her own training course from 1950 until the 1980's.

An Examined Life is Marjory's opportunity to gather and share the unique experiences of her seven-decade career. It includes Appendices with Marjory Barlow's two Memorial Lectures, as well as stories and aphorisms collected by several teachers trained by her.

Binkley, Goddard
The Expanding Self

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After having lessons in the Technique in New York, Binkley moved to London in 1950 to have lessons with F. M. Alexander and subsequently trained as a teacher (1953-57). Often referred to as "the Binkley diaries" this is the most extensive and vivid record of how Alexander taught in his late years. Binkley re-edited his manuscript a few times over the next 30 years and included relevant paragraphs from Alexander's books and autobiographical material, making the book a detailed and personal case history. It shows how profoundly and subtly the Technique works.

Bloch, Michael
The life of Frederick Matthias Alexander

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An elegantly written and meticulously researched biography. From his harsh beginnings in Tasmania to his growing success in Melbourne, Sydney and London, etc. it reveals the strengths and weaknesses of a man who, though an enigma to his contemporaries, is now recognised as one of the most remarkable innovators of his time.

Carrington, Walter
Explaining the Alexander Technique

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Walter Carrington is renowned for his insight into the teaching and training of the Alexander Technique. He trained with F. M. Alexander in the 1930s and has been training teachers in the Technique continuously since 1946. Since 1955 Walter Carrington has been reading from Alexander's books to his students and commenting upon the texts.
In these conversations with Sean 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.
Many diverse subjects are explored: diet, psychoanalysis, Zen, politics, democracy, individualism and also many practical teaching considerations, such as breathing, the use of the hands and the role of language in teaching.
Various criticisms levelled at Alexander and his technique are also addressed. Interesting and 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.
This intelligent and succinct guide to Alexander's writings is essential reading for anyone wishing to better understand and appreciate the Technique.

Jones, Frank Pierce
Collected Writings on the Alexander Technique

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A compilation of 40 scientific and humanistic papers on the Technique - most have been published only in scientific journals and some have not previously been published. Some of the papers are "Problems of Tension and Fatigue," "Kinesthetic Perception and the Postural Reflexes," "Posture as a Function of Time," "Startle as a Paradigm of Malposture," "Altered States of Consciousness" and "Head Balance as Postural Mechanism in Man."

Jones, Frank Pierce
Freedom to Change
Reprint of Body Awareness in Action

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Frank Pierce Jones (1905-1975) trained with F. M. and A. R. Alexander 1941-44. Drawing on his long association with F. M. and A. R., Jones relates the story and development of the Technique. It is the most comprehensive biography of Alexander's extraordinary life published to date. For twenty-five years Jones conducted original scientific research into the Technique using a variety of methods including multiple-image photography (investigating changes in movement patterns), X-ray photography (examining the head-neck relationship) and electromyograms (measuring muscles in different head-neck relationships). The most important results are presented and Jones explains some of the underlying mechanisms at work, including how the conscious mind activates anti-gravity reflexes. In "Notes on Teaching," Jones summarizes his teaching experiences and sets out principles for good teaching practice.

Vineyard, Missy
How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live: Learning the Alexander Technique to Explore Your Mind-Body Connection and Achieve Self-Mastery

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The Alexander Technique is a remarkably powerful method for learning to control how your mind and body interact. It teaches you to coordinate your body more skillfully in daily living, while improving self-perception and mental skills such as attention, awareness, self-inhibition, and spatial thinking.
Vineyard's book sheds fresh light on this revolutionary method. She combines cutting-edge research in neuroscience with personal and moving stories of herself and her students drawn from over thirty years of teaching experience. The book includes simple and effective self-experiments for enhancing your mind-body mastery.

The book shows you how you can learn to:

  • Overcome chronic pain and injury
  • Enhance mental attention and improve mood
  • Reduce tension, stress and anxiety
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Increase technical skills in athletic and artistic performance

Westfeldt, Lulie
F.Matthias Alexander
The man and his work
Memoirs of Training in the Alexander Technique 1931-34.

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Lulie Westfeldt was the only teacher from F. M. Alexander's first teacher training course to write extensively about her experiences both as a student and as a teacher of the Technique.
She studied with Alexander for four years (1931-34) and taught the Technique for 26 years. As well as providing an authentic and critical account of Alexander's teaching Lulie Westfeldt explains the fundamental principles of the Alexander Technique.

Special Topics

Alcantara, Pedro de
Indirect Procedures: A Musician´s Guide to the Alexander Technique

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A comprehensive introduction followed by a great deal of material of interest to instrumentalists and singers.

Balk, Malcom & Shields, Andrew
Master the Art of Running: Raise Your Performance with the Alexander Technique

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This book is based on the proven principles of the Alexander Technique, which encourage good use of the body and greater awareness of the way it functions. The authors show the reader how to achieve and maintain fitness without injury and how to overcome self-imposed limitations to enjoyable and successful running. Copiously illustrated, The Art of Running can transform both training and performance of novice and experienced runners alike.
Based on the established principles of the Alexander Technique, this book takes readers through a method detailing the physical, mental and emotional aspects of safe, efficient and effective running.

Heirich, Jane Ruby
Voice and the Alexander Technique
Active explorations for speaking and singing

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Are you an actor who routinely loses his voice before the end of a run? As a serious student of singing, do you wish those high notes would come more easily? Do you need courage to sing outside the shower?
In this book, designed for both teachers and students of the speaking and singing voice, Jane Heirich addresses some common problem areas of the voice-teaching world: breath management, voice projection, resonance building, „breaks" in the vocal range, and the relevance of overall poise to vocal output. The step-by-step approach through which she takes the reader allows new skills to develop for both beginning and experienced students/performers.
This book is the culmination of decades of work integrating two approaches that will have a profound impact on your voice, the centuries-old Italian bel canto singing tradition and the FM Alexander Technique.

TOTTLE, Sally A.
Bodysense: Revolutionize Your Riding With the Alexander Technique

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Demonstrates how the Alexander Technique can be applied to riding, not only to improve riding skills but also to overcome problems and faults. It covers how the Alexander Technique can improve muscle tone and suppleness, breathing, balance and co-ordination, and communication with the horse. This book introduces and discusses the Technique as applied to riding. It explains the fundamental terms and describes the lying-down procedure. It shows how to discover one's sitting bones and joints (and the importance thereof) and the significance of the use of the back. It also discusses balance, riding styles, the independent seat, training of the horse, communication with the horse, and BodySense techniques for Riding.

Writings of F.M. Alexander

Alexander, Frederick Matthias
Man's Supreme Inheritance
Conscious guidance and control in relation to human evolution in civilization
First edition: Methuen, London 1910 / Reynolds, New York, 1910

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Alexander's first book in which he sets out many of his basic ideas. Must reading for the serious student of the Alexander Technique.

Alexander, Frederick Matthias
Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual
First edition: E.P.Dutton & Co, New York, 1923

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Alexander's second book on his technique.

Alexander, Frederick Matthias
The Use of the Self
First edition: E.P.Dutton & Co, New York, 1932 / Methuen, London 1932

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This landmark book was written by the founder of the Alexander Technique. The text explains how F.M. Alexander conceived and refined his method and also gives some examples of applying the Technique. With an introduction by Dr. Wilfred Barlow, and an introduction by Professor John Dewey reprinted from the 1939 edition. Includes two prefaces by F. M. Alexander. Relates how, after the loss of his voice, Alexander pioneered a method of improving the "use" of his body musculature in all positions and movements and cured his vocal problems without medical aid. Describes the incorrect "use of the self": how people stand, sit and move in a manner which may cause suffering.

Alexander, Frederick Matthias
The Universal Constant in Living
First edition: E.P.Dutton & Co, New York, 1941

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Alexander shares knowledge accumulated in the course of more than 45 years of practical teaching experience. It contains his most mature and consummate thoughts on the Technique.

Alexander, Frederick Matthias
Authorised Summaries of F.M. Alexander's Four Books by Ron Brown
First edition: STAT Books London, 1992

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The Authorised Summaries of F. M. Alexander's Four Books by Ron Brown is a good place to start if you want to read Alexander's words in a skillfully edited form.

Alexander, Frederick Matthias
Articles and Lectures
First edition: Mouritz London, 1995

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A compilation of articles, published letters and lectures on the Technique. It contains 16 articles and letters written before Man's Supreme Inheritance (1910), six letters published between 1924 and 1948, three lectures (of which two are reported almost verbatim) given between 1925 and 1949, "teaching aphorisms" - observations and instructions from lessons, a forward and a chapter for an unfinished book, "Alexander and the Doctors" and an autobiographical sketch covering Alexander's first 35 years. Each paper is preceded by an introduction which gives the historical context. Additional material includes a foreword by Walter Carrington, 90 pages of notes with references, 5 facsimiles, a chronology of Alexander's writings and two appendices.

Alexander, Frederick Matthias
The Essential Writings of F. Matthias Alexander
Selected and introduced by Edward Maisel
First edition: Shambala Publications, Boston & London, 1969

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A collection compiled from Alexander's books with an extended introduction to Alexander and his ideas by Edward Maisel.

Alexander, Frederick Matthias
The Books of F. Matthias Alexander - Four books in one volume
First Edition: IRDEAT, New York, 1997 (Out of print.)

Further Titles, possibly undeliverable

Barlow, Wilfred
The Alexander Principle

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Dr. barlow studied with F.M. Alexander himself, practising for over 40 years. Here he explains the technique for correct use from a medical viewpoint: how use affects our health. Full of illustrations, photos, x-rays.

Carrington, Walter
A Time to Remember

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Walter Carrington began his diary on his return to Ashley Place after the War and it records his life as an assistant teacher, both giving private lessons and working on Alexander's training course. Carrington's preface explains the background and the setting for the diary which covers the period of March to November 1946 with an additional entry from 1947. It catches the atmosphere of the time and provides some interesting Alexander quotations. The book includes a list of students on Alexander's course 1931-55, facsimile of the prospectus, an introductory pamphlet to the Technique from 1951 and 30 pages of notes with additional information on events and people referred to in the diary.

Drake, Jonathan
The Alexander Technique in Everyday life

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This book offers a clear look at how the "Technique" can be used in daily life to enhance health and well-being. It is primarily designed for people already taking Alexander lessons. With step by step illustrations for applying the technique to lying down, walking, sitting, using stairs, writing, driving, lifting, squatting, etc.

MacDonald, Glynn
Alexander Technique, the complete illustrated guide

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Packed with full-colour illustrations, this authoritative and comprehensive introduction explains:

  • The history and evolution of the technique
  • Procedures involving mind and body in a dynamic way
  • How to explore your senses and evaluate your feelings
  • Why the technique improves performance

MacDonald, Patrick
The Alexander Technique as I see it

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This book explains Alexander's discovery, discusses how the Technique is taught, and describes the steps necessary to learning and mastering the Technique, including: "Direction and Movement", "Getting a Pupil's Head to Go Forward and Up", and "Giving Directions, Doing and Non-Doing". It is essential reading for teachers and students alike.

Machover, Ilana & A .u. J. Drake
Alexander Technique Birth Book
A guide to better pregnancy, natural birth and parenthood

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Presenting a new and inspiring approach to all aspects of childbearing, this richly illustrated, practical book shows women how to prepare for pregnancy and childbirth using the Alexander Technique.
It shows how, by achieving an overall improvement in balance and movement, the mother's experience can be transformed, with countless benefits to her own health and the baby's development.
As well as explaining how many of the health problems associated with pregnancy can be traced back to faulty body use, the authors show how the Technique can be used to achieve a more natural birth, reducing the need for medical intervention. The authors also give useful advice on how to get back into shape after a birth, and how to nurture your child's development.
Ilana Machover is a childbirth educator, Alexander Technique teacher and mother. She gives classes for pregnant women. Jonathan Drake is an experienced Alexander Technique teacher and the author of two previous books on the Technique.

Park, Glen
The Art of Changing – A New Approach to the Alexander Technique

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"An admirable and important book, the implications are profound." Sir George Trevelyan. The Art of Changing has established a fine reputation twice over: as one of the very best introductions to the Alexander Technique and as a unique exploration of its relationship with the human energy body. The first part of the book outlines the theoretical basis of the Technique with the help of imaginative line drawings and observational exercises. The second part is the author's synthesis between the Technique and the human body as an energy system (presented in terms of auras and chakras). There are exercises for cleansing and energizing the chakras and there is a chapter on how to work with affirmations (self-suggestion)