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Complete Illustrated Guide - The Alexander Technique: A Practical Approach to Health, Poise and Fitness Paperback – 28 Jan 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Element; Ill edition (28 Jan. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862042268
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862042261
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 407,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Jan. 1999
I first learned about the Alexander Technique about 10 years ago and found it helped my chronic shoulder and neck problems and persistent pain. What I discovered was that I was causing my own problems - without being at all aware of it! It was, to say the least, a humbling experience but one I'm very glad to have gone through. My Alexander teacher was very helpful in enabling me to understand what I was doing, and how I could STOP doing it. I capitalize STOP because that's the essence of the Technique as I understand it - stop doing what's harming you. Quite a different approach from most fitness programs which try to get you to DO something different when, in fact, they rarely change your underlying habits.I still take an occasional lesson when I'm in a city where there is a teacher and I would certainly recommend the Technique - and this book - to anyone with a stress-related condition. I would also suggest 2 other books: "Fitness Without Stress" by Rickover and "How to Learn the Alexander Technique" by Conable.
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By orla on 10 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase
A very useful book covering the aspects of the Alexander Technique. It is well planned out and gives useful photographs too
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
A very nice job of describing the Alexander Technique. 25 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I first learned about the Alexander Technique about 10 years ago and found it helped my chronic shoulder and neck problems and persistent pain. What I discovered was that I was causing my own problems - without being at all aware of it! It was, to say the least, a humbling experience but one I'm very glad to have gone through. My Alexander teacher was very helpful in enabling me to understand what I was doing, and how I could STOP doing it. I capitalize STOP because that's the essence of the Technique as I understand it - stop doing what's harming you. Quite a different approach from most fitness programs which try to get you to DO something different when, in fact, they rarely change your underlying habits.I still take an occasional lesson when I'm in a city where there is a teacher and I would certainly recommend the Technique - and this book - to anyone with a stress-related condition. I would also suggest 2 other books: "Fitness Without Stress" by Rickover and "How to Learn the Alexander Technique" by Conable.
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Excellent introduction to the Alexander Technique 13 July 2001
By Claudia Summer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I'm certified to teach the Technique and gave it up years ago, frustrated with explaining the same thing over and over to the incredulous. Describing the Technique to someone who's never had lessons is like describing chocolate to one who's never tasted it. Their eyes glaze over and they nod politely, but you know they still don't have a clue.
But that all changed when I bought this wonderful book. I hand it to acquaintances, don't say a word, and they beg me to start teaching again. A picture is truly worth a thousand words, and this book has hundreds of excellent color photographs. The text is well organized and nicely written. The book gives a wealth of information on the Technique and its applications to daily life. Not only that, but it's beautifully designed, printed on excellent stock -- a first-rate package and well worth the money. If you're new to the Alexander Technique, this is the book to buy.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful! Makes Alexander concepts visible. 6 Feb. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book not only has many illustrations of how Alexander principles might look in action, it's a beautiful and well-laid-out book. With all the pictures, I have a better idea of what I might be going toward as I take Alexander lessons. I still think it is true that you cannot learn Alexander technique without a teacher - most of the time I find that the way I think I am moving or standing is not what my body is actually doing - but I still find the pictures and directions give me something to move towards. The illustrations are also useful in trying to explain to others what the Alexander technique is about. I recommend this highly along with Deborah Caplan's "Back Trouble".
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Accessible and beautiful 12 Jun. 2001
By M. J. Ballou - Published on Amazon.com
This is one of the prettiest books available on the Alexander Technique and is a wonderful place for beginners to start learning about the wide range of activities to which the technique can be applied. It is also a wonderful book to hand to friends and relatives who are completely baffled by one's interest in Alexander Technique. (I often wish that something with a lot of name-recognition, such as yoga, had done as much for me as A.T. It was be easier to explain.)
However, there's more to this book than its large format and wealth of illustrations. The first part of the book is a very useful explanation of muscle function and how we move. I can't speak for others, but I found I was woefully ignorant about my own "physical operations," knowing much more about the brain than I did about how I crossed a room. I'm probably not alone in this and Glynn MacDonald explains it in a way that is both complete and accessible.
There are lot of other great Alexander Technique books, especially Michael Gelb's and Pedro de Alcantara's. And, of course, nothing can take the place of a live workshop and/or lessons with a trained teacher. At the same time, there is a niche for MacDonald's "picture book." I recommend it strongly to anyone with an interest in Alexander Technique and as part of a personal library on A.T.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
An expensive PR piece 7 Jun. 2003
By Eclectic reader - Published on Amazon.com
I'm interested in learning the Alexander Technique with no prior knowledge, so based on the other reviews I thought this book would help me get started. Unfortunately, the book is not a "Complete Illustrated Guide," but rather a brief illustrated overview of the Alexander Technique. Nor does the book provide a "Practical Program," but rather directs you to find a certified AT instructor to learn the technique that is illustrated but not taught in this book. If the title were changed to "An Illustrated Introduction to the Alexander Technique," that would be much more accurate. And the book is a good introduction, which is why it still rates 3 stars.
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