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The Art of Swimming: In a New Direction with the Alexander Technique [Paperback]

Victoria Wood , Steven Shaw , Armand J. D'Angour
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Mar 2001
Enlarged, redesigned edition has underwater photos in full color, as well as new line drawings and cartoons.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ashgrove Publishing Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (31 Mar 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853981400
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853981401
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 17.6 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a breakthrough book 1 July 2007
Since this appeared, there've been thoughtful and very worthwhile swimming books from Ian Cross, and from Terry Laughlin, but this was the first, and it's one I go back to. Quite simply, it reorientates your thoughts about what you're doing with yourself in the pool, and about how you can be in the water. Unlike Steven Shaw's more recent "Mastering the Art of Swimming", which is highly detailed, and chock-full of step-by-step drills, this book sets the mood for thinking how you can enjoy the benefits of Alexander Technique as you start to swim, or return to swimming. It's highly enabling, it has you believing you can do it, happily, and that's a great start. "Mastering the Art" is great too, but it's at times scary in the sheer amount of fine detail with which it analyses aspects of each stroke. This book gets you back to moving, as does Ian Cross, with core priorities in place, and not too much worry over wanting to be exactly right. Maybe it's simply the tone - whatever - it changed radically how I think about being in the water, and (I believe) for the better. The dvds (sold separately) are a great back-up, and also well worth acquiring. For me, Terry Laughlin's Total Immersion books proved very compatible with this approach, and an inspirational way to move forwards.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of benefit to the experienced swimmer 7 Nov 2007
By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER
Whether you swim for exercise, relaxation or pleasure, this book is sure to help. While a good proportion of the text is devoted to explaining and justifying the principles behind the ideas it promotes (and I did tend to skip much of that, although I am sure it is interesting in itself), it does contain some really good advice.

I swim for an hour or more on an almost daily basis. Being a swimmer who at one time swam competitively I was finding it hard to do anything other than swim all out in the pool, but the suggestions here really helped me gain a new perspective, and derive much greater pleasure from my swimming.

Some sections are devoted to specific advice on individual strokes, highlighting both good and bad practices. Interestingly many of the suggestions contained in the book do not contradict typically taught methods, but rather they compliment or enhance them. However it does also warm against some practices which it considers physically harmful, especially some practices adopted by competitive swimmers. Overall its message is to encourage swimming techniques that are both relaxing and that make swimming a pleasure.

I found this a most useful book, every bit as beneficial for the experienced swimmer as much as the novice.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book has helped me discover the physical and psychological reasons for my long standing fear of swimming. It clearly sets out step by step the technique that Steven Shaw has developed using the Alexander Technique to overcome the reflex actions that create the panic and rigidity which inhibit freedom of movement in water. It is also very informative for those who are not terrified of water, but who have problems which they seek to overcome. Beautifully illustrated and full of sound advice.
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