To begin a book aiming to attract a new audience to a new product by starting with case histories seems to me inspired thinking. I was hooked into the narrative from page one.How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live: Learning the Alexander Technique to Explore Your Mind-Body Connection and Achieve Self-Mastery
the title) has a lot going for it.
It has first hand case histories - across the board of human interest.
It has drawings that are accurate and sensitive - in good light they are fantastic.
It has a tone of gentle enquiry and a journal like quality from the author so that you feel you are going with her on this voyage of discovery.
It is written recently with accessible language so you feel both involved in the story and invited to accompany the writer in her day to day life.
All the characters she comes across have encountered a physical problem that affects their quality of life. Does that ring any bells with any one?
Missy Vineyard doesn't pretend to know everything immediately or have all the solutions, yet life changing patterns emerge for the various characters who appear in the narrative. In their different ways all the characters immeasurably improve their lives. Just go ask them- as she might say.
I particularly like the retelling of the story of the author's son learning to be better at baseball armed with only the most rudimentary "instruction" from his school coach. How often have you been told - usually by a so called expert - to "Just try harder?" Obviously this can be of no value at all if we are unable to work out what to do to begin with let alone do more of the same....
When the mother -who had never played the game- and was coming at it with a childs' eye - taught the boy to try a different way I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what would happen next.
And of course he does find a way through, with mum's coaching; and he literally steps up to the plate and ups his game.
So this is a story of a coach learning to be a coach and affecting people's lives for the better armed with her experiences as an Alexander teacher.
And its likely that not many of you know what an Alexander teacher is or why you would want one.
But if you want to find out what happens when a little of the Alexander technique is applied to the day to day world of ordinary people,( who end up doing remarkable things )- then you have to read this book.
And read it in the old fashioned way - as slowly as possible.
Or have it read to you ...by someone who's voice you love.
Then you will gain the maximum benefit from this truly remarkable book.
In my opinion it is in a class of its own as being a companion book for newcomers to the technique as well as being a guide for trainee teachers in the Alexander Technique.