on 14 May 2009
Over 100 years ago F.M. Alexander pioneered his concept of mind / body unity, what we now know as the Alexander technique. So what is this technique ? Well basically it's a means of movement and posture that uses the minimum amount of energy and helps to release muscular tension and realign the posture as we go about our everyday business.
The author of this book is a fully qualified Alexander technique teacher and presents a very ethical and coherent approach to this technique. The book is written clearly with no apparent ramblings or self indulgences on the authors part. However my one quibble is the sketches contained are rather unclear and .... well .... sketchy ! In my opinion it would be difficult to learn the Alexander technique from this book making it useless as a manual. This point seems to be backed up by Maunder himself as he constantly reiterates throughout the book that there is no substitute for the personal guidance of a qualified instructor. As everyone is a unique individual I would worry about the consequences of a novice doing more harm than good using unmastered techniques while unsupervised.
For information purposes this is an excellent book but if you need to learn this technique maybe consider approaching a reputable, qualified and experienced teacher. But if not then please proceed with caution. Best of luck !!
on 20 November 2008
This is a book i have been looking for, for 10 years or more. If like me you feel as if you have lost something that you had before but are just not sure how to get it back then this book may be for you.
After being plagued by poor health for years, nothing too serious, but in that state where you know that you can and should be feeling better than you do (almost all of the time), I stumbled across the Alexander technique whilst reading other material on Health and well being and put some of the advise into practise.
I felt slightly better and thought there may well be something in this, so i jumped on Amazon and stumbled upon this book.
It has been a revelation and a real eye opener for me as to how to let the Natural Energy (that we all have stored somewhere) flow again and revitalise my Body, mind and Soul. And that is the key.
The author clearly knows his stuff on the connection between the body, mind and soul and when all 3 are working in harmony just what can be experienced and acheived.
This book will benefit everyone I am sure of it. How much however depends on how much you believe your state of mind can effect your state of health.
I have always known that my state of mind must be affecting my state of health somehow but had never fully made the connection. Which is why the book came as a very pleasant surprise, I was expecting a book which showed you how to hold your posture and keep a straight back, etc - but found the book to be much, much more than that.
In truth the Alexander technique itself is much, much more than that but with this book I felt a connection with the Author that, after reading of a lot of books, I know is rare to find, I hope you find it the same.
I would give this book 10 stars if I could as for me this book has been a truely enlightening.
on 5 March 2004
As a lifelong seeker of spirituality I had come across references to the Alexander Technique in two ways. One was through my daughter who in her twenties took a course with an Alexander Technique teacher to ease back pain, and clearly benefited not just physically but subtly in her improved attitude to life. The other was in a book by J G Bennett, a former pupil of Gurdjieff,in which he heartily endorsed the Technique as a means of spiritual development. I now wish I had looked into his recommendation years ago.It would be hard to conceive a better exposition than "Let Your Life Flow". The author moves effortlessly through the theory and practice of the Technique so that one can absorb the essence of the teaching with minimal difficulty. In my own case, the book has given my life an extra quality of grace. Even without visiting a Teacher I have been able to apply the advice with dramatic effects. I stand better, I move better, I have lost many aches and pains, I feel better grounded, and I have a revived virility. Not a bad record in less than a month! And there has been a shift in my consciousness: I now know from personal experience what Gurdjieff meant when he said; "Lifeis real only then when I AM."
on 23 August 2002
Let Your Life Flow, by Alex Maunder. By Femke van lperen
Alexander Technique: 'a Technique that makes you look taller'; 'an exercise
programme for a healthier well-being'; 'something that extends your toes'; there are
lots of ideas that people have about Alexander Technique. Though none of these ideas
are technically wrong, amidst the world of increasing complementary health therapies
this Technique is still an ambiguous issue in the minds of many people.
Alex Maunder, a full-time practising Alexander Technique teacher who lives and works in London and a member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique since 1988,
decided to change that and wrote a very comprehensive, understandable book about
the subject called: 'Let Your Life Flow'.
The book, published in June 2002, describes from a variety of spiritual, intellectual and emotional angles what it is all about, making the Technique available for anyone. Maybe you have been suffering with back or shoulder pain and can't find the right treatment, or maybe you feel that life is getting on top of you. Whether you are more spiritually and emotionally inclined, or see life from an intellectual and scientific viewpoint, the Technique, and indeed this
book, could appeal to you.
'Let Your Life Flow' gives a fresh, updated interpretation of the original 19th Century
Alexander Technique and enables anyone to include the Technique in every day life.
Flowing through 234 pages, with easy-to-understand body drawings and a useful
index, the book sets out in a practical manner how the Technique, which aims to
restore a person's mental and emotional harmony, works in various aspects of
everyday life, and how to apply it.
In clear but concise and detailed language, it is explained how muscles work, how to
direct energy with our thoughts, and how the mind, with its emotions and feelings,
and the body are connected; as we are all 'psycho-physical beings', says the writer.
"Alexander was the first to introduce the idea of psycho-physical unity. At the time it was a revolutionary concept , now a lot of people agree with it. But most people don't know how to use that knowledge. That's one of the main reasons why I wrote the book; to explain those subtle concepts in clearly understandable language. I want people to use it and to understand what it can do to their lives", explains Mr Maunder.
The reader is taken into the core of the Alexander Technique as a posture-improving,
bad-habit combating and tension- releasing method in order to restore balance in the
body and lengthen the spine as a result. The book also explains how the choice of words used to describe our muscular tension and bad postural habits can be replaced with more positive and less judgmental words that you can find with the help of the Alexander Technique and your inner Body Wisdom. "We tend not to realise that there is a resonance in words. If you can use words that resonate with a positive bodily experience you are going to set up a positive habit pattern more easily than a purely intellectual idea could".
"In the last 20 years there has been a lot of scientific research which has measured how our repeated thoughts and emotions can have a very strong effect on the chemical balance of the brain and into the cellular level of the body. I find it fascinating that science has finally caught up with the Alexander Technique" says Mr Maunder.
In effect, the book shows how to slowly set out a new lifestyle and thinking
process with initially hard-to-grasp concepts, but don't worry, the author repeats these
new concepts often enough and in many different ways so that the reader can understand and apply them.
This book should be useful for most people at whatever level. "I think it is for a whole range of people: for the complete beginner, it is also useful for the student who wants a clear framework within lessons and for Alexander Technique teachers because it provides new insights, ideas and a new energy model of the Technique"...
on 16 June 2013
I read this book a couple of years ago and liked it a lot then, by chance, found Alex Maunder somewhere on the internet. I was looking for someone to help me with the Focusing technique. Alex now coaches me by Skype on a combination of the Alexander Technique and Focusing, and it works a treat.
The book is well-written and written sincerely. I don't agree with every line (and Alex is a bit heavy on the adjectives for my taste ;-), but these small reservations are insignificant compared to the book's overall value. The technique is well explained. In particular, the reader is left with a clear idea of what it involves to follow Alexander Technique lessons, and what can be expected from them. As you will find out from reading, a successful outcome is a subtle and paradoxical thing.
The final couple of chapters have a philosophical flavour, and you may or may not agree with Alex's conclusions. Once again, however, the sincerity/authenticity of the writing shines through.
on 14 October 2014
Only slightly long-wided at times, this is an inspiring and useful analysis and practical interpretation of Alexander's original work and teachings. I learned some amazing techniques from this book, both physical and mental. Maunder strips everything back - there are clear descriptions of what the Alexander Technique is and can do, and how Alexander discovered it and developed it. Completely clear of jargon or mumbo-jumbo you'll find in certain other "new-age" books - this is pure, sound advice that you can put into practice as soon as you start reading it. A gem.