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Fitness Without Stress: A Guide to the Alexander Technique
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Top customer reviews
I've found that having lessons in the Alexander Technique made a very big difference in my life, particularly my ability to continue taking long country walks well into my 70s.
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Though I fully concede that the benefits of a method like the Alexander Technique can only be gained through direct experience, the subtitle of Rickover's book, "A Guide to the Alexander Technique," will be misleading of this fact for the beginner. A better subtitle would have been "An Introduction to the Alexander Technique," for the book does provide a decent synopsis of the history, applicability and benefits of the method, as well as helpful information on locating a qualified teacher.
The Technique, I concede, is difficult to describe, making the challenge of writing about it a formidable one. By its very nature, the Technique escapes exact description and, because it is necessarily an individualized practice, defies summation in a listing of generally applicable methods.
I bought this book initially hoping for some pointers on making my workouts more efficient and graceful, and for that, was completely disappointed. But I should have known better, given the little I do know about the Technique: a teacher is needed. No tips on incorporating Alexander methods into one's exercise regimen could be usefully described in a book, so in this sense, Rickover has not at all failed. And he does successfully make explicit some important features of the philosophy underlying the Technique: the holistic nature of it, that the body must be considered to act (and manifest pains and motion) as an integrated whole, and that there is a choice between stimulus and response; that, as rational human beings, we can effect changes in our patterns of bodily use.
Rickover has also, commendably, gone to the trouble of inserting a recent update of current addresses for professional societies, as well as his personal contact information. So, all told, not what I was looking for, but certainly what I should have expected, and a good introduction to the Technique for those not yet involved in lessons.
This book mirrors my thoughts but adds nothing to my learning.There is zero chance that I am going to be able to follow the advice to go and live in another city for weeks or if a class was available locally pay to attend two or three time a week one on one classes, although if my lottery comes through that would change.
If you have no concept of how to deal with ordinary "aging" issues buy the book,I am going to check out a DVD and hope for more information.
If you have chronic aches and pains, by all means investigate this method. Fitness Without Stress will tell you all you need to get started. I'm about to buy a couple of copies for my older children who I think could benefit from this method.