Alexander Technique is a wonderful method for helping us become of aware of and change harmful habits of body and mind, which is hugely beneficial for improving posture and coordination, relieving pain (e.g. back pain, neck pain, chronic pain of various types) and enhancing the way we function generally.
One benefit though, is rarely talked about, and I actually feel hesitant to mention it. But here goes! Using the Alexander Technique improves your appearance! It helps you look good!
If we can learn to let go of a downward and inward collapse, we not only feel better, we look better too. In fact I could go as far as to say that in most cases we even look slimmer. We also look more confident and self-assured.
Conversely, if we let go of that overly arched back (often mistaken for “standing up straight”), and the inherent tension that goes with it, we present a sleeker profile too!
And even more interesting, when we try and suck in our stomach, it may indeed make that part of us look thinner, but it’s not only hard to maintain (and breathe!), it typically distorts the body in an unattractive way.
Here I’m sucking in my stomach, which does indeed make it look smaller… temporarily. I’m using so much tension to do this I can’t maintain it for long. The “sucking in” is distorting other parts of my body. My neck is tight and my shoulders have collapsed inward and I look quite tense. On the other hand my pelvis has tucked under in an unnatural way – not a great look for my behind!
Many celebrities have studied the Alexander Technique. Victoria Beckham turned to the Alexander Technique to combat her poor posture and “round-shouldered look,” fearing that “her love of lavish footwear may leave her with a hunchback look as she gets older.”
And actor Hugh Jackman, in this interview, talks about how the Alexander Technique helped him to achieve “incredibly good posture with incredible relaxation!”
If you’ve studied the Alexander Technique have you, or others, noticed improvements in your appearance?
Update: On May 27, 2013 this blog post was translated into Spanish by Victoria Stanham. If you’re more comfortable reading Spanish, check it out at: vstanhamtecnicaalexander.blogspot.com/2013/05/la-tecnica-alexander-te-ayuda-verte.html