American Master of the Alexander Technique
"There isn't anything either right or wrong when dealing with co-ordination. There are degrees of movement. Life is really moving from one position to another. We never stop and say, "This is right--this is my posture, this is the way I ought to be". If we do that, we're stiff trying to hold that posture. It isn't natural for our bodies to be held in positions."
"CONSTRUCTIVE CONSCIOUS CONTROL... CONSTRUCTIVE: because we are changing something in ourselves which is ineffective, harmful. CONSCIOUS: because we become aware of what we are doing. CONTROL: because we are redirecting energy and bringing freedom into the whole mechanism."
"When I find myself pushing, I have not taken the time to see where I am before I start to move."
"I can’t teach anything that I haven’t done myself. I may not always do it, you know we don’t always do what we should (life would be very dull if we did). But I know when I want to have more freedom, I know what I can do and what I must do, then I make the choice of whether or not to do it."
"All you want is a little bit of nothing--but the trouble with all you people is that you all want something. And that something is your habit."
"Did you see that? (addressing those watching.) What did you notice? (addressing the student as well as the group.)"
"Forget all that, it belongs to the past. As soon as you get a good experience, instead of using it, you say "Oh--I usually do this and this and this." And the new experience just washes away."
"He was scared as he was keeping his mind on what was bothering him, instead of looking for what to change."
"I am not making a mechanical person out of them: I want my students to know what I am doing; know how they experience it; talk it over with them."
"I don't let you take all that time before you start because you're trying to feel you're right and that's end-gaining."
"I don't know why you are pushing there? You've got some kind of idea--let's see what your idea is."
"If you are up, because you are afraid to be down, then you are not up, (lightly, effortlessly, and powerfully suspended and supported from within). If you are ?up? but you don?t feel up, then you are not up. You might as well just stop trying to be up and take a good slump."
"I don't work on the table. I think the Alexander Technique is about movement. I like to work with my pupils in their daily activities... I don't believe in giving lessons in silence because I want to know what my pupils are thinking. I am not making a mechanical person out of them: I want my student to know what I'm doing; know how they experience it; talk it over with them."
"I wonder what would happen if, ever so delicately, you let your whole head move ever so slightly away from your body and immediately let your whole body follow?"
"Marj: "Why aren't you moving?" Pupil: "I thought about not stopping my head." Marj: "There's that negative thought--that's why you stiffened. That's why I let you talk--you give yourselves away.""
"My job is to help make you sensitive. What you do with your sensitivity is your own business."
"Our voices are talking to your thinking apparatus; our hands are talking to your sense of feeling."
"Pupil: "I move my head but I'm not sure." Marj: "You're never sure. You move your head and you see what happens." Pupil: "I'm going to move my head and not pull down." Marj: "You let that little word 'not' slip in and your habit slips in. Say instead 'I'm going to move my head and see what happens' and carry on your constructive thinking through the act.""
"Pupil: "My feelings are confused." Marj: "So long as your thinking isn't confused, you're OK.""
"The head tilts a little as it moves up--I don't know myself if the tilt forward moves the head up or if the upward movement tilts the head forward?"