by Laura Klein
I respectfully disagree with Larry Ball’s statement "the Alexander Technique has suffered great harm for decades because of the rejection by our Alexander community of the value of our wholeness in our Alexander work".
What part of the Alexander community is Larry referring to? I think that most Alexander teachers I know would agree that while teaching, we do our best to address the whole "psychophysical" person: not just how they sit, stand, and move; but their emotional reactions as well - is this person anxious and fearful? Are they shy? Are they breathing freely? Are they very self-critical? What is their primary learning style - visual, kinesthetic, or aural? Are they analytical or intuitive? That, to me, is wholeness in teaching.
I don’t know any Alexander teachers who reject this type of approach.
Spiritual and religious beliefs are a personal matter and will vary from teacher to teacher. Whether an Alexander teacher does Buddhist meditation, believes in God, or is a complete atheist, shouldn’t matter. It’s interesting to chat with a student about these matters if they come up, but they have no bearing upon “wholeness in teaching” as F.M. Alexander meant it.