The Alexander Technique (AT) is a remarkably simple but powerful method for learning to skillfully control how your brain and body interact, allowing you to better coordinate your movements while increasing the accuracy of your mind's thoughts and perceptions. Now, in How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live, leading Alexander Technique master teacher Missy Vineyard sheds a completely fresh light on this revolutionary method and, in the process, offers path-breaking insight into the mind-body connection. Vineyard thoroughly explains and teaches the central skills of the AT through simple self-experiments, and she offers engaging stories of students in their lessons to show its effective application across a range of disciplines, including the performing arts, athletics, health, psychology, and education. How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live introduces us to a world within ourselves that we know surprisingly little about--and thereby helps us to understand why we often cannot do what we should be able to do, why we harm ourselves with chronic tension and anxiety, and why our thoughts often seem beyond our control. Vineyard is also the first AT teacher to draw on cutting-edge research in neuroscience and to synthesize those findings with AT theories and techniques. She fully illuminates the benefits to be reaped by mastery of the Alexander Technique, which include: Release from acute or chronic physical pain Enhanced mental attention and focus Reduced anxiety Improved balance and coordination Relief from tension and stress Increased ease and efficiency performing precise movement skills
Vineyard, founder and director of the Alexander Technique School of New England, presents a thorough introduction and guide to the posture and movement method that's been used for more than a century to improve performance, reduce chronic pain and heal injuries. In this volume, "the first authoritative, comprehensive and all-new guide" to the technique in 20 years, Vineyard shows readers how understanding and improving habits of movement like "head-neck coordination" and even sitting "help you achieve self-mastery," here defined as the "self-understanding" and "bodily control" needed to "identify and release our harmful reactions to pain, fear, and anxiety." The upshot: a healthier, more resilient mind and body. Through numerous case studies and a handful of exercises, Vineyard teaches self-awareness and the primary Alexander Technique skills: conscious inhibition-"quieting your inner conversation"-and "directing," a heightened sense of space and the body's place in it. Vineyard details the internal processes which govern movement, and the factors that lead to "maladaptive change in muscle activity"; she also has tips for troubleshooting common problems like pain and weakness. Those already familiar with the Alexander Technique or other mind-body methods will get the most out of this book, though newcomers will find it a sound introduction; unfortunately, all readers will lose patience with Vineyard's case study overkill.