The Wisdom of F.M. Alexander

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Mar 01, 2006

“I must admit that when I began my investigation, I, in common with most people, conceived of ‘body’ and ‘mind’ as separate parts of the same organism, and consequently believed that human ills, difficulties, and shortcomings could be classified as either ‘mental’ or ‘physical’ and dealt with on specifically ‘mental’ or specifically ‘physical’ lines. My practical experiences, however, led me to abandon this point of view, and readers of my books will be aware [that] the technique described in them is based on the opposite conception, namely, that it is impossible to separate ‘mental’ and ‘physical’ processes in any form of human activity.”

—Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869–1955), creator of the Alexander Technique, in The Use of the Self, first published in 1932, currently published by Orion (2002)

The Alexander Technique is a mind-body method designed to help practitioners become aware of how they hold and move their bodies—and from there to help them reconnect with their natural ease of movement. The technique has been popular among stage performers. To learn more about it, go to

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in L...