The Feldenkrais Method & The Alexander Technique
Of the two modalities, the Alexander technique is the older one. Matthias Alexander was the founder of the Alexander technique. This technique deals with body alignment and body image like the Feldenkrais method.
Where it differs among other things is in the group work. Matthias Alexander did not develop group lessons for his work, but worked individually on people and gave them what he termed lessons.
Moshe Feldenkrais also terms his table work one to one a lesson. But he realised that he could only see so many people in one day and hence transcribed what he did one to one with his students into lessons that he could speak out and give to large groups.
These lessons Moshe Feldenkrais named Awareness Through Movement. His one to one work he termed Functional Integration. Moshe Feldenkrais and Matthias Alexander in their work used chairs and tables as tools to help their students get a better sense of their bodies and increase their awareness of themselves.
It seems that in the Alexander Technique community it is said that Moshe based his work on their technique. This only Moshe himself can comment on, and he is no more among us. Though they have similarities, they differ in many aspects. Moshe did take individual lessons with Matthias Alexander and must surely have got inspiration from Alexander’s great skill and knowledge.
One thing is sure is that both methods are very appreciated and find a following with comedians, actors, dancers and people in the performing arts who have traditionally been more exposed to such work.
Many Alexander Technique teachers have gone on to undertake training to become Feldenkrais practitioners and vice versa, many Feldenkrais practitioners have gone on to train to become Alexander technique teachers.
If you get a chance to experience either method you should take the opportunity as it will open up a new world of sensory awareness.
Both Moshe Feldenkrais and Matthias Alexander made it a point to call the people they worked with students and not patients, because what they did was not administer some passive therapy, but engaged the individual’s learning process and active participation.
If you would like to get to know both methods a bit better, I will include a short video on both the methods so that you can get a better idea of what these methods are about. I hope that you enjoyed the read.
You can purchase both books online on Amazon.com by clicking on the images above.
The Alexander Technique
The Feldenkrais Method
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