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Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique, Second Edition Paperback – January 15, 1996

4.3 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The approach to learning and the techniques outlined in Body Learning transformed my life. Read and practice, and Michael Gelb's profound message will transform yours.” ―Tony Buzan, author of The Mind Map Book

From the Back Cover

Essentially a type of therapy that aims to treat and prevent a range of disorders through a system of postural changes, the Technique stresses the importance of reeducating the muscular system as a means to achieve physical and mental well-being. By unlearning common bad postural habits and ways of using the body, people can alleviate tension, fatigue, back pain, neck stiffness, asthma, headaches, depression, and many other ailments. The book also shows how the Technique can be applied to every kind of learning experience, from children's education and the acquiring of basic skills to the most advanced needs of musicians, entertainers, professionals, and athletes.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Company; 2nd edition (January 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805042067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805042061
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Gelb's book is clearly written and easy to understand - something much needed with the Alexander Technique as there is so much mis-information about it around. If you have any stress-related condition, I'd certainly suggest finding an Alexander teacher and giving the Technique a try. I'd also suggest getting this book and/or Fitness Without Stress by Robert Rickover, which is also an excellent introduction to the Technique.
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By A Customer on January 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am a music major, and I am now in my third semester studying the Alexander Technique. This study has been the most important event in my musical life, and thankfully, it carries over into every other aspect of my life, as well. This book is the required reading for the course. Not that we get a grade on it. It's just immensely helpful. It's not a substitute for a trained Alexander teacher, but it provides another view point, a new way of putting things, of phrasing things, and can help the early AT student grasp the concept of it all a little better. I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to learn more about the Alexander Technique, and improving the quality of your life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I find myself referring to this book again and again. I always recommend it as an introduction to the Alexander technique. It assisted me greatly when I was first taking Alexander lessons. It is still valuable years later as I refresh and review. Easy to read, entertaining, cogent, and reflective. It reads almost as though you were having conversation with Mr. Gelb. If I had to use one book to introduce a new person to the Alexander technique, theory and understanding, this would be the one.
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Format: Paperback
If you are studying the Alexander Technique - whether just beginning or a more advanced student - this book is a Must! Easy to read and digest, it should be on every teacher's list. However, it is important to note that the Alexander Technique can not be learned by reading books alone. Reading this book is not a way to learn the technique. But it is a terrific supplement to private individual lessons with a good teacher!
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Format: Paperback
One of the two best books I have found to assist one in learning the Alexander Technique (along with Richard Brennan's introductory book). The writing is accessible, frequently penetrating, and precise without being overly technical. Gelb also succeeds in avoiding the two major pitfalls of Alexander books: the esoteric extreme ("Isn't the Technique subtle and complicated? How are you ever going to learn it?!") and the how-to extreme ("Now here's the right way to do A, B, C, etc."). I find it ideal for maintaining a productive "beginner's mind" in my Alexander practice.
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Format: Paperback
The other intro book at this level is Chris Stevens' "Alexander Technique."
I used to rank Stevens ahead of Gelb, but the new edition of Body Learning has expanded coverage on practical matters like finding teachers and the nature and purpose of lessons. The two books are dead even now.
Some readers may be frustrated because the book (and its subject) are so radically different from the usual self-help dreck. One of the best new passages is one where Gelb explains that, at his publishers insistance, he will include a do-it-yourself Alexander 'exercise.' The exercise consists of picking up the telephone and scheduling a lesson!
Deciding to study the Alexander Technique may be one of the smartest decisions you ever make. The clear explanations in this book should help you before and after this decision.
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Format: Paperback
Gelb writes very clearly, with good illustrations describing F. M. Alexander's technique for good body use. Many actors, singers, and dancers use this technique, and many people who suffer from joint and muscle disabilities can benefit from this book. Gelb's personal experiences help the reader to understand how to benefit from the techniques and exercises he describes.
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By A Customer on September 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I don't recommend this book if you want to learn anything at all about how this technique is actually practiced. The impression one gets from the book is that apparently only Alexander himself and a few other self-interested "disciples" (read: current Alexander school directors) are intellectually talented and/or physiologically gifted enough to learn this magical technique and teach others, so you are left still wondering at the end of the book what the point was of reading it in the first place.
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