Alexander Technique: From Stress to Freedom
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From Stress to Freedom is an introduction to the Alexander Technique. Written and presented by Anthony Kingsley, one of UK's leading Alexander Teachers, it outlines how you can achieve poise, focus and wellbeing in your everyday life. This technique is
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The film looks very dated, and although they have some good speakers, some are really snoozers. I was hoping for more 'model' examples (modeling the postures), real life examples and ideas of how this works in everyday life.
If that is what you are looking for, don't buy this DVD.
The DVD is well-done overall. The progression of information is excellent, and the selected visual scenes are appropriate and effective. I also loved the background music!
There are three main parts in the DVD: 1. Introduction to AT, which mentions the benefits of AT 2. The theory of AT, which includes its principles and demonstration lessons 3. Self-Practice, which includes lying down work in a semi-supine position (Some AT teachers call it Constructive Rest).
The maker of the DVD is Anthony Kingsley, who is an AT teacher and trainer, and among the participating members is Sir George Trevelyan who had studied with F.M. Alexander himself (the founder of the technique)! I felt it was an honor to watch him on screen as he shared useful information and explanations.
Kingsley's chair lesson was very effective to me in the way he guided his student to become aware of her habits and change them (in the time of the lesson) by following AT procedure. Of course, it is expected that the student may have gone back to her habit soon after the lesson, but the point of learning AT, as I see it, is to know that there is a better way to use ourselves, and to know that overtime this better (coordinated) way can become integrated so as to replace old habits.
A bonus section is F.M. Alexander's short video (no sound, because it is an old movie). A year ago, I bought the video with Walter Carrington's narration for around $80. So to have it for free in this DVD is a real bonus! However, I would have liked to see written explanation on the screen for what was happening. I knew what was going on, but for a first timer, it might be confusing.
I have two other minor criticisms: 1. One of the choices in the DVD menu is "Select scenes." There are 12 scenes to select, but these are not all the scenes. The selected scenes start with the first AT principle "conscious control." I expected that all scenes would be there, including the introduction. 2. One of the "Select Scenes" is labeled `the whispered ah' and stillness. The whispered ah is one of AT exercises that are very important. But the corresponding scene was not really a whispered ah, as far as I know! Sue Thame demonstrated a breathing technique that was different from the whispered ah. Thus, I think it should not be labeled as such.
Overall, I enjoyed the DVD, and I recommend it highly. In fact, I suggest to include the first segment (the intro and part 1) in any introductory workshop on Alexander Technique, because it is very informative and comprehensive.