Breathing is the most natural process of the body.
F. M. Alexander was known as the Breathing Man.
When we stop interfering or stop “doing”, our respiratory system will return to its natural, powerful life force.
One performer described the process like this:
“Before doing The Alexander Technique I used to breathe into my chest. I would hold my breath a lot. I would fill up and hold it so that I could contain it. The breath would come in. Stop. Tension. Let it out. It was shock in and shock out.
Now it is a cycle. A steady rhythm which I don’t even control. I let it happen. My breath takes me. It is easy. Not constrained.
I can feel my abdomen fill and all of a sudden there is an extra store of breath, which I didn’t know I had. I can feel my ribs. I have a great sense of them separating and expanding with my lungs. Before I had to stretch them out with different exercises. Now it just happens. I can feel the spaces between my ribs. My floating ribs are now available. They feel as though they are floating where as before they used to feel as though they were welded! My rib cage no longer feels like a cage.
When I balance my head I feel my throat open. I feel the breath come in my nose and rush down my throat. I don’t need to control it. There is a lot of space there. A lot of relaxation. It just happens and it is deep. Even if I tried to control this I couldn’t. It’s a natural process. Now I understand what it means, “ to get out of the way and let nature do its thing.”
I have a great sense of my back. It feels long and wide and soft like a book opening. It’s that state of breath I have before I go to sleep. That absolute loss of control. The availability of breath is unreal.
Every time I breathe in I feel emotionally stimulated and when I breathe out I feel the release. “
If you would like to be supported by this same quality of breath click here
What people are saying:
“For all of us, not just actors, life puts great stress and strain on our bodies. The Alexander Technique has given me a self help method by teaching me to relax and adjust my posture so that my body, which for an actor is an instrument can work as well as possible.”Jeremy Irons
“Once freed from the habitual tensions (so common place they are often not even recognised by the actor and singer) then the body can release into a greater range of expression with freedom, power and confidence.”Brett Wood
“The Alexander Technique doesn’t teach you something new to do. It teaches you how to bring more practical intelligence into what you are already doing; how to eliminate stereo-typed responses; how to deal with habit and change. It leaves you free to choose your own goal but gives you a better use of yourself while you work towards it.”Dr. Frank Pierce Jones
“Barbara’s work is an essential addition to the actor’s toolbox. Letting go of habits on all levels gives the actor the freedom to explore without tension and judgement. No actor should be without the freedom created by understanding how their body and their mind are released simply by aligning their physical self.”Adrian Barnes
“Without The Alexander Technique it is very difficult to become a first rate Actor”Larry Moss