While a teacher’s guidance provides deep knowledge of the technique, there are wonderful books to begin and continue self-study! Here are some of my favorites!
Agility at Any Age by Mary Derbyshire
Mary has extensive experience working with seniors who want to stay active, but this book is truly for anyone! I recommend the Kindle version, as it will link you directly to many videos for activities you can try at home.
The Actor’s Secret by Betsy Polatin
Dive into Betsy’s outstanding AT program at the acting conservatory at Boston University! This guide pays particular attention to facilitating better breathing and how our bodies respond to and convey emotion. A must-read for performers and public speakers.
Working Without Pain: Eliminating Repetitive Strain Injuries with the Alexander Technique by Sherry Berjeron-Oliver and Bruce Oliver
Essential information for the office worker! How to set up your workstation, how to make your work day easier, and how to unwind at the end of the day.
The Alexander Technique for Pregnancy and Childbirth by Brita Forsstrom and Mel Hampson
A wealth of information on preparing for childbirth and parenthood with extra help from the Alexander Technique, from two Alexander teachers, one with “a mother’s perspective” and one with “a midwife’s perspective.”
(The Alexander Technique Birth Book by doula, childbirth educator, and AT teacher Ilana Machover is also great!)
If you’re wondering exactly how the Alexander technique works, this book by Sian Beilock, cognitive scientist and University of Chicago professor, is a scientific overview of the mind-body connection. Key chapter “Buddha, Alexander, and Perlman: Using Our Body to Calm Our Mind” both provides and excellent description of the student experience of taking Alexander lessons as well as positing a mechanism for its effectiveness.
Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery by Cathryn Jakobsin Ramin.
Key Chapter: "The Posture Mavens" provides an excellent description of an Alexander lesson from a student’s perspective, and gives context for how AT work can be complementary to a treatment plan for back pain. The book provides a call to action to rethink how back pain is currently treated, examines what isn’t working for patients, and considers creative, multidisciplinary solutions.