Alexander Technique-How We Learn Posture
During the course of Alexander Technique lessons, people will sometimes ask, ‘why do we slouch?’ or ‘why do we have bad posture?’ Different people slouch for different reasons. One universal reason is because of what Alexander called ‘subconscious imitation’. Since the Alexander Technique helps to make the unconscious conscious, this is a plausible explanation. The cause of our postural problems is not The Computer, but what we do with ourselves when we’re at the computer. Alexander didn’t speak or write too much about computers since he was born in 1869. However, he did write about subconscious imitation in his book ‘Man’s Supreme Inheritance’, written in 1910. Although the world of Alexander Technique teachers no longer involves ‘nursemaids and servants’, at least not in New York City, the ideas still resonate.
“To return for a moment to the important question of subconscious imitation, it must one day be recognized how essential it is that children should from the earliest age be instructed and trained by those whose carriage, speech and physical well-being make them fit subjects for imitation.
A child learns by copying the habits of those about it; precept and reason have little or no weight during the early years of growth, the years of greatest plasticity and receptiveness. Yet the children of the twentieth century are entrusted to, and brought into perpetual contact with nursemaids and servants who slouch, who are wrongly coordinated where their physical and respiratory methods are concerned, who, frequently embody every defect which the child should be taught to avoid.
And even at a somewhat later age, children accept their parents’ defects as normal and admirable. The boy of 12 or 14 never dreams that his father’s protruding stomach is anything but the condition proper to middle-age, and often, doubtless, figures to himself the time when he will arrive at the same condition.
Mark Josefsberg-Alexander Technique NYC