the procedure

The Alexander procedure (for advanced students)

From The Use of the Self by F.M. Alexander (Chapter I: "Evolution of a Technique"):

"Supposing that the "end" I decided to work for was to speak a certain sentence, I would start in the same way as before and

(1) inhibit any immediate response to the stimulus to speak the sentence,

(2) project in their sequence the directions for the primary control which I had reasoned out as being best for the purpose of bringing about the new and improved use of myself in speaking, and

(3) continue to project these directions until I believed I was sufficiently au fait with them to employ them for the purpose of gaining my end and speaking the sentence.

At this moment, the moment that had always proved critical for me because it was then that I tended to revert to my wrong habitual use, I would change my usual procedure and

(4) while still continuing to project the directions for the new use I would stop and consciously reconsider my first decision, and ask myself "Shall I after all go on to gain the end I have decided upon and speak the sentence? Or shall I not? Or shall I go on to gain some

other end altogether?"—and then and there make a fresh decision,

(5) either

not to gain my original end, in which case I would continue to project the directions for maintaining the new use and not go on to speak the sentence;

or

to change my end and do something different, say, lift my hand instead of speaking the sentence, in which case I would continue to project the directions for maintaining the new use to carry out this last decision and lift my hand;

or

to go on after all and gain my original end, in which case I would continue to project the directions for maintaining the new use to speak the sentence.

 

(…) I would point out that this procedure is contrary, not only to any procedure in which our individual instinctive direction has been drilled, but contrary also to that in which man's instinctive processes have been drilled continuously all through his evolutionary experience."