Change Your Posture, Change Your Life: How the Power of the Alexander Technique Can Combat Back Pain, Tension and Stress Paperback – Jan 1 2011
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About the Author
Richard Brennan is a member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) and has studied the Alexander Technique since 1983. He has been teaching it since 1989 and runs a busy practice in Galway, Ireland. He is the director of the internationally recognised Alexander Teacher Training College and was the co-founder and past president of the Irish Society of Alexander Technique Teachers (ISSAT). He travels extensively, giving talks and presenting courses on the technique throughout Europe and the USA, and over the last 20 years has been a pioneer in helping to make the technique accessible to many thousands of people. He is the author of four previous books on the Alexander Technique.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The e-rays of good and poor postures were particularly enlightening.
The explanations were clear and adequately detailed. I would rate this as #2 out of the 6 I have read.
#1 is "How you STAND, how you MOVE, how you LIVE" by Missy Vineyard.
If you have the time and interest and patience to actually work through the experiments she describes with your own body and mind you can rediscover what Alexander discovered and realized in a lot less time than it took him. The more deeply I go on the path she illuminates the greater the benefits in my lived through experience.
On a positive note: I was inspired enough to call an Alexander Technique teacher and start taking lessons.
But after reading both of his books, I was very irritated with Brennan, because the second was a complete repeat of the first (or vice versa) -- with entire sections cut and pasted from one book to the other. Lame. An attempt to say the same thing in a new way, at the very least, wasn't even attempted.
The worst criticism, though, now that I am taking lessons and have read other books, there's not very much depth -- at all -- to Brennan's writing about the technique. Whether this is intentional or not, I do not know. But I have learned far more about Alexander Technique from other writers on the subject, who attempt to offer more in the way of in depth exploration of theory and even self care. It's true: Alexander Technique, by design, can only be imparted by lessons from a teacher, but there are many ways a student can help him or herself in addition to lessons.
My last criticism, and this is more an annoyance I suppose: Brennan recommends Vivobarefoot shoes, which is a company founded by his son, and Brennan claims these are the 'only shoes he knows of' that mimic barefoot walking. This is absurd and completely untrue. There are companies that have been around way longer, and produce shoes that are way better. I have purchased Vivobarefoot shoes myself, and they are poorly made, outrageously expensive and not even as good as many shoes on the market already. One can purchase hand-made minimalist shoes from Soft Star in Oregon -- read: not made in China -- for less than Vivobarefoot. And that's just one example. That he endorsed his son's company in such a disingenuous way turned me off.
If you are really interested in Alexander Technique, I'd recommend Missy Vineyard's book over this one. It's more comprehensive, and offers more ways to engage the process outside of private lessons.