In English

FINSTAT ry

The Finnish Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique

FINSTAT is the Finnish Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique. It was founded in January 2005 to spread the knowledge of the Technique in Finland and promote possibilities of continuing training for the Finnish teachers.

FINSTAT has been a member of the international Alexander Technique Affiliated Societies since April 2009.

You can find information about teachers (Opettajat) and courses and other AT-events (Kurssi- ja tapahtumakalenteri) in Finland on the site.

What is the Alexander Technique?

Over time, and for a variety of reasons, we all develop habitual movement patterns. Some of these patterns cause distress, limit mobility, and prevent optimal functioning.

The Alexander Technique is a mind and body learning process based on the fact that the balance of the head, neck, and back has a fundamental influence upon the functioning of the whole person.

The Alexander Technique shows a person how to recognize and change habits that interfere with well integrated functioning. The student is guided by the teacher's tactile and verbal cues, which are designed to elicit a specific reorganization of the body, primarily focused on the head to spine relationship. The student participates in a new kinaesthetic experience, allowing the natural ease of movement to emerge.

Students notice that as coordination improves, they feel more freedom in everyday and specialized activities. They also can experience increased mental clarity and a sense of well being.

History

The Alexander Technique was developed in Australia by F. M. Alexander (1869 - 1955), an actor with a voice problem that doctors and voice teachers were unable to cure. It took him years of extensive self-study and research to solve his problem, but he did, improving his general health at the same time. Misuse of the balance between his head, neck and back was in fact affecting the functioning of his voice and his breathing. He also found this misuse to be a common condition, stumbling unexpectedly onto an aspect of human behaviour and physiology significant for the development and well-being of humans. The Alexander Technique is taught in countries all around the world by teachers who have successfully completed a 3 year training program.

Lessons

The Alexander Technique is an educative process. It helps us restore our psycho-physical integrity by increasing our self-awareness and challenging old, familiar habits. This is a gentle, subtle and gradual rehabilitation process. The student, through active participation, develops a stronger sense of observation and a deeper awareness of both himself and his environment.

A typical individual lesson in the Alexander Technique lasts 30 to 40 minutes. Through simple movements like sitting or walking, the teacher guides the student with vocal and tactile directions designed to promote a mental and physical reorganization. The lessons can take place in the context of real-life situations of particular significance to the student, whether striking keys on a computer keyboard, cooking, singing or playing a musical instrument. The applications are endless.
Lessons also include "table work," with the student lying on his back in a relaxed position. A lesson in the Alexander Technique will usually produce an immediate feeling of well-being. And because this teaching aims at developing students' autonomy, its effects increase significantly over time.
Workshops and courses are also available and both are an excellent introduction to the technique.