Part II: The Theory and Practice of a New Method of Respiratory Re-Education

I. The Theory of Respiratory Re-Education

1. What are some of the conditions Alexander cites as leading to the inadequate use of breathing power, and how have harmful habits worsened these conditions?

2. What is the effect on the whole organism of faulty respiration?

II. Errors to be Avoided and Facts to be Remembered in the Theory and Practice of Respiratory Re-Education

1. What is essential to have to ensure success with respiratory education or re-education?

2. What harmful defects does Alexander cite in conjunction with customary breathing exercises?

3. In what way are these defects prevented?

4. What guiding principle should be invariably kept in mind by both teacher and pupil?

5. What fixed idea do most people have when thinking of or practicing breathing exercises? What are they overlooking?

III. The Practice of Respiratory Re-Education

Habit in Relation to Peculiarities and Defects

1. Of what are the mental and physical peculiarities of men and women the result?

2. What is essential to considering the teaching principles adopted in Alexander’s method?

3. What are the chief peculiarities or defects with a harmful tendency?

4. What are some of the chief principles upon which the teaching method of Alexander’s re-education is based?

5. What are some of the chief results when applying Alexander’s principles to respiratory re-education?

Thought Question

1. Alexander states (p. 56) about re-education that “there is such immediate improvement in the pose of the body and poise of the chest (whatever the conditions, excepting, of course, organized structural defects) that a valuable mechanical advantage is secured…” What is an “organized structural defect” and who or what organizes them? What is a structural defect? What is a functional one?

Re-Education of the Kinesthetic Systems Concerned With the Development of Robust Physical Well Being

Study Questions

1. What is the doctrine of antagonistic action?

2. How does Alexander explain the position of `mechanical advantage’ in this chapter?

3. In what way do we effect our “reflex muscular systems?”

4. How does one assure oneself of an automatic sensori-motor activity?

5. What allows for undue rigidity in some parts of the muscular mechanism and undue flaccidity in others?

6. What is necessary at the outset of re-education?

7. What does all conscious effort exerted in attempts at physical action cause in the majority of people today?

8. What results when a pupil employs direct conscious effort in the early stages of re-education?

9. In what way do pupils insure the posture specifically correct for themselves?

10. What are the two kinds of orders to be dictated by the teacher and mentally rehearsed by the pupil?

11. What orders are to be considered as primary and which as secondary?

12. Why must inhibition be primary?

13. What is essential to teach the pupil in order to secure the desired results?

14. What automatically follows if a pupil mentally realizes orders dictated by a teacher?

15. What does the untrained pupil need to feel content?

16. By what must untrained pupils be guided and what must they learn?

17. How long must a pupil be so guided?

Thought Questions

1. Alexander talks about a pupil “realizing his sensations” for guidance in the correct performance of exercises (p. 62). What does it mean to realize one’s sensations? Is it possible, even in a perfectly co-ordinated being, who does not suffer from faulty kinesthesia, to use sensations to direct us in movement? For what do we use sensations and what is their proper role?

2. Alexander states (p. 62) “that it is harmful for teacher and pupil alike if the latter is made to assume, during his exercises, what is usually considered the correct standing position.” It seems obvious why doing so is harmful to a pupil; in what ways is it harmful to the teacher if the pupil assumes the correct standing position?