Recently during conversations around the question ‘What is the Alexander Technique?’ a number of people have said ‘Oh, that sounds like mindfulness’.
I’m not an expert on mindfulness, I only know a little about it. I wondered if I was inadvertently describing mindfulness, so I read some things and looked some things up.
There may be a great deal of difference between mindfulness and the Alexander Technique, perhaps a mindfulness practitioner could describe these in detail. There may also be some strong parallels. One most noticeable parallel is the practice of putting your attention or awareness on what you are doing.
If you talk about mindfulness as having your attention on what you are doing, as you are doing it, then you would be practicing the aspect of mindfulness I am familiar with.
But imagine this situation: you’re having trouble achieving your goal and you’re experiencing physical symptoms that you don’t like or want; you’ve established that the cause is what you are doing and how you are doing it.
The solution would be to change what you are doing and how you are doing it and my understanding is that this is not part of the practice of mindfulness.
You can’t change what you are doing by simply observing it.
However, the way to go about changing what you are doing or how you are doing it is part of the Alexander Technique.
I believe that there is a great deal of benefit to be had in putting your attention on what you are doing, while you are doing it and people may well describe part of their Alexander technique practice as doing this.
In order to change the way you are doing something, or what you are doing, you will need to put at least some of your attention on what you are doing. What you do after this, in order to change, is practicing the Alexander Technique and is at least one point where practicing the Alexander Technique will depart from practicing mindfulness.