Positions of Mechanical Advantage (AKA The Monkey)

I want to dispel a myth about the Alexander Technique that it's about how to move correctly. This has been greatly encouraged by misunderstanding what we call Positions of Mechanical Advantage, and its best known example colloquially known as The Monkey.


Many people on seeing pictures of The Monkey as a way lowering yourself in space for any reason, such as picking something up or washing your hands in a low basin, assume this is the correct way to move and will attempt to adopt the same shape without consideration for the underlying quality of the movement. 


Personally, I'm not remotely interested in the correctness of a movement (I'd argue there's no such thing as a wrong movement), but the quality of freedom within it. And that's what a Mechanical Advantage provides, a greater chance of finding some freedom because the activity is physically easier, but not a guarantee! In traditional Alexander terminology we could say that The Monkey is a lower physical stimulus making it easier to inhibit a reaction and therefore avoid unnecessary tension.


Although there are no guarantees as such, the closest you can get comes from the quality of your awareness in activity.

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