3 December 2010 marked the final day of teaching at 18 Lansdowne Road, Holland Park. For the past fifty years, it has been the London home of The Constructive Teaching Centre, dedicated to the study of the Alexander Technique. This historic turning-point has demonstrated the Centre’s ability to practice what it teaches: to embrace the whole concept of “going from known to unknown.”
What does “going from known to unknown” truly mean? It means discovering a different way of thinking, going from a subconscious, habitual, and unreasoned reaction, to a conscious, new response. In Alexander Technique lessons, the pupil is slowly introduced, by means of the teacher’s hands and words, to new ways of thinking in activity, ways which can, over time, change habitual patterns built up over decades.
I have been privileged to have spent more than half my training at Lansdowne Road. Walter and Dilys Carrington purchased the property in order to continue the training course founded by FM Alexander. Fifty years later, the future remains uncertain, yet a constant throughout has been the unwavering, burning “wish” of Ruth Murray and her team of wonderful teachers to continue the teaching and remain very much in the present. The continuity of the work can be compared to maintaining the primary directions: neck free, head forward and up, back lengthening and widening.
I received a message earlier this week which read “we must learn to keep leaving, the Israelites of the Conscious world, carrying our culture in our heads and not on our backs.” In other words, wherever life may take us, and take us it will, learning how to prevent the unwanted, subconscious reaction in order to allow a new, conscious way of thinking, will equip us to face the challenges of change.
Bon voyage CTC!
Guest Blogger, Stella Weigel, is a fifth term Alexander Technique student at The Constructive Teaching Centre, London, the world’s oldest and largest Alexander Technique training school. She had Alexander Technique lessons from 2006-2009 before embarking on her training in April 2009. She lives in the city of London.