Portrait of Marilyn Monroe

Celebrity Alexander Technique enthusiasts

Recently, while browsing the net, I came across an article in one of the British newspapers about Kate Middleton’s current very royal poise.

The author mentioned that Kate’s poise is the result of Alexander Technique lessons that she was taking, as per royal advice, to improve her posture.

Whether this is true or false remains a mystery as my further search for information on Kate in relation to Alexander Technique was unsuccessful.

But …. this is a plausible explanation.

Kate Middleton in 2015 and now
Kate Middleton now (on the left) v Kate Middleton in 2015 (on the right)

So, who else amongst well-known people of the past and present were or are using the Alexander Technique?
Among well-known celebrities, those who recognised the benefits of Alexander Technique are:

Musicians:

Musicians

Madonna, Victoria Beckham, Sir Paul McCartney, Sting, Yehudi Menuhin, James Galway, Roger Woodward, Sir Colin Davis

Actors:

Actors

Marilyn Monroe, Hugh Jackman, Dame Judi Dench, Robin Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Barry Humphries, Christopher Reeve, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Hilary Swank, Julie Andrews, Paul Newman, Jeremy Irons, Ruby Wax, John Cleese, Kenneth Branagh, Prunella Scales, Jennifer Saunders, Julia Sawalha, Alan Rickman

Sportsman:

Sportsman

John McEnroe, Greg Chapel, Linford Christie, Daley Thompson, Andy Hunt

Writers:

Writers

Roald Dahl, Aldous Huxley, George Bernard Shaw

Researches and scientists:

Researches and scientists:

John Dewey, Raymond Dart, George E. Coghill, Sir Charles Sherrington, Nikolaas Tinbergen, Moshe Feldenkrais, Jack Stern

97% of people with back pain could benefit by learning the Alexander Technique – it is only a very small minority of back pain sufferers that require medical intervention such as surgery. 

Jack Stern, spinal neurosurgeon
 

Mr Alexander has done a service to the subject [of the study of reflex and voluntary movement] by insistently treating each act as involving the whole integrated individual, the whole psychophysical man. To take a step is an affair, not of this or that limb solely, but of the total neuromuscular activity of the moment, not least of the head and neck. 

Sir Charles Sherrington, neurophysiologist 

I find The Alexander Technique very helpful in my work. Things happen without you trying. They get to be light and relaxed. You must get an Alexander teacher to show it to you. 

John Cleese, actor 

With the best intentions, the job of acting can become a display of accumulated bad habits, trapped instincts and blocked energies. Working with the Alexander Technique has given me sightings of another way… Mind and body, work and life together. Real imaginative freedom.

Alan Rickman, actor 

The Alexander Technique will benefit anyone whether they are an elite athlete or whether they just wish to live life without the aches and pains that many people suffer and accept as part of life. It is a pity that these techniques are not shown to us all at an early age for I have no doubt that this would alleviate many of the causes of ill health in our communities. 

Greg Chappell Australian test cricketer 

The Alexander Technique works… I recommend it enthusiastically to anyone who has neck pains or back pain. 

Roald Dahl, writer 

The Alexander Technique has given me a greater awareness of the way my body moves, and the way tensions move through my body…It has helped me to play football with more confidence and has improved my coordination and balance.

Andy Hunt, footballer 

Alexander established not only the beginnings of a far-reaching science of the apparently involuntary movements that we call reflexes, but a technique of correction and self-control which forms a substantial addition to our very slender resources in personal education. 

George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel Prize winner for literature 

We already notice, with growing amazement, very striking improvements in such diverse things as high blood pressure, breathing, depth of sleep, overall cheerfulness and mental alertness, resilience against outside pressures, and in such a refined skill as playing a musical instrument. 

Professor Nicholas Tinbergen, Nobel Prize winner for medicine and physiology 

It gives us all the things we have been looking for in a system of physical education: relief from strain due to maladjustment, and consequent improvement in physical and mental health, increased consciousness of the physical means employed to gain the ends proposed by the will and, along with this, a general heightening of consciousness on all levels… We cannot ask more from any system of physical education; nor, if we seriously desire to alter human beings in a desirable direction, can we ask any less. 

Aldous Huxley, writer 

I love the Alexander Technique. It has corrected my posture, improved my health and changed my life. 

Alec McCowan CBE, actor 

Forty years ago, after one of my concerts, Adrian Boult told me that if I continued to conduct like that, I’d become a cripple, and that I must take lessons in the Alexander Technique. Today I am still having lessons – as with music, there is no end to the learning process. It affects not only the use of the body, but also one’s views of oneself and one’s behaviour. For the aches and ills that come with the years, the Technique can work miracles.

Sir Colin Davis, conductor

Balance is a vital aspect of good hammer throwing and getting the head, neck, spine and pelvis in the correct relationship enables the balance of the throw to come so much more easily. Once the balance is settled there is an enormous improvement in turning speed. 

Howard Payne, Commonwealth record hammer thrower 

The Alexander Technique has played an important and beneficial part in my life. 

John Houseman, actor, producer and director 

The Alexander Technique has helped me to undo knots, unblock energy and deal with almost paralysing stage fright. 

William Hurt, actor 

The Technique’s many benefits for actors include minimised tension, centeredness, vocal relaxation, and responsiveness, mind/body connection and about an inch and a half of additional height. 

Kevin Kline, actor 

The Alexander Technique makes a real difference to my often tense and busy life. Its thoughtful approach has made me calmer, improved my concentration and given me a clearer sense of my own well being. I am grateful for it. 

Joan Bakewell, TV presenter and journalist 

The Alexander Technique changed my life. It enabled me to devote more time to creating beauty. This inner strength is essential for all. 

Andrew Logan, sculptor

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