Michelle Obrecht is the Alexander Teacher-in-Residence at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. She started her exploration of Alexander Technique and other modalities as a result of multiple injuries sustained in car accident in 1984 which left her in chronic pain. After trying different traditional and alternative medical approaches, her exploration of the Alexander Technique proved to be the most effective.
Philosophy and Mission
“These are my goals in a typical Alexander lesson:
1) To impart present-mindedness. Habits of tension cannot be released unless there is awareness and present-mindedness. Instead of rushing head-long towards our goals, if we slow down even a small bit and observe ourselves, we are no longer prisoners of the “same old” way of doing things, and the “same old” way of hurting ourselves.
2) Freedom of choice. Once we slow down and observe, we can choose. Either we continue down the path that makes us tight and unhappy, or we can opt for a new way that promotes greater ease. Either way, we are in control and no longer slaves to the past.
3) Openness. By choosing not to contract, we become more open as people. On the physical level, instead of narrowing and tightening, we expand and emit three-dimensionally, becoming more in touch with the environment in which we live. On a personal level, we can come out of our shell, appreciate ourselves and those around us, and feel more a part of the natural world that surrounds us.
4) Ease. There is a way to experience life with greater ease, once we realize we are trying too hard and doing too much. Fundamental to ease is learning that enlivened but natural breathing provides a buoyancy and calm that makes all your tasks and interactions with others so much less of a strain.