‘Non-doing’ in the Alexander technique is used in the sense of what we should not do in the use of ourselves in our daily activities; in other words, with the prevention of habitual responses that lead to a repetition of a harmful misuse of our psychophysical selves.
As FM Alexander described, non-doing is fundamental in that:
‘... it prevents the self from doing itself harm by misdirection of energy and uncontrolled reaction of the self: it is an act of inhibition which comes into play, when for instance, in response to a given stimulus, we refuse to give consent to certain activity, and thus prevent ourselves from sending those messages which would ordinarily bring about the habitual reaction resulting in the “doing” within the self of what we no longer wish to “do”.’
Non-doing is about letting things be and allowing an appropriate response occur, rather than habitually over-‘doing’ in an effort to obtain a certain goal or outcome. It is not to be confused with either stopping rigid or passivity.
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