Alexander had developed harmful habits throughout his life and in particular, from his vocal training and reciting. Even when he attempted to engage his Primary Control in a better way, while reciting he found his old habits returned. After many more months of experimentation, he found that if he stopped just before reciting, he was able to prevent his old habit of throwing his head back and down. He called this conscious act “Inhibition”. From that point he could send directions in order to employ an improved use of the Primary Control (ie.in the form of a wish or mental order, he could allow his neck to be free, the head to go forward and up and the back to lengthen and widen). By learning to recognize and inhibit reactions that interfered with the Primary Control and then send directions for a new and improved use of himself, Alexander not only solved his vocal problems but also restored his natural breathing. His over-all health, well-being and co-ordination improved remarkably.

“Conditions have been formed for producing a bad result, and the bad result will occur as long as those conditions exist.” – John Dewey, The Barrier of Habit

 “The primary procedure in the technique… is the inhibition… of our habitual reflex activity.  To succeed in this means education in the fundamental sense, for it calls for a conscious recognition and understanding of all that is concerned with the formation of habit, and of the means whereby habits can be changed.” – F.M. Alexander, The Universal Constant in Living