The Technique is traditionally taught as a series of private lessons in order to address each student's unique use. Through a hands-on approach and using everyday activities (ie. walking, sitting or speaking) the teacher encourages the student to change old habits and replace them with consciously employed habits through the 5 principles of the Technique as defined by one of Alexander's foremost students, Patrick Macdonald (1910-1991). The principles are:  

1. Recognition of the force of habit
2. Inhibition
3. Faulty sensory awareness
4. Sending directions
5. The Primary Control

        Through these principles students gradually acquire tools for a more satisfactory performance of all life's activities.        

“The Technique is generally regarded as one for altering the postural behaviour of individuals, and indeed it can be so regarded.  However, it concerns itself with considerably more than this.  It is a technique for altering the reaction of the individual to the stimuli of his environment, and thus it can be applied to the whole range of human activities, whether these be regarded as just thought processes or processes involving predominantly muscular activity.” – Patrick Macdonald, The Alexander Technique As I See It