Sensorimotor Habits

Habits are largely unconscious automated behaviours that our brain uses to help us navigate life.

They’re shortcuts that have (at some point) helped us, and now run in a loop - sometimes helping us, sometimes limiting us from something better.

Of course we all like to feel in control, but the reality is that unconscious habits shape us more so much more than we are aware of. Habits direct much of our lives, and we have much less choice in the matter than we’d be comfortable to admit.

The Alexander Technique fundamentally deals with habit change; with increasing our ability to choose. Or perhaps more accurately, to exert more influence over ourselves - to direct us towards where we want to go while simultaneously directing us away from where we don’t want to go (the previous habit).

Sensorimotor Habits


At it’s core the Alexander Technique doesn’t aim to teach you how to improve broad habits such of flossing your teeth or not eating that cookie every time you see the bag on your counter. Instead, it deals with what we can call sensorimotor habits.

Our sensorimotor system processes sensory messages (such as vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, vestibular, and proprioception) and produces responses (motor outputs - such as making goal directed movements or adjusting postural tone to maintain balance).

Sensorimotor habits relate to how we integrate our sensations and movements.

These habits are the unique ways we move, balance ourselves, perform skills and actions, manage our attention and awareness, and experience and integrate sensations of ourselves and the environments around us. Through this they’re fundamentally connected to all your other broader habits.

Sensorimotor habits can be thought of as how you embody yourself in action: A keystone or core group of habits that make up all our actions. Because of this they are part of everything you do - exercising, performing on stage, washing the dishes, sitting at the computer, meeting new people at a party…everything.