Hilary King, BA MSTAT Alexander Technique Teacher in North London 020 8341 3751 or 07463 724 447


Inhibition comes from the Latin for restraint and in Alexander Technique terms, has nothing to do with repression (as is used in psychology).

In Alexander lessons we learn to consciously stop, to inhibit our habitual reactions to a stimulus. This allows us a moment’s pause, in which we can choose whether or not to respond to the stimulus and if so, how to perform our response. Do we want to do the same thing, something different, or nothing at all?  In other words

Stop  ~ Think and Direct ~ Act

As Alexander stated:

all those who wish to change something in themselves must learn… to inhibit their immediate reaction to any stimulus to gain a desired end’In order to stop repeating the familiar sensory experiences of their old habitual use in order to gain it, they must continue this inhibition whilst they employ the new direction of their use‘.     F M Alexander ~ The Use of the Self p. 115

He also put it more simply to a pupil :

‘Like a good fellow, stop the things that are wrong first’.   F Matthias Alexander  ~ Aphorisms p.47

Similar Definitions

In physiology, ‘inhibition’ refers to the restraining of an organic process, or the prevention of its initiation by neurological or physiological means (Penguin Dictionary of Psychology).

A Time Management entry in Wikipedia, defines Inhibitory control  or Response inhibition, as:

‘a cognitive process that permits an individual to inhibit their impulses and natural, habitual, or dominant behavioral responses to stimuli, in order to select a more appropriate behaviour that is consistent with completing their goals’

Stop Look Go - or - Stop Think Act