I've just seen the new film version of 'Far From The Madding Crowd'. It prompted me to re-read Thomas Hardy's wonderful 1874 novel. Whereas Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak (pictured) is as tall, upright and broad-shouldered as any Bathsheba could desire, Hardy's Gabriel walks 'unassumingly and with a faintly perceptible bend'. Thirty years before F M Alexander arrived in England from Australia and drew attention to our 'psychophysical unity' (i.e. that mind and body are inseparably linked), Hardy expresses the same concept in his opening description of Gabriel Oak: 'But there is a way some men have...for which the mind is more responsible than flesh and sinew: it is a way of curtailing their dimensions by their manner of showing them. And from a quiet modesty...which seemed continually to impress upon him that he had no great claim on the world's room.' Having taken a course of Alexander lessons, my students often report that they not only walk taller but feel more confident; really, these are simply two manifestations of a change in their thinking.