The YogAlign® Method of Yoga ~ Pain Free Yoga from Your Inner Core
- You can shift quickly to be aligned and pain free.
- YogAlign does not hurt.
- Our emphasis is on good posture, not good poses.
- YogAlign simulates functional movements and
supports the natural curves of the spine.
- Remember the innate natural way your body is designed to move and breathe.
- Anyone of any age, any fitness level can do YogAlign
- All you have to lose is your pain.
- All you have to gain is more length in your spine and peace in your mind.
| Stretch and exercise in natural spine alignment with painless and functional yoga positions that simulate how you actually move in your body.
Sitting or exercising with poor alignment leads to poor posture, shallow breathing and chronic pain. The YogAlign® Method uses poses that support natural posture with anatomically correct spine alignment.
Exercising to get tight Six-pack abs can actually weaken your deepest core muscles, compress your spine and lead to more back pain. Train your core muscles with your psoas to stabilize your spine and eliminate injuries and pain now.
|YOGALIGN® is a safe, painless, precise exercise system that increases
vitality, strength and flexibility. A unique flow style yogic practice, it
develops beneficial patterns and blueprints for core natural alignment,
effortless breathing and a deep kinesthetic awareness of the body, mind and
spirit. It is a transformational tool for loving and nurturing the self that
develops deep core strength and graceful effortless posture
one-stop shopping - YOGALIGN® practitioners feel like they have been to a
strength, flexibility and alignment session, done Pilates, had a massage and
chiropractic adjustment, and undergone therapy with deep breathing while
meditating all at the same time.
YOGALIGN® is the style of yoga
I've developed during the course of my 40+ year personal yoga practice and
decade of teaching yoga, and performing deep tissue massage as a trained,
licensed massage therapist. I have spent years studying the anatomy and
physiology of the body through my work and practice. Recording and
performing professionally as a musician and vocalist for the last 25 years
has also helped me to develop many of the unique aspects of YOGALIGN® . I
participate in many sports including swimming, surfing, windsurfing,
kayaking, biking, hiking, skiing, horseback riding, running and
In my 50's now, I am injury-free and more mentally,
emotionally, and physically fit than I was as a teenager.
YOGALIGN® is safe and accessible
to people of all ages and body types. I am actively teaching professional
athletes such as world class surfers Andy Irons and Laird Hamilton, Olympic
gold medallist swimmer Dick Roth, actress Mariel Hemmingway, producer John
Welles, and many other men, women, and children with diverse lifestyles and
YOGALIGN® works on a multilevel dimension so that everyone in
the class is able to progress, transform and find an edge no matter their
level of yoga.
Many of us baby-boomers are
adventure and weekend athletes who unfortunately have to spend a great
deal of time sitting in chairs or driving in cars with the spine collapsed
and the head carried too far forward while oftentimes wishing we were
somewhere else. Serious athletes do repetitive movements causing
imbalances that set the stage for serious joint and muscle injuries. Most
have compensated for these activities by developing dysfunctional patterns
in body alignment, muscle balance and breathing.
Ease, comfort, strength and
presence are the building blocks of YOGALIGN®. The techniques guide people
to first eliminate unnecessary tension in the body, relax the mind and
develop the ability to reside fully in the present. YOGALIGN® practitioners
are taught to move from the core of the body from the psoas, diaphragm
connection. Arms are kept deep in the socket while lifting from the core,
increasing the range of motion while stabilizing the muscles and ligaments
of the joints. Self-massage techniques are woven into classes to stimulate
energy meridians and give the body the signal that it is not under attack
and can go deeper into the postures.
|Do you know where your psoas muscles are?
Psoas muscles |
Diaphragm muscle showing psoas attachment
|Psoas muscles connect your spine to your legs. The inner ribs connect to the perimeter of the diaphragm muscle from the toes looking up with psoas connection shown cut away. YogAlign shows you how to activate the psoas/diaphragm connection for radiant health and dynamic movement patterning.
One of the reasons people are
drawn to yoga is to find peace in the mind and body. Unfortunately many of
these people are finding that some ways of practicing yoga can hurt and they
are getting injured or feel pain, tension and frustration from attempting
postures that are taught and performed in an externalized, competitive,
goal-oriented manner. Many give up, deciding that they just cannot do yoga.
I have found some of the popular sequences being taught in many yoga classes
to be harmful to the natural alignment of the hips, spine, neck and shoulder
girdle. People are being asked to climb a mountain so to speak before they
know how to put in the proper protection.
|YOGALIGN® recognizes the innate
intelligence of the body and gives people tools to transform themselves and
truly become their own best teacher. In my years of teaching YOGALIGN® , I
have found that this process of transformation does not have to become a
long, arduous task. Practitioners of YOGALIGN® feel relaxed, energized and
aligned from the very first class. They learn a process of yoga that they
can apply to all aspects of their lives to become truly present and in union
with the body, mind, and spirit.
Yoga poses are powerful templates
that can heal you or harm you. The practitioner must become his or her own
best teacher by learning to develop deep awareness of the quality of energy
in the mind and body.
|YOGALIGN® HALF FORWARD FOLD Inner isometric contractions of the
internal core muscle groups bring tremendous amounts of energy up to
the crown of the head as the neck is maintained in a neutral alignment
affording ease and presence to the posture. This posture is preceded
in YOGALIGNtm practice by a passive fold with bent knees focusing on
wave breathing while giving yourself a head, neck, ear, and face
massage for several minutes.
||YOGA HALF FORWARD FOLD pulling neck and shoulder girdle forward,
destabilizing the shoulder joint and compressing the posterior
cervical vertebrae. Any sense of energy movement from the core of the
body stops at the base of the neck and the practitioner cannot find
ease. Try doing the pose. Keeping your neck in this identical
position, stand up and experience what the true effects of this
version of half forward fold bring to you.
The Yogalign version of downward dog I call
High Dog. The heals stay lifted as high as possible and the energetic
movement is concentrated on extending the spine in its natural curves.
People should bend their knees if the back cannot retain its natural
curves. The sacrum stays naturally tilted in and up with no
pulling or pressure in the sacral ligaments. The head and neck are
extended from the core in the same alignment one would have if standing
well with good posture.
This version of downward dog shows spinal compression through the lumbar
sacral region and force to the neck and cervical spine from pushing the face
towards the thighs. The shoulders are overstretched and hyperextended with
no connection to the lattissimus or core lateral muscles. This version
contributes to forward head carriage, weakening and overstretching of the
shoulder joint, and compression of the lumbar spine and sacrum. Imagine the
trunk and head standing now with this alignment and ask yourself if this is
Note the extension from the core of the body using the abdominals, psoas
and back muscles in synergy. The flow of the pose comes out of the center
of the body through the crown of the head strengthening the internal neck
In this version of the airplane, notice the overstretching of the front of
the neck and shortening of the back. Again ask yourself if you would stand
in this position with your neck and head. YogAlign emphasizes neutral
natural spine in all yoga poses.
|SOS means Save Our Sacrums!
Yoga injuries are epidemically on the
rise and the most common injury is related to the sacrum. Time magazine just
printed an article called When Yoga Hurts. The truth is thousands of people are
getting injured, many think they cannot do yoga, and some are sustaining serious
injuries. Most people think it is because teachers are inexperienced or people
are pushing too hard. However I have discovered what I believe is the biggest
reason. Certain yoga poses are not natural for the human body. These yoga poses
put the trunk of the body at a right angle to straightened legs. When the legs
are straightened and the feet are flexed as in boat pose and seated forward
bends, there is a tremendous compressive force put on the spine and sacrum.
These are not natural human positions and there is no right way to do them. We
are designed to squat! Primitive people who do not have furniture stay fit and
flexible into extreme old age because they never sit in chairs. If you hate
seated forward bends, read on because you are very correct to dislike them. They
are actually quite harmful for your body. YogAlign encourages the practitioner
to use discernment and natural alignment models to decide when a pose is beneficial.
We sit in chairs all day compressing
our spine and sacrums and there is an epidemic of back pain because of it. The
oxymoron of yoga is that many poses put your spine in the same compression that
sitting in chairs causes. If we sit on the floor and try to extend our legs,
inside the body the psoas muscles compress the spine at the origin in the lumbar
sacral area. Many people teach that your feet should be flexed as well when
bending forward. When you flex your feet and extend through your heels, the
abdominals which connect through the fascia when you flex, then engage and
restrict breathing. When the abdominals are pulled in, the diaphragm and psoas
cannot function well for deeper breathing. These type of poses deliver a double
whammy, you get a compressed spine and discs, weakening of the psoas and an
inhibition of the diaphragm. In the YogAlign system, poses are used only to
strengthen natural spinal alignment and diaphragmatic breathing. Any pose which
reverses the natural curves in the spine is considered contraindicated and
unnatural. Even what is dysfunctional can start to feel normal. In other words
we get used to pain and compression and we begin to disassociate from our
bodies. For many people, this includes forcing to do yoga poses which are
unnatural and ignoring signals from the body to stop.
In my years of teaching
yoga, many people have come to me with yoga injuries from practicing boat,
staff, and seated forward bends. If you have any problems at all with your
sacrum or SI joints, do not do these straight legged poses. For the highly
flexible who do the poses with ease, you may be causing long range destabilizing
of the sacrum. It is not a good idea to stretch your ligaments as you will
destabilize joints by doing so. Look in a mirror at your body from the side in
the lower back sacrum area. If your sacrum does not have a natural uplifting
tilt and you look flat in the butt, you are chronically overstretching your
sacral-lumbar ligaments. The natural vaulted bridge position of the sacrum has
an anatomical purpose. If it is flattened, body weight then compresses into your
hip and knee area. I have found many yogis who continue to practice these poses
or do the tuck your tailbone adjustment for years and they are having hip
replacements, SI joint pain and back surgeries.
For those of you who are not
flexible, you run the risk of disc herniation as you compress forward. Sitting
is not the way to get flexible legs! We are designed to squat. Think about how
bad your back feels every time you have to sit in a chair. It is not natural.
Imagine in the lower picture what happens to your sacrum, spine and discs if you
lift your legs into the straight legged boat pose or bend forward with flexed
feet. Ouch! SOS
| For reservations & appointments contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call: (808) 826-9230 or (808) 652-3823
2 hour YogAlign® Classes at Mana Yoga Center
Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays: 8:30 - 10:30 am
Drop-in,class for all levels.
$20 per class or $60 for 4 classes ($15 each)
Private yoga classes (including Skype)
for individuals or groups available.
Bring Michaelle to your town!
Schedule a Change your Posture ~ Change your Life Workshop
YogAlign in Kapaa at the Joy of Movement Studio in Kapaa
with Erin Starr, YogAlign teacher Tuesday 11am - 12:30pm
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