We had a chance to sit down with one of our ‘Yoga Align’ instructors to talk about the basics of the class and what to expect! Here is our Q&A with Kristen Davis:
What is your favorite thing about the new class, Yoga Align?
My favorite thing about the class is that it is so specific. Each week we focus on lengthening and opening a different meridian of the myofascial web. Fascia or connective tissue is interwoven around every bone, every muscle, every fiber, and yet it is organized into clear sheaths that run from head to foot. This connective tissue can become sticky and adhered, tugging on and misaligning bones and muscles. This class uses the foam roller, traction on the rope wall and often traction with a yoga chair to gently loosen and lengthen along the fascial line. Everyone (myself included) leaves feeling lighter, longer and like they have a new body.
For people who are unfamiliar with Iyengar – what can they expect?
Iyengar Yoga is my training but I am also an Alexander Technique teacher and a Zen Buddhist. Those things are the foundation from which I teach. My Iyengar training gives me a deliberate and clear way of demonstrating and giving instruction. It also gives me a very clear knowledge of alignment and body mechanics within yoga postures and an ability to use props to make each pose more accessible or more challenging. If I do say so myself, I am quite creative in my use of props. You’ll be back-bending over upside down chairs; you’ll be tractioned with belts; you’ll be folding sideways over a bolster and chair; you’ll do every imaginable pose hanging on the rope wall. My Alexander Technique and Zen Buddhist trainings bring a softness and ease to the way I teach. I am not looking for a perfect pose. I am looking for each student to be in their body, listening to it, seeing where it’s asking to be more spacious and more relaxed. It’s all an inquiry, a meditation, a way to play.
How is Yoga Align different from say ‘Yoga Ground’ which is a typical flow?
This is definitely not a flow class. We’re moving slowly and deliberately, holding poses. We use lots of props, in crazy ways, to create traction, length and space inside the body. In this class, I am not looking to teach yoga asanas in the traditional sense. I am using props to exaggerate and deepen the physical benefits of yoga asanas.
Who is the perfect candidate for the class?
I want to say anyone and everyone is the perfect candidate for this class. We all need to have a practice that goes deeply into the body and helps it regain it’s natural coordination, freedom and ease. If I must be more specific, those with chronic aches and pains, come! Those with postural issues, come! Those with back issues, looking to re-align, come! Those needing to bring some recovery and balance to their more vigorous physical activities, come!
Have you seen your students and yourself improve with this kind of yoga?
Absolutely. By regularly loosening and lengthening these myofascial sheaths, the body will realign. You will become more flexible. You will feel lighter and longer and more whole. Just tonight, a student said after class that not only did her body feel lighter and more open, but that her mind did too. And there it is.
**Yoga Align classes are currently not being offered, but will resume when we reopen the studio. Check out our schedule to see what’s coming up in our livestream classes offered currently.
Published January 21, 2020