Alignment as Relationships

Join Amy on Saturday, June 9th, 1-4 p.m., for “Alignment as Relationship,”  an experiential and holistic alignment workshop.  This class will include group discussion, movement and breath.  Think of it as 3-hour yoga lab designed to give you concrete tools for personalizing your yoga practice.  All levels welcome!


Nothing exists in isolation.

Muscle fibers are held together with fascia.  Fascia moves around and through muscles, becoming tendon, attaching to bone, surrounding bone and organs, outlining a web of connections and spaces in the body.

To lift an arm, the core has to first stabilize.  If the arm lifts high enough, then it will start to lift the ribs as well.

All movements are relational.

A moving body does not exist in isolation.  It is in a relationship with gravity, with physical space, with other bodies.  It’s in a relationship with the mind, a two-way mind-to-body, body-to-mind connection where a state change in one directly impacts the state of the other.

How do we work intelligently and graciously with the incredibly complex web of connections that makes up a human being?

It starts with experience, with practice.  Those moments of recognition “when I press here, I feel a lift there…” or “when my mind is distracted it’s hard to balance on one leg…”  The body becomes a laboratory.  In our heads, we have to remember that there isn’t one right way to set up any practice or posture, but rather that there are a whole set of possibilities.  Parts and pieces can shift, physically or mentally, and it will emphasize entirely different aspects of the practice.  We need to embrace the “I don’t know” because in not knowing there is freedom to experiment, observe and learn.

On the mat, we can zoom in on specific parts of this web in order to further understand our own experience and to learn how to make a yoga practice more personalized and supportive.  On the physical level, we can focus on the relationship between ribs and pelvis, or between hamstrings, hips and lower back.  Energetically, we can experiment with grounding and lifting, stabilizing and opening, the connection between the center and the edges.  Metaphorically, we are always in flux between effort and surrender, between contentment and the intention to change.  When we live these metaphors moment to moment in the context of our physical practice we increase our ease and resilience off the mat.

We can zoom out and recognize that these levels are also interconnected, like a giant spherical spiderweb.  Our parts and pieces interweave until they cannot be separated or isolated anymore.  We can stay humble as we work with the whole body/mind/spirit complex, willing to change, willing to be uncertain or uncomfortable.  After all, there is no end point to this practice.  Just an ever shifting process that we engage with as we grow and change.