I set off for Palo Alto, in March 2016, to take a weekend course in something called Balance. On that first trip, I stayed at the Hotel California, which might or might not have been an omen. What’s certain is that I checked into a new way of being in my body, and I have no intention of ever checking out.
In two days, I learned that the alignment I had been studying and teaching for 29 years in yoga was demonstrably not helping me. And the new alignment, in those moments when I could achieve it, felt relaxed and strong at the same time. The two big differences: I let my pelvis roll forward, and I stopped lifting my chest.
Like Saul on the road to Damascus, I returned home a changed person. (You can read the whole story of my conversion, plus get some sense of the work, in this post that I wrote for the Yoga for Healthy Aging blog.)
A yoga practice book I had started writing sat on the shelf. I still taught yoga, but with as much of the new alignment as I could translate into the poses. I began teaching classes in what’s now called Spinefulness. And I dived into learning more, which so far has meant another four trips to Palo Alto to certify as a Spinefulness teacher, and two more to study with visiting French teachers.
I also went to Paris twice in 2018, where Noelle Perez, the woman who had the original insight for this work, was still teaching, at 93. And I just came home from a week-long seminar it Italy with Noelle’s most senior student, Georgia LeConte.
The full shift took time, but in February 2019, I taught my first Spineful Yoga class, and for the first time in 12 years did not renew my Iyengar teaching certification.
Now when I write, it’s about Spinefulness and Spineful yoga. This link will take you to my new blog, at spinefulness.ca. In the next two weeks, I’m going decommission the Five-Minute Yoga blog, and begin to send Spinefulness related blog posts to this mailing list.
If you’re interested and want to keep in touch, you have nothing more to do.
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