Align Up merges together a number of longtime practices and schools of body mechanics, together they have become something bigger than the sum of their parts:
- The brilliant research of Noelle Perez-Christiaens, Ph.D. at Institut Superieur Aplomb and her 30 years plus of research of the alignment of healthy, active people-who don’t experience structural pain- into their old age as the roadmap. This work has wonderful cross-over benefits in terms of brain functioning and the nervous system which is a boost for people with stress issues.
- Chen Taiji as demonstrated and taught by Grand Master Chen Xiaowang, and his brother Chen Xiaoxing: healthy alignment, physical grounding, the building of chi and the deeply relaxing and healing strength gained through this art.
- Dr. David Berceli (TRE: Tension Release Exercises) who developed TRE and harnessed our body’s innate ability to heal by a deep letting go of muscles, stress and our most painful stories.
Welcome to this page. Very few people read this explanation of AlignUp’s approach to alignment, so I will do my best to make it clear. Even though I hope you have questions.
First, and this is the most important thing, though I’m about to explain that this approach is grounded in physics and gravity, it is ultimately (and gloriously) built into our physical experience, it is something you just have to feel.
Second, you should know that I have profound confusion about even using the word alignment as a term for this work. This is because people in the fitness, yoga, pilates world understand the word alignment in a different paradigm. Not a bad one, just something external, like observing good form, avoiding injury or as a reactive way to strengthening various muscle groups…separately.
AlignUp is about restoring the natural functions of our body in relation to gravity. About building strength from the center out, restoring the elegant capability of the human body to carry, lift and let our weight down into the ground.
Rather than focusing on the area where you feel pain and strengthening the area around it (or radiating from it), we understand that the place of your injury is part of a whole system, and we restore the centralized strength of the body. This brings relief to the parts that are feeling the effects of being offline.
The spine and the brain are the altars of God, that’s where the electricity of God flows down into the nervous system, into the world.
….Yogananda speaking about The Science of God
AlignUp aligns the skeleton with gravity, much like a building. Muscles stretch and strengthen via relaxation. We don’t strengthen muscles as an end unto itself. Instead, they work together to support the skeleton through its rest and movement. This takes time. Changing one’s posture stops being a set of rules or exercise reps, and becomes an inside job.
The core work begins with a deepening of the breath and toning of the breathing muscles. This not only builds tone by engaging all of the deep and superficial muscles in your torso, it uses these muscles the way they evolved to be used: to lift the weight of your body into your bones. At first with every breath, and over time this makes you longer and stronger. It also provides tremendous relief off your joints and makes it possible for you to bend over, lift and carry, and do pretty much any movement in your life you need to.
Gardening won’t make you sore or your back tight. Running will feel like it takes less effort. Working at your desk won’t be so tiring and won’t provoke back issues in fact you can practice at your desk!
Wonderful results happen in terms of appearance, mobility, and relief from pain. These results happen as a result of you strengthening your center-line and shoring up your foundation. The process, the journey alone, feels fantastic for the people who practice.
Copyright © 2013 Karen Engler