My path to teaching began on 9/11 in Brooklyn, NY, where I lived, literally, within earshot of the World Trade Center. The events of the day and their aftermath reopened my PTSD wounds from the past, and created a host of new ones, sending me in search of therapy and trainings that would ease my pain and return me to “normal”.
Tai Chi soothed my nerves and returned me to my body, but the relief it brought lasted only as long as each day I practiced. Also, my vigorous approach to the forms aggravated my already-herniated disc and triggered the intensity of my earlier physical traumas, making regular practice challenging.
While I earned my certificate in alignment work at The Balance Center in Palo Alto – assisting, attending and teaching classes for two and a half years, I learned that my back pain/sciatica was rooted in skeletal misalignment—stress showing up as tension, and my alignment getting further and further offline as my body tried its best to correct itself.
Our Master Teachers at the Balance Center come from a little place called Paris, France. I would be nowhere without the 30+ years of research by a brilliant French woman, Noelle Perez-Christiaens, Ph.D. Her work at Institut Superieur Aplomb restoring misalignment is informed by people in healthy cultures with very low incidences of back, knee, and all kinds of pain. People who maintain their strength and ease because of the physical labor they perform all day, including the sometimes immense weight of the objects they carry on their heads. Somehow, their bodies work with, not against gravity.
With time and practice, my back healed and my pronounced dowager’s hump subsided, but I was still dealing with adrenal fatigue and the emotional intensity of my PTSD.
Enter TRE. During my very first session, I knew I had found the missing piece in my recovery. The shaking movements left me feeling like I’d had the deepest massage a person could have–as if I had my own inner Roomba massager had traveled inside my body releasing what I needed.
I went on to earn my TRE: Tension Release Exercises Level II Teaching/Facilitator Certificate. The healing power of TRE was discovered by Dr. David Berceli and is informed by the Polyvagal Theory, This has brought me crucial insights about the human stress response that I continue to learn about as my students share their own processes.
In my free time you’ll find me practicing any one or more of the tools I teach, dropping in on a yoga class or at a park to practice Taiji, learning drum and piano, singing, trying a new recipe, foraging for great restaurants, or catching up on my favorite TV shows. Also, wondering if there’s a way we could put something in the water that would help us all be kind to ourselves and each other.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at alignupabq at gmail dot com.