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  • The Dowel as a Tool for Alignment and Support: Working with a Neutral Spine with Alison West

The Dowel as a Tool for Alignment and Support: Working with a Neutral Spine with Alison West

  • 04/09/2022
  • 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
  • via Zoom
  • 39

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Understanding how to work with a neutral spine is foundational in the practice of asana and life. It does not mean, however, that we do not flex or extend the spine, but rather we look for ways to balance our efforts as we enter into, practice, and come out of a pose. For example, understanding how to move into pelvic flexion with a neutral spine will help elucidate how you can develop your forward bending and hamstring lengthening.

The dowel is a wonderful tool in helping us to achieve some of this understanding by simply following its direction or support. It can also be used to add light leverage to a rotation or clarity to pelvic position. The dowel offers,  among other things, the benefits of:
  • support
  • traction
  • alignment clarity
  • increased challenge/decreased effort
  • a moveable prop that offers support entering and exiting a pose
  • fun!
The dowel can be included in Chair Yoga and Rope Wall Yoga and even used in a flow class as a special point of focus. There are no limits on how to work with a dowel, and you can become your own inventor.

Recommended Props: Two blocks, two blankets, two belts, a bolster, and a dowel (see below).

Note: Please have a dowel for class. Dowels can be purchased from a variety of places, such as Lowe's. The recommended dimensions are 72” (6 feet) x 1.25” (or 1.5”) diameter.

A recording will be made available to participants for two weeks following the workshop.

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The Zoom meeting link will be sent to registrants automatically in the registration confirmation upon receipt of payment.

Please ensure you have the link well before the start of the workshop—check your junk/spam folder!


Alison West, Ph.D, E-RYT, YACEP, C-IAYT, is the founder of Yoga Union and the Yoga Union Backcare & Scoliosis Center, now online. She first established Yoga Union in 1996 in SoHo after studying in the Sivananda, Astanga, and Iyengar traditions and teaching yoga in New York for ten years. Her spiritual teachers include Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Alison completed her certification in Yoga for Scoliosis with Elise Miller, and in 2007, she co-founded the first and only dedicated Yoga for Backcare and Scoliosis center in the world in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan. In addition to teaching classes in Manhattan, nationwide, and across Europe and the Middle East, Alison also teaches yoga online. Her on-demand course for Yoga Journal, Yoga for Back Health, is available for download. She is currently writing her first book, Yoga for Back Care, which will be followed by Yoga for Scoliosis.


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