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Alison West's Journey to Yoga

10/17/2019 6:55 AM | Anonymous

My interest in scoliosis was fueled both by my own right thoracolumbar curve and my mother’s severe scoliosis, generated by having her left arm braced overhead for the first six months of her life. A boyfriend’s scoliosis is what originally brought me to yoga itself. I was looking for something that might help him with his back. Together we started yoga classes in Munich. 

When I returned to New York, I continued my studies, slowly making it my career path, and went on to train with both Elise Miller and Bobbie Fultz, the two Iyengar pioneers of yoga for scoliosis. I completed my certification in yoga for scoliosis with Elise Miller. I began anatomy studies with Irene Dowd in New York, and subsequently completed Gil Hedley’s life-changing six-day human dissection course for nonmedical professionals. I continued to study anatomy and kinesiology and developed new material for yoga for scoliosis. I also began using mudras, energy-channeling hand gestures that can deeply impact the body and mind.

In 2007, I cofounded the first and only dedicated yoga for backcare and scoliosis center in the world. There I conduct “Gold Standard” 200-hour Three-Pillars of Practice Teacher Trainings and a full 500-hour Mandala of Yoga Masters program and teach workshops and master classes nationwide, in Europe and in the Middle East. In 2011, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I opened the new Yoga Union and Yoga Union Backcare & Scoliosis Center, with both a dedicated Backcare Program and a full regular yoga program from basics to level 3-4.

I also became involved in the creation of Yoga for NY in 2007, the organization that represents all yoga studios, teachers, and students in New York State, when the state attempted to license Yoga Teacher Trainings. I was elected Executive Director and Chair of Yoga for NY, which succeeded in defeating this licensing attempt with a bill signed into law by then Governor Paterson. I went on to defeat the city’s attempt to impose a “class tax” on yoga classes despite the prevailing view that this would be impossible to accomplish. 

My workshop for the YTA on November 9 will give the basic tools for reading a back and an understanding of the fundamental principles of action to help balance the spine, as well as the entire interconnected organic body. 

Learn more at yogaunion.com


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