A Divine Destiny
With every fated event there is a choice whether to keep going on your same path or to take a new route.
In 2012, Desi Springer took an uncharted path away from the standard alignment methods in modern postural yoga. Contrary to the alignment instructions of her yoga teachers, Desi "bucked the tuck" and started practicing a whole new postural form she termed, the "Bowspring."
The Bowspring system emerged from the radical paradigm-shifting ideas of Desi Springer, and the collaborative assistance of John Friend from 2012 to the present. Over a 3-year period a global community of Bowspring students was established, dedicated to a healthy lifestyle for the upliftment of the whole planet.
Emergence of the Bowspring
In 2012, the Bowspring system began as a rebellious choice by Desi Springer to lift her tailbone in every dynamic posture throughout her day! In her first 14 years of yoga classes, Desi was told to tuck, scoop, draw her hips and tailbone downward to improve her posture by every yoga teacher she encountered. Her unusually deep lower back curve was generally considered excessive and a misalignment that would lead to painful spinal compression and degeneration. Although Desi tried her best to follow the alignment instructions to not curve her lower back so much, she has had a deep curve in her lower back since the time she could stand. So, despite her best efforts, Desi could never flatten her lower back like her yoga teachers wanted her to do. Furthermore, the downward direction of the tail always felt contrary to her natural flow. Finally, in the Summer of 2012, Desi announced to the teachers of Vital Yoga in Denver that she was going to follow her heart to not tuck her tailbone any more.
This news was shocking to many people in Desi’s yoga community, since drawing the tailbone downward is a standard postural alignment throughout modern postural yoga. Desi had studied yoga intensely for 14 years – 6 years in Bikram Yoga and 8 years in Anusara yoga. In both yoga systems, it was a commonly accepted alignment idea to lengthen the spine by rooting the tailbone and extending up through the top of the head. It was generally understood that without using the pelvic muscles to pull the tailbone downward, then the spine could not be effectively lengthened and painful lower back compression could occur. Yet, Desi Springer had her own ideas of postural alignment, which she felt were right for her.
Not only did Desi stop tucking her tail in her poses, she began to actively lift her glutes in every pose. Instead of pulling the glutes and tailbone downward, Desi lifted her hips back and up and bowed her belly long. Instead of making clean, straight lines in her poses, Desi created more curves throughout her body. Although it was contrary to John Friend’s “optimal blueprint” of alignment, which she had practiced and taught for 8 years in Anusara yoga, Desi began to fully explore her own curvy, bowed and springy form for dynamic posture. She termed her new alignment template, the Bowspring.
John Friend built Anusara yoga into a successful worldwide yoga system on the effectiveness of his “universal principles of alignment” over a 15-year period starting in 1997. When John Friend realized that Desi Springer’s Bowspring model contradicted his Anusara alignment system in many ways, John dismissed Desi’s ideas as incorrect. John repeatedly protested and argued with Desi for months as he attempted to invalidate the Bowspring as a legitimate postural template. However, after applying Desi’s alignment ideas to his chronic hip injury, John’s painful hip problem started to clear. John researched, investigated, and practiced Desi’s alignment ideas for 8 months before embracing her Bowspring concept in the beginning of 2013.
For the next 3 years, 2013 – 2015, Desi Springer and John Friend teamed up to teach over 90 seminars together on the Bowspring throughout North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. In every city in 8 countries, not a single student had ever seen or heard about the Bowspring idea! This alignment method was considered utterly radical and avant-garde in every yoga community that Desi and John visited for the first time. Over this 3-year period, John and a team of Bowspring students helped Desi in systematizing her postural ideas into an accessible curriculum for our global Bowspring community. Now there are Bowspring students all over the world, and regular global Bowspring classes are offered in North America, the Caribbean, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Austria, and Japan. At the hub of global training for the Bowspring is Vital – Center for Mind-Body Health in Denver, Colorado, which is owned and operated by Desi and her sister, Micah Springer.