In Sridaiva we form an optimal template of postural alignment in any pose by making a general bow-shape in the spine, a fullness of the inner body, and then creating a spring-loaded integration of all the muscles along the back body. Finally, by rooting and rising the two ends of the spine—the pelvis and the head—in this optimal bowed template, the spine gains both a maximum length and space between the vertebrae and a tensile strength. The Sridaiva alignment method is designed for maximum effectiveness in optimally aligning the spine, so its elegance is found in its simplicity.
Do the UPA’s Still Work?
Since we are not using the Loops in Sridaiva nor ‘Outer Spiral’, some have asked us if we now believe that Anusara yoga’s Universal Principles of Alignment are invalid or don’t work. I practiced and taught the Universal Principles of Alignment for 15 years, because it was the best alignment system for asana and musculoskeletal therapy that I knew of. The tremendous efficacy of the UPA’s helped to expand Anusara yoga worldwide. Then last year Desi Springer introduced to me new alignment ideas based on an optimal form of Tadasana, which differed from the Anusara yoga idea of an optimal Tadasana. Our subsequent collaboration on the development of a system of these new alignments led to our establishing Sridaiva yoga in January this year.
Although I now practice Sridaiva alignments, I still believe the UPA’s work. Furthermore, Anusara yoga is still a great hatha yoga system, and I am proud of my creation. At the same time, I clearly feel that if the UPA’s were like a version of a solid, long-term tested operating system, then Sridaiva is like a radical new upgrade of that original operating system. For Desi, and me, Sridaiva is the most powerful alignment system that we have ever practiced.