This month we spent 2 weeks sharing Bowspring with yoga studios in Switzerland - a wonderful week with the Swiss French of Nyon, Switzerland on Lake Geneva followed by another extraordinary week with the Swiss Germans of Worb near Bern. Each place has its own distinctive culture and language, yet both areas of Switzerland are naturally gorgeous with pristinely civilized towns where we were greeted with 3 kisses on our cheeks.
Andrea Freely, who has been teaching yoga for 14 years and co-owning Yoga Moves in Nyon for 6 years, is now sharing the Bowspring method with her students and says that the wavy, springy alignment “makes more sense than the traditional yoga alignment.” She also enthusiastically reported to us that with the Bowspring alignment, “my body feels so much better” after just a year of practice.
It is interesting to hear from Andrea on the challenges of introducing Bowspring into a typical broad-based yoga studio like Yoga Moves in Nyon, in which the standard model of alignment pervades all the yoga styles taught there. Andrea says that the typical push-back comment from a yoga student on the Bowspring is that it “feels weird.”
According to Andrea, some students think that it’s strange to fill up their ribcage, tip their pelvis forward, and create more curves in the body. They don’t want to bend their knees in balancing poses, and it is very difficult to break their habits of lifting and spreading their fingers and toes in the poses.
Andrea has found that the most receptive yoga students are in their 40’s or older who have practiced a lot of yoga in the past and now are willing to try a new alignment since they are tired of the injuries and the chronic pain. She informs students that although the Bowspring looks simple, it isn’t easy and it takes time to gain proficiency in the method, especially if they have been practicing Modern Postural Yoga for a few years. Andrea says that adopting Bowspring into mainstream yoga is “slow but steady” as more and more students are opening their minds to a new alignment paradigm for a higher level of mind-body health.
In Worb, Switzerland at Eliane Grunder’s studio for Yoga and Pilates, our weekend workshop included half a dozen students who came because of positive reports that they read on the Internet and from the testimonials of other global Bowspring students.
Eliane has taught yoga and Pilates for 16 years and fitness training for 26 years, and now believes after one year of Bowspring practice that curvy, springy alignment with a focus on fascia is the wave of the future. Eliane shared with us that her students “feel more open, stronger, happier” after a year of Bowspring practice. She told us, that with the Bowspring “the hips and the shoulders have more space, and the students’ backs are more flexible.”