What is the Bowspring?
A curvy, springy, healthy posture.
A dynamic postural template for optimal functionality and graceful movement for any body.
A proportional, geometric relationship between the curves of the ribcage (heart), head and hips.
A synergy of alignment between 10 key parts of the body to create fluid lightness and springy power for peoples of any age.
What is the Bowspring?
The Bowspring alignment is a revolutionary postural practice for optimal health.
The Bowspring is a curvy, dynamic, and open posture.
The Bowspring aligns the body in a position of readiness. It is an alignment for us to move with lightness and fluid power like a graceful animal. It is a natural curvy shape of the body that puts a spring in your step, and uplifts your mood. With this dynamically balanced posture, the breath can move freely without inhibition bringing a new level of vitality and energetic freedom.
Springy lightness and fluidity in any movement
More curves - narrowing waistline and mounding glutes
Increased self-awareness of psycho-emotional patterning within our default posture.
The Bowspring is a postural template that can be applied universally to any yoga pose, athletic movement or any functional posture for optimal performance.
The Bowspring alignment is accessible for people of all ages worldwide. This powerful postural template converts the most common daily positions of sitting and standing from heavy, static poses into light, dynamic positions full of the spring and fluidity of life.
The Bowspring is a simple and natural shape, but is not so easy to practice in the beginning.
It is challenging to learn at first, but the healing benefits make its regular practice worthwhile.
There are 3 main challenges to the practice of the Bowspring. Read more about the full explanation for each challenge.
The Bowspring system is revolutionary to the standard model of static postural alignment.
The standard model of anatomical neutral of the body is based on a static, resting position in an upright, stacked posture. In contrast, the Bowspring promotes a dynamic neutral position of the body - for the pelvis, lower back (waist), ribcage, neck and head. Instead of a static position in which the connective tissue is passively resting, the Bowspring alignment positions the connective tissue (myofascia) to evenly engage on all sides of the body - front, back, right and left - so there can be fluid movement with the minimum amount of force.
This dynamic alignment is also a revolution away from our comfortable, sedentary lifestyle, which is mostly spent sitting in relaxed posture working at our desks, watching a screen, and talking on our phones. We have gotten out of attunement with our natural dynamic posture. Our modern misaligned form isn’t just taking a toll on our physical health; it desensitizes us and diminishes our capacity for feeling and thinking clearly. The Bowspring meme is a wave within the cultural revolution returning us back to embodying a naturally curvy posture.
The Bowspring is a system in which there are 10 key areas of the body which are each specifically aligned in relationship to each other. The alignment of one part affects the alignment of others and so affects the whole system. Read more about the Bowspring alignment for the 10 key areas.
The Bowspring is Curvy, Dynamic, and Open
Bowspring is a curvy posture. A double-S curve down the back of the body, from the back of the head to the back of the hips. The sides of the body curve inward so that the proportion between bust, waist, and hips are more like an hourglass shape.
Bowspring practice promotes the natural curves of in the body, particularly in the geometric relationship between heart, hips and head:
A radiant fullness in the ribcage expands on all sides broadening the shoulders.
The hips move back and up, while the lower back and belly extend long and strong, up and forward.
The anterior-tipped pelvis is aligned behind the ribcage.
The glutes move back and upward. The tail lifts as the glutes mound upward from the bottom of the pelvis toward the sacrum and the top of the pelvis.
The belly is bowed long, yet strong, especially when there is extension in the torso with pulsation in the Bowspring.
The neck is curved long up and back.
The Bowspring is opposite than the C-curve, which is the common sedentary position of all people. Many people all over the world sit over 10 hours a day with their hips down, short belly, and head forward and down. C-curve is the default sitting posture of high tech society today looking down at their screens. Then they go home to relax in the C-curve before a few hours of sleeping in position that relaxes the back as much as possible. Even during daily exercise, the common alignment is hips down, belly short, and flat upper back. Flat spine or reduced spinal curve is the result of years doing C-curve day after day. For further information on the double-S curve of the Bowspring vs. the C-curve, see Open Posture vs. Closed Posture.
The curviness of the Bowspring is a dynamic postural template that is also distinctive from the standard model of alignment that stacks the static body in a vertical, upright posture.
This revolutionary method is part of an emergent paradigm in the new way that we are now considering the functional alignment of the human body. We no longer stack our bones to hold us up against the force of gravity. We make a double-S curve on the back of the body so that the connective tissue is positioned for optimal function to move the body with lightness and easeful fluidity.
Standard Model of Alignment
The body is a solid, compressive structure. Therefore, the main purpose of the skeleton: to hold the body up against the force of gravity.
Therefore the main segments of the body - head, ribcage, pelvis, arms, and legs - should all be stacked like solid blocks for the optimal alignment.
The body is more liquid than solid. The bones of the body are floating struts in a network of visco-elastic connective tissue that surrounds the whole body. The tonus of muscle and fascia pull on the bones, while the bones provide consistent push back to create a tensegrity or a balanced alignment. The back of the body is curved and not rigidly upright for efficient movement.
Swayback vs. Bowspring
Bowspring is often confused for swayback or an excessively arched lower back. In both instances, the pelvis is tipped forward and the lower back is deeply arched. However, the Bowspring template is very different in its alignment than the swayback shape. With the swayback, the hips and belly are forward of the ribcage, while in the Bowspring, the hips are behind the ribcage. Another important distinguishing feature between the two postural forms is that swayback is usually associated with low tone, hyper-mobility in the connective tissue, while Bowspring has the dynamic tone of a loaded spring.
The curviness of the Bowspring gives us the capacity to be light and strong. Through application of the postural technology of the Bowspring we can be dynamically balanced in all of our daily movements and postures.
The Bowspring is a light, dynamic posture, not a heavy, static posture. The Bowspring movement exercises are not static or passive stretches. They pulse, bounce, and hop and flow. The poses are light, and not heavy. Practicing the Bowspring helps us have more lightness and cat-like fluidity in our daily activities. It brings the spring back into our step, especially for students 60+ years of age. Even the most common static positions like standing and sitting become more enlivened with a new lightness and springiness.
The Bowspring is a dynamic practice that increases functionality in any movement or posture.
The Bowspring alignment creates efficiency in all of our movements since all parts of the body work together as a harmonious system. This highly functional alignment allows us to move throughout our day with enlivened balance and easeful power. It gives us the capacity to bend over, lift things, kneel, and stand and sit with a uniform tone on the back of the body.
Bowspring is a position of readiness to easily move in any direction with the least amount of force. With balanced dynamic posture, we use less force for more power. The Bowspring alignment provides maximum power with minimal force.
The bones do not hold the body up! The tension in muscle and fascia, particularly the back of the body, is what lifts the body up and gives lightness to any movement. This uniform tone on back and front of the body, generated by the Bowspring's curvy double-S shape, is optimal for dynamic standing, wallking, jumping, hopping, skipping, and running position.
In the Bowspring, the whole back of the body engages from the toe pads up the back of the legs, into the lifting glutes, all the way up to the top of the head. Uniform tonus of myofascia on all sides of the body is like a muscle suit with even pressure on all sides of the body. The back and the front of the body are evenly engaged, and not relaxed as in the common C-Curve sedentary posture. With balanced pull of the muscles and fascia on all sides, the body can be made lighter and flowing grace to move.
The curviness of the double S-curve aligns the hips for maximum engagement of the glutes. A superior posterior is a key source of power for any type of jumping or running.
The Bowspring template is the 'dynamic neutral' position for the hips, waist, heart, neck, and head, which aligns the body for efficient movement. Dynamic neutral is in distinction to 'static neutral' position of the body, which uses the least amount of energy expenditure to hold the position. For instance, the common neutral position of the human pelvis is defined as the front of pelvis - (ASIS and pubis) in a vertical alignment. This is a position of the pelvis in which the body can be vertically stacked with the muscles at rest.
In contrast, the dynamic neutral pelvic alignment is where the muscles can engage on all sides of the hips for functional movement with the least amount of effort. Dynamic neutral alignment of the pelvis is defined as an anterior tilt so that the pelvic floor is level and the ASIS is in front of the pubis. The dynamic neutral of the Bowspring has the hips aligned behind the vertically of the ribcage and the head.
The Bowspring practice is movement medicine. By embodying the Bowspring, we release old psycho-emotional energies and memories held in our closed posture that have kept us from reaching our highest potential. Releasing stuck emotional energy through the open form of the Bowspring is cleansing and healing.
The entire front of the body is fully open: face, throat, heart, solar plexus, lower belly, and the pelvic floor are all elongated and opened wide. These somatically sensitive areas are open, and not shortened or inhibited in their energetic flow. When the front of the body is open, then we are able to feel more and be more psychically receptive.
The actively open Bowspring form is the quintessential power posture. It is an expanding expression of a positive heart and mindset. The wide open outer form is radiant from inside out.
A physically open, dynamic posture with a curvy alignment. Each of 10 key parts, like the heart, head, or the hips, is consciously turned into an 'open' or 'on' position in a specific sequence for maximum positive effect.
The transformative details of the Bowspring method and postural algorithm can be learned from any of our Global Bowspring teachers.
10 Key Areas of the Body in Bowspring Alignment
The Bowspring is a synergy of 10 key parts of the body that are all interconnected with uniform engagement so the body becomes light, strong, and fluid with a minimum amount of force. The geometric alignment of each of the 10 parts of the body is specifically defined as a universal template for the human body in dynamic posture.
Additionally, each designated part of the body has a specific directionality of action in the Bowspring. When all 10 parts are engaging in unison toward the precise myofascial form and directionality of the Bowspring template, then the body has maximum power, lightness, and fluidity in its movements.
Bowspring is Mindfulness Training
More than just a physical exercise program, the Bowspring practice is a path towards self-awakening. Through mindful awareness of specific alignments within 10 key areas of our body, we gain profound knowledge about our unconscious mind and emotional patterning held in our common daily posture. This self-knowledge of chronically tight and blocked areas of the body and mind is liberating for the student.
Once the student observes his/her old programs automatically running during walking, standing, and sitting, then they are empowered to choose a new path, a new way of living in the world. Instead of being victims to our old postural programs, which are blocking the fullness of our health and happiness, we are free and empowered to choose a new lifestyle that is more aligned with our true, natural self.
The Bowspring practice requires mindfulness, compassion, and ownership of our state of health so that we may transform towards a new higher level of health.
We commit to looking at our unconscious patterns in our posture which lead to chronic pain and a poor level of fitness.
We are empowered to choose a new path towards an even greater level of health.
Mindfulness, compassion, and accountability are the key tenants we embrace for transforming on the physical and emotional level.
With the cultivation of skillful studentship qualities, the Bowspring practice becomes deeply transformative to heart-mind-body.
Bowspring trains the mind-body to learn how to deal with stress in a healthy way.
We learn how to stay centered and open under stress, and not to unconsciously react in a closed or misaligned way.
We learn how to keep a greater perspective and align with a higher view.
We train ourselves to stay light, bouncy, and positive under seemingly difficult situations.
Open-mindedness and beginner’s mind is required for new students, especially with previous alignment training in modern yoga schools, to the evolutionary alignment method of the Bowspring.