By Renee’ Fulkerson
My YogAlign practice is the foundation that enables me to continue to enjoy all the everyday activities I have participated in as a youth now into my fifties.
I started practicing yoga when I was pregnant with my now fifteen-year-old son to alleviate some of my back pain and, it worked. I continued to practice Hatha Yoga and went on to a five hundred hour teacher training certification in Hatha Yoga.
In my thirties practicing, and teaching Hatha Yoga worked with my lifestyle at that time. My regular physical activities complimented my Hatha Yoga practice with hiking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, and chasing a toddler. That synergy enabled me to live at a high physical level with health and mental clarity.
In my forties, I transition into a different lifestyle. I began co-hosting a yearly yoga festival and retreat. In this new venture’s infancy, I spent endless hours sitting in a chair on the computer. Although, I continued my regular Hatha Yoga practice. That synergy I once had was no longer there. My exercise activities (when I could fit them in) were swimming, kayaking, hiking, and walking. I felt I was operating at a lower physical level with poor physical clarity.
I became aware of the YogAlign Method created on the very Hawaiian Island I was currently residing on Kauai. I enrolled in a two hundred hour teacher training with the founder and started feeling the synergy between my lifestyle and physical activities once again. The positive benefits were the same and, I was moving my body in my yoga practice a completely different way.
One of the first things I noticed when I started my YogAlign practice was my ability to lengthen and create fullness in my frontline by breathing with the diaphragm (SIP breath). That felt amazing after sitting at a computer with a collapsed chest and rounded shoulders. This breathing method alone supported bringing back my mental clarity. I then began to learn how to move from my core. Which immediately created this feeling of full-body strength in a solid foundation. My posture shifted quickly. I could start to feel the muscles in my back getting strong and buoyant as I walked.
After many successful years with the festival and retreat, I stepped away and began teaching YogAlign regularly on the island when I was not traveling. I started adding some running and a lot of snorkeling into my regular activities. I have noticed I have more breath capacity, stamina, and muscle strength and, I could feel a difference in my body’s performance in everyday life as well. Traveling can be exhausting with flying, camping, sightseeing, rails, and buses. I did a two-week snowboard trip to Japan this last winter. A two-week Grand Tetons, Yellowstone adventure this summer and never felt better.
I will be fifty years old in a couple of months. I feel the best I think I have ever felt. What I say to new students and existing students in my YogAlign Classes keep doing all the activities you enjoy doing and let your YogAlign practice be your foundation for life.