Critical Alignment: Building a Strong, Flexible Practice through Intelligent Sequencing and Mindful Movement

By Gert Van Leeuwen
(Shambhala, Paperback, 9781611800630, 424pp.)

Publication Date: August 13, 2013

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Yoga: Critical Alignment is an innovative, illustrated guide to new practices that release the tension held in the body to create a new balanced alignment. In yoga, even seasoned practitioners have the habit of working the body from the surface layers of muscle. The muscles are linked to will power and discipline, and working hard on the mat can create unhealthy strain in the body. Author Gert van Leeuwen teaches his unique sequences of standing postures, inversions, forward bends, backbends, twists, and pranayama to get you to optimal alignment and ease. Each thoughtfully sequenced practice is meticulously illustrated so that you can keep this book at your side while you practice.

Core topics include:

   • The role of the skeleton in movement chains and sequences
   • How to enhance the body's mobility and deepen body awareness
   • Cultivating a meditation and pranayama practice
   • Instructions and refinement: inversions, standing postures, forward bends, backbends, twists, seated postures
   • Planning lessons for a home practice or a studio environment

About the Author

Gert van Leeuwen is the founder of the Bharata Yoga studio ( in Amsterdam. He teaches (in English) all over Europe and Russia, at numerous studios in Canada, and in a growing number of places in the U.S. and Mexico. He was a student of Norman Sjoman, who was an early student of B. K. S. Iyengar.

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