Testimonial: David’s Journey After Injury

I met Erin Paruszewski at Alkalign a while back and took her up on her offer of a week of classes. I’ve never done a fitness or pilates/barre/yoga class before, but this year has been one of self-improvement, so it came at the right time. I couldn’t have known how important my new-found fitness and body alignment awareness would be over the last few months when I first started. I’ll get to the part later where I’m in yoga pants, facing the waterwall with one arm in a sling, trying to balance in neutral spine and wide turnout and realizing that I’m the only one-armed guy in class. I’ll also get to the part when, later that month, I had emergency abdominal surgery, took 2 (stressful) weeks off of exercise and then had to modify for another 2 weeks after that. But first, how I got to be an Alkalign addict and a true believer that my work at Alkalign is responsible for me enjoying physical and mental health like never before.

 

Erin and I were connected by a friend with shared work interests. In an effort to understand her business better (and since I was curious about what my first Alkalign experience would be like), I took a class. I started with Align 101 and discovered new muscles (lateral oblique, piriformis, and my whole ass in general) I didn’t know I had. More importantly, I found a workout that was really hard and rewarding. After 25 years of chronic back pain, I’ve never felt better than after I found my new core strength at Alkalign (thank you, Erin). My year of self-improvement has included some pretty intense mental health work…not just eating the Mindful Meatloaf at the hospital cafeteria (and that’s a real thing)…but real work and progress on my mind. I consider my progress at Alkalign a major part of that mental health as well.

 

Strength and mental health are why I try to go to Alkalign every day. Because of my work schedule, I can’t pick the class format, I can only pick the times, which is why in May of 2018 I was in a huge rush back to work after the 6:00 AM class. I knew I would be late for my 6:30 AM work meeting, but if I did a quick shower/change and biked as fast as I could, I would be only 30 minutes late (yeah, it’s a 2-hour meeting at 6:30 AM…I work with surgeons).

 

This next part is hard to retell, since I wish I could go back in time in a 1985 DeLorean and change what happened next. I booked out of Alkalign, got on my new bike and steam down the Alameda. I received a text message, read the message and tried to reply. It wouldn’t send correctly because I’m pedaling —fast— so I tried again. I’m frustrated because I’m supposed to be in two places at once and I’m late for work. But, I can do this! I can even do this without a helmet at the time — never again (Apryl)! As I’m typing —BANG!!! —OH F&*K! And then…I’m on top of a car, looking down at my bike, which has the fork completely dislodged — sheared right off. I’m bleeding and then laying prone on the Alameda. It really hurts, a lot. My shoulder hurts to the point that I don’t know if I can even feel everything correctly. I stand up, walk to the curb, curse the fact that my new bike is ruined and now not going to make my meeting. I text my work colleagues that I won’t make it, then call my wife and tell her I need to go to the ER because I have a broken collarbone. I can feel the bone fragments rubbing against each other. Other than that, I can feel what ends up being a thigh contusion and a bruised finger, and eventually a chipped tooth. Thankfully it wasn’t a broken neck, major head injury, broken pelvis, or anything life altering….or life ending. I knew these injuries would be a major setback for my mind and body. I knew I needed help. I knew I needed to slow down. I knew, for real, that I needed to slow the F down.

 

I did a few weeks in a sling with no physical activity on the arm. No plank, down dog, water-ski, push ups, all 4s, or anything else that would delay the collarbone healing. I thought I was in pretty good shape until about 3 weeks after the bike crash. One afternoon I noticed an unusual and sudden pain in my abdomen. After about an hour of writhing around in bed, my wife finally forced me to go to the ER where I was diagnosed with an acute surgical abdomen. I had 10 inches of my intestines twisted and strangulated that required emergency laparoscopic surgery to release it. Yeah, technically it was a “hernia,” but not the kind that your granddad has that bulges out his groin when he coughs like a party trick. For me this meant another 2 weeks of crawling up the walls (Alkalign-less) while I recovered from surgery.

 

Through both injuries, Alkalign was a major part of my quick recovery. The physical therapist (for the shoulder) was sure I could have wrecked my rotator cuff if it hadn’t been for my flexibility and strength. He eventually cancelled all my follow up appointments because I was “so strong and flexible beforehand.” The surgeons who did my abdominal surgery discharged me within 12 hours because I was “in really great shape and would recover abdominal strength quickly.” I can’t help but think both events could have been much worse if I hadn’t been working on my strength and flexibility at Alkalign.

 

I thought at first that I’d probably lose touch with my Alkalign routine and slip back into marginal physical fitness and a mental health struggle that has been a familiar routine, but Erin was there for me. She opened the studio to help us figure out what I could do to modify the classes with a broken wing. Then she showed me how to modify after the major core weakener of surgery. I got back into the studio, started modifying classes and that’s what made me realize why I’m Alkalign-hooked…it’s not just the physical benefits, it’s the mental benefits that also keep me coming back. Don’t get me wrong, I am so appreciative of the physical changes and flexibility that Erin and team have afforded me, but in my year of self-improvement, the mental health I’ve achieved at Alkalign is the real gift.

 

I’m still working on achieving the physical and mental strength that comes with recovering from my injuries. The biggest thing I learned is that I can’t keep rushing around. If you see me in the studio stretching out my shoulder near the waterwall, you’ll know what I’m focusing on, and you can even remind me to slow the F down.

 

David M. Axelrod, MD

Stanford University Clinical Associate Professor, Pediatrics – Cardiology

Testimonial: Sam Park Injury + Alkalign Recovery

Sam Park Alkalign Studios

I first heard about Alkalign through my wife who went to classes on a regular basis. She raved about Alkalign and encouraged me to give it a try. And so I did, with some hesitation. When I walked into the studio (not alone, but with my wife, of course), I immediately felt self-conscious and had my doubts. You see, here I was, a middle-aged, 45-year-old male, set in my ways with my exercise routine.  This typically involved running 10-20 miles per week and doing some manly weight training at the gym, such as seeing how much I could bench press. So what was I now doing in a barre fitness studio where I stood out like a sore thumb? Nevertheless, I went into the class with an open mind as I trailed behind my wife.

 

Well guess what? The class was actually quite challenging, and I was pleasantly surprised. It gave me a great workout of all the major muscle groups. I kept going back and soon I started incorporating Alkalign classes into my exercise routine but only whenever my wife was available to go together.

 

Then came ski season 2015. I am an avid skier and skiing is an activity that my family loves to do together. On one of our trips to a ski resort in Lake Tahoe, I (foolishly) attempted a big air ski jump for the first time and landed awkwardly. I knew immediately that something went wrong as I grabbed my left knee in pain. But even in my moment of pain, I was in denial. Laying on the ground, I kept replaying back various scenes from my youth—how I had fallen so many times playing sports, yet was able to bounce back up and keep going. Surely, this time would be no different. However, when we got to the hospital, I was informed by the doctor otherwise. I had torn both my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and my medial collateral ligament (MCL) on my left knee, and surgery was a possibility. I was in shock.

 

I started to imagine all sorts of worst-case scenarios. What if I could never ski or run again? You see, physical fitness is very important to me. It’s not just an activity, but a big part of who I am.

 

I eventually came to accept what happened and accept the fact that I’m no longer in my youth. I was motivated to work hard towards a quick recovery, surgery or not. The recipe for recovery initially involved RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation), but soon expanded to include stretching and physical therapy. Over time, I incorporated the stationary bicycle, weights, and Alkalign classes. I noticed that a lot of my physical therapy exercises focused on strengthening the quadriceps and hamstrings, to help strengthen the muscles that can actually compensate for the weaker torn ligament. Alkalign really took my recovery to the next level with all the focused thigh, seat, and hamstring work, and helped build strength and alignment in my knee, all while avoiding the chance of further injury. My knee was recovering so well, so quickly, that after three months, the orthopedic surgeon ruled out the need for surgery! I was ecstatic and grateful.

 

Fast forward one year later to now. My knee feels great and is back to functioning normally. It feels so great in fact that I am not only able to walk, but I am able to run long distances again. And I skied more than 30 powder days this season with no knee issues whatsoever!

 

Alkalign is not just another barre class. And it’s not just for women. It’s much, much more. It’s a complete program that combines the best of barre, yoga, pilates and personal nutrition to really offer fitness in the safest and most effective way. Whether you’re getting started or a star athlete, young or old, male or female, it really works.

 

And as for my manly exercise routine, I don’t check to see how much I can bench press anymore. But I do go to more Alkalign classes. A lot more, even without my wife.

Testimonial: Physical Therapist Tricia Clark

Westcott Physical Therapist + Alkalign Studios Testimonial

What a PT appreciates about Alkalign, by Tricia Clark, PT, DPT.

 

I am a physical therapist at Westcott Physical Therapy nearby the Los Altos Alkalign location. It’s my privilege to be able to share with you all a bit of why I not only appreciate but also attend classes at Alkalign. My Alkalign journey started as a personal fitness focus but has become so much more. My story is not unique. I had injuries and pain which affected my body and needed to be addressed. That should sound familiar as we all have had those times. This is when you see a physician and a PT (like me and my colleagues at Westcott) to help restore injuries, recover from surgeries, or just simply get out of pain. After those challenges were addressed, I made personal changes and gained knowledge by committing to a fantastic fitness routine. Sound familiar again? Here is where one needs to focus on fitness and I have really come to appreciate Alkalign in this commitment.

 

Despite growing up in Los Altos, I had limited knowledge of the fitness class resources available downtown. It had been almost ten years that I was out of the area pursuing a higher education. When I took the job at Westcott I noticed the options of fitness facilities now present. However, I continued to do my own mundane workouts and tried many different fitness classes. Unfortunately, most of the classes were not aligned with my personal and professional beliefs about movement. Recently, a few friends encouraged me to try Alkalign and I took advantage of the New Client Special to get in shape for summer. Thanks to those friends, I discovered a convenient location, beautiful atmosphere, and supportive community of fitness enthusiasts that fit my beliefs!

 

As a physical therapist, I strongly believe that once someone is well, it is imperative that they continue to move their body in a safe and thoughtful way.  Alkalign’s low-impact approach focusing on core strength, posture, and flexibility is a great combination. Over the course of attendance I have found that each class focuses on the overall body and is diverse in the choice of movement, which is important to help balance and challenge muscles for better fitness. I appreciate their commitment to delivering safe, challenging, and fun classes to the community which is also key to preventing injury and pain and thus gaining sustainable long-term health. I would recommend Alkalign for not only my patients but other members of the community.

Health and fitness go hand in hand as a lifestyle choice and this is what I see Alkalign striving to achieve. I find that even when one has the knowledge of what to do, it is always easier and more enjoyable to accomplish it with others. They are using the knowledge of the community and I am glad to be part of it!  Continue to stay fit and safe with Alkalign! I look forward to being in class as well as on the blog again to share more soon.

 

Tricia Clark completed her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and works as a physical therapist at Westcott Physical Therapy in Los Altos. She grew up as a competitive athlete and has a specialty in athletics and orthopedics. Her background helped to develop her passion for mentoring athletes of all ages in both rehabilitation following an injury and in injury prevention. She is thankful to have found Alkalign and hopes her professional expertise will help the team continually evolve their methodology and offerings. 

Got Injuries? Get Alkalign!

Alkalign specializes in injury prevention and rehabilitation. Back, knee, hip, ankle, shoulder, foot: We can improve whatever ails you with a combination of strength, mobility and flexibility exercises in a fun, supportive environment.

 

Most injuries occur from repetitive movement or positioning in improper alignment. (i.e., the way you walk, sit, text, type, squat). That’s why Alkalign educates you on the principles of alignment and helps you practices those principles through a proprietary blend of carefully sequenced exercises. We say we offer “fitness for life” because we focus on how the training you do in class translates to real-life scenarios. Our goal is to help you not only work hard and feel better when you’re in the studio, but also to give you the tools to improve how you function throughout the day.

 

Over the last decade, we have worked with clients with every injury imaginable. Our instructors are highly trained and ready to provide the individualized attention you need within the dynamic group environment. Read testimonials about how Alkalign has helped clients heal as well as avoid major injuries because of the education and heightened mindfulness they have gained at Alkalign.

 

Alkalign is functional training for anyone who is committed to living in a functioning body. There are very few injuries that cannot be overcome.* As long as you are willing to show up and put in the work, we are here to help you every step of the way.

 

If you have an injury or concern, please contact me. I founded Alkalign to provide safe, effective, sustainable workouts. It is my personal mission and life’s work to help people feel better.

 

In health,

 

Erin
Alkalign founder and CEO

 

 

*Alkalign instructors are not doctors and cannot diagnose injuries; their suggestions are not a substitute for medical advice.

Running Smoothly, Thanks To Alkalign!

In 2012 I ran my 7th marathon: Boston. As I crossed the finish line, feeling grateful and delighted to be done, I had the usual aches associated with pounding the pavement for 26.2 miles, but I had a new sensation that ran from the outside of my left hip to the outside of my knee. As I hobbled back to the hotel, I tried to convince myself that I would be able to shake it off and be back out running in no time. I forced myself to wait a few days before attempting a short jog. I made it only a few feet when the tears began to flow. This was a bigger issue than I thought.

 

I went straight to the sports medicine doctor who delivered the diagnosis of “acute illiotibial band syndrome.” The IT band is a thick band of fascia, or connective tissue, that runs parallel to the femur from the outside of the hip to knee. The IT band’s role is to stabilize the outside part of the knee.  The months of pounding the pavement without stretching (AT ALL!) and without any cross training had taken a toll on my body. The doctor advised that I lay off the running and begin physical therapy.

 

This was my first experience with an injury and first visit to a PT. During the initial visit, the therapist performed a variety of strength tests and determined that I had an imbalance in muscle groups. I had strong quads, but weak glutes and my adductors were also not firing effectively. Treatment included electrical stimulation (such a freaky feeling but helped a ton!). We also worked with resistance bands to strengthen the adductors and abductors and glute medius. Loads of squats, lunges, stretching and mobility work. Sound familiar? #functionalfitness #alkalign!

 

In the meantime, I was losing my mind not being able to go out for my morning run! It was at this point that I realized that I needed to find a workout that would allow me to focus on building overall strength, flexibility and mobility. I needed a workout that would help get me back on the trails at Rancho San Antonio, and perhaps able to run at least a half marathon.

 

A friend invited me to take a class at Alkalign and I am beyond grateful. Alkalign has changed my life in so many ways. From starting as a client to working the front desk to training to become an instructor and now training our newest instructors!  Not only did Alkalign help me rehab from that gnarly IT band injury, but it has helped me get stronger both mentally and physically and enabled me to get back out running INJURY FREE! Alkalign is an amazing workout that has its roots in physical therapy exercises and focuses on the 7 functional movements that allow our clients to participate in all the endeavors they enjoy outside of the studio.

 

As a side note….I just the San Francisco Giants Half Marathon on September 9th. As I crossed that finish line at ATT park, I tipped my running hat to Alkalign with appreciation and gratitude!  

3 Fitness Lies You Are Telling Yourself

As a product of our ‘hardcore’ society, we’ve been conditioned to believe ‘No Pain, No Gain.’ This could not be further from the truth, but moving past that mindset requires you to re-evaluate the way you’ve been trained to think about fitness. Here are 3 lies you’ve been telling yourself about your workouts.

  1. MORE IS MORE – False! Quality over quantity is best. For example, you could do 100 push-ups, but if you are doing them wrong you put your shoulders, elbows, etc. at risk of injury. You are better off doing 10 quality push-ups in correct alignment than pounding it out to the detriment of your joints. At Alkalign, we want you to work smarter without sacrificing your future self.
  2. HARDER & FASTER IS BETTER – False! Would you run more miles, lift heavier weights and do everything harder and faster if it was bad for you? Turns out, it is. Increasing the speed, load and frequency of such activities accelerates the wear and tear on your body and can result in both short term injuries and longer-term damage. The fitness industry preys on the next flashy fad to stay relevant. Trends come and go but your body is here to stay. How will you take care of it? Make a long-term investment in your body. The actions you take now will impact you for years to come.
  3. IT HAS TO HURT TO WORK – False! If you had the power to prevent an injury before it happens, would you? We all possess the power. It’s the mindset that is the hardest to shift. Hardcore is not healthy and extremes are not sustainable. Alkalign is all of the reward with none of the risk, provided you are accountable to yourself to focus on alignment, modify when needed and accept coaching and feedback from our well-trained team of instructors. From our slow-burn Align 101 to our sweaty fast-paced Cardio Align, we work you to your core in a variety of different ways.

Check your local Alkalign Studios class schedule and start making the shift in your mindset today to ensure a healthy, functional body tomorrow.

Gluteus Medius 101

Alkalign Studios Barre Yoga Lungeby Tricia Clark, PT, DPT

Let’s talk about my favorite muscle! It’s one of the gluteal muscles, aka the buttock, the seat muscles, or my nickname for it, the “back pocket”.  My favorite of this muscle group is the gluteus medius, or the side of that back pocket. Often overshadowed by its larger counterpart, the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius (glut med), in my opinion as well as many other medical professionals, is functionally more important. As a physical therapist, if I could give every patient one exercise to better their overall body it would be to strengthen the gluteus medius. What’s also awesome is that Alkalign hits this muscle with specific exercises in every single class!

 

The gluteus medius sits on the side of your buttock, starting from the pelvic crest and outer side of pelvis, behind the gluteus maximus, and ending on the greater trochanter of the hip as well as the IT band that runs down the outside of the upper leg. To put it simply, it goes from our butt to our hip. The reason it is so important is that it works to help stabilize our pelvis while walking and helps to lift the leg to the side and turn out, called hip abduction and hip external rotation. So why does this matter? Without this muscle, not only would we not have a nice round look to our backside, we would have some serious problems. Research shows that with weakness in the glut med our knees would buckle inward and our pelvis would have excessive motion. Thus, the whole alignment of our lower legs from the hips to the feet would be out of place. Then in turn, we would have knee, hip, and foot pain. So, you have probably deduced that if we are stronger here, as research has shown, then we can negate all these issues. One muscle can make such a difference in the body!

 

My favorite exercise for the glut med is a side-lying leg raise with the leg slightly behind the plane of the body, slowly being lifted up and down a few inches. Look for this in the Barre Align class.  Another good exercise is a standing side step with a back pocket muscle squeeze which can be found in the Cardio Align class.  Also, working on single leg balance, like in the hinge position, engages the standing leg while the lifted leg reaches back and sideways, thus strengthening the glut meds of both legs at the same time!  These can cause that great, but sometimes not well liked, “burn” in the “seat”.

 

But, a word of caution, please know that this muscle is often under-developed and although it needs attention, it needs to be built up slowly. Mix in the exercises with your everyday workouts (as Alkalign does) to get that good burn in the side of the back pocket. A warning; if you overwork it, you might be walking funny for a while. So keep challenging your body and working out in a safe and effective way at Alkalign!

 

Tricia Clark completed her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and works as a physical therapist at Westcott Physical Therapy in Los Altos. She grew up as a competitive athlete and has a specialty in athletics and orthopedics. Her background helped to develop her passion for mentoring young athletes in both rehabilitation following an injury and in injury prevention. She is thankful to have found Alkalign and hopes her professional expertise will help the team continually evolve their methodology and offerings.  

Always Be a Student

It’s back to school for me and many other teachers, students and families. I LOVE this time of year once I get over clinging for dear life to the freedom and fun summer affords me. Getting to know my new students is a special time and I devote energy each year to setting a tone in class that feels authentic to me and that meets students where they are.

 

The goals for my AP English Language class revolve around reading and thinking critically, writing intentionally and speaking honestly. Then there are my “people goals,” a way to be. As I prepped my lessons last night, I kept thinking of how true these are for Alkalign practice as well.

 

Be here. Show up! Schedule time to be in class at the studio. You know other events will creep in. Put it in your calendar and prioritize the time for yourself.

 

Be present. Once you’re here, really be here. Be intentional about your three breaths at the beginning of each class and let go of your to-do list. Be attentive to your alignment, your breath, your engagement; do that and your practice will surface to a whole new level.

 

See (the) good. Use the mirrors as tool, not a source of criticism or comparison. Be a student of your form and make adjustments. Most importantly learn how to see what you are doing well and how you are improving!

 

Be good. In my classroom, this is about academic integrity and being good to yourself and others. At Alkalign, it’s about relying on the community as a source of encouragement, communicating with your instructors if you have an injury, introducing yourself to a new client, and staying for the final stretch to reward your body with stillness.


Get better. Alkalign, like education, is a practice. Each class is a little different.  Each day is a unique opportunity to learn more about how to take care of yourself. The more you learn, the better you get. Try a new class format, a new instructor or a new balance or hand release option. Ask an instructor for suggestions and ALWAYS be a student!

Growing Business, Growing Family

To say that 2018 has been a big year for franchise owner, Elise Feichtner would be an understatement! Alkalign in Ada (a suburb east of Grand Rapids) celebrated their one year anniversary in February, her daughter turned 3 and her and her husband, Ben, are expecting another daughter in November! Her love of her family and her business shines brightly to everyone who walks through the studio doors. I caught up with Elise to talk family, business and pregnancy.

 

Q: What does an average day in your life look like?

 

Mornings are my favorite and most productive time of the day, so my alarm goes off just before 5am and I’m at my computer shortly after. Once my 3-year old, Reese, is up, it’s her time with me, so that 90-minutes of quiet work time in the mornings are when I’m at my best. I typically take her to daycare every day before heading into the studio to either work with our awesome desk staff or teach classes.  I LOVE my studio mornings because it’s when I get to connect with our community. Once the round of morning classes are done, the rest of the day is up for grabs. Each week fills up with meetings, studio work time, or work from home. I always try to make evenings family time. When Reese was a baby, we used to be able to get her to bed much earlier, so I’d be able to hit my computer and to-do-list again after bedtime. Now that she’s an expert bedtime-staller, I’m usually exhausted by the time she’s settled. Choosing to sleep when she goes to bed has been essential to my health since I’ve been pregnant and am so much more tired!

 

Q: How has this pregnancy differed from your first?

 

Wow!  So many things about this pregnancy are different than with my first, especially as I get later into my pregnancy.  I’d say the number one difference is the fact that we didn’t have kids to manage when I was pregnant with Reese. I totally underestimated the beauty of being able to rest, work, set my schedule or even use the bathroom without the demands of a 3 year old.  Initially with this baby, I was SO much more tired and actually felt more sick than with Reese as well. That was a huge challenge in those early days when I wasn’t really ready to tell people.  Similar to my first pregnancy, the 2nd trimester was great for me. Once I hit the 3rd trimester, my active job as an instructor, owner and mom got more challenging. Not only did it seem like the baby and my body were growing by the day, but my body started to feel some stress and fatigue I didn’t experience with Reese. 

 

At 31 weeks I started experiencing some really intense pain in my left SI joint.  I could tell it wasn’t muscular. After realizing it was getting worse, I finally gave in and consulted my doctor.  Turns out, I developed a really common issue in pregnancy related: SI Joint Dysfunction. My OB recommended I see a Pelvic Floor PT and also gave me the option to try chiropractic adjustments.  

 

To say that this has been eye opening for me is an understatement.  I am learning SO much about my body, the female body in general and how best I can use this experience to inform and enhance what we do for all of our female clients.  

 

After working through the disappointment of this “injury,”  I’ve made peace with it and have had to scale back my teaching and movement schedule.  I realized that the more active I was, the worse this pain got. Fortunately, I saw an amazing functional chiropractor who assessed not only my joints and spine but my ability to BREATHE!  This was a total game changer. His initial work with me on how to breathe to open up my pelvic floor + the continued work with the PT really helped keep my symptoms at bay. Did they totally alleviate the issue? No, but I definitely was able to manage the pain so I could function through the day.  It has been such a humbling and educational experience, and I anticipate continuing to learn even more after labor, delivery and postpartum. Stay tuned Alkalign!

 

Q: In general, describe how taking Alkalign classes has been different in each trimester?

 

Interestingly enough, I could tell I was pregnant before I even officially knew, and I noticed that in class.  I could just tell that my body felt different. I don’t know if it was hormonal or fatigue, but early on, certain exercises in class just felt much more challenging.  I really noticed it in planks right off the bat. Beyond just feeling slightly off in first trimester, I was fighting the nausea and morning sickness in classes. I never actually got sick, but had that constant “ick” feeling.  

 

Second trimester was great!  I felt awesome strengthening my body with modifications.  As 2nd trimester ticked along I’d start to notice certain exercises were a little more challenging.  I specifically remember feeling a totally different challenge in High C Curve. It was so much harder for me to pull my abdominals down and in to create the active flexion we seek in that position.  There’s this growing baby in there that made it  harder for me to control the movement, but it was still manageable.

 

When the 3rd trimester arrived, more movements became challenging. That sensation of having “too much baby” in High C Curve became a full-on barrier to the exercise.  I also started to feel that Seated C Curve and Low C Curve were also really hard to do since there was so much less room in by torso. Even modifying with props proved more and more difficult as my belly grew. Once my SI joint dysfunction officially reared it’s head, I felt that standing glute work or single-sided exercises were too much.  The joint was already under stress so adding all my added body weight onto that single side was not working for me. I decided to scale back from classes until I figured out what was going on with my pelvis, but now that I know I have been able to use modifications and breathing strategies I’ve learned while under chiropractic care and PT to modify when I do take class. 

 

Q: What advice would you give pregnant women who want to stay active and maintain their fitness?

 

Listen to your body!  Chances are, it will tell you important things!  Growing a human is no small task. So much of your “normal” body movement and mechanics will be impacted by your growing baby.  If you start to feel things that are somewhat “off,” ask your healthcare provider. Share information about how you’re feeling. Knowledge is power!  Unfortunately, some feelings in my body I brushed off as normal “second baby things” turned into more. Thankfully, I asked for guidance have been able to manage and treat some symptoms and learn a whole lot along the way!  

 

Q: What advice would you give someone who is interested in starting an Alkalign franchise and  wants to grow their family?

 

You really CAN do it!  The opportunity for me to open a studio came at a time when the Ada/Grand Rapids market needed a niche studio like ours.  If we were going to do it, it had to be now. I am so happy my husband and I made that decision when we did. I knew this is where I wanted my life to go professionally.  I have a supportive husband, loving family and bigger community to help when I need it. I also know that someday I won’t have young babies. What makes this all work is that I have faith in my own abilities as a parent and professional; gratitude and love for the amazing support network we have; and pride for the example I can set for my young daughters as they learn to be strong, independent, kind, and compassionate women.

 

Announcing Alkalign Unplugged!

Alkalign founder and owner Erin Paruszewski and Master Instructor Cathy Purnell join forces as newbie podcasters to have conversations on health and wellness in their brand new podcast called “Alkalign Unplugged.”

 

As a lifelong athlete, Erin is passionate about health and wellness and Cathy is one of Alkalign’s  Master Instructors. Cathy and Erin were inspired to start a podcast by the amazing clients they interact with each day. “We have so many wonderful men and women with a wide range of talents, experiences, and careers, we thought it would be fun to get to know our community and share that with listeners,” says Erin. Between Cathy’s secret desire to be a talk show host and the duo’s gift of gab, Alkalign Unplugged was born.

 

“People should tune into our podcast to learn something new about a whole host of topics they will find relatable and, ideally, entertaining!” says Cathy. The show’s focus is on health and wellness topics that are relatable to everyone. Cathy and Erin’s style is authentic and will feature a wide range of topics including mental health, nutrition, stress management, injury prevention, mindfulness and much more.

 

Alkalign Unplugged is more than just another fitness podcast. It’s an opportunity to connect with life stories that engage us on a real, raw and human level. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or PodBean.