The reasons people walk in the doors of our studio vary from person to person, but the reasons they stay are powerful. We love hearing about the reasons our clients choose to keep coming back and how it has impacted their life. Our client and friend, Champa, recently connected with us to share her journey to Alkalign and how it has changed her life. Thank you for sharing your story with us!
I’ve suffered multiple knee and back injuries over the past 8 years, constant pain with no relief in sight and physicians have been unable to pinpoint the exact source of my pain. I was missing out on playing with my young daughter, had to give up cycling and running and I was dreading the quality of my life looking to the years ahead.
I happened to drive past Alkalign this past summer and decided to sign up for a month. Nothing else had worked and I had absolutely nothing to lose! I was immediately taken by the friendly staff, immaculate space, and positive vibes. It was the first time I had heard an instructor say it’s okay to listen to your body, to work with its current abilities and to modify any exercise.
The first “rolling” (Recharge) class with Erin was transformational for me – I was almost in tears as the pain I had once lived with was GONE! I felt a glimmer of hope, for the first time in many years, that I could actually live pain-free.
Today, almost 3 months after that first month of classes, I am pain-free and back to enjoying time outdoors and loving every minute that I hike, ride and play with my daughter. Every single day since that first class, I am so thankful and grateful for Alkalign. Strength-training and rolling helped me get my life back!
Joining the Alkalign family has been a life-altering experience for me. I have always been an active person and a member at a few health clubs. I’ve taken yoga and pilates classes and had a personal trainer in the past. However, my experience with Alkalign has been so unique and special.
From the first class, I knew that this place possesses a different energy. It was warm, welcoming and gave me a sense of belonging that I had never experienced before. After a few months of attending 6am classes, I started to realize that I can walk outside of my comfort zone and it gave me the courage to take on new challenges. Some of the new challenges I took on were playing the piano and ballroom dancing!
I want to thank all the fabulous staff at Alkalign for being here and I hope that by sharing this, maybe someone else is tempted to push outside their comfort zone and discover a whole new outlook on life!
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.
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.
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.
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.
When I reflect on my time working at Alkalign, I am filled with gratitude. One of the main reasons Alkalign is special is the communal environment created by Erin, the instructors, and the clients. As part of the staff, you become a part of the community that fosters a healthy mind-body connection in everything that you do. Every task is built with intention and detail, so you quickly develop leadership skills and a sense of pride with each duty. This is perfect for high schoolers especially because the purpose behind everything really guides the work you do. Suddenly, making sure that every client is accounted for in class becomes: Is Julie in class today? How is her puppy doing? Have her kids started school yet?
Alkalign is a home away from home, and the friendly faces you see day to day become a part of your life. In a time where technology is so prevalent and people lack real face to face communication, working the front desk and talking to clients or playroom staff pushes you out of your comfort zone and broadens your network. I was also very busy in high school applying to college, leading my school’s dance team and volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, but working at Alkalign allowed me to slow things down, focus on engaging with the people around me and complete tasks with full attention and diligence. You put the cell phone down and organize the space, really making sure that everything is as it should be. Over time, this creates a high standard for which you hold yourself accountable: sloppily getting things done just to move on to the next doesn’t cut it anymore.
Working at Alkalign did so much for me as a growing individual and it gave me back everything I put into it. With most things, the more dedicated you are, the better the results will be. This is incredibly important for everyone to learn first hand, but especially high schoolers. I encourage anyone looking to work for Alkalign to evaluate what you want out of the job and how you will contribute to the community. What strengths can I bring to the team? What skills should I focus on improving? With that mindset, working at Alkalign will become a key learning experience and will transform the way you view organization, leadership, and community.
At Alkalign we are fortunate to have a diverse set of instructors who bring their real, raw and human experiences to our studio. Our instructors range from college students to empty nesters to professionals to moms of little ones. We pride ourselves on community and our instructors are a key part of what makes it so great. If you’ve ever wondered if you can make teaching a part of your life, keep reading. We are so happy that Emily Travis of our Grand Rapids, MI studio is sharing her story with us. If you are interested in being an instructor, please contact us! We’d love to set up a meeting to see if we are a good fit.
My name is Emily and I am an instructor at our Alkalign Grand Rapids location in Ada Village. My husband and I are both West Michigan transplants and have fallen in love with the area, settling down with our daughter Madison, and our old boxer pup, Burton. We spend a lot of our time ‘up north’ and are truly Mitten mainstays! A few fun facts about me…I am a VERY passionate college football fan, I have two Bachelor degrees in Sports Medicine-Exercise Science & Nursing and I love a good thunderstorm.
When the opportunity to be an instructor came up, I wasn’t sure if I had the time to commit to teaching. I had been a loyal client since the day the Ada studio opened in 2017 while pregnant in my second trimester with Madison. I was passionate about the practice and knew from my own body how much healthier and stronger I felt (pregnant or not). I went back to work for 3 months as a nurse after Madison’s birth, but decided that stepping away from nursing for a while was the best decision for my family and I. This decision opened the door for me to seriously consider being an instructor at Alkalign. Becoming an instructor gave me the ability to continue to have a positive impact on people’s lives. It’s a professional outlet for me as an Exercise Science/Nurse junkie, it helps me in my own Alkalign practice and I can still focus on being “Mom.” Most importantly, being an instructor helps me maintain “Me.”
Some days I miss the impact I had on people as a nurse – helping people and being the best part of their day. Alkalign allows me to keep that feeling, but in a manageable way so that I can still be an important presence at home for Madison. Being an instructor and mom fits our lives! As an added bonus, it has helped me be more present when I am taking class. I’ve noticed as a mom that having true mind-body connection and focusing on myself for 45 minutes to an hour is so important. I am so much more present in my practice now than I was before becoming an instructor.
When I teach or attend class during the day, it’s nice to have the ability to bring Madie with me. Our playroom and staff are caring and attentive. It allows Madie to grow up with an awareness that self-care and exercise are vital to overall good health and that helping other people be the best versions of themselves has a far-reaching positive impact. I hope she looks back at her Mom one day and understands that I made the best decisions for myself and our family and she can too.
My advice for anyone with children who is considering teaching is to look in the mirror and realize that you truly are capable of things you might not think you are. Alkalign is a family, a great team to be a part of, and we all support each other. Some of the best parts of my day are in our studio in Ada. Madison cracks me up when she helps put my weights away after class — She watches everything, soaks it all in and by taking care of myself and others, I am teaching her to do the same someday.
Interested in learning more about joining Team Alkalign? Click the link below!
Thank you to Lizzie, Katherine, Cathy, Pauline, Erin, and the entire team for creating a place where I felt like I could really fit in. I never played a sport and had no athletic experience of any kind. Aside from a year with a personal trainer getting ready for Half Dome in 2011, I had little formal exercise instruction. I have tendonitis and am pre-carpal tunnel, so I have issues with making sure exercises are safe. I also have perfectionist disordered thinking, so I want to give up when I fail (yes, therapy).
Alkalign was the first group workout that I felt I could actually do. They’re super focused on form and offer lots of modification options, so I learned safe ways to exercise without pissing off my elbows and wrists. I learned “less is more” – do the best form with whatever movement that results in, and maybe it’s very little movement, or maybe no weights – and that’s ok! During class, they’re constantly checking my form and cueing me to check myself. Some of the teachers and regular class attendees are ripped AF for inspiration!
Alkalign took in my non-exercising self, my pregnant self (there are often pregnant, even very pregnant, women in class), and my postpartum post C-section self. After all my life stages, they also took in my working way too much self for several rounds! Each time I fell off the Alkalign wagon (because life happens), I came back in a different phase in my life, with a different body and Alkalign was always the right place.
Now that I’m moving, I’m going to be hunting people willing and worthy of opening an Alkalign franchise in the East Bay area so that I can keep taking classes there.
After umpteen years of pounding the pavement and flirting with every new exercise trend – and having just received a “gnarly MRI” on my knee – the stars aligned and Elise Fiechtner brought Alkalign to Ada, Michigan. I quickly learned that “low impact” doesn’t mean “low challenge.” Alkalign workouts kick my butt! They work every single fiber in my body and awaken my core and muscle groups that I’d unknowingly ignored for decades. I now understand proper alignment and functional movement and have learned how to recover through Recharge (rolling). Beyond all the health benefits, I’ve become part of this uber-supportive, humble, fun, come-as-you-are community.
The movement/practice both feeds my body and quiets my mind. I’ve entered my 60’s with new-found health and gusto, and I credit Alkalign. I Alkalign so I can do everything else in my life.
Being active outside in nature is everything to me. It’s my happy, healing, and creative place. I’m hiking long distances with zero knee pain. My dogs, Obie and Emmie, love our adventures at Seidman Park and along the Lake Michigan shoreline and dunes. I can tackle my favorite mountain bike course with joy and relative ease. I call Riley Trails “extreme for seniors” but it thrills me to no end to fly through the forest and handle nature’s obstacles as they come. I catch myself smiling when I’m biking 🙂
With the knee diagnosis, I’d wondered whether I’d ever ski again – but on a recent trip to Montana, I not only skied for five days, but I received the ultimate compliment from my ski coach son, Peter. “You’ve never skied better, Mom!” Last year I took up Paddleboarding. Talk about recruiting your core!
Most important of all…I’m able to be an active Nana to sweet “Oh Henry,” who’s almost three. He’s also a nature lover and, like his dad was as a toddler, he’s loaded with energy and eager for everything. There’s so darn much to discover. I’m up for his cries of “One more time” and “Let’s do it again.” Put a price on that! Henry’s new brother will arrive in August. I can’t wait.
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.
“In case of emergency, air masks will drop from the ceiling. Please put your own mask on before helping others.” We’ve all heard this on airplanes and perhaps half-heartedly pay attention to those safety instructions before taking off, but there’s validity in that phrase…..both on a plane and in life. The message is clear: take care of yourself first so that you can help others. Unfortunately, we don’t always do that and our own self-care is not prioritized.
At Alkalign, we put the mind/body connection at the forefront of our practice. Here are 3 reasons why you should commit to your overall health and join us in our studio on a regular basis.
1. Physical Activity Improves Your Mood. If we sound like a broken record telling you what you already know, that’s probably because many people don’t make physical activity a priority in their self-care practice. So here’s your reminder! Exercise helps your body produce endorphins, aka the body’s natural ‘feel good’ hormones. The simple act of devoting an hour a day can de-stress and focus you, improving your overall mental health. Simply put….exercise feels good from the inside out.
2. Community & Human Connection Are Essential for Happiness. In our digital world, the need for human connection is more important than ever. Our studio is full of upbeat music, positive energy and Alkalign buddies that help you feel more connected in an increasingly disconnected world. You will also find camaraderie, accountability, support and motivation to move beyond your workout plateaus by positioning yourself next to a friend who pushes you!
3. We Invest in the WHOLE You. Alkalign provides the tools to help you change your life. We are built on the belief that balance is the foundation for life. Balance is what keeps us grounded and what challenges us to push our limits. Whether your life has become unbalanced or you just need a little alignment in your life, Alkalign aims to care for the whole you.
Ready to commit to your self-care routing? Check out your local Alkalign studio for the schedule!
As I reflect upon the past year, I would never have dreamed that I would do one Alkalign class, yet a year later I’m at almost 200 classes! I never considered myself an “excerisey” person, and definitely not a barre class person. No way. Not me. I tried a barre class years ago and I was so sore for so long that I never wanted to go back.
A year ago, struggling with insomnia and joint pain from hypermobility was my normal, and it was exhausting. I knew this was not the life I was meant to live. It was time for me to focus on my health and time for me to find help.
On Valentine’s Day in 2018, I tried my first Alkalign class as a ‘love note’ to myself. My very first Alkalign class was a 101 class with Danielle. I was pleasantly surprised that the class practices the exact exercises I was instructed from my physical therapist to do daily but NEVER did them. Using a block between my feet reminded me to think about my gait. My Alkalign instructor helped me recognize that my shoulders, my neck, my knees, all my body needed to be in alignment. I described the class as “group PT”, and YES I would be back.
Eventually, I graduated from 101 to Align and I even was brave enough to try Cardio! I was hooked on feeling healthy, I was falling asleep easier and waking up without SI pain.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness. I have had the longest stretch of pain-free days in many years. The sharp, stabbing, fire pain of my SI (sacroiliac joint) has subsided. Alkalign has taught me life lessons in a supportive community with genuinely caring instructors. The most important thing for me, which I constantly repeat to everyone I meet, is “self-care is the new health care.” How true it is.
I’ve learned that taking care of myself helps me live pain-free and my feelings have trickled down to my relationship with my family. Here’s to 300 classes! Thank you Alkalign.