Testimonial: Melissa S.—Alkalign for Equestrians

On a whim, on my birthday, I tried a free intro class at Alkalign and was taken with the joy and energy of the instructors. It was the middle of winter in Michigan, and I needed a new project. Immediately, I found the classes fun, varied, and well-paced. I started regularly taking classes. I love how the instructors share their knowledge and give individualized tips for improvement. My strength has been building week after week, but most importantly, I have been thrilled with how my improved sense of body awareness and alignment has transformed my communication with my horse and improved my riding.

 

In my first few classes at Alkalign, I could see that I was uneven in my strength and flexibility. I was amazed how this unevenness mirrored my horses’ weaknesses. I tried all of the classes, and each one—Align, Cardio, and Recharge—has helped me in a different way to build strength, find balance, and release tension in various muscles. The supportive and encouraging environment keeps me motivated to continue cross-training.

 

Although I still have a long way to go to meet my equestrian goals, with my increased flexibility and core strength, I can now ride in a more balanced, even position, which helps to support my horse as we learn more challenging movements in our sport of dressage.

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.

Mental Illness + Recovery: Alkalign Sustains Me

 

You don’t need to know this. I’m not even sure I want to tell you. But I think it’s important.

 

For the past 4 years, I have been on a major self-discovery journey. It sounds nice, but truly it has been the hardest 4 years of my life. I did not purposefully start the journey. The drastic downward spiral of my mental health pushed me to it.

 

I have always experienced some level of depression and anxiety, but my symptoms fully erupted as an adult. I did not reach out for help, and, to be honest, I didn’t think I needed help. I moved through life with a mask on, hiding my troubles with a smile, but about 2 years ago, I lost control. I spiraled down quickly and could no longer cope with how I was feeling. I needed help, and I am lucky that a few people in my life were able to take over and literally save me.

 

I was diagnosed with myriad mental health issues, including bipolar disorder, and I stayed in the hospital for quite a while under constant care so I could learn the tools to take care of myself. After more recovery time at home, I was ready to slowly re-enter the outside world. I was equipped with a diagnosis, medications, awareness techniques and therapy sessions, but I was out of balance. My time away had taken a toll on everything, including my spirit and my body, which was dealing with the effects of new medications and lack of movement.

 

What was missing for me was Alkalign. My body was weak and tired, and I needed exercise. I also needed my Alkalign community.

 

I have been an avid Alkalign fan for years. I share my love by teaching the Alkalign principles multiple times a week, I exercise there daily, and sometimes I stop by just to hang out. Taking class every day was what kept me going through really hard times in my life. It was one hour to nourish my body and my soul. I took class to clear my mind and strengthen my body, and I didn’t realize at the time how much my 1 or 2 hours a day at the studio were keeping me together.

 

When I was finally ready to go back to Alkalign, I hesitated. I needed to come back to my community, but I was also embarrassed and worried. Had people noticed I was away? What did they know? What did they think of me? I didn’t want anyone to know what I had recently gone through or how truly sick I was. Mental illness still has a stigma attached to it even though most of us experience some version of it or know someone who does. It’s seen negatively, as a sign of weakness and failure. Social media doesn’t help, either, with its images of only smiling faces, happy families and exoctic vacations. I’m just as much to blame. I most definitely did not boomerang my medication 6 times a day or post any stories with my hospital location.

 

Luckily, my good friend and Alkalign founder, Erin Paruszewski, was there to help me every step of the way, even persuading me to stay on as an instructor. She knew everything I had gone through yet still wanted me on her team. I wasn’t alone, and I didn’t need to be embarrassed. Hiding who I am and my struggles along the way are not what Alkalign is about. When we say Alkalign embraces what is “real, raw and human,” we truly mean it. It takes real strength and the will to be raw and open with yourself to accept who you are even if it means learning you need help.

 

Together, Erin and I devised a plan to bring me back to life. She knew what I needed and helped me return in a way that was comfortable for both of us. I started out taking class and working at the front desk. Having an appointment to keep and just being in the Alkalign environment were enough to start, and I eventually went back to teaching. Then and now, my day basically revolves around when I will be at Alkalign. In the studio, I feel focused and a sense of normalcy, especially when taking class. You have to listen, do what the instructor says and feel what’s happening in your body. It’s kind of a break from your own brain. I think of Alkalign as my moving meditation.

 

I am proud for surviving everything I have to get to this point. I am not “cured”; there is no cure. I have gotten help, though. I take my medication consistently, and I am aware of the status of my health. I can say that I have a mental illness and that I am also a healthy functioning member of my family and community.

 

When I started writing this, I felt like I was admitting to doing something wrong. My anxiety rose with each draft as I worried about being judged, patronized or, worse, ostracized. I don’t have any expert advice, and I don’t understand the many levels of mental illness. What I do know is how I feel and what I have gone through. And that is why I want to start a conversation about mental health and hopefully lighten the darkness that surrounds it. I am not saying you need to shout your problems from the rooftop, but it is our responsibility to be real! That’s why I am allowing myself to be vulnerable and saying that I struggle every single day.

 

Don’t feel sorry for me. I am a strong woman, and my illness doesn’t define me. I have bipolar disorder, I live my life, and I thrive thanks to Alkalign.

Your Feet Affect How Well You Forward Fold

At Alkalign, we believe that mobility is the missing link for many people when it comes to fitness. Do you know that if you can run a marathon but cannot touch your toes, you are not fit?

 

Everyone has more and less mobile spots in their bodies, and the great news is that you can easily improve your less mobile areas (as well as address and prevent pain) by rolling with yoga therapy balls.

 

Take the forward fold challenge shown in the video below and see how you do before and after rolling your feet. No yoga balls? A tennis ball will work, but we highly recommend investing in balls specifically designed for body work instead of sports.

 

Read more about mobility and rolling here, and if you’re near a studio, check out our Recharge and +Recharge classes!

 

Grateful for 3 Years of Alkalign

I am so proud to celebrate our 3rd Alk-iversary! It has been amazing to watch this company grow the past few years. From an idea in its infancy to four thriving studios, we have created something special at Alkalign. It’s more than a studio. It’s more than a workout. It’s community. It’s connection. It’s authentic.

 

In a world that moves way too fast with too many filters, Alkalign remains real, raw and human. We are a team of individuals, a family of originals. You inspire us to innovate. We inspire each other to evolve.

 

I’ve always said my mission in life is to help people feel better from the inside out. I’m grateful that I get to do this every day with Alkalign. What we offer in terms of exercise, nutrition and community contributes to the physical and emotional wellness of thousands of people — and we are honored you’re our people. Thank you for your loyalty and support. We are committed to serving you for years to come.

 

In gratitude,
Erin

 

 

Alkalign Takes Elite Athletes to the Next Level

 

Once a week last summer, the Alkalign studio in Irvine was filled with men learning about alignment and body awareness and improving their fitness through Alkalign’s signature functional fitness formats. But these were not regular clients.

 

Studio owner Kate Biber was working with elite athletes trying out for a Southern California semi-pro soccer team. The team’s coach had her train his players to improve their body control and agility — key skills required in soccer. He also wanted to improve his team’s game fitness and recovery time. Kate’s training was also meant to evaluate the players in a new way and assist in the team’s selection process. She began their training with a Cardio Align class to assess the players’ fitness and to understand what education was required.

 

“It was really interesting to me that these top athletes didn’t know what they had, bodywise,” Kate says. “I spent a lot of time training alignment of feet, knees, hips and spine for them to find their best position. I wanted to help them understand that they’re in charge. It’s not simply momentum, which is what they were used to depending on to perform. Their mentality was: Just run faster!”

 

Kate observed the players in practices to identify areas where her expertise could be helpful. One of the things she noticed was that everyone looked at the ground when they ran, whether going for the ball or not, and, subsequently, their shoulders were significantly rounded. So she worked on posture and form and guided them to understand the bigger picture through strengthening the whole body and bringing more focus to their core stability and strength.

 

“I tried to empower them to be aware of the relationship of the abdominals and the legs,” Kate says. “You can’t run unless you have a strong core and know how to use it.”

 

Kate also noticed the players running with what she calls “kipper feet.” They ran with their legs in a turned-out position so the inner edges of the feet would be in the position to receive the ball. Positioning feet forward and knees over toes provides more power, which helps players run faster and change direction more easily. So Kate helped reset their ready stance: feet forward; abdominals engaged; strong, tall posture; and chin parallel to the ground.

 

At first, the players were skeptical of Kate’s methods.

 

“I could tell that they didn’t really think it was going to work,” Kate says. “So I said: ‘I know this works. I know I’m the only girl among 30 guys, but this is going to work!’”

 

And the players were surprised when low-impact training did work. They were used to shuttle runs and burpees and cranking out push-ups with terrible form. They didn’t realize that training doesn’t have to impact the joints to be effective.

 

“It’s not harder; it’s better and smarter,” Kate says. “That’s what I kept telling them. There’s no point in doing anything unless you position the body correctly. Just doing it and sweating is not enough.”

 

After a few weeks, Kate focused the training on the functional movements of soccer players. They move in all planes, so the Cardio Align class was ideal because the format balances symmetric/asymmetric movement in all planes of motion with exercises such as lunges, pendulums, and single-leg squats.

 

“Those workouts were so much fun,” Kate says. “These guys would be yelling at me to be done, and I would say: ‘If you want it, work harder!’ The players progressed above and beyond what I expected. I worked so hard to motivate them and give them attention to detail they had never seen before. And those who were selected for the team were the ones who used everything I gave them to their advantage. I definitely grew as a teacher having this experience.”

 

The players also learned that more running is not the solution to better fitness. Some players were running 10 miles a day in addition to training at Alkalign, and Kate and their coach had to beg them not to run beyond what was needed in games and practices.

 

“I would say, ‘Please don’t run. You’re just wearing everything out!’’’ Kate says.

 

When the players stopped the extra running and continued to put in a lot of effort in Kate’s training, they started to be able to do more and move better. Some of them lost weight, which improved their speed, and they reported sleeping better, standing taller and being free of aches and pains.

 

“Every class was totally kicking their butts,” Kate says. “Once I started to see them strengthen, I changed some of the exercises and brought them away from the barre as there’s no barre on the field! For example, we moved between a wide-turned-out position and a traditional lunge, which means pivoting on both feet, a very functional movement for soccer players. Lateral explosion comes from this as well — moving from the center line to the lateral side really quickly and having the confidence that your body is going where you want it to, without getting injured all the time.”

 

As the training progressed, Kate began to include more stretching and Recharge in her classes and was once again surprised that most of the players didn’t expect that they needed to look after their bodies or tune them up in any way. In conjunction with the team’s chiropractor, Kate also worked with the players on getting to areas of tension in their bodies so they could know their limitations and help prevent injuries.

 

Some of the players had existing injuries, but they showed up to every session. Kate worked one on one with these players to give advice on ways to work around their injuries and to teach them modifications to assist in recovery and continue to build strength. Kate says many of their foot and knee issues resolved over time because of the gluteus medius strengthening they did in her workouts. The players also had fewer instances of strain/tear to the groin, the No. 1 injury in soccer, because Alkalign’s back-body strengthening provided support to prevent this issue.

 

“Most of the guys were between 20 and 30, and at that age, their plan is to just to keep going and muscle it out,” Kate says. “And that’s fine if you’re in good health and don’t have any issues. But if you do, you have to be more thoughtful about it. Part of body awareness is knowing when to scale it back a little bit. So they got to know their limitations, especially when we rolled on the therapy balls. Recharge was a really eye-opening experience for them.”

 

It was after a month of Alkalign training that the team selected their players. According to Kate, the guys who “mastered” the alignment principles and were the most body aware were those who ended up making the team.

 

“I went to their games and saw these guys improve even beyond what they thought they were capable of,” Kate says. “They ran so fast!”

 

The coach was really happy with the results. It was easier for him to select players for the team and to identify who should play what position. Alkalign training showed which players were ready and able to perform and yielded information on who was physically best suited to perform some movements versus others.

 

Says Kate: “I was pretty sure my training was going to get them where they wanted to go, but I wasn’t 100 percent as I don’t know anything about soccer! But this experience really proved that you can transfer what we do in the studio to anything. If you put in the work at Alkalign, you get results whatever the sport.”

Overripe Bananas? Make Muffins!

What do you do with overripe bananas? You can freeze them (but peel first; I learned that the hard way) and use them at a later date. Or why not bake today?

 

Currently, my favorite thing to share is banana muffins from Bakerita.com. This recipe includes dark chocolate chips and almond butter but no additional sugar. I add a “dollop” of almond butter in the center of each before baking. If you came to my class this past week, you had a “taster.” These muffins are fast and easy to bake and, even better, make a great grab-and-go snack. Enjoy!

 

—Pauline

 

Testimonial: Tami Dickins — Transformed + Inspired

Eight year ago, during my second trimester of pregnancy (with my first child), I discovered Alkalign (then Dailey Method). I had no idea how much this community would transform my life, health, and training routine. As a retired competitive triathlete and overworked tech employee, I needed something that focused on overall wellness, mobility, and flexibility — and also fit into my increasingly schedule-challenged life. Alkalign was the answer.

 

Like many women, I encountered increasing aches and pains from cycling, running, playing tennis, carrying babies, grabbing groceries, and sitting at a desk. Alkalign has helped me to overcome any pain or issue I have encountered. The instructors are amazing, knowledgeable, friendly, and super helpful. I also find the music inspiring. Gentle yet also challenging, Alkalign delivers amazing results. It has changed my body and simply makes me happy!

 

Regardless of whether you are athletic, pregnant, have never exercised a day in your life, hate to sweat, or don’t own workout clothes, just try it! There isn’t a better place to be. Eight years later, I’m still hooked.

 

Thank you, Erin, for following your dream; thank you to the instructors and childcare staff; and thank you to the fabulous people I see each week in my classes for pushing me and encouraging me every day!

Testimonial: Cheryl R. — Overcoming Injury in Ada

I have been active all my life and especially love swimming, running, downhill skiing, hiking and taking group fitness classes. However, years of distance running, skiing wipeouts and a serious bike accident have taken a toll, causing osteoarthritis throughout my entire body and disc issues in my back.

 

I decided to try Alkalign in April 2017 on the recommendation of friends. Today, I have totally embraced the concept and really enjoy this new fitness community.  Alkalign classes allow for a lot more personal attention than other classes. I never knew I needed this kind of attention as much as I really do! The focus on proper body alignment and form has been amazing. The instructors are very knowledgeable in helping me modify exercises to accommodate all of my limitations without losing the burn.  

 

The low-impact nature of the practice has given me a whole new view of challenging my body. I am finding muscles and engagement in totally new ways, even after years of exercise!  At Alkalign, there are so many modifications that work for my body so I can actually do the entire workout and really build the kind of strength and stability my body needs.   

 

I also really enjoy the challenge of the mind–body focus. This has been such a nice reset for me because I realized how mindlessly I had moved for so long.  Maintaining proper body alignment to find full muscle engagement has really turned into optimal results in my body. I have gained more muscle tone and strength in the last 8 months than I have in the last 25 years of traditional and rigorous strength training!   

Testimonial: Chelsea Su — Connecting in Irvine

I feel obliged to share my excellent experience at Alkalign–Irvine. I’ve been coming regularly for over half a year now and am still surprised every time about how good a workout I get, in an hour or less. The owner, Kate, is an absolute gem who makes the effort to remember your name from day one and to talk to you in depth about your health needs and how to make your fitness journey your own. Her upbeat personality always lights up your day and pushes you to work harder.

 

All the instructors at Alkalign are professional, knowledgeable, and approachable. They also always respect how you feel and where your body wants to be. I grew up a dancer and have done aerial, spinning, boxing, and TRX on a regular basis. I have to say that Alkalign is definitely the best workout I’ve tried so far! Alkalign’s focus on maintaining alignment, learning about your body, and prioritizing yourself is a mindful philosophy that I absolutely live by.

 

I’m not a fan of big-box gym and corporate yoga places that make you feel small and like just another customer paying for the membership. Alkalign is a place where you get to customize your fitness journey and get a full-body workout that’s never the same every time you come to class, not to mention the intimacy and personal connection that you’ll be sure to experience from day one.

 

I highly recommend Alkalign to anyone looking for a safe, mindful, and kick-ass workout. I cannot say enough good things about it!

 

Testimonial: Alkalign Saved Me

Dear Erin,

 

I have just returned home from a routine run through Wunderlich Park in Woodside. As I was running down the mountain, enjoying the spectacular morning and accompanied by an inspirational book on Audible, somehow my footing gave out beneath me. As I realized I was not going to regain my footing or avoid falling, my next thought was how to brace myself so as not to do a complete face plant (a little embarrassing here but a funny visual, I know) or have a serious injury. Somehow, Alkalign popped into my mind as I was losing ground, and in that moment, I was able to keep myself up until I could find a safe place and position to land. This is where my Alkalign training of the past almost 10 years comes in. Without having attended your classes, I would not have had the strength or bandwidth to pull this off. Oh, did I mention that I got up, brushed myself off, scanned my body for injuries and continued my run with only a couple of very minor scrapes?

 

In the end, I did not come to Alkalign to lose weight (I didn’t need to) or get fit (I was already in shape). I came to strengthen, tone and stretch. Never would I have known all these years later that Alkalign continues to keep me safe, strong and in one piece while living my active lifestyle.

 

Thanks to your dedication, creativity and guidance, I have received beyond measure what I expected. The community of women are among the loveliest on the mid-Peninsula.

 

Keep up the amazing work!

 

Much love,
Suzanne

 

Testimonial: Alkalign Instructor Training

Marlene Thompson completed her Alkalign Instructor Training in November 2017 and began teaching in the Grand Rapids studio. Here are her thoughts on the process.

 

What training was like

It was intense, overwhelming, fun and so interesting. I felt a bit like a deer in the headlights at first, but I learned very quickly to trust the process and my mentors and not to stress the small things. It will all come together, even though in the beginning it may seem so far out of reach. Also, keep in mind that you get out of it what you put into it. If you put the time in and stay up to date on the lessons, you will always feel prepared for each teach back. You may not LOVE all your teach backs (I recall a couple that I didn’t feel good about), but do the work and you’ll be OK. 🙂

 

 

What she learned about herself

I learned that even I can have patience! I never considered myself a patient person, but I learned through the training process that I have to be patient and kind to myself. I have to be patient learning the practice (still learning, always learning) and mastering the details I struggle with in teaching.

 

I have also learned that getting up at 4:30 a.m. to teach a 6 a.m. class isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I actually like it and have just started to attend the 6 a.m. classes that I’m not teaching!

 

How teaching for Alkalign has changed her life

It has improved my health and overall quality of life. I went from a Creative Director job — sitting in a chair for 40+ hours a week with eyes on a monitor and bad posture, rushing, stressing and never having any time to breath — to Alkalign, where moving, breathing, practicing good posture and releasing stress is all part of the job. Plus, I’ve found a great balance with teaching and starting my new freelance design studio. I’m still repairing the physical damage caused by such a stressful and unhealthy situation, but it gets better every day. My family appreciates it, too.

 

We all have a story and a life journey we are on. I see so many different kinds of people with different challenges and triumphs. As an instructor, I feel so privileged to be part of those journeys. A workout may not seem like much, but to many who walk in the door, it’s the best part of their day. I feel honored to be part of that.

Testimonial: Monica Garcia — Alkalign + Pregnancy

I first came to Alkalign when my daughter was 3 months old. I had done Pilates and used to be a dancer, and I had heard from a friend that there was childcare. I knew that with a newborn I needed some time for myself — at least an hour a day!

 

The front desk person showed me the Playroom, told me staff could feed my daughter and that they would call me if she cried. As a first-time mom, I was nervous about leaving her. But I knew I needed that time, and it was the best decision I ever made.

 

Even though my daughter wasn’t sleeping through the night yet and I was sleep-deprived, I felt like that time for myself gave me tons of energy. If I was stressed or moody, I would feel so much better and more human after taking class. I usually went to class Monday-Friday, and my daughter came with me every day. I became so disciplined because it was so good for me. I didn’t want to miss out on that time for myself. And I’m planning to do the same with this baby.

 

Everyone at Alkalign is so loving and caring. They knew my daughter right away, and since we’re not from the area and don’t have family around, having a support system at least at Alkalign really helped us. Having friendly faces smile at you and ask how your baby’s doing and knowing that you have time for yourself at least once a day make a great difference.

 

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I exercised until I was 10 weeks, when I was put on bed rest. It was super hard for me because I’m used to being very active. And exercise is a way of relieving stress, and I feel like it is therapy for me. I sleep better; I’m in a better mood. That’s why I’m so consistent with my exercise. I just feel it is really good for me. So bed rest was hard.

 

With this baby, I have been able to keep my workout routine basically like I had it up until the last month. I feel like I’ve slept much better with this baby, and my circulation is better because of the stretching. And even if things come up that stress me out, every day stress, I can manage much better because of exercising.

 

Modifying positions and exercises in class while pregnant has been pretty easy. All the instructors are helpful and check to make sure I am doing OK. Basically, I’ve had to modify the abdominal exercises, which became harder and harder. And some of the seat work when you can’t go on your belly. I don’t feel left out from class at all. The class is very flexible in that you can modify for any kind of condition at any point.

 

Since I’m having a C-section, my doctor said I could come back in 8 weeks or so. I’m hoping since I’ve stayed active all the way till the end it will help me recover faster from the pregnancy. I also noticed with my daughter that my abdominal muscles got stretched and opened up a little bit, and I feel like all the ab exercises I did at Alkalign helped close them down again. I eventually regained my original body, well, kind of! And I am hoping for that again.

 

I’m going to miss the studio. But I’ll be back once I’m feeling better — and sleeping better!

 

P.S. My son was born Dec. 27, and my recovery has been amazing! Compared to my previous C-section, this one has been a breeze. The doctor even told me that they had trouble opening me up because my core was so tight. I guess that’s thanks to all the seated seat. I truly believe taking class all the way to the end has helped a ton. Hopefully this means I will be able to be back in class sooner than I think!

Alkalign Classes+Nourish Fuel Endurance Runner

This past fall, my husband and I ran in our 2nd annual Reebok Ragnar Relay, which consists of 12 people, 2 vans and 200-ish miles of running non stop through the day and night (and into the next day). Ragnar Michigan starts in Muskegon, and we run along Lake Michigan up to Traverse City. We run, sleep (if we are lucky), run and repeat for about 30 hours.

 

I have run half marathons as well as this relay before, but this race was different. I had been taking 3 classes or more a week at Alkalign and participating in Nourish, and I discovered how important nutrition and functional training are in endurance runs.

 

I was runner No. 11 out of our team of 12, so it felt like I waited forever to run my first leg. I finally got out of the van to stretch my legs and hit my running stride at around 3 p.m. I hadn’t run hard training for this race as I was intending to take it slow and just put one foot in front of the other. I got through my first leg, which was 3.1 miles, at a pace that was about a minute and a half faster than my team (or I) expected. I felt amazing! But I was worried I was going to feel it later.

 

I thought my second leg was going to be a bit more challenging. Our van was running the graveyard shift, and I didn’t start running again until 2 a.m. The conditions were perfect: The sky was clear, the moon was bright, and I was starting in my hometown, right behind my old high school. It was 6 miles of brisk night air and chasing the moon to my next checkpoint. I flew through those miles. I felt strong and had plenty of energy to see me through to the end. The last 0.8 of a mile was all uphill, and I thought I would struggle more than I did. It was hard, but I engaged my core, climbed that hill and met my teammate at 3 a.m. with a smile on my face!

 

As I recovered, I ate some of the Nourish-friendly foods I had packed for energy. Instead of sugary fuel packets/drinks, I relied on protein-packed, high-energy foods I had learned about from the Nourish group. I had homemade protein balls (which were very popular with the people in our van!), Elemental Bars and all my favorite fruits and vegetables that I knew would give me the energy I needed. Two key things that I learned from Nourish helped me feel my best during this race: 1) Sugar is a quick fix but not a sustainable fuel and 2) higher quality foods make you feel great inside, which results in a more satisfying performance! I felt nutritionally sound from the inside out.

 

While waiting for my next run, I became aware that I didn’t have any of the usual aches or pains in my left knee or hips. Due to 3 pregnancies, my hips are always out of place. Due to running, my hip flexors always seem tight and sore. My left knee has a slight injury that always spoke to me after longer runs, but it wasn’t bothering me at all. In fact, I realized that I hadn’t “felt” my knee in months. This was my first a-ha moment. The Alkalign workouts had strengthened my body so effectively that my running aches and pains were gone!

 

My biggest challenge was ahead with my last run. I had 7.2 miles of hills on little to no sleep after already running 9 miles over the past 24 hours. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to do it. I was feeling good, but I was having flashbacks of running this relay last year and barely making it through my last leg. This time I had over 7 miles and elevations that looked like a panicked gazelle’s EKG in a lion’s den. One of my teammates said, “Don’t worry about it. The weather is perfect, and it’s just one more opportunity you get to run. Not everyone can do this, so go have fun.” He was right on. I turned up my music, tapped into my core strength and enjoyed the run.

 

Running this relay after spending 6 months at Alkalign made me a stronger person and a stronger runner. Running this relay after doing a full 3 weeks of Nourish fueled my body for optimal nutrition. I’m not the fastest runner, but I am stronger than I have been in a long time. Not only am I stronger, I’m physically more comfortable! I love that I can do the activities that I love without feeling any discomfort. During this relay, I realized that running is about more than just pulling my body forward. It’s about having a strong balanced body, both from strength training and nutrition training!

 

At Alkalign, we spend time strengthening hamstrings and spinal extensor muscles, and we work the back body equal to the front body. This focus on building the back body is one of the big reasons I ran so comfortably for every leg of the relay. I realized I was no longer going into my runs focused only on my quads to get me through. When those big hills got hard, I engaged my core, keyed into my neutral spine and let my back body push me over the hill. We all know pushing is easier than pulling, so it only makes sense that strengthening the back body is key to an overall strong body.

 

I am not downplaying the importance of strong quads. My quads are also definitely stronger because thigh work at Alkalign is so intense (I’m talking to you, Neutral Spine Chair). The strength in my quads helped my running, but it was most important to squatting for this race. The porta potties are plentiful when spending 30 hours living in a van!

Alkalign Thrives in the Midwest

The Alkalign studio in Ada, Michigan, (near Grand Rapids) has been open for nine months. It’s the first studio outside of California, but owner Elise Fiechtner and her team have proven that Alkalign’s brand of high-quality, effective workouts within a welcoming community resonate as much in the The Mitten as in The Golden State. Here’s what three Michigan clients have to say.

 

 

I am definitely in debt to Alkalign for all the amazing results and changes I’ve experienced from being there for 4 months! The staff is great, and the inspiring environment is unreal. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been working on my own at home or at the gym trying to get to the physical shape that I’m in now without injury or having to work through hip and back pain. My hips have ALWAYS been out of line, and for the first time I’m as aligned as ever without going to a chiropractor!

 

Alkalign is exercise with physical therapy aspects, which is the best combination ever! I’m stronger than I’ve EVER been and am finally seeing changes and great results. And bonus: I don’t struggle with any hip pain. Alkalign provides instruction and the mindset to listen to your body and to work carefully through exercise in proper alignment to reduce injury or discomfort. I’m most appreciative of the staff who are so welcoming and also willing to help clients with any injuries. They care enough to see how you’re doing and guide you with stretches and solutions to your problems. You can’t get that kind of care and attention anywhere else. These ladies are the best, and I’m so grateful for all the help, instruction, and motivation that they provide me every time I’m there!
—Julie K.

 

 

I am 18 years old and graduated from high school this past May. I wanted to work out and get in better shape so I decided to join my mom at Alkalign this summer before I left for college. I loved Alkalign! I felt like it trained my body for life outside of class. I felt stronger and better about my body. I loved the instructors; they got to know me personally and cared about me. They were encouraging and pushed me when I wanted to stop. After going to Alkalign, I feel different about working out and about my body. I’d encourage everyone, especially young people, to try it.
—Meredith S.

 

 


I started doing Alkalign this fall. Sixteen years ago while I was pregnant with my third child, I experienced a bulging disc in my lower back in between the lumbar vertebrae L4 and L5. I had a shift in my spine for many months. After the baby was born, I got back to normal through physical therapy and continued to be fairly active. As I got older, I didn’t continue to do as much strength training, and eventually my lower back began to cause me pain again. For the last two years, I have been doing physical therapy a couple times a week and gotten three cortisone injections. The injections did alleviate some of the pain, but I was still limited in what I was able to do and had a lot of pain if I sat for long periods of time.

 

Through a friend’s recommendation, I decided to try Alkalign. I have stuck to a fairly regular routine of taking class three times a week. Every time I leave class, my whole body, but in particular my back, feels strong and supported. I have very little pain, and if I do experience any, I know exactly how to alleviate it. I cancelled my appointment for the last injection and have stopped going to physical therapy. I now consider my three times a week at Alkalign my own physical therapy. It has made a big difference for me, and I hope to continue the practice indefinitely!

—Kacie M.

 

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