Alignment Snacks: Balance... With Lateral Hips

Katy Bowman
Year Released: 2013

Categories: Athletic Stretch , Instructional / How To Videos , Seniors/Seated

Katy Bowman’s “Alignment Snacks” are short (20-30 minute) downloads which focus on body alignment. In each “snack,” Katy leads an unseen class through an alignment session consisting of various stretches and/or gentle exercises, which are performed while Katy provides information on proper alignment. The snacks currently cost $5 each; you can find them on her website ( under the “Move” tab.

This review is for Balance… With Lateral Hips, a 29.5 minute alignment session focused on the role of balance and hip movement in walking. This session is all standing. In it, Katy explains how hip strength is a key to good balance and to proper alignment when walking. She also explains why this is important (it reduces the risk of falling, places less stress on the knees, etc.).

There is very little stretching in this one. It’s mostly Katy talking about balance/hip strength and then having you try out what she’s talking about, so that you can see for yourself. The session consists of a number of rounds of balancing on one foot, and then the other. In each round, Katy adds an additional element (the first round is what you do naturally, the second uses the lateral hips, one round is with your eyes closed, etc.). In the last half, Katy introduces a yoga block and has you balance on that. There are some stretches for the top of the feet and a forward bend to stretch the legs, but mostly it’s balancing on one foot while Katy talks.

Equipment used: a yoga block

Things to Consider

The purpose of this session isn’t to work out. It’s to provide alignment information and then put it into practice through motion. If you’re looking for a nice stretch workout or an extreme balance challenge, you’ll be disappointed with this one. I would call this more of a lecture with the main points illustrated by movement, rather than a workout.

Also, there are a lot of muttered comments from the class (“wow!” and “so cool”). I usually can tune out this kind of thing, but here it is frequent and loud enough that it detracts from the session. Annoying!

That said, the information content of the session was interesting/useful, and Katy does do a few good exercises to assess your balance, so it was worthwhile for me. However, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one if you’re thinking of trying the Alignment Snacks, or you may never do another one.

Instructor Comments:
Katy is knowledgeable and her positioning cues are good.