Alignment Snacks: Let's Do the TwistKaty Bowman
Year Released: 2013
Categories: Athletic Stretch , Instructional / How To Videos , Special Health Conditions
Katy Bowman’s “Alignment Snacks” are short (20-30 minute) downloads which focus on body alignment. In each “snack,” Katy leads an unseen (but not unheard) class through an alignment session consisting of various stretches and/or gentle exercises. These movements are performed while Katy provides information on proper alignment. The snacks currently cost $5 each; you can find them on her website (katysays.com or restorativeexercise.com) under the “Move” tab.
This review is for Let’s Do the Twist, a 29 minute alignment session which works on torso rotation. It also has some nice adductor and quad stretches as well, although these are not the focus of the session. This one is all done lying on the floor. Very nice!
The class starts with an exercise to show how to establish a neutral pelvis while keeping the ribs down (3 minutes). The rest of the class involves spinal rolls, twists, crescent stretches, an adductor stretch, and a quad/shoulder stretch. Some of these stretches provide good range of motion feedback and/or give an indication of your movement habits. Katy gives good alignment information throughout.
At the end of the session there is some “bonus” material. The first 30 seconds are Katy explaining that it’s ok to be sore after this one (which clarified something she said during the class — you shouldn’t get so sore you need Tylenol); this was filmed in black and white and had the feel of an outtake. There is also another 30 seconds of Katy showing her baby to the camera (in color). Random!
Equipment used: a mat, a half dome/block/pillow, and a strap (optional)
What I Liked / 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. That said, I thought this one was fairly stretchy, so it could work as a stretch workout if you’re looking for one with a lot of twists.
I felt great at the end of this one. However, this was my second time through and I didn’t feel much after I’d done it the first time (several weeks ago). I think that’s because some of Katy’s cues were unclear to me; this was not helped by her dark clothing, which made it hard to see what she was doing.
The positives are that the stretches are held for a fairly long time, and some of them feel wonderful. Katy also gives good information about when the stretches are contraindicated, which can be important to someone who has spinal surgery or a hip replacement. This is one of the better snacks, in my opinion.
Katy is Katy. If you’ve done a lot of these, you’ll know what I mean. Her cues were sometimes unclear, but overall I thought she did a nice job. The class was quieter in this session — thankfully!