Alignment Snacks: Walk This Way! Stand This Way

Katy Bowman
Year Released: 2013

Categories: Athletic Stretch , Instructional / How To Videos , Special Health Conditions



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Katy Bowman’s “Alignment Snacks” are short (20-30 minute) downloads which focus on body alignment. In each “snack,” Katy leads a mostly 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 (katysays.com) under the “Move” tab.

This review is for Walk This Way! Stand This Way, another 30 minute alignment session focused on the role of balance and hip movement in walking. (The “companion” snacks which focus on the same principles are “Balance… Using Lateral Hips” and “A Balanced Approach to Hip Strength.”) This session is all standing. In it, Katy discusses alignment as it relates to gait (i.e., how well you walk).

The class starts with an explanation of the role of balance in walking. As Katy talks, she has you balance on one leg using lateral hip strength (by pressing the foot of the standing leg on the floor), then she does a calf stretch. She has you do several more rounds of balancing variations (on a yoga block, on the flat side of a half dome), punctuated by calf stretches.

After about 18 minutes of this, you switch to stretching the lower body in a semi-squat position, followed by a stretch for the top of the foot and then a standing figure 4 stretch with the hips pushed back. You then go back up on your block for some hip listing and then do another figure 4 stretch and another top of the foot stretch. You finish by balancing on one leg on the floor in order to assess if your ability to balance has changed.

Equipment used: a half dome and 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.

The production values are less polished here. Several times in the first half of the class, there is a marked scene change, almost like a director yelled “cut!” The set is the same, but it’s obvious that the filming stopped and then started again. It’s not that distracting, just different.

Also, both the information and the exercises in this class are very similar to those in the “Balance… Using Lateral Hips” snack. I spent the first half of the class wondering if I’d done this before and had just forgotten! (I hadn’t.) Unless you are one of those people who has to have the whole set, you can give this one (or the other) a miss.

Instructor Comments:
Katy is knowledgeable and her positioning cues are good. She is also occasionally a little goofy (“Back your hips up, Katy-fusious say…")

shawnt

01/17/2015