Critical Alignment Therapy (CAT) is a highly effective way of working with injury, pain or poor physical movement patterns. This therapy is an excellent practice to reduce the pain that occurs from repetitive strain injuries, back injuries, postural pain and discomfort. It is also a great practice to increase and maintain general physical wellness and sports performance.
CAT is a practice that integrates specific props, yoga related exercises, and breath awareness to release the tension and strain, caused by stress and injury, in our body's large surface muscles. Once this tension starts to release in our body, movement is integrated into the practice to activate the proper muscles so that we can move more effectively using correct muscle patterns. This effective movement brings ease and lightness into our physical body, and ultimately into our lives.
The practice starts with a focus on the spine and related musculature, as this is the central line in the body. You will find that as you begin to release the tension in the muscles surrounding the spine, the effects will extend outward to the rest of the body.
You can find the CAT practice integrated into all of our Yoga 4 Backs classes, and we also offer a registered Critical Alignment class on Sunday evenings. Check our Registered Classes page for details.
Critical Alignment Therapy was created and researched by Gert van Leeuwan over the last 30 years from his studio, Bharata Yoga Institute, in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
We are privileged to host Gert annually for a series of trainings and workshops.
His book, released in Summer 2013, is also a great reference to understand this practice: "Yoga: Critical Alignment: Build a Strong, Flexible Practice through Intelligent Sequencing and Mindful Movement"