Sarah Hillenbrand Westbrook
Sarah is a self- described “yoga nerd”. She is fascinated by posture and movement patterns, specifically movement dysfunction that can lead to injury. Curious about the symbolic implications of posture, she reflects on how we “take a stand” and “move” through our lives.
Sarah encourages self-study (Sanskrit: svadhyaya). By noticing our movement choices, the yoga practice becomes a PROCESS of discovery and change, rather than repeating poses with the same dysfunctional habits over and over.
Sarah teaches ALIGNMENT, which means she breaks down poses into their simplest forms and actions (how to move within the pose). By simplifying each pose to its constituent functions, students have space to:
call into question habitual movement tendencies
notice the effect of obeying of group cues (appropriate for only some bodies)
question the appropriateness of traditional yoga forms (designed for a different lifestyle and body type)
WHAT IS CLASS LIKE?
Because modern humans are busy, largely sedentary and distracted, Sarah’s yoga classes serve as an antidote:
Slow, deliberate and focused movement
Strength alongside flexibility
No music to facilitate deeper concentration
Layers of cues to challenge all levels of students
Longer holds to remodel the neuromyofascial web for lasting postural change
Students learn ONE core principle, then practice applying that principle in a variety of poses
WHO ARE HER STUDENTS?
Suitable for the newer student yet subtle enough for those with decades of experience, Sarah’s class is always cutting edge. In terms of physical intensity, a Level 1 class with Sarah serves as a bridge between Gentle and Level 2. Her class includes:
Students looking for a safe yoga class that focuses on alignment rather than flow.
Experienced students preferring poses be broken down and explained.
Level 2-4 students and Teachers looking for alignment to complement their flow practice and for clear instruction on ‘taken for granted’ skills (e.g., bandhas, breath technique).
Students with chronic injuries** needing to learn how to adapt their poses and find relief, but who can tolerate more intensity and movement than in a Gentle Class.
Teachers and Teacher Trainees observing how Level 1 classes are taught to bring more alignment to their cueing.
Pregnant and post-partum women (with Doctor’s okay) looking to construct a safe and appropriate practice
Students with Scoliosis looking for a teacher who knows how to adapt their practice for their curve pattern.
*I recommend attending Intro to Yoga if you are brand new and not currently exercising before coming to a Level 1 class.
**If you have had surgery within 1 year or the injury is acute, I recommend you have your Doctor’s permission to practice yoga before taking any yoga class.