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Alison West
  • New York, NY
  • United States
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  • Swami Saradananda
  • Isabel Sehbe
  • john
  • Sukadev Bretz

Alison West's Page

Profile Information

I ...
... am a Yoga Practicioner, ... am a Yoga Teacher, ... am a Yoga Therapist, ... have/direct a Yoga Center/studio
I am an expert in the following areas:
In addition to leading 200- and 300-hour (= 500 hours) Teacher Trainings in NYC and WDC, the center I co-direct, the Yoga Union Center for Backcare and Scoliosis, offers classes for those with every kind of back problem, including spinal asymmetry, spinal fusions, disc herniation. I also teach Yoga for Depression and Anxiety and present workshop on these subjects as well as two annual certification programs: Basic Backcare; Wall Ropes Level I
My Yoga tradition/style/center, Yoga practice, Yoga Master/s, Teacher/s
Starting under the aegis of the Sivananda Centers, where the foundational importance of the philosophy of Yoga is wonderfully taught and has remained deeply ingrained in my practice and teaching, I subsequently gravitated to both Iyengar and Astanga Yoga. I have evolved Principles of Practice out of my long experience of studying and teaching that can be applied to life as well as to the practice.

Among my early teachers are Robert Moses (Sankarananda back then), Swami Visnu Devananda; for Iyengar Yoga, Kevin Gardiner, the late Mary Dunn, Bobbie Fultz, Elise Miller and many others in NY, and the Iyengar family at the Ramamani Memorial Iyengar Institute in Pune; Sri K Patthabi Jois in Mysore and Eddie Stern in NY for Astanga Yoga, Sharon Salzberg for meditation, and other great teacher of individual subjects. Among those who teach in silence and through the ages, I count Ramana Maharshi as my foremost teacher and read Sri Nisigardatta Maharaj with abiding interest.

Yoga Union is the Teacher Training branch for my 200- and 300-hour "Gold Standard" (TONY 2007) teacher trainings and open Yoga classes, based on a marriage of breath and alignment in the poses for a strong, beautiful, fulfilling practice.

The Yoga Union Center for Backcare & Scoliosis serves those with back problems, from disc herniation to spinal fusions (only class in the world) and beyond. Students also come to us, for example, with shoulder problems, hip pain, cervical issues and more. We present a remarkable program of workshops on a wide array of therapeutic applications, anatomy, observation and analysis, Yantra painting, meditation, and more. It is a rich and serious program that draws people from around the country.
More about me:
Alison West, Ph.D., ERYT, founder of Yoga Union (1996) and co-founder of the innovative Yoga Union Center for Backcare and Scoliosis (2007), is known for her dynamic and precise instruction.
She offers both group and private Yoga classes in New York City at Yoga Union Backcare and Pure Yoga. Her specialties include Yoga for Backcare (Herniation, Scoliosis and other issues), Anxiety and Depression. She and her partner, Deborah Wolk, oversee a rich program at Yoga Union Backcare of alignment-based classes, master classes and workshops for students of all ages with back pain, disk herniation, spinal curvature, surgical fusions and other problems.

Alison has studied extensively both Iyengar and Astanga Yoga. Now one of New York City’s most highly regarded teachers, she began her Yoga studies in Munich in 1983, continuing in New York where she has worked for many years with all the leading Iyengar teachers. She has also studied Astanga Yoga with Sri K. Patthabi Jois in Mysore and with her friend and colleague Eddie Stern in NY. From this practice she has retained a strong sense of the power of the breath to support a deep Yoga practice. Alison spent September 2004 in Pune, India, studying at the Iyengar Intitute in both the general Yoga and medical classes with B.K.S. Iyengar, Geeta Iyengar, and Stephanie Quirk. She was certified by Elise Miller as a Yoga for Scoliosis teacher and has also studied with Bobbie Fultz, another pioneer of Yoga for scoliosis.

Considered to be a “teacher’s teacher,” Alison conducts “Gold Standard” (TONY 2007) 200-Hour and a 300-Hour Teacher Trainings known for their emphasis on teaching practice, their ecumenical spirit, and rigorous, all-round training. The Principles of Practice of Yoga Union Yoga can be applied to all styles of Yoga and to life itself. The teaching emphasizes alignment and breath in all poses to achieve a strong, beautiful and fulfilling practice. Alison’s interest in Mantra, Yantra, and Mudras is leading her to study more extensively their powerful effects on emotions and healing.
Alison is passionate about good Yoga studio design, and creates Rope Walls for individuals and studios.

Born and raised in Europe of American parents, Alison completed her doctorate in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts of NYU with H.W. Janson and Robert Rosenblum; she was a member of the curatorial staff of The Frick Collection (1978–80), and an assistant professor of Art History at Barnard/Columbia University. A major study on French sculpture, From Pigalle to Preault: Neoclassicism and the Sublime in French Sculpture, 1760–1840, was published by Cambridge University Press in 1998.

For more information, please contact Alison at or call 917 566-4928.
My Favorite Quote/What inspires me:
Goodness in the world inspires me. Problems in the world inspire me. The mystery giving rise to creation inspires me.

Comment Wall (6 comments)

At 5:12pm on March 8, 2009, Sukadev Bretz said…
Namaste Alison,
Thank you for joining. Loving greetings.

Here on you can find Yogis and Yoginis from the whole world, watch Videos, listen to Mantra Music, discuss in the forums, share photos, exchange opinions, become a member of a Yoga group. And please invite others you know.
Benefit from the wealth of Yoga Information here, contribute to it and share it with others.

I wish you lots of inspiration.

Om shanti
Webteam Yoga Vidya

At 8:21am on March 10, 2009, ॐ sanjuguru said…
May God gift you all the colors of life, colors of joy, colors of happiness, colors of friendship, colors of love and all other colors you want to paint in your life. Happy Holi!
At 8:19am on November 7, 2011, ☼ रवि Ravidas ☼ said…

Happy birthday Alison,
may your wildest dreams come true.

Om shanti
Eduard - Member of Yoga Vidya e. V. Webteam

Happy birthday ,
may your wildest dreams come true.

Om shanti
Eduard - Member of Yoga Vidya e. V. Webteam

At 10:29am on November 7, 2012, ☼ रवि Ravidas ☼ said…

Happy birthday Alison,

may your wildest dreams come true.

Om shanti
Eduard - Member of Yoga Vidya e. V. Webteam

At 9:31am on November 7, 2016, Omkara said…

Namasté Alison,

Happy Birthday to you.

May the light of this auspicious day bring love and everlasting peace to your life and soul.

Om Shanti
Omkara - Member of Yoga Vidya e.V. Socialmedia Team

At 6:47am on November 7, 2017, Omkara said…

Namasté Alison,

Happy Birthday to you.

May the light of this auspicious day bring health, love and everlasting peace to your life, body and soul.

Om Shanti
Omkara - Member of Yoga Vidya e.V. Socialmedia Team

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