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Alison West, Ph.D, E-RYT, C-IAYT

Alison has been recognized as one of the most influential Yoga teachers in America (Sonima, 2016*). A creative and original thinker published by Cambridge Universty Press in her field of Art History,** she has channeled her academic and scholarly background into the study of Yoga in its many forms. Her earliest training in the Sivananda system has led to an ongoing interest in Yoga philosophy, pranayama and meditation. She went on to study in the Astanga and Iyengar traditions, most notably with Sri K Patthabi Jois and Kevin Gardiner, one of the founders of the NY Iyengar Institute. With regard to pranayama, Alison is particularly grateful to Stephanie Quirk, a teacher of exemplary skill and breadth, for her pranayama teachings.


Alison’s interest in alignment and anatomy led her to explore more deeply issues of the spine and of the asymmetric body, most notably the asymmetric spine and scoliosis. She studied with both Bobbie Fultz and Elise Miller, each trailblazers in the study of Yoga for Scoliosis, and went on to create training programs and Yoga Union, a major center dedicated to both Yoga and Yoga for Backcare and Scoliosis.


Alison feels the time has come for a revolution in how we teach children and young people to sit and move and view their bodies now and in the future. She also feels strongly that all PTs and orthopaedic surgeons should study movement disciplines while in medical school and maintain a movement practice once pursuing their chosen therapy/medical path.


While running her NY studio, Alison shouldered another major responsibility by becoming the head of Yoga for NY, the organization representing Yoga studios, teachers and students in NY State and that she helped to found, leading to the signing into law of a bill protecting yoga trainings from unqualified State oversight. She also fought New York City’s attempt to place a tax on Yoga classes.


Alison is currently writing her first Yoga book, Yoga for Backcare, which will be followed by Yoga for Scoliosis while preparing a significant on-demand program, Ropes and Slings on a Yoga Wall or Door, making the material vastly more accessible to those who don’t have a rope wall and also presenting in one place a thematic and abundant source of inspiration, hard work, fun and deep release for those lucky enough to have a rope wall or similar setup.  


During her summer months at her camp in Maine, she spends time in creative exploration of asana both on the floor and the rope wall and pranayama, and swimming in the limpid waters of Cold Stream Pond.




** From Pigalle To Péault: Neoclassicism And The Sublime French Sculpture From 1760-1840, Cambridge University Press, 1998.  Reviewed in all major periodicals and the New York Review of Books.

Yoga for Scoliosis.


Private Sessions with Alison


Alison teaches private sessions as well as classes and workshops.

When Alison is in NY, she teaches one-on-one at the Balance Arts Center at 151 West 30th street.

Rates for one hour sessions:

-  single in-person session: $190; single Zoom session: $150

-  with your regular teacher: $290; Zoom $250

-  2-3 person non-therapeutic alignment Yoga class: you can share the cost of a private session.

Please email Alison directly  to schedule a session.  

At home sessions:

To the degree it is really not possibly for you to travel, Alison will work with you at home.

One-hour home sessions with no more than one hour of travel-time start at $400 in Manhattan up to 86th Street. Students are expected to provide mats, blocks, straps and any other item required and to have the necessary set-up prior to the start of the lesson, including moving any incidental furniture.



Alison West

New York, NY

Alison West has not only studied in almost every major yogic lineage, but she is also adored and respected across traditions. She began teaching in the late 1980s with Sivananda and Jivamukti, and opened the premier New York City yoga studio, Yoga Union, in 1996, which offers classes that hinge on West’s techniques for alignment, back care, and posture. West has studied in both Pune, India, with the Iyengars, and in Mysore, India, with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. She founded and is sole director of Yoga Union and the Yoga Union Backcare and Scoliosis Center, and continues to study kinesiology and anatomy with master teachers Irene Dowd, Tom Myers, and Gil Hedley. West leads demanding annual 200-hour and  500-hour TT programs, and she also runs the only 100-Hour Backcare and Scoliosis Certification Program in the world. West also travels around the world teaching workshops and master classes.


Last updated, December 2023

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