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Since 1998 yoga has been used as a therapeutic form at the Critical Alignment Yoga institute to remedy physical complaints in particular lessons. Gert van Leeuwen has developed the therapeutic applications of Critical Alignment. Critical Alignment Therapy sheds new light on complaints in the spinal column and related complaints. CAT is a method with a new form of anatomy based on bone connections that come about through relaxation. This creates a cohesion that uses so-called reflex forces, organized by posture muscles.

Almost everyone experiences an injury at some point in their life. These injuries are caused by, for example, due to an accident, or they can build up slowly, such as ‘repetitive strain injuries’ (RSI), which are common in work environments. In addition to our body, we can also experience psychological stress and tension, which can amplify the effect on emotional instability and can lead to fear, burnout and other mental and physical health problems.

Iris Reyes | Back Pain | Lumbago | Lower back pain | Hernia

A well-balanced spine produces the transformation

With the CAT method transformation is directly experienced in the body, especially in the spine. The posterior of our body interacts directly with gravity, and the proper use of this relationship makes it possible to experience physical relaxation. The front of the spine supports sensory areas in our body, such as the abdomen linked with feelings of rest and the chest correlated to feelings of inner space or lightness. CAT uses specially developed tools that mobilize the spine and restore the connection with gravity and positive feelings.

This anatomical change increases the mobility and stability of the body, and the psychological change gives the body new significance. Emotions, such as doubt and insecurity, transform into feelings of strength and self-confidence.


• The first principle of the method for chronic complaints is that stress and a wrong posture cause too much tension in the shoulders, upper back and neck muscles, or in other cases, precisely in the lower back. This tension causes the skeleton to deform, causing nerves and blood vessels to get stuck and causing complaints.

• The second principle is that resolving complaints is based on collaboration: in addition to taking therapy lessons, patients are asked to continue practice at home. In that way, patients learn to work on solving and preventing the symptoms from reappearing.

The interview

When you register with me, an intake interview takes place first. During this meeting, we discuss the nature and origin of your complaint(s). I will also try to get an impression of your lifestyle during the intake to rule out whether other factors perpetuate the complaint(s) and to prevent a recurrence.

After the intake interview, exercises are introduced explicitly to tackle the source of the complaints. The intake interview/examination and exercises.Total time 1.15 hours Cost € 110,-

CA Therapie is for people with:

  • lower back pain
  • neck complaints (pain,
  • stiffness, neck hernia)
  • sciatica
  • hernia
  • back-related complaints from the low back (think of pain complaints in the pelvis, hips or knees, fatigue)
  • back-related complaints from the upper back (think of pain complaints in the arms, wrists, loss of strength, tennis elbow, rsi (CANS), shoulder or headache and fatigue)
  • burnout

Request an Intake

What is new about CAT-Y?

 1. Based on tradition and science
▪ CAT/Y has been developed through intensive study of yogic traditions, movement science and modern psychology, and the method uses a novel combination of these disciplines.
 ▪ In his book of 400+ pages, Gert van Leeuwen provides the philosophical, psychological and scientific background of the method, along with comprehensive, illustrated descriptions of human movement patterns and the exercises and poses themselves.

 2. New insight into the body
▪ CAT/Y uses a system of 11 movement chains, based on connections between the bones. By following these sequences in the body, any asana can be constructed in alignment.
▪ The method is based on the notion that the upper back should be straight, rather than curved. The benefits of a straight upper back cascade to the neck, lower back and extremities.
▪ CAT/Y reconnects movement and relaxation through the distinction and differential use of the muscles used to hold our posture and the muscles used for movement.

3. New insight into stress- and trauma release 
▪ The root of all tension is in the way we behave in social interactions. Our negative actions and behaviours are directed by old fears, trauma and stress and from the suppression of needs. Suppressed and damaged feelings tighten the body and block the relationship between our bodies and our inner worlds, expressed through connective feelings that are produced by the body: space, rest, relief and so on. 
▪ Words cannot replace the experience of suppressed feelings. Therefore, whenever we want to make structural and emotional changes possible, we need to start from the body. 

4. New insight into teaching
 ▪ CAT/Y uses a new, comprehensive, ‘problem-oriented’ teaching model.
 ▪ Effective teaching methods create a strong link between active yoga and meditation and support integrating practice with daily life.
 ▪ The method uses a specific style of language based on relaxation in action.
 ▪ Classes are built on a systematic and structural approach, in which each element of a lesson forms a coherent part of a larger plan.

 5. New tools
 Unique and ingenious tools enable mobilisation of inaccessible parts of the body, for example, by releasing tight upper and lower back muscles.

 6. New therapy
 CAT/Y is a logical extension of yoga, in which students make a radical decision about their practices and their lives. This transformation is based on the fact that it is not the teacher or the method that is responsible for the process of healing. Clients themselves are the only ones who can go through their personal, deeper layers of tension that form barriers to relaxation and healing. 


I am very grateful to Gert van Leeuwen for his teaching and facilitating the text in this and on the Critical Alignment Yoga page.