Make Your Bad Knee Your Best Knee

Power Plate Alameda

The concept of a bad knee is on the minds of many people these days. Some focus on pain, inflammation, past injuries, or recent surgeries to name a few challenges.

Let’s consider the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, or ACL as it’s most commonly referred, for example. Just below your kneecap is a protective band of tissue that prevents the leg from moving too far forward so that our bodies can do wonderful things like run long distances, climb stairs, and most importantly traverse dynamic terrain. One reason this ligament is so important is because the nerve receptors within help us to understand what our knee is doing without looking down for visual confirmation. If you’ve ever followed sports that are hard on the knees (Basketball) you’ve heard of a few athletes having surgery to repair a damaged ACL. Enter, the bad knee.

If you’ve ever had such an injury, what began as a loud pop and immense pain eventually lead to surgery and therapy. Even if you’ve never been injured, we’ve all heard how boring therapeutic exercises can be. Short range of motion, repetitive, sometimes painful exercises that seem to never end until one day you get full use of that knee again. There’s an alternative to traditional boring therapy methods. The alternative begins with a shift in thinking. Neither of your knees are bad and changing those thoughts to honor your body as spectacular and capable is the best place to start your healing. Once you change your mind to know that you are not weak, instead you are getting stronger, you’ll want to find an exciting path to strength.

Step up to the Power Plate®.

A recent study revealed that “Power Plate® training resulted in a greater improvement of joint stability and balance than conventional strength training. Power Plate® training also has the advantage of shorter training time. It should therefore be considered a useful addition to rehabilitation interventions after ACL reconstruction.”  You can read the full details of the study here.

There’s no shortage of information as a testament to how magnificent the Power Plate® is as a healing tool. You should experience Power Plate® for yourself to understand how therapy can feel invigorating. Symmetry is offering classes designed specifically to aid in lower extremity rehabilitation. Increasing bone density and improving blood flow are just a few of the ways that the Power Plate® will aid on your road to recovery.

Even if you’re not recovering from surgery, the Power Plate® can help you to improve your body’s awareness. You may have read that part of the study, linked above, was executed with blindfolds on the subjects.

Lunges will feel like a completely different challenge when you’re able to determine the ideal position of your knee (over the ankle) without compromising your posture and looking down to check. Physical and mental awareness that leads to less stress is a great gift. Your body and mind are great gifts and there’s nothing bad about you.

Taking Your Practice to the Next Level with Ujjayi Breath

The ancient Yogis knew what a huge difference breathing made in their meditative practices, including the physical “asana” practice modern folks practice at places like Symmetry Yoga Alameda today. Of all the many ways we can increase flexibility and mindfulness Yoga is by far the best, because a key part of the practice is focused, meditative breathing, or “Pranayama”.

Pranayama means “energy control”, and there are a number of different styles that practitioners can use, depending on the style of yoga they’re practicing and their specific goals for their practice. Some kinds of Pranayama help energize the body and mind, while others are calming and restorative.

The most common type of Pranayama that modern yogis use is called Ujjayi Pranayama, which translates to mean “victorious breath”. This style of breathing is simultaneously calming to the nervous system, and energizing to the body.  It’s soothing to the ear, and can be heard by everyone in the room when done properly, and helps to create a sense of connection between the individual practitioner, their practice, and all the other yogis in the room.

Ujjayi Pranayama sounds a little like Darth Vader, or waves crashing on the shore, or the sound you make when you fog up a mirror with your breath. It feels like a slight constriction in the back of the throat, using the same muscles you use when you’re whispering in a friend’s ear.

But how do you do it? The best way to learn is to come to a class at Symmetry Yoga Alameda and let our teachers show you the way, but in the mean time, you can follow these simple steps:

  1. Take a deep breath in, and then loudly whisper the word “hello”. Do you feel the breath rushing past the back of your throat, and the feeling of closing off the muscles in the back of your throat? Great! You’re ready for step two!
  2. Find the nearest piece of glass, like a mirror or a window. Keeping the same “whisper” muscles engaged from step 1, use a big open-mouthed exhale to fog up the glass. Then set the glass aside and keep the “whisper” muscles engaged as you take an inhale with your mouth still open. Repeat for 2-3 cycles of breath with your eyes closed, so your body remembers what it feels like.
  3. Last but not least, close your mouth, and take 2-3 breaths in and out of your nose, keeping the “whisper” muscles engaged. Congratulations! You’re practicing Ujjayi Pranayama!

If you’re ready to take your new skills to the mat, check the Symmetry Yoga Alameda website to pick out a class that fits your schedule! We’re excited to help you put this amazing new technique in practice!

To Schedule a Class Sign Up Here!

Vinyasa Yoga | Symmetry Yoga Studio in Alameda


In todays’ yoga community, the term “Vinyasa” is used liberally. We see it listed as the name of a class, described as a style of yoga, and we also hear it used to tile a set series of movements – this word takes on multiple meanings, so lets get clear on what we are actually saying when we use the word Vinyasa.

In Sanskrit, the ancient language of yoga, “Vinyasa” means: to place in a special way. The word, place or ‘placement’ is in reference to the body and the breath.

As the aim of yoga it to unite body, mind, and spirit to find holistic wellness, we should not think about the body and the breath as two separate, independent items that can be placed here or there. In yoga the breath and the body are one and the same, inseparable. So Vinyasa means to place the body and the breath in relationship to each other. You can think of this as linking breath to movement, or using the breath to guide movement in the body. Correct ‘placement’ of breath, allows for sooth and graceful movement.

Through this definition, and in the spirit of graceful movement, a style of yoga called Vinyasa Flow is born. A Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class is on the active or athletic end of the yoga spectrum and will lead you through a dynamic sequence of yoga postures, each position complementing and building upon those that precede and follow. The movements are fluid, creative, and dance-like, to an upbeat rhythm, guided by breath. You can expect to build heat in the body and break a sweat while ‘flowing’ in a Vinyasa Yoga Class.

Symmetry Yoga offers several Vinyasa Flow classes throughout the week – each one slightly different from the next, as Vinyasa Flow is a creative style of yoga, open to the interpretation and inspiration of the instructor. Please see our schedule to see which of our Vinyasa Flow Classes fits into your schedule.

Symmetry Yoga is Excited to Offer Something Unique to the Alameda Yoga Community

Symmetry Introduces Its New Yoga Studio to Alameda Residents

Symmetry Yoga is not just another Alameda Yoga Studio. Symmetry Yoga is so much more; it is home to a holistic, healthy lifestyle. From its beautiful and creatively designed studio space, to its all-star team of experienced yoga instructors and state of the art yoga props, Symmetry Yoga is an Alameda Yoga Studio that has it all!

A huge part of what makes Symmetry Yoga unique is that it is located inside of Symmetry Health Center, a health and wellness center dedicated to bringing a healthy lifestyle to the Alameda community through chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, nutrition coaching, and fitness classes. Symmetry Health Center has been offering Alameda these healing practices for nearly 10 years and has developed a wonderful and supportive community that encourages true wellness.

When you walk into the space, you’re instantly welcomed with a relaxing energy that promotes a healthy lifestyle. The room is flooded with natural light, diffused by layers of gorgeous curtains designed with up-cycled Sari fabric from India by studio owner Dr. Cynthia Boyd and her childhood friend/owner of MAAT.Designs. Framed by the lovely curtains, rests a beautiful alter boasting seasonally fresh flowers from neighboring local business, Dandelion, and a perfectly tuned harmonium by Kirtan and Harmonium guru, David Estes. A layer of stress instantly falls from your shoulders when you enter this Alameda Yoga Studio.

Aside from its beauty, the studio is equipt with state of the art yoga props. Yoga props are designed to keep students in safe alignment and bring greater understanding and support to all styles of yoga, which Symmetry offers. With the use of props and in the hands of excellent teachers, Symmetry Yoga offers a class for everyone! Students brand new to yoga, beginners, intermediate students, and advanced practitioners can all find a safe and enjoyable class at Symmetry. Symmetry Yoga offers Vinyasa Flow, Hatha, Forrest Yoga, Restorative, and Gentle Yoga to name a few.

Perhaps the thing that makes Symmetry Yoga the most unique Alameda Yoga Studio, is the fact that the team of experienced yoga instructors were hand selected by Dr. Cynthia Boyd, a trusted health care professional in Alameda for nearly 10 years, with the intention of offering her patients the highest quality of instruction to complement her chiropractic and spinal wellness practice.

The team of experienced yoga instructors has received ample training and certifications while possessing the refined qualities of intuition and awareness in order to understand and safely guide students through the healing practice of yoga. This connection to students, with consideration of potential health issues makes Symmetry Yoga unique, unlike any other Alameda Yoga Studio.