I am in my mid 70’s and have practiced yoga intermittently for over 30 years. Annelise Mundy’s class, Yoga for Healthy Backs has been the most positive healing practice I have participated in. Not only has my posture improved, and my core is stronger and tighter. I have learned about how my body works, and integrated healthy food choices. I have built stamina and increased flexibility as well. The intimate environment and personal attention I have received, particularly paying attention to my shoulder and arm, which are arthritic and non-operable. I am grateful for the wisdom and expertise of Annelise Mundy CEO of Bluebird Yoga.
Michele Laub 2020
2020 update: The catalyst for healing and many positive changes in my life started with Annelise’s back care class in 2011.
I now have a daily home practice and feel the best I’ve ever felt. I rarely think about my back, and when I experience any minor discomfort, I know what stretches to do to catch it early. I have also completely changed my diet and lifestyle.
After back surgery for a ruptured disc (L5-S1) and sciatica pain in my leg, I could not recover from back and hip pain or bend at the waist. My roommate recommended Annelise’s class, but I was hesitant, thinking there would be lots of crazy bends and movements that I couldn’t do.
I felt improvement in my pain levels after the first class. I regained my coordination and became more flexible than I’d been in many years. The class also improved my posture and taught me the correct way to move. I even started jogging again. I am very grateful for Annelise and her class.
Bill McWhorter, 2020
I bless you every morning when I do the Healthy Back Exercises you gave us. You saved my life.
Taking your class “Yoga for Healthy Backs” at Olli in 2012 has continued to be one of the best things I have done for my health and wellbeing. As long as I am faithful to those exercises, and I have been – off and on for the past 6 years, my back problems are minimized and I am able to function extremely well. Thank you again and again for all you do to help those of us with back challenges to remain upright and free of pain. Continue the blessed work you do with knowledge that you are helping many, many people!
Gracemarie Warren, 2018
Your courses (Healthy Back, Posture 101 and Arthritis) have taught me that going to the ‘Y’ a few days a week and taking long walks, while good things, are simply not enough to help ensure good health as I get older. The beauty of your courses is your ability to provide a physical, anatomical underpinning to what you teach, perhaps because of your own recovery from major physical trauma. Everything you teach, explain and demonstrate makes sense because of your explanation of the human anatomy.
Put differently, the poses and exercises make sense and progress can be seen and felt almost immediately. As a result they are easy to incorporate into one’s daily life, not as a chore, but as something I look forward to. My posture has improved dramatically and my flexibility has improved noticeably. My upper and lower back is stronger and, while I may never to return to my college weight, I have returned to my college height, thanks to Yoga For Posture! Thanks Annelise.
I knew within the first few minutes of your class today that I’d finally found the right yoga instructor for my back issues. I have arthritis all over my body, but it’s particularly severe in my low back. I’ve attended at least 4 back yoga workshops, seen chiropractors, acupuncturists, and physical therapists for help with back issues, with very little long-lasting positive outcomes. However, the movements and breathing techniques you guided us through felt better than anything I’ve done so far. Many many thanks. You obviously know what you’re doing!
Pamela Dupuis, Teacher
Ann’s openness, curiosity and commitment to scholarly research are inspiring…I observed her transform her pain and frustration into health and a passion for sharing her wisdom. I highly recommend her!
Kaoverii Weber, MA, ERYT500. Director, Sarva Health, LLC and Subtle Yoga Professional Trainings
I took Annelise’s “Yoga for Posture 101″ series in 2017. It was my first yoga ever. I moved to Asheville several months before and was going to a number of new different physicians who, as a new patient, measured my height at 5′ 2½”. After six weeks of work with Annelise, my height measured 5′ 3½”.
Soon after the class ended, I went to a pulmonologist for a second time and found that my breathing capacity went from 65% to 85%. The doctor asked what I thought accounted for the significant increase. The only thing I did differently in the intervening time was to practice Annelise’s unique breathing exercises that obviously increased both my lung capacity and the ease with which I breathed.
Long story – short: after six weeks working with Annelise, I stood straighter and taller and breathed more easily. Her understanding of how an older body functions and her ability to adapt exercises and poses to rejuvenate an aging body has greatly increased the quality of my life.
Ann’s class has helped me greatly with pain and stiffness, especially in my upper back and neck…..as a hairdresser for over 30 years, my arms held out in front of me has caused imbalances which has thus caused a lot of pain for me over the years. Ann’s knowledge about backs and necks comes from her own experience and I believe this to be invaluable in her teachings. I look forward to the relaxing meditation at the end of the class as well. Thank you Ann for this wonderfully healing class!
Jenni Cooper, Hairdresser
I want to let you know how much I appreciate your classes and how much they have helped alleviate some of my difficulties from multiple sclerosis. The posture training and core strength exercises have both helped with my walking – no more hunching for me! I really appreciate how very adaptive your classes are, with the props in your class, I’ve been able to ease into gentle stretches that have lessened painful spasticity. I appreciate and use your tips every day, and i definitely recommend Bluebird Yoga’s caring approach to gentle exercise for anyone with MS 🙂 Thanks for everything,
Lindsay Myers, Website Marketing ~ More Beautiful for Having Been Broken
“Yoga for Posture 101” class is one of the best investments of time I have ever made. Annelise KNOWS of what she speaks from her own personal experience with pain. Her posture and movements are SO indicative that what she teaches works!! Now when I walk, I play back her words and illustrations and feel myself healthier. Correcting old patterns takes time and I’m using her home practice to really pay attention to my spine, shoulders and neck, areas vital to staying in good health! Thank you, Annelise for all you have taught and will continue to teach to keep me and others healthy! We are so lucky to have you in Asheville!!
Nita Walker 2019
Thank you Ann for changing my life — for introducing me to the world of yoga; for helping me relieve my back pain, improving my overall structure and balance, and helping me breathe, relax, and meditate.
I am a cook. I work hard and use my back a lot. My back hurt so badly that I could not sit, lie down, or stand still. I walked, ran, danced, and played with my two-year old son who was on my shoulders a lot. I stopped picking him up, even when he would hold his hands up and say “dance”.
It was heartbreaking. I’d tried acupuncture, new bed, shoes, ice, heat, and stretching. My chiropractor gave great relief, but it only lasted a few days per adjustment. Nothing was helping, and frankly, I was scared — scared of surgery, scared of a life of pain, scared my posture hurt me in every movement I made.
I’d heard about Ann’s healthy back class, but had never taken a yoga class. So nervous and in pain, I walked into an almost full class, with one open spot in the front. I missed the announcement in the beginning of class “if it hurts don’t do it”. Everything hurt, even child’s pose, but IT FELT RIGHT. I knew it was right. After class I rushed to work. Getting in my car was wincingly painful, and although work was painful, I was in really good spirits. I knew that in spite of the pain; I was on the right track.
My back is not 100% yet, but I have no fear. I rarely need pain meds. I practice yoga at home, and am trying to fit more classes into my incredibly full schedule of baby and work.
John Frederick, Chef, Age 31
You will leave with a deep understanding of your body and how to heal it. Her own personal story and magnificent healing from physical trauma is an inspiration and the perfect foundation to be speaking from. She really knows her stuff.
Anita Blackwell, Owner YaYa Yoga Studio, Spruce Pine, NC
After not taking Annelise’s class for two years and spending way too much time at the computer, my back was wracked with pain both day and night. I couldn’t turn over in bed without yelping, and had trouble going to sleep. After attending a recent series, already my back feels much better. Annelise explains how anatomy works and showed me some exercises I can do at home to strengthen my core, improve my posture, and heal my back. Thank you Annelise! How does it feel to be a healer?
Ann Mundy is the only yoga teacher I completely trust with my back since I was hurt in a yoga class about 10 years ago. Since taking her class, I finally understand what it means to protect my back the right way when lifting or bending and no longer hurt myself in the garden!
Sandy Doyle, Teacher
I’ve been coming to your yoga class for about 6 weeks & feel a true change in my life. As a result, I have dedicated Tuesdays as my day of self-care that always includes your class. Your professionalism, knowledge & warm connecting demeanor keep me coming back for more. You have provided me more tools for my “toolbox” so I can continue to age with grace & dignity. You are an inspiration to me & others. Thank you for your dedication & desire to give back to the community.
Bluebird Yoga has been heaven sent for back therapy and training. As a spinal cord trauma survivor, I have received immense benefits from the yoga poses presented.
But a more recent benefit was obvious during a trip to clear out my camp with 15 years of stuff accumulation. This job required repeated picking up and moving – mostly to the fire pit – of various size, shape, and weight of things. Because of my repetitive, and tiring training the past year, my legs had the strength and my neural pathways had the groove to properly stoop and pick things up for two days without injury. My mind has known the proper way to pick things up for a long time, but without your training, it would not have happened, and lower back pain would have been inevitable.
Everyone should take your Yoga for Back Therapy Workshop or 6-week series – pain or no pain – as prevention, to (re)learn proper posture and alignment, and to age safely and gracefully – I know I am!
Mario P.S. Great job teaching anatomy and putting it into practice.
Ann Mundy really knows what she is talking about! I have been going to her classes/seminars for a few years now. I find myself performing routine tasks and think “What would Ann say” about what I was doing. I know her instructions really help me. Not only do I feel GREAT after each class, the fact that she focuses on how her methods and techniques can be applied to everyday situations allows me to feel SO much better on a daily basis.
For example, if I want to pick something up, I bend my knees. If I’m doing a forward fold from a standing position, I find myself placing my hands between my torso and my legs so I bend from my hips and not my waist and am not afraid to bend my knees. I find myself avoiding forward folds from a seated floor position, as I think how Ann Mundy wouldn’t think this was a good idea. In general, I have become very aware of not locking my knees.
I am currently going for my teachers certification. Whenever possible, I like to go to her classes in order to get my muscles reprogrammed so that they naturally perform the correct moves. Whether it’s you neck, back or related, her exercises really make you feel great!
Kathleen G. Johnson, Mediator and Attorney
I wanted to pass along the progress that I’ve noticed regarding my back since taking your classes:
- · The exercises and yoga positions that we practice have strengthened my back muscles. I continue to do them at home to keep flexible and strong.
- · Whenever I stand now, I am aware of my posture…. head up, shoulders back, and comfortable curve in my spine.
- · Your instructions have made me aware of how I bend over. Now I always bend with my knees. Never bending from the waist like I used to.
A combination of a lot of little things seem to add up to a lot less back pain! Thank you for taking a special interest in each one of us and our individual needs.
The very positive back therapy improved my physical training routines, and the life enhancing breathing techniques improved my ability to deal with stressful situations. By far the greatest joy I experienced was when we applied the breathing techniques to the meditation practice. Thank you for the help and insights.
Ann Mundy has been volunteering to teach yoga to our members, who all have traumatic brain injuries. It has been incredibly challenging. This is no cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination. But we love her energy, her enthusiasm, and the fortitude with which she comes to each program in giving the best that she has to offer. And we are seeing the benefits to our members in terms of the camaraderie, the relationship building and the health focused-ness of many of them.
Joe Barrett, Hinds’ Feet Farm
You’ve brought a kind of joy into the lives of men and women who need a push to win their bodies back – the kind of joy which yoga seeks – not confined to simple bliss, but rather a deeper, calmer and more balanced joy. We stand beside you with our roots sunk deep into Mother Earth.
This journey within the whole of being, whole again is found. You as healer, never forgetting to tend the pain before it goes away. We say goodbye to all that strays or suffers needlessly. We can once again embrace the selfless vessel that holds our breath and beat.
You stand in an honor place, up front before us, while we sway in our own imbalance, made whole again from less than perfect health. We all are not a perfect blend. You gift us with the energy you make before us. Bring your courage to reach out with a healing touch, touching each one of us with other ways of seeing, of looking, of being. It’s understanding. It’s close to finding calm.
And we are grateful. And we remember you.
Even Homer’s hymns cannot explain this special gift you bring to our new ears and eyes and toes. From crown to feet and back again.
And we remember you.
Susanna Phillips Davis, Written in honor of Annelise Mundy’s talents in the healing arts!
When I was suffering from severe sciatica, Ann’s class for back pain was a key part of my recovery plan and eventual return to good health!
“Yoga for Posture 101” was a course I very much needed and I found that Annelise has a broad knowledge about this subject that has many anatomical references. It was a great decision for me to take the course.
Stuart English 2019
Annelise is a well prepared, very knowledgeable, and engaging yoga instructor. I am benefiting from her class and learned yoga postures that are improving not only my posture but my overall WELL BEING. Thank you Annelise for sharing your expertise. I truly enjoyed your class.
Diane Dankert 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed Annelise’s class. I have disc issues and hip arthritis and both conditions benefited from her instruction. Her handouts were especially helpful. Another bonus was her availability before and after class to work with students individually.
Steve Novak 2019
Learned and practiced an important life skill…..taking care of the back. Thanks,
Lee Edwards 2019
I had pinched nerves in my spine that were causing my right foot to go numb. One thing I can tell you is that your course is still helping my sore hip and numb foot, long after the series. I feel certain you have the right approach, without drugs or surgery. I appreciate all the work you put into your terrific classes.
John Oravets, Writer
Just a quick note to say THANK YOU for putting your back class together. For sure (FOR SURE!!!), when I walk out each week, my back & neck are better, and with the lessons learnt, I’m seeing a progressive improvement in overall back & neck comfort. Thanks, again!
Tom Ratajczak, Oil and Energy Consultant, Bicyclist
Thank you for teaching Back Care. The breathwork, meridian tuning and slow firm style of rehabilitation in your class has helped me in my recovery in post-traumatic stress and other related mental stress ailments. Your love and care resonate and your sense of humor brings a sense of strength. Physically the movements have helped with Reminder of Self. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Thank you for being devoted to your practice and teaching. Thanks:)
The Bluebird Yoga class has been a true blessing. It is always relaxing by relieving tension in my neck, shoulders, and back. Ann tries to assess the needs of each class member and, thus, to focus on specific areas of the back that day. Since she has had previous back injuries, she is extremely knowledgeable about avoiding specific yoga positions and is adamant about protecting the backs of her students. Besides breathing exercises, we also strengthen the body’s core, and stretch to increase flexibility. I notice the effects in my TA muscles particularly. I certainly recommend Ann’s class for anyone with a back problem who wants to feel better!
Your class Rocked! I always learn stuff from you. Someday, I will have a tight core : )
LeeAnne Smith, Filmmaker
The pace was great – relaxed, yet focused, the breathing connecting you to your body, your spine, lengthening using your breath and through the sitting, side stretches, neck work, were all lovely – getting me to notice my spine, lifting up out of my slouch, activating my core, lengthening… ahhh.
Heather Matthews, Yoga Instructor
I got the report back from my lumbar spine MRI. It revealed 3 bulging discs, with L5/ S1 having a “broad-based left subarticular disc protrusion.” So not too bad, but at least I know there is a reason for the pain. I learned so many valuable tools in your class. I incorporate them everyday and will continue to do your exercises. Gratefully yours,
Lisa Auman, Medical Professional
I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate so much your teaching. Your class is the only one I can safely attend when my nerves are on edge and I am in pain. You are a wonderful yoga teacher.
During your breathing practice, I experienced a rush of energy throughout my entire body that felt like a flood of circulation and love. Your class helps me unlock these floodgates and feel less constricted in my body and mind. Thank you so much.
Lena Lane, new mom