In-depth workshops

An intensive workshop, in which we analyze a specific asana, or one of the Critical Alignment props like the headstander or backbender.

Do you ever feel that you are running in a circle with your yoga practice?

“In Critical Alignment Yoga, we move away from practicing ‘to feel good’, and step into practicing to realize structural, positive change.” Gert van Leeuwen, founder CAY

In-depth asana practice

In this workshop, we will analyze specific asanas that are prone to compensational movements. These compensational movements occur when we try to reach the ‘perfect picture’ of an asana, but move around the source of our tension and stress to do so. In building up an asana slowly, step-by-step, we will confront ourselves with stiffness and tension, and observe why we move around it instead of through it. Only by observing and staying in the moment, we’ll feel that tension will let go and the body can open up for structural change. The result: a feeling of lightness, spaciousness and calmness; a true feeling of being at ease.

Introduction to the CAY props

In the workshops we learn how to safely use the headstander and backbender in our practice. These tools create a unique opportunity to release muscle tension and increase movement in the spine. After the use of these props you’ll typically feel longer, lighter and more at ease in your body. Often, students describe a feeling of relief, as structural tensions finally let go.

This workshop is specifically interesting for those, who feel on guard to use the CAY props. We’ll move slowly, with a lot of hands-on help and assistance. After this workshop you’ll know why and how we use these props and feel comfortable using them in your weekly classes or during your home practice.

The workshops will be a game-changer for your personal yoga practice!

The Benefits of Critical Alignment

The 5 Tension Lines – Workshop-Series

Tension lines are located in different areas of our back. They are directly related to the spine, but their effect can spread out elsewhere in the body. Tension in one line can therefore have a direct effect on our posture, but also our mental/emotional well-being. Awareness of the tension lines, and understanding how to release them, add to a feeling of ease and lightness. We will open and release the tension lines with the help of CA exercises, and then move into the precise and subtle energy in these lines with the help of the realization Process.

Critical Alignment Yoga

Critical Alignment Yoga (CAY) focuses on mobilizing the spine, in order to release muscle tension and stress, restore crucial mobility and build up core strength and balance. In doing so, it liberates emotions and introduces a lighter, more meditative consciousness into everything you do. With Critical Alignment Yoga, you will feel freer in your body and therefore life, aiding a sense of ease – on and off the yoga mat.

The Realization Process

The Realization Process, founded by Judith Blackstone, is a series of secular practices for opening the body, heart and mind to the subtler dimension of consciousness that pervades us, and all that surrounds us. It is an experiential approach to deepening internal contact with ourselves and coming home in the truest sense of the word. In this retreat we will cover a few of the Realization Process practices that help us inhabit the whole body, attune to its central channel (that runs through the head, torso and pelvis), and open to the ground of being.

Through Critical Alignment you’ll learn how to:

  • Deepen your body awareness by identifying your unconscious habitual patterns, and see how these habits limit movement and become sources of back (related) pain, discomfort, stress, and even injury.
  • Interrupt unhealthy habitual patterns from the inside out, linking your body and mind through asana, pranayama, and meditation.
  • Restore crucial mobility and build up core strength and balance.
  • Refine your yoga practice (inversions, standing postures, forward bends, backbends, twists, and seated postures) through precise, subtle physiological adjustments.
  • Enhance a sense of freedom by bringing ease and lightness into your practice and ultimately into your life.

Next In-Depth CAY Workshops

Critical Alignment Yoga & The Realization Process 


‘The 5 Tension Lines’ – Workshop-Series


Tension Line 1 – Pelvic Rim
Saturday, March 20th

Tension Line 2 – Lower Rib Cage
Saturday, April 3rd

Tension Line 3 – Underneath Shoulder Blades
Saturday, April 24th

Tension Line 4 – Shoulder Girdle
Saturday, May 8th

Tension Line 5 – Base of Skull
Saturday, May 29nd


8:00 am – 9:15 am Critical Alignment Yoga by Zita van Wees
9:20 am – 10:00 am Realization Process Practice by Pavi Mehta

10:00 am – 10:15 am Sharing & Q&A with Zita & Pavi

All times are PST. To find your local time please use Time Converter

Props Needed:

Yoga Mat
CA Strip
CA Felt Mat (or yoga blanket or 2 large towels)
CA Block (optional)
Chair or CA Headstander with CA Block on it

Props purchase

Please reach out to Zita if you want to purchase the CA strip (


A video recording of the CA Yoga Class and an audio recording of the RP Meditation will be available online for all participants, until June 30, 2021. The recordings will be accessible about 3 days after the workshop. More information on where to find it will be communicated to the participants at the beginning of the workshop.


150$ for the complete workshop-series
35$ per workshop
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More information here

Yoga of Los Altos
377 1st Street, Los Altos, CA

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FAQs about Critical Alignment Yoga Classes

Do I need prior CAY-experience to participate in the in-depth workshops?

The workshops are open to yoga newbies as well as experienced yogini’s! Read more on the workshops here, or contact Zita with any other questions.

Where can I buy CAY props?

You can buy the props in the shop of the CAY website I have a small amount of CAY tools available for sales as well. Please contact me.

Where can I sign up for the workshop?

If you want to sign up for a workshop of Zita, please go to For private sessions, please contact Zita directly.

What is Critical Alignment Yoga?

To learn more about Critical Alignment Yoga, please visit here.

Happy Praises

“Zita is a phenomenal teacher. Thoughtful, knowledgeable, articulate – she gets you in and out of postures safely, accommodating your specific needs. Prior to her classes, I often felt like my spine was working in isolation. Now, I feel the muscles around the spine, I can feel the support around my movement. I’m excited to continue learning from Zita, everyone needs this strength!”

Maria Shen
Bay Area

Become a ‘C.A.Y. with Zita’-insider!

Each month, and truly only once a month, I’ll send you an email with inspiration, education and tips. It’ll be about practicing Critical Alignment Yoga based movements, exercises and consciousness, both on and off the yoga mat. So you can live actively and completely at ease!
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