Nellie Griesinger: teaching Charlotte about the power of body alignment
Updated: Jan 22, 2019
You have an extensive background in your studies! Please share: I graduated from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, with a BFA in dance in 1997. At NYU, I trained under Andre Bernard for Anatomy of Kinesiology and under Kathy Stanford Grant, an instructor certified by Joseph Pilates. I am currently certified in Classical Pilates, Yoga, and Nutrition Physiology. I have also studied Equine Structural Integration- a scientifically proven method for restructuring and realigning the body. Combined, these studies have helped enhance my understanding of individual movement.
How did you get started in health and wellness?
I returned to movement while at Pilates Institute of California, certifying in a year intensive program, after working in the dot-com and TV network entertainment industry in California. During my training, I had started a healing process in alternative medicines: acupuncture, reiki, Peter Levine Trauma Therapy, Barbara Brennan Light Therapy, Pilates, homeopathy, and chiropractic care.
Movement has been part of my life since I was a kid. My Dad put me in dance classes 2-3 days per week. In addition, I played basketball, ran track, and played instruments. I loved staying busy. At age two, my mom went on a trip to California in the 70’s and just never came home; she was on her own journey and I was deeply scared.
Through my practice, I found my mind/body healing from abandonment. I discovered over time that my alternative healing practices shifted my mind to be calmer and more present. At NYU, I was fascinated with Andre Bernard's Class: Anatomy of Kinesiology. Even though we weren’t raising our heart rate when practicing his functional anatomy techniques, the result was feeling attunement, relaxation, and alignment. My mind and body were in sync.
Who has been the greatest influence on what you to do and why? My Dad, Peter Griesinger. He taught me to be fearless in my endeavors, persistent in my integrity, have creative playtime with my kids, and love the Earth.
How is what you do different from others? With over 17 years of training, I have learned how to integrate Functional Anatomy, Pilates, Yoga, Structural Integration, and Nutrition Physiology into one. My company, O moshen, LLC has unleashed IAlignMe and IAlignMeFirst, two programs that involve a minimum of 10 sessions for integrative body alignment.
How we carry our bodies through our environment can affect our mind as much as our mind can affect our bodies. This is why the power of alignment is so crucial in our overall health.
Whether I am teaching individuals or groups, I have found that every BODY has a story. From the time we are born we start developing mapping in our neuro-anatomy. These foundations are significant and personal. IAlignME is a time to stretch, strengthen, align and heal.
I am honored to be able to teach this practice to children at Charlotte Lab School through a personalized 12-week program.
It’s interesting for me to work with different types of bodies, whether it be a pro-athlete, a client who’s had spinal surgeries, or children. I have seen children go from not being able to sit still or stand on one foot to being relaxed and focused. I have also seen athletes performance improve beyond what that imagined.
Share some of the benefits people see from your training. Confidence, strength, awareness, self-control, presence and calmness.
How do you incorporate your practice into your own lifestyle? I listen to my body. I was told the body never lies. Rather than forcing a workout, I might take a nap. Sometimes I just to need to recharge my battery and a 15-20 minute nap heals and aligns my system. I enjoy hot yoga, pilates, running and daydreaming (shhhh).
I wake up at 5 AM for me time. I love my first cup of coffee. I relish the silence, the smell of coffee, and watching the skyline wake up with my dog, Charlie. I crave walks in the woods lately. It reminds me of my childhood - listening to the sound of the leaves on the trees rustle. Stress seems to dissipate after a walk in the woods.
I love going to the ocean to let go, play with kids in the sand, or just to relish in the silence. Living in a city was not where I thought I would end up. I fell in love with Charlotte when I moved to Southend. Three years ago it was very different - now it is a buzzing hot spot.
You are a mother of three, any advice for parents looking to implement health and wellness?
Staying "fit" does not always mean repetition exercise. When the body is tired, rest. Try to find a moment to be still. Look, touch, and smell nature when you can. The Earth is always here to support you. Nature has an incredible affect on our health and our heart. Try closing your eyes for 15-20 minutes and listening to nature or simply nothing at all.
What kind of results can people expect from this practice? Individual results. I have seen longterm results in a range of clients. My clients range from pro-athletes, to moms and kids, to those recovering from surgery. I have clients who I have taught many years ago who still contact me about their continued growth.
How do you know when you are making a difference in your practice? The other day, I was loading the groceries into my car and suddenly I felt arms wrap around my waist and the most gentle loving hug…I froze. I had no idea who! I slowly looked and a little girl had wrapped her arms around me with her eyes closed. She was a kindergartner I teach at Charlotte Lab School. Her Dad was surprised too. I smiled and said, “Hi, I’m Ms. Nellie from Charlotte Lab School, I teach IAlignMe to the kids; they call it yoga.” He smiled and I hugged her back and she and I talked a little about her Saturday morning. I have dreamed of teaching kids for over 10 years. They are the most honest and rewarding client. Her surprise hug simply made my day and told me that I am doing something right…I am making a difference.