Yoga class with focus on back care still going strong in new Black Mountain location

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
Allison McLeod leads a back care yoga class in its new location at 130 Center Avenue in Black Mountain on March 8.

After seven years a popular Black Mountain class for people who enjoy the benefits of yoga but find themselves limited by a bad back has moved to a new location.

Allison McLeod's Back Care Yoga class, previously available at the former Cheshire Fitness Club, is now teaching the specialized technique three times a week at the Sanctuary Studio at 130 Center Avenue. 

McLeod, who operates Allison McLeod Bodywork, has been practicing bodywork for 10 years and teaching yoga for 13. 

"I developed this class at Cheshire years ago," she said. "Back care yoga isn't really a thing, I mean it's not that nobody is doing, but not really in Black Mountain."

McLeod, a licensed message and bodywork therapist, began noticing a trend among her clients years ago.

"Working on people's backs all the time, but I came to learn how temporary massage is; it's great, but it's temporary," she said. "I started to think what would really benefit people even more is if I could teach them how to move."

McLeod began to think of ways she could give people with back issues a yoga experience. 

"The impetus of it was to create something a little new and different," she said. 

After teaching her first few back care yoga classes, and seeing 25-35 people per session, she realized how great the need for the classes was. 

"It's been super popular since the beginning," she said. "We have an aging population here in Black Mountain and many of them really benefit from this."

The classes differ greatly from traditional yoga, according to the teacher.

"One of the things that makes it really different is that there is a lot of detailed anatomical description and instruction," she said. "If people are looking for a flow yoga class, this is not that. A lot of people associate yoga with more spiritual or philosophical components, and this not that either. This is more like therapy."

McLeod's sessions are designed to appeal to people contending with back issues. 

"If you have pain that is chronic or even sporadic, then this is something you would want to try," she said. 

McLeod's research on bio-mechanics led her to place an emphasis on natural movement. 

"My clients are mostly in their 70s and this is great preventive care," she said. "And I'd like to see people more interested in preventive care, but a lot of times people don't understand the importance unless they've dealt with back issues themselves."

Moving the class from its former location allows McLeod to see smaller groups and provide more individual instruction, she said. It also allowed her to expand her offerings. 

"I had been holding classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays," McLeod said. "Now I'm holding them on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m."

Pricing packages are available on a sliding scale and single classes range from $8-12 per class. 

McLeod's first DVD, "Back Care Yoga," was recently released and is available on her website,