Apparently, we’re awesome.
We genuinely love the work we do, and in large part, that’s because of the most amazing people who come to see us. We’re humbled and honored that so many of our clients love what we do.
“I first heard about Bendable Body when some celebrities were using the method and were so passionate about the results. This got me intrigued.”
“John is the most impeccably trained person I have ever met in this kind of fitness and stretching venue.”
“I would say in about 3 months 90% of my back pain went away, in 6 months 100%, and now I am a year out and I don’t even think about back pain, I can do whatever I want.”
“I was a skeptic. The first time the team stretched me— it was for an hour and a half— I played squash 4 straight days in a row and on the 4th day I felt exactly the same as I had on the 1st day.”
“The change that has happened in my body that I have wanted for so long, has encouraged the concept within me that there is change available in all areas of my life.”
—Mary Regency Boies
“I had neck problems, it was always there, but for the last year and half I haven’t even thought about my neck.”
“…right hip limitation and pain that I’ve had for 30 years is now a thing of the past.”
—Christiane Northrup MD
I have experienced the power of Bendable Body with John Kelly and Sita Hagenburg. As a result of removing the dense fascia from my body, my sleep has vastly improved as well as my digestion and general overall comfort with moving my body. In fact, right hip limitation and pain that I’ve had for 30 years is now a thing of the past. I am amazed at how effective and fast this work truly is. And I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to live fully and comfortably in their bodies. Bendable Body is indeed– ingenious.
“The actively loaded eccentric resistance moves that constitute the majority of their work coordinate nerve, muscle and fascia in a very satisfying way.”
—Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains
I experienced the eccentric-loading flexibility training from John and Chris at Bendable Body. It felt like I got a thorough workout, a good stretch, and a neural organization session all rolled into one hour-and-a-half. The actively loaded eccentric resistance moves that constitute the majority of their work coordinate nerve, muscle and fascia in a very satisfying way.
“In my many years of touring the world, I have taken many exercise classes, martial arts training, yoga, and stretch classes. Bendable Body was like no stretch class I’d ever been to. I felt immediate results.”
guitarist with Genesis & Phil Collins
I was turned on to Bendable Body at the wonderful health resort Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. John and Sita were the visiting instructors. At that point, I had never heard of Bendable Body. But since then, I’m a big fan! In my many years of touring the world, I have taken many exercise classes, martial arts training, yoga, and stretch classes. Bendable Body was like no stretch class I’d ever been to. I felt immediate results. As a professional guitarist, these exercises have been incredibly beneficial for my overall playing and stamina on stage. I just wish I could take them on tour with me!
“When Dr. Christiane Northrup turned me on to Bendable Body, I learned, for the first time, what flexibility truly means.”
When Dr. Christiane Northrup turned me on to Bendable Body, I learned, for the first time, what flexibility truly means. Immediately I trusted and felt safe with the Bendable Body staff. After just a few months of private sessions, my body has let go of over 50 years of bound fascia and scar tissue. Now instead of feeling like I am trudging up a hill or up a flight of stairs, my legs are alive again!
“I no longer have plantar fasciitis or IT Band problems, I am not flexed at the pelvis and have regained the inch of height I lost through the years.”
—Judith Novak MD
I met John and Sita through their teacher of RFST, Bob Cooley. I was in my early 60’s. I no longer have plantar fasciitis or IT Band problems, I am not flexed at the pelvis and have regained the inch of height I lost through the years. Their work on my body has removed all the biomechanical effects of aging. I find the association of stretching pathways to acupuncture meridians compelling and feel stretching has had effects beyond the biomechanical.
“Students who are stretched have an increase in both proprioception and interception which serves and increases the benefits of your yoga practice.”
—Kate Bovers Yoga Instructor
I have practiced for 30 years and I have been teaching classes and workshops for about 10 years. I am constantly looking for techniques and information to empower myself to help empower my students.
I often recommend to my students that they explore the many benefits and freedoms that the Bendable Body system offers. As yogi’s we are usually in search of experience, explorations and more awareness in each asana. Where are we stuck or too free? Stretching softens the overly stable fascial tissue and frees up the muscle to perform optimally. Students who are stretched have an increase in both proprioception and interception which serves and increases the benefits of your yoga practice.
“I am an avid cyclist and during the summer of 2013 had a pretty nasty fall off my bike…. After working with John for just one session I had fully regained the motion in my shoulder, it was truly a revelation.”
“I first tried Bendable Body because of its emphasis on improving posture and alleviating back pain.”
I first tried Bendable Body because of its emphasis on improving posture and alleviating back pain. Despite taking Pilates and Yoga, I was perpetually slumped and my left hip and lower back ached continually. I became a regular at the class a year ago and the benefits have been broad and significant. First of all, the class itself is fun. John is an excellent instructor who creates a warm atmosphere in the studio and never falls into rote recitation. This vibrancy insures that you, the participant, stay equally engaged.
Though many of the movements appear simple at first, they pay big dividends. It is a great workout; I feel exhilarated when I leave the class. More than that, the class primes my body to enjoy other forms of exercise. Since I began flexibility training I have lost more than 20 lbs. Back and hip pain is the exception not the rule. I view these classes as the catalyst to a whole suite of changes– to my physique and how I move– as well as to an enhanced sense of well being, as a result of discovering Bendable Body.
“I walked in with a lot of pain in my neck, but just stretching my arms completely erased that pain by the time we were finished.”
When I heard Dr. Christiane Northrup talk at an event about resistance stretching, I had a strong intuitive feeling that I should try it. I had been a dancer who became a writer, and I knew I was spending far too much time sitting. As the aging process set in, I was losing flexibility, but the way I had always stretched wasn’t working anymore. No matter how much I tried to stretch my muscles, I seemed to be back at square one the next day. I knew I had to do something about it or I would have big problems as I got older.
Then, I had my first session with John. It was eye-opening – unlike any body work I’d ever done – and I felt amazing afterward. I walked in with a lot of pain in my neck, but just stretching my arms completely erased that pain by the time we were finished. The stretching wasn’t taxing at all, but I was sore for a few days, which just told me it was working.
Now that I’ve done this work for a few months, I’ve not only become more flexible, but I’ve become stronger. I’d had an injury 20 years ago that left one of my shoulders much less flexible than the other. Today, I can no longer tell any difference between my shoulders. A twist that I’d had for years in my left knee is almost all gone now. I used to have pain in my lower back if I had to stand for any length of time, but now, it’s rarely an issue.
I’m looking forward to the additional benefits I’ll experience as I continue with Bendable Body. I’ve been so excited about it that I’ve told lots of people of all ages that they need to check it out. I wish I had been able to do this work when I was a young dancer. I’m sure I wouldn’t have some of the issues I have now from years of ballet if I had been doing resistance stretching at the same time. So, this isn’t just for older people like me.
I always look forward to my sessions because my body feels so relaxed and energized afterward. Besides the work itself, I enjoy going to the studio and chatting with everyone there as we work. The energy of the place is very positive and welcoming. Mostly, I’m excited that I’ve found something I know will keep me healthier and moving well throughout the rest of my life.
“I was having severe back spasms and short episodes of paralysis in my face. The pain was coming from nothing any doctor could find. After one session, the severe symptoms went away and most importantly I could pick up my son. After a handful of sessions my body felt like I was back in college!”
When I went for my first private session with John I was in so much pain I couldn’t even pick up my newborn son. I was having severe back spasms and short episodes of paralysis in my face. The pain was coming from nothing any doctor could find. I got an MRI to make sure it wasn’t a serious condition. I was very reluctant and scared to injure myself further, but I was in so much pain I was willing to give a session with John a try. The team was extremely knowledgable and in tune with my body. They listened very carefully to my input and feedback. After one session, the severe symptoms went away and most importantly I could pick up my son. After a handful of sessions my body felt like I was back in college! I continue to work with John on and off when I feel like I need a boost. My body not only maintains all of the early changes, but keeps getting better. It’s been a life-saver!
“When I discovered a daoist teacher who told me the last thing I needed was to open up and stretch. I needed BOUNDARIES. What started with the Katonah Yoga method, the work of Nevine Michaan years back, has been catapulted by my stretching experience over the past year.”
—Taylor Chen, Movement Teacher
My yoga practiced changed drastically in response to stretching. In opposition to most, I came to yoga as a dancer and already quite flexible. In many ways, in the early years i practiced yoga, i exploited a lot of that flexibility (which was in fact hypermobility and relative inflexibility) and did a good bit of damage. Primarily, low back trouble and a very unstable pelvis. I also had extreme variance in my flexibilty – being overly “flexible” in certain directions and very rigid in others. The biggest discrepancy was in my lumbar flexibility and the immobility of my psoas and hip flexors. I could do all the fancy party tricks but found that yoga never really “worked” for me. My body hurt more and my anxiety increased, aside from a short high of cardiovascular work if i took a more athletic class. The stillness and peace of mind, the sense of unity and ease, sought and potentially experienced through a yoga practice remains illusive when your practice is one-sided.
My practiced started to evolve into something much more, ironically, practical! When I discovered a daoist teacher who told me the last thing I needed was to open up and stretch. I needed BOUNDARIES. What started with the Katonah Yoga method, the work of Nevine Michaan years back, has been catapulted by my stretching experience over the past year. The shapes that I can create with my body, asanas, postures, may be less grand, but are profoundly more integrated and sustainable and my practice has become more conscious, enjoyable and insightful. But the most gratifying gifts that stretching has given me, and continues to provide, come in the form of emotional maturity, wisdom, and empowerment. Healing the physical “split” -the duality between my strengths and weaknesses, stiffness and hypermobility, hyper-alertness in one area and dormancy in another, and finding more integrations and fluidity has, in turn, catalyzed the healing of many relationships outside of the physical. Knowledge that I understood logically, has transformed into a body wisdom that can never be taken away. I always liked the idea of wholistic living, but understanding and experiencing the dimensionality of biomechanical and energetic relationships through stretching, I now GET it. The knowing that I now have is empowering. I have a renewed sense of agency in myself – I have the tools to take care of me and no longer need or consider relying on someone to “fix it” or do it for me. Life is more fun when you are in the drivers seat, where boundaries and freedom mingle playfully and healthily, and the channels of communication are open both internally and externally.
“My moment of clarity was when John came to adjust my position in an arm stretch—he gave me more resistance than I’d been using and I felt muscles in my chest and pecs that I don’t think had ever been challenged before.”
I came to stretching serendipitously—John and Sita were offering a class once a week in my condo building in Alexandria Virginia. So nothing ventured nothing gained was my attitude. Resistance stretching was counter-intuitive, all the contracting before stretching and then not stretching very far if you lose the contraction. And many times I didn’t feel much while I was doing the stretches.
My moment of clarity was when John came to adjust my position in an arm stretch—he gave me more resistance than I’d been using and I felt muscles in my chest and pecs that I don’t think had ever been challenged before. All with about a one inch movement, letting the resistance do the work. Once I had that, it was motivating. It’s not difficult, you can feel the results rapidly, and I always feel looser at the end of class. It helps you move better—and it helps in my swim workouts.
Later I had the benefits of private sessions—having worked through a frozen shoulder with physical therapy, when I injured the other shoulder, I wanted to approach it differently. So I used a combination of private sessions and acupuncture. I’m sure I recovered with less pain. Private sessions really helped speed my recovery process and they get more deeply into the fascia for the muscles that you can ever do by yourself.
It doesn’t hurt that John and Sita are excellent teachers–grounded, happy people who love their work. That’s why I’m in my third year of stretching, feeling the benefits every day I move.
“I find it remarkable that each session builds upon the last and that the benefits are cumulative and lasting.”
I have been working with John Kelly and Sita Hagenburg for over a year and my body has benefited greatly from the work that we have done together. This modality is unlike any other that I have tried over the years, because the healing is done on such a deep level within the body and the results are immediate and lasting.
A few of the major changes that I have experienced is the level of inflammation in my body has been greatly decreased, my flexibility has improved measurably and my shoulders which used to cause me great discomfort are now working better than they have in years and the discomfort gone. I find it remarkable that each session builds upon the last and that the benefits are cumulative and lasting. I am so grateful that I have found this modality and that John and Sita are so knowledgable in the work that they do.
“My lower back problems that I had for ten years have disappeared. Sharp pains in my hip that I had suffered for forty years have gone.”
—Susan Ginsburg, lawyer and policy analyst
I have been getting stretched since 2009 with Bob Cooley and John and Sita more recently. It has been a saving practice and revelation on many levels. My lower back problems that I had for ten years have disappeared. Sharp pains in my hip that I had suffered for forty years have gone. My posture continues to improve, and the symmetry of my body, including my face, has increased.
I am immeasurably more comfortable in my body, I have more stability as well as flexibility when I stand and walk, and no longer trip and topple off my heels. My running stride has changed and is much more comfortable. I am able to enjoy bicycling much more. My energy level and stamina have increased and my mood has improved. My progress is incremental but consistent and I’ve learned how to keep making changes. Along the way I’ve absorbed a lot of generously shared and fascinating information about the relationship between muscles, fascia, organs, energy flows and personality.
I’ve learned that there’s a relationship between my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and so understand myself and other people better. The practice and the knowledge associated with it has helped me better target my physical, emotional and life problems, enjoy people and experience more, and have more satisfying relationships. I learn and have fun every session.
“The Bendable Body Team has helped me address recurring low back spasms, twists in my alignment, and daily pain, all caused from 3 herniated discs in my spine.”
My introduction to stretching came when Bob Cooley removed a long time shoulder injury caused by a car accident. The Bendable Body Team has helped me address recurring low back spasms, twists in my alignment, and daily pain, all caused from 3 herniated discs in my spine. Private stretching sessions relieved pressure and pain in my back and stopped the spasms all together. They taught me how to self-stretch at home to prevent future spasms and maintain my posture, alignment and flexibility.
The more I stretch the better and stronger I feel. This practice has given me back confidence in my body and a technique that keeps me strong, flexible and energized. I have also began to learn how to feel my body and my muscles, how to be aware and cognizant of how my body works, moves and the space it occupies at any given moment. I have become more mindful of others and their own struggles with their bodies and health.
I’ve also been fascinated by the muscle-meridian links and the personality type associations – with help and asking lots of questions, this has helped me in figuring out interpersonal dynamics. Stretching with John and Sita has been a life changing experience, a total body-mind and behavior wake up call.
“Before I arrived at class my body was hunched over and the cramping in my hip flexors, adductors, and stiffness in my low back was so intense that I felt like I could barely walk…”
Before I arrived at class my body was hunched over and the cramping in my hip flexors, adductors, and stiffness in my low back was so intense that I felt like I could barely walk.
The beginning of the class was a little bit of struggle because I started out so stiff! But about halfway through something unlocked and I started to feel better and stretch easier.
By the end of the class, I felt great – like a human again! I walked out without pain and discomfort and with a new found ease of movement.
“There is nothing more centering than a meditation after a Bendable Body stretch.”
“I have more energy, flexibility and it has significantly reduced chronic back and neck pain. Stretch class makes my body sing!”
“How to to adequately relate how amazing the session was with you last week, John? Life changing. I feel like I’m looking at my body and movement in a new way and have renewed faith that I can change my current limitations. I’ve been doing the stretching and strengthening exercises they feel better and better every day.”
—Lissa Hunsicker Kenney LCSW
“My left core muscle is finally firing, my ankles are now able to get stronger with yoga – the fascia were stuck for years. Swinging my right leg that has a hip replacement was how I have been walking without stability for year. Now the left core muscle combined with the right ankle prevents me from falling which has been a way of life for as far back as I can remember. Thanks to the last few sessions with John while I was in New York City, it has really made a difference. Keep working on them is now my way of life.”
—Dr. Elizabeth Woo Li
“I have experienced a profound shift in the functionality of my body, mind and spirit culminating in an overall sense of well being.”
“The stretches are definitely helping me reduce pain and stiffness. The most amazing change has been with my knees, I rarely have pain now.”
I am doing so much better now that I use Bendable Body stretches prior to a run and at work when my neck and back start feeling the stress of sitting and dealing with difficult people. The stretches are definitely helping me reduce pain and stiffness. The most amazing change has been with my knees, I rarely have pain now. Prior to a run, I do several of the hamstring stretches –
there are 3 or 4 combined together that seem to do the trick. I’ve also incorporated some of your stretches in between lifting weights at the gym.
“This work is transformational. I am a public health strategist who finds it much easier to be strategic when my body is engaged and open – not hunched over like a gorilla! Stretching brings everything into alignment and has transformed my body and and approach to work and life.”
“The modality has given me relief like no other and allowed me to get back to my job (which is very physically demanding) and pursue my sailing career.”
—Greg Dolan, World Class Sailor, Member of the US Sailing Team, Collegiate Coach
I have experienced the benefits of stretching with John Kelly, and Beryl Hagenburg. I went to the studio because I had suffered two major concussions. The first was while I was sailing- the mast of the boat hit me on the right side of my head knocking me unconscious. The second happened a short time after during a freak accident when a moving dolly fell down a flight of stairs and hit me again on the same side of the head knocking me unconscious.
The two injuries negatively impacted my health in a number of ways: shoulder, hip, knee, and back problems; impaired general movement and strength, trouble eating, digesting, and sleeping; bouts of anxiety, depression, and anger. Within a short period of time getting stretched found that I was moving with renewed strength, feeling less anxious, eating and sleeping better, and feeling less pain in my knee, hip and shoulder.
During stretch sessions I am amazed at the immediate changes and improvements to my body alignment. The modality has given me relief like no other and allowed me to get back to my job which is very physically demanding, and pursue my sailing career. John Kelly is a very knowledgeable and experienced trainer with a great passion for health. I recommend the Bendable Body team to anyone, particularly anyone with concussions.
“We were introduced to this stretching method in June 2013. And after a year of consistent stretching, what an improvement it has made for our daughter Gabriella. Gabriella is an 8 year old with multiple disabilities and after being stretched by the team, we have seen progress in many aspects. She has improved her digestion, speech, cognitive abilities, core strength and coordination. Gabriella also loves all the trainers and looks forward to her bi-weekly sessions with John and Sita. The team is also very knowledgeable in other areas of creating a healthy life style, including nutrition. We cannot say enough at how much this work has changed our lives and we encourage anyone to try it.”
—John and Rachel Giordano
“It’s been a wonderful compliment to my Pilates practice and I would encourage all variety of active people to try it for themselves to see how it can improve their athletic performance, as well as alleviate a wide variety of soreness and pain.”
—Monica Shores, Pilates instructor
I became interested in resistance stretching after reading The Genius of Flexibility years ago, but never had in person guidance on how to properly perform the exercises until John and Sita came to DC. Thank god they did. I see my body respond after a single session with them in more immediate ways than I’ve ever experienced from other forms of movement. And it never stops surprising me.
I feel like I make a new discovery after every time I’m stretched. From relieving shoulder pain to making progress on my intractable hamstrings, this work has amazing effects. It’s been a wonderful compliment to my Pilates practice and I would encourage all variety of active people to try it for themselves to see how it can improve their athletic performance, as well as alleviate a wide variety of soreness and pain. It’s ok if you’re skeptical at first – you won’t be once you get started!
“After John worked on my left leg for around 30 minutes he asked me to stand up and told me to move around; my leg felt lighter, and as I bent down I was able to touch my toes for the first time in my life.”
Over the course of the past 10 months I have been influenced by resistance stretching. I was first introduced in late August of 2013 when I was stretched by John Kelly. I was amazed on how John was stretching me. After he worked on my left leg for around 30 minutes he asked me to stand up and told me to move around; my leg felt lighter, and as I bent down I was able to touch my toes for the first time in my life.
I immediately realized this method of stretching is far more productive and healthier than static stretching. Since then I have been stretched twice; once in January and once in April by John Kelly and Sita Hagenburg. The resistance stretching has made me improve in my Cross Country and Track performances over this past school year. In just a year my mile time dropped from 5 minutes and 51 seconds to 5 minutes and 2 seconds. Also,my 5k time had dropped from 23 minutes to 18 minutes and 30 seconds. I achieved these times by all the help John has provided me.
If he is not stretching me, I am at home doing a quad stretch, hamstring stretch, or a hip flexor stretch. As a freshman in high school, resistance stretching has improved not only my athletic abilities, but my health overall. This way of stretching is beneficial to anyone, even if you do not participate in sporting activities, because it changes your body, your mind, and your life. I strongly suggest trying this method of stretching, it’s the solution to all your problems.
“The biggest benefit I have gained is balance – my body feels very sure of itself now when I move.”
The biggest benefit I have gained is balance – my body feels very sure of itself now when I move. Other gains are….my posture is much better, I’m more centered, I think more clearly, my digestive and elimination systems function better, I have fewer headaches (a lifelong bane), lower backaches are fewer and milder, and I have more energy.
A fun bonus is that I have clocked a slightly faster race-walking time – I don’t know why, but my feet move more efficiently (racing is all about how fast your feet will go). Plus – I am notorious for not exercising on my own (except training) – I’ve always been a “go to class” person…but because this program makes me feel so much better I have begun doing it on my own periodically – a first for me, and a testament to the rewards of the program.
“John’s Sunday morning stretching class always yields surprises and brings new dimensions of body/mind awareness for me. And the strengthening and toning is excellent preparation for the week to come.”
“There was a real balance between instructors and I feel like that set a very positive and balanced tone for the class. I like that sharing what you’re feeling, at any time, was strongly encouraged and people seemed to respond and ultimately connect to one another more.”
I really enjoyed the Stretching Workshop and I have been discussing and recommending this method to anyone and everyone I come in contact with, when appropriate. I thought the class was well organized and managed. I feel like Sita and John had excellent “flow” as co-instructors with no one instructor trying to “out do” or “take charge”. There was a real balance between instructors and I feel like that set a very positive and balanced tone for the class.
I like that sharing what you’re feeling, at any time, was strongly encouraged and people seemed to respond and ultimately connect to one another more. That connection, between people, made for an even more positive experience, for me anyway. I am really looking forward to continuing my own practice, at home, with the cheat-sheet and am interested to see how it affects my life, health and wellness.
“I absolutely LOVED the workshop. I have been evangelizing and telling my friends it is the best $100 I ever spent. I think you all demonstrated and helped all the students in a very positive way. Seeing the stretches performed and being able to ask questions is so much better than just seeing a picture in the book. I have been doing the stretches each day, and my goal is to continue that so that I may realize the true benefits over time. (I’m already feeling benefits!) ”