Stress Awareness Month

April is Stress Awareness Month.

April is Stress Awareness Month. Find a class at Sunrise Yoga in Clemmons, NC, to learn how to better deal with stress.

Most of us are likely aware of stress every day in some form or another. According to the American Institute of Stress, “People have very different ideas with respect to their definition of stress. Probably the most common is, ‘physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension’. Another popular definition of stress is, ‘a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.'”

Stress can lead to a number of serious health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease. If you are looking for ways to better handle stress, let us help! Meditation and yoga are highly recommended to reduce stress.

April is Stress Awareness Month. Find a class at Sunrise Yoga in Clemmons, NC, to learn how to better deal with stress

We have classes available every day of the week! Check out these classes this month specifically geared towards stress:
Friday, 4/20, 6:00-7:30 pm – Meditations to Relieve Headaches with Gwen
Friday, 4/27, 6:00-7:30 pm – Aroma Yoga to Quiet the Mind with Karen

April is Stress Awareness Month. Find a class at Sunrise Yoga in Clemmons, NC, to learn how to better deal with stress

Give it a try! Register through the Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio.

Prop Snob or Prop Proponent?

Are you a prop snob or a prop proponent?

At Sunrise Yoga, we are definitely prop proponents! But there are those who feel using yoga props is a form of “cheating” or a sign of “weakness”. Here’s why we feel yoga props serve an important role in your yoga practice and can turn any “weakness” into a strength.

Valerie Kiser, owner and founder of Sunrise Yoga in Clemmons, NC, uses a yoga strap to accentuate a yoga pose.

At Sunrise Yoga, we are dedicated to providing a safe, educational, and fun environment for the practice of yoga. Each class contains yoga poses of the body, breathing practices, meditation, and relaxation. You and your instructor will develop a personalized approach to each pose creating a greater awareness of your body and mind in motion and in stillness. You are encouraged to work at your own pace honoring your limitations and abilities.

Most of our classes and instruction reflect the teaching of B.K.S. Iyenger, considered one of the foremost yoga instructors in the world. According to the site doyogawithme.com, “The trademark of Iyengar is the intense focus on the subtleties of each posture. B.K.S. Iyengar teaches his classes from his home in Pune, India and has become one of the most influential gurus of our time. In a typical Iyengar class, poses are held much longer than in other schools of yoga, in an effort to pay closer attention to the precise musculoskeletal alignment within each asana. Another trademark of Iyengar is the use of props, such as blocks, belts, bolsters, chairs and blankets, which are used to accommodate injuries, tightness or structural imbalances, as well as teach the student how to move into a posture properly.”

Valerie Kiser, owner and founder of Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons NC, assists a student with yoga props for better alignment.

Because yoga isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to exercise (and more), we take the approach to customize yoga for each participant and props help us do that. Marla Apt, Senior Intermediate level Iyengar instructor, says in featheredpipe.com, “Like the use of medical instruments, the use of props is an exacting science. The patient’s age, mobility, responsiveness to instruction and pain, psychological state and strength must all be taken into consideration and adapted to each individual. Before a pose can be modified with the use of a prop, its properties and qualities must be understood thoroughly.” Instructors at Sunrise Yoga are thoroughly trained to take this exact approach.

Valerie Kiser, owner and founder of Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons, NC, uses yoga props to assist a student with alignment in a yoga pose.

Marla Apt goes on to say in yoganga.com, “In his experiments with his own intensive practice, B.K.S. Iyengar began to use household and found objects to help him improve. He gradually refined and developed props specifically constructed for use in yoga. Today, many of Mr. Iyengar’s innovations with props are commonly seen in the yoga marketplace and their applications are widely used.”

Props aid alignment, balance, relaxation, stretching, and strengthening. Some of the more commonly used props include Blocks, Mats, Straps or Belts, Blankets, Bolsters, Yoga Towels, and Yoga Wheels. At Sunrise Yoga, we also employ chairs and our beautiful yoga wall.

Props provide a means for thoughtful inquiry and direct physical feedback, while fostering confidence to grow our practice,” according to yogauonline.com. These tools can (from mindbodygreen.com):

1. Help you learn the skill involved in sustaining alignment.

2. Take unnecessary struggle out so you cultivate more of a relaxed mind.

3. Make a pose more accessible.

4. Prevent injuries and help old injuries to heal.

5. Create space in the spine and joint stability.

6. Achieve a deeper release of tension as you learn to be in a pose for longer with greater comfort.

7. Promote balance by encouraging weak parts to strengthen and less flexible areas to lengthen.

Yoga includes postures for the body, breathing practices and concentration/meditation techniques. “When we take a functional approach to yoga practice, we decide what area we want to target; we decide where we want to apply a stress to the body and the nature of the stress (either a stretching kind of stress, called tension, or a compressive form of stress, called compression.) If we cannot get the level of stress we desire in the targeted area, then we can either choose a different posture or we can employ props. Props can help to increase stress where there is too little or none at all, and props can also assist in decreasing stress if there is too much,” says author and yoga teacher, Bernie Clark, in Elephant Journal.

Cathy Howe, Sunrise Yoga Instructor, demonstrates the half moon yoga pose using a yoga block.

Need help in finding the props right for your practice? Let our staff help you shop in our boutique, send us an email to info@sunriseyoga.net, or discuss your needs with our instructors.

Do you have a favorite prop or two? Which ones make the most difference in your practice? Please share your prop knowledge with us!!

We’ve Got Your Back!

Do you love and care for your back all the time or only when you have back pain?

A few interesting facts about back pain provided by the American Chiropractic Association:

• Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
• One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
• Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.
• Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
• Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.

Back Care Yoga at Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons, NC

The back” is a pretty important part of the human body so one would think caring for it should be a high priority. This area of the body is an intricate structure with many components, all of which can be strained, ruptured, or irritated resulting in pain. “The lower back where most back pain occurs includes the five vertebrae (referred to as L1-L5) in the lumbar region, which supports much of the weight of the upper body. The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by round, rubbery pads called intervertebral discs that act like shock absorbers throughout the spinal column to cushion the bones as the body moves. Bands of tissue known as ligaments hold the vertebrae in place, and tendons attach the muscles to the spinal column. Thirty-one pairs of nerves are rooted to the spinal cord and they control body movements and transmit signals from the body to the brain,” reports the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

“According to The American Physical Therapy Association Move Forward survey, in which over 2600 respondents shared their experiences and habits regarding back pain, 39% of adults reported that LBP prevents them from fully engaging in daily life tasks. Amongst this, 38% of adults noted it affects their exercise and 37% stating it affects their sleep,” as noted by thegoodbody.com.

And, as the graphic below depicts, again from thegoodbody.com, the number of Americans experiencing lower back pain is on the rise, especially for those 65 years old and older. This data was collected in a 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control.

Graphic on trends in the number of Americans who experience lower back problems according to the CDC

Back pain used to apply more to those who were on their feet all day or involved in work that required manual labor. Today, however, many Americans spend most of their days sitting . . . at a desk or watching tv or working on the computer. According to healthprep.com, “Sitting puts, at least, double the stress on the spine as opposed to standing. And if the body slouches when sitting it increases that pressure even more. Movement is vital to incorporate throughout the day as disks in the spine act as shock absorbers in the body and if the body remains still, these disks do not receive the necessary nutrients they need which lead to tightness and pain.”

Movement IS vital and Sunrise Yoga wants you to know how to better care for your back! We offer Back Care yoga classes at least three times each week and these classes are open to all levels of students, including those who have never taken a yoga class. And students of all ages are welcome!

MSN.com noted that, “Last year a major review of medical evidence by the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the US concluded that regular yoga sessions could improve body function and relieve pain associated with chronic lower back pain.”

Back Care yoga at Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons, NC

In our Back Care yoga classes, students learn poses to relieve muscle tension; learn safe poses to increase flexibility in the hips, shoulders and back; practice strengthening poses to give the spine and neck adequate support; experience ways to improve posture and alignment; and learn relaxation techniques to help reduce mental stress often associated with chronic pain. These classes are suitable for all practitioners, but special care is made to assist those with back issues. Overall emphasis is also placed on building a strong and healthy back for everyone, so as to avoid future back-related problems.

Please care for your back and join us at any of the classes below:

Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30 pm, with Cathy
Thursdays, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, with Kim
Saturdays, 11:00 am-12:30 pm, with Karen H.

We’ve got your back!

March is MS Month!

“Every day you must walk that fine line between courage and caution.”
~ B.K.S. IYENGAR

March is MS Awareness Month Multiples Sclerosis Association of America

March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month and Sunrise Yoga wants to do its part to raise awareness of this unpredictable neurological disorder. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, “MS symptoms are variable and unpredictable. No two people have exactly the same symptoms, and each person’s symptoms can change or fluctuate over time,” but many have found that practicing yoga and meditation help make it easier to live with whatever symptoms develop.

March is MS Month National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the brain and spinal cord, the main components of the central nervous system, and affects nearly 400,000 Americans. “Common symptoms include muscular weakness, stiffness, and pain; loss of balance and coordination; numbness and tingling in the limbs; speech, vision, and bladder problems; short-term memory loss; impaired concentration; and abnormal fatigue. In severe cases, a person may become blind or paralyzed,” as noted in Sharon Sexton’s article, “A Life Worth Living”, on the Yoga International website.

She goes on to say, “Although the exact cause remains a mystery, many experts believe that MS begins as an immune response mounted against an invader—a virus, perhaps—that mutates into an attack against the body itself.”

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America supports Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month with educational activities and events. “MSAA has focused 2018’s awareness campaign on Understanding MS Progression, with specific topics addressing MS relapse management, brain preservation and cognition in MS, and healthy living with primary-progressive MS (PPMS).” MSAA lists the following as symptoms related to MS:

Common Physical Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

balance problems
bladder dysfunction
bowel problems
mobility and walking issues
sexual dysfunction
spasticity (stiffness)
speech difficulties
swallowing disorders
tremor

Common Emotional, Mental, and Psychological Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

anxiety
cognitive changes
depression
Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)

Common “Invisible” Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

dizziness/vertigo
fatigue
numbness
pain
sleep issues
Uhthoff’s syndrome
visual disorders
weakness

Maryann B. Hunsberger, a New Jersey-based freelance writer/editor who specializes in disability issues, writes, “People with MS – whether they show no outward signs of illness or whether they use a wheelchair – need physical exercise. Yoga is especially beneficial, as it releases muscular tension, improves flexibility and circulation, helps with balance and fatigue, and boosts mental alertness. It reduces the effect of sensory changes by increasing functional abilities to a higher level.

Yoga is a gentle form of exercise, and the authors point out that yoga always gives more energy than it takes, making it ideal for those whose energy is limited from MS. Since yoga involves sustained muscle stretches, it helps with the spasticity that sometimes accompanies MS by promoting muscle relaxation. Holding these postures requires isometric effort that increases strength. Because yoga encourages muscle groups to work together, it helps with impaired coordination and balance.”

These comments appear on the MSAA web site as part of a review Hunsberger made on the book, Yoga and Multiple Sclerosis: A Journey to Health and Healing (Demos Medical Publishing, 2007) by Loren M. Fishman, MD and Eric L. Small. She observed, “Fishman and Small derived the yoga program described in the book from the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the world’s most renowned yoga instructors, who practices therapeutic Hatha yoga in Poona, India. Small has spent the past 40 years as an internationally recognized Iyengar yoga instructor. He has also had MS for more than 50 years. He has further developed Iyengar’s work to create a yoga program for MS patients of varying mobility levels. Fishman, an assistant clinical professor in rehabilitation at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, has incorporated yoga in his medical practice for more than 25 years. Both authors have studied with Iyengar in India.”

In the book, Eric Small says, “I am not cured. Iyengar yoga has become the tool with which I handle the day-to-day contingencies of living with MS. I am very proud to hold a Senior II teaching certificate from Mr. Iyengar personally, which has enabled me to travel far and wide teaching others the benefits of Iyengar Hatha Yoga.”

Yoga Journal reports, “A recent Rutgers University study found that women with moderate symptoms of multiple sclerosis experienced improvements in balance, walking, coordination, and quality of life after eight weeks of practicing yoga.” In this study, researchers from Rutgers’ School of Health Related Professions studied the effects of a specialized yoga program for MS patients, incorporating mind, body, and spirit on the quotidian life scale of 14 women with moderate disability due to the disease.

In addition to the physical benefits of practicing yoga, yoga and meditation address the mental and emotional issues related to MS. “Being mindful has a way of bringing you into the present, so for those with MS who don’t know what they’ll wake up to or what the next day or month might bring, mindfulness can reduce anxiety and pain during everyday life challenges,” says Mindy Eisenberg, founder of Yoga Moves MS, a Michigan nonprofit organization, and author of Adaptive Yoga Moves Any Body (everydayhealth.com). “The Yoga Moves philosophy cultivates empowerment, healing, and fun. Yoga is a way to feel alive in our bodies. The more we develop the mind body relationship, we learn much more about our capabilities than our disabilities and limitations, and open to new possibilities both on and off the yoga mat.”

The Rutgers research team mentioned earlier suggests beginning with the Mountain Pose with overhead stretch (Tadasana) and the Forward Bend to waist height (Uttanasana) and the variations of these two poses. Everyone is encouraged to first seek doctor approval prior to beginning any yoga program.

March is MS Month Sunrise Yoga Studio Clemmons NC

Sunrise Yoga has offered Chair Yoga for many years. Chair Yoga classes are appropriate for those with special health conditions like MS, those who want a slower paced class or those who are looking for a beginner level class. The class is open to students who use walkers, canes, and wheelchairs.

Most of the class activity is performed seated in a chair. For those who are able, some standing (with support) and floor movements may be given. For those who are unable, alternate poses appropriate for remaining seated will be given. Students could potentially benefit from the practice of yoga and may see improved range of motion and flexibility, involvement in a social activity, strengthened muscles and joints, and reduced stress. These classes include yoga poses for the body, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques.

If you have been diagnosed with MS or if you know someone who has, please contact us to get started on a yoga journey. Our Sunrise Yoga team is ready to serve as your guide to “walk that fine line between courage and caution” and face each day with mindfulness and empowerment.

Half Moon Pose

If you have been watching the sky, you may have noticed the moon has basically been “disappearing” over the past few days as it moves into waning crescent/new moon phase. BUT, you can be your own moon during this “dark” phase by practicing the half moon pose or Ardha Chandrasana (are-dah chan-DRAHS-anna)!

In Sanskrit, ardha translates as “half” and candra means glittering, shining, having the brilliancy or hue of light and can be translated as “moon“.

Cathy Howe, Sunrise Yoga Instructor, demonstrates the half moon yoga pose.

Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) invites you to tap into both the calm, balancing energy of the moon and the fiery force of the sun,” according to yogajournal.com. “The moon has a rich symbolic significance in yoga mythology. In hatha yoga, for example, the sun and the moon represent the two polar energies of the human body. In fact, the word hatha itself is often divided into its two constituent syllables, “ha” and “tha”, which are then esoterically interpreted as signifying the solar and lunar energies respectively.”

Half Moon Pose is a great asana for learning how to balance and grow awareness in what can at first seem a disorienting position.”

Half Moon Yoga pose step by step moves.

Yoga Basics offers the following instructions for achieving the half moon pose:

1. From High Lunge with the left foot forward, inhale and step forward into the left foot, straightening the left leg. Straighten the right leg up parallel to the floor.

2. Staring at a point on the floor, place the left palm directly under the left shoulder and carefully bring the right hand to the right hip. Roll the right hip up and back so the hips face the side wall.

3. Inhale the right fingertips up towards the ceiling. Turn the head to face the side wall. Work on turning the whole torso to face the side wall.

4. Breathe and hold for 3-5 breaths.

5. To release: exhale and slowly bring both hands back to the floor and step the foot back into High Lunge.

6. Repeat on other side.

 

You can watch a video here on the half moon yoga pose.

How to do the half moon yoga pose image.

Posing tips, offered by Kat Heagberg through Yoga International include:

• Keeping your front knee aligned, press your front foot down into the floor, and resist it to the right, as though you were trying to turn your front foot out, but can’t because it’s stuck to the floor.

• Keep that, and press your back foot against the wall, and resist up, as though someone was trying to push your back thigh down and you were resisting against them (your foot and leg won’t actually move, you’re just resisting).

• Maintaining this dual resistance (pressing down and resisting out with the front foot, and pressing back into the wall and resisting up with the back foot), you might even find that you’re so stable that you can not only extend your top arm up, but you might even be able to lift your bottom hand away from the block!

 

The pose can ease lower-back problems, relieving sacrum pain, sciatica pain, and lumbar aches, and therapeutic applications include anxiety, osteoporosis, fatigue, constipation, gastritis, indigestion, and menstrual pain.

Would you like to learn more about the half moon pose? Bring your glittering, shining, brilliant self to Sunrise Yoga and let one of our glittering, shining, brilliant instructors assist you! We would be over the moon to work with you!

Check out our class schedule to find a class that works for you. Email us at info@sunriseyoga.net for more information.

Meet Lolly (aka Kim)!

This is Kim (who’s hoping to soon be called Lolly!) . . . a familiar face to yoga students at Sunrise Yoga!Kim ("Lolly") with her granddaughter. Kim is a certified yoga instructor at Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons, NC.

Kim and her husband, Lynn, have a new little cowgirl in the family, their granddaughter, 6 month old Emersyn, and they are looking forward to entertaining and educating her at their “mini farm”. On the farm they have horses, cows, chickens, dogs, and a miniature donkey, all wonderful things for “Lolly” and “Pop” to show off to Emersyn!

Kim teaches Chair Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Back Care Yoga, Level One Yoga, and All Levels Yoga at Sunrise Yoga. You can find her teaching schedule here.

Kim came to yoga hoping to improve range of motion after breast cancer treatments. She found that yoga brought her so much more than physical flexibility and strength. The awareness and peacefulness that she found with yoga encouraged her to deepen her practice.

Kim completed a 330-hour teacher training program at Triad Yoga Institute and began teaching in 2008. She graduated from the Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training program as a 500-hour Certified Yoga Teacher and is now a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT500) with Yoga Alliance.

Kim believes that anybody in any body can benefit from yoga and she enjoys sharing the yoga experience.

If you have had any classes with Kim, leave her some love here on the blog or send her a message to info@sunriseyoga.net.

Kim Crawford, graduate of the Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training program as a 500-hour Certified Yoga Teacher, a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT500) with Yoga Alliance. Kim teaches yoga at Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons, NC.P.S. Today is International Women’s Day! We are honored to have many fabulous women as part of Sunrise Yoga Studio!

Passion for Learning

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.

Anthony J. D’Angelo

 

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.

Brad Henry

 

Sunrise Yoga Studio’s founder and owner, Valerie Kiser, definitely has a passion for learning! She has pursued certifications and education in many aspects of yoga not only to deepen her own understanding and practice but to share that knowledge and experience with others.

And because she wants yoga to be better understood as more than a means to becoming more physically flexible, Valerie makes sure Sunrise Yoga offers a variety of classes for all levels of experience and for all body types. While Valerie personally teaches many of the classes offered at Sunrise Yoga, she particularly enjoys the Select Your Study classes offered weekly on Wednesdays 6:00-7:30 pm.

In the Select Your Study classes, the topics vary week to week and could include things such as specific pose work or pose type, a therapeutic theme, a particular part of the body, or more! These classes are wonderful places to learn something new or dig a little deeper in your yoga practice.

 

February’s Select Your Study classes included Making Friends with Handstand, Heart Opening Yoga (for Valentine’s Day!), and Flow Yoga. And on Wednesday, February 28th, Valerie will cover Yoga for Golfers! And coming in March, Strength Training for the Yogi (March 7th), Level 4 Handstands & Backbends (March 14th), Chakra Sun Salutations (March 21st), and, since Spring brings some not so nice things, Yoga for Allergies (March 28th).

 

 

Valerie welcomes your suggestions for future classes. Is there something you would like to know more about that would help you in your yoga practice? Is there an area in your life where a yoga connection could be explored? Send Valerie an email (info@sunriseyoga.net) with your topic ideas and questions! We like making yoga fun. We like variety. And we want to help you be passionate about learning!

Select YOUR Study and fuel YOUR passion for learning!

Cupid Recommends the Extended Side Angle Pose!

We are featuring the Extended Side Angle pose this month, a pose that builds strength through the entire body. We are certain Cupid practices this pose in order to prepare for all the LOVE arrows he will be sending out next week!

The Sanskrit name for this pose is Utthita Parsvakonasana (oo-TEE-tah parsh-vah-cone-AHS-anna), which translates as follows:
utthita = extended
parsva = side, flank
kona = angle
(http://www.yogajournal.com/)

According to http://www.yogaoutlet.com/, the Extended Side Angle pose “relieves stiffness in the shoulders and back. It provides a deep stretch to the groins and hamstrings, and it also improves stamina. This pose strengthens the legs, knees, and ankles, while also stretching and toning the abdominal muscles. It is known to be therapeutic for constipation, infertility, sciatica, menstrual discomfort, and low backache.”

We would love to show you where in your posing sequence to incorporate this pose and the proper steps for executing this pose! We have many classes available for all levels as well as one on one instruction. Book your time online, through our SYS app, at the studio, or by phone!

What pose would you like to see featured here in the future?

Missions with a Dose of Yoga!

Meet Sandra!

Yoga has brought balance to her life as well as the ability to honor time for herself. Sandra shares those with all her students through her teaching. Sandra is a former triathlete, marathoner, and competitive cyclist who still enjoys running and cycling.

As such, she found that Yoga brought balance to her body as well as her mind. Her particular interests are for sharing her love of yoga with kids and families. Sandra says she teaches yoga because she wants to share the tremendous benefits yoga has to offer for the physical body and for the mind. She wants students to have fun and to enjoy the sense of community during her classes.

Sandra also enjoys using yoga to communicate with locals on mission trips in which she participates. Sandra has participated in Hands of Hope NC mission trip to Dominican Republic.

She is a Level 2 Radiant Child Certified Instructor and has completed the 330-hour teacher training program at Triad Yoga Institute. She has also completed a Certification program for Prenatal Yoga. She has completed the Triad Yoga’s 500-hour teacher training program.

You can find Sandra at Sunrise Yoga on Mondays  for Levels 1 & 2 Yoga. Check the schedule for a time that works for you!

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