Stand Up Straight!

urdhva-hastasana-groupIn her article, “Better Posture 101” published in Yoga Journal, Julie Gudmestad says,

Your mom was right: You’ll look better and feel great if you stop slouching and stand up straight.
Yoga can help you do just that—in a way that honors your spine’s natural curves.”

Julie Gudmestad, P.T., has been active in Portland, Oregon, as a yoga teacher and licensed physical therapist for over 30 years.  She has integrated Western medical knowledge with yoga training into a unique teaching style, and has taught many workshops throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.  She is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and is the former author of the Yoga Journal column, “Anatomy of a Yogi.”  We are privileged to host her again this weekend, March 22nd & 23rd, for a weekend workshop focusing on anatomy awareness in asana of the hips, pelvis & low back.

Julie believes “by emphasizing proper form and alignment, students can reverse the effects of gravity while relieving the tensions of everyday life.”  In the article mentioned above, she goes on to say, ” Modern life conspires against good posture. We spend our days sitting at desks, staring at computer screens. When we travel, we do it in cars or—worse—airplanes. We lounge around in overstuffed chairs designed more for looks than for lumbar support. And we pay people to mow our lawns, tend our gardens, and remove our trash so we can spend more time working or driving or sitting. Nonsedentary cultures—with a few exceptions—don’t have the same epidemic of back and neck problems that we do. Picture a woman gracefully balancing a large basket of food on her head. To carry such a heavy weight, she must have a perfectly aligned spine and strong posture-support muscles. You don’t get that kind of alignment and strength from sitting around and watching the tube. You can, however, get it from a regular yoga practice.”

We invite you to learn more about this very important topic with Julie this weekend.  Attend the entire workshop or individual sessions.  Register online at Julie Gudmestad Workshop. Last year was a sell-out! We recommend early registration to confirm your space.

Saturday, March 22nd @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm  &  3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sunday, March 23rd @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm  &  3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Total Workshop = $200

Individual Morning Session = $65
Individual Afternoon Session = $45




Connecting the Dots


As noted by Leslie Kaminoff, author of Yoga Anatomy, “A key element that distinguishes yoga practice from gymnastics or calisthenics is the intentional integration of breath, posture, and movement.  The essential yogic concepts that refer to these elements are beautifully expressed by a handful of coupled Sanskrit terms:

prana (upward spreading breath)/apana (downward contracting breath)
sthira (effort, steadiness)/sukha (ease)
brahmana (expansion)/langhana (reduction)
sukha (good space)/dukha (bad space)”

When your yoga journey first began, what did you hope to get from yoga? Were you seeking a single element of yoga (physical, spiritual)? Were you aware of the “bigger picture” of yoga? Did you know then the word “yoga” means “union” and the process of yoga seeks to find harmony of the mind, body and spirit?

As you progressed in yoga, at what point did you begin to “connect the dots”?  When did you experience yoga as something more than physical movement?  When did you notice the connection between breath and posture and movement and how has that made a difference for you? And, if you have not yet “connected the dots”, how can we help you?

Again quoting Leslie Kaminoff, “You possess a mind and a body that is currently inhaling and exhaling in a gravitational field. Therefore, you can benefit immensely from a process that enables you to think more clearly, breath more effortlessly, and move more efficiently.” Here’s to all three of those benefits and more!



Opportunities for Continuing Education at Sunrise Yoga Studio

Sunrise Yoga Studio - Yoga University

Sunrise Yoga Studio – Yoga University


There’s more to Yoga University than you might realize!  Since 2009, Sunrise Yoga Studio has offered in-depth study programs through its Yoga University for students who desire to deepen their study of yoga beyond our weekly class offerings.  What does this mean?

While Yoga University is the place for students who wish to become certified yoga instructors, Yoga University is also a resource for those who simply want to learn more about the practice of yoga.  Eleven weekends out of the year, Sunrise Yoga offers continuing education opportunities through “mini” courses available during our Yoga University weekends.  These courses range from asana practice, sanskrit, anatomy, meditation and more and are open to anyone who has practiced yoga for at least six months.  Is that you???

Would you like to be with others who also desire to be continuous learners in a friendly, welcoming environment?  Watch for more information on the upcoming April 4-6 Yoga University Continuous Education Weekend!  As Julia Child said, “You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”

See you at the studio!

Private Yoga Sessions Can Optimize Your Practice


Private Yoga Sessions at Sunrise Yoga Studio – Video

Looking for a way to optimize or customize your yoga practice?  Private yoga sessions with Sunrise Yoga owner, Valerie Kiser, gives you one-on-one time to do just that! The instruction is convenient to your personal schedule and needs . . . plus you receive the optimal practice opportunity and attention without other students in the room.

Private yoga sessions offer the means to:

  • Harmonize your yoga practice with your abilities and aspirations
  • Truly relax and focus—you’re the only student in the room, with no group class distractions
  • Discover the power of confident graceful movement
  • Partner with Valerie to create a yoga routine personalized for what matters to you
  • Learn to use special yoga supports to strengthen your body without straining it


Choose the length of your session based on your interests, health issues, and time available. We recommend the 60 minute session for at least the first session to allow time for a full assessment of your situation.

Private Session Fees:

  • 30 minutes = $40
  • 60 minutes = $75

These fees apply to 1 or 2 persons at the studio. (Please inquire for the fee for 3 or more persons or to have a private session in a location other than the studio.)

Call the studio today to book your session . . . 336-778-1233!





Learn about the Bhagavad-Gita with Jarrod Whitaker, PhD

Bhagavad Gita at Sunrise Yoga Clemmons

“Strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life. Do your work with the welfare of others always in mind.”


For centuries, the Bhagavad-Gita has been the most renowned piece of literature in Indian culture.  This epic poem tells the story of the warrior-prince Arjuna as he faces a life-or-death moral dilemma.  As he prepares to battle his own kinsmen and teachers, Arjuna begins to question the purpose of warfare.  Through the guidance of god Krishna, Arjuna begins to understand that the battle he faces is not only physical but spiritual as well.  Various forms of yoga as well as the concept of dharma are addressed in this classic text.

If you wish to read the book prior to class (not required), Jarrod recommends the Barbara Stoler Miller translation.


Jarrod L. Whitaker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Wake Forest University, where he teaches courses relating to Asian Religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism, and also theory and method courses on religion, ritual, and gender. He holds a M.A. with First Class Honors in Religious Studies from The University of Canterbury, New Zealand (1998), and a Ph.D. in Asian Cultures and Languages from The University of Texas at Austin (2005).

Fee = $25

Register for the Bhagavad-Gita class here.



Yoga leads me to . . .

Sunrise Yoga ITMP_5394 110312Quite often, the practice of yoga is referred to as a journey.  How many journeys have you undertaken where you had no particular destination in mind, where you could truly be a wanderer?  To wander, according to Meriam-Webster, is “to move around or go to different places usually without having a particular purpose or direction.”

Your yoga journey probably did not start off without a purpose or direction.  Most people begin a yoga practice with the hope of accomplishing something, changing something, improving something.  While starting yoga may have required your inner explorer to emerge, when did you feel the transition from explorer to journeyer occur?  And do you still have the same purpose or direction for your practice as when you first began or did that change as the venture progressed?

A yoga journey with a goal doesn’t mean there can’t be a bit of roaming and adventure along the way.  After all, if you are truly on a journey, your yoga “travel” will likely cause you to be a bit different than the person you were when you began the trip, and that will, in turn, likely inspire you to navigate new territory.  The key is to reign in the gypsy, the tourist, the nomad so that it is a journey and not a mindless venture.

While it may be true that “Not all those who wander are lost” (J. R. R. Tolkien), it is good to remember to “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” (Greg Anderson).  Happy travels!

Saturday, 2/15: we will be open!

Play time in the snow is over.  Time to get back on your yoga mat!  We will be open on Saturday, 2/15 as usual with Karen’s classes:  9:00-10:30 = Level 2 Flow and 11:00-12:30 = Back Care.  CPR and First Aid classes start at 1:00. (still space available)

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