Yoga Made This National Geographic List!

100 Things to Do Before You Grow Up National Geographic

National Geographic Kids recently released a book entitled, 100 Things to Do Before You Grow Up . . . and the list is pretty interesting and, perhaps, should be required reading for adults as well.  It includes things like catching a fish, learning to scramble an egg, playing in the mud and . . . YOGA!

Now, many of us advocate for the Peter Pan Syndrome . . . I won’t grow up! . . . and practicing yoga may not necessarily help you to become a “grown up”.  Yoga, however, does have anti-aging benefits and, when practiced regularly, can provide both improved physical and mental health.

In a recent article in Self magazine, Larry Payne, PhD, a yoga director at Loyola Marymount University and co-author of Yoga Rx, is quoted as saying, “Unlike traditional exercise, yoga blends moves that improve circulation, balance, flexibility, and strength with meditative techniques such as deep breathing. My students call yoga a natural face-lift. It cleanses, relaxes, and restores.” Additionally, according to Dr. Murali Doraiswamy, professor of medicine and psychiatry at Duke University, as noted in YogaUOnline, “the relaxing effects of deep breathing and meditation in yoga have more than 200 beneficial effects for the brain and nervous system, including the lowering of stress hormone production, the slowing of the aging process in our cells, and more.”

What yoga anti-aging prescription should you follow?  At Sunrise Yoga Studio, we can show you numerous yoga poses as well as assist you with meditation, but here are six anti-aging poses recommended by Best Health:

  1. Equal Standing
  2. Tree Pose
  3. Squat
  4. Downward Dog
  5. Plank
  6. Seated Twist

Let us help you find the best yoga routine for you! And, share your “100 Things to Do” list with us, too!

Tomorrow is National Stress Awareness Day . . . Eat Chocolate & Practice Yoga!

Keep Calm and Do Yoga (with Chocolate)According to the Huffington Post, “A little bit of stress is good for us, in that it provides energy and keeps us aware of everything going on in our lives. But even though stress is a daily occurrence for all of us, it’s important to keep it in check. When left to its own devices, it can lead to or exacerbate a number of health problems, from heart disease, to acne, to obesity, to depression and anxiety.”

Tomorrow, April 16th, is National Stress Awareness Day and April is National Stress Awareness Month.  Most of us don’t need a special day, much less an entire month, to know we deal with stress all too often in our lives.  However, the Health Resource Network (HRN), a non-profit health education organization, creators of this special day/month, wanted to raise awareness of the effects of stress as well as techniques and coping methods to offset it.  HRN notes, “Chronic stress takes a more significant toll on your body than acute stress does. It can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, increase vulnerability to anxiety and depression, contribute to infertility, and hasten the aging process. ”

So, how can we counteract stress?  The Mayo Clinic suggests yoga!  An article from MayoClinic.org states, “Yoga can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve heart function. And almost anyone can do it.” and “Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.”  Additionally, a 2012 UCLA study found that daily yoga and meditation (for as few as 12 minutes a day!) lowered stress levels by reducing the body’s mechanisms that respond to stress triggers.

At Sunrise Yoga Studio, we offer yoga classes every day of the week and we offer specialty classes such as Meditation and Restorative Yoga each month.  So don’t stress . . . just come do yoga!  And, eat chocolate (Yes, for real! The Institute for Natural Healing says, “Researchers in Switzerland found that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate per day for two weeks can reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, can mess with healthy hormone function. It also increases inflammation and can raise blood pressure. So next time you throw your feet up to relax, bring some dark chocolate with you. You’ll get double the cortisol-lowering benefit.”)

Yoga and chocolate . . . what could be better?

What a pain in the neck!

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Do you ever feel the stress and strain of life in your neck?  You are not alone!  According to YogaUOnline, “An estimated 20 percent of the population suffers from chronic neck pain, typically caused by structural dysfunctions or disc issues in the cervical spine.” Ouch!

Yoga to the rescue!  Again quoting YogaUOnline, “A new study from Germany indicates that regular yoga practice may offer a viable alternative for those suffering from neck pain. Study participants assigned to weekly Iyengar yoga sessions reported significantly reduced neck pain over a nine-week period.  Importantly, at follow-up 12 months later, the improvement was still present in the study participants who had kept up a regular home practice over the preceding 12 months.”  Iyengar yoga, where props such as belts, blocks and blankets are utilized to assist students in practicing poses they might not have been able to do otherwise, is the style of yoga taught at Sunrise Yoga Studio and the picture above are actual students using a variety of props in a class at Sunrise Yoga!

In the study mentioned above, participants practiced three standing poses (Mountain Pose, Standing Half-forward Bend at a wall and Warrior 2) and three sitting postures ( Bharadvaja’s twist, Cross-leg pose and Cross-leg pose with a twist), all designed and developed for the study with input from B.K.S. Iyengar.  All of the instructors at Sunrise Yoga are trained to assist you in learning these or any other poses that may assist you in improving your overall health.  Private sessions are also available to address specific needs and issues and serves as a great opportunity to develop a customized yoga practice.

While you have heard us say it before, we’ll quote YogaUOnline and the study one more time . . . “The authors also suggested that as yoga students develop increasing awareness of muscle use and joint position, they can better change habitual posture patterns in daily life.  Those with the most regular practice reported the best results.”

Let us help you get the results you are after . . . especially eliminating that nagging pain in the neck!

 

Yoga May Help Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

Research indicates the practice of yoga can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. According to National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), 25.8 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, a failure of blood sugar control within the body. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

A recent article by Mary Beth Sammons in YogaUOnline.com cited research from Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Southern Denmark that indicates the regular practice of yoga may help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes!  This study “found that the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes was cut by between 30 and 40 per cent with just 3.5 hours of yoga and other muscle-strengthening activities along with aerobic exercise a week.”  It is one of only a few studies that looked at  “the effects of muscle strengthening activities, such as weight training and yoga, in the prevention of diabetes,” and “affirms previous studies that yoga reduces the risk factors for diabetes and heart disease too.”

Just 3.5 hours a week of yoga practice to potentially make a dramatic difference?!? Muscles make a difference and with yoga, the muscles get worked fully, but in a low impact way that doesn’t stress the joints. And, as Kristi Lees notes in BodyBuilding.com, with yoga, “the muscles and surrounding tissues are lengthened and relaxed during yoga asana (Sanskrit word for postures) which creates more room for blood to flow. This in turn attracts more oxygen to the area helping muscles to heal and grow, making them more effective for your next workout (and less sore in everyday life).”  Muscle development also allows glucose to process more efficiently in the body.

What health threatening situation could be reduced or alleviated from your life with added yoga practice? Is a commitment to time in the studio just what the doctor ordered?  Let us know how we can help!

Additional FREE Classes in April at Sunrise Yoga Studio!

Two of our Yoga University 300-Hour Teacher Training candidates will graduate in the very near future!  We are proud of them and the hard work and hours they have put into their training and excited that they have reached this point in their yoga journeys.

As part of their graduation requirements, Anna Misior and Fran Gordon invite you to join them for FREE classes at Sunrise Yoga Studio! Anna’s class will take place on Friday, April 11th from 6:00-7:30 pm and Fran’s is scheduled for Friday, April 25th from 6:00-7:30 pm. Please see the information below for details!

Please Join Us!

FREE Yoga Class at Sunrise Yoga Studio April 11, 2014, 6:00-7:30 pm
2014 042514 Fran Gordon Final Exam Class

Reflections on Yoga Studies . . . a time of social sharing!

Brené Brown

Brené Brown, Author of The Gifts of Imperfection

Listen to author, Brené Brown, discuss The Gifts of Imperfection

Once a quarter, Sunrise Yoga serves as the host for a gathering for socializing and sharing insight as part of our effort to promote body, mind and spirit.  The group chooses a book or movie to discuss and gathers at the studio for time together.  There is no charge to attend these sessions!

Reflections on Yoga Studies begins with a potluck dinner and social time at 7:00 pm.  After enjoying some “catch-up” time in a relaxed atmosphere, the group then moves into discussion of the book or movie. This time of sharing fits well with Sunrise Yoga’s ideals of growth, balance and peace.

The next gathering of Reflections on Yoga Studies is this Friday, March 28th, at 7:00 pm.  The group selected Brené Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are  for the discussion time.  Brené Brown serves on the faculty of University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work where she teaches on shame and empathy, global justice, qualitative research, and women’s issues.  You can learn more about her, her books and her research here and her Oprah’s Lifeclass course related to The Gifts of Imperfection here.

Join the Reflections on Yoga Studies group for a great time of sharing!  You are welcome any time!

♪ ♫ Music & Yoga ॐ

D. J. Stine, mountain dulcimer, at Sunrise Yoga

Listen to Sunrise Yoga student play the mountain dulcimer for the Friday Beginner Class

“Music, like yoga, has the power to tap into the deepest part of ourselves . . .” (www.yogaleila.com)

We are very fortunate to have talented musician, D. J. Stine, play the mountain dulcimer once a month for the Friday 10:00 am Beginner Yoga Class led by Kim Crawford.  Join D. J. and Kim this Friday, March 21st and enjoy the connection of ♫ Music & Yoga ॐ!

 

 

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

urdhva-hastasana-group

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!

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