Why Don’t More Men Do Yoga?

Male Yoga Participants at Sunrise Yoga, Clemmons

Larry Schonhofen (back) and Toby Gordon (front) practicing yoga at Sunrise Yoga Studio.

If you are male and reading this, you’ve either asked yourself the same question or you at least have an opinion on why more men don’t do yoga.  According to the 2012 Yoga in America study, 82.2% of yoga practitioners in the United States are women and that number is up from the same study of 2008.  And, though the top five reasons for starting yoga were: flexibility (78.3 percent), general conditioning (62.2 percent), stress relief (59.6 percent), improve overall health (58.5 percent) and physical fitness (55.1 percent), benefits appropriate for both genders, men are less likely to think of starting yoga for these benefits.

A recent article in the Washington Post by Eric Niiler cited several misconceptions men hold when it comes to yoga.  The lack of flexibility is commonly mentioned but Adrian Hummel, a male Bikram yoga instructor in Bethesda, MD, responds, “It’s almost a joke when guys say, ‘I don’t think I should do yoga because I’m not flexible.  It’s like saying, ‘I’m too weak, so I can’t lift weights.’ ”  Other myths, according to the article include “yoga isn’t a decent workout; it’s too touchy-feely; you have to be flexible to do it; men’s bodies just aren’t built for pretzellike  poses.”

Loren Fishman, MD, a frequent prescriber of yoga for a variety of ills and a practitioner of yoga since the 1970’s, notes, “When it came to the United States, yoga became a sort of gentle gym, a noncompetitive, non-confrontational thing that’s good for you. Yoga has this distinctive passive air to it. You get into the pose and stay there.”  But many athletes have learned that practicing yoga regularly helps them avoid injuries and frequently cite its benefits.

So, what’s your take?  Read the full Washington Post article HERE and let us know what you think.

Dr. Deepak Choprah is a Proponent of Meditation . . . and so is Sunrise Yoga Studio!

 Mindfulness Meditation & Movement at Sunrise Yoga, Clemmons

In September of this year, the Huffington Post reported Six Myths About Meditation from Dr. Deepak Chopra, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and an adjunct professor of Executive Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  An avid author on many health related topics, Dr. Chopra has long been a proponent of meditation.

In the article (read it for yourself here), the Mayo Clinic is cited stating, “Meditation is a way to reduce stress by focusing your attention and eliminating the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind.”   But, as Dr. Chopra points out, many have misguided ideas about what meditation is and how it works.

The Six Myths listed (and countered) by Dr. Chopra are:

1. Meditation is hard. (“Though it’s best to learn from an experienced, knowledgeable teacher, the techniques can be as simple as focusing on your breathing or silently repeating a mantra.”)

2. You need to quiet your mind completely to meditate successfully.   (“Through meditation we can find the quiet that already exists in the space between our thoughts.”)

3. It takes years of practice to receive any benefits from meditation. (“The benefits of meditation are both immediate and long-term. Other common benefits of meditation include improved concentration, decreased blood pressure, reduced stress and anxiety, and enhanced immune function.”)

4. I don’t have enough time to meditate. (“In life’s paradoxical way, when we spend time meditating on a regular basis, we actually have more time.”)

5. Meditation requires spiritual or religious beliefs. (“Meditation doesn’t require a specific spiritual belief, and many people of many different religions practice meditation without any conflict with their current religious beliefs.”)

6. I’m supposed to have transcendent experiences in meditation. (“Although we can have a variety of wonderful experiences when we meditate, including feelings of bliss and oneness, these aren’t the purpose of the practice. When we emerge from our meditation session, we carry some of the stillness and silence of our practice with us, allowing us to be more creative, compassionate, centered, and loving to ourselves and everyone we encounter.”)

Would you like to learn more about meditation?  Join us for our Mindfulness Meditation & Movement with Anna Leisa Schuh, a 4-Week Series beginning Sunday, October 13th!  Practice structured meditation and movement, explore through readings and discussion, and learn home-based practice ideas.

Register online or at the studio.

Mindfulness Meditation & Movement

October 13-November 3

Sundays @ 5:30-7:00 pm

Fee = $100 (or $90 if before 10/9/13)

(At least 5 students need to register before 10/9 for the classes to be held.)

See you at the studio!



Do You Know Someone Who is “Afraid” to Begin Yoga? 10 Things Every Beginner Yoga Student Should Know!


Do you remember what it felt like when you first started yoga?  Did you have any qualms about taking a class?  Did you hesitate at all because you were new to yoga?  Or maybe you are that person who would like to begin but you feel a bit intimidated because “you don’t know what you don’t know”?

We often tell new students at Sunrise Yoga Studio that they will not feel like newbies for very long.  Our active students are welcoming and our instructors make every effort to create a relaxed and “safe” environment for all levels of students.

But, if some questions are running through your mind about starting a yoga journey, know that others have had questions too!  Erica Rodefer Winters recently addressed some of these questions in an article entitled, “10 Things Every Beginner Yoga Student Should Know”.  She is the former online editor for Yoga Journal magazine and has had interaction with many yoga studios, yoga conferences and workshops.  See how many of the “10 Things” to which you relate!

10 Things Every Beginner Yoga Student Should Know


Compassionate City Month in Winston-Salem Coincides with National Yoga Month at Sunrise Yoga!

Winston-Salem Skyline by Dennis Ammons, In That Moment Photography

Winston-Salem Skyline by Dennis Ammons, In That Moment Photography

September is typically a month of transition as we move from summer to fall and from less routine back to more structure with the start of the school year.  With yoga, every month should be a month of transition as we continue to learn and grow, but September, specifically, is National Yoga Month (as designated by the Department of Health and Human Services)!  National Yoga Month recognizes the health benefits of yoga and is designed to encourage us all to live a healthy lifestyle.  Of course, at Sunrise Yoga, EVERY month is Yoga Month and we want to always provide opportunities for you and your yoga practice to thrive.

We also believe that yoga teaches us the importance of helping others and we encourage metta (loving kindness) practices. We support and participate in your community through activities and donations to the Clemmons Food Pantry, For Katie’s Sake/Winston-Salem Foundation, National MS Society, American Heart Association, Second Harvest Food Bank, Make A Wish, SECU Family House and Meals-on-Wheels, and other charitable causes. Since 2004, we have raised over $26,000 to support these local charities.  We know that many of our students donate money and time to our community as well.

Winston-Salem Mayor, Allen Joines, and the Winston-Salem City Council recently unanimously endorsed the Charter for Compassion and the city was recognized by Compassion Action Network International as the world’s 19th city of compassion and the first in the Southeast.  September in Winston-Salem was designated as Compassion Action Month and many volunteers performed and promoted acts of compassion throughout the month.

We celebrate our sister city’s efforts and encourage each of you, wherever you live and work, to be a representation of compassion.  We encourage you also to keep striving for a healthy lifestyle, especially with yoga, and we hope you find that the two efforts go hand in hand.


International Day of Peace at Sunrise Yoga

International Peace Day

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  ~ Gandhi

Come join Karen Hoglund on Saturday, September 21st and be an active participant for peace!

The 9:00 am Level 2 Flow Class will be a “Shanti Peace Flow” in honor of the International Day of Peace. All the music will have a groovy peace theme and your vinyasa practice will include lively sun salutations with lots of peaceful warriors, peace mudras, and an emphasis on sending “shanti” (Sanskrit for peace) out into the world. This active practice will close with a meditation for peace and a sweet, tranquil Savasana.

Those wanting a quieter practice are invited to the 11:00 am “Peace to Your Back Restorative Class”. The Back Care class this day will also be devoted to peace. We’ll have special music with a peace theme and our poses will all be restorative, designed to nourish the back and calm the mind. Meditations for peace will be interspersed throughout the class and we also will actively send “shanti” out into the world, we’ll send peace to someone we know who needs it, and finally we’ll send it to each and everyone one in the class.

So take a step towards bringing peace of mind to yourself and towards others. See you on Saturday the 21st!
Register for Karen’s International Day of Peace Classes Here

Labor Day Weekend at Sunrise Yoga Studio ~ Celebrate with Yoga!

_ITM2512 Hi Res

Labor Day Weekend celebrates the workers in our nation who have made us strong.  We honor all of you that work (or have worked) and hope, if you have the weekend available, that you will consider spending time with us at Sunrise Yoga Studio.

We will have our regular scheduled Saturday and Sunday classes.  On Saturday, Valerie teaches the Level 2 Flow Class at 9:00 am and the Back Care Class at 11:00 am.  On Sunday, Sandra leads the 1:30 pm Beginner Class.

Monday, Sandra will lead an All Levels Class at 9:00 am.  All other classes that day are cancelled.

We hope you have a great holiday weekend!!!

Yoga & Music Together Work Wonders Here at Sunrise Yoga Studio!

The Friday morning Beginner Class with Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), Kim Crawford, is always an uplifting experience but on the third Friday of every month, there’s an extra special treat for the class participants . . . live dulcimer music!  Sunrise Yoga student, D. J. Stine, shares her wonderful talent with the class and assists in creating a delightful environment for her fellow students.  D. J. has been studying the mountain dulcimer for the past few years and we are very happy she chooses to share her love for the instrument with us!

Here’s a quick video of D. J. playing for the Beginner Yoga class this past Friday.  Enjoy!

D. J. Stine Playing the Dulcimer in the Beginner Yoga Class at Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons

Hey, Winston-Salem! Hey, Clemmons & Lewisville & Advance & beyond! It’s Wiggle Your Toes Day!

Wiggle Your Toes Day 2013

Celebrate Wiggle Your Toes Day with Yoga at Sunrise Yoga!


Wiggle Your Toes!

Strike  Up a Pose!

Feet in the air

or feet on the floor,

wiggle your toes

then wiggle some more!

It’s National Wiggle Your Toes Day!  Do your feet some good today with yoga at Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons!  We’ll help make your feet (and the rest of you) very happy you did!  Send us your pictures of how you wiggled today 🙂 !

Are Your Limitations Real?

Yoga with injuries and limitations

Gail Curtis demonstrates a “no limitations” attitude!

“The sky is not my limit . . . I am!”

~ T. F. Hodge, from Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with “The Divine Presence”

“Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities.”

~ Terry Josephson, philosopher

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.”

~ Jamie Paolinetti, pro cyclist


Have you ever faced a time where you thought, “I can’t do that!”  A time where confidence vaporized or a task seemed so overwhelming that you became motionless?  We’ve all experienced setbacks and limitations, but how often are they “real”?  How often do we allow perceived limitations to keep us from accomplishing and achieving real moments of satisfaction?

Gail Curtis, a regular student at Sunrise Yoga, recently suffered a setback that, initially, truly did limit her . . . a broken ankle!  As you can see from the photos of Gail, she did not let that hold her back from yoga very long!  Here’s what Gail had to say about her situation:

“I recently had the misfortune to break my ankle, as life difficulties go, not the worst that could happen, but after the pain was contained a mild depression set in. No driving, no weight bearing, no exercise for 4-6 weeks – or so I thought. My BFF Fran (Gordon) spoke to Valerie while attending class and relayed my woes and my lament that a back care yoga class sure would be
nice.  Not only did Valerie and all the staff at Sunrise Yoga encourage me to attend the back care class, but Valerie invited me to come and participate in all my regular yoga classes – scooter and all!! So off I went with my scooter and cast boot and did what I could with the skilled help of the great yoga teachers at Sunrise. It lifted my spirits more than I can say and helped my healing process!! A huge shout out and thank you to Valerie and all her teachers and staff at Sunrise Yoga Studio! They paved my road to recovery with positive energy and encouragement.

There is no better yoga studio anywhere in my opinion!!  Thanks Sunrise!!!

We appreciate Gail’s positive comments about the studio and the instructors, but more importantly, we celebrate her positive attitude and her spirit of possibility!  How about you?  What is your story of possibility?  Please share your “no limits” story!



Research Indicates Yoga May Ease the Discomfort of RLS

Aging Gracefully Yoga Class

At Sunrise Yoga, we believe many health issues can be relieved through the practice of yoga. Under the “About Yoga” tab on the web site (http://www.sunriseyoga.net/about-yoga/), we discuss how yoga therapy applies the physical practice of yoga, often including meditation and breathing practice, to health conditions. These conditions range from shoulder and back pain and high blood pressure to fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and more. It doesn’t replace your current doctors, treatments, and medications. Instead, it works alongside them.

Recent news from a pilot study published in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of Alternative Medicine seems to indicate that yoga may also be beneficial for those who suffer from RLS . . . restless leg syndrome. This neurological disorder is identified by strong urges to move the legs, with symptoms worsening at night or during periods of rest.

To quote from an article published in YogaUOnline, “Some evidence of a dose-response relationship was found, with higher ratings of symptom relief being related to more minutes and greater frequency of daily practice.” Additionally, “These initial studies are encouraging as they suggest that consistent, gentle yoga practice may help to reduce symptoms and improve sleep quality, mood and perceived stress for women with RLS.” You can read the entire article at Yoga for RLS.

Even if you don’t suffer from RLS or other health conditions, yoga can be beneficial for improved sleep and relaxation. Let us know if you would like more information on adding yoga techniques to your routine.