Yoga and Carrots

Are you familiar with the idea that one can entice a horse to move by dangling a carrot in front of its nose? The carrot is the “reward” the horse will supposedly receive for moving towards the carrot. It is a form of enticement.

All businesses, big and small, attempt to market to and entice potential clients to join/buy/download/connect with the business. Connecting with existing clients and attracting new clients are essential to the success of a business.

So, we’re curious . . . seriously curious . . . and somewhat puzzled by . . . goat yoga . . . and cat yoga . . . and beer yoga . . . and wine yoga . . . and naked yoga . . . and other “yoga and” types of yoga. Are these types of yoga serious attempts at connecting with clients? Are they marketing ploys? Are they yoga fads?

Valerie Kiser, owner of Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, with her corgis practicing "doga" or yoga with dogsThere’s no judgment here. At Sunrise Yoga, we offer many types of yoga classes but we haven’t tried goat, cat, beer, wine, or naked yoga. Valerie Kiser, owner of Sunrise Yoga, doesn’t own goats or cats, and while she might enjoy an occasional beer or glass of wine, she has no permit to serve either at Sunrise Yoga. And, again, no judgement, but the thought of being naked while instructing a group of yogis naked in downward dog at the Sunrise Yoga Studio is just not a visual she’s ready to tackle.

But people are connecting with goats/cats/beer/wine/nudity/whatever and yoga, and people are increasingly connecting with yoga overall, so is it the yoga or is it the “whatever” that inspires people to try yoga in these “out of the ordinary” experiences? Are these serious opportunities to connect yoga to the curious or are these fads or are these attempts to use the increasing interest in yoga to benefit causes and campaigns?

goat yogaGoatYoga.net describes goat yoga as , “Animal-Assisted Therapy in a natural setting with an unexpectedly (there’s that word again) smart, social, and profoundly cuddly animal. It’s not a cancer cure, but it IS an unbelievable distraction from politics, work, stress, sickness or depression.” Lainey Morse of Albany, Oregon, began offering goat yoga from a child’s birthday party she hosted on the farm as part of a charity auction when a party attendee suggested offering a yoga class on her property. She agreed, but only if her goats could participate.

“In goat yoga, the point isn’t to sweat. It’s to have a baby goat climb on your shoulders during your plank,” says Agatha French with the LA Times. And goat yoga has become quite a big business as the interaction with cute goats and trendy yoga caught on.

cat yogaCNN called yoga with cats “The Mewest Exercise Trend”. Similar to goat yoga, participants practice yoga with cats and/or kittens roaming the yoga space. But, unlike goat yoga, most cat yoga sessions offer the opportunity to adopt the roaming feline participants. NPR calls the relationship between yoga sessions with cats and cat adoption “pretty purrfect”.

And of course, dog yoga classes, aka “doga”, with adoption opportunities are equally popular.

Beyond cute animals and animal adoption efforts, yoga “carrots” are ever increasing. Or maybe the “carrots” aren’t yoga at all but other things that are latching on to the increasing popularity of yoga.

beer yogaWorkforYourBeer says, “Beer yoga classes are an awesome way to exercise, socialize, and support local businesses in Charlotte. There are brewery yoga classes in Charlotte for everyone, whether you’re looking for gentle zen practice or an intense vinyasa flow that will leave you sweating. Grab your mat and head over to one of the many inexpensive (or free) yoga classes offered throughout Charlotte.”

Similar classes exist with wine and marijuana.

The ever increasing popularity of yoga excites us. Yoga is an ancient practice that continues to find ways to connect to and attract with modern day participants. The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from “the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. As per Yogic scriptures the practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, Man & Nature.”

If it takes goats/cats/beer/nudity to unite an individual with yoga, then mission accomplished! Maybe that’s no different than music in a yoga flow class or adult coloring in Quieting the Mind. Maybe the “carrot” is insignificant.

If you could offer a “carrot” to attract people to yoga and meditation, what would it be? Let’s go ahead and eliminate “We’ll pay you to do yoga!” Sunrise Yoga doesn’t have deep enough pockets to go that route!

As always, we appreciate your feedback. Leave a comment or email us at info@SunriseYoga.net.

Yoga Personality Quiz

Have you ever taken a personality test based off things you prefer?

Chocolate Vanilla Strawberry Ice Cream ConesFor instance, do you prefer chocolate ice cream over vanilla ice cream or strawberry ice cream?

If you like chocolate ice cream, you are likely to be flirtatious and charming! You lead a life of joy and self-love, while a vanilla ice cream lover, finds peace and balance in the everyday and relies more on intuition than logic. Strawberry ice cream lovers are energetic but introverted. Learn more about your ice cream personality at https://www.thekitchn.com/this-is-what-your-favorite-ice-cream-flavor-says-about-you-221822 and https://www.rd.com/food/fun/hidden-personality-traits-revealed-ice-cream/

So, what does your favorite yoga pose say about you? Does your most-loved asana reveal some insight into who you are?

Let us know which yoga pose is your “go to” yoga pose and tell us if the personality traits associated with that yoga pose truly capture the real you!

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Downward DogOutgoing, Accessible, Friendly

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Tree Pose Grounded, Down to Earth, Enjoys a challenge

One-leg King Pigeon prep (Eka Pada Rajakopatasana)

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Pigeon PoseUnintimidated by discomfort, tolerant, Willing to show emotion

Headstand (Sirsasana)

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, HeadstandCreative, Thinks outside the box, Self-assured, Youthful

Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, HandstandFinds balance in the midst of chaos, Thrill seeker

Camel (Ustrasana)

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Camel PoseSecure, Open-Hearted, Communicates heart to heart

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Warrior IINot afraid of challenges, Faces difficulty head on, Fierce concentration/focus, Self-confident

Forward Folds (i.e., Upavistha Konasana)

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Forward FoldIntroverted, Calm, Level-headed, Lives according to their own standards

Corpse (Savasana)

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Corpse PoseEasy going, Balanced life, Quietly confident, Enjoys the flow of life

The personality traits for the yoga poses shown above came from WellWellWell, DoYouYoga, and EliteDaily. If you need help finding your yoga personality, we would love to help! Find a class at Sunrise Yoga Studio appropriate for your level and we will assist you in connecting with your favorite yoga pose!

Common Denominator

What is the common denominator of the following items?

☼ a classically trained dancer
☼ a computer programmer
☼ a group fitness coordinator
☼ a dog lover

Valerie Kiser, Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NCIf you said “yoga”, you would be at least partially correct! The common denominator is Sunrise Yoga Studio’s founder and owner, Valerie Kiser!

Long before yoga had entered Valerie’s mind, she was a classically trained dancer! But the dancer, a talent usually associated with a more creative nature, started her career after college in information technology as a computer programmer in the very structured world of banking.

So, how did this dancer/programmer find yoga (or perhaps the better question is how did yoga find Valerie?)? If you’ve been around Valerie more than once, you know that behind her calm and friendly demeanor is a brain that is moving at warp speed with an energy level to match! While still working as a programmer, Valerie was also serving as a group fitness coordinator and personal trainer at a local gym.

In between training sessions and aerobic classes, Valerie noticed the gym would soon be offering yoga classes. Sign me up, she thought! I’m flexible! I can do that! Valerie says she, like many, had the misconception that yoga was all about the poses and knew little about the full body, mind, spirit connection that is truly yoga.

After a brief hiccup . . . it’s tough to do yoga while recovering from an appendectomy . . . her yoga journey began. And what a journey it has been! She began teaching yoga in 1999 and is a YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider) through The Yoga Alliance. She became a yoga therapist in 2006 as a natural progression of teaching yoga and her desire to help students on a more personal level.

Valerie’s love of learning, her love of yoga, and her desire to help others through health and well being, kept her going as she spent five years traveling from Clemmons to Arlington/Fairfax, VA, and back, all while still working full time as a computer programmer, to acquire her advanced teacher training and yoga therapeutics certifications.Valerie Kiser, yoga class, Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC

Valerie has completed a 1200-hour Advanced Teacher Training and Yoga Therapeutics certification from Sun and Moon Yoga Studios in Fairfax/Arlington, VA with JJ Gormley. Valerie is an IAYT-certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT). Valerie is also a Certified Prenatal Yoga instructor, a Relax and Renew Advanced Trainer ® (Restorative Yoga with Judith Lasater), an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, an Elise Browning Miller Yoga for Scoliosis Trainer and an iRest Teacher Level II (Yoga Nidra). Valerie teaches Cardiac Yoga ® (Cardiac Yoga is a registered trademark of M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D. and is used with exclusive permission). Valerie is a 500-hour experienced registered yoga teacher (500 E-RYT) and YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider) through the Yoga Alliance. Her first teacher training was completed with Cindy Dollar, an Iyengar-certified teacher in Asheville, NC.

Fifteen years ago, Valerie left behind the information technology profession and opened Sunrise Yoga Studio. At that time, Valerie was the entire staff, teaching in a single classroom. Now, not only does Valerie have a wonderful staff of instructors at Sunrise Yoga, and a beautiful, well-designed studio, she is also is also the director of the Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training Programs and offers 200 and 300-hour programs that are registered with Yoga Alliance and continuing education courses.

Jonathan and Valerie Kiser, Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NCAdditionally, Valerie is also the co-owner of ECYT (East Coast Yoga Therapy – an 815-hour program that certifies yoga therapists), a program designed to educate and empower yoga teachers in the art and science of Yoga Therapy as a means to promoting the health and well-being of yoga students. In June 2018, ECYT was awarded a Certificate of Accreditation through IAYT (The International Association of Yoga Therapists) and is 1 of 32 accredited schools in the world.

One might think it a bit crazy to ask what Valerie does when she isn’t working! If you have read this far, you might wonder when this dynamo sleeps!

Being the well-trained yogi that she is, Valerie follows the growth, balance, peace mindset (That’s even part of the Sunrise Yoga logo!). Valerie lives this out by enjoying being married to her husband, Jonathan (They’ve been married 20 years!), loving on their dogs, Casey and Louie, traveling and being outside. She recently took her first hot air balloon ride while on a trip to Arizona!Yoga Dogs, Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC

Valerie Kiser and her mom, Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons NCValerie is also fortunate to have her mom nearby and her mom is a Sunrise Yoga student. Taking classes six days a week, Frances is like daughter, like mother!

You can find Valerie at the studio . . . a LOT! Seriously, Valerie teaches all levels of classes from Chair Yoga to Level 4 Yoga, Cardiac Yoga® to Yoga Wall, and special classes like her Wednesday night Select Your Study Sessions. Find Valerie’s classes through the Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio.

And does Valerie have a yoga weakness? Yes, ask her about backbends!Valerie Kiser, backbend, yoga, Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC

You can contact Valerie by emailing info@SunriseYoga.net.

It’s Time to Quit!

I think I need to quit yoga!

 

Flow Yoga at Sunrise Yoga, Clemmons, NC

What?!? You’ve practiced yoga for a month, a year, a decade, and you find yourself up against the “wall”. Not the yoga wall! The wall of progress. The wall of no improvement. The flat wall known as a plateau. Ugh!

Sunrise Yoga Studio Clemmons NCWe can hit a proverbial wall in many aspects of life. Career. Relationships. Parenting. Weight loss. Creativity. And, it’s easy to give up, quit, stop, throw in the towel, when that “wall” shows up. Your friends, maybe even your yoga instructor, will tell you to look at how far you’ve come, to consider how things would be if you didn’t practice yoga. But, you still feel like you’ve failed and there’s no future progression for you.

Guess what! You aren’t alone!

Jessica Stickler, writing for Wanderlust, says, ““How does one overcome plateaus in yoga practice?” I thought to myself, ‘I have no idea.’ The more I thought about the question, the more I doubted my ability to answer it. I have been practicing for a modest amount of time, around eight years or so (and teaching for seven of those!), so I have ducked, dodged, hail-mary’d, ignored, and confronted many a plateau.” She goes on to outline three ways she has overcome the “wall”: the bull (work on it EVERY SINGLE DAY), the fox (find a way around the difficulty and then come back to the initial spot of frustration), and the sloth (Just keep going!).

Plateaus are inevitable. In fact, they are evidence that you ARE practicing yoga! A “wall” or plateau may actually be a nudge to try something new or different or to approach your everyday routine and practice with new eyes/perspective.Beginner Yoga at Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons, NC

Senior Pure Yoga instructor, Sonja Rzepski, and Kay Kay Clivio, head of Pure Yoga’s teacher training program, recommend the following to push through a plateau:

1. Try a different style.
If your usual practice is a sweaty vinyasa, spend some time learning more about the logic of alignment in an Iyengar class, target your connective tissue and deep muscular release with Yin yoga, or try a new energetic approach with Kundalini yoga. Rzepski recommends sticking with it for four to six sessions before returning to your preferred or go-to classes. The idea is to look at your practice through a different lens, one that might trigger insights that will help you move past your plateau.

2. Book private sessions with your favorite teacher.
“Generally group classes are packed and there is no time for the breakdown of poses or to ask questions,” says Clivio. Getting closer to your source of inspiration will only make the fire of determination burn brighter. Three to six one-on-ones should be sufficient, per Rzepski, though you may want to continue them.

3. Explore the mind-body connection.
Asana (the physical practice of yoga) was originally conceived simply as a way to prepare the body for meditation. Try moving beyond the physical and explore the nuances of the breath or meditation (try the Headstrong meditations in the Equinox app). You can also learn more about the chakra system, the sister science of Ayurveda, or stack your nightstand with books on yoga philosophy. (Two Rzepski recommends: Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar and Healing Yoga by Loren Fishman.) “Learning more of the science of yoga can improve the depth of any practitioners postures,” says Clivio. “Not just seeing the postures as shapes and forms but a means to balance the energetic body.”

4. Dive deeper.
Move further into any aspect of the practice that inspires or challenges you. If you love inversions, take a workshop. Or, sign up for a retreat. This can give you renewed enthusiasm that will carry you past a plateau. Rzepski also recommends keeping a yoga journal to record and acknowledge your daily impressions and experiences. You may be making more progress than you think.

5. Get off your mat.
Karma yoga (the practice of service to others) is important, but often overlooked. Lose yourself in unselfish action by volunteering or simply look for opportunities for kindness and good deeds.

Yoga for Beginners at Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons, NCA plateau or “wall” may be telling you your body needs a break. “Consider taking a few days off from the physical practice of yoga and allow your body to rest. This is a great time to explore the more mental and philosophical aspects of yoga, such as the yamas and niyamas,” says Karen Costa of doyoudoyoga.com. She also recommends “going deeper” . . . “if your yoga practice feels like it’s turned on cruise control, one of the best ways to shift that energy is to deepen your practice. Perhaps this is a sign that you’re ready to transition from being a student to becoming a teacher.”

With the variety of yoga classes offered at Sunrise Yoga, if you find yourself on that plateau, consider trying a different class or a different instructor. Add in some Quieting the Mind classes, or explore Valerie’s Select Your Study classes. Take Karen’s Level 2 Flow class to move your regular yoga class to a more fluid, musically driven practice. Join Bill Smith in his
Sound Immersion workshop. Visit with Valerie and other yoga instructors in the FREE information session and class for the upcoming Enrichment and Teacher Training sessions. Ask Valerie about one-on-one training. Try conquering the “wall” with yoga wall classes.

Your “wall” is a message to you. Be in tune with you. When you stop and let the “wall” speak to you, you will find that the wall was of your making all along.Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC

And, by the way, remember the “wall” you scaled to just get started with yoga? That “wall” was HUGE compared to the “wall” you think is in front of you now!

We are here to help. Send us your thoughts and/or questions to info@SunriseYoga.net.

Is Your Heart Making You Anxious?

“What’s good for the mind also tends to be good for the heart.”

Cardiac Yoga® Participant at Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons, NC

If you have had any heart issues, have you also had anxiety, particularly about being active with/after heart issues?

The American Heart Association says, “After any illness, it’s normal to feel afraid and unsure of the future. You may be scared because you don’t know what lies ahead, or because you feel less control over your life. Every heart patient has some degree of fear, but if your fear is overwhelming, it can prevent you from getting well and staying well.”

Additionally, the National Center for Biotechnology Information in a report on a clinical trial study noted, “Anxiety is highly prevalent among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), and there is growing evidence that high levels of anxiety are associated with worse prognosis. However, few studies have evaluated the efficacy of treating anxiety in CHD patients for reducing symptoms and improving clinical outcomes. Exercise and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to be effective in treating patients with depression, but have not been studied in cardiac patients with high anxiety.” They go on to state, “There is growing evidence that exercise may have beneficial effects on anxiety. Epidemiological studies have observed an inverse relationship between exercise and anxiety.”

And another study, this one by Jean-Christophe Chauvet-Gelinier, MD, PhD, and Bernard Bonin, MD, reported in Science Direct from the Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, offers “For rehabilitation to be effective in heart disease patients, they need to have a rather good psychological status.” And the Psychiatric Times underscores that “catch 22” with “Women and men with heart disease who perceive themselves as disabled and unable to perform their usual activities are three times more likely to report anxiety (Nickel et al., 1990). In a one-year prospective study of individuals with heart disease, Sullivan and colleagues (1997) explored associations of anxiety with self-reported physical function and activity interference. Findings indicated that those who report higher levels of anxiety also report higher levels of physical disability. High levels of anxiety affect functional status after heart surgery as well. In a randomized clinical trial with 156 participants, greater perceived tension/anxiety level at four weeks predicted decreased self-reported activity for both men and women (Ruiz et al., 1992). Relationships between anxiety and quality of life have also been empirically examined. Anxiety related to decreased functional ability after myocardial infarction has been found to substantially reduce quality of life among survivors and their families.”Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Cardiac Yoga®

Una McCann, M.D. is a psychiatrist and directs the Anxiety Disorders program at Johns Hopkins Medicine. She compares the reaction to a sudden heart attack as being like post-traumatic stress disorder:

• You’re likely to be shocked by your near-death experience and extremely hesitant to do the things you used to do.
• You might constantly relive the life-threatening event, and avoid the activity or place associated with the heart attack.
• Recurring anxious thoughts may impede your ability to get regular sleep.
• Your thoughts about what lies ahead may be extremely negative and cause a drastically foreshortened outlook of the future

She goes on to address anxiety management by saying, “The goal is to keep the patient from placing too much concentration on anxieties about the future that are impossible to control, and help the patient focus on the present. Anxiety management may encompass relaxation exercises, sensory focusing, and yoga techniques.”

Most heart patients are advised to exercise and be physically active because exercise can make the heart muscle stronger. The Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center, in their guide to the overall benefits of exercise for patients with heart failure suggest a combination of flexibility, cardiovascular/aerobic, and strength training. In their commentary on flexibility, they note, “This type of exercise involves slow movement to lengthen the muscles. Flexibility exercises include stretching, tai chi and yoga. They are also used before and after exercising to prevent injury and strain. Benefits include better balance, range of motion and better movement in your joints.”

There can be a large gap between being advised to be active and feeling confident enough in your health to actually become active. A heart patient may submit to cardiac rehabilitation because it is prescribed/mandated by the physician and occurs in a health services environment. But what happens after cardiac rehab ends? If any anxiety about physical ability exists, what options can a heart patient pursue for exercise and physical activity?

Before beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician, whether you are a heart patient or not. If your physician clears you to begin activity, we have a suggestion for you! There are many activities you could pursue, but, at Sunrise Yoga, we have a class geared specifically to with an existing heart condition and for those who are seeking increased heart wellness!Cardiac Yoga® participant at Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, with Valerie Kiser, Certified Cardiac Yoga® Instructor

This class, held on Wednesdays from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, is a gentle yoga class led by Valerie Kiser, owner and director of Sunrise Yoga and a certified instructor for Cardiac Yoga® (Cardiac Yoga® is a registered trademark of M. Mala Cunningham , Ph.D. and is used with exclusive permission.).

With Valerie at your side, you will practice yoga poses, breathing techniques, as well as mindfulness and relaxation. All of these activities are supported by information from the American Heart Association, and Harvard Health Publishing says, “What’s good for the mind also tends to be good for the heart.”

They continue, “The mind-calming practice of meditation may play a role in reducing your risk of heart disease, according to a scientific statement published in the Sept. 28, 2017, Journal of the American Heart Association. Experts reviewed dozens of studies published over the past two decades and found that meditation may improve a host of factors linked with heart disease — making it worth including in an overall program for ongoing heart care.”

Let Valerie guide you into a healthier heart, healthier you! Start with Cardiac Yoga® and, if you want more, Valerie can assist you in finding other Sunrise Yoga classes to suit your needs.

Cardiac Yoga® at Sunrise Yoga in Clemmons, NC

 

 

Questions? Email us at info@SunriseYoga.net!

2018 Readers Choice

And the nomination goes to . . .

Nominate Sunrise Yoga Studio of Clemmons, NC, for the 2018 Readers Choice Award

 

. . . we hope, to Sunrise Yoga Studio, again!

Tomorrow (lucky Friday the 13th!), nominations open once again for the Winston-Salem Journal’s Readers Choice Awards. The nomination period runs through August 5th and we would greatly appreciate your nomination for Sunrise Yoga in the Health and Wellness section for Yoga Studios.

Valerie Kiser, owner of Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons, NC, accepts the Readers Choice Award from Bill Benbow in 2013Your nominations and votes have given Sunrise Yoga the top spot in the Readers Choice in years past and we hope we have earned that again. We strive to do our best for you and this recognition is validation that our hard work is indeed recognized and appreciated.

There are many other categories and well deserving businesses that also deserve your nominations. What are some of your favorites in our area? We would love to hear about your picks for Readers Choice 2018!!  Sunrise Yoga Studio of Clemmons, NC, wins the 2017 Readers Choice Award

If you want to know how many years Sunrise Yoga has won the Readers Choice for Yoga Studios, send us an email to info@SunriseYoga.net!

Thank you for your support!

Back Care Yoga

Sunrise Yoga Summer Healthy BackIt’s summer time and that can mean more physical activity . . . working in the yard, playing golf, chasing kids around, hauling the charcoal for the cookout, carrying the beach chairs, you name it! These are all activities that, with one wrong move can send your back into a not so good place.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, “Back pain is a fact of life for many people. Research shows that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point during their lives. It is also the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.” Additionally, “as lifestyles have become more sedentary and the rate of obesity has risen, back pain has become increasingly prevalent, even among young children.”

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Back Care YogaYour lumbar spine is made up of many complex parts . . . lumbar vertebra, facet joints, intervertebral discs, spinal nerves, and soft tissue . . . and a strain to any of these parts can cause back pain. The vertebra carry and distribute weight. The facet joints determine your flexibility and movement capability. Movement is absorbed by the intervertebral discs while the spinal nerves allow you to feel the movement. The soft tissue, ligaments, muscles, tendons and blood vessels, support the spine and ensure safe movement.

Maintaining a strong and healthy back is key to preventing back issues and the practice of yoga can aid in healthy back maintenance. “Many of the postures in yoga gently strengthen the muscles in the back, as well as the abdominal muscles. When these muscles are well conditioned, back pain can be greatly reduced or avoided,” says Deborah Metzger, Founder and Director of Princeton Center for Yoga & Health. “It is a system which balances strength and flexibility and addresses the whole body. Most people are tight in key areas affecting the spine, for example in the hips and shoulders, hamstrings and psoas. The spine may be compressed and back muscles tight or weak. A study in the December 20, 2005 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that yoga may be more likely to improve back function, ease chronic back pain, and reduce the need for pain medication than conventional exercise or reading a self-care book.”Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Back Care Yoga

Additionally, from EveryDayHealth.com, “According to research published in July 2017 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, yoga may even help reduce the need for pain medication. At the start of the three-month study, in which one group was assigned to physical therapy for their back pain, a second to yoga, and a third to reading about pain management strategies, 70 percent of the subjects were taking medication. By the end, however, while the number of people taking medication in the reading group stayed the same, only 50 percent of the yoga and physical therapy subjects were still taking it.” They also state, “Researchers are also starting to discover how yoga’s effects on the brain may contribute to decreased pain. In a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and published in May 2015 in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, scientists found that there were significant differences between the brains of those with chronic pain and the brains of regular yoga practitioners. Those with chronic pain had less of the kind of brain tissue in the regions that help us tolerate pain, but those who did yoga had more — which suggests that yoga may be not just physically but neurologically protective.”

At Sunrise Yoga Studio, all of our classes address muscle strengthening but our Back Care Yoga class is specifically set up to address back health. Back Care Yoga is open to all levels of students, including those who have never taken a yoga class.

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Back Care YogaIn our Back Care Yoga classes, students will learn poses to relieve muscle tension; safe poses to increase flexibility in the hips, shoulders and back; strengthening poses to give the spine and neck adequate support; ways to improve posture and alignment; and 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.

We want you to enjoy all kinds of activities all year long without the pain from back strain. If you are experiencing back pain, we ask that you see your doctor to make sure yoga is a good option for you. Once you have the approval from your doctor, sign up for a Back Care Yoga class and learn how to get your back in shape and keep it in shape.

Register for any Sunrise Yoga classes through our Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio.

Questions about why yoga is good for your back? Email us at info@SunriseYoga.net. We want you to be informed!

Summertime and the Yoga is Easy!

If you are our local followers of Sunrise Yoga, you know it has been HOT, HOT, HOT the past few days!!!

Sunrise Yoga is not, thankfully, hot yoga. We kind of like our air conditioning. 😉

Sunrise Yoga in Clemmons, NC, Childs Pose

As spinachandyoga.com says, “Summer is here. The time of year with the longest daylight hours and a bright sun that is heating up everything and everyone. When overheated, we tend to become more competitive, self-critical, and agitated.” The article goes on to say, “In the Summer, yoga practice should be quieting, cooling, and calming. If you noticed a strong desire to spend most of the time in your last class in Child’s pose, your intuition is guiding you in the right direction.”

Every season brings on different elements of which we need to stay aware. “During summer our body tends to heat up, aggravating the ‘pitta’ dosha. According to Ayurveda, human body has three doshas (humours) – vata, pitta and kapha. Pitta is basically driven by solar energy, so we need to cool down our internal heat energy in summer to maintain equilibrium,” says urbanpro.com. Ayurveda is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems (Let us know if you need more information on this and watch for future Ayurveda workshops at Sunrise Yoga!).

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Seated Twist

According to Christine Gianas Weinheimer on everydayayurveda.org, in addition to making you feel too hot, a few signs of too much Pitta include:

Heartburn
Skin rashes
Diarrhea
Burning eyes
Inflammation
Impatience
Self-criticism
Irritability

So, how can yoga play a part in bringing back some spring time to the Pitta? Continuing from everydayayurveda.org, “Certain Yoga poses, or asanas, can help release Pitta heat. Specifically, this heat tends to accumulate in the mid-section of the body, cooling and detoxifying the liver, and preventing excess heat from moving upward in the body.”

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Cobra Pose

Suggested poses include:

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle)
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
Pada hastasana (Hands to Feet)
Meru Vakrasana (Simple Spinal Twist)
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Semi Spinal Seated Twist)
Supta Vajrasana (Sleeping Thunderbolt or Diamond Pose)
Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
Halasana (Plow),
Mayurasana (Peacock)

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC shoulder stand

 

A key to practicing yoga during the scorching summer heat is to slow down and focus as much internally as you do externally. Body awareness can help you feel cooler and calmer.

If you have questions about the poses, email us at info@SunriseYoga.net. And come to class! Our instructors can assist you in finding your cool spot!

Register for classes through the Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio.

And now, excuse us as we go back into child’s pose!

Flow Yoga

Karen Hoglund teaches Flow Yoga at Sunrise Yoga, Clemmons, NCHave you wondered what Flow Yoga is all about? Have you tried it?

Yogapedia defines Flow Yoga, also known as Vinyasa Flow Yoga, as, “a style of yoga where the practitioner moves gracefully from one pose to the next and the class, or practice, becomes almost like a dance. Generally, each movement in to or out of a posture is made on an inhalation or exhalation, so the yoga unites the breath with the movement in a choreographed sequence. The flowing movements may be combined with some longer holds of certain postures.”

Flow Yoga at Sunrise Yoga, Clemmons, NCFlow classes string poses together to make a sequence. The sequence may be fixed, as in Ashtanga in which the poses are always done in the same order, but most of the time vinyasa teachers have the discretion to arrange the progression of poses in their own ways,” says Ann Pizer in her Introduction to Vinyasa Flow Yoga article on verywellfit.com.

Our expert in Flow Yoga at Sunrise Yoga Studio is Karen Hoglund. Karen’s creativity and love of music combine to create a fun but challenging Flow Yoga experience.

At Sunrise Yoga, Flow Yoga is offered every Saturday morning, 9:00-10:30 am, at the Level 2 experience level. It is a more aerobic style class that improves strength and endurance. In this class, the poses are linked together with the breath. There is much more fluid movement involved and thus, the pace in the class is quicker.Flow Yoga at Sunrise Yoga, Clemmons, NC

If you aren’t already in our Flow Yoga class at Sunrise Yoga, try adding this style of class to your practice. You can register for the class through the Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio.

Questions about Flow Yoga? Email us at info@sunriseyoga.net to get more information. We would love to hear from you!

Got Glue?

Every office needs some glue . . . meet the glue at Sunrise Yoga!

Amber Eng, Sunrise Yoga Studio Office Manager

Amber is our Office Manager who works weekday mornings. Amber completed her college education at Western Carolina University with a degree in Early Childhood Special Education (BK). She taught preschool special education in the North Carolina County Public Schools from 1998 until 2015.

Amber Eng, Sunrise Yoga Studio's Office Manager“I love the sand beneath my feet and in between my toes. I am a sea turtle advocate and love my tattoo,” says Amber. She loves the beach and the mountains, spending time with friends and family, writing and taking pictures of landscapes, especially sunrises and sunsets (She took the beautiful beach photo in this post!).Amber Eng, Sunrise Yoga Studio's Office Manager

Amber began yoga classes at Sunrise Yoga in March of 2016. Practicing yoga has helped guide her on her journey to live mindfully in the present and with a grateful heart. Yoga is an important part of her overall health and well-being. She is very excited and happy to be a part of the Sunrise Yoga family!

Amber Eng, Sunrise Yoga Studio's Office ManagerYou can tell by Amber’s big smile that she is “young at 💜!”

Send a shout out to Amber to info@SunriseYoga.net!Amber Eng, Sunrise Yoga Studio's Office Manager