Here’s an easy, significant Valentine you can give!
A donation to the Clemmons Food Pantry through Sunrise Yoga Studio of $25 or more automatically enters the donor in a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card! Additionally, for every guest/new student at Sunrise Yoga during the month of February, Sunrise Yoga will donate $10.
Plus, Sunrise Yoga will match all donations made by Sunrise Yoga students!
Clemmons Food Pantry is a local non-profit organization providing supplemental groceries to residents of Forsyth County who are in need. The Pantry was established in 2004 and since that time has extended its services to more than 175,000 people, serving more than 700 households a month. Each year over 320,000 pounds of food are distributed to needy individuals and families by the Pantry.
As the CFP notes, “Don’t fool yourself into thinking only the destitute, homeless or “other people” need food assistance. Hunger does not discriminate by age, gender or ethnicity – and you would be surprised how many people in our community are food insecure.”
According to CFP statistics, among households seeking food assistance from Second Harvest Food Bank’s regional network of partners:
69% have had to choose between buying food & paying utilities
68% have had to choose between food & medicine/medical care
66% have had to choose between food & paying for housing
65% have had to choose between food & paying for transportation
24% have had to choose between food & paying for education
In 2015, CFP began the “Client Choice” program, which allows clients to select their own groceries. CFP’s client facility resembles a small grocery store, and clients use shopping carts to choose for themselves what products they receive. Giving clients the opportunity to choose their own food lets them have a sense of dignity and control, limits waste (since they tend not to take food they won’t use) and allows them to tailor the help they receive to be the best possible fit for their own unique situation.
And with no paid employees, the CFP is able to use the majority of monetary donations to purchase food from Second Harvest as well as meat and produce from retailers and distributors.
A family of four can be fed for one month for $144. How many months can we help a family?
Be a good yogi. Give a great Valentine!
Email (Info@SunriseYoga.net) or call (336-778-1233) the studio of you would like to join Sunrise Yoga Studio in the Neighbors Helping Neighbors campaign for Clemmons Food Pantry.
Your résumé is an ideal match for a role that is extremely important and critically vital. And, there’s no need to apply for the position! You’re already hired!
Oh sure, you may also have a J-O-B but that only consumes a portion of your life and time. Of the 168 hours in a week, how many of them do you truly manage, and, when you manage them, how are they being used? The more those hours bring to your overall satisfaction, the better you become to yourself and to others.
The story of the empty jar is one you’ve likely heard. The version below is from The Pursuit of Impact.
A philosophy professor once stood before his class with a large empty jar. He filled the jar with large rocks and asked his students if the jar was full. The students said that yes, the jar was full.
He then added small pebbles to the jar and asked again, “Is the jar full now?” The students agreed that the jar was indeed full.
The professor then poured sand into the jar and asked again. The students then agreed that the jar was finally full.
The professor went on to explain that the jar signifies one’s life. The rocks are equivalent to the most important things in your life, such as family, health, and relationships. And if the pebbles and the sand were lost, the jar would still be full and your life would still have a meaning.
The pebbles represent the other things that matter in your life, such as your work, school, and house. These things often come and go, and are not permanent or essential to your overall well-being.
And finally, the sand represents the remaining small stuff and material possessions in your life. These things don’t mean much to your life as a whole and are likely only done to waste time or get small tasks accomplished.
The metaphor here is that if you start with putting sand into the jar, you will not have room for rocks or pebbles. This holds true for the things you let into your life too. If you spend all of your time on the small and insignificant things, you will run out of room for the things that are actually important. So in order to have a more effective life, you should prioritize important things in your life and then worry about pebbles and sand at a later time.
“As a spiritual symbol the stone or the rock represents that which is eternal or truth itself. And in some traditions the stones are considered to be individual spirits, or—as in Jewish mystical traditions—silent beings. Even in yoga, stones and rocks are not without consciousness. They still contain the three gunas like all physical objects, but they simply have much more ‘tamas’—the slow and dense guna,” says Helen Avery in Wanderlust Media. (“There are three gunas, according to this worldview, that have always been and continue to be present in all things and beings in the world. These three gunas are called: sattva (goodness, constructive, harmonious), rajas (passion, active, confused), and tamas (darkness, destructive, chaotic), according to Wikipedia.)
Yoga is a system of wellbeing that encompasses spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical attributes. To move through our favorite yoga sequence requires patience, focus, and a deep stillness of the mind. Yoga is all about achieving wellbeing. And understanding our priorities and the management of our time contributes to that wellbeing.
“Yoga doesn’t take time. It gives you time.” – Ganga White
The empty jar/rocks/pebbles/sand approach to prioritization and time management can, of course, be used to identify an overall life plan, but it works equally well for segments of life as well. For instance, if “Family” is one of your big rocks in your Life jar, you can envision a separate empty jar for Family and identify the big rocks related specifically to Family. Similarly, you could have a Yoga jar!
Have you thought about what the big rocks would be if you had a Yoga jar? Has Sunrise Yoga helped you keep those big rocks as priorities? Do you have big rocks that were left out of your Yoga jar or that you would like to add to your Yoga jar? How do you go about keeping yoga a priority in your Life jar?
If you are new to Sunrise Yoga and you’re still exploring your Yoga jar, consider giving our Sunrise Yoga 30 for 30 plan a try! This plan is available to all new students and gives you unlimited 30 days of yoga on your first visit to our studio for only $30. It’s a great bargain! For less than the price of 2 drop-in classes, you can attend daily practice in all on-going, scheduled classes for 30 consecutive days (This does exclude “series” classes and special events.).
If you are already a student at Sunrise Yoga and you are refining your Yoga big rocks, then a class card or a Sunrise Yoga membership is a great approach to exploring and identifying what goes into your Yoga jar! There are many benefits to being a Sunrise Yoga member!
Still have questions? Please email us at Info@SunriseYoga.net.
Statistics seem cold and harsh. No one wants to be “just a number.”
But, we are all statistics . . . just by existing, each of us is a statistic. As statistics, we are measured in good ways as well as some not so good ways. From the time we are infants, we are measured in percentiles for height and weight, for instance. As we age, we might show more concern for the percentiles in which we fall for these two measurements.
Statistics help identify trends. “In 2016, an estimated 62.9 percent of the population worldwide already owned a mobile phone. The mobile phone penetration is forecasted to continue to grow, rounding up to 67 percent by 2019,” according to Wikipedia. Regardless of how you feel about cell phones, if you own one, you are part of that statistic and helped grow that trend!
As yogis, you are part of another trend . . . and this is a really good one! And, this trend is thousands of years in the making, not a fad that will disappear in a year or two!
Channel Signal, a consumer analytics firm, notes, “When compared to other similar forms of indoor recreation, yoga not only dwarfs the competition, it’s the only activity experiencing steady growth.”
The Good Body, an organization that reviews and provides case studies, insights, and analysis for health products, equipment and gadgets, provided the following data on yoga:
Where in these lists do you land? You’re a GOOD statistic after all. Where else within yoga would you be a good statistic?
If you aren’t yet a yoga statistic, let us help you get started! We have many yoga classes available to get you started. Find available classes through our Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio.
In this digital age of laptops, iPads, smart phones, and gaming devices, our hands, particularly our wrists, get used (and frequently abused). Typing, texting, and taking out the enemy all take a toll on our hands.
“Carpal tunnel syndrome is perhaps the most common nerve disorder experienced today; and while it is usually very treatable, that doesn’t lessen the fact that it affects the lives of 4-10 million Americans,” notes rmhealthy.com. “Musculoskeletal disorders, including carpal tunnel syndrome, are among the most prevalent medical conditions in the U.S., affecting 7% of the population; account for 14% of physician visits and 19% of hospital stays.”
That numbness and tingling in your hands may be carpal tunnel, caused by a compressed nerve in the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist. That compression often develops as a result of repetitive motion like typing, texting, and taking out the enemy. “Symptoms of CTS include tingling and numbness in the thumb, index and middle finger (median nerve distribution); burning, pain, and weakness in the fingers and hand; aching in the forearm that can radiate to the shoulder; and clumsiness or a weak grip. The numbness may become constant over time,” says Ram Rao, Ph.D in yogauonline.com.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Anything that squeezes or irritates the median nerve in the carpal tunnel space may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. A wrist fracture can narrow the carpal tunnel and irritate the nerve, as can the swelling and inflammation resulting from rheumatoid arthritis.”
Quite a lot of yoga is done on the wrists so any evidence of carpal tunnel syndrome can make some yoga positions uncomfortable if not very difficult. Planks, downward dog, and handstand among other yoga positions require strong and healthy wrists to hold the positions properly.
A study led by Dr. Marian Garfinkel, a senior Iyengar yoga teacher with over 30 years of experience, evaluated “whether a program of yoga and relaxation techniques might offer an effective treatment alternative for patients with CTS. Yoga was proposed to be helpful because stretching may relieve compression in the carpal tunnel, better joint posture may decrease intermittent compression, and blood flow may be improved to decrease ischemic effects on the median nerve.”
The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and summarized in the Ram Rao article mentioned above, reported, “After eight weeks, when the groups were tested to gauge the intensity of carpal tunnel syndrome, the group that practiced the yoga postures saw significant improvements in pain and grip strength, giving credence to the practice of yoga asanas in facilitating wrist healing and rejuvenation. Since CTS aggravates primarily with improper alignment, yoga asanas can prevent CTS by counteracting the repetitive movements that created the misalignments.” The yoga group in the study practiced 11 yoga postures twice weekly for eight weeks.
In addition to practicing yoga to help counteract and prevent CTS, other strategies can help keep CTS at bay.
The Mayo Clinic suggests the following:
☼ Reduce your force and relax your grip.
☼ Take frequent breaks.
☼ Watch your form. Avoid bending your wrist all the way up or down.
☼ Improve your posture.
☼ Change your computer mouse.
☼ Keep your hands warm.
We would like to show you specific yoga poses to help you have strong and healthy wrists! Whether you think you may have symptoms of carpal tunnel or you’d just like to feel more comfortable in the poses that use the wrists, we can help.
What questions do you have about yoga for healthy wrists? Email us at Info@SunriseYoga.net.
If you’ve ever experienced dizziness, vertigo, or any other form of imbalance, you know it can be a bit unnerving and disconcerting. As Erica Schukies writes in her article, Importance of Physical Balance, “We don’t notice our sense of balance until it’s not working like it should.”
She goes on to say, “Simply explained, a good sense of balance allows us to recognize our position relative to other objects around us, including the surface on which we are standing, walking, or running. According to Caroline DeGroot, a physical therapist and the vestibular program manager at Athletico Physical Therapy, balance is an important aspect in carrying out both simple and complex movements.”
For the most part, we take physical balance for granted. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments send signals to the brain as we move and the brain then tells the muscles how to react to maintain balance and how to move in a smooth and coordinated fashion. We can become off balance through the effects of things like medications, drugs, and alcohol, but we can also become off balance as we age due to deterioration of the vestibular system in the inner ear.
Ms. Schukies continues, “As we age, balance becomes more of an issue as our critical systems begin to weaken. According to Dr. Nathan Wei, director of the Arthritis Treatment Center in Frederick, Md., the aging process is typically associated with visual impairment, inner ear problems, cerebellar (posterior brain) issues, muscle weakness or peripheral neuropathy. And unfortunately for the elderly population, these systems all play a critical role in your body’s ability to stay vertical.”
According to physio-pedia.com, input from the Somatosensory / Proprioceptive System, the Vestibular System, and the Visual System affect the body’s equilibrium and balance, with balance being classified as either Static Balance (fixed posture) or Dynamic Balance (balance during motion). Both types of balance require power from the muscles in the body.
“Yoga does an excellent job of strengthening and stretching muscles essential for balance,” states health.harvard.edu. Yoga poses “challenge static balance, the ability to stand in one spot without swaying, and dynamic balance, the ability to anticipate and react to changes as you move. Successfully managing these tasks requires you to keep your center of gravity poised over a base of support.”
Kiersten Mooney, E-RYT 500, and cofounder of greenmonkey® partnered with the University of Miami to study the muscle utilization patterns of yoga poses. She reported in yogajournal.com, “We learned which muscles are actually being used and how active they are during each pose. For example, in electromyography (EMG) study, which records electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles, the more activated the toes in standing poses, the greater the lower leg muscle activity, therefore targeting the primary balance muscles.”
“Balance training can help build muscular endurance, increase flexibility, and, of course, improve balance,” Terecita “Ti” Blair, the 2017 SilverSneakers Instructor of the Year says (as reported by Brittany Risher on silversneakers.com). “It helps build confidence and quicken reaction time, as well as offers an opportunity to practice mindfulness and body awareness. You learn to breathe through something difficult or challenging, maintaining balance even when your world turns upside down.”
Yoga helps develop a mind body connection in addition to developing muscles. Balance requires the ability to both hold on and let go, something that improves with mind body connection. Let us help you find a series of yoga poses to not only improve your physical balance but improve your overall well-being. Contact us for suggested poses and/or for information on our numerous class opportunities. Our email address is Info@SunriseYoga.net.
In a study published in 2015 in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, researcher and scientist, Brittany Fair, as quoted in yogaresearchandbeyond.com, states, “. . . subjects with more hours of weekly yoga practice showed greater brain volumes than those subjects that practiced less. In addition, utilizing both yoga postures and meditation during practice contributed to the biggest size differences observed in the hippocampus among other regions.”
Ms. Fair combines her scientific background and her yoga teacher training expertise to lead NeuroFlow yoga workshops where the focus is on the neuroscience of yoga while moving your body and practicing yoga and helps participants understand how yoga and meditation affect the brain.
“The things we think and the things we do have a dynamic impact on our brain, our attitudes, and ultimately our reality,” notes yoga instructor, Zuzu Perkal in her Wanderlust article, How Yoga Changes Your Brain. “Yoga is all about taking what we learn on the mat (all the things we’ve discussed here today: deep breathing, softening muscles, clearing the mind, and enjoying the present moment) and bringing it into our daily lives. These are the techniques that break bad habits, eliminate negativity, and diminish stress.”
Jessica Migala, reporting for NBC news learned, “Additional observational research on mindfulness and meditation (both are large components of yoga) sheds light on how classes may actually influence your brain structure, says Jonathan Greenberg, a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. (Research on yoga alone is limited, but you can make some inferences by looking at meditation studies, he notes.) Studies looking at how the brain changes before and after meditation found that brain structures involved in awareness, attention and self-related thinking changed in structure and increased in volume, he says. Plus, there’s your memory. ‘After eight weeks of meditation training, research found that the hippocampus, which is involved in learning and memory, developed more gray matter density,’ he notes.”
Why does yoga and meditation change the way the brain works? “Yoga works not because the poses are relaxing, but because they are stressful. It is your attempts to remain calm during this stress that create yoga’s greatest neurobiological benefit,” says Alex Korb, PhD, in Psychology Today.
Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., has been fully engaged in basic and clinical research on the effectiveness of yoga and
meditation practices in improving physical and psychological health for over 10 years. He has also practiced a yoga lifestyle for over 40 years and is a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor. He is the Director of Research for the Kundalini Research Institute, Research Director of the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In his book, Your Brain on Yoga, he states, “There are many different systems in our body, and our brain and genes control all of them. Although we cannot change our DNA, certain behaviors will change which genes are turned off and which are turned on. If you smoke cigarettes, for example, you may turn on genes that elevate your cancer risk. By doing yoga and contemplative practices, you will positively impact specific gene activity, which can change your physiological state and help to regulate your stress response.” He goes on to say, ” Certain areas of our brain undergo positive structural changes when we meditate. Because the brain exhibits plasticity, which means it has the ability to change, whatever you experience will be reflected in and have impact on your brain structure.”
Harvard graduate and international yoga teacher, Gina M. Florio, summarizes Dr. Khalsa’s work as well as other studies in her article, 6 Ways Yoga Changes Your Brain:
Our mission at Sunrise Yoga is to promote yoga as a lifelong process by providing opportunities and facilities for experience and development in a culture of community. We believe this process can be entered by anyone at any time, regardless of age or fitness level, and, as our name implies, we encourage each person to daily engage in this process as the relationship with yoga is explored. We want to assist you in building the mind body connection of yoga and mediation.
Is your brain in need of a remodel/upgrade? With all the evidence pointing to the positive impacts of yoga and mediation on your brain, why not give it a try? Unsure where to start? We are here to help.
If you have been practicing yoga and meditation for some time, what changes have you noticed that would support the information noted here?
Do you have trouble letting go?
Want to shift from “go-go-go” to “letting go”? Allow Elaine to lead you through supported yoga postures that will encourage deep relaxation in the Quieting the Mind session, Friday, 12/7, 6:00 pm.
Is this a time of letting go for you? What techniques have you found that help you really, truly, “let go”?
Register for Quieting the Mind with Elaine through the Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio.
As we go through the holiday season, we often find ourselves stretched to the max . . . we try to stretch our time (and our wallets) to fit in all the holiday events and holiday shopping . . . and all that stretching can lead to holiday stress! Yikes!
But, are you aware that the right kind of stretching . . . yoga, for the body, meditation for the mind . . . can help reduce stress?
“Life can be filled with chaos and stress. Soon joints begin to hurt, backs hurt, and people find themselves moving stiffly as they feel tense. Stretching is one way to help remove stress from life and bodies,” according to https://stress.lovetoknow.com/
Yoga International (https://yogainternational.com/) says, “there are three types of stretching, and we may do them all, to varying degrees, in yoga:
1. static (holding a position)
2. dynamic active (bringing a joint repeatedly through its range of motion)
3. PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, one technique of which requires the contraction of the target muscle when it is stretched, followed by a more passive stretch with the muscle relaxed)”
And, https://allstressmanagement.com/ notes the following ten benefits of stretching:
1. Improve joint range of movement, without compromising joint stability.
2. Prevent Injury.
3. Decreases muscle soreness after exercise.
4. Promotes circulation, increases blood supply and nutrients to muscles and joints.
5. Develops mind, body awareness as the body is allowed to move more freely when stretching is applied with focussed attention.
6. Enhances co-ordination, by allowing freedom of movements.
7. Improves posture with the structures being more balanced and even.
8. Reduces stress and pain by getting rid of tension and the lactic acid in the body.
9. Loosens the minds control of the body.
10. Enhances performance and quality of life.
Keep your holiday stress at bay this year through stretching! Join Valerie this Wednesday, December 5th, during her Stretch Everything Select Your Study Session. In this class you will practice yoga poses that stretch each part of your body, which can make every day movement easier and more flexible. The class is open to all experience levels.
Register through the Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio.
Questions about stretching? yoga? stress? Email us at info@SunriseYoga.net.
Are instructional yoga videos on yoga poses something you would like us to post more frequently? Please watch the video on Tree Pose (Vrksasana) and give us your feedback! More pose instructions? Other video requests?
If you would like to register for a Sunrise Yoga class, use our Sunrise Yoga app, register online, or through the studio.
On this Thanksgiving Day, it can be challenging to step out from the busyness and the activities and truly remember to be thankful. This day is a reminder to us that we can be in a state of thanksgiving and gratitude every day and to try to be present wherever we are.
Here at Sunrise Yoga Studio, we often get calls asking us, “What is Yoga?” The interesting answer to that question is, “What do you need it to be?”
The reason we answer it this way is because of the individual experience involved. Your experience will be different than someone else’s because your goals are unique, what type of yoga you do varies, and how you approach the techniques and guidance can be different. One of the advantages you have of coming to see us is that we consider what your needs are, such as wellness, fitness, mental clarity, spiritual growth, peace of mind, stress relief, vitality, healing, balance, pain relief, posture, better sleep, and stamina.
We are thankful yoga can provide so many benefits in ways that are as unique as the individuals participating in yoga. And we hope that, through your yoga journey, a deeper sense of gratitude will develop.
Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology.
In an article for Greater Good Magazine, he states, “We’ve studied more than one thousand people, from ages eight to 80, and found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:”
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated.
The benefits of gratitude and the benefits of yoga are not surprisingly similar! How can you incorporate gratitude development in your yoga practice?
“It can be hard to live in a constant state of gratitude, but you can learn to cultivate it by practicing yoga,” says Lena Schmidt of The Chopra Center. She suggests, “Next time you’re on your mat, try these eight yoga poses that inspire gratitude. For the best results, hold each pose for five to 10 breaths.”
Child’s Pose (Balasana) – Find gratitude for your breath—a sign that you are alive and everything is possible.
Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana) – As you breathe calmly, consider one part of your body for which you are especially grateful.
Supported Reclining Heart Opener (Setu Bandhasana Variation) – Consider a friend or mentor who is dear to you and all you’ve learned from him or her. Allow the thought of this person to inspire feelings of love and gratitude in your heart.
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana) – Find gratitude for your feet and all the adventures they take you on.
Mountain Pose with Raised Hands (Tadasana + Urdva Hastasana) – Find gratitude for all of your hopes and dreams and the unknown adventure of the future.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) – Find gratitude for an aspect of your life or a talent you hold that you appreciate.
Camel Pose (Ustrasana) – As you open your heart, throat, and shoulders, find gratitude for all the courage you’ve summoned into your life, and how it’s helped you through challenges big and small.
Final Resting Pose (Savasana) – Find compassion and gratitude for your own journey, for all of your strengths and all of your struggles.
What are your thoughts on how yoga can help create a greater sense of gratitude? We’d love to know!