Category Archives for SYS Staff/Instructors

Let Go!

Do you have trouble letting go?

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.”
~ Tao Te Ching

Elaine Round, Quieting the Mind, Letting Go, Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NCWant 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.

“Letting go helps us to to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.”

~ American writer, Melody Beattie.

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.

Our Instructors Are the Best!

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga InstructorsWe have really incredible, wonderful, caring yoga instructors at Sunrise Yoga Studio!

If you’ve taken yoga classes at Sunrise Yoga, no doubt you agree that our yoga instructors are top notch. But what makes a yoga instructor top notch?Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor, Cathy Howe

 

 

 

Researching this question led to quite a few lists of the must have characteristics of a good (better yet, great) yoga instructor. What quality would be at the top of your list?Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor, Elaine Round

Of the eight resources reviewed, every one of them noted a good yoga instructor should have the ability to observe the surroundings and situations of the classroom, and, by paying attention to detail and drawing from the instructor’s yoga knowledge base, adjust the pace and difficulty level of the class. Leave out the word “yoga” and you have a description of a good instructor of any subject! Remaining aware of your surroundings means watching students without making them feel uncomfortable and, as they practice each pose, assisting them when necessary. Having the mental flexibility to adjust lets students know the instructor is aware and cares about their students’ wellbeing.Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor, Gwen McLaughlin

Another frequently mentioned quality is language or voice. The yoga instructor’s voice is a powerful tool used to guide students in and out of poses. The language and the tone of voice help the instructor tell the yoga story. The better the communication from the yoga instructor, the deeper the students can immerse themselves in their yoga practice. A good yoga instructor knows how to use language and voice to calm or energize, support or challenge, reinforce or educate. Adjusting language and voice ties back to the ability to observe the surroundings and demonstrates compassion in both words and actions.Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor, Tom Ward

Awareness and adjustments also relate to being present and authentic. While presence may seem a bit vague, a good yoga instructor’s teaching will reflect his or her presence and help the student stay focus and engaged. The yoga instructor’s authenticity will come across in the messages shared and the manner in which they are shared. Personalization will infuse the instructor’s energy level into the class and create the appropriate type space for each yoga class.Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor, Sandra Gentry WellsSunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor, Lisa Kushner

It would seem to go without saying that preparation, study, attention to detail, and an emphasis on safety would be evident in all yoga instructors, not just good ones, and yet these attributes were mentioned less frequently than the qualities above. A love and respect for yoga would also be expected and might be manifested in the instructor’s desire to continue learning as well as in the instructor’s own ongoing practice of yoga.

One quality mentioned only once but that would be at or near the top of our list is trust. Yoga classes can be a place of sanctuary, a place to be open to trying without fear of failure or ridicule, a place to let go of the rest of the world for a brief time. If the student doesn’t have a sense of trust in the yoga instructor to create this type space, the student will not have fully experienced quality yoga.Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor, Karen HoglundSunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor, Kim Crawford

Sunrise Yoga holds our instructors to high standards. Our instructors have all undergone rigorous study and testing to acquire the certification necessary to teach. They must demonstrate their teaching and leadership abilities before joining the Sunrise Yoga staff.

You, however, hold our instructors to even higher standards. You come to Sunrise Yoga expecting good instructors and quality yoga classes. You are looking for an instructor who will share not only knowledge of yoga but who will also be a light and an inspiration for you.

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor, Jessie RymarchykThe instructors themselves hold themselves to standards even higher than we do or you do! Some things simply can’t be learned and our instructors have inborn desires to learn, to teach, to lead, to grow, and to inspire. They continuously challenge themselves to bring yoga classes to you that bring yoga into your world and help you see your world through the eyes of an enlightened yogi.

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor, Karen FitzgeraldTo conclude, we quote from yogapedia.com. “Perhaps most crucially, there is no one perfect yoga teacher and yoga teaching is not an exact science. There is space out there in the sphere of inspirational yoga classes for a huge variety of teaching styles and techniques. The common denominator, though, is that all good yoga teachers care deeply about their yoga and about their students.”Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor, Mary Ellen Tuohy

Today is not a “salute your yoga instructor day” or any special day related to yoga instructors. Every day at Sunrise Yoga is a day we are proud of our instructors and honored to have them as part of our staff. We hope you concur.

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Instructor and Director, Valerie KiserIf you have a quality you look for in a yoga instructor we haven’t mentioned, please comment. If your Sunrise Yoga instructor has a quality you particularly admire, please let us know.

 

We thank you as students for being a part of who our instructors are and what Sunrise Yoga is. You elevate our good qualities and help direct us to be our best!

Check out all our instructors on our web site.

Is yoga instructor in your future? We offer yoga teacher training! Find out more here!

 

 

 

Commentary about the qualities mentioned above for a good yoga instructor can be found on the following web sites:

https://www.yogiapproved.com/yoga/habits-great-yoga-teachers-share/

Top 10 Qualities of a Great Yoga Teacher

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-2061/11-Qualities-of-the-Ultimate-Yoga-Instructor.html

7 Qualities of a Great Yoga Instructor

https://www.doyouyoga.com/10-qualities-of-an-amazing-yoga-teacher/

https://www.expandinglight.org/free/yoga-teacher/articles/general/good-vs-great.php

https://www.yogapedia.com/2/7040/yoga-practice/5-qualities-of-a-good-yoga-teacher

https://beyogi.com/qualities-of-a-great-yoga-teacher/

https://www.yogajournal.com/blog/what-makes-a-good-teacher

Have you registered?

Learn more about the practice of yoga by attending one of our yoga workshops! Our yoga workshops, although they vary in terms of instruction and topic, focus on the core approach of yoga – helping everyone move toward greater wellness and wellbeing.

Enhance your knowledge of yoga, try different yoga practices, and strengthen your understanding of different yoga poses and movement techniques at one of Sunrise Yoga Studio’s yoga workshops. Outside of our regular class schedule, we bring in incredible guest yoga instructors to teach yoga workshops that focus on different aspects of yoga and the many benefits it provides to the mind, body, and spirit.

Cindy Dollar Yoga Weekend at Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NCThe next yoga workshop at Sunrise Yoga brings back a very popular yoga instructor, Cindy Dollar. Cindy has been helping people live more flexible and balanced lives since 1985. She teaches yoga classes and offers private yoga instruction in Asheville, and leads yoga workshops throughout the Southeast. Cindy’s been voted one of the Best Yoga Teachers in Western North Carolina for the last ten years. She is the former owner of Asheville’s One Center Yoga and, we are happy to have her back at Sunrise!

In a commentary on commitment to yoga, Cindy says, “Frequently, potential students will find reasons not to attend before they attend the first class. They feel like they are too stiff, too old, too tired, too short, too heavy, or too “fill-in-the-blank.” Perhaps they think these issues will magically disappear and then they can come to class. In actuality, all those issues might not go away by coming to class. Nevertheless, one’s relationship with “too stiff, too old, too tired, too short, or too heavy” will change as one develops a loving relationship with one’s body through focusing on the strength, flexibility, and stability that it already has.”

Cindy brings her incredible yoga experience and knowledge to Sunrise Yoga Friday through Sunday, November 2nd – 4th. Her sessions include:

Yoga for Emotional Wellbeing, Friday, November 2nd, 6:00-8:00 pm (Individual session cost is $45.) covering yoga to help release tension and stress, calm and focus the mind, and increase clarity of mind. In this session, you will shift into a sense of being grounded and resilient.

Yoga from a Different Angle, Saturday, November 3rd, 9:30 am -12:30 pm (Individual session cost is $65.) where you will experience the world through the yoga lens while practicing twists, inversions and a variety of poses that let you see the world from a different angle, both literally and figuratively.

Working Toward Stillness, Saturday, November 3rd, 2:00-4:00 pm (Individual session cost is $45.) in which you will travel the roadmap to a rewarding meditation practice. Explore asanas (postures) that help prepare you for sitting, along with meditation techniques to help you cultivate the serenity and quietude that meditation offers.

Yoga for Sciatica, Sunday, November 4th, 9:30 am-12:30 pm (Individual session cost is $65.) where you can explore underlying causes of back pain & discover how to find relief through your yoga practice.

If you would like to experience the full Cindy Dollar weekend workshop, you will save $10 over the individual session registration fees. The cost for the full weekend yoga workshop is $210.

Register for the full weekend or for individual sessions through the Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio.

Future yoga workshops at Sunrise Yoga include:

Sound Immersion with Percussionist Bill Smith and Restorative Yoga with Cathy Howe, Sunday, November 11th, 5:00-6:30 pm (Workshop cost is $20 if you register by November 4th; $25 after. Sunrise Yoga members receive a 10% discount when registering at the front desk.) Discover a deep sense of tranquility as you the let the vibrations of gongs and bells wash over you as you relax through a series of restorative yoga poses. After this type of practice, participants can have reduced stress, a better quality of sleep, a profound sense of calm and focus and a refreshed feeling and outlook.Percussionist Bill Smith and Restorative Yoga with Cathy Howe Workshop at Sunrise Yoga, Clemmons, NC

Saturday Morning Workshop with Valerie Kiser (owner/director of Sunrise Yoga Studio and co-owner of East Coast Yoga Therapy), Saturday, December 1st, 9:00 am-1:00 pm (Workshop cost is $40 if you register by November 24th; $50 after. Sunrise Yoga members receive a 20% discount when registering at the front desk.) Yoga class with an emphasis of working toward Handstand; anatomy of the lower arm. Deepen your yoga practice and knowledge. Only 6 months prior yoga experience required at Level 1 and above.

Sunday Morning Workshop with Valerie Kiser (owner/director of Sunrise Yoga Studio and co-owner of East Coast Yoga Therapy), Sunday, December 2nd, 9:00 am-1:00 pm (Workshop cost is $40 if you register by November 24th; $50 after. Sunrise Yoga members receive a 20% discount when registering at the front desk.) Discuss and practice digital pranayamas; discuss therapeutics related to the lower arm; and enjoy a yoga practice to put the discussions into practice. Deepen your yoga practice and knowledge. Only 6 months prior yoga experience required at Level 1 and above.

Cheryl Fenner Brown, Yoga for Cancer Survivor, workshop at Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NCHealing Yoga for Cancer Weekend Intensive with Cheryl Fenner Brown (C-IAYT, ERYT 500), Friday through Sunday, February 15th-17th (Workshop cost is $240 if you register by February 3rd; $275 after. Participants will receive 12 hours towards their CEC’s for Yoga Alliance.) This weekend immersion for yoga teachers and health care practitioners teaches the theory and practice of yoga therapy for cancer patients and survivors, as well as how both active and contemplative practices can help ease treatment side-effects. Learn about the anatomy of cancer and how yoga helps strengthen the immune system. In addition, learn how to adapt common asanas for patients in active treatment, what is safe and what should be avoided. Finally, learn how to use contemplative practices that bolster emotional and spiritual well-being, including mudras (hand gestures), pranayama (breathing), mantras (chanting and sound), sankalpa (intention), and yoga nidra (guided relaxation). Cheryl’s Healing Yoga for Cancer Survivorship feasibility study was presented at IAYT’s Symposium on Yoga Research and the Society of Integrative Oncology’s annual conferences in 2015 and highlighted in Yoga Journal. From this work she developed a 50-hr Healing Yoga for Cancer teacher training that is offered nationwide.

Weekend Workshop with Julie Gudmestad, PT and Iyengar-teacher, Saturday and Sunday, March 23rd-24th. More information to come soon!Julie Gudmestad Yoga Workshop at Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC

Our goal at Sunrise Yoga is to provide a variety of yoga experiences and opportunities through ongoing classes as well as specialized yoga workshops to help you deepen your yoga practice and discover new yoga connections. We’ll see you on the mat!

Questions? Email us at info@SunriseYoga.net or call the studio.

October is . . .

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, October National Breast Cancer Month

 

October is . . .

. . . a time of pumpkin spice everything and usually, lots of fall color! We typically think of fall color including oranges and yellows and reds but fall color also includes a lot of PINK!Pink Fall Leaves

October is Breast Cancer Awareness MonthOctober is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and all the awareness materials and branding are pink! During October, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and collaborating organizations work to raise awareness of the importance of early detection steps and treatments.

According to Wikipedia, “In 1993 Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estée Lauder Companies, founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as its symbol.” This symbol is quite prevalent all year long but especially in October.

 

The breastcancer.org site notes that,

“Research in breast cancer patients has shown that yoga may be able to help:

improve physical functioning
reduce fatigue
reduce stress
improve sleep
improve quality of life

Kim Crawford, Sunrise Yoga Studio Instructor, Breast Cancer SurvivorOur own Sunrise Yoga instructor, Kim Crawford, discovered yoga as part of her breast cancer journey. She tried yoga to improve her range of motion after breast cancer treatments but discovered much more!

Kim says, “Yoga helped me through that journey and I guess my one thought about yoga and breast cancer is that they are both personal journeys. Once I committed to yoga my breast cancer journey became easier, calmer, less frightening and stressful. Yoga gave me strength from within.”

Cancer is scary regardless of who it affects and where it attacks. Research is improving every day and we are, hopefully, coming closer and closer to cures for all the types of cancers that exist.

In February, Sunrise Yoga will host Cheryl Fenner Brown, C-IYAT, ERYT 500, and her Healing Yoga for Cancer Survivorship workshop to Sunrise Yoga. While this workshop is only for yoga teachers and health care practitioners, we want you to know about it as our Sunrise Yoga instructors will be participating! We want to do what we can to help raise awareness and beat the odds for our yoga students.Cheryl Fenner Brown, Yoga for Cancer Survivorship, workshop at Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC

Be diligent in staying aware of your health. The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers a free “Know the Symptoms” Guide for breast cancer. Download it and do a self-assessment.

If you feel comfortable, share your yoga and cancer story with us. You might be the “pink push” someone else needs!

Questions for us about how yoga can help with cancer? Email us at info@SunriseYoga.net.

Make Time to Hang Out!

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga WallIf the thought of hanging from straps attached to a wall intimidates you, you aren’t alone! “I had assumed wall yoga was just for yogi pros, but I was totally wrong,” says Chelsey Hamilton for Health.com. “I kept seeing impressive images of yogis suspended in acrobatic poses. Although they seemed so graceful floating in midair, I was having a hard time picturing myself attempting these gravity-defying feats. I worried I wasn’t quite experienced enough.”

Ms. Hamilton’s concern didn’t last long . . . and neither should yours!

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Wall“The principle behind the Yoga Wall has been around for decades, originally designed by BKS Iyengar in the form of ropes attached to wall hooks to assist students in various yoga asana (poses),” notes The Great Yoga Wall. Today’s updated version consists of spring loaded sockets mounted in the wall that can receive adjustable straps that accommodate every height and body type.

 

The Great Yoga Wall notes the following benefits of practicing on the yoga wall where gravity can be appreciated and utilized:Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Wall

Builds strength in both the large and small muscle groups

Aides in the ability to access various muscle groups in poses they are not yet able to achieve on the mat

Offers many therapeutic benefits helping individuals heal from athletic injuries, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and Sciatica

Can be used as a work-out tool to aid competitive athletes in cross-training and preparation for competitions

Allows one to do hundreds of poses

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga WallCan help students work through fear, build confidence, etc., so that they are able to take what they’ve learned on the Yoga Wall, to their mats and into their daily lives

Uses specific postures and positioning, movement and breath, awareness to open the joints, connective tissue

Allows standing postures, forward and back bends, twists and inversions

Helps us feel great after doing yoga, because it is a balanced physical practice designed to open the spine in every direction

 

Just as a good yoga teacher can help you develop further in a yoga pose, so too can experiencing yoga in near weightless state by using the yoga wall! And an environment with a great yoga wall instructor (i.e., Sunrise Yoga Studio owner and director, Valerie Kiser) and an expanse of yoga wall together creates phenomenal opportunities for development in your yoga practice!Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga Wall, with owner and director, Valerie Kiser

The Spirit of Yoga notes, “It is said in Yoga, that ‘you are only as old as your spine.’ Thus, as long as you have a healthy and flexible spine, your ability to participate in life is endless! To open the spine in every direction without compression = hang upside down and practice yoga!”

Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons, NC, Yoga WallCome “hang” with us at Sunrise Yoga! We offer a Yoga Wall class on Tuesdays, 8:30-9:45 am. AND, we have a special Select Your Study session on Wednesday, October 3rd, 6:00-7:30 pm, that is a spinal sequence on the Yoga Wall!

Class size is limited. Level 1 and above. Register through the Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio.

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!

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