Category Archives for Uncategorized

Instructor Highlight featuring Jessie Rymarchyk


Sunrise Yoga has amazing, caring and gifted instructors. Attention is given to each student as they give instruction. This post will highlight Jessie Rymarchyk. Jessie grew up in a small suburb of Syracuse, New York and attended SUNY Cobleskill, Cornell University, and SUNY Dehli where she received degrees in Animal Science and Veterinary Technology. Since 2000 she has been employed full time in the field of veterinary medicine as a licensed and registered veterinary technician. Shortly after starting her vet tech career, she began practicing yoga.

She has graduated from the Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training program as a 500-hour Certified Yoga Teacher.

Jessie’s interest in teaching has grown as she has deepened her own practice. Yoga has benefited her in ways both expected and unintended. This has inspired Jessie to share her experience with others by encouraging them to begin and helping them to enhance their own yoga practice. In addition, Jessie has started her own business that promotes a holistic lifestyle called Hippie Chick Goods, LLC. She makes natural products that include soaps, lotions, salt and sugar scrubs.

Experience Jessie’s Level 1 Yoga class Monday mornings from 10:00-11:30 am. Come by the studio so you get to know her!

Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis

Iyengar Yoga has proven to be extremely beneficial for patients living with Multiple Sclerosis. There are poses that help with challenges such as fatigue, constipation, problems with digestion, lack of mental clarity, or balance. Balance, for example, can be addressed with asanas such as Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I) and Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II), and Trikonasana (Triangle Pose). To counter limitations, such as fatigue and heat intolerance, students learn to master the breath and practice restorative postures. Both techniques cool the body and calm the nervous system. The simple breathing technique of lengthening the exhalation a little longer than the inhalation helps quiet the nervous system. It’ has been observed that heat, stress, and tension can cause temporary worsening of MS symptoms, so keep the pace of practice relaxed but focused— keeping the body just shy of sweating is important.

MS can also result in a daily battle with numbness of the arms and legs, muscle spasms, and loss of coordination. The system of yoga emphasizes stretching and breathing, which can release tension and improve circulation and body awareness. Yoga can also facilitate harmony between the muscular and nervous systems of the body, possibly resulting in more fluid movement and relief from muscle tension.

Finally, in addition to evolving body awareness, yoga, tailored according to your needs, increases flexibility and balance. The poses increase the range of motion in the joints and improve muscle tone, and work of most of the body’’s muscle groups.

International Yoga Day – sequence for your practice

Hi – this is Valerie writing today.  On Tuesday, June 21, 2016 we celebrated International Yoga Day.  All the classes I taught were based on a sequence proposed by the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) and the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYNAUS).   Here is the information excerpted from an email from IYNAUS:

“For those of you who would like to take up the suggestion of following a forward extending sequence suitable for early and intermediate level students, we offer the following sequence as an option. Please use any modifications you are familiar with that are suitable to your condition.

  • Adho Mukha Virasana
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Uttanasana
  • [If you have a regular practice of inverted poses, add those here.]
  • Paschimottanasana, feet apart
  • Janu Sirsasana
  • Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana
  • Marichyasana I twisting
  • Marichyasana I forward bending
  • Paschimottanasana feet together
  • Upavistha Konasana
  • Bharadvajasana I
  • Marichyasana III
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana I
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Supta Baddha Konasana
  • Savasana”

Sunrise Yoga Teacher Highlight featuring Karen Hoglund

Sunrise Yoga has amazing, caring and gifted instructors. Attention is given to each student as they give instruction. This post will highlight Karen Hoglund. Karen (RYT500) became a student of yoga in 1999, eventually receiving her 330-hour yoga teacher training certificate from Triad Yoga Institute in 2004 and her 500-hour certificate from Triad Yoga’s Vidya program in 2008. She continues to attend workshops from many amazing teachers who provide inspiration for her classes. Karen’s own challenges with her back (scoliosis) has taught her how important good alignment is and how wonderful yoga can be to strengthening the body while reducing pain. She is also very inspired by music and ancient traditions so her flow classes often have playlists geared to the sequence, sprinkled in with the occasional myth, and hopefully designed to bring a little peace into our lives.

Come experience classes with Karen Saturday mornings at 9:00-10:30 am for Level 2 Flow Yoga and 11:00 am-12:30 pm for Back Care Yoga. One may be able to have the ultimate pleasure of taking special meditation classes with Karen. Keep a lookout for when those are scheduled on our monthly calendars. Namaste.

Healing Meditation Technique for Beginners

From Deepak Chopra

The purpose of meditation is the tune in to find peace within that spiritual traditions talk about that passes all understanding.

First of all, the most important thing is sit comfortably on the sofa without slouching. Do not lie down as you may fall asleep. Don’t cross your legs, keep your hands open, and be comfortable.

Repeat to yourself loudly the two words, ‘I am. I am. I am. I am.’

Now you can close your eyes and you can whisper those two words to yourself, ‘I am. I am. I am.’

What will happen is that you’ll have other thoughts. You might feel sensations in your body. You might hear sounds in your environment. Whenever you become conscious of that then go back to repeating ‘I am’, mentally, without moving your lips and your tongue for about five to ten minutes.

Now let’s assume you’ve done that for five minutes. Keep your eyes closed, and bring your awareness into your heart, right in the middle of the chest. With all of your awareness try to see, sense, feel your heartbeat. See if you can sense your heartbeat either as a sound or a sensation.

Now that you’re experiencing your heartbeat as a sound or a sensation, bring your awareness to your fingertips, to your hands. Bring your awareness into your fingertips. You can open you eyes and peek for a second and then go back with your eyes closed. Feel your heartbeat in your fingertips. If you feel that, you’ve just diverted blood flow to your hands. This is one of the fastest ways to relieve a migraine headache.

Now bring your awareness back into your heart and just mentally repeat the four words:  Peace. Harmony. Laughter. Love.

Do that for two minutes and now move your awareness anywhere in your body that you want to bring healing to. You don’t have to visualize anything, you don’t have to say anything, just bring your awareness. Just bringing awareness to these different parts of your body will bring consciousness, which is healing.

Finally, come back to your heart and, again, those four words: Peace. Harmony. Laughter. Love. Remember those are the goals of all the other goals in our life, whatever we want, ultimately that’s what we want. So repeat: Peace. Harmony. Laughter. Love.

Now keep your awareness in your heart and just for one minute, experience gratitude. You experience gratitude by thinking of all the things you’re already grateful for. The more you experience gratitude, the more you’ll attract things in your life that will make you feel even more grateful. Do that for a few seconds, relax into your body, and open your eyes. This is a healing meditation.

Reflections for this Memorial Weekend

As we move into the unofficial start of Summer, let us take time to remember the those men and women who sacrificed their lives for this country. Let’s think about the families who are remembering and reflecting on memories shared with those they have lost. Now, hold on close to those near you, love your people and be safe. Namaste.

New to Yoga? Questions Asked and Answered

What IS Yoga? -The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as “union” or a method of discipline. The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behavior in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment).  Most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb, asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.

What Does Om Mean? – Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. It is said to be the sound of the universe. What does that mean? ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling us—that the entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om. Chanting Om allows us to recognize our experience as a reflection of how the whole universe moves—the setting sun, the rising moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the beating of our hearts.

How Many Times A Week Should One Practice Yoga? – Even if you only practice for one hour a week, you will experience the benefits of the practice. If you can do more than that, you will certainly experience more benefits. I suggest starting with two or three times a week, for an hour or an hour and a half each time.

How Is Yoga Different From Stretching or Other Kinds of Fitness? – Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. It is unique because we connect the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. We become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. The awareness that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a task or a goal to be completed. Your body will most likely become much more flexible by doing yoga, and so will your mind.

Is Yoga a Religion? – Yoga is not a religion. It sometimes interweaves other philosophies such as Hinduism or Buddhism, but it is not necessary to study those paths in order to practice or study yoga. It is also not necessary to surrender your own religious beliefs to practice yoga.

I’m Not Flexible—Can I Do Yoga? – Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin yoga, but that’s a little bit like thinking that you need to be able to play tennis in order to take tennis lessons. Come as you are and you will find that yoga practice will help you become more flexible. This newfound agility will be balanced by strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.

Yoga Poses to Strengthen Knees

Let’s look at Yoga poses to strengthen those knees! First, it is wise to evenly distribute weight on them. Stand tall!

Half Squat Against a Wall: This pose strengthens the quadriceps, hamstrings and hips.  When doing this pose, please stand on a yoga mat.  As you move into the squat where your back is against the wall, make sure that your knees track over the center of your feet and do not extend beyond your ankles.  Also, keep your hips higher than your knees.

Bridge, gently squeezing a block between the knees: This pose also strengthens quadriceps and hamstrings, along with other muscles.   As with the squat, do not let your knees go behind your toes.  Squeezing the block engages the inner thigh muscles and promotes correct positioning of the feet.  Always keep both edges of the feet and all ten toes on the ground.

Cobra, bending the knees: This back strengthener also promotes mobility in the knee join and builds strength in the hamstrings.  You can either bend one knee at a time or both.  Flexing the foot as you bend the knee and imagining that you are wearing an ankle weight deepens the work.

The poses above can be modified based on your needs. Talk with your instructor for guidance. Namaste.

Sunrise Yoga Teacher Highlight – featuring Kim Crawford

Sunrise Yoga has amazing, caring and gifted instructors. Attention is given to each student as they give instruction. This post will highlight Kim Crawford who came to yoga hoping to improve range of motion after breast cancer treatments. She found that yoga brought her so much more than physical flexibility and strength. The awareness and peacefulness that came along with the physical benefits encouraged Kim to deepen her practice. Kim completed a 330-hour teacher training program at Triad Yoga Institute and began teaching in 2008. Kim graduated from the Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training program as a 500-hour Certified Yoga Teacher and is now a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance. Kim believes that anybody in any body can benefit from yoga and she enjoys sharing the yoga experience.

Come experience classes with Kim on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm. She teaches Gentle Yoga and Level 1 Yoga respectively. Kim also teaches Thursday mornings at 10:00am and 11:30 am. Those classes are Chair Yoga and Back Care Yoga respectively. Friday mornings, she teaches a Level 1 Yoga class at 10:00 am. One Friday of each month, Kim will feature dulcimer player, DJ Stine, who plays during Savasana. What’s more cool than having your own personal DJ?! 😉 You will not want to miss it.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Sunrise Yoga Family!


Please Enjoy the following Reading


Peace flows into me
As the tide to the pool by the shore;
It is mine forevermore,
It ebbs not back like the sea.

I am the pool of blue
That worships the vivid sky;
My hopes were heaven-high,
They are all fulfilled in you.

I am the pool of gold
When sunset burns and dies—
You are my deepening skies,
Give me your stars to hold.

By Sara Teasdale from Love Songs (1917)