Yoga is Out of This World

According to a recent NASA study, astronauts in space can grow up to 3 percent taller during the time spent living outside earth’s gravity. That means that a 6-foot-tall person could gain as many as 2 inches while in orbit. That gain is short lived, however, and once the astronauts return to Earth their height returns to normal after a few months.

So, what does that mean for those of us who are earthbound? And why might this be of particular interest to yoga students? Well for one thing, this speaks volumes about the effect that gravity has on our spines. Fortunately, the practice of yoga can help you counteract this spinal compression and create more space without the expense of orbiting the earth.

Ever notice that certain poses can actually make you feel taller? Or that once you have stretched one side of the body, it feels “longer” and maybe even “lighter” than the other? Could it be that yoga students, like the men and women in space, are simply accessing “space” in their spine that is already there?

Decompressing – or lengthening – the spine with yoga frees us up to move with more agility and a wider range of motion. That increased mobility can lighten the spirit while promoting better overall health for the entire nervous system.

As for me, I have long believed that yoga is “out of this world”. I think this study supports my theory. So we all know I am short, but I wonder if I’m taller than I thought!

Inspired by our teachers

Even if you don’t know the name B.K.S. Iyengar, your yoga practice is influenced by him.  He wrote numerous books and helped bring yoga to the west.  His death in late August at the age of 95 has led me to reflect upon the teachers of yoga.  Although I never met Mr. Iyengar, most of my teachers studied directly with him, and I fortunately received his wisdom through them.  While I enjoy and gain a great deal from practice at home, there’s nothing like being inspired and invigorated in a class.  I am most grateful for everything my teachers share with me.

Has it been a while since you’ve been on the yoga mat?  Want to practice at a deeper level or more often but not sure how to get there?  Has your practice at home become stale?  I encourage you to chat with one of the great teachers here at Sunrise Yoga and let us help guide your yoga journey.

P.S.  If you want to know more about Iyengar Yoga, please visit

Look Who’s Talking

One yoga student walks into the studio one day, bringing along a yoga mat (although we provide them free for you at Sunrise Yoga!) and two little voices her head. One voice belongs to Ego, who can get very loud and almost impossible to drown out. The other belongs to Humility, a soft-spoken fellow who is easy to push around.

After stepping into the studio and unrolling her yoga mat, the student follows along with the instructor’s lesson for the day and at first everything is going fine. After a few preparatory poses, the instructor then says, “your next pose is downward facing dog”, which she demonstrates before carefully leading her students into the pose. So far, so good – right?

But it doesn’t take long before trouble breaks out when Ego and Humility start to have a very loud argument, and some of you may know that this is very distracting when you are trying to practice a little yoga. The argument goes something like this:

Ego: “We have been in down dog for ages! Has the instructor forgotten about us? This is killing my right wrist. I guess I haven’t fully recovered from that injury I had a few months ago. I don’t think I can stay in this pose any longer, but no one else is coming out of the pose and I don’t want to be different. I don’t want anyone to think that I can’t do it too. That would be embarrassing. Everyone will think there is something wrong with me, or that I’m not good enough to stay in the pose as long as they are. So I am just going to hang in there until……uh oh.”

Now all this time, soft-spoken Humility has been trying to get a word in, because Humility wanted to say:

“The instructor hasn’t said to come out of this pose, but my right wrist is really starting to hurt. I guess I haven’t fully recovered from the injury I had a few months ago. I wish I had mentioned this to the instructor before class, but I forgot. I’ll bet she could offer an alternate way of doing the pose. Meanwhile I don’t think I should stay in this pose any longer because that might cause injury to my wrist. I need to do what I think is best for me in this moment. I don’t know what others are doing, but I need to assume responsibility for my own practice and not worry about that.”

Don’t you enjoy eavesdropping on a good argument!

Who’s talking to you?

The Many Ways Yoga & Meditation Connect

You have seen and heard many times that yoga is about connecting or creating the union of mind, body and spirit. At Sunrise Yoga, we want to serve as your guide, your resource, as well as your place, for making your journey to this sense of harmony.

We offer many classes and workshops specifically directed at meditation, but meditation is often not thought of as yoga, so what is the connection?  As the states, Although you don’t need to formally meditate in order to practice hatha yoga—nor is the practice of hatha yoga mandatory in order to meditate—the two practices support each another.”  And, just as hatha yoga and yoga instructors have many different styles, there are many different ways to learn about and to practice meditation, the art of reaching a greater state of awareness.  Meditation, like yoga, also involves the mind, the body and the spirit.

Meditation classes are offered fairly frequently at Sunrise Yoga.  This month, we have expanded the meditation opportunities with some great workshops . . . each with its own style . . . because we want you to learn about the many wonderful benefits of a meditation practice.  All of these workshops are returning by request and raise the awareness of these benefits!  And, wouldn’t it be great to feel less stress, have greater focus, and, again quoting, to realize that You are not meditating to get anything, but rather to look at and let go of anything you do not need.”

Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation Workshop, July 12th, at Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons

Cindy Dollar & Susan Grant


First up this month is our Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation Workshop with Cindy Dollar & Susan Grant. This class can be an introduction to mindfulness meditation for those who are new to meditation as well as an opportunity for the experienced meditator to enhance existing knowledge.  The workshop takes place this Saturday, July 12th, from 1:00-5:00 pm at a cost of $70 per person.  Register online or through the studio.




Mindfulness Meditation & Movement with Anna Leisa Schuh at Sunrise Yoga in Clemmons

Anna Leisa Schuh


Beginning Saturday, July 19th, Anna Leisa Schuh will lead a four-week Mindfulness Meditation & Movement workshop from 1:00-2:30 pm each Saturday through August 9th.  Cost per person is $115 (or $110 if before July 14, 2014!).  This series will focus on altering the individual’s relationship to physical and emotional stress.  Register online or through the studio.




Gong Meditation with Bill Smith at Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons

Bill Smith


And we round out our July meditation workshops with Gong Meditation with percussionist, Bill Smith, Friday, July 25th from 6:00-7:00 pm. This sound immersion session creates a tranquil state of mind and relaxation through the vibrations from gongs and bells.  Cost per person is $15 (or $12 if before July 23rd!).  Register online or through the studio.




Join us in one or all of these wonderful opportunities to add or enhance the practice of meditation as part of your journey!  Questions?  Call the studio at 336-778-1233.


Strike A Pose is Back! Send in Your Photos!

Fran Gordon, Anna Misior, Strike A Pose, Sunrise Yoga, Clemmons

Fran Gordon & Anna Misior

Thank you to Fran Gordon and Anna Misior for kicking off the entries for our Summer 2014 Strike A Pose Drawing!  Fran and Anna were attending Anna’s white coat ceremony in her quest for becoming a physician’s assistant!

Send us your photos of you in a yoga pose and we will enter your name into a drawing for a $25 Sunrise Yoga Boutique Gift Certificate!  Entries accepted through July 31, 2014.  Be sure to include your name, the pose and the location of the photo. Entries can be emailed to or posted on our Facebook page.

And the nomination goes to . . .

Winston-Salem Journal's 2014 Readers Choice Awards Nominations - Vote for Sunrise Yoga Studio!

. . . well, we kind of, sort of, fingers crossed hope that it will go to Sunrise Yoga Studio! But, it is really up to you to decide.

Thank you to everyone who has already voted in this year’s The 8th Annual Smitty’s Notes “Best of Winston-Salem” Contest and The Winston-Salem Journal’s 2014 Readers Choice Award Nominations. These surveys are valuable tools for expressing your opinions and supporting the businesses and organizations in your community with which you interact. 

Smitty’s Survey ended June 30th, but there’s still time to nominate your favorites for Readers Choice.  Nominations are accepted through July 6th. Your nomination of Sunrise Yoga Studio as the best yoga studio would be an honor for us!

Here are ways you can vote:

1. Click here to nominate your favorites.
2. Show up in class for your favorite teachers at your favorite studio.
3. Pay loving attention to your life and those in your life.
4. All of the above.

As B.K.S. Iyengar said, “Do not aim low, you will miss the mark. Aim high and you will be on a threshold of bliss.” We’d like to hear about the businesses and organizations “on the threshold of bliss” because they are aiming high and, therefore, secured your nominations! Share your thoughts with us on Facebook!

Mindfulness Meditation ~ A Means to Managing Life

What does it mean to be “mindful”?‘s definition is “attentive, aware, careful”. Seems simple enough, right? But how often do we pass through life not paying attention, unaware, and therefore, functioning in a rather careless manner?

We have an upcoming workshop at Sunrise Yoga Studio that brings yoga and mindfulness meditation together! Why? Here’s what Susan Grant, co-leader of the workshop, has to say about it:

“Mindfulness training teaches us to be present in every moment of our lives….even those moments that are filled with difficult emotions. As we practice mindfulness, we develop the ability to stay present, open-hearted, and compassionate with ourselves and those in our lives who may be “difficult.” We will use our yoga practice to bring our mindfulness practice into our everyday life and activity. We will experience first-hand the truism that how we are on the mat is how we are off the mat.


Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation Workshop, July 12th, at Sunrise Yoga Studio in Clemmons

Cindy Dollar & Susan Grant

Susan is a psychologist in private practice and founder of The Mindfulness Center of Asheville. She combines cognitive therapy and mindfulness training in her work with individuals and with groups. She, along with Cindy Dollar, owner and senior teacher at One Center Yoga of Asheville, and the co-author of Yoga Your Way, brings to us yoga poses to increase strength and flexibility in hips, hamstrings, and back designed to make sitting easier, even in a chair, and mindfulness practices that will develop the ability to focus attention, giving more choices responding to the events and stresses of daily life.

We invite you to join Susan and Cindy on Saturday, July 12th, from 1:00-5:00 pm to learn more (or enhance what you already know!) about mindfulness meditation. Space is limited and, if you sign up before June 28th, you can save yourself $10!

Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation
Saturday, July 12th @ 1:00-5:00 pm
Register online or call the studio at 336-778-1233.
$60 Before 6/28
$70 After 6/28


Yoga for a Healthy Back!

Yoga Therapy at Sunrise Yoga Studio, Clemmons

Valerie Kiser, E-RYT 500 & Certified Yoga Therapist

Last week, I had the pleasure of teaching a Yoga for a Healthy Back class, offered free by Best Health through Wake Forest Baptist Health, Davie Medical Center.  We had a great group of participants and I look forward to leading more classes there in the future.

As Hilary Dowdle reports in, “As long as they’re “back” there doing their job, holding us up and keeping us mobile, we usually don’t give them too much thought; we can’t even see them. We take them (our backs) for granted. They’re just backs—our posterior sides, the very definition of strength and silence.”  But, if your back is not doing its best work, life can be uncomfortable, if not miserable.

Would you like to learn more about the yoga poses for developing and maintaining a healthy back?  Or do you need assistance in overcoming back pain? We offer two Back Care classes at Sunrise Yoga Studio as well as many Beginner classes to help you get started!  Check our class schedule to find a class that works for you!

I’ve also listed some poses below to get your started.  Not all poses are appropriate for all students.  Please consult with your physician before beginning any movement program.  These poses may not be appropriate for your particular condition.  Contact Valerie at (336) 778-1233 or if you wish to schedule a class or private session.

You can find a picture of most of these poses on

Reclining big toe pose
Reclining twist
Cat pose / cow pose
Balance from hands and knees position
Child’s pose
Locust pose
Mountain pose
Downward facing dog pose – on a chair
Seated in chair twist
Corpse pose

Come visit the studio and make your way to a happy, healthy back!

It would be an honor to be nominated!

Winston-Salem Journal's 2014 Readers Choice Awards Nominations - Vote for Sunrise Yoga Studio!Smitty's Notes Best of Winston-Salem 2014 at Sunrise Yoga Clemmons

We humbly ask for your “vote” for
Sunrise Yoga Studio in these local surveys!




Local surveys where your vote/entry is a means of expressing your opinions and supporting the businesses and organizations in your community with which you interact provide great feedback.  We, of course, love it when Sunrise Yoga Studio ranks well in these contests because that means you took the time to express your opinion  . . . and we greatly value your time!

The voting is now open for The 8th Annual Smitty’s Notes “Best of Winston-Salem” Contest! We would very much appreciate you choosing Sunrise Yoga Studio as The Best Yoga Studio (#84 on Smitty’s extensive list).  The contest runs through June 30th.

The Winston-Salem Journal’s 2014 Readers Choice Award Nominations runs through July 6th. Your nomination of Sunrise Yoga Studio as the best yoga studio would be an honor for us!

Here are ways you can vote:

1. Click here  or here to visit a survey and vote.
2. Show up in class for your favorite teachers at your favorite studio.
3. Pay loving attention to your life and those in your life.
4. All of the above.

We’d like to hear about the other businesses and organizations you thought deserved a “Best” vote! Share your thoughts with us on Facebook!

Yoga University Graduate Featured in Forsyth Woman Magazine

June Forsyth Woman Anna Misior

Anna Misior, Yoga University Graduate, Forsyth Woman Magazine


Since 2009, Sunrise Yoga Studio has offered in-depth study programs through its Yoga University for students who desire to deepen their study of yoga beyond our weekly class offerings. The 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification Program and the 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification Program offer opportunities for registration through our affiliation with Yoga Alliance. Sunrise Yoga Studio is a Registered Yoga School (RYS) with Yoga Alliance.

Last month, two of our students completed the requirements for graduation from the 300-Hour Teacher Training Program!  Each of them will be featured in an issue of Forsyth Woman Magazine and we hope you will click the link to read about Anna Misior is this month’s issue.

Congratulations, Anna! We love seeing you featured in Women on the Move!