Are you afraid to be in the yoga studio?
What is the most common reason people don’t try yoga? Marlynn Wei, MD, JD, and contributing editor for health.harvard.edu, drawing from information revealed in the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, reports, “Often, people see yoga as exclusive — designed primarily for young women or for those who are already flexible, athletic, or spiritual. This finding can hopefully inspire the yoga community to work on making yoga more accessible and inclusive, regardless of a person’s gender, age, current level of flexibility or fitness, or relationship with spirituality.”
In the Huffington Post, Dr. Wei also says, “The truth is that the practice of yoga is not about changing the brain, body, headstands, or even about gaining greater happiness and joy. If it were, it’d be just like taking a spinning class or doing a set of lunges at the gym. Yoga aims toward transcendence of all those things.”
While flexibility and stress relief are the most popular reasons for starting yoga (2016 Yoga in America study), “for most people, their primary reason for doing yoga will change. Two-thirds of yoga students and 85 percent of yoga teachers have a change of heart regarding why they do yoga — most often changing to spirituality or self-actualization, a sense of fulfilling their potential. Yoga offers self-reflection, the practice of kindness and self-compassion, and continued growth and self-awareness,” states Dr. Wei.
So why is a yoga studio so intimidating to some people? Perhaps it relates to the perception gap between initial reasons to begin yoga and the developing reasons for an ongoing practice of yoga.
Silvia Mordini, writing for doyouyoga.com, says, “The most important contribution studios offer is community. Community defined simply is a place for gathering. A place where hearts can connect. A place where interaction and relationships develop in personal face-to-face relationships. Yoga studios provide that space where we can connect, learn, support, and celebrate each other. For students, this is critical in fostering personal growth and highest self-study, or svadhyaya. As students, we need teachers who can actually be with us.”
Likely, for those who are already practicing yoga, this resonates. But for someone new to yoga, this may create a stronger sense of being an “outsider” or someone who may not fit in. To the newcomer, it becomes more about what (and maybe who) is inside the studio rather than what’s inside themselves.
When you come to Sunrise Yoga Studio, we hope you immediately feel welcomed just as you are, wherever you are in your yoga journey. 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. Wherever you are in your process, we invite you to join us at Sunrise Yoga Studio to experience growth, balance and peace!
We agree with Silvia Mordini who describes what yoga studios should be:
☼ They Are a Safe Space
They hold safe space for you to be your most authentic self. They are a place where it doesn’t matter what your balance sheet is or what titles you have on your CV. A home where your mind can soften back into your heart.
☼ They Are a Place to Learn
Yoga studios are a place of learning with a skilled teacher. This includes techniques and adjustments related to proper physical alignment and an opportunity to be inspired by the philosophical teachings of yoga, along with gaining insight from the life experience of your teachers.
☼They Are a Place of Accountability
Yoga studios offer accountability and camaraderie in sticking with goals. The accountability for one another to help stay the course with healthy intentions, be they physical or emotional, can have a powerful effect on your practice.
☼They Are a Place of Community
A community gathering of likeminded people. Opportunities to make friends. I have always said to my students, “I’m interested in you gaining friends more than poses.”
☼They Are a Sacred Space for Transformation
We are in changing times where more and more yogis are learning yoga through Instagram and their practice is by themselves watching their laptop. And while these ways of practicing are great, nothing can really take the place of studios.
And guess what! While flexibility and stress relief motivate people to begin a yoga practice, “Many people stay in yoga for a sense of community, purpose, and self-actualization,” says Dr. Wei.
And further commenting on this idea of community, Silvia Mordini states, “There is power in this union. And if we harness the power of connection with loving intention we can influence even greater positive changes in the bigger community outside our yoga world. Community requires we take responsibility. To see that our actions, our thoughts, our words impact the connections we have with those around us: positive energy creates more positive energy. In community, there is power in union and connection.”
Come on in to our safe place and get connected. What’s inside our studio is an environment that will help you connect with and develop the best parts of what’s inside you!
Find a yoga class or book some one-on-one time! Download the Sunrise Yoga app through Google Play or the Apple App Store and explore all we have to offer. Or visit the web site or visit the studio! Let’s get connected!
The yoga and meditation classes regularly offered at Sunrise Yoga, as well as workshops taught by Sunrise Yoga instructors, already provide a variety of opportunities and class specialties in order to make yoga and meditation available to all. We want everyone to feel not only welcome in our studio but excited to connect with a class/workshop appropriate for the yoga experience level while also addressing physical and emotional wellbeing.
Author and yoga instructor, Kathleen Bryant, writing for YogaBasics.com, believes “participating in a yoga workshop is empowering.” Why? What does that mean?
In a regular yoga class, you are a participant student. You see and hear the directions from your instructor and move into and out of yoga poses. Your focus is primarily on your instructor and yourself. And your time in the class is usually between 60 to 90 minutes.
In specialized yoga workshops, you are also a participant student, but additionally, you are an observer, a researcher, and an explorer. Typically, a yoga workshop topic is covered through instruction, demonstration, explanation, and experimentation, sometimes over several extended sessions/days. The instructor is someone with extensive knowledge, education, and experience on the yoga workshop topic and is an expert at communicating and translating that expertise into useful, practical information for those attending the yoga workshop.
Yoga workshops help you deepen your yoga practice and discover new yoga connections. Again quoting Kathleen Bryant, “The intensive focus of a workshop will answer questions you didn’t even know you had, and help you feel established in a yoga lifestyle.”
The yoga workshop environment should provide opportunity for questions that can be difficult to ask in a regular yoga class. Because the focus of a workshop is more specific, the questions can be addressed more extensively, and feedback offered in a more individualized and customized manner.
Reflecting on past workshops at Sunrise Yoga through images taken during the workshops, one can quickly see that the workshops also offer opportunities to socialize, connect with other yogis, and genuinely have fun while learning. While in the explorer mode, one can find new ideas, new friends, and new introspection, in addition to developing a deeper yoga practice.
So, getting back to the original question, why does Sunrise Yoga utilize outside instructors for yoga workshops?
Well, our instructors like to learn too! Many of our instructors are the first to sign up for a yoga workshop by a visiting instructor. They know these workshops often fill up quickly and they don’t want to miss the opportunity to be a student. Their philosophy is “Semper discendum” . . . Always learn!
Additionally, an outside instructor brings a fresh perspective to the studio. Often, these instructors visit studios throughout the country and even internationally. They help us to “see” the studio, both physically and perceptually, through different eyes. These instructors’ opinions are valued and aid us in improving on what we do well and changing anything that isn’t up to par.
Are you ready to participate in a yoga workshop? Our workshops are posted on the workshops tab of the web site and in the Sunrise Yoga app. Registration is simple and easy!
Weekend Workshop with Julie Gudmestad, PT and Iyengar-teacher, Saturday and Sunday, March 23rd-24th
Julie visits Sunrise Yoga annually and is well known around the world for her Anatomy Awareness in Asana workshops. For us, she will teach an asana workshop integrating just a sprinkling of anatomy to help illustrate important structural and alignment points. She specializes in beginning with simple movements for all levels of students and then gradually building to more challenging poses so that everyone is challenged in a safe and supportive atmosphere. This is an ideal workshop to take if you have never done one before. It’s also great for all students and teachers! (Prerequisite: 6 months of yoga experience. This will be an active workshop and is not appropriate for students with acute injuries or severely limiting conditions.)
Register online, through the Sunrise Yoga app, or through the studio.
Sound Immersion with Percussionist Bill Smith, Sunday, April 7th, 5:00-6:00 pm
Discover a new level of relaxation and tranquility as you let the vibrations of gongs, bells and other instruments wash over you. A type of sound therapy, the sonic frequencies of these instruments have been known to alter brainwave states with positive results on a cellular and neurological level. 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. (Workshop cost is $12 if you register by April 1st; $15 after. Sunrise Yoga members receive a 10% discount when registering at the front desk.)
Visit Bill’s web site and listen to samples of his music! His music is also available on YouTube!
Register online, through the Sunrise Yoga app, or through the studio.
AND, this weekend, you can try a yoga workshop with Valerie Kiser, owner/director of Sunrise Yoga Studio and co-owner of East Coast Yoga Therapy! Valerie’s expertise is quite well known in the yoga world!
Saturday 2/23 @ 9 am – 1 pm
Asana practice and anatomy lecture with focus on the lumbar spine.
Sunday 2/24 @ 9 am – 1 pm
Meditation & pranayama; asana practice focused on seated poses; history of yoga lecture.
Deepen your yoga practice & knowledge. Only 6 months prior yoga experience required, at Level 1 and above.
Members receive a 20% discount when registering at the front desk.
Register online, through the Sunrise Yoga app, or through the studio.
If you have suggestions for future yoga workshops, please let us know! If you have questions about yoga, yoga classes, yoga workshops, or any of the visiting instructors, please email us at Info@SunriseYoga.net.
We hope to see you in one (or more!) of these fabulous yoga workshops! Remember you can register online, through the Sunrise Yoga app, or through the studio!!
Using instructional yoga videos is a way to not only develop your yoga practice but fine tune your techniques, perfect your positions, and slow a lesson down so you can see and hear all the important details.
Today’s instructional yoga video is for Cow’s Face Pose, Arms Only, also known as Gomukhasana. This yoga pose stretches the arms and shoulders, biceps and triceps, upper back and chest. It can help relieve stiff shoulders and neck as well as sciatica.
Do you have a list of yoga poses you would like to view in an instructional yoga video format? Please comment to let us know! Or, send an email to Info@SunriseYoga.net.
Our yoga walls and yoga wall classes are more and more in demand! Our students have learned that the yoga wall is one of THE best yoga props available for moving deeper into poses, for a deeper understanding of alignment, and for simply being more playful in the practice of yoga.
Because of the increased demand for additional yoga wall space and yoga wall classes, we have added both! Our newer studio space now has beautiful yoga walls and we have added a new yoga wall class that will begin on Wednesday, January 2nd, 6:00-7:30 pm.
“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.
At Sunrise Yoga Studio, Iyengar yoga is emphasized. Iyengar yoga places emphasis on alignment and introduces the use of props. Yoga props provide support, confidence, and relaxation and assist students in practicing poses that they might not have been able to do otherwise. When the yoga wall is utilized, it provides support, aids in balance and is appropriate for those brand new to yoga as well as those who are quite experienced with yoga. The support of the yoga wall in training ultimately allows poses away from the yoga wall to be more precise while the work at the yoga wall helps students access and develop deep core muscles.
The Great Yoga Wall notes the following benefits of practicing on the yoga wall where gravity can be appreciated and utilized:
☼ 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
☼ Can 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!
This class is appropriate for students with at least three months in Level 1 classes and above. The class size is limited.
Register through the Sunrise Yoga app, online, or through the studio. Questions? Email us at Info@SunriseYoga.net.