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!
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.
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.
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.
We’re especially fond of free food samples and great skin care samples and quirky gadgets (but not so much on the sprays of perfume that waft over you upon entering a department store).
A sampling of something gives us the opportunity to try a product or service to see if it meets our standards, satisfies a need, and allows us to give something a test drive at an affordable (FREE!) rate without any expected commitment.
So, how would you like FREE SAMPLES of yoga and meditation?
If you are looking for a safe (and FREE) environment to try yoga and meditation, then mark your calendar for Saturday, January 5, 2019 . . . Sunrise Yoga Studio’s FREE YOGA DAY!
From 9:00 am – 12:30 pm that day you have the opportunity to try any of our 5 FREE yoga and meditation classes.
We want everyone who has had any inkling to test the yoga and meditation waters, no matter how tiny that inkling may have been, to have the opportunity to give yoga and meditation a try. Yes, we are passionate about yoga and meditation, and, yes, we think yoga and meditation is for every body and that every body is made for yoga and meditation. Yes, we’re unashamedly trying to expose you to our passion.
PLUS, SPECIAL ONE-DAY ONLY DISCOUNTS!
Purchase our New Student Special Intro Offer of 30 days for $30 and be entered in a raffle!
Bring a friend and enjoy free yoga, tea and snacks, and a Trunk Show with Twisted Friends Tie Dyes!
Questions? Email us at info@SunriseYoga.net!
**Inclement weather make-up date is Saturday, 1/12**
We’ll see you on FREE Yoga and Meditation Day, Saturday, January 5th, 2019! What better way to begin the new year?!?
P.S. Remember our Senior Services donation collection at the Studio! Be a Santa for a Senior!
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.
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!