Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Huntington’s Disease and Yoga

June 21 and 22, 2013 I traveled to the Huntington’s DiseaseSociety of America’s28th Annual Convention to introduce Chair Yoga to individuals from all over the country living with Huntington’s Disease. We had lively yoga sessions including Gentle Yoga, Chair Yoga and Wheelchair Yoga. On day 2 I even pulled out some props. These yoga classes included adaptation for a range of mobility concerns, so I can not even begin to describe my awe at what these students new to yoga accomplished. I am grateful for the invitation by the convention organizers to bring yoga to those with HD and the assistance provided by the convention staff during classes. Special thanks go to yogi and New York Times bestselling author Lisa Genova for her interest and kind words about the classes. Although it can be helpful to label classes Chair Yoga or Adapted Yoga, for me it is all yoga and I am happy to share it. 






Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lifespan Yoga Kids (and their Art)

(also posted at www.lifespanyoga.com) I have been adding little art projects on to the end of Kids Yoga classes for a few years.  They now have taken on a life of their own and I can not stop taking pictures of the art the kids dream up. They are working on art journals and up-cycling old frames and canvas art.



 And I few things the adults made as examples. Best part about up-cycling the old frames is kids can take home and hang on their wall.


We do it all gain next Tuesday at 12:30pm! I am buying more paint.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Yoga Research is Positive

(now posted at www.LifespanYoga.com)

I love to read research about the positive impact of a good yoga practice. A blog posting on the Yoga Journal site outlined the following:

In an interview on the CBS show This Morning, P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke University said that studies have shown yoga practice to produce a relaxation response that mimics the best anti-anxiety drugs on the market today, and that it can also help people with mild depression, insomnia, and ADHD. 

We need to know exactly what they mean by "practice".  Did the study participants do a special style of yoga? What about breathing? Were they taught to meditate?   

Dr. Doraiswamy says, “Studies have shown that yoga affects perhaps more than 200 different processes in our body and in our brain. It affects virtually every tissue and every system in our body.”

Soon studies will compare styles of yoga, yoga teachers, length of classes, length of savasana and compare long term yogis to newbies. That is all possible and cheaper than drug trials. It is fascinating. You can read the whole post here.




Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chair Yoga at Work

Yoga International said:


"Frazzled workers take heed -- a short, intention-filled break can offer significant health benefits.  Alarmed by the up to 50 percent higher risk for heart attack associated with chronic work stress, researchers in Australia assessed the impact of just 15 minutes of in-office yoga or meditation.  While participants did either chair yoga, guided meditation, or went about work as usual, the researchers measured such health variables as perceived stress, blood pressure, respiration rate, and heart rate variability (HRV -- a predictor of cardiac and overall health).  Compared with those who took no break, the yoga and meditation groups showed significant improvements in each of these variables.  Chair yoga and meditation produced similar improvements in HRV, respiration, and perceived stress, while meditation had a greater impact on blood pressure."

The abstract for the study is at:


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Interview with Jessica Natale on Meditation


Interview with Jessica Natale, RYT, CPF, Meditation Instructor

Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit. - Jeremy Taylor

Why don’t people meditate?
From my experience people often have a laundry list of why they can’t and don’t meditate. I frequently hear: I can’t/don’t want to sit still, I don’t have time, I already go to such and such church, or do such and such practice.

How do you respond to this?
As soon as I hear “I can’t sit still” I know this is the person that NEEDS meditation the most. There is nothing anybody can’t do. There are ways to make meditation bearable for all. There are many different positions to sit, stand and recline in. Sitting in a lotus pose with your thumbs to fingers on your legs isn’t the only way to be meditative. Small increments of practice are useful as well. If one meditated and held still for only 49 seconds, that’s still meditation!

What about those people who fear failure?
Part of being a well adjusted adult is the willingness to try new things. If you can not introduce a new activity even for one day, even for 10 minutes, how can you expect to deal with major life changes? Small wiggle’s in our comfort space allows us to handle life when the floor drops beneath us completely, with much more grace and sanity. Science has begun to tell as that change in routines (like trying something new) can help increase a person’s happiness and ultimately their health.

What do you tell people who say they do not have time to meditate?
If you don’t have time to meditate then you’re telling me you never wait at the doctor’s office, do laundry, or struggle to fall asleep. These are all moments when your mind does not need to be working on something else. You know that show you watch just because it’s between the shows you like? Well, that’s your meditation time. From the last 5 minutes of the spin cycle you are waiting around for. The 45 minutes it takes your daughter to blow dry her hair. These are all increments of time that can be used to relax and center your self.

What about those that say they have another practice?
Meditation can mean a great variety of things. It can be incorporated in many practices: yoga, a spiritual and/or philosophical routine, a tool for stimulating healing and creativity, a way to deal with difficult emotions, and part of a holy religious ceremony with others or in your own personal shrine of yourself. Meditation can’t do anything but enhance the activities we already partake in.

Learn more about Meditation at Jessica's next workshop at Lifespan Yoga in Mandarin:

Yoga as Meditation, Meditation as Yoga ™
Sunday, Jan 20
2:00-4:00pm
$30  

Description: This workshop involves basic meditation instruction for those with little to no experience.  In this modern life full of obligations and electronic communication people find themselves stressed and unable to concentrate. Learn how to find time for simple yoga and meditation techniques that can help ease stress.  Whether you have an interest in yoga or not, meditation can be practiced easily. No matter what your physical,mental, and emotional abilities meditative relaxation is attainable. A basic history will be given along with options for sitting, standing, and reclined positions to practice meditation from. You will be guided through poses, breath work, chanting, and silent meditation in short intervals, working up to a longer period of silent meditation. Guided relaxation will be offered at the end of the workshop as well as time to ask questions and take breaks through out.

Sign up at www.LifespanYoga.com

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tai Chi at Lifespan Yoga


David Paul, our new Monday night Tai Chi Gung teacher at Lifespan Yoga wrote this for us. I hope you can make his class at 7pm, all the links to his bio, pictures and his classes are at www.lifespanyoga.com.

"I am sometimes asked about the relationship between Tai' Chi Gung and energy work in general.  Chi is another word for energy.  Tai' means "grand" or " original source".  Gung means "temple" or "physical body".  Tai' Chi Gung is a system of moment and breathing that teaches an individual how their body truly works. It is sometimes called the "owner's manual" to the physical body. 

We have a tendency to only think in one direction when we talk about health or healing. I am going to "get" healed, or "give" energy.   The science and art of Tai' Chi Gung addresses this aspect of healing, but it also shows people how to achieve  something called the "circle of completion",  the "figure eight".  
Energy goes out and it returns.  Energy is designed to flow between the right and left side of the body continuously.  Energy is intended to be in a continuous exchange between the physical body and the energy in nature.  Quite frankly, most of the ailments we suffer from are caused by the lack of conscious connection to nature. 

It is when there is continuous communion, a sharing between us and nature, a giving and receiving in balance, that the energy can truly crescendo, the vibration can increase 10 fold or 100 fold.  The byproduct of this normal balance is that the symptoms we call dis-ease can no longer remain. The vibration is simply too high, too full of life.  Health is restored, and vitality goes up, it regenerates.

So in Tai' Chi Gung, if our goal is to be healthy, or restore health, we must discover what it feels like to have a conscious connection to nature through the four elements that make up our physical body:  earth, water, fire and air.  For example, it is not an accident that the human body is about 70% water, and the earth itself is about 70% water.  It is not an accident that we have an energy center called the Solar Plexus, and that this is connected intimately with the electrical system, the fire in the nervous system in the body.

Tai' Chi Gung is a science and an art from Tibet that has been passed down in an unbroken lineage from teacher to student for more than 3000 years.  It is a series of exercises with breathing and movement that first restores the magnetic field surrounding the body to the balanced state that it has when it is in harmony with nature.  Then this balance gives rise to a third, or regenerative energy inside the body (Kundalini) and then, the Chi or Vital energy in the field, in a crescendo with nature, begins to penetrate the physical body through the 7 chakras to the endocrine glands, to the blood stream and gradually onward from the least dense to the most dense systems in the body until it has restored balance even in the marrow of the bones.
   
Studying Tai' Chi Gung will give a student a conscious experience with their energy field so that they can understand how the energy flows to them from nature, and from them to nature.  In a sentence:  It is a 3000 year old science that shows a human being how to increase their personal vibration, restore health and speed up all aspects of  synchronicity in their lives, as mentioned in James Redfield's books beginning with "The Celestine Prophecy".

This information is treated in greater detail in Rasaji's book "The Circle of Chi", available at www.rasaji.com .  David Paul leads the Monday night  7 p.m. Tai' Chi Gung class at Lifespan Yoga. He is a Tai' Chi Gung adept and  has been studying Tai' Chi Gung with Rasaji for 27 years."

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tanya graduates from Lifespan Yoga YTT200




Tanya Norenberg graduated from Lifespan Yoga YTT200 today. It was a family affair with her 3 beautiful children, mom, dad, cousin and nieces and nephews. She is a wonderful addition to the community of Yoga Teachers and will be teaching at Lifespan Yoga.