Monday, May 30, 2016

Yoga myths

This blog post is based on the original article from the American Council of Exercise found at Yoga: Myth vs Reality. What I've done is take a look at each of the myths addressed in this article and explain how they apply to my classes.  My hope is this will give you an idea of my teaching style so you'll know what to expect when you take my class.

Myth 1: You have to be flexible to do yoga.
Absolutely not!  Yoga increases flexibility, so if you're not flexible then you should be practicing yoga to increase your flexibility.

Myth 2: You have to sweat to feel the benefits of yoga
That's not true.  There is nothing wrong with sweating, actually it is healthy but you don't have to break a sweat to benefit from yoga.  My classroom is room temperature and my students sometimes begin to perspire slightly.

Myth 3: You have to execute the movements perfectly.
Nope.  Everybody is different and their expression of a pose may look completely different than the person next to them in class.  That does not matter.  What matters is that you are getting in touch with your body.  You are moving your body and making it healthy.

Myth 4: Yoga is boring
Says who!  I don't find yoga boring.  There are so many different kinds of yoga.  If you take one kind of yoga and don't like it, try another kind of yoga.  There is a type of yoga for everyone.  It's just a matter of finding the one that is right for you.

Myth 5: Yoga is a religion
No.  Yoga does recognize that we are spiritual beings.  That is why I am drawn to yoga because it uses the body, mind and spirit.  During meditation when you observe your thoughts, what part of you is observing your thoughts?  It can't be the mind because the mind is doing the thinking.  Everyone has their own spiritual beliefs and should find a class that they feel comfortable with.  I open and close my class with the sound of OM.  Some students have told me they don't feel comfortable with this.  Some of them felt better when I explained they had the option to remain silent.  Others never came back to my class.  That's alright. You need to find a class that works for you.
Myth 6: Only slender people can practice yoga
Huh?  No, yoga is for everyone.  People come in all different shapes and sizes and everyone can benefit from practicing yoga.

Myth 7: Yoga is Expensive.
My classes range in price from $6-10 for a 1 hour class.  Is that expensive?

Hopefully this has given you a little insight into my classes.  The only way to see if you like them is to try one.  Here is a link to my classes.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Yin and Restorative Yoga

Everyone can practice yoga!  But not everyone can practice every kind of yoga.  There are so many different types of yoga: hatha, hot, vinyasa, bikram, gentle, yin, restorative, etc.  The key is to finding what is right for you.  This article is going to take a look at Yin and Restorative yoga.

Usually, either you love Yin and Restorative Yoga or you hate it.  Unfortunately, there really isn't a middle ground.  That's alright, if you love it, you'll seek it out.  If you don't, there are plenty of other types of yoga.  Yin and Restorative are less strenuous types of yoga.  Yin increases flexibility and strengthens connective tissue (ligaments and tendons).  Restorative yoga increases lymphatic flow and activates the body's relaxation response.

In Yin yoga, we usually hold the poses anywhere from 5-10 minutes.  We use props to help us to be able to hold the poses for this time period, but you will feel your muscles stretching.  You should feel the stretch in the belly or the center of the muscle not at the end at the joints.

In Restorative yoga, we usually also hold the poses anywhere from 5-10 minutes.  We use even more props to support our bodies while they relax.  It's a good idea to set a positive affirmation or use a mantra to focus on as we hold the poses.  Although Restorative yoga is not strenuous for the body, there are many physiological benefits: lower blood pressure, lower respiration rate, lower heart rate, reduced cortisol (which means reduced body fat).  All this just from rolling around on the floor a little!  Everyone can practice Restorative yoga.  It is used with cancer patients and bed ridden patients.  However, not everyone likes it.  So, if you haven't tried Restorative yoga why not try my next class.

I hope you found this article helpful.  Hope to see you soon!