One Yoga Room Teacher’s Perspectiv

By Amy Annis, travelwellyogaretreats.com 

A person doesn’t have to go to yoga every day or several times a week to get the benefits. And this is coming from someone who has practiced and taught for over a decade. I have a good, steady Vinyasa practice. It’s not every day, and sometimes it’s not long. But some yoga is better than none. And being mindful to commit to the practice I remind myself and my students that yoga every day is not sustainable. It shouldn’t feel like something you have to do or have to get in. That is about as anti-yoga as possible. It should be practiced to open the body and feel good, and depending on the client’s unique situation, what works for him/her is different than what works for the next person.

I work with athletes, cancer survivors, and almost everyone in between. I love the people who feel the benefits and make a personal commitment to roll out the mat three to four times a week. They feel better and see the difference. But realistically, a forced practice unravels all of the benefits. If you are new to the practice, come to the studio, unroll your mat, and determine what works best for you.

What is special about The Yoga Room? For all of my years teaching in the Chippewa Valley I have encouraged my clients to try other teachers to get a comprehensive understanding of the value in different styles and disciplines of the practice. Unfortunately until now, this wasn’t really an option. Teachers were spread out and spread thin, and finding the right teacher for you could be a challenge. Wendy’s studio, The Yoga Room, offers a broad selection of classes from highly trained teachers so that any beginner can truly experience the different styles of yoga and find the teacher that speaks to them.

Finding Happiness through Yoga in the New Year

By Sandra Helpsmeet

Happiness and yoga are interconnected. Much of this has to do with the ways that yoga can lessen or turn off the stress response in the body, but yoga can foster happiness in other ways too.

Practicing yoga intentionally and mindfully keeps your focus in your body, which keeps it in the present. When our minds are in the present, we are not thinking about what could happen, or what did happen. We just are. That is extremely refreshing and turns the stress response off, so we tend to feel calm and content.

Practicing yoga intelligently tends to pull the kinks out of our fascia, which frees us to move more easily and with less pain in our daily lives. It also tends to turn off the stress response when we can move easily and free from pain. We feel freer, more mobile, happy.

Practicing yoga usually helps us breathe more fully. Freeing the breath also tends to turn off the stress response, so we feel more calm and content.

An energetic type of yoga practice can stress our nervous system in a pleasant way so that we feel energized. A steady diet of this can backfire, but if balanced with a calmingpractice, it can work in a lovely way for some people. A strong, grounded practice tends to turn off the stress response and leave us feeling calm and alert—a great combination.

Practicing yoga consistently helps to create more neural pathways for the states we practice ourselves into, so it is easier to access a calm and content state.  Yoga practices can be designed for balancing various mood states, like easing anxiety or lifting depression.

As current science is demonstrating in many ways, what we do creates more neurological pathways for that mental or physical activity. If we sit in a depressed posture, we feel more depressed and are more likely to become depressed. If we extend our body and move it more freely, we learn to pay more attention to our body’s signals and thus we become more sensitive to our internal state, and also, via mirror neurons, to the state of others.  As a result, we tend to develop more understanding and compassion for ourselves and others.

As we learn to note and not react to our body state in the moment, we become more tolerant of our feelings, saving us from getting carried away in reactions to them.

Contact Sandra at the Yoga Center of Eau Claire, yoga@yogacenterec.com,  715-579-9310.  Or, at Vantage Point Clinic, helpsmeets@vantagepointclinic.com,  715-832-5454.