Friday, October 26, 2012

YogaFit Level 1 Certification

Last weekend I attended Yoga Fit Level 1 Certification.  I didn't know what to expect, but I had a blast!  The trainer was awesome and the 18 people in the class were all great. 

I have been doing yoga for about seven years now, but not consistently.  Last summer I finally realized how beneficial yoga can be for me and for others.  I had thought about teaching and so I did some research and decided to get my YogaFit Level 1 Certification.

I have had a couple different periods of growth in Yoga.  When I first started Yoga it was strictly for exercise, to lose weight and get into shape.  I liked it, but didn't understand what it was really about. 
I wasn't consistent, but kept going back over the years.

Then my husband and I began to travel alot in the winter.  Particularly last year,  I found that I spent so much time "getting in shape" for the trip that I didn't want to be on a roller coaster constantly of lose weight, gain weight on trip, come home, lose weight.  I also didn't want want to deprive myself of the great food on the resorts.  I decided if I worked out a few times at least I could go home without having to start all over.

So I went to the gym at the resort, found some Yoga classes and enjoyed walking and running on the beach.  When I came home and went back to the Y and the yoga studio,  I had imprinted the memories of my Yoga class or my cardio workouts at the resort.  I found that when I walked into the gym back home, it gave me the sensation of being on vacation again.  The sights and smells and sounds of the gym or studio came flooding back.  It made me realize that the time you allow yourself to have to exercise, that you deserve, is like your mini-vacation and I became hooked. 

On one trip, I couldn't find a Yoga class on the resort so I decided to make up my own.  Why not?  I walked down the beach a little ways and found a pier.  I walked out to the end of the pier and I immediately felt so peaceful and relaxed because of the ocean waves and sun, and decided that I had been doing Yoga long enough that I could do a few sun salutations, some warrior poses and get a little bit of a stretch.  I decided I didn't care what people thought either.  I left my ego back on the beach.

This is my yoga pier.  It was a little windy the day Marty took the pic.

Now, whenever I am in Yoga class and coming to a hard balancing pose or deep stretch, I visualize myself on that pier, doing that pose.  I hear the sound of the ocean lapping up against the posts of the pier and feel the sensation of the sea air and smell the smells of the beach and ocean. It really takes me back there.  That is why we travel to have those kinds of experiences and bring them back. 

I also reached a turning point last summer when I was dealing with some stress in my life.  I was having trouble stopping the negative tapes and arguments in my head and I learned that Yoga is not just exercise.  It helps us relax our minds and put negative thoughts where they belong.  The negative thoughts affect our health and well-being and don't allow us to be all we can be as a wife, Mom, whatever we want to be.  We can replace them with positive thoughts of our blessings, opportunities, good health, and healing. 

I am now committed to Yoga several times per week and I look forward to it immensely. It is enjoyable, relaxing and empowering.  You learn something new each practice about what you can do to increase your physical, spiritual and emotional health. 

If you have not tried Yoga, I encourage you to find a class at your gym or a local studio.  I am offering a free class at Hourglass Fitness and Wellness in Wellsville, KS for the month of Oct. & Nov. at 7 p.m. on Thursday.  We have a great time and we have some space left so please join us. 

Now, go out onto your pier, gaze into the magnificent ocean and the power of the waves and imagine all the creatures that God made.  Breathe deeply, close your eyes, relax.  Namaste.

Great Article in Yoga Journal

I read a great article in the September 2012 issue of Yoga Journal that I wanted to share.  I have issues with my lower back and I have had several people in my Thursday night Yoga class that have mentioned that they have issues as well.

The article is entitled "Primer on the piriformis" written by Doug Keller.  It is all about the piriformis that is a primarily an external rotator that rotates the leg outward at the hip.  The article goes on to explain that it is notorious for causing sciatic pain.  If you have ever had this issue I would highly recommend this article.

The article includes a diagram of the muscles, nerves and joints in this area and gives three different yoga poses that are helpful in creating a healthy piriformis and a pain-free back.  The three poses are standing forward bend, tree pose and pigeon pose.  We did tree and forward bend last night at Yoga.  I will have to add pigeon pose next week. 

Below is the link to the article.  If you have any trouble linking to the article, let me know and I will make you a copy.

Always check with your Dr. to make sure you don't cause further injury before you start any exercise program.  My chiropractor, Dr. Jimmie Williams, helped me get back to the point that I could run and practice Yoga again and as long as I practice Yoga several times a week, my piriformis seems to be healthy.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Yoga at Hourglass Fitness and Wellness

I recently attended YogaFit Level 1 training and am so excited to be doing my community service at Hourglass Fitness and Wellness.  No, I was not ordered to do community service because I have anger management or other issues.  YogaFit founder, Beth Shaw, feels strongly about the importance of community service so she asks that after we complete our initial training we offer a free class in our community to complete 8 hours of our service. 

I feel honored to be a student of Lorrie Glass Coffman for many years now and am so grateful that she has an incredible Yoga studio right here in Wellsville, Kansas for local residents and people from the surrounding area to learn about Yoga and other fitness training.

I have coordinated with Lorrie to offer a free Yoga class on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. in Oct. & Nov. at no charge.  I will offer some discounted rates to my charter students for helping me complete my community service.  I would love to offer another class during the week as well, maybe during the day or another weeknight.  Please give me any feedback if you have suggestions for another class and time you would like.  Maybe Yoga, with a little bit of Pilate's or some small weights?  The possibilities are endless.

You can click on the hourglassfitness link above and read my bio, but I have also copied it below. 

"Jennifer moved to Wellsville in 2004 and tried Yoga for the first time when Hourglass Fitness owner Lorrie Glass Coffman was teaching in the evenings at the elementary school.  She followed her to her space above Smokey’s Restaurant and then to her new studio on Main Street.

Jennifer grew-up being the “skinny kid” and was not involved in sports but started to struggle with excess weight in her late 30’s.  Having to learn for the first time how to eat healthy and workout to increase metabolism and build muscle, Jennifer learned a lot from Lorrie and others that she was anxious to share with others.  “I have a special place in my heart for women who are struggling because it affects our self-esteem and our sense of ourselves.  Our society gives us so many conflicting messages and information.” 

Jennifer believes we need to find what kind of workout we enjoy so that we can stick to it.  Running and yoga are her favorite, but she likes to try new things as well like a spin class or Pilates and also weight training.  She completed her first 5K at the age of 44 and would like to complete a half-marathon next year.   She also plans to become a certified trainer in 2013

“We need to be healthy at every age so we can take care of our families and teach them healthy habits to pass along to the next generation.” "
Please join me for Yoga on Thursday evenings!  We are taking a poll to decide if we will have a class the day before Thanksgiving.  You can email me to be added to my contact list.