Power Yoga is a series of postures designed to improve strength, flexibility and reduce stress. It is most often done in a heated room. The heat allows your muscles to become more limber and helps your body to release toxins in your sweat. And you will sweat! Power Yoga is meant for everyone regardless of how fit you are, how old you are or how flexible. It's about accepting who you are, the body you've been given and embracing self-knowledge to change and achieve amazing results.
There are many reasons why yoga and kids are a perfect match! Many of the tools used in yoga can help children grow into confident, focused, goal oriented young adults.
Grow confidence and self-esteem – In kids yoga, they work to learn different poses and the skills required for the pose. This teaches them to persevere, be patient and to work towards a goal. Once they reach their goal, this instills confidence and builds self-esteem.
Develops focus and concentration – The act of practicing poses encourages children to clear their minds, focus and pay attention to what they are doing. The process of staying focused to achieve a pose can help children to better focus and concentrate even when not on their mat. Studies are finding this may result in better performance in school or in other activities such as sports.
Helps kids manage stress - We live in a very fast, moving world filled with ever changing technology. It is not long before children feel all kinds of pressure to keep up with everyone around them. Often children turn to electronic devices as a way to “tune out”. Yoga can help manage stress through physical movement, mindfulness and breathing. The simple act of breathing…taking a deep inhale and a long slow exhale can release tension and stress in the body and the mind. Learning to use the breath as a tool can help children prepare for a math test or when playing a sport. My own advice to my son, when he played baseball in middle and high school, was for him to take a deep breath in and out when he was on the pitching mound and felt nervous or stressed.
Promotes Inclusivity– Yoga is a great option for children who shy away from physical or group activities. Kids yoga does not focus on levels of ability, winning or being better than the person next to you. Yoga can be done by anyone regardless of shape or size. Yoga teaches children (and adults) to be the best you can be and to not judge yourself or others. Yoga cultivates a community that is supportive, inclusive, and compassionate.
Balancing is a complex interaction between the sense of touch (body weight), the workings of the inner ear and our vision. Practicing yoga postures (asanas) can help improve our balance by increasing physical and mental balance; improving strength, improving coordination, increasing flexibility, increasing range of motion and strengthening our sense of where our body is in space (proprioception).
When we move our bodies in yoga, we work to build awareness and a sense of where our body is in space which helps us safely maneuver in our environments. We learn to distribute weight equally in our feet, helping increase balance and stability. We even learn to balance while sitting, helping to strengthen our core and back. Moving our bodies will also improve range of motion and coordination, which are all very important for balance.
Another component of balance is your vision or focal point. In yoga, we focus on keeping our eyes still and in one spot (Drishti) which can help your balance.
Even simple postures and moves can improve your balance. We practice simple balancing poses in Gentle Yoga classes using the walls to help support you in the posture. In time, you will build confidence, increase balance, and strengthen muscles in the feet, legs and core. I like to encourage my students to work on their balance even when they are not in the studio. Something as simple as standing on one foot while washing the dishes, for a minute at a time, can help build strength in the feet and legs.
As you practice yoga, you will move beyond the physical practice and turn your focus inward. Learning meditation and mindfulness can also help with balance both physically and mentally. It is important to focus on one task at a time. When walking, focus on that one task, putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t look around, up at the sky or worst of all look at your phone while walking!
"Power is the ability to be and let be." - Aristotle Come as you are, not as you think you should be. To gain access to "power", you need to be authentic to yourself and focus on your body, mind, and life right now. Accept yourself as you are right now.
When you give up the resistance or the same mind-set, you gain power and energy. It is your choice, let it go, be free and create power which will allow you to follow your heart and embrace change.
Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana) is a breathing exercise that involves alternating which nostril you breathe in and out through while blocking the opposite.
It is very easy to learn and has many health benefits. Practice 5 minutes each morning and evening.
- Calms your thinking and helps you rest and relax more easily, helping the quality of sleep.
- Calms your mind which can help you think more clearly, make better decisions and better handle stress.
- Cleanses your lungs by removing stale air and impurities especially from the bottom section of your lungs.
Here's how you do it:
Find a comfortable seated position, sit up nice and tall. Close your eyes. Using your right hand, place your two peace fingers in the middle of your eyebrows, close off your right nostril with your thumb as you inhale slowly through the left nostril. Then close off you left nostril with your ring finger and exhale slowly through the right nostril. Then inhale slowly through the right, switch fingers and exhale slowly through the left. Repeat for 5 minutes. As you get better at it, you might want to include a slight pause as you switch from side to side.
Everywhere I look lately, Yoga is in the news and magazines.
Ever wonder why?
Yoga can be practiced by anyone, anywhere. We do it at home, in the studio, at work, on the beach, and even at some airports. Many people start with a specific goal in mind, some of the top five reasons are improved flexibility, stress relief, general fitness, improving overall health and improving physical fitness. Many people soon discover the meditative aspects of yoga, the inner peace, and that is what keeps them coming back. It’s all about body, mind and spirit.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Mahatma Gandhi
Focus on the present moment – Yoga helps us to focus on the present…this time, this place, this moment. It teaches us how to wake up, pay attention and become aware. With better awareness, we can feel more connected and joyful, sleep better, calm ourselves during stressful situations and make better relationships. I can’t tell you how many people come into the studio and say how much they are looking forward to time for themselves, to still their mind and simply be present after a busy work day. Commit to your health, silence your inner critic and feel great both on and off the mat.
Discover how making even the smallest shift, can transform your body, mind and spirit. It is never too late to start; the body and mind will respond!
“Power is the ability to be and let be.” - Aristotle
So agrees Debra Brooks, Certified Yoga Instructor and owner of the new Palm Power Yoga studio in Punta Gorda, FL.
When you walk into the large spacious studio on Elizabeth Street, the pristine wood floors and clean walls painted in soothing blues and greens welcome you in with an immediate sense of calm.
Power Yoga, as the name suggests, is a series of postures designed to improve strength and flexibility,and reduce stress. Debra explains,” Don’t let the word ‘power’ intimidate you. Power Yoga is a style of yoga that is accessible for everyone, and you can adapt it to your own fitness level. It’s detoxifying, therapeutic and meditative. It’s most often done in a heated room. The heat allows your muscles to become more limber and it helps your body to release toxins.” Inspired and trained by Baptiste Power Yoga, Debra offers Power and gentler styles of yoga, including Yin Yoga, as best to serve everyone from students to seniors. It is her mission to offer everyone the opportunity to find his or her path to better health and well-being, and to provide a style of yoga that is accessible to everyone. “Yoga is a practice,” says Debra. “To really understand it, you must experience it.”
To that end, Debra has some exciting events planned for the studio. In addition to a variety of yoga styles and class times to suit any schedule, she will be running special event workshops as well. So feel free to turn yourself upside down and try something new. In the upcoming months, there will be an Ashtanga Workshop, Arm Balancing/Inversion Workshop and more.
Take Debra’s advice, and “Let go, be free, and create your own power, which will allow you to follow your heart and embrace life!” She invites everyone to try strengthening Power Yoga, or start a little more slowly with a more passive style such as Yin Yoga or Gentle Yoga. There is something for everyone!
There are many reasons to practice yoga. We most often think of improving strength and flexibility, however, there are many more reasons to add to the list and get you to join me on the mat!
Pain Relief – Studies have shown that yoga can ease pain in the body through practicing yoga postures (asanas) and meditation. People with conditions such as arthritis, neck pain, hip pain and back pain can benefit from yoga. Yoga and meditation allows our body and mind the much-needed time for rest, recovery and healing.
Improved Circulation – Yoga helps to improve circulation by moving oxygenated blood to the body’s cells. Yoga has a positive impact on the heart, blood circulation and blood pressure. In general, improving blood circulation with yoga postures and breathing will improve circulation, especially to the hands and feet. Studies have shown that it takes one hour of movement to undo the effects of sitting all day in a chair. So, get on the mat and move!
Improved Range of Motion - The amount of movement that occurs at a specific joint is called the Range of Motion. Range of motion can diminish by having weak or tight muscles, arthritis and inflammation to name a few. Yoga postures (asanas) help to put your body into positions that you might not do on a daily basis thereby helping to improve your range of motion. The objective is to use it or lose it!
Stress Relief – Yoga helps connect us with the present moment thereby creating awareness of our body, mind and the world around us. The rush against the clock creates an illusion that the more we do, the more we accomplish. This is so far from the truth for our mental state. To create awareness and calmness in our minds, there is tremendous value in stillness and non-doing. By quieting the mind and focusing on the present, you can also improve concentration and memory.
Meet new people – Community is so important! Come to practice, share, experience and grow with others.
Discover how making even the smallest shift, can transform your body, mind and spirit.
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