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The Lower Back and Unnoticed Muscles in My Body

the-lower-back-yoga-shelter

Babies have no inhibitions in expressing how they feel.  If they’re happy, they’ll laugh.  If they’re sad, they’ll cry.  These highs and lows can come within seconds of each other without any restraint.  They are free of society’s distaste for emotional outbursts.

Then they mature.

As I matured I learned to take on the highs and lows with level-headedness and self-control, which is not all bad.  But somewhere along the way I acquired the attitude that emotions are childish and weak.

I denied life to be the roller coaster that it is, thereby denying reality itself.  Every heartbreak, trauma, and disappointment was not allowed to manifest, lest my emotions make those around me feel uncomfortable.  I thought not being happy all the time meant not being able to take care of myself.

There was no pain, nor much of anything else.  What once brought joy as a child was now stale.  I could walk tall, give firm handshakes, and even force a polite smile, but on the inside I looked like Quasimodo, crippled by unresolved issues from my past I’ve thrown under the carpet.

Then one day a friend invites me to go to a yoga class.  I’m hesitant at first.  I tried yoga before and didn’t really like it.  But I go this time.  What else am I going to do tonight?

I started to become aware of once unnoticed muscles in my body, as they burned and stretched.  My shoulders loosened, my hips opened, and at the end of class I rolled on my back hugging my knees.  A breath filled my stomach, climbed up to my armpits, and then reversed on the exhale.  Energy vibrated from my lower back, up my spine, all the way to my face where tears were mixed with sweat as I cried softly.

Five Reasons to Perform Yoga on the Beach

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For those attending the Retreat in Costa Rica, and for those who would like to come next time, here’s some fun information regarding yoga and the beach.

Yoga in an excellent workout to perform indoors on a mat, but practicing yoga poses (asanas) on the beach is also appealing and has many benefits. So, why try yoga on the beach? I will offer five good reasons to give it a try if you live near any type of beach.

#1 Performing yoga in the sand strengthens secondary muscles

Sara Ivanhoe says, “Practicing on an uneven surface like sand builds the secondary muscles in your feet, hips, knees and shoulder joints.” Ivanhoe is a yoga instructor in Santa Monica, California.

#2 It is relaxing to perform yoga on the beach

What better way to get the ultimate mind, body experience than by performing yoga on the beach? Imagine listening to the sound of waves, smelling saltwater (for those near the ocean) and feeling the gentle touch of sand. No music is necessary because nature provides it own unique sounds, allowing one to relax while practicing asanas.

#3 Fresh air helps the body

The body needs fresh air to receive a stable supply of oxygen. Negative ions are found in fresh air that is near plants and trees, around flowing water and after thunderstorms. Crisp air has many benefits such as building the immune system, improving metabolism and giving one a sense of satisfaction by changing the serotonin levels in the brain.

#4 Sunlight is beneficial to the body

Being in the sunlight is beneficial to the body. Sunlight helps decrease the chances of one obtaining cancer because it helps the body make vitamin D. The light from the sun is also helpful to those with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). There are also studies that prove high levels of vitamin D can decrease the risk of one getting multiple sclerosis (MS).

#5 Matthew McConaughey and Russell Simmons practices yoga on the beach

The stars set many trends, and both Matthew McConaughey and Russell Simmons enjoy performing yoga on the beach. Actor and hip hop singer, Simmons enjoyed yoga at South Beach in Miami Beach, Fla., while McConaughey was spotted performing yoga barefooted on a beach in Malibu, Fla.

Whatever your reason for wanting to try yoga on the beach, give it a try. There are many health benefits to performing yoga and even more to doing so outdoors, especially on the beach. So, build your secondary muscles, relax, get sunlight and fresh air and workout like the stars by practicing yoga on the beach.

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Prenatal Yoga at Yoga Shelter

Prenatal-yoga

Lead By Jodi Silverman, Certified Yoga Shelter Teacher, Specializing in Prenatal Yoga

  • Beginning Thursday, April 26th
  • 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
  • West Bloomfield Yoga Shelter

The practice of yoga during pregnancy is perhaps the most powerful tool a woman with child can undertake. In Prenatal Yoga, the mother-to-be will further develop mastery of breath, focus, and awareness. These three factors are imperative to help ease the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth.

NO YOGA EXPERIENCE REQUIRED!!

Whether this is your first child or your fifth, this is a special time devoted entirely to you and your pregnancy. Specific yoga exercises will be used to help you increase flexibility, decrease swelling and anxiety, and divert the pain of labor. Deep breathing exercises will help guide you through the pressures and stress of everyday life. A mindful physical practice will help you better adapt to the many changes your body will go through and to feel a sense of appreciation for your body as an expecting mother. In this open community you will be able to share your experience with other mothers-to-be and create a network of new friends.