Over the weekend I participated as a teacher, a yoga student and a volunteer at the first annual "Stretch 4 Survivors" event benefitting Sisters 4 Survivors and their great works helping women during treatment for breast cancer and after. It was 24 hours of back to back yoga, pilates, meditation and kids yoga classes. Very special to be part of something that was so empowering to all of us. We are all touched by this disease in one way or another and Tiffany Cruikshank said it so well in her event opening class. While I can't quote her exactly, the message I took away from her class was this, 'we all have dark places we've been to or are in, in our lives. Yoga gives us the chance to look at those dark places rather than avoiding them. Its when we look at them squarely and breathe there that we have the ability to move through them and come out on the other side, into the light.'
A personal thank you to all of the amazing teachers I had the opportunity to take classes from. And thank you Tonya Priestly for creating Sisters-4-Survivors and putting on this wonderful event. I look forward to being a part of it again next year!
We've been working on our January Challenge for the past few weeks here at the studio, 5 classes per week for 4 consecutive weeks. It has been wonderful to see the commitment of yogis and yoginis as they dedicate more time to building a strong practice. The jokes around the lobby about the importance of those goofy little stickers on our progress chart have made the experience so much fun. Incentive is a powerful thing. Who knew a little heart sticker, in frankly "girly colors", could make such a difference in our motivation. So, what will happen when the challenge ends and the progress board and stickers are put away? Perhaps it's a matter of realizing the way we feel when we practice yoga is the simple motivation. The smiles on our faces are the best stickers in the world!
YOGA CURBS WEIGHT GAIN
Stretching yourself thin? By Selene Yeager (article from Prevention Magazine)
The average American adult gains a pounds a year. New research suggests that yoga may help stave off that middle-age spread. A survey that tracked weight gain in 15,500 adults from age 45-55 revealed that the normal-weight-people who practiced yoga at least 30 minutes a week for 4 of those years gained 3 fewer pounds (9.5 versus 12.6) than those who didn't. Even better, overweight yogis lost 5 pounds over the decade, while their non-yoga-practicing peers gained an additional 14.
"Yoga may not be a big calorie burner, but it helps you become more aware of your body, so you're more sensitive to feeling full from overeating" says lead researcher and yoga practitioner Alan R. Kristal, DrPH, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. "Yoga also relieves stress, so you may be less likely to mindlessly stuff yourself."