Thank YOU!!!

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I just found out that Forever Yoga has WON the Best of the Souhegan Valley awards for Best Yoga Studio 2014!! I want to thank each and every one of you that took the time out of your day to vote for us!  I know your time is precious and to think you did this for us means so very much!

As most of you know, this has been a very challenging summer for me on a personal level with the back problem that kept me out of the studio for three weeks. The recovery to my health hasn't been easy and the recovery of Forever Yoga hasn't been easy either. I can't tell you how much I was holding my breath before that first class back. Would anyone show up? But you did. And you continue to do so.

Sometimes as a teacher it's hard to know if anything we say or do makes a difference. We show up day after day and do our best and sometimes it's hard to know what is "landing" and what isn't. It's hard to tell if what we're doing really matters. We (and, well, by "we" I mean me) start to question where we're going and what we're doing and why and it can be easy to start to feel very lost.

Perhaps an award like this is just a popularity contest. Perhaps you could say there really aren't many yoga studios in the covered region anyway. You could probably say a lot of things. But for me, today, what this award means is that a few people took the time to show they care and that Forever Yoga means something to them. Since Forever Yoga definitely means something to me, to those people, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

Welcoming the newest member of our staff - Sandra Merrigan!

Sandra Merrigan
Sandra Merrigan

I'm very pleased to welcome Sandie to the staff and family at Forever Yoga! Check out her first official class, Unwind Yoga on Wednesday August 20th at 7pm!

Sandra Merrigan

Sandra Merrigan is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher and Reiki Practitioner.  She was introduced to yoga in 2012 after a serious back injury sidelined her from her previously active life.  The regular practice of Vinyasa, Yin and Restorative Yoga nourished and healed her body and uncovered a more grounded, confident, powerful, balanced, healthy and happy self  – and a new passion was born.

Sandie’s desire to share the healing benefits of yoga inspired her to become a teacher.  She completed her teacher training through Riverflow Yoga’s 200-hour teacher-training program in 2014.   Her classes are appropriate for beginners and practitioners of all levels.  Special emphasis is placed on moving into and out of postures safely, correct alignment, and students are taught and encouraged to modify poses to meet their own individual needs.  

“My passion is anatomy and alignment, keeping students safe while teaching body awareness and connection to breath.  I'm inspired by my students and believe yoga is for everyBODY!”

You can follow Sandie on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/everdaypplyoga

Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Please consult with your health care provider and obtain full medical clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. The information provided in this blog is strictly for reference only and is not in any manner a substitute for medical advice or direct guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.

Five Minute Yoga Break - Live on the floor!

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Chairs. They are something we don't even think about in this country. They're everywhere! We use them all the time without a second thought. But have you ever considered what they're doing to your body? I often ask people that come into the studio what they do for a living because it instantly gives me great insight as to why they might find certain things challenging. More and more, everyone's work involves sitting in a chair for long hours using a computer. The more we sit in chairs, the more our hips tighten up, our low backs get compromised and our core strength heads right out the window!

I know this first hand. I used to work in NYC at a job where I was at a desk working at a computer 7 or more hours a day. I did that for over five years. Add to that a long commute and I was definitely not feeling my best in those days!

So if you can't quit that day job just yet, what's the solution?

LIVE ON THE FLOOR!

In other countries they do just this. Furniture is sparse at best and they typically sit on the floor, play on the floor and generally live their lives on the floor. I recently had a student tell me they saw pictures of people squatting while waiting on line in India! I'm willing to bet you'd get some funny looks if you did that in the U.S.A. ;-)

But here's what you can do. Any chance you get, live on the floor. Sit on the floor to watch TV or read a book. Or try this pose:

sphinx1
sphinx1

This is Sphinx pose, a posture that we use a lot in our Yin Yoga classes at Forever Yoga. This is a great way to read a book or watch TV and do some yoga while you're at it! To get there, simply lay on your belly and then walk your elbows back toward your hips lifting your head and upper torso. Pay attention to wherever you feel sensations rise in your body. For most people you might notice this in your low back but it may be somewhere else. Wherever the sensation is most present, make sure that you keep it a mild to moderate sensation. If it's too much, walk your elbows farther forward. You can stay here for 3-5 minutes or more as long as you don't feel any sensations of pain.

This pose can help reset the curvature of the low back spine counteracting all that chair sitting we tend to do. For more information about this posture and it's contraindications (such as pregnancy), check out YinYoga.com's description of Sphinx pose.

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sphinx2

And if you're in the Southern NH area and are curious about what Yin Yoga has to offer, check our Schedule Page. We offer 3 Yin Yoga classes throughout the week and would love to have you join us!

Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Please consult with your health care provider and obtain full medical clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. The information provided in this blog is strictly for reference only and is not in any manner a substitute for medical advice or direct guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.

Yoga Nidra

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Yoga Nidra is sometimes referred to as "Yogic Sleep" and is an incredibly simple and beneficial practice! If you can lay down and listen you can do Yoga Nidra! It's said that 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is equal to 4 hours of deep sleep. In our crazy modern world of Go Go GO, who doesn't need that?!

This practice is similar to a guided meditation but here, instead of trying to sit up tall and still for the session, you should be laying down and totally relaxed. You can lay on the floor or maybe even your bed. You should try not to fall asleep but if you do? No worries! The practice still works and you obviously needed the rest!

During a session, you'll start with some centering and relaxation and then you'll be asked to set an intention or Sankalpa. This is another important aspect of this practice in addition to the relaxation. This intention setting with the body and mind relaxed is very powerful. The intention you set for your Yoga Nidra plants a seed deep in your subconscious that is bound to come true in your life. The relaxation of mind and body that you experience during the practice makes this possible. It's like preparing the soil before you plant the seed. You may wish to take some time and think about your Sankalpa before you begin the practice, but you can also discover one naturally as you begin. It's up to you.

After the Sankalpa comes a rotation of consciousness through different parts of the body. Here as you listen to the instructions you simply let your awareness move to each part as it is named without moving the physical body. After that there will be some time spent in awareness of breathing and visualization. Before you know it, it's time to bring back your Sankalpa and start to come back into an awareness of your body to end the practice!

Yoga Nidra is a very popular practice at Forever Yoga for good reason! Everyone just feels so wonderful and refreshed afterward! I like to try and incorporate it into the Wednesday night Unwind class at the end of each month. Can't make it to the studio to give it a try? Now you can purchase a recording I made during a live class!Check it out on our Shop page!

I hope you'll give this powerful practice a try and begin to incorporate it into your regular yoga practice!

Five minute yoga break featuring the Sun Salutation

Welcome to this week's Five Minute Yoga break! If you live (well, I'd usually say in the Northeast but this week it's pretty much anywhere in the east!), you've probably been doing some shoveling. Or stressing about the weather and your loved ones getting to where they need to be. Time to get some relief from it all with the half sun salute!

Here's a visual to help you:

half sun salute
half sun salute

You'll start in Tadasana or Mountain pose.

On an inhale reach your arms to the sky, exhale to fold into a forward fold. (Keep your knees a bit soft (aka bent) here, especially for the first few rounds to give your back body time to open up.) On your inhale, lift the spine half way and lengthen through the crown taking your hands to your shins or thighs for support and on your exhale fold back to the earth. Inhale here and press your feet down firmly, as you exhale start rolling the spine up to the sky. Let your natural next inhale allow your spine to lengthen as you reach and then exhale and bring your hands back to the heart.

Want to go deeper? After a few rounds of the sequence above you could throw in a lunge:

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lunge

Put this in after that second forward fold (the first frame of the second line in the image above) like this:

Forward fold. Inhale step back into your lunge. Exhale stay there. Inhale to prepare and then exhale to step that foot back to forward fold. Continue as above until you find yourself back in Tadasana. Then repeat taking the other leg back next time around.

You could also hold that lunge for a few breaths if it feels good just to be there.

Want to throw in something else? How about a twist? Or stepping back into a Downward Facing Dog after the lunge? Or dropping the back knee and taking the arms up to the sky from the lunge?

The possibilities are endless!

So set your timer and go see where this takes you! And DON'T FORGET to give yourself a little Shavasana at the end!

Let us know how it went in the comments. :-)

Five minute yoga break

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Here's your five minute yoga break for this week! Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips and put them down onto a couple of yoga blocks, some books or maybe a big pillow. Let your arms rest along side your body with the palms facing up. With each exhalation, let your whole body sink deeper into the support of your props and the floor.

When your timer goes off, lift your hips off your props, move them to the side and slowly roll your spine down drawing your knees together to touch and walking your feet wide so your low legs make an inverted V shape for a few breaths. Hug your knees to your chest and circle them in both directions a few times. Roll to your right side and press up to seated.

Notice how you feel.

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Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Please consult with your health care provider and obtain full medical clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. The information provided in this blog is strictly for reference only and is not in any manner a substitute for medical advice or direct guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.

February Special!! Private Yoga Sessions

February Special!!Take $10 off any Private Yoga Session with Jessica

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You enjoy your group class and find it rewarding, but have you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to work one on one with your yoga teacher? Have you ever wondered if you were really "getting" a pose? Or have you ever wondered if there were things you could do on your own that would help you *specifically* in the ways you most need?

That's where Private Yoga Sessions can help!

Jessica offers Private Yoga Sessions on an individually scheduled basis either in your home or at the studio. In these sessions you will have the complete focus of your teacher to help you address challenges such as:

  • Trying Yoga for the very first time when a group class seems far too intimidating
  • Recovery from injury or surgery
  • General health and wellness issues such as anxiety, insomnia, depression, stress management and dietary concerns
  • Ongoing health issues such as emphysema and chronic pain
  • Physical issues created by your daily work such as back pain and poor posture
  • Getting started with a home practice
  • Refining your current practice to find greater awareness and understanding your own unique strengths and weakness
  • Time to ask the questions that you just can't ask in a group class setting

We're also starting something new at the studio!

IN-CLASS PRIVATE SESSIONS

Jessica will silently assist and adjust you throughout your class, giving you the benefit of greater body awareness through constant attention during an actual practice. These assists may help refine alignment, bring you into a pose in a deeper or more meaningful way and/or give you an entirely different experience and understanding of your practice.

One on one Private Session - $50/hour  JUST $40 THIS MONTH

In-class Private Session - $30/class PLUS your regular class fee  JUST $20 THIS MONTH Sundays only 1-2:15pm ONLY THREE SPACES AVAILABLE SO SIGN UP SOON!

***BONUS!! SIGN UP FOR ANY PRIVATE SESSION IN FEBRUARY & BE ENTERED TO WIN A FREE IN-CLASS PRIVATE SESSION IN MARCH!!***Visit our Private Sessions Page to learn more about private sessions and schedule one now!

Five Minute Yoga Break

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Here's today's 5 minute yoga break! Had a rough day at the office or spent a lot of time at the computer? Can't really get away from your desk right now? Or maybe you're on yet another conference call?

Give this a try! Slide your chair back until your forehead can rest on your desk or top of your folded arms. It's kind of like child's pose in your chair. Set your timer and breathe into your low back and kidney area. You might feel a nice stretch in your upper body and a softening of the shoulder blades on to the back while you're here too.

Slowly come up when you're finished or your timer goes off.

Feeling refreshed go back to your day.

 

How did this work for you? Post a comment and let me know!

Namasté!

2 Comments
Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Please consult with your health care provider and obtain full medical clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. The information provided in this blog is strictly for reference only and is not in any manner a substitute for medical advice or direct guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.

Essential Oils Workshop next week!

More and more I find that when I have a headache, stomach ache, burn, etc. etc. instead of reaching for chemical or engineered remedies from the medicine cabinet I reach for my essential oils! Those that have already taken this workshop are experiencing some dramatic changes in their health and wellness. I hope you'll join us and find out for  yourself just how powerful these oils can be! ~ Jessica

Natural Remedies and Green Living with Young Living Essential Oils

Tuesday February 4th, 6:30-8:30pm

Just $10!

Come learn to live more chemical-free and create a healthy, portable and cross-functional first aid kit using nature’s first medicine – essential oils. You will learn how you can support your health and that of those you love. We will discuss using essential oils for:

•Air purification and neutralizing odors •First aid (burns, sore throat, cuts, muscle ache, headaches and more) •Sleep problems and relaxation •Cold and flu prevention and treatment •Digestive problems •Pest control •Cleaning and aromatherapy •Anxiety and mood problems •Pet care •Cooking and more….

Workshop includes a brief description of the history of essential oils, their medicinal and therapeutic properties, and hands-on experience with 9 essentials oils. You’ll also receive a handout of ways to use these 9 oils each day in your home and for your health.

Pre-registration is required.

 CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE EVENT PAGE AND REGISTER!