The Positive Benefits of Yoga on Baby Boomers and Seniors
By Nancy Weshkoff
At Moonflower Yoga, in Bellmore, on Long Island’s Nassau County, we have a steady group of baby boomers and seniors who attend our yoga classes. From personal observation, I know that yoga is helping them. They are getting stronger and more flexible, improving their balance, finding inner peace, and enjoying the comradery of being in a small-class setting with personal attention. Plus they are meeting new people and becoming friends with fellow students. But there is something else that yoga is helping: your brain function.
My personal observation of this improvement for baby boomers and seniors has been recently confirmed in a new study. The University of Illinois studied 108 adults between the ages of 55 and 79 years of age. 61 of these attended hatha yoga classes – the style of yoga taught at Moonflower Yoga. The remaining group did not attend yoga classes but did general stretching and toning exercises.
At the end of 8 weeks, the results were checked. The participants who did yoga for 8 weeks were speedier and more accurate on tests of information recall, mental flexibility, and task switching than they were before they began taking yoga classes. The yoga participants showed significant improvements in memory capacity, and were able to perform tasks more quickly without getting distracted. This is very key to daily living, as we often are required to multi-task in our everyday life. The people who oversaw the study believe that the yoga group benefitted from hatha yoga because it required focused effort as you moved through the poses, controlling the body and breathing at a steady rate. Studies have also found that yoga provided immediate positive effects on decreasing anxiety, stress, and depression by quieting the sympathetic nervous system.
And, for the record, there was no improvement in mental capacity for the participants in this study who did not attend yoga classes.
I personally believe that yoga can help you feel better and function better at ANY age. As this study has confirmed, it definitely helps baby boomers and seniors.
If you are the area of Bellmore, on Long Island’s Nassau County, come try one of our great yoga classes at Moonflower Yoga! Our team of very dedicated yoga teachers will pay attention to you in our small-class setting making sure that you are doing your poses correctly. You’ll gain strength, flexibility, and balance, reduce stress levels, and at the same time improve your mental capacity. How cool is that!
By Nancy Weshkoff
I wrote this special blog two years ago on the anniversary of 9/11. Like so many other people, it is a day that I will never forget. Here is my 9/11 blog which pays tribute to those who lost their lives on that September morning. May they rest in peace. And here is praying that we can live in peace rather than in senseless destruction.
12 years ago on the morning of September 11th, I remember my husband and I waking to a beautiful September morning. The weather was absolutely perfect, and we remarked that it was probably one of the 10 best days of the year. We both worked in Manhattan at that time and headed to work from Long Island and arrived in our respective office buildings shortly before 8 AM. The office buildings had beautiful views of Manhattan including the World Trade Center. Little did we know that in a few short minutes so many lives would change forever.
When we heard about the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center, like so many others, we thought this must be an accident. Sadly, as events unfolded, we realized it wasn’t an accident. From our office buildings, we could see the World Trade Center on fire. I remember being filled with shock and horror. Just like me, so many innocent people had gone to work that day, but in a different office address, and they were now dying or trapped in the towers.
As no one knew what might happen next, every office building in Manhattan was evacuated and all the public transportation in/out of Manhattan was closed. This resulted in millions of people emptying on to the streets of Manhattan. What happened next made me even prouder to be a New Yorker. There were no riots despite huge crowds. Instead we cried in the streets together and consoled and helped each other watching the smoke from lower Manhattan and praying for those who were in the buildings.
There were so many acts of bravery. I think about those heroic first responders who knew they were probably going to die but risked their lives anyway going into the burning towers to try and help people. I think a lot about the victims and their families. Family members stood on street corners after the attack holding pictures of their lost loved ones with messages such as “have you seen my daughter who was on last seen on x floor of 1 WTC.” Those pictures were later placed all over Manhattan on lamp posts and in the huge transportation hubs such as Grand Central Station and Penn Station. The victims became even more real as you looked at their smiling faces and knew they were senselessly killed that September morning.
My heart goes out to the victims and may they rest in peace. My heart also goes out to the families of the victims as they continue to find the strength to carry on.
One lesson that I learned from 9/11 was to live more in the present. Sadly we never know what will happen to us when we begin our morning. So we must make the most of each day. Don’t put off doing something that you’ve always wanted to do. It could be a simple thing such as spending more time with your family or it could be something bigger such as taking that special trip somewhere. After 9/11, I organized a trip to Disney World with my family because I wanted to create a happy memory.
Deciding to start my own yoga studio, Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, in Nassau County on Long Island, took some courage as I left behind the life I knew best. Yet I know that the courage to start a new venture was only a very small fraction of the courage of those brave first responders who sacrificed their lives to save others on that beautiful September morning and to the 9/11 families who have learned to cope with this tragedy. May all the victims of this sad event in our history be forever remembered. And may we always remember to enjoy the blessings we encounter every single day.
Reflections on Moonflower Yoga’s 2-year anniversary celebration
By Nancy Weshkoff
For those of you who may not know my background, I spent over 35 years in the corporate world, most of these in the music industry where I worked my way up the ranks and had an opportunity to meet some amazing people. While it was an interesting and important phase of my life, it is this new phase at Moonflower Yoga that is so special to me.
When my life in corporate America came to an end, it was a gut-wrenching period trying to decide what to do next. I decided to turn to the one thing that always brought me peace during the stressful times in my life: my yoga practice. Shortly thereafter I enrolled in a teacher training program, and realized this was my new destiny. Upon graduation from the teacher training program, Moonflower Yoga was born. I decided to open the studio in Bellmore in Long Island’s Nassau County (New York) and say goodbye to commuting on the LIRR every weekday.
And while I had a dream of what I would like the studio to be, it has far exceeded what those initial drawing plans were. Moonflower Yoga offers a very interesting mix of classes, and I am very proud of how varied the schedule is, with classes such as Vinyasa flow classes for energy and strength, Iyengar-style classes that increase your flexibility, Kundalini yoga, wonderful meditation classes, restorative yoga to reduce stress, Tai Chi, very gentle yoga classes for the beginner, and an eclectic mix of classes under “Calming and Healing Your Spirit” ranging from Angel Healing (IET), to a Reiki Healing Circle, to Laughter Yoga, to a Gallery Reading with an intuitive medium, etc. The small-class setting at Moonflower Yoga has encouraged newcomers, as well as fellow baby boomers such as myself, to come and try yoga, and they are getting stronger, more flexible, and finding inner peace as a result.
I also love the workshop programs on very wide-ranging topics from natural ways to improve your health, astrology, spiritual development, Feng Shui, Tai Chi and Qigong, crystals, aromatherapy, meditation, Tarot Cards, ways to relieve neck and shoulder discomfort, goal setting to help you reach your dreams, etc. These have enabled people to learn so many fun and interesting things. And in the last year the Moonflower Yoga Book Club was formed where we have a great time meeting every 4-6 weeks, sharing the new things in our lives, and learning something new through the books selected.
Most of all, it is the students and teachers who have become such an important part of my life that have helped to make Moonflower Yoga special. I love the community that has developed here with people meeting other people, becoming friends, and supporting each other. I feel very, very blessed when I open the doors of the Moonflower Yoga studio every day and know that amazing things are going to happen at the studio. I send out my thanks to all of you who have made Moonflower Yoga a success!! And a final thanks to the other half of my life: my husband, Bob, who has been my rock through my journey and helps with so many of the functions at the studio, especially those absolutely delicious homemade goodies that we serve for the workshops and the Moonflower Yoga Book Club.
If you are in the area of Bellmore (Nassau County) on Long Island’s south shore this weekend, come join us for our fun two-year anniversary party this Saturday, September 7th, from 1 PM – 5 PM. Come say hello and help us share in an important milestone. You will get to meet some great people. And thank you again for your support!!!!
By Nancy Weshkoff
If you have never tried yoga before, the best way to start is with a beginner yoga class. It is in a beginner yoga class where you will begin a wonderful journey to better health and well-being.
Contrary to what you might think, beginner is not just for people who have never tried yoga before. Beginner yoga is great for everyone. In a beginner yoga class, you will move at a slower, gentler pace. In doing so, you can concentrate more closely on your pose and really feel your muscles moving and stretching from posture to posture. You can focus on linking your movement with your breath which helps you move more deeply and brings you renewed energy. And you can pick up some helpful tips on how to improve core, fundamental poses.
Prior to becoming a yoga teacher, I spent many years practicing yoga at various studios. I often attended beginner classes, even though I had several years of yoga experience. I enjoyed the flow of a beginner class as it gave me an opportunity to concentrate more deeply on my movement. I also enjoyed talking with new students and encouraging them while sharing my yoga experience.
Newer students have asked me how long they need to take a beginner yoga class before moving to a more intermediate level. Each person is different, and there is no set period of time. I strongly encourage everyone to be truly comfortable and understand the basics of core, essential yoga poses before trying something more challenging. You may find, as I did, that beginner yoga is perfect for you at every stage of your yoga practice.
If you are looking for a great beginner yoga class with a great yoga teacher, Moonflower Yoga has a wonderful variety to offer you. We have beginner yoga classes on weekends, weekday mornings, and evenings. Whichever time frame you pick, you will have a find a class that meets your needs. If you are in the area of Bellmore, in Long Island, New York’s Nassau County, come give one of our great beginner yoga classes a try! Our class size is small and semi-private so you can receive personal attention, and our instructors pay attention to you so that you can have a wonderful yoga experience. And remember beginner yoga is a fabulous choice for everyone!
A Special Place
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
When I formed Moonflower Yoga in 2012, I wanted the studio to be more than just a place where people learned yoga postures. It was important to me that the studio also have a feeling of community where people could come together and share and support each other. Moonflower Yoga has been a success in both of these areas: The great yoga classes that we offer have enabled people of all ages and fitness levels to enjoy the wonderful benefits of yoga. Moonflower Yoga also has a community of like-minded people who have helped and supported each other, have contributed to charitable drives, and who have fun learning new things together through our workshops and the Moonflower Yoga Book Club.
What has also happened is that Moonflower Yoga has become a special place for spiritual development. Through some of our great teachers, such as Connie and Chris, they have introduced us to ways to explore our spirituality and souls. And as that happens, people are becoming more at peace. They are supporting each other when things are challenging but they also share laughs as well. And when I sit quietly at the studio in between classes, I can sense a wonderful energy at the studio.
If you haven’t yet visited Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, New York, in Nassau County (Long Island), come give us a try! Your first class is free. Learn something new and join the growing community of people who have helped make Moonflower Yoga a special place.
The Moonflower Yoga Book Club
By Nancy Weshkoff
When I was very young, before the days of pre-K and television programs such as “Sesame Street”, I remember sitting next to my father as he read books to me. It was a very special time, and I learned to read before I entered school. My love of reading grew, as it gave me an opportunity to learn something new or be taken away to an interesting place or period of time. When my life in corporate America started to encompass so much of my time, my reading time for interesting novels or biographies diminished, as I was instead reading reports for work. Now that my life in corporate America has come to an end and I am happily no longer reading corporate reports, I found a longing to return to something which brought me joy and pleasure: getting lost in the pages of a wonderful book.
A couple of months ago, I launched The Moonflower Yoga Book Club, and I am thoroughly enjoying it! It is giving me an opportunity to research interesting books for the Book Club and learn something new. Our first book was “THE PARIS WIFE”, which was the story of Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley. It was fascinating to learn more about Parisian life in the 1920’s and the intriguing characters that were part of that culture including Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
While I love reading the books we have selected, the Moonflower Yoga Book Club is more than that. We have a diverse group of women who have formed the initial members of the Moonflower Yoga Book Club. A community has formed, as we have learned a little bit about each other’s lives, and we look forward to meeting and catching up on what’s happening. We have some very interesting discussions, and it is fascinating to hear each of our perspectives on the characters in the book that we just read. What did we think about a decision that was made? How did we feel about the characters? Was the ending what you expected? And while we are having a lively conversation, my husband, Bob, who loves to cook, gives us some yummy homemade desserts for snacking. I have come to really look forward to diving into the next book and meeting with the fun ladies of the Moonflower Yoga Book Club.
How about you? Come and join us for a very interesting afternoon or evening! It is wonderful to form friendships and discover something new in our monthly book selection. You can check the events section of the moonfloweryoga.com website to see what our next book is and the meeting date. All are welcome to join.
Hope to see you soon at the next meeting of the Moonflower Yoga Book Club in Bellmore, New York, on Long Island’s Nassau County. Come have fun with us!
GOODBYE WINTER DOLDRUMS
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
It has been a brutal winter here in Bellmore, on Long Island, New York. Our snow fall totals have already reached approximately 60” and there is another snowstorm on the way later this weekend with the prospect of possibly 10 more inches of snow. Mother Nature has not been kind to us this winter.
I am, however, shaking off the winter doldrums. While the temperatures are still cold outside, there are signs of better days ahead. Officially spring is just 3 weeks away. Have you noticed the extra daylight? It is no longer dark at 5 PM. And when the snow is cleared away in my garden, there is beauty coming from the earth. Several of my spring bulbs already have a couple of inches of green foliage. A few of the spring perennials also have some green growth. The robins have returned. The flowers and birds know that spring is just around the corner.
There is something wonderful about the prospect of spring. It marks a new beginning. Are you ready for spring?
Warmer weather means shedding those baggy, extra layers of clothes that have kept us warm. It is time to start thinking about getting in shape for the lighter clothes of warmer weather. It is a great time to get off the couch, wake up our bodies, and get toned and stretched. If you start now, you’ll feel fabulous and be ready for the warm days which are ahead.
Moonflower Yoga has some great yoga classes to help you get in shape for spring. If you have never practiced yoga before, or have been inactive, start slowly with one of our fantastic beginner yoga classes which are offered several times a week. We have lots of props on hand to help our students as you are getting back into shape. Ready for something more challenging? Try our Stress Reduction Vinyasa Flow class on Monday night at 7:30 PM or Sunday Flow at 9 AM each Sunday. We also added a wonderful Move and Stretch class to the Tuesday schedule at 6:15 PM, and there is a fun Stretch and Flow class every Thursday morning at 10 AM. We have an Iyengar-style Level One class on Tuesday at 10 AM and Thursday at 6:45 PM to help you tone. If you are working in the vicinity of Bellmore, Long Island, we added a Yoga Lunch Express class on Mondays at 12:30, which is a great 45-minute lunch class: skip the heavy calories and try a wonderful class to energize you.
Remember spring is just around the corner. It is time to shake off your winter doldrums! Come visit us at Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, New York, in Long Island’s Nassau County, for a great yoga class with our dedicated team of yoga teachers to help you get into shape and feel great. Hope to see you soon!
Calming and Healing Your Spirit
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
Life brings us many challenges. The strain, tension, and stress can weigh down upon us. It is so important that we take a break from these challenges and take care of ourselves. Doctors all agree that stress is one of the leading causes of diseases. You CAN do something to help relieve your stress.
Moonflower Yoga is proud to announce a new series of classes on Wednesday nights at 7:30 PM. The new series is entitled “Calming and Healing Your Spirit”. During each one-hour class, you will learn and experience a de-stressing activity to help bring you inner peace. In our first class on February 5th, Anthony and Mindy of Happy and Healthy Now, will lead a Reiki Healing Circle. Reiki is a fabulous way to release negative energy. In our second class on February 12th, Chris will teach you “Tapping” (Emotional Freedom Technique), a wonderful tool that you can self-administer to help remove negative reactions to certain situations or people. Members of our military are using “Tapping” to help them with the after-effects of combat duty. In our third class on February 19th, Connie will lead you into a deep meditation, as you recline on the ground nestled in warm blankets, with soft candlelight, and leave your worries behind. In our fourth class on February 26th, there will be a special evening of Moonflower Yoga’s very popular Candlelight Restorative class, as you melt away stress while comfortably supported on bolsters, blankets, and pillows. Our March classes will include a lovely Chanting class on March 19th led by Diane, with more classes to be announced shortly.
I hope you can join us for these wonderful Wednesday evening Calming and Healing Your Spirit classes at Moonflower Yoga. Whichever class you choose, led by one of our great teachers, you will feel more relaxed and renewed from an amazing de-stressing class. We could all use some more relaxation!!! If you are in the area of Bellmore, Long Island, in Nassau County, New York, come give this a try. You’ll be glad that you did.
In the Spotlight
By Nancy Weshkoff
One of the things that I love about being a local business is the sense of community that you have from your fellow small business owners. It is the small businesses that are the backbone of our country, and the income that is earned from a local business stays in the local community to help support schools, parks, etc.
Moonflower Yoga is a member of the Bellmore Chamber of Commerce, a great organization that works very hard to support our local Long Island community. I am pleased to advise that Moonflower Yoga was selected to be the “In the Spotlight” business by the Bellmore Chamber of Commerce for the month of January, 2014!! Listed below is the text from our “In the Spotlight” feature. And remember if you are in the area of Bellmore, in Long Island’s Nassau County, please stop by & check out one of our great yoga classes or workshops!!
In the Spotlight:
Moonflower Yoga is proud to make its home in Bellmore. Our classes are small, generally with a maximum of 6 students per class, which enables our instructors to provide you with personal attention. We are fully equipped with many props, such as bolsters, blocks, pillows, and blankets, so you are completely comfortable while practicing. Your first class is always free, which gives you an opportunity to try a class with no obligation.
Moonflower Yoga offers an interesting array of yoga classes for all ages and fitness levels. The classes are lovingly designed to help you build strength, gain flexibility and balance, as well as reduce your stress and find inner peace. Moonflower Yoga also offers meditation classes, as well as Tai Chi. We love working with students who have never tried yoga before. Moonflower Yoga owner and Bellmore resident, Nancy Weshkoff, has put many special touches into the studio to make it a warm and friendly place. Nancy personally greets all her students welcoming them as they enter the studio. If you would like a private one-on-one yoga session, we can create a class just for you, and Moonflower Yoga can also come to your local place of business to teach an onsite yoga class in corporate locations.
For something new and interesting, check out the Moonflower Yoga workshops which take place on Friday evenings or weekend afternoons. Our past workshops topics have covered varied topics such as relieving back and neck pain, astrology, women’s health issues, goal setting, crystals, Feng Shui, and meditation. We are also starting the Moonflower Yoga Book Club, which will meet once a month on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, beginning in January.
Please stop by and visit us at 2093 Bellmore Avenue at the corner of Wilson Avenue to learn more about Moonflower Yoga. You can also check out our user-friendly website, www.moonfloweryoga.com, which is packed with lots of photos and info, and where you can reserve a class or workshop. Hope to see you soon!
NEW YEAR, NEW START, NEW GOALS
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
Welcome 2014! There is something special about the start of a new year. It gives us a chance to close the door on things that happened in the previous year and start anew. It is a great feeling to start with a fresh slate.
As we start the new year, we often make New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you want to become more physically fit, lose weight, change careers, etc. Do you have an actual plan on how you are going to accomplish your dreams in 2014, or are these half-hearted resolutions?
You can accomplish your goals if you create and follow a realistic plan on how to reach your dreams. Empty promises made on New Year’s Eve are not successful. A plan that you commit to paper with milestone steps and visualization is what is needed to help you reach your goal.
Before Moonflower Yoga, I held senior executive positions at a major entertainment company overseeing a large staff. There were many goals that needed to be met. I successfully completed these by creating and following written plans of action. I also used these same principles to help me with personal goals.
As it is the start of a new year, it is a perfect time to set your personal dreams into action. Moonflower Yoga is hosting a great Goal Setting and Vision Board workshop on Sunday, January 12, 2014, starting at 2 PM. During this workshop, you will be shown how to create your own personal plan of action. After you have established your goal and plan of action, you will create a vision board with positive images to help motivate you.
If you are in the area of Bellmore, New York, on Long Island’s Nassau County, please join us on Sunday, January 12th, for this fantastic workshop at Moonflower Yoga. Let yourself soar in 2014!