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!
Reflections on 2013
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
At the start of 2013, Moonflower Yoga was still in its infancy. Since then, the studio has grown significantly. So many students have walked through the front door of Moonflower Yoga. A lot of these were students who never tried yoga before but were coming to Moonflower Yoga to experience their first class, and I am very proud that they chose Moonflower Yoga. These students liked the small-class setting with personal attention, had a great yoga experience, and have become regular students of the studio.
Moonflower Yoga has accomplished many other positive things in 2013:
Our class schedule has grown to offer many options to our students so that people of all experience levels have a great place to practice. Tai Chi and Meditation classes are amongst the newer classes.
We launched lots of interesting workshops on a variety of topics where people learned something new and had a fun evening.
Our Moonflower Yoga Picnic at Eisenhower Park was a blast, and we had perfect summertime weather.
Moonflower Yoga was the only yoga studio selected to give a yoga demo at the annual Nassau County Health and Wellness Fair.
Corporate yoga has been added to the slate of offerings at Moonflower Yoga where a Moonflower Yoga instructor goes to a local office and introduces yoga as part of a corporate wellness program.
We were able to give back to the community and help those in need with several charitable events. Our children’s storytelling workshop raised money for the Make A Wish Foundation. The film screening on the life of BKS Iyengar helped support the Iyengar Institute which brings yoga to many. For Thanksgiving, we helped feed 800 hungry families. And at the at end of 2013, we collected over 60 toys for the Toys for Tots program run by the USMC which donates toys to children who would not otherwise receive a holiday present.
We had another successful weekend at the Bellmore Family Street Festival where over 100,000 people from all over came to Bellmore.
But most important of all is our relationship with our students. I feel truly blessed each day as I greet the students arriving to attend our classes. Watching students enter the door feeling stressed from the day, and then watching them leave at the end of a great yoga class more refreshed and at peace, brings me a sense of joy knowing that we were able to help someone feel better. I am so grateful to the students, as well as my great staff of teachers, for making Moonflower Yoga a very special place. I can look back on 2013 with a smile, and I know the future will be even better. Thank you to everyone for your support!
If you are in the area of Bellmore, New York, in Nassau County on Long Island, please stop by and see us. Join us as we launch another fabulous year!
Is Christmas Stress Driving You Crazy?
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
Christmas is just two weeks away. And, as we get closer to Christmas, I witness people experiencing more stress than normal with holiday obligations. With that stress comes some bad habits such as overeating or eating high carb sugary foods. We also tend to not get enough sleep. There is one other thing that happens: we often stop exercising and taking care of ourselves.
When we stop taking care of ourselves, bad things start to happen. We gain weight from poor food choices and not exercising, putting more strain on our body. Our reserve of energy becomes exhausted. We are much more likely to become ill when our bodies are pushed to their limit. And if we are not breathing properly, our body is not functioning efficiently.
I would like to suggest a different path this holiday season: Set aside some time for yourself!!! One way to do that is with a great yoga class. You will gently stretch your muscles relieving muscle tension. During the yoga class, you will also take deep breaths to increase the oxygen to your organs, which helps with stress reduction. And by moving your body you are burning calories, keeping your weight in check. Most importantly, you will generally feel better. And when you feel better you can start to enjoy the holiday season rather than feeling overwhelmed.
Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, New York, in Long Island’s Nassau County, has some great yoga classes that can help you feel better and more relaxed this holiday season. And because we have small class sizes with a maximum of 6 students per class, our teachers pay personal attention to you making sure that you are comfortable and having a great yoga experience in your class. Our students always say they feel so much better after just a one-hour yoga class. You may also find that you sleep more soundly on the evening when you attend your yoga class, and having a good night’s sleep is essential.
So take a bit of time for yourself this holiday season. When you do that, you may find that you enjoy this special time of year a bit more, while you are also keeping yourself healthier. Hope to see you soon at Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, Long Island!
Being Grateful this Thanksgiving
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I am taking a moment to pause and think deeply about the holiday. If you look at the media blitz around us, you would assume Thanksgiving is about shopping for items you probably don’t need at discount prices. Stores are opening earlier and earlier, and this often means families spend less time together as the rush to get to the mall begins. What happened to this wonderful holiday with its family traditions?
Instead of the craziness of shopping, I am instead listing a few things in my life for which I am very grateful:
I am grateful for the many students who walk in the doors of Moonflower Yoga to attend a yoga class. It is such a blessing to have them at the studio each week, getting stronger, feeling better, and sharing a part of their lives at Moonflower. I love meeting each person as they walk in the door and catching up with them each week. Thank you to all of you who have made Moonflower Yoga a success.
It was 2 years ago this month that my life changed forever with the news that my job in corporate America was coming to an end with a forced layoff. Although that news was devastating at the time, it gave me the opportunity to try something new that I always wanted to do. Moonflower Yoga was born as a result of that, and I am grateful that my life changed for the better. As Gandhi very wisely said: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”.
Making a life change would have been very challenging if it wasn’t for the support of my husband, Bob, who has been my rock for the last 40 years. Bob, together with friends and family, supported me and Moonflower Yoga, and I am very grateful for their love and support.
Moonflower Yoga has great yoga teachers who work alongside of me each week and bring their love of teaching and helping people to Moonflower Yoga each week. I could not run the studio without them. And there have been wonderful workshop presenters as well, who have taught us some very interesting things that we didn’t know before and helped us learn something new. I am grateful to all of the teachers and workshop presenters for making Moonflower Yoga a special place.
I am grateful to my hometown of Bellmore, Long Island, in New York’s Nassau County. I have been welcomed in the town as a new business, and it has been great to establish my business roots here as well as my home roots. I always learn something new at the Bellmore Chamber of Commerce meetings.
I am grateful to my yoga teachers who helped me discover the wonders of yoga many years ago. Yoga has been my rock when things were stressful, and now it has become my life. It all started with attending my first yoga class, and it grew from there. Yoga can help you too!
What are you grateful for this holiday season? Take a moment to reflect on the blessings in your life. You will feel inspired! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Practicing Aparigraha and Giving to Others
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
The holiday season is quickly approaching. We are bombarded with messages about things we should purchase and special sales. As I listen to all of this, I think about the principles outlined in the yoga sutras, the basis on which our yoga system is built. In the “yamas” portion of the yoga sutras, one of the sutras refers to “aparigraha” which means being content with what we have and abstinence from greed. Do we really need another handbag, tv set, game, etc., or can we be happy with what we have?
It was a little over a year ago that Superstorm Sandy hit the Long Island area. We lost lives on that terrible day. Many people lost their homes and possessions. One of the lessons of Sandy is that it gave us an appreciation of what is really important – being safe and having our friends and families. Earlier this month, a horrible typhoon hit the Philippines killing thousands of people and causing unbearable destruction. We watch in horror at the reality that so many families have lost loved ones.
And back here in New York, there are families who do not have enough food to eat each day or people who are homeless with no place to sleep and no food. With the holidays coming, I also think about children and what a joyous time the holidays can be. Yet for some, their families cannot afford food and there is no money for a small holiday gift for a child.
At Moonflower Yoga, we want to do our part to bring some joy to families in our area this year. We have been part of an ongoing food drive, working with two of Moonflower’s students, Veronica and Luther, to collect food for the hungry. Last year the food drive yielded food for 600 hungry families. This year the goal is to feed 800 families. I’m proud that we have filled three large boxes with non-perishable food to help this cause. At the same time, we are working with the US Marine’s Toys for Tots program to bring a toy to a needy child this holiday season who might not receive one. Last year we collected 50 toys for Toys for Tots, and we are looking to exceed that number this year.
Any help that you can give to a food drive, Toys for Tots, or a charity of your choice is always welcome. I go back to the yoga philosophy of aparigraha. Before you make a purchase, ask yourself: “Do I really need this thing I’m buying or do I already have enough?” If you have enough, could you instead donate a portion of that money to a worthwhile charity to help someone who is need? The reward from knowing that you helped someone can be amazing!
From all of us at Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, in Long Island’s Nassau County, we thank you for your generosity.
The Changing Season
By Nancy Weshkoff
This weekend we changed our clocks back one hour from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. And while it was nice to have that extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning, the changing of the clocks also reminded us of something else: the changing of the season to cooler temperatures and less daylight as it is dark by 5 PM.
When it gets darker and cooler, we naturally spend more time indoors. While that is understandable, it is important that we continue to move our bodies during the cooler months. We need to keep your muscles flexible. At Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore on Long Island’s Nassau County, all of our great yoga classes emphasize stretching and flexibility. Did you know that tight hamstring muscles can cause back pain? You can keep your hamstring muscles loose through yoga. Our Stress Reducing Vinyasa flow classes, Level one and Level one-two classes, Sunday Flow, Beginner, Tai Chi, Stretch & Flow, Adaptive, Easy Beginner & Easy Flow yoga classes are all great choices for keeping you flexible. And being active can prevent weight gain over the winter months.
Aside from our physical body, our mental state can also change with the cooler temperatures. We spend less time socializing outdoors. For some people, this means spending more time watching television, playing video games, or with social media sites. While these can be fun in moderation, they may not help you deal with stress in your life. Stress can be harmful and health care professionals all agree that it is a contributing factor to many health problems today. You can reduce your stress through the physical movement of a yoga asana practice. You can also reduce your stress through meditation which provides a wonderful opportunity to let go of things that might be bothering you and to teach you to focus on the present moment. Our bi-monthly Meditation class is fantastic for this. We also have a lovely Candlelight Restorative class on alternate Tuesdays, which rotates with the Meditation class, where you have an opportunity to completely relax and refresh yourself while you stretch on bolsters, pillows, and blankets. If you are looking for a combination of light movement and restorative, there is the Unwind and Relax class on Thursday night which is a perfect way to end your day.
You can combat the winter blues, stay in shape, and feel better through a regular yoga practice. Hope to see you soon at one of our great yoga classes.