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.
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.
The Importance of Relaxation
By Nancy Weshkoff
Doesn’t it often seem that life has become even more challenging? Children have assigned “play dates” and lots of other scheduled activities where we are rushing back/forth to drop them off and pick them up. Many employers expect you to be available online through the use of portable devices. There are more cars on our congested roads which causes the aggravation of waiting in traffic. And these are just a few examples of why we have more stress today. Medical professionals all agree that stress has a very negative effect on us, and it can be a contributing factor to health issues.
At Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, on Long Island, New York’s Nassau County, we recognize the importance of reducing stress for our clients. We have a wonderful candlelight restorative class where you are pampered for an hour with soft music playing in twinkling candlelight. There are other great yoga classes too such as Unwind and Relax, where you will do a bit of movement to release muscle tension from the day but then we restoratively end the class to help you have a great night’s sleep. In October, we have added a meditation workshop at Moonflower Yoga to help you feel better. And, for something more energetic, there is the popular Stress Reducing Vinyasa Flow class on Monday and Tuesday nights where you will move your stress out and then end the class in quiet restoration.
Although these are all great yoga classes that will make you feel fabulous, sometimes we need to take the additional step of going on vacation and leaving everything behind for a week and exploring a new destination. For us at Moonflower Yoga, our staff of great yoga teachers is taking a one-week break and the Moonflower Yoga studio will be closed the week of Labor Day, returning on Sunday, September 8th. We wish everyone a wonderful Labor Day week. For those of you who are returning back to school, have a successful school year.
And if you would like to try one of our great stress-reducing yoga classes at Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, New York, in Long Island’s Nassau County, you can reserve your space online from our website, www.moonfloweryoga.com. See you all soon!!
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
About a year ago, I attended a crystals workshop and have been hooked on crystals ever since then. You will find yourself drawn to these wonderful gifts from the earth. Many crystals have been used for centuries for their healing powers.
But what exactly are these crystals? Simply put, a crystal is a solid stone that was created when the earth was formed, and crystals have continued to change and develop as the earth changes and develops. Some crystals developed in deep underground chambers or from the fiery gases of the earth. They come in different geometric formations and a beautiful variety of colors. Crystals can be shaped and polished and make excellent jewelry. But they should also be appreciated in their rawer, non-polished state. Amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, amber, and jasper are just a few examples of crystals.
Each crystal can help you in a different way. Clear quartz, for example, has many wonderful properties including the ability to aid concentration and help with problem solving. One of my dear friends was having difficulty with an elaborate Excel formula. After spending a few minutes with a clear quartz crystal, he was able to return to the formula and determine what was causing the issue. When I feel stressed or high strung, I use my favorite black tourmaline to help ground me. During meditation and in restorative classes, I often bring crystals into the room to facilitate good energy.
It is because of the ways that crystals can help you that I wanted to make more people aware of crystals. Moonflower Yoga is proud to be hosting its own Crystals Workshop this Friday evening, June 14th, from 7-9 PM. During this workshop, participants will learn more about the history of crystals, and each person will be given for free a basic crystal stone to keep for their personal use. The workshop will also include a meditation using crystals.
If you are in the area of Bellmore, in Nassau County, Long Island, New York, please join us at the Moonflower Yoga studio for this wonderful Crystals workshop. You will be amazed at the history of crystals, and you will receive your own crystal stone to bring you positive energy.
And stay tuned for more information on future workshops at Moonflower Yoga, as well as information on our great yoga classes!
IMPROVING YOUR BALANCE (Part 2)
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
In my previous blog, “Improving Your Balance (Part 1)”,
http://www.moonfloweryoga.com/blog/improving-your-balance-part-1-by-nancy-weshkoff.html I wrote about the need to develop better balance and how practicing certain asana poses in your yoga practice can help prevent serious injuries in life.
Today I am writing about another type of balance: the juggling act of the many responsibilities in our lives. Many would state that life has become busier than for previous generations. We are rushing from one place to the next. Technology has enabled us to be better connected but that better connection also means that we are checking emails after we leave the office or dealing with work-related problems from our homes rather than spending quality time with our families and friends. Businesses are trimming their budgets by hiring less people and giving more tasks to the current workforce, and we often feel overwhelmed from all the tasks that have now been handed to us. You may find yourself juggling pre-arranged “play dates” or extracurricular activities for your child.
So how does yoga fit into all of this? Yoga teaches us the opposite of rushing around. It teaches us to be in the present moment and be mindful. Let your day go and enjoy this little bit of time you have given to yourself. Every person needs some time for themselves. You may find that as the stress accumulates in your day, you are breathing in a shallow way which can cause muscle tension and anxiety. In our yoga classes at Moonflower Yoga, we practice taking deep, cleansing breaths that ignite the “prana” or energy in our bodies and make us feel better. As you move into various yoga postures, you are stretching your muscles and relieving tension. At the same time, you are also building better strength, flexibility, and of course balance. It is amazing how much better you can feel from taking just ONE HOUR for yourself in a yoga class.
If you are in the Long Island, New York area (in Nassau County), try one of the great yoga classes at Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore that we have designed to make you feel much better and return some balance to your life. Classes such as “Candlelight Restorative” and “Unwind and Relax” melt away the stress and you leave you feeling refreshed at the end of your day. Energetic classes such as “Tension Busting Flow” and “Stretch and Flow” provide a fabulous outlet to release tension from your day. Or trying starting your day in a positive way with “Awaken with Power”, “Sunday Flow”, “Level One” or “Easy Flow”, and you will be better able to cope with your day.
Having better balance in our lives – physically as well as emotionally – can do wonders. Let yoga help you reach these goals. Hope to see you soon at Moonflower Yoga!
By Nancy Weshkoff
This week marked the celebration of International Women’s Day. This tradition actually started in the early 1900’s as women marched for the right to vote and for better pay. A great deal of progress has certainly been made for women since then. In my lifetime, I can recall life before the women’s movement of the 1970’s. It wasn’t that long ago when jobs were classified as “help wanted male” and “help wanted female” with the female jobs often those with low pay and little chance of advancement.
While things have improved, so much still needs to be done. In many countries, women are treated very poorly with little equality with men. Even here in the United States, while jobs can no longer be classified as “male” or “female”, a glass ceiling exists in many companies making it very difficult for women to reach the highest positions. I have heard comments that women need to work three times as hard as a man in order to be considered for promotion, and this is sadly often true.
I am so amazed by the women that walk in the door at the Moonflower Yoga studio in Bellmore, Long Island. These women come from all walks of life. They are mothers, grandmothers, and daughters. Many are in demanding full-time positions working outside the home. But their responsibilities do not end when they come home, as they also take care of children, elderly parents, and handle other domestic responsibilities.
All this juggling and multi-tasking can take its toll. It creates a great deal of stress. Stress is not a good thing and is linked to so many diseases for women, including the number one killer of women: heart disease.
Take some time for yourself. I often think about the message from the flight attendant before a flight begins advising what to do in case of an emergency. An air mask will drop from the ceiling. The attendant advises to place the mask on yourself first and then place it on a child traveling with you. Why? Because if you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot take care of others. Giving yourself an hour to de-stress and unwind in a great yoga class can help you feel much better. If you are in the area of Bellmore in Nassau County, Long Island, New York, come and try a restorative yoga class or one of the other de-stressing yoga classes offered at Moonflower Yoga to make you feel better.
There has also been much attention in the news this past week on women becoming entrepreneurs. I am proud to now be one of these. After many years in corporate America, I decided to leave corporate life behind and forge ahead with something I truly love: yoga. In creating Moonflower Yoga, I wanted to have a place where people of all ages and experience levels can come and have a great yoga experience. I am also proud that a community is building at Moonflower Yoga of women who enjoy practicing together, having some fun, sharing their life experiences, and de-stressing. I am truly blessed to have these women at Moonflower Yoga. I salute these amazing women and women everywhere.
What is Yoga?
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
When people think of yoga their first image is often of someone doing a yoga asana pose such as a downward facing dog or a headstand. Patanjali, considered the father of yoga and the author of the Yoga Sutras, described yoga as “yogas citta vrtti nirodhah” which translates to “yoga is the calming of the changing fluctuations of the mind”. So what does that mean?
Many of the things that we do in our yoga practice including the movement in a yoga class, as well as meditation, are all designed to get us to the point where we can be blissful in the present moment. Our mind is often like a TV set with 1,000 channels. The mind is sending us images about things from our past that are done and we can’t change. So why are we worrying about something we can’t change? Our mind is also sending us messages about things that are causing us to worry, such as a task at home or our office that we need to do, maybe it is an upcoming event in our lives, and so many other things. When we fill our minds with all these images from the past that we can’t change or from the future that isn’t here yet, we cannot find peace and calmness. We must always be in the present moment because it is the present moment that we can control. It is in the present moment where we can reach peace.
It is not easy to turn off that TV set in our heads with many messages. Meditation and asana practice does help. At Moonflower Yoga, our great instructors often remind our students to be in the present moment and enjoy their present practice. An example of a wonderful yoga class that helps you accomplish this is our candlelight restorative class. In these candlelight restorative classes, students spend several minutes deeply relaxing in various postures with the help of bolsters, blankets, and other props. These long, relaxing postures in a very supported restorative manner enable you to relax and let go of the TV set images in your mind. Students often walk into the Moonflower Yoga studio feeling stressed from the daily pressures of life. When they leave after a great yoga class, the transformation can be amazing. It is incredible what can happen when we let go of those TV set images from the past and future and just breathe deeply and live in the present moment.
If you are in the area of Bellmore in Long Island’s Nassau County, I encourage to stop by the Moonflower Yoga studio to try one of the great yoga classes where we practice being joyful and present. You will be amazed at the transformation that can happen when you calm the changing fluctuations in your mind!