Women and Heart Disease
By Nancy Weshkoff
February is Heart Health Month and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Movement. I applaud the American Heart Association for their work in bringing to light this very important issue.
Here are some key factors about heart disease in women that you need to know:
– Did you know that heart disease is the NUMBER ONE killer of women in the United States?
– Did you know that if you stacked up ALL cancer-related deaths for women together (breast, lung, ovarian, liver, skin cancer, etc), that all of these cancer-related deaths together would still be number two behind heart disease?
– Did you know that 1 in 3 women in the United States will die every year from heart disease? If you are sitting in a group of women, look to your right and to your left. One of you will die from heart disease. And of this number, did you know that more than 1,800 of these women who die from heart disease will live here on Long Island in New York?
– Did you know that you can help PREVENT becoming one of these very sad statistics by proactively taking steps to lower your risk?
While there are some things that you cannot change, such as your family history of heart disease, there are several things that doctors all agree that you CAN do to lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. These include:
– Engage in moderate exercise on a regular basis. Sitting on a couch and not moving is bad for you in so many ways. Your body needs to move. Yoga is extremely helpful in helping you with your exercise goals. The postures in a yoga class will build strength and flexibility, and at the same time, the deep breathing techniques (pranayama) used in a yoga class increase the flow of blood to your heart and your organs.
– Reduce your stress levels: We all face stress. How we deal with stress is key. Being in a “fight or flight” mode, which is how our body reacts when our stress levels are high, is putting a huge strain on your body functions – including your heart. Meditation is a wonderful tool to help you lower your blood pressure and stress levels. Yoga classes also help you reduce your stress. The yoga and meditation classes at Moonflower Yoga can get you on the path to accomplishing your stress-reduction goals. We have a fabulous “Stress Buster” series of classes on Tuesday evenings at 730 PM. Or try the popular “Stretch and Meditate 101” class on Thursdays at 5 PM, where you gently stretch and begin to develop a meditation practice. Try one of these classes or the other great yoga classes taught by our yoga teachers on the Moonflower Yoga schedule.
– Learn to be “in the present moment”. We often worry unnecessarily about things from our past that we cannot change or things in the future that MIGHT happen but haven’t happened yet and may never happen. In our classes and workshops at Moonflower Yoga, we teach you ways to be more in the present moment and let go of unnecessary worries bringing you more peace and calm.
– Lower your blood pressure: Moving more, decreasing your stress levels, and using tools such as meditation and yoga mentioned above can all help you with this. How about learning something new? Spending some time reading a great book or engaging in a fun activity can help lower your stress levels. We have several fun “Clubs” at Moonflower Yoga including the Moonflower Yoga Book Club, the Moonflower Yoga Needle Arts Group where you learn to crochet or knit (very meditative!), the Moonflower Yoga Mah Jongg Group, and the new Women’s Gathering Group where women meet to discuss topics relevant to women. There are also fun workshops on the Moonflower Yoga schedule where you can have fun painting, or doing a craft, or just learning something new. These types of interesting and meditative activities can help you on the path of stress reduction and lowering your blood pressure.
– Try Reiki: Reiki is being offered now by leading medical institutions as an alternative therapy. Reiki is a wonderful, hands-on tool that you can learn to reduce blocked energy and send healing energy to yourself. Moonflower Yoga offers Reiki Healing Circles where you can discover Reiki, as well as training to be a Reiki practitioner. Click on the “Reiki” tab on the moonfloweryoga.com website for further info.
As someone who has a history of heart disease in my family, I take heart disease very seriously. My stress levels and blood pressure were very high – all red flags for being on the path to a heart attack or stroke. Through yoga, meditation, learning to be more in the present moment, and spending time in engaging activities such as reading and needle arts, I have been able to lower my blood pressure to normal. You, too, can lower your risk. We hope to see you soon at a great yoga class, meditation, or workshop at Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore in Nassau County, Long Island, where we can help you reduce your risk of heart disease as well. We welcome people from all over the area including Wantagh, Merrick, East Meadow, Seaford, Massapequa and Freeport. Let’s lower these frightening heart-disease numbers for women!
WHAT IS REIKI?
By Nancy Weshkoff
Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, Long Island (New York) offers Reiki training as well as Reiki Healing Circles. Before opening Moonflower Yoga over 5 years ago, I was not familiar with Reiki. Since then, I have taken the path to learn Reiki and practice Reiki, and am now a Reiki Master sharing Reiki with many others. I have personally watched Reiki help many people feel better.
You may have heard about Reiki but you don’t know what it is. Reiki is a wonderful way to de-stress and help you relax. Reducing your stress can lead to better health including lowering your blood pressure. High blood pressure contributes to heart disease, the number one killer of women in the United States. Practicing Reiki can help you relax and feel better. It is being offered as an alternative therapy in many leading medical institutions. Reiki is available to anyone to learn. Below are some of the frequently asked questions about Reiki that we hear at the Moonflower Yoga studio.
What is Reiki?
Reiki, founded by Mikao Usui, is a Japanese technique for relaxation and stress reduction. It is pronounced “Ray” “Key”. Reiki is being used by leading medical institutions, including major cancer treatment centers, as an alternative therapy.
Reiki works with universal life force energy – the energy in and around all living things. When this energy is blocked, it causes an imbalance often leading to discomfort or disease. When the energy is flowing more smoothly, we often feel better.
Here is some basic information on Reiki:
- Reiki allows loving, healing energy to flow through you.
- Reiki is NOT a religion. No specific religious beliefs are necessary.
- Reiki is spiritual and allows you to have a deeper connection to yourself.
- Reiki is open to all who would like to explore this beautiful, healing energy.
What are some of the benefits of Reiki?
- Reiki can reduce your stress levels. Stress is a leading contributor to many diseases including heart disease and high blood pressure. Reducing your stress improves your health.
- Reiki has helped relieve muscle tension and pain by releasing blocked energy.
- Reiki can provide better sleep at night, and it is important to have adequate sleep to allow your body and mind to function properly.
- There are no dangerous side effects to having a Reiki treatment.
- Reiki can be used to help infants as well as seniors.
- Reiki can be used on pets. Dogs and cats love Reiki treatments!
- Reiki can complement other treatments you receive. Leading cancer institutions offer Reiki as an alternative therapy in addition to radiation and chemotherapy.
- Reiki is easy to learn and it is self-healing.
How does Reiki work?
Reiki works by having universal life force energy flow from the person providing the treatment to the person receiving the treatment. It Is done by having the Reiki practitioner gently lay their hands on the person receiving the treatment. The person receiving the treatment can be seated in a chair or reclining. Unlike other treatments, because universal life force energy is flowing, both the person receiving the treatment and the person providing the treatment both receive healing during a treatment, and the practitioner’s energy is not depleted. It is self-healing. A session usually begins at the top of the head (where stress is often accumulated) and from there the Reiki practitioner can lay their hands gently (as needed) on the shoulders, arms, heart, abdomen, knees, and feet.
How is Reiki learned?
Reiki is taught by a person who has been trained as a Reiki Master Teacher who provides you with attunements at each level. There are 3 levels of Reiki:
- Reiki Level One where you learn basic Reiki healing treatments for yourself and are shown techniques for helping others. You receive the first 4 attunements.
- Reiki Level Two where you further learn how to work on others and are introduced to Reiki symbols which enhance your Reiki treatment. You receive 2 additional attunements.
- Reiki Level Three (Master Practitioner) in which additional symbols are learned and where you receive the final 4 Reiki attunements.
Moonflower Yoga offers Reiki training on all 3 levels of Reiki. Each training session also includes a training manual with illustrations so that you can practice Reiki at home. See below for our next available Reiki training session or Reiki Healing Circle.
What is a Reiki Healing Circle?
A Reiki Healing Circle is a wonderful way to be introduced to Reiki. NO prior Reiki experience is necessary, and it is open to all! In a Reiki Healing Circle, one person in the center of the circle receives a Reiki treatment from the others around the circle. The person in the center is often reclining on a comfortable massage table, fully clothed. The other participants will gently place their hands on the recipient on either the top of the head, shoulders, abdomen, knees, or feet. For those with Reiki experience, they can apply what they have learned in their Reiki training sessions to help the person receive a lovely treatment. For those with no Reiki experience, we will show you how to do some basic positions. Each person has an opportunity to move to the center of the circle and receive a relaxing Reiki treatment.
How can I get more information?
You will see additional information on the Reiki tab on the moonfloweryoga.com website.
I hope you will join us for a relaxing Reiki Healing Circle or take the path to become a Reiki practitioner in our Reiki training sessions at Moonflower Yoga. If you are in the Nassau County area of Bellmore, Wantagh, Merrick, East Meadow, Seaford, Massapequa, Freeport or any area of Long Island, we would love to have you join us. Start your new year in a positive way by taking care of YOU and learning wonderful de-stressing tools from Reiki.
by Nancy Weshkoff
I wrote this blog previously during Thanksgiving week The sentiments expressed in the blog are still true, and I encourage all of you to take a moment to count the blessings in your life. Doing so can help you realize how amazing each day that we spend on this earth can be. Here is the blog, and I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I am taking a moment to pause & 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 they rush to get to the mall. 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 Yoga. 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 6 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. And Bob’s delicious, homemade desserts at our workshops, events, and Moonflower Yoga Book Club & Moonflower Yoga Needle Arts meetings bring a smile to everyone’s face. And now Bob is offering his own vegan and gluten-free cooking workshops at Moonflower Yoga.
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. We now have Reiki training at Moonflower Yoga taught by Connie helping to bring healing to people, as well as IET/Angel healing training taught by Chris. I am grateful to all of the great instructors 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, and it has been awesome to establish my business roots here as well as my home roots.
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 holiday.
Coping with Stress
By Nancy Weshkoff
Life can be tough. You may find yourself in a situation where you are caring for children, in addition to aging parents. Employers are demanding more from employees, and with electronic media, jobs that were previously 9-5 are extending past this, as you may be expected to be checking and responding to emails in the morning or in the evenings. Teens and young adults find pressure from social media. Children are feeling stressed from rigid testing requirements. Yikes!
Stress has negative effects on our health. It contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US. Stress has also been linked to other health issues. We need to find healthy ways to cope with stress.
At Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, we have instituted a great, new program to help you cope with stress. On Tuesday nights at 7:30 PM, we have a “Stress Buster” group of classes, with each class designed to help you feel more relaxed and calmer. These classes range from meditation with mesmerizing singing bowls or guided meditation while comfortably seated in a chair, IET/angel healing where you can learn to work with the healing angels, a Reiki healing circle where you receive a relaxing Reiki treatment while reclining on a massage table, a candlelight restorative class to help you stretch and deeply relax with bolsters and blankets to support you, etc. Our great yoga and meditation teachers have designed these fabulous classes to help you feel calmer and relaxed, putting you on a path to good health.
If you are on the south shore of Long Island, in Nassau County (New York), come try one of these great yoga, meditation or specialty classes in our Stress-Buster series. Discover the calmness that comes from these relaxing classes!
NEW YEAR, NEW BEGINNINGS
By Nancy Weshkoff
There is something very special about the new year. It is a time for new beginnings. One of my favorite authors is Lucy Maud Montgomery who wrote the wonderful “Anne of Green Gables” series of books. In this series, Anne Shirley made this comment after having a not-so-good day: “Tomorrow is a brand new day with no mistakes in it.” How true! If there were some things in 2015 that didn’t turn out as planned, just say goodbye to that, and turn the page to 2016. It is a brand new year!
One of the best things to do for 2016 is to take care of YOU. If you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot take care of the others in your life who may need you – children, elderly parents, spouse, your boss and co-workers, friends, siblings, etc.
At Moonflower Yoga, we have a great selection of yoga and meditation classes where you can take care of you. In just one hour you can de-stress, learn to take some deep, cleansing breaths to remove tension, and engage in physical activity designed to help you become stronger, more flexible, and improve balance. If you are afraid to take that first step, don’t be! Everyone is welcome and greeted who walks through the door. Our class sizes are small and semi-private in nature (with generally no more than 6-8 students per class). We have great yoga teachers who will pay attention to you and help you with alignment and feeling comfortable. There are many props at Moonflower Yoga to support you. If you have difficulty with a standing class, we have Chair Yoga on Tuesday mornings where you’ll get a great workout and feel amazing while seated in a chair. Or come to a Tuesday meditation class and find some inner peace and relaxation.
Make 2016 a year in which you learn something new. You can join us for the Moonflower Yoga Needle Arts Group where you will learn how to knit, crochet, or quilt, or try the Moonflower Yoga Book Club and go on a wonderful journey with a fascinating book. There are great workshops on the schedule to start 2016 including a Feng Shui workshop to learn how to situate items in your environment to get the best energy flow, the Ayurveda workshop where you discover your “dosha” type and learn how following the lifestyle for your dosha can help you reduce stress, feel better and sleep better. Or learn a wonderful healing energy such as Reiki in our Reiki training sessions or Reiki Healing Circle. Discover essential oils and how they can fill your home with aromatic bliss while also providing other benefits, and learn to make homemade, organic gifts using essential oils. Most importantly, you can feel relaxed while meeting new people and making new friends in one of our great workshops, training sessions, or events.
Here is to 2016 and its new beginnings! If you are on Long Island, New York, in Nassau County, come give Moonflower Yoga a try in the town of Bellmore. We would love to help you start the new year with a great beginning!
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.