Yoga and Your Bone Health
By Nancy Weshkoff
As an avid fan of yoga for many years, as well as a yoga teacher, I have experienced firsthand the many benefits of yoga. It is a wonderful practice for helping you feel great, reduce your stress, while teaching you to worry less as you focus on the present moment. The breathing techniques that you learn also calm you while bringing more oxygen to your organs. And your balance improves, which is very important as we age.
Did you know that yoga is also good for your bone health? Many of the poses that you do in yoga are weight bearing which helps to strengthen your bones. In a recent study, Dr. Loren Fishman tested the benefits of yoga on seniors who were suffering from osteoporosis or osteopenia. In this study, the test group performed a standard set of yoga poses on a regular basis. The test was conducted over a 10-year period with more than 90,000 hours of yoga practiced by 741 participants. The results were eye opening. During this period, no fractures or serious injuries of any kind were reported by the participants. Several participants also showed better internal support for their bones. There were also improvements in posture and balance. All of this is great news. Plus with yoga, there are no harmful side effects which you might experience from certain medications.
Yoga can be practiced at ANY AGE. At Moonflower Yoga, located in Bellmore, in Nassau County, Long Island (New York), we have students ranging from children to seniors. No matter what your age, you can always work on improving your bone health, as well as your health in general. If you have never tried yoga before, give one of our great beginner yoga classes a try. Our dedicated yoga teachers are here to help you, and Moonflower Yoga has a small class setting with personal attention, so we can work closely with you as you learn. Keeping your bones healthy is so important! A fracture or fall can be devastating. Come check out one of our great yoga classes and help improve your bone health today.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
Yoga and Friendship
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
When I first started practicing yoga many years ago, I met some amazing people who were also attending the same yoga class as me. What started on the first day as a hello then developed into something much deeper. As we practiced together, we became friends. Over the years, that friendship became stronger, and my best friends today are those same amazing women that I met at a yoga class years earlier. One of them moved out of state but came back to Long Island to attend a family event this week. And, of course, we had a yoga session together. Later in the evening, all the “yoginis” got together and we shared a wonderful dinner laughing and loving each other’s company. It is because of yoga that I met these incredible women who became my dear friends.
In creating Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, New York, in Long Island’s Nassau County, I wanted to have a studio which made this type of friendship possible. Moonflower Yoga has small-sized yoga classes that provide a more intimate experience. And with that experience, comes the opportunity of getting to know the fellow students who are attending the yoga class with you. I am so pleased when I see friendships forming and the laughter and joy that comes from sharing a yoga practice with new friends – people that never met each other before walking into the doors of Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore.
I have heard people say they practice yoga by watching a yoga DVD. And, yes, you can learn a bit about yoga from watching a yoga DVD. But when you come to Moonflower Yoga, you will have a great yoga teacher who will pay close attention to you and help make sure you are doing the pose correctly and you will have a variety of great yoga classes from which you can choose. And you also gain something else when you practice at Moonflower Yoga as opposed to being alone in your living room. You will meet new people and create new friendships. And, like me, some of these new people that you meet at your yoga class can become your best friends in life. How wonderful is that!
If you are in Bellmore, in Long Island’s Nassau County, come try a yoga class at Moonflower Yoga. Your first class is free. You can have a great yoga experience, become physically stronger, and meet someone new. Is there a new friendship in your future?
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
Spring officially arrives this week on March 22. While spring is always one of my favorite times of the year, I am particularly looking forward to this one. Here in Bellmore, Long Island, it has felt like we have been in a bad period starting with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, followed by a cold winter with snow and a record blizzard in some parts of Long Island.
And now here comes spring. Spring means new beginnings. Despite so much bad weather, miraculously spring bulbs have come alive with green leaves coming up from the ground. Some of the bulbs have also started to flower. You can’t help but smile when you see life coming back to the earth again.
Like those spring bulbs, we start to dust off the bad memories of the last several months too. Our bodies react positively to more daylight and patches of warmer weather. Yoga provides a great way for us to come alive too. You will gain better strength and flexibility. The deep, cleansing breaths that are part of a yoga practice provide more oxygen to the organs of the body enabling them to function better. And practicing yoga in a small class setting such as Moonflower Yoga enables you to get to know the people in the studio practicing with you and to forge new relationships or rekindle old ones. In this past week at Moonflower Yoga, there were two separate incidents of people who have not seen each other for years coincidentally taking the same yoga class together at Moonflower Yoga and having a great time doing so while catching up in a positive way on how they have been doing. It reminds me of those spring bulbs coming to life again.
Come visit the Moonflower Yoga studio if you are in the area of Bellmore in Long Island’s Nassau County. Try one of the great yoga classes that we have lovingly put together for you by our fabulous teachers. Dust off the winter cobwebs and spring to life!
Yoga has changed the course of my life. Can it change yours too?
More than a dozen years ago, I noticed that my local gym was offering a new yoga class. I decided to give it a try. I instantly fell in love. This was different than working out on machines at the gym or taking various aerobics classes. I loved the flow of the class. And you got to take a long relaxation at the end of the class!
Over the years, my practice has grown, and I have gotten stronger and more flexible. But something more important has happened. When life was stressful, either from work or the challenges that life throws at you, it was on my yoga mat that I found inner peace. Going to my yoga classes, moving, breathing, and taking a break from those stresses enabled me to release some of that tension in a positive way and feel better. And I also developed a new circle of friends from attending classes, many of whom remain close friends today.
And then a year ago, a whole new set of challenges started to unfold. My husband lost his job of 30 years when his company went bankrupt. Three months later, I was told that my position of 18 years was coming to an end because of the sale of the company that employed me. In a tough economy, this is not the news you want to hear. For my husband, he found a great new job that he likes. For me, the job search was hitting brick walls. What to do?
I decided to turn to what always helped me when life was stressful: my yoga practice. I enrolled in a teacher training program and fell in love with the teaching. I started to realize this is where I wanted to be: helping and teaching others. But in order to truly do this in a way that I wanted, I felt I needed my own small yoga studio. And I wanted to reach fellow baby boomers, as well as beginners of all ages, who have been afraid to try yoga because they couldn’t do complex poses. This was the genesis for forming my new yoga studio, Moonflower Yoga, which offers small class sizes and personal attention. In addition to the classes I teach, I have some wonderful teachers working with me at Moonflower Yoga, and they designed interesting classes for different fitness levels. Moonflower’s philosophy is to make yoga enjoyable for everyone and to create a sense of community from its weekly workshops and small class settings. If you live or visit Long Island, New York, come stop by and try a class or workshop at the studio!
So yoga changed my life: It helped me deal with some very difficult times. I have built physical strength and flexibility and met some wonderful people. And it changed the course of the direction in my life, as I am now the proud owner of my own yoga studio opening in September, 2012. Owning a studio also has some interesting moments, and I’m hoping to share those with you in future blogs.
Tell me about your positive yoga experiences. How has yoga helped you?