Spring is a Time for Renewal
By Nancy Weshkoff
Spring is a wonderful time of year. The plants and trees shake off remnants of winter and start to come into bloom. We have more daylight and start to feel more alive than when it is dark before 5 PM.
And, just like the plants and trees, spring is a time of renewal for us. Maybe you were more housebound and inactive during the winter months. With spring’s arrival it is time to dust off the cobwebs of winter and start to feel renewed and refreshed.
With the arrival of warmer weather, you start to wear thinner clothes. Wouldn’t it be great to feel toned in those lighter clothes? A great yoga class can help you tone and stretch your muscles, as well as improve strength, flexibility, and balance. If you are a beginner, that’s not a problem at Moonflower Yoga. We love beginners and offer beginner-level yoga classes 7 days a week. Remember EVERYONE was a beginner at one point. Just take that first step and you will feel amazing. Our yoga instructors give you personal attention to help you as you begin a yoga practice.
Clearing out the cobwebs is not just about our physical body. It is also true of our mind and thoughts. Do you brood about things from the past, which you cannot change because the past is over? Do you obsess and worry about the future, which you also cannot control? Stress is a leading cause of heart disease, and heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States behind all cancers combined. So what can you do to stop obsessing about past events and the future, reduce your stress levels, and work towards a healthy heart?
Having a meditation practice is a wonderful way to start taking care of your stress levels and feeling good about yourself. Moonflower Yoga offers several meditation classes including “Stretch and Meditate 101” on Thursdays, “Chair Body Stretch and Meditation” on Wednesdays at 6 PM, and a monthly “Less Stress” meditation on Tuesday nights. Plus the weekly Kundalini yoga classes on Thursday and Sunday offer some meditation in the practice. There are also great workshops on the Moonflower Yoga schedule which can help with stress reduction. And Reiki, which is offered at Moonflower Yoga, is a great way to take care of YOU.
Come join us this spring at Moonflower Yoga and take a step towards renewal for yourself! We are located in Bellmore, on the South Shore of Long Island in Nassau County, but we welcome students from all over Long Island including the neighboring towns of East Meadow, Merrick, Wantagh, Seaford, and Levittown. We look forward to guiding you to a great start to your spring!
Heart Disease: The Silent Killer for Women
By Nancy Weshkoff
February is Heart Health Month and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Movement, with February 5th designated as Go Red for Women Day. 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? 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.
– 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 such as art or coloring are meditative and can help lower your stress levels. A few days ago, we enjoyed coloring mandalas in our Kundalini and art workshop. We also have a fun Moonflower Yoga Book Club that meets every 4-6 weeks and an upcoming art workshop entitled “Collage for the Soul” where no prior art experience is needed and you learn to meditate through art. Or try something completely different and learn to how to read Tarot Cards in our upcoming Tarot Cards workshop. Spending time with your Tarot cards is very engaging and takes your mind off of your worries. These types of interesting and meditative activities can help you on the path of stress reduction and lowering your blood pressure.
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, 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. Let’s lower these frightening heart-disease numbers for women!