Yoga’s Healthy Heart Program – Love Your Heart

Yoga’s Healthy Heart Program – Love Your Heart

February is Heart Awareness Month and we invite you to Love Your Heart.  Every 34 seconds someone in the United States has a heart attack, while each minute, someone dies from a heart disease-related event.1   Many of these could have been prevented.  In addition, depression has been shown to increase your risk for a heart attack.

No matter what shape your heart is in, starting a preventive practice that includes yoga can be beneficial to enhancing your wellness. Your heart keeps you alive and pumps over 100,000 times per day. Starting a breath with movement practice that includes pranayama (breathing exercises) and other tools of yoga can help you to lower blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart.  Integrative Yoga Therapy has been running a Healthy Heart program for over a decade that supports a reduction in blood pressure.

This month, we are offering a unique program on February 22, 2018 –  “The Story in Your Heart”.  In this integrative mind/body program, you will let go and let flow from the heart.  This program involves yoga, meditation and story writing.  Writing from the heart can greatly reduce our stress and anxiety.    We encourage you to Love Your Heart this month.  For more details about the program, go to  “The Story in Your Heart”.  We are also happy to answer any of your questions about our program or your heart concerns.  Just give us a call at 303.725.1434.

1. http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_disease.htm

 

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We are a private sanctuary located in the heart of Highlands Ranch that offers specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, teacher training, workshops and retreats.  Our founder is Nancy Levenson, a certified yoga therapist trained through Integrative Yoga Therapy with a focus on providing wellness to our community.  To inquire about any of our programs, reach us on our contact form, or call us directly at 303.725.1434.

 

 

 

 

 

Unwrapping Yoga for Chronic Pain – A Yoga Teacher Workshop – 5 CEU’s

Unwrapping Yoga for Chronic Pain – A Yoga Teacher Workshop – 5 CEU’s

Saturday – April 14, 2018 –
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Unwrapping Yoga for Chronic Pain – 5 CEU’s for Yoga Instructors

A yoga teacher and wellness professional workshop for those that desire to support their clients suffering from chronic pain. In this workshop you will learn about chronic pain, forms of debilitating joint disorders, embody the messages of pain yourself (yes, we want you to feel the same sensations and emotions that your client feels) through an experiential yoga practice and, walk away with the tools to support your clients through the lens of the 5 Koshas. This program is rich with hands on practice and you will leave with detailed fact sheets on mudras, meditation, pranayama and asana specific for chronic pain.

This program is offered by Nancy Levenson, C-IAYT, 500 E-RYT, and restorative yoga instructor in combination with Jammie Speyer, Certified Yoga Instructor.  Nancy has been working with clients with chronic pain for over a decade and Jammie has been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis since she was 6.  Together, they have been guiding teachers in the health and wellness of clients with chronic pain.

This unique workshop is only $129. Our Early Bird Sign up by March 15 is $99.   To RSVP your space with a MC or Visa payment, call 303.725.1434 or send us a contact message for us to reach out to you.

The program offers 5 CEU’s through Yoga Alliance and is limited to twelve participants and is located at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, private studio at 8981 Stonecrest Way, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129.

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We are a private sanctuary located in the heart of Highlands Ranch that offers specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, teacher training, workshops and retreats.  Our founder is Nancy Levenson, a certified yoga therapist with a focus on providing wellness to our community.  To inquire about any of our programs, reach us on our contact form, or call us directly at 303.725.1434.

The Story in Your Heart – Meditation, Yoga & Story Telling for a Healthy Heart

The Story in Your Heart – Meditation, Yoga & Story Telling for a Healthy Heart

February is Healthy Heart Month and writing from the heart can be an effective tool in welcoming your feelings and emotions and reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Your heart is meant to feel and your lungs are meant to breathe. Not to feel is to stop your precious heart from breathing. In this integrative mind/body program, you will let go and let flow from the heart.

The Story in Your Heart
A Meditation, Yoga & Story Telling Exploration
Thursday February 22, 2018
6-8:30 PM

Our time together will start with an opening meditation followed by a heart flowing yoga session. Throughout the session, you will be prompted with touchstones to your heart and with paper and pen, crayon or marker in hand, you will begin a journey to the story in your heart. Each of us has a unique story to tell, and your own words have the power to transform you. You will be guided to trust your own voice, navigate your own feelings and, bring your story to life. We will then sit in community and share our stories (if you choose) with one another, supporting and touching each other’s hearts. Please bring a yoga mat and your open heart.

Program cost is $29.

Cardiovascular disease knows no borders. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.3 million deaths each year. Love Your Heart and register for this one-of-a-kind program. RSVP by calling 303.725.1434 to register with your Visa or MC. Or, send us an email at info@namasteworksyoga.com. This program is limited to 12 participants.

This program is held at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, 8981 Stonecrest Way – a private studio located in the heart of Highlands Ranch.

Inspiring Yoga’s Wings To Breathe – Yoga Therapy RX

Inspiring Yoga’s Wings To Breathe – Yoga Therapy RX

How can we remain true to the tradition of yoga and still allow for the creative shifts of the 21st century?  The ultimate goal of yoga is Self–knowledge, and the role of the yoga therapist/teacher is to assist people in becoming more self-aware. The Yoga Sutras, Eight Limbs, and the 5-Koshas are a framework and methodology of self-study that has been honed over thousands of years. It is important that we teach from this framework. New methods and ideas can be incorporated into yoga if they support the goal of Self–knowledge. Any practices we introduce should support healing and awareness at the levels of the koshas, and not become ends in themselves. We should guard against “re-inventing the wheel. New insights can come after many years of studying the same material. It is important to be humble, and continue learning and studying. But we also have to make our practice alive. We lead very different lives today than people did a thousand years ago. Yoga may need to nurture us in ways that are different from what people needed then. We should not be so bound to tradition that our practice becomes rote.

I think it comes down to having dedication to the teachings and traditions of yoga while bringing them alive, for ourselves and others. Humans are always on the search for novelty. This may be our best and worst trait! It is inevitable that as we continue to evolve, our practices for health and spirituality will continue to evolve too. My tai chi teacher once asked our class to consider not just what we take from tai chi, but also what we bring to it. This helped me to understand tai chi as a living art, expressed through the people who practice it. I see yoga the same way. It is important to adapt it to our 21st century lives, but we have to remain true to its original intent.

This is A Yogic Perspective by  Susan Moore. Susan has just completed her Integrative Yoga Therapy Mentorship program with her mentor, Nancy Levenson.

 

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We are a private sanctuary located in the heart of Highlands Ranch that offers specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, teacher training, workshops and retreats.  Our founder is Nancy Levenson, a certified yoga therapist with a focus on providing wellness to our community.  To inquire about any of our programs, reach us on our contact form, or call us directly at 303.725.1434.

Delight In Whatever Unfolds For You – Yoga Therapy RX

Delight In Whatever Unfolds For You – Yoga Therapy RX

Everyday we are given an opportunity to delve deep into our senses, feelings, emotions and thoughts.  The moment we open our eyes a new day opens us up to step into the world of wonder.  Before we even leave our bed, we can drop deep into the sensation of self, recognizing the gift of breath, the gift of being alive, and the gift of a new day.  We can explore our own inner world before we take flight into the outer world.  Using this valuable time to acknowledge what we love about ourselves first, invites us to welcome the day in a whole different way.  When we embrace everything that is arriving, we can savor every single moment.  We can even recognize moments of conflict and agitation as opportunities for us to delight in whatever is unfolding around and within us.

Stress is the leading cause of doctor visits in the US today.  Suffering affects all levels of our being – physical, energetic, mental and spiritual.  Suffering starts from within.  As a society, we live in a stress response and we wake up ready to battle.  We begin with an internal fight with ourselves – many times negating our own value and self-worth.  And we bring that energy forward into our day, especially during stressful times like the holidays.   We are the visionaries of the design of our day.    Much like a lotus flower, we can choose to unfold each petal and offer affection, tenderness, kindness, compassion, and more, making room for whatever comes our way.  When we embrace each day with this attitude and awareness, we are doing our part to keep the channels of abundance open for ourselves and others.  With delight go out and enjoy the day.  And, if you are feeling overwhelmed, consider yoga therapy where we can work together to tackle stress from a holistic perspective.  As a yoga therapist, I’ve helped hundreds of clients move from dis-ease to ease in their lives.  Consider unfolding a whole new you in 2018.

 

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We are a private sanctuary located in the heart of Highlands Ranch that offers specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, teacher training, workshops and retreats.  Our founder is Nancy Levenson, a certified yoga therapist with a focus on providing wellness to our community.  To inquire about any of our programs, reach us on our contact form, or call us directly at 303.725.1434.

Give The Gift of Tranquility – A Four Week Meditation Series

Give The Gift of Tranquility – A Four Week Meditation Series

Desire to step into a space of peacefulness and tranquility and even receive deep renewal at the end of the day?  Consider joining a four week series on meditation at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness private studio located in Highlands Ranch.  This four week series begins February 7 and runs through February 28.  Class is held each Wednesday evening  from 6PM – 7PM.  Each week we will explore a different meditation strategy to help you connect to yourself at a deeper level and develop a personal home meditation strategy.  We will explore Shamatha Meditation and explore different breathing techniques, Metta Meditation to leave us free from stress and end your day with loving kindness, a Mudra Meditation using chant and hand movements, and end with a deep sleep meditation known as Yoga Nidra for those that need not only tranquil time, but deep renewal.

This four week series is only $49.

Gift the gift of mindfulness to yourself or someone you love. Invite yourself to deepen your own thought process during 2018.   If you prefer personal sessions, that can be arranged too!  Contact us at 303.725.1434 or via our contact form.  We accept Visa and MC and will send you or your loved one a gift certificate.  For Holiday Gift Giving, certificates bought by December 18th will be mailed.  Certificates purchased after this date will be sent to the email you provide.  You can also register for this class up to January 31st.

 

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We are a private sanctuary located in the heart of Highlands Ranch that offers specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, teacher training, workshops and retreats.  Our founder is Nancy Levenson, a certified yoga therapist with a focus on providing wellness to our community.  To inquire about any of our programs, reach us on our contact form, or call us directly at 303.725.1434.

Bone Health and Downward Facing Dog

Bone Health and Downward Facing Dog

We may not think about our bones very often, but at this time of year, it’s easy to see our skeleton everywhere. Yoga is a great vehicle for supporting the health of our bones. Let’s explore a few bone facts and take a look at Downward Facing Dog, one pose that activates every bone of the body.

• Bones are a living and active part of the body
• On average, your entire skeleton is renewed every 10 years
• 1 million sites are operating at any given moment in the skeleton
• Osteoclasts chew at our bones and Osteoblasts build the bone back up
• But when Osteoclasts start outpacing Osteoblasts, we start to lose bone
• Osteoporosis – literally, porous bone. It is a progressive loss of bone that results in bone thinning and increased vulnerability for the “F”WORD – Fracture.

Applying pressure to the bones and stimulation of the bones is helpful for bone growth and strength. Downward Facing Dog invites us to explore our entire skeletal system all at once, both the axial and appendicular skeletal systems are activated. All 206 bones of the body play a role in this pose. Step into the pose now and notice how each bone responds. Sense every bone from your skull down through the small bones of the hands and feet. Sense the strength in the large bones of the legs, as they rest inside the hip sockets and pelvis. Feel the freeing energy as it releases through your back body, travelling down the sacrum, through the spine, ribs, meeting at the scapula. Hold the pose for several breaths, bringing to mind the action of each bone.

And just like that, we stimulated every bone of the body.

 

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We are a private sanctuary located in the heart of Highlands Ranch that offers specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, teacher training, workshops and retreats.  Our founder is Nancy Levenson, a certified yoga therapist with a focus on providing wellness to our community.  To inquire about any of our programs, reach us on our contact form, or call us directly at 303.725.1434.

A special Halloween Class – The Mask I Wear

A special Halloween Class – The Mask I Wear

Come join us as we take you on a magical journey of deep meditation into your inner characters followed by yoga movement and poetic creativity.  You’ll delight in a different way to celebrate the many masks you wear.  Please come with a Halloween face mask, your yoga mat and eye pillow and a whimsical spirit. Your spirit guides for the night will be Nancy Levenson and Courtney O’Malley.

 

Date:  Thursday, October 26
Time:  6-8PM
Location:  NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness Studio – 8981 Stonecrest Way – Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
Cost:  $19 per person, adults only

RSVP:  Via the contact form or call 303.725.1434

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is a private yoga studio located in the heart of Highlands Ranch.  Come Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.

Finding Our True Body Through the Practice of Yoga

Finding Our True Body Through the Practice of Yoga

Commentary by Ana Balzar

Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word, which means, “to join” or “to yoke.” So, what exactly are we “joining” or “yoking” in yoga? In short, yoga is teaching us the means of attaining union of the individual soul with the universal soul by bringing us (the individual soul) to a greater level of self-awareness and self-realization so that we can one day achieve enlightenment. In many ways, the practice of yoga is about unlearning habits that the human world teaches us, which ultimately causes much of our suffering, and keeps us from attaining our Bliss. Yoga is a journey to our True Self, the Self that exists deep inside all of us, but is often covered by layers of muck we acquire as we journey through life.  Sometimes the muck comes from society, sometimes from the ones closest to us, and other times it is our own muck, the expectations we hold for ourselves in our mind that keep us away from our True Self.

Lately, I have been reflecting on the physical body in relation to the journey towards the True Self. In the West, our physical body is a representation of ourselves to the world. People read our identities on our bodies, we judge lifestyles from bodies, we perceive socio-economic status from bodies, we determine worth, predict behavior, and we often have a whole range of reactions and feelings based solely on how we read each other’s bodies: whether it’s love, discrimination and hate, judgment, appreciation, or perceptions of beauty, our bodies represent us, whether the stories other people read on us are accurate or not. How we read the physical body is dependent on our experiences in the world, and it’s also based on societal norms and standards for bodies. To see what kinds of bodies are valued most in this society, all you have to do is look at the covers of magazines: the women are predominantly white, skinny and blonde, with expensive clothes and perfect looking skin and teeth. We are generally not taught to embrace ourselves—the messages we receive tell us to exist within a certain kind of box.  It’s no wonder that we have an eating disorder pandemic, and that the beauty and diet industries are one of the most profitable businesses out there. Whatever happened to being happy? To being true to who we really are? There has been a lot of push back in recent years: from the happiness movement, to an increase in more body positive images in the media, however there’s a lot of work to be done to change societal and personal messages we’ve been receiving our entire lives.

I’ve gone through my own struggles with my body: my body image has often been a source of suffering for me, a layer of muck I’ve had to learn how to clean in order to know my True Self.  Many women experience these struggles in different ways- whether they are perceived as fat, skinny, curvy, overweight, stick thin- it doesn’t matter. Someone, somewhere along the line has said something to us about our body that has made us want to change it.

For instance, at the age of 11, I was teased about my body size for the first time. At the age of 13 a teacher of mine remarked on all the weight I’d gained over the summer, publicly, in front of all my other classmates. I remember pinching my stomach and the sides of my belly, I remember pulling back the fat of my inner thighs and imagining my legs slim like a model, imagining myself beautiful, skinny, and wanted. I controlled how I ate for a few years, and I lost 20lbs at one point, and then I gained it all back. I tried diets, I tried baggy clothing, I exercised obsessively, I cut out all dessert, all carbs, and all things delicious, to become my perception of thin. And I never got there- it’s never quite good enough. I have curves: breasts, hips, and thighs that will never fit into size 2 or 4 jeans unless I starve myself and end up in a hospital bed.  Though there was suffering through those years, the journey led me to discover my True physical body- and it looks different than anyone else’s True physical body, as its meant to. Sometimes you have to do everything wrong in order to understand and learn what’s right for YOU.

After years of torturing myself over my body appearance, I entered into the world of yoga. Not because I thought it would help me change my relationship to my body, but because I thought it would help me mold my body into what I wanted it to be.  I’d read articles about women losing weight from a regular yoga practice, so I thought I would try it too, in hopes that it would work those same miracles for me. Instead of losing pounds, I gained deep self-awareness of my body. I heard my body speak to me, and for the first time I truly listened to what it was trying to tell me all these years. Instead of silencing it with diets, mindless gym exercises, regimented eating schedules, I listened and heard all the ways it wanted to move, how it desired to be fed, when it wanted to rest. It took me years of listening and practicing to understand my body, and when I did, I achieved true contentment in my physical form. I wasn’t denying myself food that I love to eat, I wasn’t doing exercises that I hated doing- everything about the way I moved my body, what I chose to put in my body was about MY desires, not how others were telling me to treat my body. I discovered that dark chocolate with almonds is my staple dessert, and that my body will tell me when it craves it. I discovered that my body loves to run outside because it allows me to connect with nature, because it builds my strength, because it gives me peace and time for myself. My body loves to experience movement through dance, through different types of yoga, and through barre classes.  My body wants to build strength, and that’s how it experiences its beauty. Sometimes, my body just wants to rest, and I shouldn’t push my body when it wants to be still even if my mind is telling me that it “should” exercise. My body craves a mostly vegetarian diet because that’s when it feels light, content and energized for the day. There are days my body wants meat and chips and ice cream. And so, I listen to it. Because that’s what it means to follow your Body’s Bliss. Ever since I’ve been following this Bliss, my body has been happy, and I’ve never been happier with my body. I’m still a size 12, like I’ve been most of my life. There are many ways to be a size 12- but this size 12 fits my body and my bliss. The size doesn’t matter- it’s how you feel in whatever size pants you wear, whether you are a size 2 or a size 16. This size is right for my body; this way of existing is how my body is at peace and in health.

Let your focus be your True Body, not your imagined body. Don’t use the scale to determine whether your body is where it should be. Let your body speak to you, and then listen to it with every beat of your heart because by listening, your body will teach you how to truly love all of yourself.

Ana Balzar is an MSW and Certified Yoga Instructor.  She received her 200HR Integrative Yoga Therapy Teacher Training at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness.  NamasteWorks Yoga is a private yoga center in Highlands Ranch Colorado offering private yoga sessions and teacher training.

Yoga Teacher Training – Highlands Ranch – A Perspective on Choosing the Right School

Yoga Teacher Training – Highlands Ranch – A Perspective on Choosing the Right School

Embark on a Yoga Training that Supports You First, then Others.  Yoga Teacher training is growing in popularity every year, and program costs merit that you spend the time, to ensure you are making the right choice for your future.

These are my personal recommendations to help you maneuver through the maze of options.   I’ve mentored many students over the past seven years of providing training, and many I’ve encouraged to go elsewhere. If you still need guidance after reading this, consider setting up a FREE 30 minute consultation with me.

Rather than simply going to the studio closest to your home, the one you take classes from or the one that’s the cheapest, it is worthwhile to look for the right school and the right person/team to train you. You need to find someone who is experienced and whose teaching style and personality you find inspiring.

It really depends on what you want out of your yoga training. If your interest lies in getting into teaching as fast as you can with limited focus on the eight limbs of yoga, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, asanas,  adjustments, pranayama, mediation, philosophy, Koshas, etc. then choosing a weekend program may be right for you. However, if you want an in-depth understanding of the yogic process, a well accredited school is worth every penny spent.

Read more