Summer Solstice 2014 and Sun Salute

Wishing you a joy filled Summer Solstice. Today is the beautiful solstice, where we celebrate the longest day of sunlight. The twilight hours—morning and evening—call us to make the journey back to our inner selves. Take the time today to notice the rising and setting sun. Feel the essence of her warmth and rays of light by chanting the beautiful mantra – Gayatri (Guy-ah-tree).

Invite the Gayatri into your Sun Salutation practice today.  This method of honoring the sun was  taught to me by my master teachers Joseph and Lilian Le Page, and taught to my students by me, and their students by them.  Invite the twelve words to flow to the twelve classical steps of the Surya Namaskar.

OM, bhur, bhuvah, swaha, tat, savitur, varenyaum
bhargo, devasya, dimahi, dhyo, yo nah, prachodayat

Translation by Joseph Le Page:

Om, body mind and spirit
That Sun God
That we venerate
May the divine light which we meditate upon
Inspire our vision and energy

NamasteWorks Summer Solstice

Interested in learning more about meditation and mantra as part of your journey to optimal health?  Contact NamasteWorks Yoga and Wellness.

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We offer specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, trainings, workshops and retreats – with healing at the focus.  We serve clients suffering with anxiety, depression, stress, structural issues and respiratory and digestive diseases that seek wellness.  We custom tailor each client’s wellness program based on a vision of health as a unity of body, mind and spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can Being Bound Teach You Something?

This month in our NamasteWorks Integrative Yoga Therapy Teacher training, lead instructor Jammie Speyer, taught a session to the student teachers on Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the synovial fluid in the body, attacking it instead of protecting it.  Joints are primarily affected, but the heart, lungs, eyes, and other organs can be affected as well.  While RA mainly affects the skeletal system of the body, it can also attack and damage the muscular, circulatory, digestive, and respiratory systems.

RA Workshop

To help student teachers “feel” some of the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, the students were bound at the joints.  Jammie then led them through a flow class, so that they could sense from the inside, what they observe happening from the outside.  Student teachers were able to feel for themselves, the difficulty of dropping into child’s or dog pose that seemed so simple just moments earlier.  Sensory exploration is one method employed to educate our student teachers about diseases and conditions. 

To learn more about our teacher training, CEUs, retreats and more, visit our site at http://www.namasteworksyoga.com

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We offer specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, trainings, workshops and retreats – with healing at the focus.  We serve clients suffering with anxiety, depression, stress, structural issues and respiratory and digestive diseases that seek wellness.  We custom tailor each client’s wellness program based on a vision of health as a unity of body, mind and spirit.

The Yoga Prescription

By Nancy Levenson

Having just returned from a week’s vacation, I picked up my mail and was stunned to see so many personal letters from friends and acquaintances.  I just love the old art of postage stamps and hand written addressed envelopes – it indicates someone took the time to send me something that touched them in a way that reminded them of me.  With elation, I opened one after the other, to find the same article included by each, The Yoga Prescription – The ancient practice goes from gym class to doctor’s orders.  By Laura Hilgers. 

This article which appears in the current issue of Oprah shares the story of Jacquelyn Jackson, former employee of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and the day her world changed in Tucson.  While reading her story and journey of her PTSD from the shooting and another personal tragedy, it reminded me of my own tragic day of being in New York on 9/11.  Jackson and I both sought out multiple healing therapies and modalities to recover from a tragic event.  She and I both found long-term relief and recovery from employing the tools of Yoga Therapy.

Yoga Therapy honors the integration of the principles and teachings of yoga and eastern philosophies with Western science and medicine.  Yoga Therapy is an invitation to discover yoga as a healing art, designed and customized for each specific client.  Through the process of working with a yoga therapist, one discovers the path to their own healing has always been inside themselves.

Today, medical and therapeutic professionals are discovering how the ancient art of Yoga Therapy compliments more traditional practices of medicine and talk therapy to enhance health and wellness at all levels of the person. 

 

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We offer specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, trainings, workshops and retreats – with healing at the focus.  We serve clients suffering with anxiety, depression, stress, structural issues and respiratory and digestive diseases that seek wellness.  We custom tailor each client’s wellness program based on a vision of health as a unity of body, mind and spirit.

Effects of Yoga Versus Walking on Mood, Anxiety, and Brain GABA Levels

by:  Nancy Levenson

Just as yoga has many faces; Integrative Yoga Therapy, Birkram, Iyengar, Ashtanga, etc., depression too has many faces; minor, clinical, severe, seasonal and, episodic.  In a study published in 2010 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers set out to determine if the effects of yoga could increase GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) levels of the brain, enhance mood and reduce anxiety of the participants.

GABA is a major neurotransmitter and regulator of our nervous system. The nervous system governs the activities of our body and is responsible for the voluntary conscious and automatic non-conscious activity.  GABA’s role is in the nervous system is to work as an antagonist, firing neurons that block chemicals and induce calming effect.  GABA can be said to support the nervous systems – parasympathetic system, that system of the body responsible for inducing relaxation.

During this research study of a yoga and control group,  the team measured  GABA levels before and after practicing yoga and found that GABA levels had risen by an average 27%.  Mood levels were improved and anxiety lessened in the participants. This led to their conclusion that yoga was an ideal protocol for treating anxiety and depression.  Read the entire research study here.

In my yoga therapy practice, I offer clients one-on-one movement based on their initial health and wellness.  Not every client experiences depression or anxiety in the same way.  In some cases, a client experiencing hyper related symptoms will be guided through a Langhana practice to support their healing, while a client with hypo conditions may undertake a more Brahmana practice.  In both cases, clients participate in a holistic approach to their healing that includes movement, breathing exercises, energy movement, emotional healing, meditation, and lifestyle awareness and tools.  Supporting your healing with the right type of yoga is as important as choosing the right medication and dosage.

Joyful Warrior - NamasteWorksWe also offer an annual program, The Joyful Warrior – bringing more joy into your life through yoga.  This program is offered in a small group setting for a six week period to help clients lift their mood, create movement and share with one another.

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We offer specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, trainings, workshops and retreats – with healing at the focus.  We serve clients suffering with anxiety, depression, stress, structural issues and respiratory and digestive diseases that seek wellness.  We custom tailor each client’s wellness program based on a vision of health as a unity of body, mind and spirit.

Enhancing Mood with Mudras, Movement and Meditation

Enhancing Mood with Mudras, Movement and Meditation – One Day Only
June 11, 8:30-10:30 am, $19.

Explore your primal nature in this two hour blended yoga class. We will go on a journey through free form movement of the body blending yoga, somatics and ballet, finding and moving the breath with mudras and dropping into a deep meditative state with Yoga Nidra – all in an effort to enhance mood, release stress and find joy! Taught by Nancy Levenson of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness. 5860 S. Curtice Street, Littleton. RSVP required, no drops in, class limited to ten. To Register send an email via the contact form or call 303.725.1434.

 Nancy specializes in yoga therapy for depression and respiratory ailments.

The 5 Pranavayus – Opening to Lightness and Joy – June 8

One Evening ONLY
Wednesday June 8, 2011
5:30-7:30 pm, $19 

Discover the exhilarating joy of mastering your internal winds (the breath/prana) to provide vitality to your body, breath and mind.  If you desire to enhance your overall respiratory, digestive and circulatory health, then join this evening workshop on the ancient yogic mastery of The 5 Pranavayus.  In this two hour experiential and informational evening you will discover that Prana is the radiance of life itself, the moving force behind sensation, the tool to dispel of impurities, and the source to bring balance back to the body. You will be given a map for this holistic journey. 

Taught by Nancy Levenson, yoga therapist of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness.  5860 S. Curtice Street, Littleton.  RSVP required, no drops in, class limited to ten. To reserve a spot, send an email through the contact form or call 303.725.1434.

Alternative Healing for Depression in Elderly Adults

From time to time our site shares some interestering articles by guest authors. Alternative Healing for Deression in Elderly Adults, Researched and Written by Meghan E. Ecklund, touches on new modalities that seek to offer a holistic approach to healing.

Alternative Healing for Depression in Elderly Adults

Most everyone has felt sad or depressed at times. In the self-help section of any bookstore there are many titles that strive to help individuals deal with their moods. There are compilations of stories to inspire and sympathize with emotions and life’s tough situations. Feeling depressed is a reaction to loss, life struggles or going through rough times, and an injured self-esteem. When feelings of intense sadness, including helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness, last for days or weeks at a time, and start to keep you from functioning normally, then you may have clinical depression. Clinical Depression is a growing problem in the human populace today. Nearly 10% of Americans suffer from depression each year . Of that number, 6 million cases of depression are seen in elderly Americans age 65 and older . (Read the full article)

Yoga Therapy – A New or Old Path to Wellness

As the New Year approaches, almost all of us consider ways in which we could be healthier. For those of us with chronic health conditions or overweight, it’s not always that easy to add this to our resolution list. Perhaps, yoga therapy is a path to consider for 2011.

Yoga therapy is not a new emerging field of wellness, yet it differs from what most Westerners have experienced as yoga classes. With its roots dating back thousands of years, yoga therapy is now finding its way as a primary vehicle for optimal wellness for individuals with all sorts of conditions because of its ability to promote health and healing at all levels of a being simultaneously.

Yoga Therapy takes a holistic approach, tapping into the physical, energetic, emotional and spiritual dimensions of an individual, and places equal emphasis on each area of their health. For many of us, symptoms of an illness or disease may occur first in our physical body. We might notice a shortness of breath, a lump in our body, thinning hair, digestive issues or a whole host of other symptoms that lead us to seek health-care.

But to treat just the physical body is to not solve the underlying condition that may have led to our symptoms and illness in the first place. In the case of individuals suffering from depression, to treat just the mind body doesn’t lead to optimal health either.

Thus, a yoga therapist works with their client’s condition in mind at all times and respects that the client is more than just a physical body in their approach to healing. While most yoga postures have therapeutic applications, yoga therapy employs a whole host of yoga tools in addition to postures, to help guide the client back towards optimal wellness, which is after all our true nature.

“Unlike a traditional yoga class where you conform to a given practice, in yoga therapy, the class, conforms to you and what you need to move forward on your path of healing,” said, Nancy Levenson, founder of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness a new therapeutic wellness center that opened in downtown Littleton this October.

Yoga therapy is applicable to individuals or groups with specific health challenges such as cancer, asthma, stress, anxiety, auto-immune disorders, digestive disorders, obesity or structural issues like chronic back pain. NamasteWorks Yoga and Wellness offers their clients unique six and eight week wellness programs focused on total back-care, depression, anxiety, breast cancer and yoga specially tailored to plus-sized individuals.

As approaches to health continue to evolve, yoga therapy will play a major role in the healing path for those individuals who chose wellness over illness. So perhaps, 2011 is the year to place optimal health on the resolution list once and for all.

© Namasteworks Yoga + Wellness, LLC. Founder, Nancy Levenson, Serving the Highlands Ranch and Littleton, CO communities. http://www.namasteworksyoga.com

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness Center Open House

Open House, October 23rd, 11-2pm  

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness
New Therapeutic Yoga Center
A Place to Discover Yoga As A Healing Art
5860 South Curtice Street
Littleton, Colorado 80120-1909
  

Please stop in and join us for an open house to our new center, meet us in person, visit the space and learn about our upcoming programs.

Directions to our center – Located in the heart of Downtown Old Littleton, this warm and supportive space is on the upper floor of a home built in 1906, now named the Curtice Center. Travelling North on Sante Fe Drive, turn right on Church Street, take 2nd left on S. Curtice Street, house is on the right hand side. Travelling South on Sante Fe Drive, turn left on W. Alamo Ave/Bowles, take 2nd right on S. Curtice Street, house is on the left hand side. Two Hour on-street parking only.