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.

What’s so special about that?

What’s so special about that?

One day, a religious leader came to the Buddha and asked, “When one follows your Way, what does one do in daily life?”  The Buddha replied, “One walks, stands, sits, lies down, eats, and drinks.”  The man asked, “What is so special about that?”  And the Buddha answered, “An ordinary person, though walking, standing, lying down, eating, or drinking, does not know that he is walking, standing, lying down, eating or drinking.  When a practitioner of the Way walks, he knows that he is walking.  When he stands, he knows that he is standing.”  – Sulak Sivaraksa

This is mindfulness – so simple, yet so difficult.  For some mindfulness is a way of life, for others a lost art.  How many of us can classify ourselves as ordinary?  We go through life with little or no consciousness as to each moment that we are gifted.  We have become so disconnected from our inner world, that we live in the outer world with the same awareness. We end most of our days reminding ourselves of our accomplishments and planning for our tomorrow, but to what degree were we truly present to any experience?

When working with clients, privately or in groups, they are asked to leave the past behind, forget the future exists, and explore the present.  To what extent can they take their awareness to the now. They are asked to explore their body, just as it is, to notice the nuances of the breath and how the breath and body co-exist.  Taken even deeper, we explore the mind-body by witnessing, not judging or editing or altering.  We simply bring ourselves into full awareness and learn to reprogram ourselves to be mindful if, only for just this moment.  Mindfulness is not another goal to achieve, rather it is a state of being truly alive.   And when we are alive, mindfulness invokes an awareness that everything is special, every step, every breath, and every moment.  After all, who among us desires to be ordinary?

If you are looking to explore mindfulness as a method to reduce anxiety or just be connected to the present moment, contact us for a private session or to join one of our outdoor or indoor programs.

by Nancy Levenson, Founder and Yoga Therapist at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC.

 

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, Meet the Owner, Nancy Levenson

Nancy Levenson, Founder NamasteWorks Yoga + WellnessNancy Levenson is founder of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, a premier provider of mind/body wellness services.  Nancy’s mantra is helping others find their inner SPARKLE and their personal path to wholeness. Her areas of fascination and expertise, blends classical yoga of the physical, energy, and mind bodies with nature in guiding clients to discover their own innate healing process and light. If she could, she would sprinkle JOY in everyone’s life and remind them of their own true nature as a path to wholeness.

Nancy’s primary focus is working with clients suffering from depression, anxiety and stress. She approaches each client with an integrated and holistic plan that revolves around the 5 Kosha Model to wellness, body/mind/energy/wisdom and bliss . She describes her style of yoga as compassionate, expressive and spiritual.  She has also spent over a decade focusing on clients suffering from Back Pain, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Parkinson’s and other nervous system disorders like POTS.

She understands first-hand the impact of stress and illness to the body. Having had her own stress related career and subsequent meltdown and seeing her aging father undergo a loss of total body use. Nancy has since committed herself to her yoga therapy practice and the tremendous gift of offering wellness services to others.

She says her journey and love of yoga and nature is always expanding.  After completing her 200-HR yoga instructor certification, she went on to complete a 500-HR E-RYT yoga certification, followed by another few years of deeper study to become a C-IAYT, Certified Yoga Therapist. She is also a certified in Restorative Yoga and AyurYoga, blending Yoga with the sister science of Ayurveda,  and most recently has been studying nature wisdom and healing.  She counts among her influential teachers, Joseph & Lillian LePage, where she received her yoga therapy training through Integrative Yoga Therapy, Judith Hansen Lasater, the guru of restorative yoga and Gary Kraftsow, founder of Viniyoga.

In addition, Nancy is the Program Director for the Integrative Yoga Therapy 200-HR teacher training offered in Colorado and has trained many of the local teachers in the community and state.  She is also an Integrative Yoga Therapy mentor for students completing the rigorous multi-year Yoga Therapist Certification.

Prior to opening her own yoga center in Littleton and now her in-home studio in Highlands Ranch, she served as the yoga instructor at Wind Crest, Colorado’s largest retirement community, for five years, serving clients in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s find renewal in their bodies through chair yoga, gentle yoga, movement classes, breathing practices and private sessions in addition to guiding group classes for 24HR Fitness.  She is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and Yoga Alliance.

Nancy spent her business career in high level marketing roles for major publishing and telecommunications corporations including the San Diego Union Tribune, American City Business Journals, Tele-communications, Inc., Starz Encore Media Group and WISDOM Television, the mind, body and spirit network.  Nancy graduated magna cum laude with a BA in mass communications from the University of Denver.

In her spare time, you can find her hiking, biking, kayaking, or riding her motorcycle through the beautiful outdoors of Colorado.  She is also a trained master gardener and a member of The Touchables”  improvisational troupe, and can be seen performing at the Voodoo Comedy Club and other locations in the area.

Yoga Therapy: The Newest Health Trend that Doctors are Paying Attention To

Yoga Therapy is a growing trend in health and wellness and now doctors are paying attention.  And more yoga instructors are moving towards this very focused and specific client training. We have an upcoming open house for the 200hr Integrative Yoga Therapy Training and if you are looking for private therapy work for yourself explore our page on Therapeutic Yoga.  Yoga Therapy 1Read the full article below:

Yoga Therapy: The Newest Health Trend that Doctors are Paying Attention To

 

 

Shadows In the Sun by Gayathri Ramprasad

Shadows In the Sun by Gayathri Ramprasad is an exceptional read and insight into the world of depression. Her memoir opens a door to the taboo subject so many avoid discussing with others or even admitting to themselves.  Gayathri’s artful way of writing and alluring command of sharing her episodic experiences with depression, capture your heart and unlock your own feelings and emotions around depression.  Shadows in the Sun is filled with the soul’s journey to seek wellness at every level; physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual in discovering the light within.

This new book is a token of hope for anyone that has had a brush with depression.   Shadows in the Sun serves as a bridge to the wisdom that lies within each of us, that we are our own true healer.  I hope that every therapist and clinical doctor involved in treating clients with depression will add this to their book collection and offer their clients an integrated approach to managing their symptoms and finding their own light within.

Shadows In The Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review by:   Nancy Levenson, Yoga Therapist PYT 1000, E-RYT 500, Founder of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC. – A Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art