Yoga Flow – Offered: Lowell ONLY
This 60 minute class moves at a faster pace sequencing poses into a flowing practice while linking each movement with your breath, eventually becoming a moving meditation. Be prepared to safely stretch out the body and get a full workout while unifying your mind, body and soul. With a balance of structure and experimentation this class is for anyone from beginner to advanced looking to explore their own edge.
Relaxation Yoga – Offered: Lowell ONLY
With a mix of gentle stretching and meditation this class is for anyone who is looking to restore the nervous system and help release deeply held tensions from the body and mind. Appropriate for all levels, this 30 minute practice will help you to fully unwind after your workout or long day.
Detox Yoga – Offered: Lowell ONLY
Come detox your mind and body and get yourself aligned or better performance.
Your body has a robust system (Circulatory, Digestive, and Lymph) to rid the body of toxins. These systems work very well on their own. However, add stress, a nutrient poor diet, and little sleep to the mix and these systems become stressed and their performance is reduced.
This 1 hour heated detoxifying yoga class will systematically compresses and stretch every part of the body. By twisting, turning, pulling, and pushing on every part of the body, we will facilitate the removal of the waste products like lactic acid, carbon dioxide, and lymphatic fluid from extremities and deep tissues.
The yoga breathing techniques will play a vital role in promoting detoxification. The focus on posture, releasing muscles, and clearing the mind will help you to feel your best. This class will mix rigorous movement with calming breaths, deep bending and twisting, all in a dark warm room. You will walk out of the class refreshed, renewed!
Nidra Yoga – Offered: Lowell ONLY
Nidra Yoga will combine restorative (easy) postures to open your spine and deepen your breath, then into deep guided relaxation. Nidra is a powerful technique derived from ancient tantra and originally developed by Swami Satyananda. Its ultimate goal is increasing self-awareness by bringing you into a conscious sleep. Also referred to as yogic sleep. While you are in this state, you are conscious but functioning at a deeper level. We will guide you through with spoken word then safely bring you back to a fully conscious state, setting a sankalpa or focused resolution. This technique is easily accessible and very practical. If you are having trouble with stress, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, or tension to name a few- practicing Yoga Nidra will help tremendously. It is said that 15 minutes of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to A FULL NIGHT OF SLEEP! That is because it brings you into wave 3 sleep consciousness. Please join us for this special class and bring a pillow, blanket, and anything to help you relax.
Heated Yoga – Offered: Lowell ONLY
Heated Yoga – 1 hour unless specified – 79 degree’s
This yoga class uses a flow of postures designed to increase strength, flexibility and promote a general sense of well being. Emphasis is on developing strength with coordinated breath and movement, and relaxation and stress release. This class combines the best of eastern and western yoga philosophies.
This class is great to help lower cortisol and stress levels!
Meditation – Offered: Lowell ONLY”]
The Healing Benefits of Meditation is one of the best tools we have to counter the brain’s negativity bias, release accumulated stress, foster positive experiences and intentions, and enjoy the peace of present moment awareness. A large body of research has established that having a regular meditation practice produces tangible benefits for mental and physical health, including: • Decreased blood pressure and hypertension • Lowered cholesterol levels • Reduced production of “stress hormones,” including cortisol and adrenaline • More efficient oxygen use by the body • Increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA • improved immune function • Decreased anxiety, depression, and insomnia Let’s look in more detail at how meditation benefits the body, mind, and spirit.
Meditation Reduces Stress and Burnout Chronic, unmanaged stress can make you sick and accelerate aging.
As many scientific studies have found, prolonged stress can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach ulcers, autoimmune diseases, anxiety, cancer, insomnia, chronic fatigue, obesity, depression, and accelerated aging. In meditation, your body releases stress and reverses the effects of the flight-or-fight response – that ancient instinct we all have to either run from perceived danger or take it on in battle. Intended as a short-term protection mechanism, fight or flight causes our body to speed up our heart rate, increase our blood sugar, suppress our immune system, reduce insulin production, pump out stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, and reduce the blood supply to our digestive organs. All of these reactions happen so that our body can focus on either running away as fast as it can – or staying to fight. Although few people reading this face daily threats to their bodily existence, many live in a prolonged state of fight or flight, generating stress in response to bad traffic, criticism from a spouse, or a disagreement.
Regular meditation dissipates accumulated stress and cultivates a state of restful alertness. There are many compelling studies showing the power of meditation to relieve stress and promote inner calm. For example, a 2011 study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal found that full-time workers who spent a few hours each week practicing mindfulness meditation reported a significant decrease in job stress, anxiety, and depressed mood. Meditation Enhances Your Concentration, Memory, and Ability to Learn As researchers have found, meditation can help you tap into your brain’s deepest potential to focus, learn and adapt. While scientists used to believe that beyond a certain age, the brain couldn’t change or grow, we now know that brain has a quality known as plasticity, enabling it to grow new neurons and transform throughout our lives.
Meditation is a powerful tool for awakening new neural connections and even transforming regions of the brain. A recent study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that after only eight weeks of meditation, participants experienced beneficial growth in the brain areas associated with memory, learning, empathy, self-awareness, and stress regulation (the insula, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex). In addition, the meditators reported decreased feelings of anxiety and greater feelings of calm. This study adds to the expanding body of research about the brain’s amazing plasticity and ability to change habitual stress patterns. Many other studies provide evidence for the value of meditation in improving the ability to stay focused in world filled with increasing distractions and demands on our attention. For example, research conducted by the UCLA Mindful Awareness Center showed that teenagers and adults with ADHD who practiced various forms of meditation for just eight weeks improved their ability to concentrate on tasks, even when attempts were made to distract them.
Meditation Helps You Create More Harmonious, Loving Relationships
When you’re feeling balanced and centered, it is much easier to respond with awareness rather than have react in a knee-jerk way or say something that creates toxicity in your relationships. Meditation cultivates equanimity and compassion, allowing you to be present with a loved one, client or co-worker and really listen to what they are saying and what they may need. As you meditate on a regular basis, you develop what is known as “witnessing awareness” – the ability to calmly and objectively observe a situation, notice when you are being triggered, and consciously choose how you want to respond.
The ability to be present and aware is extremely valuable in every relationship. Meditation Improves Your Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills We each have an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day – unfortunately, many of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday, last week, and last year. The mind tends to get stuck in repetitive thought loops that squeeze out the possibility for new ideas and inspiration. Meditation is a powerful practice for going beyond habitual, conditioned thought patterns into a state of expanded awareness. We connect to what is known as the field of infinite possibilities or pure potentiality, and we open to new insights, intuition, and ideas. The world’s great innovators, athletes, and other high achievers have described this state as “being in the flow,” being in the right place at the right time, or a state of grace. Time seems to stand still and instead of struggling and trying to force things to happen, everything you need comes naturally to you.
You do less and accomplish more. You aren’t burdened by the past or worried about the future; you’re flowing in the ever present eternal now. This higher state of consciousness is the birthplace of all creativity. The mind is in an open, receptive state and is able to receive flashes of insight and fresh perspectives. As Marcel Proust wrote, “The real journey of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes.” Meditation Decreases Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia The emotional effects of sitting quietly and going within are profound. The deep state of rest produced by meditation triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins.
Each of these naturally occurring brain chemicals has been linked to different aspects of happiness:
• Dopamine plays a key role in the brain’s ability to experience pleasure, feel rewarded, and maintain focus.
• Serotonin has a calming effect. It eases tension and helps us feel less stressed and more relaxed and focused. Low levels of this neurotransmitter have been linked to migraines, anxiety, bipolar disorder, apathy, feelings of worthlessness, fatigue, and insomnia.
• Oxytocin (the same chemical whose levels rise during sexual arousal and breastfeeding), is a pleasure hormone. It creates feelings of calm, contentment, and security, while reducing fear and anxiety.
• Endorphins are most commonly known as the chemicals that create the exhilaration commonly labeled “the runner’s high.” These neurotransmitters play many roles related to wellbeing, including decreasing feelings of pain and reducing the side effects of stress.