All things to do with the 8 limbs of yoga
"Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind" ~ Patanjali
"You are the most important person under the sun" ~Gurusharananda
My current class schedule is listed on the left side of screen, please scroll down.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Please join me in welcoming Louise to the Yoga With Stacy Studio!

I'm SOOOOOO excited to have her expertise among us!
Hello! I invite you to join me to start your weekends right with Yoga as your go-to Friday Night Happy Hour! This class is light-hearted, fun, and totally stress-free! New to Yoga? No Problem!
Meet me for this hour the same place you find Yoga with Stacy, by the big YOGA sign on Main Street in North Branch. Follow the lovely scents down the stairs to Suite 7.
See you Friday!
Louise LeGrand Stanton, 200 R-YT

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A photo posted by Yoga With Stacy (@yogawithstacy) on

Sunday, July 31, 2016

First Mandala completed, beautiful! thank you Nicole!!

I'll continue to collect these through the summer prior to completing a collage for the new studio.

Friday, July 22, 2016

77 Suprising Health Benefits of any pertain to you? ;)

77 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga

By Meredith Walker
Over the past several years, yoga has experienced an upsurge in popularity in the western world among medical professionals and celebrities alike. While many associate yoga with new age mysticism or the latest fad at the gym, yoga is actually an ancient practice that connects the mind, body, and spirit through body poses, controlled breathing, and meditation. The practice of yoga has many health benefits associated with it, so read below to discover 77 benefits of incorporating yoga in to your or your patient’s fitness program.

Health Benefits Within
From lowering blood pressure to increasing pain tolerance, the following health benefits can all be discovered within the body.
  1. Blood pressure. A consistent yoga practice decreases blood pressure through better circulation and oxygenation of the body. These two exercises can help lower blood pressure.
  2. Pulse rate. A slower pulse rate indicates that your heart is strong enough to pump more blood with fewer beats. Regularly practicing yoga provides a lower pulse rate.
  3. Circulation. Yoga improves blood circulation. By transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, yoga practice provides healthier organs, skin, and brain.
  4. Respiratory. Like the circulatory system, a lower respiratory rate indicates that the lungs are working more efficiently. Yoga decreases the respiratory rate through a combination of controlled breathing exercises and better fitness.
  5. Cardiovascular endurance. A combination of lower heart rate and improved oxygenation to the body (both benefits of yoga) results in higher cardiovascular endurance.
  6. Organs. Yoga practice massages internal organs, thus improving the ability of the body to prevent disease. Additionally, an experienced yoga practitioner becomes better attuned to her body to know at first sign if something isn’t functioning properly, thereby allowing for quicker response to head off disease.
  7. Gastrointestinal. Gastrointestinal functions have been shown to improve in both men and women who practice yoga.
  8. Immunity. Yoga practice has frequently been correlated with a stronger immune system. Read this article for more on the immune system and yoga, including some poses that specifically work on areas of immunity.
  9. Pain. Pain tolerance is much higher among those who practice yoga regularly. In addition to pain tolerance, some instances of chronic pain, such as back pain, are lessened or eliminated through yoga (see below for more on back pain).
  10. Metabolism. Having a balanced metabolism results in maintaining a healthy weight and controlling hunger. Consistent yoga practice helps find the balance and creates a more efficient metabolism.
Health Benefits Without
Just as many health benefits occur within the body, there are many benefits that can actually be experienced from without the body. From better sleep to more energy and strength, this list provides several benefits found on the outside of the body.
  1. Aging. Yoga stimulates the detoxification process within the body. Detoxification has been shown to delay aging, among many other health benefits.
  2. Posture. The very nature of yoga teaches the practitioner how to hold and control one’s body in a more healthful position. Through consistent practice, your posture will improve so that you look more confident and healthy.
  3. Strength. One of the premises of yoga is that you are using the weight of your own body for overall strength. Find out more about how yoga works as an excellent method of strength training in this article.
  4. Energy. Regular yoga practice provides consistent energy. In fact, most yogis state that when you perform your yoga correctly, you will feel energized after your yoga session rather than tired.
  5. Weight. The benefits of a better metabolism along with the exercise of yoga work to keep your weight in check. Additionally, the stretching of muscles longwise helps to reduce the amount of cellulite that can build around muscles.
  6. Sleep. Because of the many benefits to both body and mind that a yoga routine can provide, many find that their sleep is much better. Read here for more on sleep and yoga, as well as some positions for helping induce sleep.
  7. Balance. An integral part of the yoga practice is balance and control over your body. With a consistent practice, you will find that your overall balance will improve outside the yoga class.
  8. Integrated function of the body. Yoga is derived from Sanskrit and means "to join together and direct one’s attention." This is exactly what happens to your body after you start practicing yoga. Yogis find that their body works together much better, resulting in more graceful and efficient body movements.
  9. Body Awareness: Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. You are often called upon to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment. Over time, this will increase your level of comfort in your own body. This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence.
  10. Core strength. With a strong body core, you receive better posture and overall body strength. A strong core helps heal and reduce injuries. This is why a lot of athletes do yoga as cross training (boxers, MMA fighters, etc). Read how this swimmer uses yoga to strengthen her core and improve her swimming.
  11. Sexuality. Yoga can improve your sexuality through better control, more relaxation, and more self-confidence. Read more about the yoga and sexuality connection here.
Emotional Health Benefits
Due to the strong mind-body connection of yoga, there are many emotional benefits to be gained from a consistent yoga practice. Find out how yoga can help improve emotional health with this list.
  1. Mood. Overall well-being improves with yoga practice. The combination of creating a strong mind-body connection, creating a healthy body, and focusing inward can all lead to improvement in your mood.
  2. Stress Reduction. The concentration required during yoga practice tends to focus your attention on the matter at hand, thereby reducing the emphasis you may have been putting on the stress in your life. Read more about yoga and stress management here.
  3. Anxiety. One benefit to the controlled breathing used in yoga is a reduction in anxiety. Learn more about how you can use yoga breathing to reduce your anxiety.
  4. Depression. Some believe the negative feelings that you may be repressing are brought to the surface during some types of yoga exercise. When this happens, the negative energy is no longer stuck within you, but released through exercise. Regularly releasing this negativity leads to a reduction of depression in many people.
  5. Self-acceptance. Focusing inward and realizing through your yoga practice that perfection is not the goal, self-acceptance begins to take over. This post describes how success is not measured by perfectionism in yoga.
  6. Self-control. The controlled movements of yoga teach you how to translate that self-control to all aspects of your life.
  7. Mind-body connection. Few other exercises offer the same mind-body connection that yoga does. As you match your controlled breathing with the movements of your body, you retrain your mind to find that place of calm and peace that long-time yogis know.
  8. Positive outlook on life. Continued practice of yoga results in a balance of many hormones and nervous system, which brings about a more stable, positive approach to life.
  9. Hostility. Most yogis report a huge reduction in the amount of hostility they feel as well as a sense of control when anger flares. This calm effect is likely from the relaxation and meditation that is incorporated in their yoga practice that leads to an overall calming of the nervous system. Less hostility means lower blood pressure and stress and a healthier approach to life.
  10. Concentration. Researchers have shown that as little as eight weeks of yoga practice can result in better concentration and more motivation.
  11. Memory. Improved blood circulation to the brain as well as the reduction in stress and improved focus results in a better memory.
  12. Attention. The attention required in yoga to maintain the structured breathing in conjunction with yoga poses sharpens the ability to keep a sharp focus on tasks.
  13. Social skills. In yoga, you learn the interconnectedness of all of life. Your yoga practice soon evolves from a personal journey to one connecting to to the community at large where your social skills improve along with your yoga practice.
  14. Calmness. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing calmness. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind.
Body Chemistry
Several aspects of body chemistry such as glucose levels and red blood cells are affected by yoga. Learn how you can improve your body chemistry through yoga.
  1. Cholesterol. Yoga practice lowers cholesterol through increased blood circulation and burning fat. Yoga practice is a great tool to fight against harmful cholesterol levels.
  2. Lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system boosts your immunity and reduces toxins in your body. The only way to get your lymphatic system flowing well is by movement. The specific movements involved in yoga are particularly well-suited for promoting a strong lymphatic system.
  3. Glucose. There is evidence to suggest that yoga may lower blood glucose levels.
  4. Sodium. As does any good exercise program, yoga reduces the sodium levels in your body. In today’s world of processed and fast foods that are full of sodium, lessening these levels is a great idea.
  5. Endocrine functions. Practicing yoga helps to regulate and control hormone secretion. An improved endocrine system keeps hormones in balance and promotes better overall physical and emotional health.
  6. Triglycerides. Triglycerides are the chemical form of fat in the blood, and elevated levels can indicate a risk for heart disease and high blood pressure. A recent study shows that yoga can lead to "significantly lower" levels of triglycerides. Read more about the results of that study here.
  7. Red blood cells. Yoga has been shown to increase the level of red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood, and too few can result in anemia and low energy.
  8. Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps boost immunity, helps produce collagen, and is a powerful antioxidant; and a yoga regimen can increase the vitamin C in your body.
Exercise Health Benefits
As a form of exercise, yoga offers benefits that are sometimes not easily found among other exercise regimens. Check out these reasons to include yoga in your or your patient’s health program.
  1. Low risk of injury. Due to the low impact of yoga and the controlled aspect of the motions, there is a very low risk of injury during yoga practice compared to other forms of exercise.
  2. Parasympathetic Nervous System. In many forms of exercise, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, providing you with that fight-or-flight sensation. Yoga does the opposite and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system lowers blood pressure and slows the pace of your breathing, which allows relaxation and healing.
  3. Muscle tone. Consistently practicing yoga leads to better muscle tone.
  4. Subcortex. Subcortical regions of brain are associated with well-being, and yoga is thought to dominate the subcortex rather than the cortex (where most exercise dominates).
  5. Reduced oxygen consumption. Yoga consumes less oxygen than traditional exercise routines, thereby allowing the body to work more efficiently.
  6. Breathing. With yoga, breathing is more natural and controlled during exercise. This type of breathing provides more oxygen-rich air for your body and also provides more energy with less fatigue.
  7. Balanced workout of opposing muscle groups. As with all of yoga, balance is key. If a muscle group is worked in one direction, it will also be worked in the opposite direction to maintain balance. This balance results in a better overall workout for the body.
  8. Non-competitive. The introspective and self-building nature of yoga removes any need of competition in the exercise regimen. With the lack of competition, the yogi is free to work slowly to avoid any undue injury as well as promote a more balanced and stress-free workout.
  9. Joint range of motion. A study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine indicated that joint range of motion was improved by participants who practiced yoga.
  10. Eye-hand coordination. Without practice, eye-hand coordination diminishes. Yoga maintains and improves eye-hand coordination.
  11. Dexterity. The strong mind-body connection and flexibility gained from yoga leads to grace and skill.
  12. Reaction time. Research done in India shows that reaction time can be improved with specific yoga breathing exercises in conjunction with an already established yoga practice. The improvement was attributed to the faster rate of processing and improved concentration gained from yoga.
  13. Endurance. Working the entire body, yoga improves endurance and is frequently used by endurance athletes as a supplement to their sport-specific training.
  14. Depth perception. Becoming aware of your body and how it moves, as one does in yoga practice, leads to increased depth perception.
Disease Prevention
Doctors and nurses love yoga because studies indicate that it can help prevent the following diseases.
  1. Heart disease. Yoga reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, keeps off weight, and improves cardiovascular health, all of which lead to reducing your risk of heart disease.
  2. Osteoporosis. It is well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. Additionally, yoga’s ability to lower levels of cortisol may help keep calcium in the bones.
  3. Alzheimer’s. A new study indicates that yoga can help elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels. Low GABA levels are associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s. Meditation like that practiced in yoga has also been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
  4. Type II diabetes. In addition to the glucose reducing capabilities of yoga, it is also an excellent source of physical exercise and stress reduction that, along with the potential for yoga to encourage insulin production in the pancreas, can serve as an excellent preventative for type II diabetes.
Symptom Reduction or Alleviation
Medical professionals have learned that the following diseases or disorders can all be helped by maintaining a yoga practice.
  1. Carpal tunnel syndrome. Individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome who practiced yoga showed greater improvement than those who wore a splint or received no treatment at all. Researchers saw improved grip strength and reduction of pain in the study participants.
  2. Asthma. There is some evidence to show that reducing symptoms of asthma and even reduction in asthma medication are the result of regular yoga.
  3. Arthritis. The slow, deliberate movement of yoga poses coupled with the gentle pressure exerted on the joints provides an excellent exercise to relieve arthritis symptoms. Also, the stress relief associated with yoga loosens muscles that tighten joints.
  4. Multiple sclerosis. According to this article, "yoga is now recognized as an excellent means of MS management." Additionally, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is funding a clinical trial of yoga for treating multiple sclerosis.
  5. Cancer. Those fighting or recovering from cancer frequently take advantage of the benefits that yoga provides. Cancer patients who practice yoga gain strength, raise red blood cells, experience less nausea during chemotherapy, and have a better overall well-being.
  6. Muscular dystrophy. Using yoga in the early stages of muscular dystrophy can help return some physical functions. The practice of Pranayam yoga helped one teen regain many of his abilities lost to muscular dystrophy. Learn more in this article.
  7. Migraines. Regular yoga practice has been shown to reduce the number of migraines in chronic migraine sufferers. This post describes how yoga can reduce migraines.
  8. Scoliosis. Yoga can straighten the curvature of the spine associated with scoliosis. Find out how this yogi cured her scoliosis and continues to help others as well.
  9. Chronic bronchitis. Exercise that does not elevate respiration, yet increase oxygen levels in the body is ideal for treating chronic bronchitis. Luckily, yoga can do this, as well as aerate the lungs and provide energy.
  10. Epilepsy. Focusing on stress reduction, breathing, and restoring overall balance in the body are the focus of how yoga can help prevent epileptic seizures.
  11. Sciatica. The intense pain associated with sciatica can be alleviated with specific yoga poses. Here are 10 great ones to help relieve pain.
  12. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Studies of people with OCD have shown that practicing yoga has lead to a reduction in symptoms–resulting in less medication or medication no longer needed.
  13. Constipation. Due to the practice of yoga and overall better posture, the digestive and elimination systems work more efficiently. If the practitioner also has a healthy diet, any constipation will be eliminated through yoga.
  14. Allergies. Using a neti pot to clear the sinuses is an ancient form of yoga to help reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms. Certain types of breathing can also help clear the nasal passages.
  15. Menopause. Yoga practice can help control some of the side effects of menopause. Learn how the bridge pose can help reduce hot flashes here.
  16. Back pain. Yoga reduces spinal compression and helps overall body alignment to reduce back pain. Find a yoga pose to help lessen back pain here.
Original article from

Monday, July 18, 2016

New Studio with More Space!!! Drop ins welcome!

A new studio with MORE space! Drop Ins Welcome!!!
Come join us!
Mondays      Simply Yoga 7:30pm (for those who've done yoga previously)
Tuesdays      Beginners Yoga 6:30pm
                         Simply Yoga  7:35pm
Wednesdays Beginners Yoga 6:30pm
                          All Levels Yoga 7:35pm

Drop ins $12 each
6 week sessions $55 (six consecutive weeks for 1 class)
10 card punch (3 month expiration) $100.00.

Main Street Center- Suite 7, North Branch, MN

Message me at: with any questions :)

More Mandalas to color.....

Here's more Mandalas for you to choose from and print, as well as the guidelines below. I'll be posting more in the coming days/weeks:


1. Printing out a Mandala that I post -or if you have a favorite one you've found. (I'll be posting  different ones throughout the upcoming days/weeks.

2. Use Colored pencils

3. Cut your mandala out when it's complete (Also if you're open to it, please take a picture of it and post it on my blog and/or facebook page).

4. Write with light color or pencil on back of Mandala (so doesn't show through), your name, and how you're connected with me and/or Yoga With Stacy.

5. Bring the Mandala with you to your yoga class at Yoga With Stacy, or you can mail it to me:

Yoga With Stacy
Main Street Center- Suite 7
6448 Main Street
North Branch, MN 55056

6. Most importantly....Have FUN!!!!!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Help decorate the new Yoga With Stacy studio!

Hi all!

I'd like to invite EVERYONE, current students, past students, all yoga friends out there, and those of you that follow me for fun :)

I'm asking a favor for each of you to take some time in coloring a mandala for me (using colored pencils). Instructions and Manadala images to print are at bottom.  Yes, this will add to the decoration in my yoga studio in North Branch, MN, but it's also a gift to yourself:

The benefits of coloring Mandalas

Mandala is the Sanskrit word for 'circle or wheel'. Circular designs have been used throughout the ages to decorate spiritual buildings, protect homes and for meditation.

The circle represents so many things that are familiar to us. The Earth we live on, the eyes we look into, the Moon, Sun... Circles and cycles, a forward movement that takes us round and round. The seasons, our days and nights, life and death.

If you drop a pebble into a lake, the rings, ever increasing ripple outwards. The orbits of our planets, flowers, tree rings, crop circles, wheels... you can see mandalas everywhere.

The practice of coloring a mandala, or doing a mandala meditation, is a way to promote good health, and aid relaxation. By focusing on a mandala, and coloring, you allow your brain to calm. The swirling thoughts and stress, is quietened with a need to do no more than fill a space with color.

A few more benefits of coloring Mandalas:
slower breathing and heart rate
  • increase in blood flow
  • brings blood pressure back to normal
  • reduces anxiety levels
  • decreases tension in the muscles
  • increases serotonin production
  • helps in dealing with chronic illness
  • builds self-confidence
  • reduces PMS
  • enhances immune system
  • reduces emotional distress

  • Here are the guidelines (there aren't many, don't worry),

    1. Printing out a Mandala that I post -or if you have a favorite one you've found. (I'll be posting  different ones throughout the upcoming days/weeks.

    2. Use Colored pencils

    3. Cut your mandala out when it's complete (Also if you're open to it, please take a picture of it and post it on my blog and/or facebook page).

    4. Write with light color or pencil on back of Mandala (so doesn't show through), your name, and how you're connected with me and/or Yoga With Stacy.

    5. Bring the Mandala with you to your yoga class at Yoga With Stacy, or you can mail it to me:

    Yoga With Stacy
    Main Street Center- Suite 7
    6448 Main Street
    North Branch, MN 55056

    6. Most importantly....Have FUN!!!!!
    Print this Mandala (above).

    Print this Mandala. (above)

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016

    Need help with Concentraion and Focus?

    Practicing yoga is an excellent way to quiet the mind and improve concentration.

    A recent study from the University of Illinois showed that practicing yoga for 20 minutes could actually improve brain function. The study, which had 30 people perform two tasks involving identifying shapes on a computer screen, found that yoga helped the subjects complete the exercises more than aerobic exercise or no exercise.

    Here are a few poses and techniques to try whenever you need to re-center and re-focus:

    Prayer Pose (hands to heart center):
    This variation of Tadasana is a great way to get in touch with your body and breath before moving on to other asanas.

    To do the pose, stand up straight with your feet together or hips width apart, toes pointing straight ahead. Bring your hands to heart center in the Namaste position (Anjali Mudra). Check that your weight is evenly distributed through all four corners of your feet, that your calves and quads are engaged, your pelvis is in a neutral position, and your shoulders are relaxed. Breathe deeply through the nose, noticing any sensations in the body or breath.

    Eagle Pose (Garudasana): That balancing postures can help with concentration seems obvious, but Eagle Pose is especially beneficial for creating a strong focus. In fact, the pose gets its name from the Hindu god Garuda, known for his power, strength and focus.

    To do the pose, stand with your feet together and hands on your hips, and find a steady focal point in front of you. Bend your knees slightly, lift your right leg, and cross it over your left thigh. Try to hook your right foot behind your left calf. Then, release your hands from your hips and bring them out straight in front of you. Cross your arms in front of you, left over the right, and bend your elbows. Wrap your arms around each other and try to bring your palms together. Keep your back straight and gaze focused like an eagle as you breathe deeply through the nose.

    Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana 2): The posture requires your full body to be engaged, and your gaze, or ‘drishti,’ to be fixed on one place.

    To do the pose, stand with your legs about 3-4 feet apart. Stretch your arms out away from you, so they’re parallel to the floor, hands active, and palms facing down. Turn your right foot so that it’s pointed toward the top of your mat, and your left foot so it's angled inward very slightly. Bend your right knee and shift it forward so it’s over your right ankle. Turn your head to the right, and place your gaze on your right middle finger. Keep your torso facing the side (not front) of your mat. Breathe.

    Crow or Crane Pose (Bakasana): Arm balances are also excellent for cultivating focus and concentration, and crow pose is a great one to start with.

    Here's an example of Crow Pose, and also a great example that yoga truly has no age! :)

    To do this pose
    , start with your feet hips width apart in a squatting position, or for more experienced practitioners, in a forward bend. Place your hands on the floor, about 1 foot in front of your feet, shoulder-width apart, with your fingers spread. Fix your gaze on a point on the floor in front of you. Then, bring your knees to your armpits or triceps and slowly begin to shift your weight forward, lifting one foot off the ground, and then the other. Breathe deeply, staying focused.

    Nadi Shoddana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing):
    Five minutes of Nadi Shoddana Pranayama always helps me reach a more calm, clear, and focused state of mind. In yoga therapy, this breathing practice is sometimes called a ‘cure all,’ as it can boost your energy when you’re feeling sluggish, as well as relax and center you when you’re feeling anxious or wound up.

    To practice Nadi Shoddana, start by finding a relaxed, comfortable, seated position. Begin by pressing your right thumb against your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril. At the end of your inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue with this pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb, and exhaling through the left nostril. Practice for at least 3 minutes. When you finish, take some time to allow your breath to return to normal, noticing the changes in your breath and mind.
    Note: As you develop in your practice, you can try matching the length of the inhale and exhale by counting or inhaling to a count of 4 or 5, and then doubling the length of the exhale.

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    Why Meditate?

    Why Should you Meditate?

    I'm going to list an amazing list of benefits of mediation, and these are not even ALL of them. You can start with only 5 minutes per day, sitting in silence (set timer on your phone) and it can be in silence or to relaxing music to start with.

    Physiological benefits:
    1- It lowers oxygen consumption.
    2- It decreases respiratory rate.
    3- It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
    4- Increases exercise tolerance.
    5- Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.
    6- Good for people with high blood pressure.
    7- Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
    8- Decreases muscle tension
    9- Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc.
    10- Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms.
    11- Helps in post-operative healing.
    12- Enhances the immune system.
    13- Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress
    14- Enhances energy, strength and vigour.
    15- Helps with weight loss
    16- Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage
    17- Higher skin resistance
    18- Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
    19- Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.
    20- Decreases the aging process.
    21- Higher levels of DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
    22- prevented, slowed or controlled pain of chronic diseases
    23- Makes you sweat less
    24- Cure headaches & migraines
    25- Greater Orderliness of Brain Functioning
    26- Reduced Need for Medical Care
    27- Less energy wasted
    28- More inclined to sports, activities
    29- Significant relief from asthma
    30- improved performance in athletic events
    31- Normalizes to your ideal weight
    32- harmonizes our endocrine system
    33- relaxes our nervous system
    34- produce lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity
    35- Cure infertility (the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation).
    36- Helps in building sexual energy & desire
    Psychological benefits:
    36- Builds self-confidence.
    37- Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behaviour.
    38- Resolve phobias & fears
    39- Helps control own thoughts
    40- Helps with focus & concentration
    41- Increase creativity
    42- Increased brain wave coherence.
    43- Improved learning ability and memory.
    44- Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
    45- Increased emotional stability.
    46- improved relationships
    47- Mind ages at slower rate
    48- Easier to remove bad habits
    49- Develops intuition
    50- Increased Productivity
    51- Improved relations at home & at work
    52- Able to see the larger picture in a given situation
    53- Helps ignore petty issues
    54- Increased ability to solve complex problems
    55- Purifies your character
    56- Develop will power
    57- greater communication between the two brain hemispheres
    58- react more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event.
    59- increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance
    60- higher intelligence growth rate
    61- Increased job satisfaction
    62- increase in the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones
    63- decrease in potential mental illness
    64- Better, more sociable behaviour
    65- Less aggressiveness
    66- Helps in quitting smoking, alcohol addiction
    67- Reduces need and dependency on drugs, pills & pharmaceuticals
    68- Need less sleep to recover from sleep deprivation
    69- Require less time to fall asleep, helps cure insomnia
    70- Increases sense of responsibility
    71- Reduces road rage
    72- Decrease in restless thinking
    73- Decreased tendency to worry
    74- Increases listening skills and empathy
    75- Helps make more accurate judgements
    76- Greater tolerance
    77- Gives composure to act in considered & constructive ways
    78- Grows a stable, more balanced personality
    79- Develops emotional maturity
    Spiritual benefits:
    80- Helps keep things in perspective
    81- Provides peace of mind, happiness
    82- Helps you discover your purpose
    83- Increased self-actualization.
    84- Increased compassion
    85- Growing wisdom
    86- Deeper understanding of yourself and others
    87- Brings body, mind, spirit in harmony
    88- Deeper Level of spiritual relaxation
    89- Increased acceptance of oneself
    90- helps learn forgiveness
    91- Changes attitude toward life
    92- Creates a deeper relationship with your God
    93- Attain enlightenment
    94- greater inner-directedness
    95- Helps living in the present moment
    96- Creates a widening, deepening capacity for love
    97- Discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego
    98- Experience an inner sense of “Assurance or Knowingness”
    99- Experience a sense of “Oneness”
    100- Increases the synchronicity in your life

    Meditation is also completely FREE! It requires no special equipment, and is not complicated to learn. It can be practiced anywhere, at any given moment, and it is not time consuming (building up to 15-20 min. per day is good). Best of all, meditation has NO negative side effects.

    Bottom line, there is nothing but positive to be gained from it! With such a huge list of benefits, the question you should ask yourself is, “why am I not meditating yet?”

    Make sure you meditate, there are quite simply too many positives to just ignore it. Even if you start with just 5 minutes, and add to it as time goes. Feel free to set your timer on your cell phone, so you don't have to think about time.

    Here's a helpful video "Meditate in a Moment"

    Sunday, July 10, 2016

    Are you being present?

    I went to the Adele Concert in St. Paul, MN last week, and the person in front of me reminded me, that we probably ALL need to work on being present. Some more than others lol

    Is Corpse Pose creepy?

    Corpse Pose: Sounds kind of creepy, right? Well, if you haven't practiced yoga already, although it can be harder in the beginning, you'll come to love this pose.

    The final pose of any yoga class, (or if you take my class, also the beginning :) ), is one of deep restoration: Corpse Pose, also called Final Relaxation Pose. Its Sanskrit name, “Savasana” (shah-VAHS-uh-nuh), comes from two words. The first is “Sava” (meaning “corpse”), and the second is “asana” (meaning “pose”). Savasana implies a depth of release that goes beyond simple relaxation. This resting pose takes your yoga practice to a place where you can completely let go. Though it may seem like an easy pose, Savasana can actually be very tough to learn and practice well. The great yoga masters K. Pattabhi Jois and B.K.S. Iyengar even called Savasana the most difficult of all yoga poses. For many students, the ability to lie completely still — like a corpse — while being both fully aware of and unattached from the present moment takes much practice and patience. Unlike active, moving, and physically demanding poses, Savasana requires a conscious decision to release the mental chatter and surrender fully into a state of presence.huu

    The Most Important Pose in Yoga
    Many, if not most, yoga traditions and yoga teachers regard Savasana as the single most important pose of your practice. It allows your body time to process the information and benefits received from the poses (“asanas”) and breathing exercises (“pranayama”). The entire class/practice is preparing your body, for Savasana. The benefits of Savasana are much more than just physical — this pose enhances and renews the body, mind, and spirit.

    Savasana is not nap time — you don’t actually fall asleep when practicing it (or you should try not to). Instead, the idea is to remain present and aware for the complete duration of the pose. Just like everything else in Yoga, this is a constant, and continuous "practice". Doing so allows the mental chatter to settle, bringing your awareness even deeper into your  highest state of consciousness. As you go deeper, you can begin to release the tangled knots of patterns (“samskaras”), emotions, and ideas that unconsciously guide your life.

    Through the process of practicing Savasana, you can begin to view your life with more clarity and new awareness. The rejuvenating and mind-clearing aspects of Savasana provide you with the tools to deal with stress and emotions in your life off the mat.

    In addition to the mind-body benefits, Savasana is also a time during your practice when you can connect with your peaceful, innermost self. The word “yoga” is often translated as “union,” referring to the connection between your mind, body, and spirit. When you settle into Savasana and become aware of this connection, you are truly practicing yoga.

    Just a few of the benefits of Savasana:

    ⦁ Heightened self-confidence⦁ Clear-headedness and a sense of focus ⦁ Improved concentration and memory ⦁ Increased productivity ⦁ Increased overall energy levels ⦁ Relief from anxiety and panic attacks ⦁ Reduced nervous tension ⦁ Relief from fatigue and insomnia ⦁ Reduced occurrence of headaches The physical response can further result in:⦁ Decreased metabolic rate⦁ Decreased muscle tension ⦁ Slowed rate of respiration ⦁ A decreased heart rate ⦁ Lowered blood pressure

    Savasana is where people are most likely to experience the meaning of yoga… You lie there and look dead, but as you relax and sink into the feeling of the energy that is being you, it literally feels like you come to life again.

    Friday, July 8, 2016

    "Who Am I?"

    Is "Who am I?" a clear enough question for our self study (svadhyaya)?

    We could also get a little more specific and add:
    What am I passionate about?
    How do I affect other people?
    What feels good (in the deepest sense of those words)?
    What feels bad?
    What is the impact I will have made in this world after I leave it?

    Are you truly true?

    Satya is the Sanskrit word for truth. It also refers to being truthful in one's thought, speech and action. In Yoga, Satya is one of five Yamas, the restraint from falsehood and distortion of reality in one's expressions and actions.

    Even when we are practicing yoga, we can easily confuse observation and judgment. In the yoga studio, for example, it is not uncommon to have judgments about a pose that we find unpleasant. When our teacher suggests we try such a pose, one of the following judgments may pass through our mind. First, we might say to ourselves, “This pose does not do anything useful” (judging the pose). Or we may inwardly judge the teacher. Finally, and probably most commonly, we think, “What’s wrong with me that I cannot do this pose?” (judging ourselves).

    When we use speech that expresses judgment, we limit ourselves and others. In this case, we limit ourselves by putting the pose, the teacher, or ourselves in a box, a box labeled “bad.” We lose track of the fact that it is not the pose which is bad, nor the teacher, nor us. Rather, “bad” is an interpretation that arises within us. Whether we speak them out loud or silently, such judgments are not Satya.

    An alternative way to speak to ourselves about a difficult pose is to say, “I am having trouble with this pose right now.” When we use speech this way, whether silently or out loud, a very different atmosphere for learning is created. To make the observation that I am having trouble right now makes no statement at all about the pose itself, the teacher, or our worth as a student. Neither does it ordain that things will not change. When we use the language of observation, we give ourselves the space and freedom to change right now or at any point in the future.

    Be kind to all, including yourself, (with your internal voice).

    Wednesday, July 6, 2016

    Is there an App for Happiness?

    An excerpt from Max Stroms website:
    Max Strom is a global teacher, speaker, and author.  Many know him for his two inspiring books: A Life Worth Breathing, now published in six languages, and There is No APP for Happiness, his most recent title addressing the challenge of finding meaning in the digital age. Max Strom’s interdisciplinary method, Inner Axis, is a system of field-tested techniques that produce immediate results.

    It is an innovative method that incorporates mindfulness, breath-work, and breath-based yoga movement to generate personal growth. Because of its success with individuals across the world, Inner Axis is now being adopted by corporations as a sustainable mindfulness program, organizations that want to not only be successful, but healthy, and to make a meaningful difference in the world.

    I had the honor of meeting, and attending Max Storms talk, and classes at The Minneapolis Yoga Conference in 2015, he is an amazing speaker, and a magnificent asset to the yoga community! 

    Please give yourself the gift of 16 minutes and 42 seconds to listen to Max's Tedx talk. You can literally just listen to it, if unable to watch as well. You'll feel better for it :)


    Tuesday, July 5, 2016

    Do you truly have "FOCUS"?

    Dharana is the sixth limb of yoga. The word 'Dharana' simply means 'unbending concentration of mind'. Working with complete focus and concentration is something that satisfies each person at the maximum. Each of us, feels a sense of frustration, when we are not able to focus. The inability to focus may be because our minds are racing with ideas, judgments, worries, songs, or even memories. The main idea underlying Dharana, is the ability to focus on something (uninterrupted both by external or internal distractions).

    Dharana is a form of meditation (or if you'd prefer to call it "Sitting quietly"),  that can be called receptive concentration. A set of conditions are created that help the mind focus in one direction and object, rather than concentrating in many directions, thereby diverting the mind. The term 'Dharana' is given to both the practice of deep concentration and the state in which you achieve deep concentration. Ideally, in a perfect world, 'Dharana' should be performed at every moment of the day to gain utmost control of both your body and mind. Like everything in yoga, this is a "practice" and takes time to work towards.

    Benefits Of Dharana
    Dharana aims at setting up the mind, by focusing it upon some stable item. Any object selected for practicing has no role to play in the meditation process. The object is only used to focus on, to stop the mind from wandering - through memories, dreams, or reflective thought - by intentionally holding it on one object.

    Dharana helps in channeling one's thoughts on a certain thing. It makes sure that you reach a level of awareness in anything you do, by focusing on every step you take. Dharana works with the objective to achieve the mental state, where the mind, intellect, and ego are controlled. The mind becomes purified by the practices. It becomes able to focus efficiently on one subject or point of experience. Dharana also helps in the fluctuations of the mind.

    My favorite book on this subject is "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari" by Robin S. Sharma. Not only is this one of the best book titles you'll ever come across, seriously how great is that title?!? It's also an incredible read, you won't want to stop! It reads as a story.
    Here's a link to purchase it on Amazon, you will not regret this purchase:



    Sunday, July 3, 2016

    How do we treat yoga differently in the West?

    Ok, we aren't THAT bad with yoga in the west, well.....not always, anyway :)

    But I think you'll find this as interesting as I did!:

    An excerpt from The Edge Magazine ( A conversation with novelist Karan Bajaj:

    What are your thoughts on how yoga and meditation  are practiced in the United States?

    KB: I think it is at a very nascent level- perhaps that's the best way to put it. There are two dichotomies here. In the West it's a very physical practice, and even meditation is a practice to become productive and more at peace. In the East, you think of the deep spiritual practices as a journey of complete dissolution of the self, the ego. In the West, it is the opposite, like you are using these practices to further your ego by being more productive , being more this, and getting more out of your work and earning more money. In the East the whole idea is that you are dissolving your essence through these practices. 

    So, these approaches are very different, but I hope what happens is that once you are in the journey, you evolve your own position. 
    Well said Karan Bajaj!!

    Saturday, July 2, 2016

    Why and how do we do Childs Pose?

    The term “Child’s Pose” comes from the Sanskrit words “bala” and “asana”, which translate to “child” and “pose.” This pose is truly a resting pose. It is meant to nourish and nurture our body. You can hold it for long periods of time, and often without the need for props.

    Getting into child’s pose:  Kneel on a yoga mat or the floor. Bring your knees together and your backside to your feet. Exhale and slowly rest your upper body over your thighs so that your forehead touches the mat, or stack your fists, and release your forehead on your fists, or use a block. Place your palms on the floor and reach your arms until you feel your shoulder blades stretching across your back. For a more passive version, let your arms rest palms up behind you, at your sides. You can also widen your knees so that your hips and torso fall closer to the mat. It is not intended to be challenging, but comforting and protective.

    Take a few deep belly breaths now. Do you feel that stretch in your spine? And your low back?

    The Benefits of Child’s Pose:

    ⦁ Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest
    ⦁ Recommended if you have dizziness or fatigue, during class, or throughout your day.
    ⦁ Helps alleviate stress and anxiety
    ⦁ Flexes the body’s internal organs and keeps them supple
    ⦁ It lengthens and stretches the spine
    ⦁ Relieves neck and lower back pain when performed with the head and torso supported
    ⦁ It gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles
    ⦁ Normalizes circulation throughout the body
    ⦁ Great for digestion
    ⦁ It stretches muscles, tendons and ligaments in the knee
    ⦁ Calms the mind and body
    ⦁ Encourages strong and steady breathing

    The next time you're doing Child's pose think about the amazing things that are going on inside and outside of your body. This pose is truly restorative, and it's acceptable in any yoga class to go to Child's Pose anytime you need a break.

    Friday, July 1, 2016

    Are you Pure?

    Are you pure? lol, seriously, who is completely? With everything we talk about here, no one has any of them 100%, including Asana (movements), it's truly ALL a "practice" or journey, always moving towards the next step.

    The Niyamas are the second limb of "The eight limbs of Yoga" and Saucha happens to be the first of the Niyamas. Saucha mostly translates to "cleanliness", but that refers to more than, but also including our physical cleanliness. Saucha is referring to cleanliness of body, mind, spirit, and surroundings, all helping to assist towards a pure, and positive life.

    Practicing Saucha in our yoga practice- The practice of self hygiene before yoga class is a big one! Who likes getting a whiff of unpleasant smells during yoga class?.....blah! yuc! Taking care of ourselves is to honor ourselves, as well as being respectful of others. Keeping your surroundings clear of debris (storing bags, phones, shoes, etc in a designated area for such, back room or cubby holes of your yoga space, so not in the way of others). Having a clean place to practice in feels good, and shows a sign of respect towards our practice.

    Practicing Saucha in our homes- Our environment often reflects our state of mind. When your bedroom or home is messy, your mind can often feel a bit messy and cluttered too. When we're surrounded by a clean environment, with clear surfaces, and possesions that we need, and not possessions that we've hoarded over the years and can't bear to get rid of, gives us the sense of having space to breath! Yay! We're much more likely to feel better and be clearer in our minds.
    Enjoy your new practice of Saucha......scrub away.....mind, body, and soul :)

    Thursday, June 30, 2016

    Can you let go?

    Today we'll talk about one of the Yamas, Aparigraha (non-possessiveness):

    What is it in your life that you may hold on to too tightly? Does it still serve you, or could it be time to let it go? By releasing what is no longer useful, we open ourselves to fresh ideas, new relationships, and more peaceful ways of living, and being.

    Here's a couple ideas for practicing non-possessiveness:

    1. Let it go. Try doing this: Every time you buy something new, let go of something old- give it away, or toss it out. By letting go of things from the past, you can live more fully in the present.

    2. Breathe. When we stress, often times we hold our breath, which makes us even more anxious. Allow your breath to flow fully and deeply. You will feel more relaxed, and open.

    3. Practice Self-Care. When we're insecure, we may feel a need to cling to and controls others. Instead, find ways to nurture and center yourself so that you feel independent, and strong! Allow other to be who they need to be.

    4. Be Positive. When we hold on to negative thoughts, emotions, memories, we spiral into destructive patterns. By replacing these with positive ones, you can create a harmonious space for yourself and others.

    5. Forgive. (just one word, but it can be SO hard at times). Let go of painful memories from your past. Free yourself by offering forgiveness to those who have hurt you and to yourself.

    6. Practice. Sometimes we try so hard to be perfect, in our yoga asana (movements), meditations, that we miss the essence of the practice. Do your best and remember to release, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Let go and stay open to guidance from within.