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Dear Diary…Centered City Yoga: Week #3. Noticeable Benefits.

August 17, 2009

yoga_11

Place: Centered City Yoga

Location: 918 E. 900 S. Salt Lake City, Utah (801) 521-yoga (9642)

Well folks, this time we stopped into a yoga gym called Centered City Yoga (Best of the Beehive 2009 winner) in Sugar House to do our well loved “Dear Diary” segment.  Some of you may be wondering, “Well heck, why yoga?  That’s dumb.  Cancha do somethin’ cool like mud wrestlin’ or beer can smashin’?  What’s s’great bout yoga?”  Oh just this: “Attaining enlightenment and liberation can be achieved through classic practices of meditation and yoga.  Research findings indicate that they are the most widely used of all therapies.  They have been shown to reduce anxiety, specific phobias, substance abuse; to benefit those with medical problems by reducing blood pressure and aiding in the management of chronic pain and so on; to enhance self-confidence, sense of control, marital satisfaction, and to extend longevity (Sue, 2003).”  Bam!

Jesse: Week #3

Prenatal Yoga

As I have been going to Yoga, and realized how much the body is affected by the breath, I have started thinking about how beneficial Yoga would be for pregnant women.  The big craze right now among some of my friends is Hypno-birthing.  Hypno-birthing is natural childbirth education, enhanced by self-hypnosis by controlling your breathing, generally called the “Mongan Method,” named after Doctor Marie F. Mongan, who has been its modern creator.  Women who use hypno-birthing are believed to have reduced length of labor, reduced use of post-birth pain medication, and reduced incidence of postpartum depression.  Myself, I have been a skeptic over this new craze.

My general outlook on pregnancy has always been, “Yes, of course I would have an epidural!  Why would you ever want to experience the pain of childbirth?  We live in a time of modern medicine, so why not use it?”  While I am still wary of trying a natural birth, Hypno-birth followers believe that women’s bodies were made to bear children and that we should let our natural instincts take over.  Centered City Yoga does have a pre-natal yoga class for expecting mothers, and while I did not take the class, ( I guess I could have pretended I was like 3 months along and not showing?), I really have an appreciation for the benefits a pregnant person can receive from Yoga.  The more a woman can really connect and be in-tune with her body and breath her way through pain, the more satisfying the entire birthing experience will be.  I think modern medicine has somewhat forgot this part of pregnancy.  While I am thankful for modern medicine and the low birth-fatalities attributed to western medicine, I believe more women should seek to really connect their minds with their bodies and start to understand their natural instincts.  I plan to attend the pre-natal classes (when that time comes for me) so that I can gain a greater appreciation for this natural female process.

As I try to summarize this Yoga experience, I am left with a greater respect towards this practice than I ever thought I could feel.  I have very much appreciated how when you attend a class at Centered City Yoga, you are not only getting a great workout; you are also nourishing the mind as well.  Nowhere else can you get a workout such as this and walk away feeling so refreshed and free of your usual cares.  I have so much esteem for the teachers who have devoted so much time to becoming masters of the art and are able to share and teach what they know to the general public.  I find the history and benefits of Yoga incredibly interesting.  Everyday we hear new drugs that come out to fix this or that but we forget that there are natural and more healthy ways to cure our common ailments; when in fact people, thousands of years ago, already had the answer to most of our problems, we just regretfully forget to practice them.  Or some people know they exist, but prefer quick fixes (much like a diet pill).  After my own experience at Centered City Yoga, and researching literature on the subject, I have realized the following benefits:yoga_04

Muscles Become Toned – Muscles that have become weak or flaccid with under-use or age are repeatedly stimulated to increase strength and lose weight.

Complete Detoxification – By gently stretching muscles and joints as well as massaging the various organs, yoga ensures the optimum blood supply to various parts of the body. This assists in flushing toxins out from every spot as well as providing nourishment up to the last body part. The benefits are thought to be delayed ageing and increased energy.

Increase Flexibility – Yoga has positions that act upon the various joints of the body including those joints that are never really used, let alone exercised.  Increased flexibility leads to fewer injuries for all ages.

Massaging of All Organs in the Body – Yoga massages the internal glands and organs of the body in a thorough manner, including those that hardly get externally stimulated during our entire lifetime. The stimulation and massage of the organs benefits us by keeping away disease and providing a forewarning at the first possible instance of a likely onset of disease or disorder.

Increased Overall Health – Yoga forces you to unite the body and mind, and allows for meditation when otherwise a person may not have the time.

I encourage everybody to take some time out of their schedule and experience Yoga for themselves.

Noel: Week #3

Mount Timpanogos is the second highest mountain in Utah’s Wasatch Range.  At 11,749 ft, the view from the top, on all sides, is majestic.  The hike takes several hours and courses through green forest, small streams and waterfalls, flower-covered fields, snow (even in August), and rocks, with local mountain goats as residence, as you edge closer to the top.  I recently hiked this Utah classic with my brother.  He’s an excellent hiker in excellent shape with excellent calves to prove it.  Yet, about 2/3 of the way down he wanted to stop.  When we sat down on this fallen tree he began to rub his shins.  They were sore and tightening up from the semi atypical movement one does on a hike.  I thought about my shins; they felt fine.  Then I thought about why and I remember yoga class at Centered City recently.

There is a pose called the Standing Splits (stand on one foot while keeping that leg mostly straight, lean over that one foot as much as you can, and lift the other leg up as straight and far as you can behind you) that forces you to use your shin muscles-did you even know you had shin muscles?  You definitely do when you’re doing the standing splits-to keep balanced.  When I’m attempting this pose I often look at my foot.  What I see is sort of a spaztic oscillation as I’m doing my best to keep balanced, foot muscles twitching and firing back and forth.  I often put one or both hands on my shin while trying this pose and have noticed there is a lot of strength and power contained in those muscles.  Meanwhile, a puddle of sweat is collecting right off the front edge of my mat as it streams off my forehead.  Hope no one slips.

Thus, on beautiful Mount Timpanogos I saw another benefit of yoga; strong shin muscles.yoga_02

One thing about the instructors at Centered City; they are proficient teachers.  They are knowledgeable enough to accommodate all skill levels.  So you don’t have to feel uncomfortable because everyone besides you is able to put the bottom of their foot on the back of their head.  The teachers are very helpful in adapting or giving different options for the poses.  They’re experienced enough to know when my technique in any or all areas could use some tweaking; “Now look at your feet.”, “Bring your shoulders back.  Now elongate your neck toward the front of the room.”, “Breath.”  Through these small modifications that the instructors helped me out with, I’ve been able to impove my personal practice of yoga.  And that’s what it is; no competition; it’s personal.  That’s why mindfullness is so important.  Listen and be aware of yourself. Honor yourself.

Namaste.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2009 10:00 PM

    As a Prenatal Yoga teacher for 28 years (I teach at CCY in SLC and privately), I am SO appreciative of your comments.
    ~~~Many thanks!!

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