Yoga

Here is a 15 minute video clip of Yoga at Body Edge.

Yoga classes are open to men and women. Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for years you will enjoy classes at BODY EDGE.

Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, and currently, close to 11 million Americans are enjoying its health benefits. Yoga can hardly be called a trend.

Most Westernized yoga classes focus on learning physical poses, which are called asanas. They also usually include some form of breathing technique and possibly a meditation technique as well. Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation. But yoga classes at BODY EDGE will teach you how to move your body in new ways to reap great health benefits such as increased flexibility, strength, and balance.

Yoga and Flexibility

When some people think of yoga, they imagine having to stretch like a gymnast. That makes them worry that they’re too old, unfit, or “tight” to do yoga. The truth is you’re never too old to improve flexibility.

The series of yoga poses called asanas work by safely stretching your muscles. This may release the lactic acid that builds up with muscle use, which may cause stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue. In addition, yoga increases the range of motion in joints. It may also increase lubrication in the joints. The outcome is a sense of ease and fluidity throughout your body.

Yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body. That includes ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheath that surrounds your muscles. And no matter your level of yoga, you most likely will see benefits in a very short period of time. In one study, participants had up to 35% improvement in flexibility after only eight weeks of yoga. The greatest gains were in shoulder and trunk flexibility.

Yoga and Strength

Hatha yoga, which focuses on less movement and more precise alignment in poses, can provide strength and endurance benefits.

Many of the poses, such as downward dog, upward dog, and the plank pose, build upper-body strength. This becomes crucial as people age. The standing poses, especially if you hold them for several long breaths, build strength in your hamstrings, quadriceps, and abdominal muscles. Poses that strengthen the lower back include upward dog and the chair pose. When practiced correctly, nearly all poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles.

Yoga Can Help Posture

With increased flexibility and strength comes better posture. Most standing and sitting poses develop core strength. That’s because you’re counting on your deep abdominals to support and maintain each pose. With a stronger core, you’re more likely to sit and stand “tall.” Another benefit of yoga is the increased body awareness. This heightened awareness tells you more quickly when you’re slouching or slumping so you can adjust your posture.

Yoga Benefits Breathing

Because of the deep, mindful breathing that yoga involves, lung capacity often improves. This in turn can improve sports performance and endurance. But yoga typically isn’t focused on aerobic fitness the way running or cycling are. Taking an intense power yoga class that gets you breathing hard in a heated room, however, can provide an aerobic benefit.

Most forms of yoga emphasize deepening and lengthening your breath. This stimulates the relaxation response — the opposite of the fight-or-flight adrenaline boost of the stress response.

Yoga Means Less Stress, More Calm

Even beginners tend to feel less stressed and more relaxed after their first class. Some yoga styles use specific meditation techniques to quiet the constant “mind chatter” that often underlies stress. Other yoga styles depend on deep breathing techniques to focus the mind on the breath. When this happens, the mind calms.

Among yoga’s anti-stress benefits are a host of biochemical responses. For example, there is a decrease in catecholamines, the hormones produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Lowering levels of hormone neurotransmitters — dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine — creates a feeling of calm. Some research points to a boost in the hormone oxytocin. This is the so-called “trust” and “bonding” hormone that’s associated with feeling relaxed and connected to others.

Yoga, Concentration, and Mood

Harder to pin down and research scientifically, concentration and the ability to focus mentally are common benefits you’ll hear yoga students talk about. The same is true with mood. Nearly every yoga student will tell you they feel happier and more contented after class. Recently, researchers have begun exploring the effects of yoga on depression, a benefit that may result from yoga’s boosting oxygen levels to the brain. Yoga is even being studied as an adjunct therapy to relieve symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Yoga’s Benefits the Heart

Perhaps one of the most studied areas of the health benefits of yoga is its effect on heart disease. Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can benefit people with high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Yoga was a key component to the heart disease program designed by Dean Ornish, MD. This was the first program to partly reverse heart disease through lifestyle and diet rather than surgery. On a biochemical level, studies point to a possible anti-oxidant effect of yoga. And yoga has been associated with decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a boost in immune system function.

Yoga’s Effects on Other Medical Conditions

As yoga has become more popular in the West, medical researchers have begun studying the benefits of therapeutic yoga. This is also called integrative yoga therapy or IYT. It’s used as an adjunct treatment for specific medical conditions, from clinical depression to heart disease. Yoga benefits other chronic medical conditions, relieving symptoms of asthma, back pain, and arthritis. Most worldwide clinical studies are happening outside of the U.S. But even the NIH has funded clinical trials on yoga and its health benefits for insomnia and multiple sclerosis.

Other Benefits of Yoga

Some studies have suggested that yoga may have a positive effect on learning and memory. Other researchers have been studying whether yoga can slow the aging process, increase a person’s sense of self-acceptance, or improve energy levels.

Some potential benefits of yoga may be hard to study scientifically. For instance, yoga has been said to increase spiritual awareness. Nevertheless, there is an abundance of anecdotal claims for what yoga can do. Go to any yoga studio and listen to students after class. Some will even tell you that yoga can help improve marriages and relationships at work.

The only way to be certain of all that yoga can do for you is to try it for yourself and see.

We have two excellent instructors!  I hope you get the opportunity to experience both of them.

Pam Batchelor – Yoga found me in 2013 during a time in my professional life when stress was pam-b wreaking havoc on me and my  personal life. Taking a leap of faith in myself, and with the support of a wonderful husband, I embarked on a new career path as a yoga instructor. The journey has led me to exactly where I am supposed to be which is sharing my passion for yoga and fitness with  you. Yoga allows me to bring awareness to each one of my students through the benefits of sitting in stillness and of the true inner light that shines within each of them. We learn to see the world through a truthful mind and heart allowing for more compassion and love towards everyone. While doing all of that we are also building strength, acquiring flexibility and learning proper posture alignment which, if you take my classes you will often hear me say, “Takes 10 years off of our looks.” It is my heartfelt desire to share yoga with everyone so do not be afraid to venture in to one of my classes. Let me know if you are new to the practice of yoga and we will move forward accordingly with an open mind and an open heart. Namaste’

jenniferJennifer Murphy – I am a North Carolina Native who grew up vacationing in Brunswick County.  My husband and I moved our family to Shallotte 9 years ago, and we love the laid back lifestyle the Brunswick County beaches have to offer. My “real job” is middle school media coordinator, which affords me summers to work on my passion, sharing fitness with anyone who is willing to reap the benefits.  During the summer of 2014, I began teaching private yoga classes to vacationers on the islands, and I’ve decided to take yoga to the next level.  I am so excited to be offering yoga to you at Body Edge Fitness!  I have enjoyed the benefits of yoga for over 20 years and thrilled to share them with you!!  No matter what your fitness level, there are poses that will benefit your body and spirit.  My Basic & Advanced Yoga Certification is from Fitout.