Tag Archives: mind body spirit

Class Highlight: Vinyasa Yoga

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Vinyasa Yoga

Amy Younkman

Leader Amy Younkman

I often see people pop into yoga class when they feel stiff, sore, or side-lined by injury. What I have found is, the real jewels of this ancient healing art truly begin to surface when one maintains a consistent yoga practice. Just like anything we want to “get good at”, we need to regularly put the time into practicing. When we consistently show up on our yoga mat, we deepen not only our ability to perform different postures, but more importantly, we deepen our internal awareness of what is going on in our bodies; right here, right now. Instead of muscling our way through exercise, we slow down to connect breath with movement, and pay attention to what got us stiff, sore or injured in the first place. If we stick with the practice, the answers are revealed to us.

unspecified-21I love sharing my passion for yoga with others because yoga has literally changed my life, and continues to do so. My practice keeps me true to myself and I love that after a decade of teaching, I am still a student dipping my toe into a deep well on knowledge. When I show up on my mat and allow myself to be vulnerable, rather than performance based and trying to “get it right”, I learn how to work through discomfort, frustration, lack of confidence and feeling the need to be in control. I learn to lighten up on myself and go with the flow. When I can deal with these things on the mat, I can deal more effectively with life off the mat.

My Vinyasa Yoga class is tailored to my students’ needs each Friday morning. Choosing a theme for the class, I like to share insights and inspirations to ignite body, mind and
unnamed-11spirit. I try to strike a balance between fun, creative sequencing and simple, safe alignment. I consider our yoga mats like an adult playground where we can explore fun poses like Eagle, Crow, Flamingo and Camel. The focus of my classes is building core stability and strength, breath and body awareness, proper technique, balance and “getting out of your comfort zone”. You will feel nurtured, safe, and taken care of in my Vinyasa yoga class.

Deepak Chopra says, “Life is like a river; you cannot step into it in the same place twice.” Our yoga practice is no different. We are constantly evolving, and I don’t know of a better system of exercise to calm our central nervous system while giving us tools to grow stronger and more flexible in body, mind and spirit.

“Slowing down is the same thing as waking up.” —Judith Lasatar

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The Proven Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

Inspiration from the iGnite Blog Article Archives

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Point to Ponder:
Are you spending enough time exercising outdoors?

Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

Yes…it is HOT outside, at least before this amazing cool and wet front blew in! WHEW! Despite the actual temperature, it is always a great idea to exercise outdoors. I don’t only think this because I prefer outdoor exercise and it is iGnite’s philosophy, but if you happen to be a someone who needs actual evidence, I have listed below the proven benefits of exercising in nature, which are all undeniably awesome!

  1. It’s More Challenging and More Effective – Studies found that outdoor running/walking is more strenuous than the indoor treadmill/eliptical. In studies comparing the exertion of running on a treadmill and the exertion of running outside, treadmill runners expended less energy to cover the same distance as those striding outside, primarily because indoor exercisers face no wind resistance or changes in terrain, no matter how subtle. The machines are obviously doing some of the work for you. When you run outside, YOU provide the movement. Running outside increases your work load from 2% to 10%!!!! The same dynamics apply to cycling: Where wind drag can result in much greater energy demands than going the same distance on a stationary bike. That means if you have limited time and want to burn as many calories as possible, you should head outside instead of the gym!
  2. It Improves Your Mood – In a number of recent studies, volunteers have been asked to go for two walks for the same time or distance — one inside on a treadmill and one outdoors. In all of the studies, the volunteers reported more enjoyment outdoors, scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after they walked outside! And of course exposure to direct sunlight greatly affects your mood.
  3. You’ll Do it More Often, for Longer and Be More Active – In another study, those who exercised outside exercised longer and more often than those working out indoors, and were significantly more physically active than those who exercised indoors!
  4. Stress Reduction – Studies have found that people have lower blood levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress, after exerting themselves outside as compared to inside! And, green space raises serotonin levels.

What I am definitely not recommending is exercising outdoors in the heat of the day. We should all consider the intense heat and it’s dangerous effects. However, rising early to beat the heat while also focusing on proper hydration makes for the absolute best opportunity to enjoy the amazing benefits of exercise under the blue sky and amongst the trees and birds. There’s nothing better for your body, mind and spirit!


Action Item:
Rise early to beat the heat, and stay proper hydrated so you can experience the amazing benefits of exercise in nature.


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Member Spotlight: Melinda Twomey


Roots:

I was born in New York City and raised mostly just outside New York in Englewood, New Jersey. We have lived in Austin for 16 years.

Basic Family Stats:IMG_1621-1
I have been married to Barry Twomey for 26 blissful years, and we are blessed to have four wonderful children: Paul (sophomore at Beloit College in Wisconsin), Margot (sophomore at University of Texas in Austin), Laura (freshman at Trinity University in San Antonio) and Mark (high school senior at AESA Prep Ac
ademy).

Current/Previous Occupation:
After attending Smith College and Columbia School of International Affairs, I worked in New York at several investment banks until retiring to be a full time mom. I currently serve on the boards of Fountain Valley School of Colorado and Tomorrow’s Children Foundation.

Biggest lesson learned through iGnite experience:
The biggest lesson I have learned through iGnite is to try new things! iGnite had literally been on my mind to try for years, but I was just too stuck to my routine. I finally made the leap in April, and the rest is history – thank goodness!

Who inspires you the most and why?
My girlfriends inspire me the most. They are smart, informed, readers of great books, travelers of the world, givers to those in need, sensitive, funny, interesting, fun, loving and humble. How lucky am I?!

In my free time…
I like to travel, hike, ski, read, do jigsaw puzzles, watch Homeland, Downton Abbey and House of Cards, work on my photography skills, spend time with family and friends, and most of all, I love to iGnite!

What is your guilty pleasure?
I only have two guilty pleasures: Chardonnay and Kone coffee (which we actually order from Hawaii).

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