<![CDATA[PEGGY KELLY YOGA & WELLNESS COACHING - Wellness Blog]]>Fri, 23 Feb 2018 08:13:57 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Could I have a word?]]>Sat, 17 Feb 2018 03:52:47 GMThttp://peggykellywellness.com/wellness-blog/could-i-have-a-wordHave you heard of the book, One Word That Will Change Your Life by Dan Britton, Jon Gordon, Jimmy Page? I came across it in late 2016.  It is a process that helps you select just one word that becomes your driving force throughout the year.  No resolutions or wish lists ... just this one word.
My 2017  word-of-the-year was 'fearless'.  I wrote it on each month of my wall calendar, added it to my phone, posted it (subtly) on my website.  It was a constant reminder for me to not act (or react) out of fear, but out of faith.  Fearlessly.  

Looking back at 2017, there are quite a few times that I faced fear in order to say (sometimes finally) what needed saying and to do what needed doing.  I really did face some situations with a different mindset as I reminded myself of my commitment to being fearless.  Some of these were minor incidences of life, but others were pretty significant for me. 

Fearless.  No cowardly lion here.

Since I benefited from having this single-word prompt, it clear that a new word would be needed for 2018.  I changed it up a little with a different book titled, My One Word by Michael Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen - similar concept as the other book, but with a Christian basis.   With prayerful consideration, my new word-of-the-year is 'trust'. 

​Maybe you'll be able to spot it on my website - sort of like a 'Where's Waldo?'

Both books are available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble. 
​If you're interested, click the book images to see their websites and for some downloadables. 
 I trust you'll find value in the process.  :)  See what I did there?

Both offer a simple process for a focused approach in life.  

What's your one word prompt for 2018?
<![CDATA[Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Class]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 12:42:06 GMThttp://peggykellywellness.com/wellness-blog/get-the-most-out-of-your-yoga-classWant to get the most out of yoga classes?  Avoid yoga faux pas?    
Here are some quick tips:
  • Be a little early.  Try to arrive a little early, set up your mat, and take a moment to center yourself, preparing your mind for an hour that's all about you.
  • You're late and class has just started.    It happens. No worries; just enter the class quietly. Avoid being a distraction because the other participants are trying to focus on being present and preparing for the class. They don't want to turn their thoughts to you.  The goal is to not be disruptive when you're late.  The teacher will know you're there, so no need to speak.  Scope out a space to put your mat and gently unroll it.  Take a couple of breaths to help center yourself and join in.
  • You're really late (more than 5 minutes).  When you are late for a class, you miss the opportunity to center yourself and you miss the important warm-up.  If you are 5 minutes late, enter the class quietly without causing a distraction and take a couple of minutes to breathe. Don't just jump in to the asana (pose or stretch) that the class is doing.  Honor your body by giving yourself some time to ease in to your yoga experience.  No need to feel stressed over being late.  
  • Uh-oh! You're super late (more than 10 min).  Unfortunately, you'll need to skip the class if you are more than ten minutes late.  At this point, you've missed the centering, the warm-up, and the stretching progression that the instructor has carefully planned.  Jumping in this late may cause more harm than good.
  • Use the props!  Runners need good, sturdy sneakers.  Hockey players need protective gear and supportive skates.  Yogis need props.  Blocks help bring the floor closer and bring your body into safer alignment.  Straps can assist in a variety of stretches that may not otherwise be an option.  A small folded blanket or beach towel provides cushioning and slight elevation for our hips, lower back, and neck.  Walls, chairs, ballet barre can all be used to modify sun salutations, downward dog, balances, and many, many other poses.  Kneeling pads (like the ones used for gardening)  can add some good cushioning for achy knees.  Even your yoga mat is a prop that provides both grip and cushion.  Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned yogi, props are essential.  By all means utilize wrist and knee supports that may have been prescribed to you. 
  • No pain, no gain is NOT a yogic philosophy.   Practicing yoga provides an opportunity for a personal awareness and appreciation of your body.  It is not necessary to go in to your deepest stretch every time.  It is definitely not necessary to feel pain!  Discomfort is possible for tight muscles, but yoga shouldn't hurt.  If you experience pain in a pose, you may be either using poor form, have an injury, or are pushing too hard to achieve something that your body isn't willing or able to do.  Always honor your body.  Tune in to how you're feeling in the moment.
  • Focus on y-o-u.  Yoga's a personal experience.  That's the beauty of it!  It's all about y-o-u!  Don't over-think it and don't compare yourself to others.  Breathe throughout and honor your body.  
  • Do drink water.  Your body needs water.  If your mouth is dry or you're feeling thirsty, you could already be somewhat dehydrated.  Water is essential to life.  Drink up before, during, and after exercising.
  • Full Belly + Yoga = Discomfort.   Try to eat 2 hours before a class to give yourself time to digest.  If that isn't possible, eat only a light meal  (up to an hour before).  
  • Hunger + Yoga = Shakiness.  On the other hand, DO fuel your body with something before you exercise.  If it's been several hours since your last meal, perhaps have a banana, apple, handful of nuts, boiled egg. before class.  
  • Have a good view.  Make sure you have a good view of the instructor and that you're not blocking someone else's view when you are setting up your mat.   
  • Talk with your instructor.  If you have questions about yoga, certain poses, perhaps have some aches or pains, talk with your instructor. We know about anatomy have been trained to know which stretches (asanas) may help.  Always let your instructor know if you have a recent injury, illness, or recent surgery.    I'm always happy to hear from you either in person or via email.  My goal is to provide you with a safe and effective experience, so the more you share the better.
  • To go or not to go to yoga class?  That is the question.  Have a headache?  Yoga can often help alleviate it.  Have sore muscles?  Ah, a little bit of the hair o'the dog will help.  Feel stressed?  Get on your mat.  Irritable?  Definitely do yoga.  Have a bad cold or bug?  Stay home, get better.  
  • Turn off or silence your phone.  'Nuff said about that.  :)

I'm hoping to see you on your yoga mat soon! Click the blue buttons below for more yoga info and class information.

In health,

Peggy Kelly
<![CDATA[Fall for Yoga]]>Sun, 27 Aug 2017 23:03:18 GMThttp://peggykellywellness.com/wellness-blog/fall-for-yogaPicture
It took me many years to try yoga.  I started with a Rodney Yee video. If you don't know, he's an American yoga instructor who rose to national prominence in the early 1990s when he began starring in a series of Gaiam/Living Arts yoga instructional videos. And he's extremely flexible.  I felt inept at first, and took it as a challenge to become more bendy.  

​It was almost a decade later that I became a certified yoga instructor. To this day, Rodney is still more bendable than I.

What I didn't understand way back then is that yoga isn't just about how flexible you are.  There is a mind-breath-body connection that can enhance a practitioner's overall well-being.  Yoga is also a very personal experience.  In a class we may all be doing the same poses, but we certainly don't all look the same in a downward dog, nor are we all experiencing it in the same way.  
Our bodies are unique - from musculature to range-of-motion to skeletal structure.   In one class there can be someone with a bum knee, another person with an achy back, someone else with carpal tunnel, someone in a larger body, a smaller body, tall, short, beginner, and someone who has been practicing for years.  Regardless of the fact that we're in the same class together, we are all going to experience it in our own unique way.  
THAT'S why I fell for yoga.  It's a personal experience that can challenge you, help heal you, and enhance you.

I hope you'll fall for yoga this fall!  Join me at Drive Dance Company on
Mondays and Thursdays at 7:00 PM.

I promise that I will help to make your yoga experience a good one, helping you to modify each pose so you'll get the most benefit.  Click below for class info.
In health,
Peggy Kelly

Fall Class Info
<![CDATA[Attitude Adjustment Injury]]>Sat, 05 Aug 2017 23:29:55 GMThttp://peggykellywellness.com/wellness-blog/attitude-adjustment-injuryMassaging, stretching, icing, ibuprofen, heating, chiropractic visits weren't alleviating the achy, stiff, pain deep in my hip.  It forced me to stop running and necessitated easing up other workouts, standing up more frequently at my desk, and buddying-up with an ice pack.  When the pain and limitation peaked my frustration, I went to an orthopedic doctor.  Of course this was after self-diagnosing online, as so many of us tend to do.

The orthopedic nurse practitioner confirmed hip bursitis.  Bursitis is the painful swelling of bursae. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion your tendons, ligaments and muscles. When they work normally, bursae help the tendons, ligaments and muscles glide smoothly over bone. But when the bursae are swollen, the area around them becomes very tender and painful. 
​​She offered a cortisone shot, which I gratefully accepted, along with her warning about continued rest.  Within 24 hours my hip was feeling looser, less achy.  However, I knew that was the cortisone kicking in, so more waiting was necessary (I think God is growing patience in me).

I (impatiently) waited two weeks before my first post-cortisone run, which went well, so I tried it again a few days later. 
Yay! I’m back, baby! 
Not so fast.  Just when I thought I had the green light, a new pain was becoming evident ... in my butt. Deep, deep in my butt. Ice packs became my constant companion, running had to stop (again), yoga was limited, my attitude was in the dumps.  Apparently, when I cannot be as active as I am accustomed to it impacts everything from attitude to appetite to motivation to digestion. I was a hot mess.

Back to the doctor I went. She diagnosed a new injury that may have been masked by the previous inflammation, called high hamstring tendinopathy. Runners and yoga practitioners can be prone to this.  "

OK, I'll take the cortisone shot and be on my way."
 Nope.  This required physical therapy and lots of rest.  The absolute worst words to my ears. I really just wanted the magic shot.  I didn’t think I had enough patience for PT or more “rest”.  Ugh!
The first available appointment for physical therapy was two week away.  Being an impatient patient (God really has a lot of work to do here) I wasn't about to wait that long.  Again I referred to America's mutual friend, Google to learn how to help heal my high hammy injury.  The information I found online was very useful and helpful to my situation (of course, one must be prudent and make sure the sources are valid). I did attend the initial PT appointment, but it was stuff I was pretty  much doing at home already.  Diligently I iced, stretched, massaged, and strengthened leg and butt muscles for about three more weeks, and finally, the butt pain was lessening, the hamstring was beginning to loosen.  Finally.
Yoga, very gentle yoga, was an essential component to healing my high hamstring tendinopathy. Time, patience (still working on this virtue), attitude, and listening to my body was key.  Eventually, (hours, days, weeks) as my hamstring started to loosen and the range of motion improved, the pain eased up, and (cue the angel chorus), I went running. 

It was hot and muggy (my least liked running weather conditions) as I laced up my running shoes, but I ran with a smile.

Happy endorphins are coursing through me again!  

There have been a couple minor set-backs, but slow and steady became my new mantra.

I’m approximately 90% mended and happily running at the track a few times per week, even adding in the bleachers, lunges and step-ups off the bench. I modify my downward facing dog, ease more gently in to my stretches, appreciate what my body is capable of, and look forward to adding back the rest of my fitness regime, albeit with a new perspective.

What I learned

  • Time heals all butt wounds.
  • Being sidelined makes me rather cranky, but there's always something to learn in
    every situation.
  • I don't need to go into my deepest stretch every time I do yoga; in fact it's better not to.
  • Sometimes less is better.
  • Cardio workouts make me happy (thereby benefiting family members).
  • I can't eat the same amount of food when not working out.
  • Life is a marathon, not a sprint.  
  • Injuries can be a sign to make a change, slow down, and/or pay closer attention.
  • There WILL be bumps (and butt injuries) along the way.
  • I should not take my health for granted.
  • Gratitude is the best attitude.
  • I’m still a work in progress.
  • Patience really is a virtue.  Thank God.

Join me!

Join me on Friday, August 25 at Drive Dance Company for a fun, relaxing yoga event that will help you to personalize and enhance your yoga experience!  

You'll become more confident when you yoga!  Whether it's body size, shape, range of motion limitations, or injury, you'll learn modifications to enhance your yoga practice.

Here are the
details.   I hope to see you there!

In health,

Peggy Kelly

<![CDATA[I Have One Word for 2017]]>Fri, 30 Dec 2016 22:39:14 GMThttp://peggykellywellness.com/wellness-blog/one-word-for-2017A Driving Force Picture
I dismantled our Christmas tree later than usual this year, twenty-four entire hours later!  Yep, I waited all the way until December 27th!  Usually, I repackage all of the Christmas decor on December 26.  I experience an overwhelming urge to purge,  clean up, re-organize, and then prep for the new year as soon as Christmas is over.  Pine needles sticking to my socks, embedding themselves in the rug, and being strewn about when Riley wags his tail becomes an annoyance, too. 

Now that the tree is down, it's time to plan for 2017! I'm not referring to New Year's Resolutions because, as we all know, they don't last.  My preference is to set goals for myself and then plan to make them happen.  It's a deliberate and important process that is essential to wellness and personal growth.  This year, however, I discovered something new and want to share it with you.

Goals move us out of our comfort zone and help us take action.  Simply declaring to exercise more, eat healthier, lose weight, quit smoking or whatever the resolution may be, isn't enough.  This can be witnessed at the gym every January.  My husband and I expect the gym to be much more crowded between January 1 through around the middle of February.  That's when the crowd begins to thin as people lose their 'resolve'.  

We've all made resolutions with the good intention of "this is going to be the year", but somewhere along the way we get sidetracked or roadblocked.

Why?  Failure to plan.  Goal setting is imperative because it helps us to be specific and intentional.  I've covered goal-setting previously, so I won't go into detail because I want to share something else with you, but just know that setting personal goals is essential!
This year I'm adding a simple, effective tool to my 2017 goals: one word.  

That's it.  One word that will prompt me throughout 2017 to make things happen, to achieve my goals with intention, and to be purposeful in my decision-making.  

​I highly recommend it to you, too!  
One Word That Will Change Your Life, is a book by John Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page.  
​The concept is simple: 
"One Word that Will Change Your Life will inspire you to simplify your life and work by focusing on just one word for this year. That’s right! One Word creates clarity, power, passion and life-change. The simple power of One Word is that it impacts all six dimensions of your life – mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial. Simply put, One Word sticks. There is a word meant for you and when you find it, live it, and share it, your life will become more rewarding and exciting than ever."
I downloaded One Word That Will Change Your Life on my Kindle and read it straight through.  Maybe you'll want to incorporate this simple concept into your new year.  Find out more at their website: Get One Word

About three weeks ago I discovered my one word - the word that will prompt me, support me, enhance my wellness, and, in fact, has already helped me with a few decisions that have benefited my life in a positive way.  

Having my one word prompts me to do | act | be in alignment with my goals in all aspects of wellness:  faith, fitness, food, finances focus, family|friends!   ​I did not randomly select my word, but followed the simple process of Prepare Your Heart, Discover Your Word, Live Your Word.  

My word?  "Fearless."  It has personal meaning and will be (has already been!) a driving force for the year.  You'll see it discretely popping up on my website and FB page as a personal reminder, a prompt, an encouragement.

​What about you?  What will your one word be in 2017?  Join me!  I challenge you to discover your word and apply it throughout the year.  Let's see how it works for us!

Happy New Year!

In health,

Peggy Kelly
<![CDATA[The Antigua Workout]]>Fri, 02 Dec 2016 23:18:40 GMThttp://peggykellywellness.com/wellness-blog/the-antigua-workoutPicture
 friend recently texted to say that saw me while I was running and claimed, "you are so dedicated to fitness".   I hadn't thought about it that way, but it's accurate. I exercise for both the physical and mental benefits, and really enjoy working out.  I love to sweat, to challenge my muscles, and to feel that exhilerating rush after a run.  Missing workouts make me feel cranky. 

Why do I workout?  
What motivates my continued love-fest with fitness?
  • I like the way sweating, moving, and pushing myself make me feel;
  • I'm fit;
  • I rarely catch colds/illness;
  • I don't gain weight;
  • I'm health/med-free;
  • I sleep well;
  • I like to challenge myself;
  • I manage stress well;
  • I'm focused and confident;
  • I like to see muscles as the result of my hard work;
  • Working out with my husband is fun;
  • Feeling youthful. I feel better today than in my thirties!

Admittedly, sometimes I do need some additional motivation, especially if it's cold and windy and my couch is warm and comfy. That's when setting a goal helps, some future event that I'm anticipating or achievement that I'm striving for. Currently, my husband and I call our workouts "Antigua" in honor of our upcoming vacation.  If one of us is feeling unmotivated for the evening workout, the other says "Antigua", and off we go.  Guess what?  There hasn't been one workout that I've ever regretted, but I have regretted skipping exercise. After the Antigua trip, I'll set a goal for summer or perhaps plan to run a 10k or plan a big hike ... something that will motivate me to challenge myself and keep working out.

Ultimately, my dedication to fitness will benefit me in my older years.  My long, long-term goal is to refrain from medications and to stay as active as possible as I age.  I want to be that old lady still doing yoga and lifting weights!  In order to make that my reality, I have to take action now.

We have this one life and I decided long ago that I want to live every day of it to it's fullest.  Staying fit, taking care of myself - body, mind, and spirit - have been extremely beneficial to me so far. It honors God when I take care of my body and I believe whole-heartedly that this fit lifesltyle will continue to positively impact my life for years to come.  That's the plan, anyway.

What about you?  Are YOU motivated?  Find an activity that you like and do it.  You have to plan it and make it happen!  No one can do it for you.

In health,

Peggy Kelly

<![CDATA[When it comes to wellness, what's your 'why'?]]>Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:50:36 GMThttp://peggykellywellness.com/wellness-blog/when-it-comes-to-wellness-whats-your-why
Here's a question to ponder:
What is preventing you from really taking charge of your wellness?

If you were to get quiet - no phone, no distractions, just you and your thoughts - and then really dug deep, how would you honestly respond to that question?

If you want to make changes, it's time to get real. Ask yourself the hard questions:  
  • Why don't I do the things that I know I need to do in order to be my healthiest self?  
  • Why am I settling for the status quo?  
  • Why do I give up on exercise, give in to eating temptations, and hold on to this excess weight? 
  • Am I truly happy with my health status?

    Now ask yourself, "What will it take to reclaim my wellness?"  

This thought process can trigger emotions that, if we're honest, we don't really want to deal with. Why? Because the answers to those questions require us to change, to do things differently, to admit we're not 'perfect', and to love ourselves enough to make our health and well-being Priority One.  

The root of it is one thing:  fear.
What's your "Why"?

Why do you want to have better health?  Obviously no one wants to be sick or popping pills for various ailments, or to have limited mobility, or feel achy all the time. So why aren't you making the changes you need to make?  Why do you wish you could lose weight, eat healthier, be more active?  What's the benefit?  What's in it for you?

Here's My 'Why' 

I consciously choose to eat healthy, nutritious foods, lift weights, run, hike, snowshoe, do yoga, maintain a healthy weight, have a positive outlook, and take my health seriously.  It makes me feel alive!  I want to live a quality life. I don't want to look back with regret because of limitations that I placed on myself.  

There was a time in my life when I didn't take good care of myself, when recreational drug use was limiting me, when processed foods and sugars decreased my health, when negativity limited my thoughts, when fear ruled.  I wasn't living a quality life.  I felt it and it weight heavily on me because I wasn't experiencing my true self.

I made a conscious decision to enhance my wellness.  It's the BEST decision I could have ever made for myself.  Hands down.

Not taking care of yourself is a limitation.  
Don't limit yourself.  

What if I told you that you can make some simple changes, some slight modifications that will begin the process of reclaiming your wellness?  What if you don't have to spend lots of money, or  make radical, life-altering changes in order to experience improvements in your health?  

Would you do it?  

I won't sugar-coat it though.  It can be challenging.  You will have to step out of your comfort zone a bit and to consciously decide that you want to take better care of yourself.  You'll need to make a plan.  You'll need to know - and always remember - your 'WHY'.

But you can do it.  I'm going to tell you how.

 Still with me?  Great!  In this blog series, I'm going to share some simple, proven ways to enhance your wellness at home.  Today I'll share Tip #1.

Tip #1
Write down your "why"
This must be your starting point.  Be clear about WHY you NEED to do this.  What's the real reason you need to do take better care of yourself?  
Your 'why' is your motivation, your driving force.
  • Why do you want to enhance your wellness?
  • How will you benefit?
  • What will change for the better when you enhance your wellness?
  • How will you feel when you're doing the the things you need to do to improve your health?
  • How do you envision yourself as you age? 
  • What limitations will you let go of when you take charge of your health?
  • What is something you cannot do now (because of self-imposed health limitations) that you really want to do?

Getting to the heart of the matter - your 'why'  - is imperative.  Take a few minutes, think it through, and write it down.  It's an essential first step.

Stay tuned for Tip #2. (Sneak peek:  "tricks" health coaches use to help you begin to improve your wellness ASAP)

In health,

Peggy Kelly
Health & Wellness Advocate

<![CDATA[I'm on A Mission!]]>Sat, 24 Sep 2016 18:43:39 GMThttp://peggykellywellness.com/wellness-blog/im-on-a-missionPicture
to provide affordable, practical, and effective wellness solutions so my clients can live their ideal level of wellness.  

I believe we all want to feel healthy in body, mind, and spirit.  My programs provide practical strategies that help you to live your ideal level of wellness, starting at whatever stage of wellness you are currently in.

I feel most alive when I am helping a client enhance their wellness - whether working one-on-one assisting them with goal-setting, teaching fitness classes, conducting wellness workshops, or writing a wellness blog.  I discovered that my true calling is teaching - and my true passion is wellness.  So I've combined all of my life's experiences and education into some unique wellness programs that help people re-claim their wellness. 

I guide my clients to make weight-related behavioral and nutritional changes through goal-setting, education, motivation, programming, support, appropriate progressions, and referral when necessary. My holistic approach creates balance between your nutritional and physical health, healthy relationships, fulfilling career, regular physical activity, spiritual practices thereby addressing the whole self, instead of just focusing on one aspect. 

I believe wellness is for everyone and should not be cost-prohibitive, therefore, my wellness programs are comfortably priced, with payment plans and discounts available as well.

My programs include nutrition & wellness coachingyoga, and personalized, at-home workouts.

Please contact me with your wellness concerns or questions about my programs!  I'd love to hear from you!  


Email Me

Join me 

<![CDATA[Don't Crush Candy at the Gym]]>Thu, 22 Sep 2016 21:24:01 GMThttp://peggykellywellness.com/wellness-blog/dont-crush-candy-at-the-gymPicture
I'm all business when I'm working out.  I want my workouts to be effective, efficient, and completed in 60 minutes. Before I get to the gym, there's a plan - what my cardio will be and which body parts I'll be focusing on with the weights. This is my time to sweat and I savor it because the rest of the world is on hold. No emails, phone calls, social media, texting.  It's just me versus me and I'm in my own little workout world.

As a personal trainer/health coach/yoga teacher, I can't help but notice other people's workouts.  I'll find myself thinking, "Wow! That's a move I want to try!" or "Oh!  That' person's back might be aching tomorrow."  

One thing that bums me out at the gym is phone usage.   I often see folks who seemed busier scrolling their phones than actually working out.  Then there are the loud talkers like the person on the treadmill next to me talking with a friend on her cell.  I didn't want to be part of the conversation, but it was all I could hear.

Unfortunately, we multi-task most everything - even exercise.  

If you make time to put on your workout clothes and sneakers and drive over to the gym, make your time matter!  Let it be the ONE hour in the day when you aren't multi-tasking.  Use this time as an investment in your health.  One of best things you can do is to  leave your smart phone at home or in the car or in a locker or if you use it for music, then restrict its usage to music only for this 60 minutes of your day.  

I mean, if you're going to invest  time, money, and sweat at the gym, make  it to count. Time is precious, wouldn't you agree?  Health is even more valuable. 

 Ir you're going to the gym then remember it is an investment in health, a contribution to your wellness.  Exercise is a great stress reliever, the anecdote to so many aches, pains, and ailments.  For one hour out of the day, focus on y-o-u, your health, getting sweating, challenging yourself.

​I promise all the other stuff will still be there when the workout is over.

In health,
Peggy Kelly
​Wellness Advocate
<![CDATA[5 Ways My Yoga Classes Improves Your Wellness]]>Wed, 21 Sep 2016 23:45:27 GMThttp://peggykellywellness.com/wellness-blog/5-ways-my-yoga-classes-improves-your-wellness
Thanks to those who have already signed-up for (and participated in) this fall's yoga classes!  Your body will benefit immensely from a regular yoga practice.  By 'regular' I mean participating in yoga two or more times per week.  Our body cannot store fitness, so we have to invest in daily exercise to help us stay healthy.  Here are 5 ways my yoga classes will help improve your wellness:
  1. Breath Awareness - We have to 're-learn' how to breathe in nice, full breaths.  Most of us breathe in the upper part of our lungs only.  Diaphragmatic breathing, also called belly breathing, deep breathing, balances out your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, allowing your body to function more optimally. It helps reduce the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which are more often than not elevated due to stress-filled work environments and a lack of sleep.  It also helps:
    • Helps lower blood pressure, and therefore the risk of heart disease
    • Helps lower blood sugar, and therefore the risk of diabetes 
    • Releases serotonin, which not only makes you feel good, but can reduce cravings for processed carbohydrates and other junk food
    • Eliminates free radicals from the body, improving cellular function and lifespan
    • Increases the secretion of growth hormone and slows the aging process 
    • Improves mental focus and clarity by increasing blood flow to the pre-frontal cortex of your brain
    • Improves sleep quality
    • Facilitates weight loss by balancing stress hormones with anabolic hormones

  2. Ease That Achy Back - We all have experienced that deep ache in the lower back or the stiff upper back and tight shoulders.  Yoga helps increase strength in very specific muscles and muscle groups. Holding positions in yoga is not intended to be uncomfortable. However, it does require concentration and specific use of muscles throughout the body. Muscle strength improves by remaining in these yoga positions and incorporating various movements.Many of the postures in yoga gently strengthen the muscles in the back, as well as the abdominal muscles. Back and abdominal muscles are essential components of the muscular network of the spine, helping the body maintain proper upright posture and movement. When these muscles are well conditioned, back pain can be greatly reduced or avoided.
  3. Stress Management- Are you familiar with that term?  Ha-ha. Stress is a part of life.  A number of studies have shown that yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety and help pus manage life's stressors in ways that won't make us feel as over-burdened by it.  It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being. It's the breathing, the stretching, the increased body awareness, the relaxation at the end of my classes that you can take off the mat and use throughout your day.

  4. Improved Posture - Your mom was right: You’ll look better and feel great if you stop slouching and stand up straight. Yoga can help you do just that — in a way that honors your spine’s natural curves. I'm also very fond of the saying, "You are as young as your spine is flexible".  My goals as a yoga teacher are to help you stand taller and feel stronger!  

  5. Core Strengthening - Yoga helps you to build back and ab strength.  Period.  A strong core (which is not just your abdominal muscles, it's also your obliques, pecs, and the erector spinae and other muscles of the back) is going to benefit you in the long run.  Seriously, take care of your spine NOW so that you will be more limber in your golden years.  
Oh, and here's a bonus reason my yoga classes improve your wellness:  
my teaching style is safe, practical, and I have 25+ years of fitness/wellness experience to guide you!

In health, 
Peggy Kelly
Health Coach & Wellness Advocate
and happy yoga teacher :)