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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Learn Yoga and Pilates in Attleboro


Attleboro Yoga / Pilates Schedule

Classes at: Aura Wellness Center, 21 Park Street, Suite 202, Attleboro, MA

Grand Opening October 2, 2006

Monday: 6:00 to 7:00 pm - Beginners / Restorative Yoga with Marie Jerard, CYT 500

Restorative Yoga is a gentle form of Yoga, where you learn to develop a safe routine. Yoga props are made available for better alignment and for less strain on the body. Although Restorative Yoga is gentle, don't be deceived; you will build strength, muscle tone, and flexibility. Meditation, relaxation, and proper breathing are also part of the curriculum.

Tuesday: 6:00 to 7:15 pm - Vinyasa Yoga with Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Vinyasa Yoga is a physically challenging form of Yoga and a "sister style" of Power Yoga. Yoga students, who practice Vinyasa, gain strength, increase flexibility, burn calories, and work the cardio vascular system. Vinyasa Yoga is one of the ultimate cross-training methods available today. Vinyasa Yoga will increase your self-confidence and firm your entire body.

Wednesday: 6:00 to 7:00 pm - Pilates Body Sculpt with Marie

Pilates is a very popular health maintenance system. Marie teaches traditional, as well as "offshoots," of Pilates mat exercises; modifications are shown to help firm your abs, glutes, and inner thighs. Pilates conditions the entire body through stretching and strengthening of muscles. It creates balance by improving posture and aligning the body.

Thursday: 6:00 to 7:15 pm - Yoga Fusion with Paul

If you are interested in movement, this is the class for you! Yoga Fusion is a mixture of Vinyasa Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and flowing movement. Some light weight resistance will be included. We encourage you to bring plenty of water with you to keep you hydrated.

Saturday: 9:30 to 10:15 am - Kids Yoga with Paul

Yoga for Kids helps children develop life skills through improved concentration, coordination, and the proper use of body mechanics. Your child will develop athletic skills, which will carry on into other sports and activities throughout his/her life. All of today's professional sports teams incorporate Yoga into their training programs.

Yoga classes for kids are more than just a fun activity. Children learn life skills such as: Goal Setting, Success, Anger Management, Self Discipline, Positive Thinking, and Stress Management. Children also learn to control their body weight, gain strength, and increase flexibility safely and in a positive atmosphere.

Parents are welcomed to practice Yoga with their children in this class. Parents can join this class for half off. This is a limited time offer for parents.

Practice Jnana Yoga for Optimum Mental Health


By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Anyone who cares about their health often focuses on keeping his or her body in peak condition. Who considers the health of the mind? A psychiatrist or a psychologist is concerned with behavior, and mental health, but how can Yoga help you?

We have all heard Yoga is a good “mind and body exercise,” but how does a Yoga student exercise his or her mind through Yoga practice. How can Yoga help you develop mental strength? Let’s look at one of the many styles of Yoga, to find answers, and acquire optimum mental health.

Jnana Yoga is the union of mind, body, and spirit, through acquired knowledge. It is true that reading will make your mind sharp, but what do Jnana Yogis read? Traditionally, Jnana Yogis read Hindu scriptures to expand their knowledge.

Yoga has been around for thousands of years. The Brahmin caste would have had more access to Yogic philosophy, and the scriptures (Vedas), than the average person, at that time.

This same parallel can be made to any holy man of any religion. Access to written knowledge, books, and Holy Scriptures was not common place, in any religion, hundreds of years ago. There was a time when the average person was forbidden to have a copy of the Bible. The early Bibles were very big, expensive to produce, and not meant for the public to interpret. Whether we like it, or not, this is a part of history.

Now, let’s fast forward to the 21st century. Millions of new computer users are accessing the Internet every year. So, how is it that more people, than ever, are disconnected from their mind, body, and spirit? We have attention disorders, multi-tasking, and many distractions to keep us far from tranquility.

Even in a Yoga class, you may hear a cell phone go off - despite the fact there are rules and a sign on the entrance of most Yoga studios. The sign might read, “Turn your cell phone off,” but people do not see it, even if it is right under their nose. Why?

Unfortunately, people do not read or pursue vital information. Cable television has hundreds of channels and the Internet has millions of sites. Do you really think the masses are trying to expand their minds by reading?

Jnana Yoga practice, and regular meditation, raises the “Level of Consciousness.” Yet it seems that prosperity seems to breed poor mental and physical health. When given the choice, children would rather play video games than watch the History Channel. Therefore, many adults must be getting in touch with their “inner child.”

Now, let’s come full circle. Entertainment is a wonderful thing, but we should be deliberate in our efforts to challenge our minds. Creativity cannot be found in games that are programmed or in viewing stories where you can easily guess the ending.

Your mind must be challenged on a daily basis by reading good quality writing and watching entertainment that is true art. The modern Jnana Yoga practitioner has much more access to education, information, art, and entertainment. However, he or she must be much more selective than ever before.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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Yoga Classes in Attleboro, Massachusetts

Aura Wellness Center has weekly classes for Yoga and Pilates.

Aura has relocated from North Providence, RI to downtown Attleboro, MA.

The new Aura Wellness Center downtown Attleboro location, will open 11:00 am on Monday, October 2, 2006.

Our first beginner's Yoga class in Attleboro will be at 6:00 pm on Monday, October 2, 2006.

We are currently taking new Yoga students.

Telephone: 508-222-0092 to reserve your space or for Yoga class information.

You can also contact Marie at: aurayoga2@aol.com

We have Yoga, Pilates, Personal Fitness Training, and many more programs for mind / body health.

Private Yoga training is available.

To see the Aura Wellness Center October schedule in Attleboro, visit:
http://www.riyoga.com/

Friday, September 29, 2006

Yoga and Back Pain

By Jennifer Jordan

Back pain is a part of many people's lives. From long hours of sitting in a chair staring at a computer to the moments spent lifting up a heavy box to the hours spent toting a three-year old around on a hip, pain often manifests in one of the workhorses of our body: the back. While this sort of pain may simply seem like a load to bear, something with which we all must deal, there are ways of lessening it, getting the proverbial monkey off our back completely.

Many people plagued by back pain have recently turned to yoga, using it as a way to condition their body by the way they think and feel about its relation to their mind and spirit. Yoga moves every joint in your body. You begin to realize where you hold tension in your body and this allows you to let it go. You can actually make changes and live your life in a tension free relaxed manner. Along these lines, pain is sometimes informative. It's your body's way of saying that it's time to change your habits. Yoga encourages us to explore pain, using it as a way to understand our body and habits.

Restorative yoga helps you become aware of and relax chronic tension held in the muscles, for example, muscles along the spine and in the neck and shoulders. Decreased chronic tension can begin to relieve back pain that manifests. A healthy resilient spine distributes weight throughout the whole body. With correct posture, you can help prevent muscular tension in the back and future structural problems, as well as give your internal organs room to function normally.
Conditioning the entire body - especially the legs, back and stomach muscles helps support the back and spine. These muscles bear a lot of the body’s physical load and they are highly conducive to proper posture and correct alignment. Thus, when these muscles are strong and resilient, the support comes from the inside out. A well conditioned body allows it to self-regulate and the pain that once plagued you begins to subside.

In addition to relaxing and strengthening muscles, yoga also elongates them through flexibility. For people with back problems, particularly lower back problems, flexibility is highly important. Stretching and improving the flexibility of a seemingly unrelated muscle, such as the hamstring, decreases the amount of stress placed on the back, ultimately decreasing tension and pain.
But, flexibility doesn’t stop there, flexing its muscles in other aspects. In addition to relieving the stress and tension placed on a person’s back, flexibility also increases circulation, sending nutrients into back muscles and filtering toxins out of them. This nourishes back muscles and muscle tissue, leaving them healthier and more properly armed for pain prevention.

Proper breathing, one of the backbones of yoga, is also essential to quieting back pain. Many times people erroneously perform yoga poses with their breath held, creating stress on their body. This tendency, however, must be broken in order for proper breathing to promote the body’s natural healing potential. Once people have learned to take deep, rhythmic, natural breaths, their body becomes relaxed, freeing them of pain-causing restrictions and facilitating proper circulation. Proper breathing also oxygenates the body, which creates harmony and calm, producing a better balanced being.

Making a commitment to the techniques taught in yoga can help commit our backs to a less painful existence. The practice of yoga is intended to improve a person’s well being not merely for one 75 minute session at a time, but for a lifetime. When a person begins applying the knowledge they learn in yoga class - correct posture and relaxed breathing to all their waking hours - proper body alignment begins to manifest. This, while improving general health, also protects the curvature of the spine, an element that is essential to the decrease in, and prevention of, back pain.

While the ways yoga physically helps a person’s back can be researched, checking out medical journals and highlighting important phrases, only those who practice yoga can fully grasp the way it mentally benefits back pain. One benefit is through the art of self-awareness. Self-awareness helps us to better understand our body’s capabilities, and its limitations. By knowing these, we are far less likely to strain our body in such a way that causes back pain. This is because self-awareness leads to empowerment, empowering us to be proactive in our own pain prevention.

Another way yoga mentally benefits back pain is through the concept of perception. Perception is the way we look at things; it conceptualizes the old “glass half empty or half full” adage. We all recall scraping our knees as children and thinking that it didn’t hurt until we saw our own blood flowing through an open wound. At the sight of this, our perception of the injury worsened and the pain skyrocketed. The perception, alone, fueled the pain. Similarly, when we perceive our back pain with negative thoughts – thoughts of hopelessness and despondency - the pain will undoubtedly worsen.

Yoga, however, is a vehicle of positive thinking. By teaching people to embrace thoughts of gratitude, hope, and encouragement, yoga helps us to alter our perception of things, spinning our perception of pain into a more positive light - a gift actually. This is, ultimately, one of the greatest ways to get pain off our backs for good.

TWISTED is a medical yoga studio at the Center for Osteopathic Medicine in Boulder, Colorado. Twisted integrates osteopathic medicine, hatha yoga and mindfulness practices to teach optimal balance between physical, mental, and emotional health. It aims to educate and help people to live a healthy life from the inside out. Rehabilitation programs offer a comprehensive treatment regime for the whole being, empowering each person one breath at a time to stimulate the body’s natural healing potential.

Jennifer Jordan is senior editor of http://www.yogatwisted.com Specializing in articles that not only teach yoga techniques, but also teach techniques on fulfillment and enrichment, she aims to educate students proudly enrolled in the school of life.

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Aura Wellness Center has weekly classes for Yoga and Pilates. Aura has relocated to downtown Attleboro, MA.

The new Aura Wellness Center downtown Attleboro location, will open 11:00 am on Monday, October 2, 2006. Our first beginner's Yoga class in Attleboro will be at 6:00 pm on Monday, October 2, 2006.

We are currently taking new Yoga students.

Telephone: 508-222-0092 to reserve your space or for Yoga class information.

You can also contact Marie at: aurayoga2@aol.com

We have Yoga, Pilates, Personal Fitness Training, and many more programs for mind / body health.

Private Yoga training is available.

To see the Aura Wellness Center October schedule in Attleboro, visit:
http://www.riyoga.com/

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Teaching Hatha Yoga: Is a Hatha Yoga Teacher a Karma Yogi?

By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

What is Karma Yoga and what is a Karma Yogi? The word Karma can be defined as action, work, or service. Karma Yoga is often referred to as selfless service or unselfish action. This is work that you do, without any consideration of a reward. Many times, we may consider a religious leader to fit this description.

However, people who seek change for justice, and the common good, are not always religious leaders. Some may have been considered revolutionaries in their time, politicians, public servants, social workers, teachers, or something similar. There is one common thread, beside selfless service; it is the need to contribute to change for the purpose of justice.

So, how could a Hatha Yoga teacher become a Hatha Yogi? Hatha Yoga is union by physical mastery; and in some parts of the world, concern over physical appearance overrides the need to make social changes.

Consumerism, self-gratification, gluttony, and greed, would seem to be the driving forces for people who are physically self-absorbed. It may take generations before consumerism and self-absorption give way to the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. Unfortunately, this is another example of evolution that we have to wait for. Humankind needs time to “grow up.”

However, when any Hatha Yoga teacher answered the calling to teach Yoga, it was not because of the money. If money is the prime motivating force behind teaching Yoga, this type of Yoga teacher will not last long. There is too much giving of one’s self involved in teaching Yoga.

There are many Yoga teachers who give selfless service to the elderly, to the sick, and to the poor. When a Yoga studio, or an, ashram is profitable, they always give to charities or have fund raisers. All of the Yoga teachers I have met, give to those in need and do not turn their backs on the poor.

Although Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga are considered higher spiritual forms of Yoga, Hatha Yoga is a gateway to character improvement. It is not wise for us to classify “superior” forms of Yoga. The fact that a young Yogi, or Yogini, is practicing any form of Yoga is a good start in life.

When any one of us performs the work that calls to him or her, and it benefits humankind, it is a form of Karma Yoga. Your dosha calls to you in diet, exercise, activity, behavior, and in your work. When you follow your true nature, you will find tranquility and harmony in life. A Hatha Yoga teacher should learn if he or she is pitta, vata, or kapha. Then you will understand the strengths and weaknesses of your role in this life.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. http://www.riyoga.com He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.

To receive a Free e-Book: "Yoga in Practice," and a Free Yoga Newsletter, please visit: http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/index.html