Recently, we had the opportunity to attend a talk on the benefits, misconceptions, and future of CBD Oil, its uses and it’s place in Tennessee. Here is a brilliant video of a similar talk presented this past February at South College, along with a link to the power point presentation!
Workout and exercise trends come and go, but there is hardly another practice that has endured as long as yoga. Some historians believe yoga can be traced back more than 5,000 years! Sure, the styles and flows have changed over the centuries, but the core elements remain the same: strengthening the body, toning the muscles, centering the mind, and calming the spirit.
We worked with Knoxville Weekend to put together a basic, 21 day yoga series that is perfect for anyone, from beginners to life-long practitioners. Check back each day for additional poses, then put them all together for a flow you can do from the comfort of your own home, office, on the road, or anywhere!
Want to expand your practice? Join us at Balanced You Studios for any of our classes! Click here for more information.
There are a lot of misconceptions about acupuncture. Ask most people what it is and you will probably get a dozen different answers. Acupuncture is SO much more than just having some needles stuck into your skin. We had the opportunity to work with Knoxville Weekend, along with two other amazing local acupuncturists, to help clear the air and help people understand what acupuncture is, what it can treat, and how it can help!
Stay in communication with us
- Please tell us if a technique hurts. If there is extreme muscle tension, you might experience some pain, so just let us know!
- Not every client likes every technique or style of work, so please let us know if you do not enjoy part of your massage.
- Bathroom breaks can happen! If you need to take a moment for any reason, we are more than happy to accommodate.
We are not here to judge your body.
- We are focusing on the deeper structures: fascia and muscle tissue, and not thinking about cellulite, stretch marks, or any other items you might be concerned about.
- Your Massage Therapist is the last person you should shave your legs for.
Sometimes we will make recommendations for your health.
- These suggestions are based on what you have told us about your lifestyle and pain, as well as what we noticed during your massage.
- We might recommend some stretches or even a specific yoga class to further help with any issues.
- If you can honor these recommendations it will likely extend that wonderful post massage feeling!
Please arrive before or as close to your start time as possible.
- We often have another massage booked right after yours, so starting late can affect more than just the Massage Therapist’s schedule.
- We want you to be able to receive your full massage.
You can wear what you are comfortable in.
- Some people choose to leave their undergarments on and others choose to fully undress for their massage.
- We are trained in draping techniques to make sure you are comfortably covered during your massage.
- For some modalities like Ashiatsu, it is easier for the Massage Therapist if you fully undress, but remember to only undress to your comfort level.
- There are other modalities, like Sports Massage, where your Massage Therapist might ask you to bring athletic clothes.
Feel free to ask us questions.
- During your massage, you might wonder “Why would that spot hurt” or “Could that be why I’ve been getting headaches”. If you’d like more information, just ask!
- Keep in mind we are not doctors so we cannot diagnose but we do have knowledge of the human body that can help assess what might be going on.
What to expect after your massage…
- You might experience some dehydration, so make sure to drink plenty of water after your massage.
- You may feel sore for a couple of days but if you feel sore for more than 3-4 days please let your Massage Therapist know and we will make some alterations for your next massage.
A Brief History of Yoga: From it’s Tantric Roots to the Modern Yoga Studio
Yoga is growing in popularity all over the world today, yet misconceptions about its original purpose and ancient roots abound. In this refreshing tale of the history of yoga, the author unveils the true heart of the tradition and introduces us to its most influential teachers.
Most writers on yoga have claimed that the practice originated in the ancient Vedas. An increasing number of scholars, however, find this view problematic, both historically and philosophically. According to this fascinating book, yoga did not originate in Vedic society, rather it developed among the enigmatic teachers of Tantra.
Uncovering when and where this popular path to health and enlightenment originated and how it developed over thousands of years, A Brief History of Yoga is essential reading for all those who care about the past and future evolution of yoga.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the source of Yoga, but didn’t know where to start your journey of discovery, we’d recommend starting here. Here are two reviews to help you and should you want, download the Kindle edition for only $.99 for the next 48 hours! Click here to purchase.
About the Author:
Ramesh Bjonnes has traveled the world as a meditation teacher, Ayurvedic practitioner, author, and is currently the Director of the Prama Wellness Center, a retreat center teaching yoga, meditation, and juice rejuvenation. He studied yoga therapy in Nepal and India, Ayurvedic Medicine at California College of Ayurveda, and naturopathic detox therapy at the AM Wellness Center in Cebu, Philippines. He is the author of four books, and he lives with his wife Radhika and Juno, a sweet, gentle Great Pyrenees, in the mountains near Asheville, North Carlina. Connect with him via his website: prama.org and rameshbjonnes.com.
A Brief History of Yoga casts light on a very important issue i.e. the confusion of yoga with Hinduism, and Tantra with the Vedas.
I love the Hindu and Vedanta traditions for their rich philosophy, their music, their wisdom teachings and mythology. But they are also associated with some irrational or even harmful religious dogmas including the caste system, idol worship, the dowry practice (the main causal factor in the deaths of millions of girl fetuses and infants in India) and in some cases, animal sacrifice.
Ramesh’s book is a breath of fresh air for someone like me who loves the practices of yoga and tantra but does not want to be associated with the negative aspects of the historically related, but quite distinct, spiritual traditions of Hinduism.
Ramesh’s book is very well researched and written, I’ll be using this as a reference text for my meditation students.Close Your Eyes and Open Your Mind: A Practical Guide to Spiritual MeditationClose Your Eyes and Open Your Mind: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Meditation
– The Monk Dude, Amazon Verified Buyer
I have read other books by Ramesh Bjonnes and have found them to be well researched, full of very useful information and in some ways life changing. This latest book is no exception.
There is so much written about Tantra which just isn’t so. Ramesh provides the real history and practice of the true Tantra Yoga. He clears up all of the misleading information and supplies the reader with the true facts.
I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of Tantra Yoga and deepen there spiritual practice.
Ramesh has the real life experience and provides the tools for taking your practice to the next level.
A truly sacred experience.
– Jeffrey R. Donohew, Amazon Verified Buyer
If you think Downward Dog is a canine training command, perhaps it’s time for a basic primer on yoga — and its many health benefits.
For centuries yoga has been used to increase strength and flexibility, as well as improve mind/body alignment and reduce stress. Solid benefits all, but they’re just a sampling of how yoga can improve everyday living. Here’s a breakdown:
Whether you’re 8 years old or 80, a diehard gym-every-day athlete or a weekend warrior looking to up your exercise game, yoga can help. Regular yoga practice gets you in touch with your entire body as you move through the poses and flows. And when you’re more in touch with areas that are tight or sore, it’s more likely you’ll pay attention to what’s hurting before a potential injury becomes a real one.
Gateway back to fitness
In the same way yoga helps prevent injuries, it also can serve as a safe way to get back into a fitness program following time away. For example, if you’ve had to step away from exercise due to injury and aren’t ready for high-impact activity yet or are recovering from illness or surgery — or even just living a busy life — yoga can serve as a fun, low-impact way to ease back into movement.
In particular, look into restorative yoga. There all many types and levels of yoga classes, and restorative is great for beginners and longtime practitioners alike. The focus here is working on basic poses and holding them for enough time to help joints and muscles relax and loosen. It also increases blood flow and improves flexibility.
Age is just a number
Yoga is also a fantastic fitness option as we age. As a low-impact exercise, it’s good for anyone dealing with sore hips, knees or other joints. At the same time, yoga lets you work up enough of a sweat to help ditch those hard-to-shed pounds and build flexibility and strength that we often lose with age.
For 89-year-old Dean Stevens, the free yoga class she attends weekly at the Nashville Public Library, run by Small World Yoga and part of Be Well at NPL, has given her a newfound stability she says her peers are often lacking.
“So many of my friends are falling,” she explains. “I almost fell in the strawberry patch the other day, but because I have better flexibility and control over my body, I was able to recover. And that’s because of yoga.”
There are sound psychological and emotional benefits to yoga as well. This is good news for anyone battling depression, anxiety and other mental-health issues. A low-key, dependable exercise regimen such as yoga can:
• Improve balance and stability
• Strengthen muscles
• Increase flexibility
• Improve joint health
• Support better respiration
• Reduce high blood pressure
• Lower anxiety
Yoga brings all those benefits to anyone who rolls out a mat and starts building a personal practice.
And that’s another beauty of yoga: It’s called “practice” because it’s about being quiet, calm and focused rather than accomplishing a set-lifting goal or number of reps. In that way, yoga encourages mindfulness, so you can connect with your body as you flow your way to better health.
The intent of yoga is to link the body and mind. Yoga instructors cultivate the idea of directing our attention and intention to the body, to its movement in the present moment, and to our breathing. Yoga is also a good way to strengthen attention through mindfulness.
This story is provided and presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.
By Ray Long, MD | Originally published here in Yoga Journal
While studying in India with B.K.S. Iyengar years ago, I heard that he was traveling to Bangalore to teach, and I asked if I could join him. He responded that there was nothing for me to do in Bangalore. As I walked away that day, it occurred to me that he hadn’t said no—and I had a burning question I wanted to ask. So, I booked the seat next to him on the plane (you could do that back then).
When I got to the airport, I found Mr. Iyengar sitting at the gate. I walked over, sat next to him, and said jokingly, “Mr. Iyengar! Are you going to Bangalore, too?” He laughed at my bold maneuver, and we chatted while waiting to board. Finally, after the plane took off, I turned to him and asked the question I so wanted him to answer: “Mr. Iyengar, what’s the key to mastering yoga?”
He didn’t respond by dismissing me, nor did he give me a standard answer like “Just practice.” Instead, he said, “To master yoga, you must balance the energies and forces throughout the body.” To demonstrate, he held up one hand and, with his other pointer finger, indicated the outside of his index finger and then the inside, and so on through all of his fingers and the front and back of his wrist, explaining that the energy should be balanced on both sides. “You have to do this throughout the body in each pose, on each side of each joint, according to the forces needed for each position,” he told me.
Mr. Iyengar’s words contained great wisdom, and as I dedicated my study to this concept over the following years, I learned that balancing forces is particularly crucial when it comes to addressing the feeling of “tightness” many of us have in our hips. Because so many of us sit for a living—or for far too many hours when we get home from work each night—our hips are subject to a lot of imbalanced forces. To wit: Sitting leads to shortened hip flexors (including the psoas, iliacus, and rectus femoris) and weak hip extensors (especially the gluteus maximus), which prompts the hamstrings to work harder. The combination of all of this leads to a common set of muscle imbalances that can produce, among other things, abnormal pressures within the hip joint itself and that dreaded tightness.
Stretching the muscles that surround your hip can help to maintain healthy mobility of the joints, to improve circulation of the synovial fluid (which reduces friction in the joint cartilage during movement), and to counteract some of the imbalances created by our chronically sedentary lives. However, while maintaining range of motion in your hips is very important, it’s not all about flexibility. Based on firsthand experience, both from my perspective as a doctor who treats patients with hip-joint pain and as someone with occasional hip pain myself, I’m confident stating that balancing flexibility with strength in the muscles around the hip joint is the key to mobility and stability.
Mobility and Stability in the Hip Joints
To better understand, let’s look at what determines mobility and stability in your hip joints. First, there is the joint shape: a ball fitted into a socket. Surrounding the bone are a capsule and tough ligaments (which connect bone to bone at the joints). Finally, there are the “dynamic” stabilizers of the joint—your muscles. Bones do not change shape, and in general, the ligaments do not stretch very much. So, if you can’t change your bone shape, and your ligaments and cartilage are fixed in shape and length, what can you adjust so that you can more easily get into hip-opening poses? The answer: your muscles and tendons.
Find Your Own Imbalances in the Hip Joints
To activate the muscles in your hips—and learn where your weaknesses and imbalances are so you can ultimately find more openness—try this exercise: Come into Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose). Your knees should be flexed, while your hips will be abducted and externally rotated. Now, squeeze your calves against your thighs and notice that your hamstrings contract. Next, squeeze the outsides of your hips and buttocks to draw your knees down, then notice that you’ll go deeper into the pose. This exercise engages many of the muscles that create the form of the pose—including the tensor fascia latae, gluteus medius, and hamstrings—and you will likely experience more “open” hips in the pose as a result.
Now, do this exercise again, and notice if there is a difference between your muscles on each side. Does your right knee melt toward the floor more easily than your left? Do your left hamstrings seem weaker? On the side that feels less strong, engage your muscles a little more strongly than on your other side (while still keeping your stronger side active) to find more balance. You can apply this same observation to your hips: Are the gluteals on one side stronger than the other? If so, practice engaging the weaker glute, without letting the stronger one go slack.
To work on activating the muscles of the hips to find more balance, try this sequence.
The Emotional Effects of Hip Openers
The beauty of finding more balance and openness in the hips is that not only will it lead you into your fullest expression of hip-opening poses, it will also help on an emotional level. That’s because stress causes our bodies to contract and curl inward—a natural action to protect the vital organs. But hip openers counter this energetic closing, which means there is a good chance they will affect your mental state and perception of well-being for the better.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Teacher Ray Long, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon in Detroit and the founder of Bandha Yoga, a website and book series dedicated to the anatomy and biomechanics of yoga. He trained with B.K.S. Iyengar.
Help us celebrate Betty’s legacy to our community.
September 10, 9:30 AM • Farragut High School football field
Join us on the Farragut High School Football field as we gather to continue Betty Kalister’s legacy of community building through the practice of yoga.
All levels of experience are welcome to attend this free event.