Yoga FAQs / Links
Yoga is a 5,000 year old system of health that benefits all aspects of an individual – physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Yoga is not a religion, anyone can practice yoga. The original purpose of the postures and breathing exercises was to prepare practitioners to sit still and alert for long periods of time in meditation. It is the oldest physical discipline in existence. It is a scientific system designed to bring the practitioners health, happiness, and a greater sense of self.
In Yoga, the body and mind are linked to create a state of internal peacefulness and integration, bringing the individual from a state of separation to a self-unity that is flexible, accepting and whole. At the practical level, Yoga utilizes stretching postures, breathing, and meditation techniques to calm the emotional state and the mind, and tone the body.
Today, over 20 million people in the United States practice yoga.
Yoga is so many things and means something different for every individual. Yoga can be a tool to improve health and get fit, a ritual of relaxation and stress-relief, a path towards spiritual evolution, or a form of highest service. We recognize that we all start and continue a yoga practice for different reasons. This is why we are continuously improving our offerings so that we may better serve the needs of a diverse student population, as well as support the talents of our teachers.
Hatha Yoga is the style of yoga that is used at Red Sun Yoga. Hatha focuses primarily on the physical, and was designed to keep the body healthy and strong so that one could sit comfortably to meditate. The word hatha is the union between ha (sun) and tha (moon), a metaphor for bringing the body and mind together. Hatha consists of three components: asana, pranayama and meditation.
Group classes at Red Sun Yoga are primarily Hatha Yoga with an Integral influence. This form of yoga is appropriate for beginners as well as advanced students. In addition, the studio also provides specialty classes and other styles of yoga are taught in workshops hosted at Red Sun Yoga.
Yoga postures help to realign the spine and increase the range of motion of joints while strengthening muscles. When done in conjunction with breathing techniques, yoga postures stimulate circulation, tonify internal organs to aid in digestion and detoxification, harmonizes the nervous and endocrine systems, and cause the brain to release endorphins. Traditional styles of yoga do not incur the potentially negative effects associated with high-impact forms of exercise.
Breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and meditation promote a quiet mind and clear thinking. Yoga is also an integral part of many stress management programs that are paid for by many health insurance companies. Yoga is increasingly embraced by the medical community, endorsed by such figures as Andrew Weil, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D., Joan Borysenko, M.D., and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
As with any form of exercise, you should check with your doctor before beginning yoga, especially if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, spine injury, or recent surgery.
THE BENEFITS OF YOGA
STRESS RELIEF. Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.
PAIN RELIEF. Yoga can ease pain. Studies have demonstrated that practicing yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic conditions. Some practitioners report that even emotional pain can be eased through the practice of yoga.
BETTER BREATHING. Yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function, trigger the body’s relaxation response and increase the amount of oxygen available to the body.
FLEXIBILITY. Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing range of movement and reducing aches and pains. Many people can’t touch their toes during their first yoga class. Practitioners begin to use the correct muscles to make the movement and, over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles gradually lengthen and elasticity is increased. These gradual changes can mean that more and more poses are possible.
INCREASED STRENGTH. Yoga asanas (postures) use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe. And, while the postures practiced in yoga strengthen the body, they also provide an additional benefit of helping to relieve muscular tension.
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT. Yoga (even less vigorous styles) can aid weight control efforts by reducing the cortisol levels as well as by burning excess calories and reducing stress. Yoga also encourages healthy eating habits and provides a heightened sense of well being and self-esteem.
IMPROVED CIRCULATION. Yoga helps to improve circulation and, as a result of various poses, more efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.
CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING. Even gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.
BETTER BODY ALIGNMENT. Yoga helps to improve body alignment, resulting in better posture and helping to relieve back, neck, joint and muscle problems.
FOCUS ON THE PRESENT. Yoga helps us to focus on the present, to become more aware and to help create mind body health. It opens the way to improved coordination, reaction time and memory.
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- Yoga Teacher Training of Central Florida – Registered School with Yoga Alliance, 200-Hour & 500-Hour Certification Programs
- Your Vibrant Life – Health coaching and counseling by Allison Marse.
- Orlando Yoga Meetup Group – Meetup with other yogis and yoginis
- Dandelion Communitea Cafe – Wonderful organic veggie cafe.
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- Central Florida Birth Network – educate, support and empower women and their families throughout the birth process.
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- Florida School of Holistic Living – The Florida School of Holistic Living is a nonprofit educational organization with the mission of cultivating sustainable community by empowering individuals through philosophy-in-practice education that promotes holistic living in three areas of emphasis: natural health, spiritual arts, and sustainable living.
- Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce – To promote and support the business, professional and civic interests of all citizens within our service area.
- Yoga Journal – The trusted source for yoga poses, teachers, places, and ideas.
- Yoga Accessories – Source for yoga mats and supplies.
- Yoga Alliance – Supporting yoga teachers and the diversity and integrity of yoga.
- Yoga Directory – Listings and links of yoga resources.
- Yoga Finder – The largest yoga directory on the Internet.
- Yoga.com – Serving all types of yoga, meditation, massage, and wellness.
- Yoga Movement – An online magazine about the practice of yoga and meditation. Includes articles, texts, a directory of top yoga sites, a listing of yoga centers, and helpful resources.
- Yoga-Age – All you need to know about yoga, Resource of classic yoga texts, Directory of Yoga studios and Teachers, Asana Photos and more.
- Gaiam – Yoga clothing and accessories.
- Prana – Yoga clothing and accessories.
- Whispy Web Directory – The very best hand-picked, human edited Cultural Creative Web Directory of sites and resources on the Internet today.
- NaturalHealthWeb.com – One of the most complete guides to information about Natural Health and Alternative Medicine on the Internet.
- Body Mind Spirit Directory – Practitioners , Products , Centers , Stores , Resources.
- FitnessDirectory.org – “Your Resource to a Healthy Life” with a focus on Health & Nutrition, Fitness & Exercise, Weight Loss & Dieting.
My yoga journey began over 35 years ago when I was advised by a surgeon that if I didn’t quit my 3 pack a day smoking habit I would need bypass surgery. At that time in my life I had been attending several yoga classes a week, even going to a 45 min. class on my lunch hour (taught by a 70+ year old woman). Thanks to the deep breathing techniques I was able to toss my cigarettes and never look back. I soon began teaching yoga in the Tampa Bay area and stayed on my yoga path for another 20 years; then, sidestepped for awhile (not a good thing). Yoga keeps the body and mind youthful, strong and healthy. My immune system is far superior to most people 30 years younger; my flexibility continues to amaze me and I am 74 years young!
Thanks for wonderful classes at Red Sun Yoga!
- Sue M.
When I retired 3 1/2 years ago, I was very worried about finding meaningful activities to fill my newly found spare time. I decided to try the two week trial at Red Sun. Immediately after it expired, I purchased my first annual pass. I knew that I had found something that would contribute to the quality of my retirement. I am now in the middle of my 4th annual pass! Other activities and hobbies have come and gone during these 3 1/2 years, but not yoga at Red Sun. A consistent yoga practice fills my needs in the areas of mind, body, and spirit.
At age 64, my practical self knows that I need a consistent practice to stay flexible and healthy. The truth is, I really enjoy a consistent practice. I feel good the moment I walk into the studio and great as I leave the studio. I plan on continuing with a consistent practice of 2-4 times a week for as long as I possibly can. – Mary A.
My goals when I first started yoga three years ago were to help my balance, flexibility and renew my creativity. Damage to a cranial nerve a few years earlier had affected my balance and sensitivity on my left side. After practicing once a week for about three months, I was amazed to find that my balance was much better and some of the feeling in my left side had returned! After heavy exercise, usually only muscles on my right side were sore. But one day, after some summer yard work, both sides ached equally and the only thing that had changed was adding yoga, so that was a sign that I was on the right path! Like a lot of older women, I have some arthritis in my lower back and hips, but yoga has helped increase my flexibility. After I began attending 2-3 times a week, my creativity was sparked and I began a small craft business through which I met some wonderful artistic and creative people. After a break, I’m looking forward to getting back to the creative process in the coming months. Yoga has provided balance and flexibility not only physically but also in my life. People who know me well have noticed the difference and I’m better able to handle the curve balls that life throws my way. Red Sun has become my refuge and a place that brings peace, calm and happiness. Many thanks to everyone at Red Sun for creating such a warm and welcoming studio!
- M. D.
I have always struggled with bringing physical exercise into my life. I had always known intellectually of yoga and its benefits due to my mom being a yoga instructor (hippie) who has done some form of yoga since before I was born. But I know now her “style” was very different from what I was needing. I never was able to connect with any of it because it had no meaning for me. I did yoga from DVDs and occasaionally a class here and there. Excercising felt like mindless movements that held the elusive promise of a better looking body and longer life, but felt tedious and mechanistic. Around 3 years ago when I switched careers from hairdressing to mental health therapist I noticed that my lower back started hurting from my new life spent mostly sitting (in front a client/computer/drivingwheel). This new pain mixed with my desire to increase my mind body connection is what drew me to yoga. I had spent years in school fine tuning my intellectual mind but had neglected body and spirit and decided to take steps towards fixing this now that I had finally finished grad school and could fully commit myself.
I started my yoga journey going to orlando power yoga but quickly burnt out as it was just too much for me and I could not be consistent. I was able to do a yoga Nidra class at one point with Debbie Parsons which changed the whole idea of yoga for me. Slowly over the next few months I went to different yoga studios in the area to see which one I thought would fit me best (most I became aware of because of Debbie). I was really looking for an entire framework/system of living /spiritual connection as well as a physical practice and I ended up at Red Sun sometime in August of last year and this is when I decided to commit to this studio and a more serious practice. I have found that I benefit in numerous ways. First, I made the promise to go every day if I could but mostly went to gentle classes. What I learned from these is how to really enjoy and relax into my body and new communication lines were opened. This also forced me to find ways to fit yoga into schedule and I didn’t dread going. Because of the wide variety of classes and non-inimidating teachers, I was able to feel comfortable enough to claim my practice and develop how I wanted to. I was not new to Eastern philosophy and traditions and loved the teachings but had never really committed myself to them, but through being exposed to these positive influences on a daily basis I was able to develop new habits.
Since starting a regular practice, I noticed that my eating habits naturally changed for the better, I became more in touch with how my body was respnding to emotions/the environment/stress. As a mental health proffessional who works in collaboration with the department of children and families, I have a very stressful job that can wear a person down if proper self-care practices aren’t maintained and yoga has given me the vehicle of discipline to do this. Without yoga, I don’t know that I could be as good at my job as I am. It helps keep me grounded in myself and my emotions and life and meaning so that I do not become confused with those of my clients. Yoga also teaches me many life lessions like tolerating discomfort when I know it will benefit me vs forcing myself into exhaustion. Balance is the answer to life’s difficulties and yoga assists me in practicing balance artfully and with grace. While my body is not exactly where I would like it to be, I know I am not supposed to be attached to any kind of outcome and I trust that it will continue to change over time. Now I am going to yoga 4-5 days a week and including more advanced classes and really NOTICE when I don’t go. I have found that I drink less wine and have developed a more healthy relationship with my body. Also, the “witness” consciousness is more accessable to me and I can more easily practice non-attachment. I can’t say enough about how much better I feel in that I am more physically engaged in life, my posture has improved, and gravity doesn’t feel as heavy. I’ve found that negative emotions are also way easier to detach from and I identify less with whatever I’m feeling in the moment. I know that my current interest in yoga is not just a phase as I can’t imagine my life without it now.
My aunt sent me papers on doing yoga when I was in high school. I’ve practiced off and on since then, to tapes before joining Red Sun Yoga.
I practice two to three times a week and being in a studio with instructors eager to help you reach your potential makes a big difference.
Some things I can do some I can’t, but every class is me trying to give my body my best and my body trying to stretch more than it knew it could. That gives me peace and joy. I leave class feeling like my body breathes better and is more connected with everything.
Several months ago, at the suggestion of a friend, I somewhat reluctantly agreed to try a class at Red Sun Yoga. Having only done yoga on a limited basis at home, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like the class environment or would be intimidated by the teacher or other students. Fast-forward a few months and I cannot imagine not having group yoga sessions, especially at Red Sun Yoga, as part of my life and daily routine. I have discovered physical and mental strength that I never knew I had. Further, I have developed a yoga family of fellow students and instructors that I cherish. It is a wonderful community that I look forward to continuing to grow and learn with, as they challenge and nourish me every day!
Yoga has been a part of my life for about 15 years now. I started yoga because my back doctor told me that practicing Karate would not be in my future much longer due to the shape my back was in. So I traded one practice for another, Now I practice Yoga and it has kept me and my back healthy ever since. I try to practice 3 times a week, at least once a week at a yoga studio. I can’t stress enough the importance of finding a great Yoga instructor, and I have always found that easy to find at Redsun Yoga. The instructors there bring many years of collective experience and knowledge to class in a friendly, laid back atmosphere. No mater how long you have been practicing you can always find something new to learn about your self from an experienced instructor. Yoga has also been a way for me to rid myself of the stress from my job, and life in general and also has increased my ability to focus. I want to give thanks to all my instructors and my fellow yogi’s that have helped me get my practice to the level it is today.
- Allen Miller
I started to practice at Red Sun Yoga in August of 2014. I had just gone through a job loss and weeks later lost my mother due to a tragic accident. I felt lost, confused, anxious and broken. I discovered Red Sun Yoga on the Internet and thought I would give it a try. It has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. I had no prior experience or exposure to yoga when I began. I started out with beginner classes and have now worked my way up to more advanced classes. The instructors and fellow yogis at Red Sun Yoga have all made a major impact on my life. Their patience, guidance, love and reassurance have rebuilt me into a better me. It is wonderful to bond with people who want to make the world and themselves better. Don’t think you have to be all bendy either. It is an activity that anyone at any age can do. You will never be judged by anyone but yourself. I am a 47-year-old male and practice at the studio 6 days a week and have integrated a home practice.
My life was a faced paced rat race and I forgot who I was and what is important in life. Yoga has brought me fulfillment, patience, friendship and inner peace. Also, 8 months of practicing I have lost 15 pounds and 3 inches off my waist. If you’re reading this, it means you have some sort of interest. Take the first step; I hope it can change your life as it did mine. It’s never too late to challenge yourself and create that better you.
- Ed T.