Benefits of Yoga


Melisa has been practicing Yoga since the age of 18, and teaching Yoga since the age of 20. Melisa has a 500- hour certificate in Hatha Yoga from The Yoga Haven Inc, and a 200- hour certificate from Shanti Yoga. She is also certified in Pilates, and has a personal training certificate from Mount Royal College. Her passion about body/ mind health has kept her teaching for 11 years. Melisa teaches a variety of classes ranging from beginner to advanced yoga classes, as well as personal private consultations.

Melisa believes that health is so much bigger than the physical. Emotional and mental health are always addressed in her classes; she sets a positive tone for people to move inward and discover their full potential.

By Melisa Kavanaugh

 Winter is a reflective time of year. A time where you can nurture your body, mind and spirit. This is also a time where a lot of people become sick, tired, lethargic and sometimes depressed. The shorter and cooler days of winter move us internally physically, mentally and emotionally. The lack of vitamin D, along with many other factors contribute to a depleted immune system which increases illness. If we can take care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally we have a higher chance of staying healthy this winter.

Yoga increases body awareness and can be a great asset to your health goals this winter. A yoga class will give you tools to help you connect with your authentic self, first with your breath, second with your body, third with your mind and then with your essence. Tying them all together will create strength in both your physical and energetic body. Through this practice you will find yourself sensitive to your health and well being causing you to make more conscious choices. The physical practice of yoga, called asana, will stretch and strengthen your body like no other form of exercise. Practicing postures will increase your will, stamina and flexibility. Awareness of breath is vital in Yoga. Practicing Pranayama (breath work) will focus your mind and move you internally, increasing your overall circulation. Becoming aware of your breath can help you work through pain, tightness, and stress that people tend to carry physically. Overall, Yoga will increase your body awareness which allows a greater sensitivity to yourself.

 There are many postures in yoga that can help us to feel good, and to boost our immunity. Inverting the body, as in a headstand or a downward dog, draws fresh blood flow into all of our internal organs creating energy and movement to detoxify. Inversions also stimulate the lymphatic system, by turning it upside down and then right side up, we encourage our lymphatic system to do its job of carrying out foreign substances which help keep our immune systems strong. Deep twists also aid in ringing the body from the inside out, allowing us to rejuvenate our organs, and digestive tract. Even a sun salutation in the morning can do wonders for your mood, allowing you to start your day with a clear mind and a deep breath. A Yoga class will provide you with a deeper understanding of your body and breath; practicing frequently will accelerate your connection to yourself.

Yoga and Digestion

As you become more sensitive to the internal environment of your body, your chances of staying healthy and strong dramatically increase. With this new awareness of body and breath, you will feel more energized and happier. With these positive feelings flowing through your body you will feel vibrant and strong! Take the time to connect inward each day, acknowledge your authentic self, and listen to it. Your inner guidance will reflect what you need to stay healthy and happy in every aspect of your being. Listen to when you feel tired and honor that, listen to when you feel happy and honor that. Connect with a sense of gratitude for your own self, think about all of the beautiful qualities you possess in this world and feel the effects of that acknowledgement. 

Connecting with your authentic self is the first step to becoming more aware. Notice gut reactions, intuition and overall energy and make your decisions based on your inner truth and inner guidance. Know that you know what is best for you, and follow your heart. The right path in life will lead you to health and vitality. Take charge and change the things you feel you need to, put effort in to the things you want and identify what truly makes you happy in this world. Following your heart will allow you to feel whole, and it will allow you to live the life you always wanted. By connecting to yourself you will be better able to connect to those around you. Finding gratitude and love for yourself will allow you to spread the good you feel to others around you, creating a domino effect of peace and love to the whole world. Join a yoga class, or simply roll out a mat in your living room, and open to the possibility of health and happiness this winter!

Yoga for You!

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