Yoga for People with Cancer and Cancer Survivors

By Sherry Ogle and Mandy Gard; Students of Balance Yoga Lounge, Balanced Breath School of Yoga, RYT 200
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Whether for cancer patients or cancer survivors, the healing power of yoga has many benefits. Utilization of the various yoga tools - poses, breathing techniques, relaxation exercises and meditation, can provide successful methods for combating the physical discomfort of cancer and cancer treatment. 

As detailed by Timothy McCall, M.D. in Yoga as Medicine, cancer is included in a long list of health conditions that have been demonstrated in scientific studies to be benefited by yoga. Yoga can be useful to help people feel better, heal after major illness or surgery and to live better with chronic disease. 

Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help achieve peacefulness of body and mind. This can help individuals relax and manage stress and anxiety.


For those unfamiliar with yoga, the core components of most general yoga practices include:


Poses. Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may test physical edges.


Breathing. Controlling the breath is an important part of yoga. Yoga teaches that controlling breathing can help control the body and quiet the mind.


Meditation or relaxation. Meditation may help with developing mindfulness and assist in being aware of the present moment without judgement.


The Importance of the Breath

Cancer is a stressful diagnosis. Having reliable methods to help to calm and alleviate stress can make all the difference in feeling better. Pranayama, breath work, is an important part of yoga and an essential practice for calming the mind and body, especially as a part of integrative cancer care. Pranayama includes techniques that direct breath and energy. Breathing techniques, done as part of a yoga class or on their own can help to increase awareness, slow the breath and reduce stress hormones, all of which can improve quality of life for people affected by cancer.


Research on Breathing Techniques and Cancer

A study published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine in 2012, titled Health Impacts of Yoga and Pranayama: A State-of-the-Art Review, shared, “A growing body of research evidence supports the belief that certain yoga techniques may improve physical and mental health through down-regulation of the hypothalamo pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system.”

Another study done at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, showed that yoga breathing techniques may improve cancer chemotherapy-associated symptoms, including sleep disturbance, anxiety and mental quality of life. One of the keys that the researchers noted in this pilot study was that there was a “dose response”—that is, the more that the subjects practiced, the better that they fared.


Exploring the Breath

Simple breath awareness can be a profound technique for moving toward the relaxation response, a calming of the sympathetic nervous system associated with the production of stress hormones. 

Before starting any breathing techniques described below, it is helpful to just observe the breath.  Explore the following elements of the breath: length, sound, depth, origin, movement and whether the breath moves through the nostrils or mouth. As thoughts and emotions arise, simply observe without judgment and let them go, bringing awareness back to the breath.

Techniques for people in cancer treatment should always be very gentle and mindful. Anyone with medical concerns should check with their physicians before undertaking any practices and work with a teacher who is familiar with cancer-related guidelines and precautions. Breathing techniques should be approached slowly and if any dizziness or other discomfort occurs, the practitioner should immediately return to normal breathing.

The following provides a very simple breathing technique.


Abdominal Breathing

Many people chest breathe without moving their abdominal area, so it is helpful to learn the abdominal breath as the first breathing technique. It calms the mind and body and brings awareness to the fullness of the breath. Begin in a comfortable position, usually reclining is easiest to start.

Start with a full inhalation through the nose and a big sigh out of the mouth. Do this three times. This is sometimes known as three conscious exhalations.

Bring your hands to the abdomen and feel the belly expand as you inhale slowly and feel the abdomen soften and expand.

Upon exhalation, feel the abdomen fall and contract. Continue this breath for a few minutes or as long as is comfortable, without any strain or discomfort.


Guided Classic Pranayama

To explore pranayama further, follow the link below to YouTube to experience a voice guided “three-part breath”, the foundation of all yogic breathing techniques to counter shallow chest breathing.


Three-Part Breath Guided Audio
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Yogic Breathing for Stress and Anxiety in Men


By: Rachel Lippincott and Beth Waage


Each year, yoga becomes more and more mainstream in American culture. The Asana practice of yoga continues to become accessible from studios to gyms and even workplaces. Yoga, in Western culture, though often emphasized as a more feminine form of exercise, has numerous benefits for both genders both on and off the mat. Anxiety has become the number one mental health issue in America (Adaa.org, 2018), and while women are more likely to step on their mat to ease the symptoms, the benefits to men are equally important and warrant further exploration. Asana, one of the eight limbs of yoga, can be beneficial itself for anxiety, but for men pranayama, or breathwork, can be a way to enjoy the practice of anxiety relieving yoga without the perhaps anxiety inducing pressure of tight shorts.


Symptoms of anxiety in men can include muscle tension and difficulty concentrating (Guy Counseling, 2018). In their guide to Yoga Therapy for Stress and Anxiety, authors Byron MA, Butera PHD, and Elgelid PHD PT find that, “Breath is the only associated physiological response of the nervous system that readily can be brought under conscious control.” (Butera, Byron and Elgelid, n.d.). While meditation may be the more well known yogic form of stress reduction, breath work in certain populations experiencing anxiety has been known to be more effective. A 2014 study at Stanford University concluded that breathing techniques reduced anxiety and the participants respiration rate, even assisting in the reduction of PTSD symptoms in the veterans studied (Brandt, Ford and Huber, 2018).  


While tight shorts can be appealing, in discussions with men with anxiety, nature and the great outdoors often came up as a much more relaxing space. The great news is, there is no yoga mat or equipment required to take your pranayama practice with you. Outdoor activities are a great way to relieve stress in and of themselves, allowing men to create space between the anxieties of their day to day lives. An hour long walk can have numerous benefits, but the brilliance of breath work is that you can feel better in as little as ten minutes with a bit of practice (Max Strom, 2018).


To get a male perspective on a variety of breathing exercises, we worked with four different subjects on their impressions of three different breathing styles. As part of our interviews we covered box breathing, alternate nostril breathing, and Max Strom’s 4-7-8 breath. We found that different men have different feedback on each breathing style, but from the three techniques we feel that a large number of men can benefit. Check out how to do each of these short breathing exercises below.


Before beginning any of these breathing exercises find a comfortable seat. Keep a straight back, roll your shoulders up and back away from your ears, and take a few normals breaths to settle into your space, indoors or out.


1. Box breathing
To practice box breathing, you will follow a count of four. Start by inhaling for a count of four, hold your inhale for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, and hold the bottom of your exhale for a count of four. Continue until you feel your anxiety dissipating or for four minutes to start.

Box breathing is an excellent way to start breathwork, and based on research can create an almost-immediate sense of calm. Mayo Clinic found evidence to support this showing that this intentional deep breathing style practice helps regulate the autonomic nervous system and lower blood pressure (Healthline, 2018).



2. Alternate nostril breathing

To practice this style of breathing, you will be closing each nostril alternately, and breathing in the opposite nostril. To begin, close your right nostril with the thumb on your right hand and inhale fully through the left nostril. Now take your pinky finger of your right hand and close the left nostril, exhaling through the right nostril. You will also inhale through the right nostril, close, and exhale through the left nostril. Inhale through the left nostril, and repeat this process for a few more breaths. See picture for hand positioning.

Similar to box breathing, alternate nostril breathing also helps to regulate the nervous system and lowers blood pressure. Additionally, this practice can help improve attention and fine motor coordination and performance (mindbodygreen, 2018).



3.  4-7-8 breathing

Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, right behind your front teeth.

Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4.
Hold your breath for a count of 7.
Release your breath from your mouth with a whooshing sound for a count of 8.
Without a break, breathe in again for a count of 4, repeating the entire technique 3-4 times in a row, then resume normal breathing and activity.

4-7-8 breathing slows down the rapid, shallow breathing that can occur when a person is anxious or stressed. The steady inhale and hold allow for more oxygen saturation in the body, impacting both your body and mind (Small Footprint Family, 2018).  



With stress and anxiety becoming entirely too common in our day to day culture, breathwork provides a quick set of tools that may be used anywhere, from the yoga studio to your desk at work to the great outdoors. Breathwork can lower your blood pressure, regulate your nervous system, improve attention and fine motor skills, and increase your oxygen saturation all with just few minutes of your time. Stressors have been shown to have more long term predictors of mental health impacts in men, making the utilization of stress reduction techniques all the more important (The Conversation, 2018). The majority of men may always be more comfortable in nature than they are in a yoga studio, but yoga is so much more than a class-style asana practice. Try one of the breathing techniques above and see what it does for you.



Adaa.org. (2018). Facts & Statistics | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. [online] Available at: https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics [Accessed 29 Apr. 2018].
Guy Counseling. (2018). 8 Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder in Men - Guy Counseling. [online] Available at: https://guycounseling.com/anxiety-men/ [Accessed 29 Apr. 2018].
Butera, R., Byron, E. and Elgelid, S. (n.d.). Yoga therapy for stress & anxiety.
Brandt, M., Ford, A. and Huber, J. (2018). Study shows benefits of breathing meditation among veterans with PTSD - Scope. [online] Scope. Available at: https://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2014/09/10/study-shows-benefits-of-breathing-meditation-among-veterans-with-ptsd/ [Accessed 29 Apr. 2018].
Max Strom. (2018). Breathe to Heal – Max Strom. [online] Available at: https://maxstrom.com/ [Accessed 29 Apr. 2018].
Eimers, S. (n.d.). balance yoga lounge RYT 200 Hour Manual. Ankeny, IA: balanced breath school of yoga, pp.145-148.
Healthline. (2018). Box Breathing: Techniques, Benefits, and More. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/box-breathing [Accessed 29 Apr. 2018].
mindbodygreen. (2018). 3 Reasons Everyone Should Try Alternate Nostril Breathing. [online] Available at: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12936/3-reasons-everyone-should-try-alternate-nostril-breathing.html [Accessed 29 Apr. 2018].
Small Footprint Family. (2018). Eliminate Stress, Anxiety and Panic in 57 Seconds. [online] Available at: https://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/4-7-8-breathing-stress-relief-techniques [Accessed 29 Apr. 2018].
The Conversation. (2018). Why stress is more likely to cause depression in men than in women. [online] Available at: http://theconversation.com/why-stress-is-more-likely-to-cause-depression-in-men-than-in-women-57624 [Accessed 29 Apr. 2018].


Trauma-Informed Yoga Training in Des Moines




The definition of trauma is fairly broad. It includes responses to powerful one-time incidents as well as responses to chronic or repetitive experiences, such as abuse, neglect, combat, unstable relationships and deprivation. It us up to the survivor to determine whether a particular event is traumatic.


Everyone experiences trauma... not everyone has PTSD.


Defining trauma with such a broad brush, makes it relatively easy to see that literally no one survives childhood without some exposure to trauma. Science has demonstrated that the human nervous system undergoes changes when exposed to traumatic events, yet the vast majority of us have never been taught tools for self-regulation that we can turn to when we become triggered into our past experience of trauma.

TIYT is a comprehensive training program that guides yoga therapists, mental health professionals, yoga instructors, and body workers to greater understanding of traumatic experience (in the body, mind and spirit) with the intention of creating greater focus on positive life changes that can emerge from the experience of trauma. If traumatic experience is common to all who age past childhood, then trauma-informed training offers, not only tools for survival, but opportunities and practices to create positive life changes. Resilience forms when the perspective shifts from, “this is what’s wrong with me,” to “this is something that happened to me."


Mental health practitioners familiar with yoga and interested in incorporating trauma-informed yogic movement and contemplative tools into their clinical practice will learn body-based trauma treatment rooted in neurophysiological principles, the polyvagal nerve theory, yoga therapy techniques, and TIYT™ methodology. There will be a strong emphasis on learning how to specialize and teach various populations with unresolved trauma in treatment centers, hospitals, wellness programs, prisons, and private practice. (APA CEs available- see additional information below)


Registration is now open for the Des Moines training, July 16-21. The training is divided into two individual modules: Earth (July 16-18) and Water (July 19-21). Further study is available through online modules to become a certified Overcoming Anxiety clinic facilitator.



EARTH Module, Level 1 Mon-Wed | July 16- July 18 7AM-5:30PM $459

WATER Module, Level 2 Thur-Sat, July 19- 20, 7AM-5:30PM July  21, 8AM – 1PM $459



                                                      Discounted price for both modules $868 



EARTH. This training teaches Trauma Informed Care practices as they apply to teaching public Yoga classes. Trauma Informed Yoga Teaching requires awareness of the consequences of trauma and adversity, and an understanding that there is a potential for Yoga practitioners to re-experience post-trauma symptoms while practicing Yoga. The focus of this training is teaching how to create a safe space, to prevent negative responses to Yoga practice in a public setting, recognition of issues and troubleshooting if such an event occurs. Time is also dedicated to an introduction of Interpersonal neurobiology, neuropsychology as it applies to Yoga practices, self-care, and deepening personal practice. For more info: click here

Prerequisite: Yoga experience as a practitioner (2 years preferred) AND: RYT 200/500 OR currently enrolled in YTT, OR C-IAYT, OR Licensed Mental Health Professional OR Allied Health Partner OR Licensed Massage Therapist

Certification: Introduction to Trauma-Informed Yoga


WATER. This training is designed to teach the TIYT™ methodology to Yoga, allied health, and mental health professionals who are presently working with, or interested in working with clients who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder (PD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and/or acute cumulative stress; in Yoga Therapy terms, all are fluctuations of the mind (vá¹›ttis). The focus of the training is practical applications of ancient yoga psychology, philosophy and practices as well as the Polyvagal Nerve theory, Somathesis and other neurophysiological principles. This methodology is currently employed in hospitals, in-patient psychiatric units, addiction recovery programs, schools, healthcare facilities, Yoga studios, and prisons as stand-alone programs and as a complementary modality in an integrative healthcare setting. For more info: click here

Prerequisite: RYT 200/500 AND 100 hrs minimum teaching experience AND completion of EARTH module.

Certification: Advanced Trauma-Informed Yoga Therapy


Click Here to reserve your space and submit tuition

Learn more about Sundara Yoga Therapy

Email: info@balanceyogalounge.com

Registration Process:
1. Pay tuition through balance yoga lounge website
2. complete online application for TIYT training: sundarayogatherapy.com 
3. If application is denied, tuition is refunded.

Both modules will be held at the Ramada Inn, 133 SE Delaware Ave, Ankeny, IA 50021 (515-964-1717)  Discounted room rates available by mentioning the TIYT training and balance yoga lounge.

Continuing Education Credits & Credits Available
APA American Psychological Association: National pre-approval Provider for Continuing Education Credits for six APA Continuing Education credits.
Inner Peace Yoga Therapy Certification: This training counts as elective credits in the 800hr Professional Yoga Therapist Certification.
Integrative Yoga Therapy Certifications: This training can count as either Module 3 transfer credit in the 500hr Advanced Teacher of Therapeutic Yoga program, or as Module 5 credit in the 800 hour Professional Yoga Therapist Certification.
Yoga Alliance: 25 Yoga Alliance CEUs
Marriage & Family Therapists: Pre-approved as a Provider for Continuing Education Credits for the state of Texas.
Social Workers: Pre-approved as a Provider for Continuing Education Credits for Social Workers in the state of Texas.
Professional Counselors: Pre-approved as a Provider for Continuing Education Credits for Professional Counselors in the state of Texas.

Additional Expenses
1) Required reading (estimated cost: less than $34) The reading list is given after registration is completed.
2) For out-of-town participants: Accommodations/Meals are not included in the tuition. Participants are responsible for making their own arrangements. We make every effort to work with our hosting venues to offer discounted group rates at a local hotel. We cannot guarantee discounts. More information is provided after registration is completed.


Can a Temporary Tattoo Contribute to Permanent Transformation?

...the answer is YES for one Syrian family living in a refugee camp in Jordan

The holidays have come and gone, and as many Americans rest and recover from too much celebration, too much food and drink, and too much spending on gifts for one another… families in war torn areas of the world continue to struggle daily to meet basic needs.

The yoga lounge is working through our own yogis, Greg & Jan Franck, with their daughter-in-law Marcy Franck to support a family of three from Syria who are currently living in Jordan in a refugee camp. The young family has been through more trauma than most of us endure in a lifetime. In their current living situation, no matter how hard they work and persevere, the future remains dim. Their best hope is to move to Canada where a network of support is already in place. The roadblock between this family and their future is the cost of transporting them to their new home and making sure they have adequate financial resources for the first 12 months. The balance yoga lounge community is committed to supporting this family on their journey to safety and stability.

During the month of January the lounge will sell temporary tattoos with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the family’s go fund me page. 

tattoo collage

Each $10 donation earns you a temporary tattoo… but these are no ordinary tats, and Conscious Ink is no ordinary temporary tattoo company. In fact, they’re a consciousness company that utilizes temporary tattoos, hats, and anything they can get their hands on, to support people on their path. Conscious Ink Manifestation Temporary Tattoos consist of a dream list of positive words, inspiring quotes, healing affirmations and empowering invitations. Even at the most basic level, these messages can have a profound effect by simply reminding us of our intentions to live mindfully. 

Intentions, positive thoughts and messages can extend much deeper than you might think. Anyone familiar with Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work on the effects of intentions and labels on the molecular structure of water will understand the significance and power of words applied to the body!
2. BREATHE. Choose your intention. 
3. Make a $10 donation toward PEACE for a Syrian family.
4. Share your message of LOVE with the world by wearing your temporary ink as a reminder to live with intention and compassion for self and for others! 

Syrian child

It’s as simple as that! As yogis we understand that each small step takes us closer to our aspirations... and every dollar represents another step for this little girl and her parents waiting in Jordan for a permanent home in Canada.
Choose from four inspirational temporary ink messages during the month of January. Tattoos available before or after classes. Message Sandy for more information.

Marcy Franck lives in Belmont, MA- a suburb of Boston. You can read more about her work with refugee families in the Belmont newspaper OR, read Marcy Franck’s blog to learn more about the struggle of the Syrian people to find safety. She works tirelessly to support dozens of families and has forged deep personal connections with families in need of a helping hand.


The Power of Mudra in Meditation

Meditation Around Town Des Moines Iowa 5.19.16
Thursday, May 19 (6pm) Sandy Eimers led Meditation Around Town at the Des Moines Botanical Center.
The meditation centered around the use of hasta (hand) mudras to silently externalize inner thoughts and feelings. The meditation focused on the seven chakras that lie along the length of the spine to balance physical and energetic health.

Hasta mudras have been utilized throughout time to tell stories and to reconnect practitioners with their internal source of prana (energy) to support well-being and spiritual evolution. The practice of mudra sends pranic energy emitted by the hands, back into the body to support a meditative state of mind.

Mudras are an effective tool for linking the physical body with the energetic and mental bodies- which sometimes become disconnected in the hectic pace of modern living. Recent research indicates that hand gestures stimulate the same regions in the brain as language. Whether you experience sensations immediately, or it takes some practice- what if you find greater health and harmony right in the palms of your hands? It's worth the effort!

Actions speak louder than words, and the use of the hands are no exception. The chart below was taken directly from the book, "Mudras for Healing and Transformation," written by Joseph and Lilian Le Page. With 108 mudra shared in detail, it is by far the most comprehensive resource available. Purchase the book directly from the Integrative Yoga Therapy website. Laminated mudra cards are also available.

Chakra Mudra Chart


Max Strom Returns to the Heartland

Born with severe clubbed feet, Max Strom spent much of the first six years of his life with his feet confinedMaxStrom-HeadshotWeb23 in plaster casts and braces. Today, he is known for inspiring and impacting the lives of his students and has become a global teacher, speaker, and author. He has taught tens of thousands of students, and trained over a thousand teachers. Max’s method, Inner Axis, teaches yoga from a universal platform that addresses the internal, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our life, as well as health and well being.  He is the author of, There is No APP for Happiness, and also, A Life Worth Breathing, which is now published in five languages. He is also the creator of two home practice DVDs.

Watch his TEDx talk, There is No App for HappinessMax Strom TEDx

Reserve tickets NOW. Workshops in Des Moines January 29-30

Friday January 29th 5:30-7:30 Location: Jasper Winery
Vital Life-Better Sleep: Stress management

This workshop deals directly with the modern plague of sleeplessness and stress.  In America, the Center for Disease Control has declared sleep disorder an epidemic, and this is happening in industrial cities across the world.  This workshop will help you re-think your priorities and give you knowledge to take home with you to help you sleep and live more at ease. This workshop begins with a lecture, then moves into a gentle restorative sequence of postures and gentle movement that immediately trigger deep relaxation. Simple, powerful accessible. Max will give you knowledge to take home with you to help you live more at ease with improved sleep.  All levels are welcome. Bring writing materials.

Saturday January 30th 10:00-12:00 Location: Jasper Winery
Opening the Chest and Shoulders - a New State of Energy

Some of the negative side effects of using a computer are that we find ourselves with frozen shoulders, sore forearms, and injured wrists. This workshop targets these issues with a special sequence of postures that opens the chest and shoulders. This induces an emotional sense of release, brings the mind into stillness, and the body into a new state of energy. Open to all levels except absolute beginners. This movement workshop is both challenging and very healing. 

Saturday January 30th 2:00-4:00 Location: Jasper Winery
Some Doors Open Only from the Inside- The healing power of transformational breath-work

Join Max for a special session of standing and sitting breathing exercises. The voice of our intuition and wisdom is commonly drowned out by the noise in our mind.  The noise is often caused from chaotic or congested emotions from stress, depression, PTSD, or anxiety. Focused breath work can spark within us the reawakening of our higher nature, the voice of intuition, wisdom, and conscience.  The practices you will learn in this workshop will take you to new depths and inspire you for weeks to come. Max has taken this work around the world to people of many faiths and nationalities. Bring your mat and writing materials. (Please no recording equipment)


Embrace Stress in NEW weekly class

If you live and breathe on planet Earth, regardless of age, you have experienced stress. As many as 4.3 million American adults who work full time have experienced an anxiety disorder in the past 12 months according to a recent report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Sometimes numbers alone don't paint a picture that we can all relate to. So to put that in perspective, the data suggests that anxiety is nearly eight times more prevalent in the U.S. than all forms of cancer.

Despite evidence that anxiety is common, it's a disorder that most agree has a stigma attached; and research suggests that fear of judgment can prevent people from seeking treatment. Those who do seek treatment within the Western medical model are presented a prescription for a drug with addictive potential that calms the symptoms of anxiety without addressing the roots of the issue. 

A quick look at the Five Kosha Model reveals that the imbalance of the nervous system labeled chronic stress/anxiety does not exist only in the physical body, therefore, treating only the body will never return the human organism to a state of balance. It is only through accessing the more subtle layers of being that we can potentially unravel the root of our fears.

Physician and author, Lissa Rankin, believes our entire culture suffers from "soul loss," a loss of meaning, vitality, purpose, identity and genuine connection; a deep unhappiness that most of us have accepted as ordinary living. What makes soul loss so subtle and dangerous is that very few people realize it has happened to them. Western allopathic medicine has no framework for this kind of diagnosis and often it ends up mistreated. We place a bandage on a wound that's not healing underneath.

Couple soul loss with chronic overstimulation and anxiety, and we have a formula for disconnection as a means of survival. If this image is familiar, what's the next step?

The Five Kosha Model identifies the human organism into five distinct layers: the physical body, energetic body, emotional body, wisdom body and spiritual body. Yoga and meditation offer tools to access each layer of being and release stuck energy manifesting as stress. The first step is education; learning the distinctive components of each layer of being and understanding how stress and anxiety affect the systems of the physical body. The next step is to begin learning and practicing the many tools yoga and meditation offer to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to restore energy and facilitate a sense of calm. With practice, we can grow more aware of the sensations in our bodies, breath and emotions that alert us to escalating stress and confidently choose meditative practices to build resiliency.

stressBeginning Tuesday, August 25 (6:45-7:45 pm), the yoga lounge will offer a weekly yoga and meditation class designed to educate students on where and how stress manifests in every level of being and introduce movement and breathing patterns to dissipate tension and build awareness. Can you find a gap wide enough in your ego to create positive change? End the cycle of flight (avoidance), fight (anger) and freeze (worry) to improve quality of life and address the roots of anxiety. Drop-ins welcome $15; suitable for any age or level of ability.


What Yoga Sees

“I see you; you think you are too fat for yoga. You tried me once but everyone was smooth and skinny. I see how your heart and body hurt, you want to move and stretch but you hate how you feel in your own skin. “

“I see you; you think yoga is slow and boring. You like to run and sweat. You tried me once but your brain was screaming at you to move your ass. I see how your heart and body hurt, you want silence and rest but you hate how you feel in your own head.”

“I see you; you want to try yoga. You are shy and new. You would try me but I’m so foreign and everyone mandala with eyesknows each other already. I see how your heart and body hurt, you want to smile and move but you hate how you feel in your own heart.”

“I see you; you feel too tight for yoga. You tried me once but everyone was so bendy and loose. I see how your heart and body hurt, you want to stretch like a cat and feel light but you hate how you feel in your own ego.”

Yoga sees you, she sees all of us. Yoga knows we feel fat, mental, tight and shy. She knows that some days we feel overstretched like a guitar string both emotionally and physically. She sees us on the days we need to move and breath or the days we need quiet and peace. She sees us when we need to go out on a limb and meet new people. She sees us when we need to drop our egos, come to our knees and be humble. Yoga wants us to have ALL that we need. She wants to teach us to love our bodies, quiet our minds, lengthen our muscles and be brave. She knows it’s hard and we feel like shit. Yoga loves us anyway. She loves us when we tell people we hate yoga… because you only hate yoga till you love it.

She sees that, she knows you, she loves you anyway you are.

written by balance yoga lounge instructor: Lisa Evans


Essential Oils for Your Garden


Natural alternatives to keeping your yard and garden free of warm weather pests.


Rosemary Essential Oil is known to repel many insects such as flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. It will also kill insect larvae whose voracious appetite for juicy vegetable foliage can easily destroy entire crops of leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, and even some root veggies if left undisturbed. Peppermint Essential Oil is an excellent natural insecticide which works on aphids, squash bugs, white flies, ants, beetles, and fleas, just to name a few. Peppermint is also the best essential oil for repelling spiders inside and outside the home. Thyme Essential Oil works against biting insects like chiggers, ticks, and roaches. Clove Essential Oil is another great deterrent for many flying insects. Broad-Spectrum all-natural insect repellent: 10 Drops rosemary 10 Drops peppermint 10 Drops thyme 10 Drops clove Combine all oils into a spray bottle filled with water. Shake well before each use. Apply anywhere you want to get rid of skittering, creeping, crawling, or flying pests.


, Hyssop, and Pine are the best essential oils for keeping gastropods off of your plants. Stopping Slugs and Snails Recipe: 1 tsp of Cedarwood, Hyssop OR Pine Essential Oil (You may also make a blend of the 3 that equals 1 tsp of essential oil) Mix about a teaspoon of your chosen oil(s) in a 32oz spray bottle filled with water. Apply diluted oil in a ring around plants where slugs and snails like to visit. Refresh as needed.


Mice and other rodents are repulsed by the clean, fresh scent of Peppermint Essential Oil. Anti-rodent Recipe: Apply 1 – 2 drops of Peppermint oil to a cotton ball and tuck them into the entrances of mouse holes, squirrel nests, and other rodent burrows to persuade rodent residents to relocate. Replace as needed. Repel Rodents, Spiders, and Ants Place 10-15 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil into a 32 oz spray bottle of water and spray the perimeter of your home a garden. This will repel mice, rodents, spiders, and ants.


bad dog
If you can’t seem to keep the neighborhood tomcat from leaving his delightful presents amidst your herbs and veggies or the dog from digging, try these: Simple Rosemary Spray: Add 10 Drops of Rosemary Essential Oil into a 32oz Spray Bottle  filled with water. Shake before each use. Spray your mulch with the diluted mixture. Repellent Rosemary or Black Pepper Strings: Wide Shallow Container Water 10-15 Drops of Rosemary or Black Pepper Essential Oil Strips of Cloth or Pieces of StringAdd the drops of Rosemary oil to a wide, shallow container partially filled with water. Whisk vigorously to break up oil droplets then drop in strips of cloth or pieces of string. Allow them to soak long enough to absorb all of the oil. Tie strings between plants or around the garden perimeter. Hang cloth strips between garden rows, around plants, or anywhere you know the cat likes to dig. Refresh as needed. Black Pepper (or any other pepper, for that matter) essential oil can also be used to deter larger mammals from your garden. Dogs, in particular, with their sensitive noses will be turned away from the strong odor of pepper oil. Apply using the same string / cloth method as with Rosemary oil (above). Just keep in mind that over-use of this essential oil may make your garden less pleasant for humans as well.


Bee Balanced
Gardens LOVE bees and Butterflies! Essential oils aren’t just for repelling unwanted creatures from your garden. You can also use certain fragrant oils to attract natural pollinators to your garden. The scent of Neroli (orange blossom) is an irresistible attractant for bees, as are the essential oils of many small-blossomed flowers such as Lavender, Hyssop, Marjoram, Basil, Sage, and Rosemary. Also, try Lavender, Fennel and Sage essential oils to attract more butterflies to your garden. Bring Me Bees and Butterflies Blend: 10 Drops of one or more of the essential oils listed above. Water Spray BottleCombine your chosen oils together and place them into the bottom of the spray bottle. Put your water on top of the essential oils. 

Several instructors at the lounge are essential oil distributors who regularly place orders :)
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New mat Pilates class Thursdays- 8:30-9:30AM


Cassie Cumings Peterson

Cassie Cumings-Peterson
, mat Pilates instructor at balance yoga lounge shares 5 reasons to try Pilates. Join her Thursday mornings from 8:30-9:30AM. Register online or drop in ($15).


Five reasons to start Pilates

There are many reasons why Pilates might be what you and your body are looking for, but here are five to get you started.

1. Core Strength

Pilates, like life, is all about the core. Whether we call it your center, powerhouse, or abdominal scoop, what we’re referring to is your core. In Pilates, we initiate exercises in your transverse abdominus muscles. When properly strengthened, these muscles support your low back and improve your posture.

2. Spinal Mobility

In his book, Return to Life Through Contrology, Joseph Pilates wrote, “If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.” The Pilates mat work includes several exercises designed to increase spinal flexibility: spine stretch forward, rolling like a ball, and swan are just a few. By safely incorporating flexion and extension of the spine into your exercise routine, your spine will loosen up and you’ll stay young regardless of your age.


3. Complements Yoga practice

Pilates and yoga go together like salmon and dill. Both movement traditions focus on breath, precision, and control. Regardless of whether you prefer Pilates or yoga, by incorporating the other into your practice you’ll soon find that you’re able to reach deeper levels of satisfaction in your workouts.

4. Long and Lean Muscles

Are you looking for long and lean muscles? Try Pilates! The focus of Pilates is to work all of your muscles, including the teeny-tiny stabilizer muscles. Because we don’t target muscle groups in isolation, you get a toned and muscular body without the bulk.

5. Breathe!

Time after time, I’ve had clients walk into a Pilates class with their shoulders up around their ears because of all the tension they’re carrying and one hour later they walk out relaxed, refreshed, and ready to face the world. While there is an abundance of science explaining how endorphin release makes one happy, I attribute the great feeling after doing Pilates to the magical combination of breath + movement. By coordinating your deep Pilates breathing with your body’s movements, you’ll release your muscle tension and build a resistance to stress over time.

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