Post Thanksgiving Gentle Flow

Join us at 12:00pm on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for an all levels Gentle Flow class! We’ll  breathe, stretch, and move to restore precious vitality. This class is safe for all levels: whether you’re a total beginner, haven’t gotten to the mat in a while, or have a regular practice. Show up in whatever state you are in, and be guided through an accessible fun sequence designed to connect mind, body, and spirit.  Blocks and straps are provided, and some extra mats are available as well. $10 to drop in or use your existing class card.

Saturday November 24th – 12:00pm-1:00pm
Wallingford Presbyterian Church – Fellowship Hall
110 E Brookhaven Rd, Wallingford, PA 19086
  • Drop in for $10!
  • Pay through PayPal or credit card using the buttons below
  • Or arrive and pay with Cash

 

Post Thanksgiving Gentle Flow Yoga Class

$10.00

Ann_Jump!About the Instructor: Ann MacMullan Jeans, a native of Swarthmore, is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and teaches in the Philadelphia area with her company Team Sun Wellness. Ann believes in the healing power of yoga and meditation for everyone, no matter what age, level of fitness, or life circumstance. For more information, email Ann at info@teamsunwellness.com.

“I have been a grateful student in Ann’s yoga classes for a couple of years. I have especially appreciated her non-judgmental and very encouraging approach. Her classes offer increasing challenges for students to stretch their bodies and their repertoire of yoga poses, but always in a compassionate, supportive, and peaceful atmosphere. In addition, her subtle humor and intention to connect personally with her students makes practicing yoga just plain fun. As Ann expands her teaching opportunities, I hope to follow her for as long as I can move my body!” -Judy S.

*Affordable yoga in a supportive community environment*

Outdoor Mindfulness Meditation

  • Three Sundays  at 8:00am / August 19th, 26th, and September 9th
  • Donation-based

Join us for a 30-minute Mindfulness Meditation in Swarthmore town center’s peaceful ampitheater. Bring your own coffee or tea and cushion or blanket to sit on if needed. Our meditations will mostly center around the breath, with the goal of staying present. There may be a thematic reading, or we may enjoy guided meditations like body scans. All ages welcome, and no experience is needed! Leave feeling more awake and alive, more able to manage stress and whatever arises.

“Every moment is incredibly unique and fresh, and when we drop into the moment, as meditation allows us to do, we learn how to truly taste this tender and mysterious life that we share together.”Pema Chödrön

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About the Instructor: Ann MacMullan Jeans is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and teaches in the Philadelphia area with her company Team Sun Wellness. Ann believes in the healing power of yoga and meditation for everyone, no matter what age, level of fitness, or life circumstance. Ann has completed the foundational 8-week program at Penn Medicine’s Penn Program for Mindfulness, and regularly practices yoga and meditation. For more information, email Ann at info@teamsunwellness.com.

Ampitheatre Location: 121 Park Avenue – Swarthmore, PA 19081 / Swarthmore Town Center’s ampitheatre is right next to the library or Borough Hall, with ample metered parking and free street parking nearby.

 

Gentle Yoga – Spring Session

Create balance between mind, body, and spirit by connecting the breath with slow movement during gentle reclining, seated and standing postures. Calm the mind and focus inward with guided breathing and meditation techniques. Great for increasing flexibility, improving strength and balance, and reducing stress. Bring a yoga mat and an extra large towel. Blocks and straps provided. All levels welcome!
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Tuesdays:  March 6th through April 24th – 9:00am-10:00am, 8 week session!
Wallingford Presbyterian Church – Fellowship Hall
110 E Brookhaven Rd, Wallingford, PA 19086
$45 for 8 sessions: Sign up through Wallingford Swarthmore Community Classes website, spaces fill up fast!
REGISTER HERE >>>WSCC – Gentle Yoga – Spring 2018>>>REGISTER HERE

Instructor: Ann MacMullan Jeans is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and believes in the healing power of yoga and meditation for everyone, no matter what age, level of fitness, or life circumstance.  Ann has also completed Adaptive Yoga Teacher Training, Trauma Informed Yoga Training, and the 8-week foundational course in Mindfulness through Penn Medicine.  She is insured and registered through Yoga Alliance.

 

Breath

Relaxed senior woman doing some breathing exercises

A daily practice of focused deep breathing is one of the best tools for improving health and well-being and is available to us at all times. Harvard Medical School reports that focused, deep respiration can have the following benefits:

  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Relief from stress, anxiety and depression
  • Increased detoxification
  • Improved memory and focus
  • Heightened metabolism

 

Stress Response

The relationship between breathing and our stress response is key to understanding how we can take control of our own stress levels. Here’s a little more about how it works:  your breathing rate is automatically regulated by the autonomic nervous system, a system which controls many of our internal body processes – such as blood pressure, heart and breathing rates, digestion, and metabolism to name a few.

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If you’re in an emergency situation, the sympathetic nerves prepare the body for fight or flight by increasing the heart and breathing rates, causing the palms to sweat and the pupils to dilate, and slowing down processes like digestion and urination. When it’s time to rest and digest, our parasympathetic nerves are hard at work slowing the heart and breathing rates, decreasing blood pressure, and processing food and eliminating wastes. However, our response to stress can heighten over time if we’re not able to rest and restore our system to a state of balance. When we are easily triggered, something as simple as the sound of the phone ringing or a distant siren can set into motion a fight or flight response, which can have serious consequences. According to the JPB Research Network on Toxic Stress at Harvard University, this stress reactivity can have serious and even life-threatening effects on our physical and mental health.

 

Three Breathing Exercises

Controlling our own breath can help restore the balance in our nervous systems. This allows us to both respond with the appropriate focus and energy to everyday events and to wind down when we need rest. We can even use the breath to simply check in with ourselves at any time during the day.

 

Energizing Breath: Try this before you reach for the caffeine.

  • Find a seated posture where you feel stable – comfortable yet upright.
  • Shoulders are back and down, chest lifted, midsection lightly engaged.
  • Ground down into the points of contact: feet on ground, hands resting gently on the  lap, feeling completely supported by the chair.
  • Tune into the sensation of the breath, the sound of the breath or the feeling of the chest rising and falling.
  • Start your count – Inhale for five seconds  – Exhale for five seconds, taking a short pause at the top and bottom of each breath.
  • Lengthen the spine on the inhalation, pulling the belly button up and in; drop the shoulders on the exhalation, while keeping the midsection gently engaged.
  • Continue until you feel a calm, quite focus to help you re-approach the day.

 

Relaxing Breath: Practice this to help fall asleep or to simply slow down and center.

  • Find a comfortable seated position or lie down onto your back, supporting the head  with a blanket or pillow.
  • Focus your awareness on where you are making contact with the ground and release any tension or tightness with several deep exhalations.
  • Place one hand on the belly and notice the breath with each gentle rise and fall of the midsection.
  • Focus on feeling completely supported in your position and bring your attention back to the movement or sound of the breath anytime the mind starts to wander.

 

Checking-In Breath: Use this the next time you are waiting in line at the store.

  • Bring awareness to the feet, position them hip-distance apart.
  • Engage the muscles of the lower and upper legs, locking the knees.
  • Shift the hips slightly forward, while pulling the belly up and in.
  • Drop the arms down at the sides with the fingers lightly touching.
  • Inhale, growing taller and more expansive; exhale, maintain the height, while grounding down through the feet, like the roots of an oak tree.
  • Enjoy the opportunity to pay attention to yourself.

 

Basic Breathing Principles

By bringing just a little more awareness to our breath we can accomplish many everyday tasks more safely and efficiently.

  • Inhale when extending and reaching (for that bowl on the top kitchen shelf). Draw the breath into the upper chest, while engaging or flexing the muscles of the abdomen. The rib cage lengthens the spine and provides us greater reach.
  • Exhale when bending or twisting  (pulling clothes out of the dryer). Release the breath like the air squeezed from an accordion. The absence of air in the lungs provides us greater space to bend/twist.
  • Breath through the nose whenever possible. The nasal passageways filter impurities from the air while regulating the proper amount of oxygen absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Breathe into the chest to support physical activity requiring flexibility and core abdominal strength. Here, the ribs lift up and out to the sides, maximizing the volume of the thoracic cavity.
  • Breathe “into the belly” to promote relaxation and manage stress. During this breath, the belly pushes out while ribs are stabilized.

 

The simple principles and techniques introduced here hopefully encourage you to make the breath a more active partner in your everyday routines. Whether you’re stressed out, in desperate need of sleep, or simply bored in the check-out line, the breath will always be there when you need it.  What most matters is that we use the breath to bring a more mindful response to our environment and move away from mindless reactivity.

 

Today is the day to start paying attention to the breath!