Explore Fort Mifflin with us!

APRIL EVENT CANCELED DUE TO HEAVY RAINS

Just under ten miles outside Philadelphia’s center city lies a hidden gem:  Fort Mifflin, one of the most important battlefields of the American Revolutionary War.  In 1777, American soldiers held this vital supply point located on the Delaware River against overwhelming odds for forty-five long days. It is also a vital green space and a delightful site to wander.

On the Spring Equinox (Tuesday APRIL 17th 2018, from 6-8pm,) we will welcome spring by fusing past and present during a mindful exploration of this impressive fifty-acre National Historic Landmark. The Fort is closed to the public during our event, so we will have full, private access to this beautiful and historic location.

 

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OUR EVENT WILL INCLUDE:

MINDFUL MOVEMENT SESSION: First, we’ll explore the boundaries between our own bodies and the space around us during a mindful movement session. What is mindful movement, you ask? It’s movement that is connected with the breath, during postures that are influenced by yoga – but no yoga experience is needed! Breath-connected movement is essential for health and well-being, fusing mind and body, and can help us “listen to our bodies” with more clarity. This is beneficial for bringing awareness to our everyday routines so that we and attain better balance and posture, and manage stress more mindfully. However, all that said, we do not take ourselves too seriously and like to play and have fun!

CANDLELIGHT TOUR: Next, we’ll take a tour of one of America’s oldest established forts with one of Fort Mifflin’s knowledgable guides. From the Artillery Shed to the Water Battery and everything in between, we’ll celebrate the beginning of spring in this vital green space to better understand a battle that was not won, but fought by men who never surrendered. There is rumored to be quite a bit of paranormal activity at this site,  as well – which we experienced the first time we visited. We’ll see who shows up!

FIRE PIT MEDITATION: We’ll end with a meditation session around the fire pit: practicing different breathing techniques to calm the mind and focus inward, while integrating the movement and tour portions of our event. 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. We may even close our event with a short chant if participants are open to it.

In the event of bad (cold or wet) weather we will hold our movement and meditation sessions in the bunk room with a fireplace going. Participants need no experience in yoga or meditation.

Things to consider:

  • Bring a large towel to sit on and wear comfortable clothes. 
  • Arrive 5-10 minutes early to settle in.
  • Bring something to drink or eat if you like!
  • Sunset is at 7:13pm.
  • Address: 6400 Hog Island Road, Philadelphia, PA 19153 – free parking included.
  • It’s Brian’s birthday, so we may get to fire the cannon!

Whether you’re a history buff, a yogi who likes the outdoors, or someone just looking for other ways to explore your surroundings, we’d love to see you! Come hang out with us – breathe, move, meditate, and experience one of Philly’s hidden gems. To register, you can pay here:

 

FORT MIFFLIN MINDFUL EXPLORATION

$25.00

Or feel free to send us an email and bring cash or check to the site on the day of the event. Email: info@teamsunwellness.com

About the Instructors: We are Ann MacMullan Jeans and Brian Jeans, certified yoga instructors (RYT 200) who have also trained in mindfulness practice (Penn Medicine). We teach people of all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels, both in group and private settings. We are dedicated to helping people establish greater awareness through breath and movement in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Learn more About Us.

Yoga for People over Fifty

If you can breathe, you can practice yoga. Yoga is not just for the young and bendy. In fact, according to a 2016 study conducted by Yoga in America, 17 percent of current yoga practitioners are in their 50s, and 21 percent are age 60 and older.IMG_3742

Unfortunately, many of the older people practicing yoga are also getting injured. “Participants aged 65 years and older have a greater rate of injury from practicing yoga when compared with other age groups,” states a study published last year in the Orthapaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. Injuries may arise from trying to fit into yoga classes or styles of yoga that do not take into account the possible health challenges that middle aged or older bodies are faced with, such as arthritis, heart conditions, and high or low blood pressure.

At Team Sun Wellness, we teach many beginning adults over the age of fifty, whether on a mat or in a chair. The principles of posture, breath, and balance can be applied to any yoga practice no matter what level of fitness or mobility. In fact, we started out teaching seniors at Ann’s grandmother’s assisted living facility. Ann wanted to bring more activity into Ellie’s life, and so she and Brian started a yoga program there for all the residents, in both assisted living and skilled nursing. Ellie, who passed away a few months shy of her 99th birthday, was an active participant in their yoga classes, truly “started it all.” Even on her deathbed, Ellie was taking “one breath at a time” as we had practiced in our classes.

What are the things to look out for if you’re an older adult either starting or continuing your yoga practice?

1-Listen to your body. You’ll hear this a lot from us, and it’s not always the easiest idea to understand. While we don’t want you to push past any pain, we do want you to challenge yourself and test your limits. By connecting your breath with movement, you’ll start to gain clarity of what your body is asking for, what you really do need in any given moment. Silencing the mind that can compare and judge too harshly is sometimes the hardest part of our yoga practice. Be wherever you are, not where you think you should be!

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2-Use props like blocks, straps, and even chairs. Props can help use achieve and deepen poses we could never otherwise perform in their full expressions – aligning the joints and muscles safely to avoid injury. We modify poses and adapt poses and sequences for your particular range of motion. Trying to attain a pose that we are not ready for can cause injury, particularly to areas like the lower back, shoulders, hamstrings, and hips. There’s no reason to be embarrassed by using props in a yoga session!

3-Stop making excuses and focus on the positive. 95% of the effort of your yoga practice is actually just getting to the mat or chair! When you make a consistent effort, you begin to tap into the well of yoga’s benefits, such as increased vitality and better quality of life. Available scientific literature suggests that the regular practice of yoga can improve physical, mental, emotional, social, and vital planes of elderly individuals, offering a better quality of sleep and quality of life.

Aging gracefully: Our health and the rate at which we age entirely depends on our choices. We can actually reverse or slow down the pace at which we age by practicing yoga and meditation! This is not just a self-aggrandizing claim from some yoga teacher, this is from an evidence-based study, the first study to demonstrate improvement in both cardinal and metabotrophic biomarkers of cellular aging and longevity in apparently healthy population after Yoga and Meditation based lifestyle intervention.

  • Physical benefits: reduces heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose, oxidative damage, fatigue, weakness, fear of fall. Improves heart rate variability, baroreflex sensitivity, insulin sensitivity, physical functions, mobility, flexibility, and urinary incontinence.
  • Mental benefits: reduces depression, anxiety.
  • Emotional benefits: reduces anger, stress, tension and improve self-efficacy
  • Social: improves life satisfaction

Are you ready to practice with us? We offer a few different kinds of sessions for older adults.

You’re never too old, it’s never too late, you’re never too inflexible to start a yoga practice! We provide chairs, mats, blocks and straps to help you find the yoga practice that’s right for you – so you can start reaping the benefits of yoga. Avoid injury, manage stress, and get more joy out of life!

About the Instructors: We are Ann and Brian Jeans, certified yoga instructors (RYT 200) who have also trained in mindfulness practice (Penn Medicine). We teach people of all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels, both in group and private settings. We are familiar with a wide range of the traditional Hatha yoga styles including Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram (Hot Yoga), Iyengar and Restorative.We love helping people of all ages and walks of life take care of themselves through mindful movement and focused breathing. It’s truly a blessing to be able to share the tools we have discovered on our own paths to health and well-being with others. And we have fun doing it!

 

Partners Yoga

Relationships are a balancing act. We support our partners, and expect support in return, but sometimes it’s not always an easy or equal dance. When we share fun activities and create authentic and meaningful ways to relate to each other, we can evolve, and find meaning and joy in everyday routines.

This light-hearted yoga class is designed for partners of all types, shapes, sizes and ability levels to deepen their bond with each other while focusing on self-care and not taking life too seriously. During our hour together, we will:

  • Use breathing exercises to improve synchronicity
  • Strengthen both verbal and non-verbal communication through shared standing and balance poses
  • Balance our own self-care with compassion for our partners during guided meditations
  • Explore new territory such as cleansing twists, stress-relieving forward folds, and energizing backbends.

About the Instructors: We are Ann and Brian Jeans, certified yoga instructors (RYT 200) who have also trained in mindfulness practice (Penn Medicine). We teach people of all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels, both in group and private settings. We are familiar with a wide range of the traditional Hatha yoga styles including Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram (Hot Yoga), Iyengar and Restorative. We believe that the couples, families, and friends that practice yoga together, stay together!

Studio Location: Our studio is centrally situated in the Newbold North neighborhood at 1809 S. Bancroft St. There is generally plenty of street parking available and we are three minute walk from the Broad Street Tasker-Morris Septa Station.

Partner Session Details:  $60 per couple $50 per couple holiday special, runs through end of January! Please arrive 5-10 minutes early to settle in and prepare for class. All props are provided (mats, blocks, straps etc.) Wear loose comfortable clothing and bring a water bottle. Payment can be made through PayPal below or by cash/check on site.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please register via email at info@teamsunwellness.com, or through the contact form here:

Payment: Use the PayPal button below or pay in cash or check on site.

Partners Yoga Session

$60.00

 

Posture

The first of the foundations in our series is posture. We can all recall as kids being asked to stand or sit up straight. Correct posture is essential to health and well-being. Why? Because posture affects breathing, lung capacity, and overall energy levels. Slumping or slouching compresses the lungs and decreases the volume of the breath. This limits oxygen inflow, vital to maintaining peak energy levels and proper functioning of muscles, nerves and all major systems of the body.  Hours in front of a TV or staring at a smart phone can weaken the core muscles of the back and abdomen while tightening those of the hips, chest, shoulders and neck.  We can reverse the influences of our modern lifestyle by paying attention to posture.

First, take stock of how you sit.

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Proper Seated Posture

  • Feet planted flat on the floor or footrest
  • Avoid crossing the legs
  • Ankles directly below the knees
  • Knees level with the hips
  • Knees, hips and shoulders level
  • Forearms parallel to ground
  • Midsection engaged and pulled in
  • Breath directed into upper chest

 

Next, notice how you stand.

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 Proper Standing Posture
  • Body weight even on both feet Feet hip-distance apart
    Feet and knees pointed straight ahead
  • Hips even, stomach tucked in
  • Back straight without rounding or arching
  • Shoulders even, pulled back and down
  • Chin level with the ground

 

Reversing Bad Posture

Noticing your posture throughout the day is a great place to start. A few simple exercises can help us begin to reverse the effects of our bad posture habits. One of our favorites is the Seated Spinal Stretch. We love doing this throughout the day when we’ve been behind a desk for a while or as a way to transition from one activity to another, like getting out of bed in the morning. This simple but effective spinal stretch can also be performed on the hands and knees where it is referred to in yoga as the Cat-Cow Pose.

Seated Spinal Stretch

  • Place your hands on your knees. Inhale, pulling the shoulders up, back and down, expanding chest – arching the back.
  • Exhale, straighten the arms, tucking stomach towards the spine, and press down into knees – rounding the back.

 

Building Everyday Postural Awareness

  • Take frequent breaks to stand and walk if seated for extended periods
  • Plant feet firmly on the floor anytime while seated
  • Keep shoulders back and chin level whenever using a smart phone
  • Switch a handbag between shoulders throughout the day

Posture is critical to balance: when the bones and joints are in correct alignment, less strain is placed on the back. This makes any activity safer and easier, from walking to the corner store to carrying groceries up the stairs. There are very few daily activities that do not depend on proper posture, solid balance and effective breathing. According to Harvard Health Publications, greater attention to everyday habits can visibly improve posture within weeks!

 

It’s never too late to improve your posture!

Yoga for Every Body

No matter your age, level of mobility or fitness, there is a yoga practice for you.

“Whether you’re a couch potato or a professional athlete, size and fitness levels do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose and beginner classes in every style,” says Dr. Natalie Nevins, D.O., on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association. Yoga is generally low-impact and safe when practiced appropriately under the guidance of a well-trained instructor.

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We truly believe yoga is for everyone, that’s why we offer mat and chair sessions for all levels. Feel free to explore our Wellness Offerings for more details on when and where.

YOGA IS GOOD FOR YOU: Harvard Medical School reports that the evidence is growing that practicing yoga is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.  Yoga can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses and may be helpful for both anxiety and depression. It’s NEVER TOO LATE to start! The students we work with on a weekly basis report improvements in balance, flexibility, posture, and breathing; and they leave our classes “in their happy place.”

“I have been a grateful student in Ann’s yoga classes for a couple of years. As an older yoga practitioner who has worked with other teachers in the past, 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.

“Brian’s men’s yoga class is great! I started up going to his Sunday morning class a couple months ago and I couldn’t be happier. Brian’s very knowledgeable and works with you to get you stretching a little bit more each time. He works on fundamentals and builds on that to really get some under-used muscles working.” -Christopher A.