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Paul Jerard
Paul Jerard is a certified and registered trainer of Yoga teachers.
Paul Jerard is a certified and registered trainer of Yoga teachers.

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A sense of mindfulness is making its way into some Long Island classrooms, where educators and students are practicing yoga and meditation and participating in acupressure and drum circles to foster well-being.

In the Three Village school district, leaders at R.C. Murphy Junior High School in Stony Brook introduced a Winter Wellness Series as a way to improve morale and decrease stress among faculty and staff members.

“It’s very hard being a teacher these days. We are up against a lot,” said school social worker Debbi Rakowsky, who organized the effort. “It is one of those jobs where you are here and making a difference every day and . . . I think you need to be pampered a little and it reflects on the kids.”

One workday last month, soothing music played and an essential oils diffuser scented a break room where a handful of staff members reclined in chairs. A licensed practitioner went from one person to the next, applying acupressure and acupuncture to their shoulders, heads and feet.

The wellness series was launched after a school-based committee looked at ways to improve well-being among staff. There was no cost for bringing in the practitioners, who were district alumni or community members who volunteered for the three sessions, scheduled over the course of a few weeks in February. The sessions included guided meditation and a drum circle.

The Three Village district is not alone. Other efforts across the Island have included an introduction to meditation course in Massapequa and yoga workshops in the Herricks, Mineola and Patchogue-Medford school districts.

Michael J. Hynes, superintendent of Patchogue-Medford, noted that research has shown yoga and meditation techniques lessen anxiety and stress.

“In a culture of constant technology stimulation, it is important to teach children the power of mindfulness,” he said. “Not only our kids . . . but adults, too.”

Rakowsky, who has worked in the Three Village system for 29 years, also is a marriage and family therapist. She is part of the school committee, called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, that looks at ways to change the school climate.

The committee originally focused on anti-bullying, and Rakowsky said the committee decided to take it “a little bit further.”

“I started to notice the staff needed some help as well, she said. “And if we have happy staff members, it trickles down to the kids.”

A former family and consumer services classroom was transformed into a teacher’s break room; before that, the faculty members had eaten lunch in the copy room.

The committee reached out to alumni such as Mark Petruzzi, a licensed acupuncturist and licensed massage therapist based in Port Jefferson who led a session at the end of February.

“From something like this, the benefit is that they are more calm and have a little more energy, so they are more focused and can handle the stresses of every day,” said Petruzzi, who graduated from the district’s high school, Ward Melville, in 1999.

School counselor Joan Zeller said she felt relaxed and refreshed after the session, a feeling that translates into her interaction with students. She has worked for the district for 33 years.

“I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “It makes people feel cared for. It renews people, it re-energizes you and . . . when you get this kind of support, it makes a difference.”

Rakowsky said she expects the series could extend to students as well. Other morale-boosting efforts, such as a food truck for teachers in the spring, are under consideration.

“Winter is hard for a lot of people,” Rakowsky said. “This is a great way to get them a little pick-me-up so they go in re-energized.”

#SenseOfMindfulness #DecreaseStress #PracticingYogaAndMeditation #ImproveMorale

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Can Yoga help an unruly child? Yoga training teaches self-awareness, allowing the child to get in touch with inner feelings and thoughts. This self-monitoring helps the child begin to notice how emotions or situations affect life, so that methods can be learned to cope, confront, and deal with emotional turmoil.

#EmotionalTurmoil ##CanYogaHelpAnUnrullyChild #PracticingYoga #FollowMeditationTechniques

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The ancient practice of yoga, which has its origin in India, holds cure to many disorders of the body. It is part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. Yoga is not just make you fit and healthy physically but also makes your mind more active and strong. It improves your immunity, gives you a toned body, flushes out the toxins, improves circulation of blood and has many other health benefits. This low-impact practice stretches and strengthens your body. It is also effective in making your skin healthy and ease wrinkles. There are many yoga poses that will slow down the aging process and make your body look younger.

#MakeYourBodyLookYounger #AntiAgingYogaExercises #GivesYouATonedBody #SlowDownTheAgingProcess

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The brain is the root of a sharp memory. And the level of memory will largely depend on the activity of the brain. There are several reasons that can affect the functioning of the brain which includes stress, anxiety, and tension. To perform well in your thinking and analysing skills, you need a good memory power. Yoga is a good way to improve your memory and make your brain sharper. Here are the top three yoga poses to help you strengthen your memory.

Padmasana: This yoga asana is an important position for meditation and it helps by calming the mind and improves various physical disorders. It is one of the best yoga asanas to relax, calm your mind, and sharpen your memory skills. It is also known as “Lotus Pose”.

How to do Padmasana

Sit down with your feet straight in sitting position and place the right foot on the left thigh. Similarly, place the left foot on right thigh and keep your spine straight. Keep and keep the right palm above the left palm, and place them on the lap. Focus the mind on the front portion of the nose, or any other point to meditate with concentration. Initially do it for 1-2 minutes and then gradually increase the duration. This will not only calm your mind but also increase your awareness and attentiveness.

Vajrasana: It is a basic yoga posture that increases the overall power of the organ and triggers the brain muscles. It helps to ease digestive disorders and strengthens your back and leg muscles. This asana is also known as “Diamond Pose”.

How to do Vajrasana

Sit on a flat floor and kneel down. Place your hands on your lap and keep the head straight. The lower part of your leg should touch the ground. Close your eyes and

concentrate on calming the mind. Make sure that your knees, big toes and ankles should be parallel to each other. Starting from 5 minutes this asana can be done for 15-20 minutes or so.

#ImproveYourMemory #CalmingTheMind #BasicYogaPosture #StrengthensYourBack

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Benefits of Camel Pose For Children

What Is the Camel Pose?

The camel pose used in posture (asana) practice is beneficial for children. This pose requires a child to kneel on a soft mat while bending backward slowly to curve the spine. Depending on the flexibility of a child’s spine, she can rest her hands on her hips or the soles of her feet. It can take several weeks to gain enough flexibility to perform this yoga movement.

Benefits of Camel Pose For Children

1: Expanding the Chest to Improve Pranayama Practice

This gentle backward pose helps to expand the chest to make it easier for children to breathe. When children are not slumping, their lungs are able to expand more, helping to improve the body’s flow of oxygen. Children with conditions such as asthma may experience fewer breathing attacks after learning how to expand their chest with a camel pose.

2: Stimulating a Child’s Digestion to Prevent Constipation

The camel pose is used during asana practice to stimulate the body’s digestion to prevent constipation. The backward bending motion helps to massage the body’s intestinal tract to keep food moving through the digestive system. A child can perform this pose multiple times during the day to avoid having problems with his digestive tract.

3: Strengthening a Child’s Back and Abdominal Muscles

Yogic methodology stresses the importance of strengthening the muscles in the body. The camel pose is an excellent yoga movement to improve the strength of a child’s back and abdomen. Performing this pose once a day for a few weeks will help a child to tone the muscles in her abdominal region and back.

4: Stimulating the Kidneys to Prevent Inflammation

If a child has frequent kidney infections, then use natural yogic methodology to improve his health. The gentle movements used during the camel pose helps to massage a child’s kidneys and nearby organs to reduce any inflammation. By stimulating the kidneys, it is possible to prevent recurring painful kidney infections.

5: Improving a Child’s Posture

Daily yogic practice with camel pose can improve a child’s poor posture. The movements used with camel pose increase the flexibility of the spine, helping to prevent poor sitting or standing postures that squeeze the internal organs. Improving a child’s posture when he is young can also help to prevent deformities of the bones that can last a lifetime.


Music Source : AudioBlocks

#ImprovingAChildsPosture #StimulatingAChildsDigestion CamelPoseForChildren #YogaMovement

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In recent years Yoga has become more and more popular and accepted into the “mainstream”. It is no longer viewed as some “far-out”, strange and unusual ritual that only really “bendy” people do. Many once believed that Yoga was some sort of foreign religion. All these ideas have been proven incorrect. The general population now knows and is discovering that Yogic techniques can be practiced by anyone and although it has spiritual properties it is not a religion. People are discovering the importance of a regular Yoga practice, finding all of its wonderful benefits. As people are learning more and more about the necessity of good health and caring for the body, inside and out, they are turning to Yoga. Unlike certain sports, that over time break the body down to the point of having to stop the activity all together, Yoga can be practiced for a lifetime. The physical benefits can be helpful for all ages. When practicing there is a mind, body, spirit connection that is developed and this connection can also work wonders for the whole body and soul regardless of age or body type. Yoga has helpful properties regardless of ones physical abilities. All people can feel the positive effects from a Yoga practice.

Children of all ages can benefit from Yoga. In today’s modern times kids are very busy and often over extended with activities and responsibilities. Going to school alone takes a large amount of time, not to mention a lot of mental taxation. Then, there’s homework and after school activities taking away more precious time. Yes, it’s important to have all of these things included in a child’s life but often, it’s just too much. There are a lot of pressures placed on children to perform, participate and succeed. These days, most children are under great stress. They have endless homework, tough competition, student relationships and pressures from peers. They have to deal with so many various problems. Through Yoga, children can learn ways to relax and get control of stress in their lives. Practicing Yoga can help tremendously, giving a child the opportunity to decompress, relax and forget about daily pressures for awhile. In a child’s average day there maybe no time to just “do nothing”. Their minds and bodies are engaged in one thing or the other for the entire day thus resulting in a very stressful state. They never have the opportunity to relax. It’s important for parents to provide their kids the opportunity to take a Yoga class. Kids who take the time to practice will learn how to “turn-off” the mind and become still; a concept that many can’t even comprehend. When children start

Yoga at a very young age, say in the primary grade level, they can develop the skills necessary for relaxation. Yoga for kids can be taught in a very fun and playful way teaching them skills and giving them Yogic benefits without them even realizing it. Learning Yoga at a young age not only helps them mentally, but it can help develop their physical body as well. Yoga will help kids become more coordinated and flexible. It will teach them relaxation skills that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives. Children are naturally more flexible then adults and when Yoga is practiced through childhood onto adulthood that flexibility will be maintained. Practicing through the teen years will help students develop relaxation skills useful for stressful college years and on into adulthood. When we learn how to relax at a younger age, those skills can serve well as an adult. It comes almost naturally as opposed to something that needs to be thought about. Many studies have shown that children, who practice Yoga, are able to concentrate for longer periods of time. Kids learn to focus their mind more effectively. With Yoga, children can build their body, reduce stress and learn self-discipline.

#EveryoneCanBenefitFromYoga #LearnSelfDiscipline #PracticingYogaExercises #SuffersWithAge

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Yogic practices are deeply embedded in ancient traditions, which focus on utilizing the mind and body connection to achieve a blissful state of being. What makes yoga techniques particularly effective for achieving happiness has to do with effectively developing this connection and becoming more in tune with one's inner self. When an individual engages in any kind of physical activity, endorphins are released, causing a rush of intense happiness (often referred to as "runner's high," in the jogging world), however, with yogic practices, the mindfulness which one must utilize in order to effectively engage in each pose is so powerful, that those hormones, which are released into the system, cause a more permanent state of bliss. The practice of utilizing pranayama techniques while maneuvering into each asana causes one to eventually reach a sense of inner tranquility.

Yoga training has been recommended by doctors as an adjunct therapy for individuals who are suffering from depressive disorders, as a way to teach them how to be more mindful of the small things that create states of inner happiness. This practice is particularly helpful for people suffering from depression, due to the fact that these individuals are often not aware of how their mindset might affect their physiological being, as well as vice versa. By becoming more aware and in tune with how interconnected their mind and bodies are, they are more empowered to exert a positive influence over their physical and mental well being.

#YogicHappiness   #SufferingFromDepression   #StatesOfInnerHappiness  

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It is possible to relieve your stress with a variety of yogic practices, including meditation or exercise. Using natural methods to eliminate your stress can prevent the uncomfortable side effects from long-term use of prescription medications. Use these types of yogic methodology to reduce your daily stress.

1: Yoga Poses and Movements

If you begin performing yoga exercise each day, then it will help to reduce your feelings of stress. Have a soft mat to place on the floor, and change into comfortable clothing before beginning to exercise. The best poses and movements for your stress include stretching or deep breathing. You might want to try child’s pose, bridge pose or cat pose to relax your body and mind. By using asana practice after work, you can enjoy your evening without experiencing stress from a difficult day.

2: Consuming a Nutritious Diet

Another important part of yogic methodology is consuming a healthy diet. A diet that is rich in natural plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and brown rice is recommended by yoga practitioners. In addition, experts recommend eating small portions of food to avoid obesity and its health complications.

3: Pranayama Practice

Breath control can also reduce your stress, and this is another yogic practice that you can learn from a professional practitioner. This stress-relieving practice involves performing simple breathing exercises before advancing to difficult breathing techniques. However, after you master the breathing techniques, you can use the practice to eliminate stress while you are in difficult situations.

4: Meditation For Relaxation

At the end of a yoga routine, you will relax in a sitting or reclining pose so that you can meditate for a few minutes. Learning how to meditate is an essential way for you to reduce stress. As you get better at meditating in a class, you can learn to clear your mind anywhere. Understanding how to meditate can help to prevent racing or anxious thoughts that can make you spiral into feeling additional stress.

5: Aromatherapies

You can use aromatherapies such as fragrant essential oils or scented candles while meditating, controlling your breath or exercising with yoga poses. While bathing or showering with warm water, you can use aromatic soaps to soothe your mind and relax your body to relieve your stress. You can also use fragrant scents such as sandalwood or lavender in your home and workplace to relieve your stress naturally.

#YogicPathToCopingWithStress   #RelieveStressNaturally   #ReduceStress  

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Through the power of yoga, several diseases can be treated, according to Muhammad Siddique Morio, the In-harge TWC at the Major Aziz Bhatti Park Club, Karachi. While addressing the participants at the Wonderful Yoga Club in Larkana on Monday - where a large number of noted personalities attended the yoga exercises - Morio said that diseases such diabetes, blood pressure, bone aches and pains, the loss of eyesight, stomach ailments, paralysis, allergies, obesity etc could be self-treated with regular yoga exercises.

The organizers announced that a massive awareness campaign will soon begin for the benefit of the residents of Larkana. Ali Asghar Abbasi said that Yoga was invented by the Buddha, the King of Mohenjo Daro, yet it is ironic that we consider it anti-Islamic; that is why we have failed to benefit from it.

He stated that all top Muftis and Islamic scholars have issued a Fatwa stating that yoga is, in fact, a way of keeping yourself fit through various exercises. Previously, yoga was kept hidden by the famous Hakeems who gave prescriptions for the treatment of various deadly diseases.

Abbasi claimed that China, Japan, India, and various countries in Europe have begun to close down hospitals after experiencing the benefits of yoga and these countries are now establishing centers & universities for yoga. He believed that if the people of our country also start yoga exercises for just one hour every day, they will not need to go to.

All the participants affirmed that hospitals will be empty and parks will be made fertile if yoga is adopted. At the end of the talk, Dr. Raj Kumar Gill and known cardiologist Dr. Sikandar Shaikh announced that soon they will soon establish a Ladies Yoga Club in Larkana.

#KeepYourselfFit #StartYogaExercises
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