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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

September 2013 - Yoga Month

September is Yoga Month and each year, local studios like to introduce new students to all of its myriad benefits. As Amy Likins ( expresses, "Anything can be considered yoga if you are fully mindful in what you are doing at the moment." Likins’ asana teachings revolve around the exploration of breath and prana (energy) in the body and mind. She uses yoga postures and their form to explore the first layer of opening and resistance. Likins explains, "These may be felt as certain freedoms or tensions in the body or mind."


Laura Tyree, ( recalls she first became interested in yoga following an auto accident, and that experience led to the knowledge and determination to heal and be well. Over the years, her studies in energy healing, meditation, massage therapy and recently, jin shin jyutsu, continue to grow and develop into a more soulful practice. "I encourage my students to apply their yoga practice to their lives in a multitude of ways. Many deepen their awareness of self and open fully to their unique beauty and strength; both inner and outer," says Tyree.


Ed Dailey, ( combines a demanding, full-time position as an integral part of the operating room team at Sacred Heart Hospital with his 15-year yoga practice. Dailey explains, "Yoga has the ability to address us as humans on several levels; from a physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual level of the mind. It helps us to harness our attention into the present moment, so we can truly begin to understand the meaning of ‘being present’. I am interested in teaching what some call ‘original yoga,’ not just the physical practice of asana. To me, yoga is the state where nothing is missing."


Felicia McQuaid, ( teaches a therapeutic style of yoga that is about conscious alignment, introducing and preparing students for meditation and the importance of breath awareness. "Yoga works on multi-dimensions simultaneously," expresses Felicia. "As we open our bodies, we open our hearts; as we open our hearts, we open our minds; as we open our minds, we open to our spirits. Yoga by, definition, means union, to bring us back to a state of wholeness."


Dawn Brooks, ( ignites a spirit of playfulness through aerial yoga. "There is something about the dramatic, circus-like movements that takes you out of your mindset to a unique deeper connection with your body. Finding the power within you to go beyond everyday movements reconfirms our mind’s abilities to overcome fear and reach for the impossible."


LauraLynn Jansen, ( co-owner of Yoga Elements and founder of Strengthening From the Core, an integrative health coaching practice aimed at aligning life and wellness, began practicing yoga more than two-and-a-half decades ago as part of her healing regime to cope with a cancer diagnosis. Jansen’s journey has led to a passion for stand up paddleboard yoga. She noticed that after meeting the challenge of combining yoga postures and balancing on the water, students became mesmerized as they experienced the true feeling of yoga. She says, "I love being a catalyst as others discover their power, from the body’s surface to their deepest self."


Whatever your prior experience with yoga, there’s nothing to lose by starting a new practice or rekindling an old one—and everything to gain.




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