A guest post from Emily Troll
Sometimes dance hall, sometimes yoga studio, Vinnie’s is an important piece of the CHC’s work on wellness – not just for the body, but for the whole human being! Vinnie’s recently expanded to offer yoga 5 days a week, with 4 different styles of yoga, and by 3 instructors. Read on for news and thoughts from our yoga team…
Meet Jeff Hush! Jeff teaches Power Yoga and Chi Yoga at Vinnie’s on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. He has been working with Tai Chi and Yoga since 1980, including training in Mexico and Prague. In fact he moved to Middletown only a year ago, to present an opera at Wesleyan and of course, to continue his teaching. Jeff is especially interested in the relationships among healthy movement, stress, and success in the workplace. “Most Americans today work at desks; we become disconnected from our natural breathing and our backs because of too much sitting; this leads to physical and mental imbalances. These can be overcome–and stress greatly reduced–by understanding and practicing a few basic principles of healthy moving and breathing. We know that stress brings on fight/flight hormones that block clear thinking. Healthy people work harder and create a more positive work environment that fosters innovation and excellent service.”
And beyond the workplace, Yoga can be a practice that “opens the mind and heart” says Miriam Menkin, our newest yoga instructor. After only 4 weeks on the job, Miriam already has a featured photograph in the Hartford Courant! Miriam practices Ashtanga yoga, and has studied with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore India. Miriam says “This experience has stayed with me and was life changing. I continue to practice in his style and teach with his simplicity and discipline in mind.” Ashtanga yoga involves synchronizing breath with a progressive series of postures, with the result of improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind. Her classes are available several lunch-times and mornings during the week. Miriam says “I have had numerous people tell me that they are not flexible and they think this is an obstacle to practicing yoga. This is just a good reason to start! Your body doesn’t need to be flexible to do yoga. The practice will open the mind and heart.”
“What yoga does is harmonize the mind with the body,” says Kathleen Maroney, our Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga instructor. “Think about it: How often do we find that we are unable to perform our activities properly and in a timely manner because of the clutter and conflicts in our mind? Yoga will help you focus your mind and energy in a positive direction.” And there are physical benefits intertwined with the mental: yoga lubricates the joints, ligaments and tendons, detoxifies the body, and helps to tone muscles. Kathleen has been working hard at her training over the past nine years, and just last week, she received her official Baptiste certification! Vinnie’s is thrilled to have Kathleen as part of our yoga team, teaching an energizing class on Sunday mornings at our studio.
Together, Kathleen, Jeff, and Miriam provide a variety of yoga practices which are open to all levels. The health benefits of yoga are as exciting as those of dance – centering, strengthening, and cleansing the body and mind. “Nowadays everyone is talking about yoga because we all care about our health” says Jeff Hush, and I have to agree. The connections between yoga and healthy living are clear and the CHC is proud to support Vinnie’s work as a yoga studio!