Centre'ing Blog

Yoga Teacher Training 2019

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Registration for Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) is now open! Intensive Sessions begin Friday, October 11th, 2019.

Join The Centre at VitaZen’s 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training and learn to create yoga classes, teach yoga postures, and develop a deeper understanding of anatomy, yoga philosophy and meditation.

The YTT is lead by Glenda Wynne, who has over 15 years experience teaching yoga, giving her experience in many styles, philosophies and ability to teach with diversity. Glenda leads ongoing classes daily in her studio as well as teaching private students. Glenda is an E-RYT 200 and a YACEP (Continuing Education Provider) with the Yoga Alliance.

Glenda has been a Registered Nurse for 40 years and holds a degree in mental health.

Her experience and training, along with small YTT classes makes The Centre at VitaZen’s training unique and personal.

Don’t miss your opportunity for personal growth, becoming a certified yoga teacher. Join us in October for YTT! To find out more stop by, call or email!

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101
540-721-9365
www.TheCentreAtVitaZen.com

Teacher Training Brochure

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Yoga Basics October 5th, 2019

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The Centre at VitaZen (Smith Mountain Lake’s Premier Yoga Studio) is offering Yoga Basics. Yoga Basics is a 3.0 hour Workshop designed to teach you the basics! Whether you are a beginner looking to build confidence or an experienced yogi looking to improve your practice, you’ll love this class. You will learn the core poses, along with modifications for the poses you find challenging. Yoga is a perfect companion to other fitness program such as Zumba, Cross Fit, Jazzercise and Weight Training. 

We are offering the 3 hour Workshop on Saturday, October 5th, 2019 at 1:00pm. Space is limited for theses classes, so sign up today. The fee is $55 per student. You may register and pay at VitaZen (our retail store)


The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio. Offering classes 7 days per week year round. We have 9 200 hour certified instructors. Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.


The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365


 

 

 

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Yoga in the Vines 2019

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Join The Centre at VitaZen and Ramulose Ridge Vineyards for Yoga in the Vines 2019!

We are offering 2 Yoga in the Vines this Summer. Wednesday, July 3rd and Friday, August 30th. All practices are 60 minutes will be held at 5pm. Following your yoga practice will be a private wine tasting!

Tickets are on sale for both events. There are a limited number of tickets, so advanced purchase is recommended. They are $25 for each day. Designated Drivers (NON TASTERS) receive a $10 discount. Tickets are available at VitaZen (The Centre's sister retail store). Please call or email with any questions 540-721-9365 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Ramulose Ridge Vineyards is located at 3061 Hendricks Store Road Moneta, VA 24101


The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio. Offering classes 7 days per week. We have 10 200 hour certified instructors. Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.


The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365

 

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Yoga & Picnic in the Park

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Join The Centre at VitaZen for an outdoor yoga class followed by a picnic!

June 1st-NOON at Booker T Washington National Monument. The fee is $25, includes yoga and boxed lunch!

This will be a fun all-levels yoga class!

Yogis must sign up and pay prior to June 1st (NO LATER THAN MAY 29th!). Our box lunches are being prepared by Farmhouse Catering, you have your choice of Turkey or Vegetarian. You may also request gluten-free +/or dairy-free. Food choices need to be made at the time of reservation.

Please call 540.721.9365 with questions or to make your reservation.

 

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The Center at VitaZen 2019 Yoga Vacation

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The Center at VitaZen 2019 Yoga Vacation

Join us on February 23rd 2019 for our Yoga Vacation in the Dominican Republic. We will be staying at the Dreams Dominicus La Romana Resort.

This 6 day 5 night trip includes EVERYTHING! Your lodging, meals, drinks, airfare, Ground transportation, tax, tip and YOGA are all included. You just need your clothes, swimsuit and yoga mat! This is a vacation, not a retreat so you can do as much or as little yoga as you like. We even have had some people come along that have done zero yoga…its okay, it’s a vacation! We typically have 2 yoga classes or 1 class and 1 work shop per day.

Give us a call or email if you would like more information on this trip.

The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s Yoga Studio. Offering yoga classes 7 days per week, led by 200hr certified yoga teachers. The Centre is a Yoga Alliance Certified School.

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy.
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 540.721.9365

 

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discover your dosha

Posted by Brett
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on Sunday, 24 December 2017
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The Centre at VitaZen presents
discover your dosha
a workshop by Glenda Wynne E-RYT200 &YACEP

Saturday, January 13, 2018
1:00pm-4:00pm
$55 per person
Call to register 540-721-9365 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

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Soul Revival Yoga Retreat Spring 2018

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Soul Revival Yoga Retreat 2018!

 

Join The Centre for our spring 2018 Yoga Retreat. We will be holding our retreat at Fairy Stone State Park in March of 2018.  Our Soul Revival will take place at the closing of winter and the opening of spring, March 16th-18th.

 

This will be the perfect opportunity to REVIVE your SOUL and get in touch with your yoga practice. During our time together we will do yoga, make new friends and revive your motivation to enjoy who we are.  Together we will learn more about the Chakras (vibrational energy centers) and practice how we can use this knowledge to make positive changes in our bodies, in our minds and in our souls.

 

This is an all-inclusive retreat, including lodging, food, drink and all workshop materials This retreat will feature.
*Yoga classes
*Chakra Workshops
*Tibetan Sing Bowl Sound Bath
*Mala Making Workshop
& More

 

All classes and workshops are lead by Glenda Wynne R.N., ERYT 200 YACEP

 

For registration information and details download the registration form. spring retreat 2018 registration form 1 1 2018.pdf 

 

The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio. Offering classes 7 days per week. We have 6 200 hour certified instructors.
Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.

 

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365

 

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Flow, Float & Fly w/J Miles Friday & Saturday, April 7 & 8, 2017!

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Brett
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on Sunday, 12 March 2017
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Yogi J Miles with be joining us at the Centre for a Friday night class and a Saturday afternoon workshop!

Friday, April 7th 5:30-7:00PM - Open Practice, All Levels 1.5 hour Vinyasa Flow $25
Saturday, April 8th 12:30pm-2:30pm -Float & Fly into Stillness...Arm Balance & Inversion Workshop $45

TAKE BOTH THE CLASS & WORKSHOP FOR ONLY $60 (space is limited, so call and reserve your space NOW! 540-721-9365


The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio. Offering classes 7 days per week year round. We have 6 200 hour certified instructors. Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.


The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365

 

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I'm picking up Good Vibrations....

Posted by Brett
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I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
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on Thursday, 27 October 2016
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In yoga we are always talking about the vibrations of life. We talk about the positive energy that we bring into our bodies with every beautiful breath we take. In yoga the word for that is Prana or “life energy.”

What we are not focused on, or are not always aware of, is that the energy centers of our body are always responding to the energy we bring into and push out of our bodies.

Science tells us that everything is made up of energy; think atoms, protons and neutrons. Energy is a vibration, in the form of sound, movement and even thought. Through sound, movement and thought we can change the vibration or the order in which the vibration moves.

In the Yoga tradition we call this energy our Chakra system.

The word Chakra is Sanskrit for “wheel” or “disk” and signifies one of the seven major energy centers in the body. The seven chakras are the energy centers that run along the nerve plexuses of the physical body. They correspond with the nervous system as well as states of consciousness, developmental stages in life, body functions, colors and sounds. The chakra is believed to be the center of activity that receives, assimilates and expresses the life force energy. The seven major chakras are the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, brow and crown.

When learning about the energy system we begin to learn about different ways we can make positive change in our life. For example, if you have had a difficult time with managing money or have a negative relationship with money (never having enough) you may need a tune up in the root chakra which is where we house the energy of survival and prosperity.

There are many ways to “tune” the vibrational system during a yoga class through breath, poses, and sound, we are always moving energy in a positive way. With vibrational healing such as Reiki, and Singing Bowls (sound therapy) energy is being rearranged as well.

Here is a list of the chakras, where they are and what they represent

Root -base of the spine, survival

Sacral -abdomen, emotions

Solar plexus -naval area, power and will

Heart -middle of the chest, love

Throat- the throat, communication

Brow -the forehead between the eyes, imagination and intuition

Crown -the top of the head, awareness

The chakra system is very intricate and is influence by every vibration in, and outside, of our bodies.

So remember to eat well, sleep well, move and keep good company. All of which will help you “pick up good vibrations”

 

Glenda Wynne

 

Glenda Wynne and Sarah Holbrook will be hosting a work shop on November 13th 2016 from

1-4:30pm at The Center At VitaZen. I you want to know more about the chakras, vibrational healing with singing bowls, and how yoga can help you make, and continue to make positive change in your life see thecenteratvitazen.com/events for information on how to sign up.

http://www.thecentreatvitazen.com/index.php/classes/workshops-events

 

The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio. Offering classes 7 days per week.

We have 6 200 hour certified instructors.

Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365

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Thankful for Yoga

Posted by Brett
Brett
I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
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on Wednesday, 25 November 2015
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It’s the time of year, (again) when the holiday season is upon us. The Christmas decorations were out before Halloween this year. It seems that the hustle and bustle of life will continue no matter what I think. As usual this time of year I have to find ways to ground myself and be more present in the moment. Easier said than done when so much planning is going on..... how do I stay grounded in the moment when my “future” has to be put on a very full calendar?

This is the when I have to begin to make time, to steal moments, to enjoy every minute, even the challenging ones. I find that breathing helps. What better way to focus that energy than to practice more yoga. Winter can be dark and dreary and the holidays can evoke some anxiety for some people but a regular yoga practice can keep the winter blues away! Yoga practice can bring focus to the moment and give you a reprieve from the hustle and bustle, every practice is like a mini retreat. I urge you to find the time for yourself and join us at The Centre At VitaZen for your mini retreat. There are classes and times to suite everyone's needs

If you are looking for the perfect gift for your yogi, The Centre will be holding a Spring Renewal weekend Retreat at Fairy Stone Park March 11-13, 2016 visit the event page for more information and registration.

 

Happy Holidays and perfect moments,

Namaste'

Glenda

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What I Learned at Yoga Jam 2015

Posted by Brett
Brett
I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
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on Monday, 21 September 2015
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Every year I go to the yoga Jam with excitement, my husband says I go to recharge my chakras, and he is absolutely right! This year I was double charged. I grew. I grew in my practice I grew in my spirit and I grew as a teacher. So what did I learn at the Yoga Jam this year? I learned things that I thought I already knew!

I learned that things work out. I learned that giving really is a form of spiritual enlightenment. I learned that we are all the same. I learned that what I do is valuable and that who I am is valuable and that I can share that with others on a deep level. I experienced a truth about “we are one”. As a yoga teacher in a small retirement community I had the opportunity to expose an extremely diverse group of people to the yoga jam. By offering students a place at our studio site there was a coming together of people from all walks of life younger, older, different belief systems, and many different levels and interests in the practice of yoga. I also learned that dancing and singing in an open field to Sean Johnson and the wild lotus band is like....well, freedom.

I learned that the diversity of life is what makes it good and that the appearance of being different is an illusion. Sure we all experience life in different ways but our experiences, our feelings of loss, frustration, happiness, joy, love , hurt, grief or pain are the same and each one of us hold a healing place for one another deep inside our spirit. I learned that we are all connected in more ways than I have understood in the past and our diversity is meaningless. Looking past the physical body or what it can do we see ourselves, and that self is beautiful!

I thank the Dancing Dankini's once again for holding this space of coming together.

 

                                                                                                                        Glenda Wynne, R.N. RYT

 

 

The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio. Offering classes 7 days per week year round and Sundays through the summer. We have 6 200 hour certified instructors. Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365

 

Here are some photos from our adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Free Your Mind, and Yoga Will Follow!

Posted by Brett
Brett
I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
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on Wednesday, 01 July 2015
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Yoga is wonderful for the mind, body, and soul. This is why we try to do it so perfectly- we want it to work!! The interesting (somewhat mind blowing) thing about Yoga is that it works only when we do not try. Let me explain this statement.

 

In many activities in our lives, we are taught to try harder, to push further, to play through the pain, and to be what we think is “the best”. This is especially true for sports and exercise. While these goals are super helpful in a game of tennis or in running a tough marathon, in yoga, these goals do not exist. Yoga is the “Anti-sport”. I am not saying sports are bad in any way (I love playing volleyball!). What I mean is that mentally, yoga challenges our bodies and minds to stop trying too hard, let go of pushing ourselves, and to re-examine our definition of “the best”.  By practicing this, yoga exercises a deeper and larger part of ourselves, enhancing our foundation as balanced human beings.

 

When we walk into our yoga class, we take off our shoes, socks, and all notions of being the best at anything. This is major weight we are removing from our tired backs. We can leave our heavy, competitive armor at the door (don’t worry we will pick it up on our way out) in order to explore the weightless yet ultimately powerful world of yoga.

 

As we begin our postures, we listen to the cues from our instructors. They say things like “don’t push”, and “allow yourself to be where you are”, and, of course, “breathe”. Our competitive natures may not hear these cues at first, and we instead hear our own internal cues, such as “push further”, “yes that hurts but we don’t want to look like a beginner”, and “if you’re going to be good at yoga you better keep twisting despite that pain in your back”.  We may hear these thoughts but we do not need to follow them.

 

This brings me to the ironic truths of yoga (that I’ve learned thus far):

 

  1. We are all beginners, that is how we learn.

  • By freeing our minds of what we think we know, we are able to fully experience each pose. This is sometimes called “The Beginner’s Eye”, meaning we don’t forget what we have learned, but we allow ourselves to see things through they eyes of “a beginner”.

  1. Flexibility only happens when we stop pushing past our edge.

  • This is a great philosophy, but this statement is also literal. When we try to push ourselves past our natural flexibility, to the point we are not at least somewhat comfortable or cannot breathe easily, our muscles become tense instead of relaxed. Tense muscles do not stretch, relaxed muscles do. So to progress in our flexibility, we must first let go of “getting there”.

  1. Strength only builds when we become aware of and respect our bodies as they are.

  • The next time you are instructed to be in a Plank pose, do not hesitate to bring your knees to the mat if you need to. When building our strength, it is important we do not overly exhaust the muscles we want to build. This can lead to an exhausted body, making it tough to properly experience the rest of our practice. It also increases likelihood of injury.

  1. Stress only leaves when we are able to relax in a pose and breathe.

  • Forward Bend is a good example here. When we are ready to exhale and bring ourselves forward, there is a mental battle that happens. One part of our selves wants to immediately round the back and somehow get our forehead to our toes and yell “TADA!!!” But another part of our selves wants to listen to the instructor cues, which normally begin with “a straight spine”, and “only come forward as much as you need to”. It is here, in this initially awkward place - where are our pelvis leans as much as our torso- that we get to relax. This is our edge for that day. This is where our brain will yell “Ohhh wow that feels good!” We are able to breathe here and begin letting go, allowing our muscles to relax, breath, and stretch.

 

So these are just some of the ironic truths I have been able to learn because of freeing my mind and allowing myself to be taught a different way of thinking about my body. Practice letting go when you walk into the yoga studio. Truly, when we practice freeing our minds, our yoga practice will follow. Oh, and don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself pushing or competing. Simply acknowledge it and compassionately lead your thoughts back to a mind free of goals. Since you are human, this may happen like 30 times in one yoga class. The most important thing is to keep leading yourself back to a relaxed, non-competitive mind set.  This is how you can be the “best” to YOU.

 

I can not resist leaving you with a song by En Vogue- it’s called “Free Your Mind” and feel free to dance in front of the bathroom mirror as it plays.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7iQbBbMAFE

 

The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio. Offering classes 7 days per week year round and Sundays through the summer. We have 5 200 hour certified instructors. Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365

 

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Yoga Basics Workshop

Posted by Brett
Brett
I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
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on Tuesday, 17 March 2015
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yoga basics workshop sign 04 2015I’m getting ready for another Yoga Basics Workshop (two actually), Yoga Basics is a great way to either enhance your practice or start from the beginning. The Centre at VitaZen has held 4 of these workshops in the past and every time I learn more and enjoy the opportunity to meet some really great people. These workshops get better every year.

I get of lot of questions from those who are new to yoga so I thought I might try to answer one of the questions most new yogis are concerned about.

The number one question I hear “I’m not flexible at all, do you think I can even do it?” well here is my answer to that! “ANYONE CAN DO YOGA!” Yoga is about being kind to your body, being kind to yourself and it’s a very individual and private journey. I don’t know anyone who is unable to take that journey.

Yoga reminds you to be patient with yourself. Yoga allows you to be in a room full of people of all ages with all levels of experience, and everyone taking their own private journey to bliss. I hear students say all the time that after beginning their practice they don’t even know anyone else is in the room. I call that freedom.

When you practice yoga it doesn’t matter how pretty your clothes are or how awesome your Down Dog looks, it matters only that you are willing put your ego in your back pocket, show up to the matt, be kind to yourself and begin that journey.

The Yoga Basics workshop can help take away the fear of “can I do this?” It will show you how you can do it. For those who have been practicing yoga for some time but want to get back to the basics, learn some knew things, and have some fun please join us.

Glenda Wynne, RN RYT

The next 2  Yoga Basics Workshops are
1. Saturday, April 11th 2:00pm-4:30pm
2. Monday, April 13th & Wednesday, April 15th 7:30pm-9:00pm
. (this is a 2 part workshop)

The workshop will be held at:
The Centre at VitaZen 12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101
540-721-9365

Space is limited for this workshop, so call and reserve your space. Come find out why all the yogis at Smith Mountain Lake say The Centre at VitaZen is "my yoga studio"!

 

 

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What I learned at the Floyd Yoga Jam this year

Posted by Brett
Brett
I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
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on Tuesday, 02 September 2014
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I must admit I was a little nervous when it all began. We got to the yoga jam and found out that we had to “schlep” our camping stuff up and down the hill to the studio camping site. Many things were going through my head as I was sweating, red faced, carrying totes and shoulder bags and pulling a little buggy( provided by the Jam) down the hill to the site. Not as concerned about myself as I was the others in our group who I wanted more than anything to have a good time. After all, this was as “studio” trip. 

It started coming together. As everyone arrived tents went up and laughter was heard. Every year I go to the YogaJam to learn, to be free, and to fill up with peace and joy. This year was no different except for one thing. I learned so much more, and it wasn’t about yoga poses or sequences or styles or yoga teachers.

I learned that you can put people of all ages, back grounds, and spiritual awareness in the same place and find love, peace and unity. That sounds a bit corny I know, but it is the truest thing. Festivals like the YogaJam allow you to be present in what you feel at the moment even though surrounded by the diversity of life. I learned that spirts shine through all that is human, that laughter is the best medicine and that no matter how hot the beating sun, life is good. I learned that my heart is more important than my head and it is ok to listen to it.

I learned that dancing to MC Yogi is like taking a trip in time and that doing a Bhakti yoga class with Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus band is timeless. Connecting with people, connecting with myself and with my husband (in an awesome partner class) is like stepping outside of the limits of my body and finding that in my soul I can do anything. I learned that doing art opens your heart and writing poems is freedom. I learned that no matter how uncomfortable sleeping in a tent can be, waking up in nature is more awesome than can be described. I learned that wearing found flowers in your hair is awesomeness beyond compare and that I miss the stars in the sky more than I should.

I always plan to bring the spirit of my experience back to my yoga studio, to my students who couldn’t be there and give them, if only a small piece, of how much fun I have and what I learn about teaching yoga.  This year I brought back more than that. I hope I can give them a piece of the feeling, because this year was not about doing but about feeling. The experience of connecting things that often do not go together like work and yoga, or people who you never thought would have anything in common actually have everything in common.   It was very special for me, I was surrounded by friends and family in place where nothing material matters and people can be who they really are inside. Every moment was infused with love, and laughter, and excitement for another day.

I am thankful for those who are able to bring us the YogaJam and for those who teach and help and feed our souls.

Namaste’

Glenda

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Yoga Essential: Downward Facing Dog

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Brett
I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
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on Saturday, 28 June 2014
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Downward Facing Dog

Sanskrit name: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Nick name: “Down Dog” 

Every yoga pose offers something good to our bodies. Downward Dog has long been an integral part of Hatha yoga sequencing because it offers so many benefits within one pose, giving us full body strength and flexibility all in one movement.  There are many modifications and variations to this pose, making it accessible to everyone while continuously challenging at the same time. Take a few minutes to review the instructions below and practice your own down dog at home! 

1.     Bring yourself to your hands and knees, hands underneath your shoulders and shoulder width apart. Bring your knees hip width apart, and check that your knees are directly under your hips. This is a Table Top pose.
2.     Move your hands one hand-length further away from your body.
3.     Curl your toes under while taking a deep inhale.
4.     Upon exhalation, lift your knees and push your hips away from body, allowing your arms to fully extend. Keep your head in line with your spine so your gaze is downward.
5.     Inhale as you allow your spine to extend and expand.
6.     As you exhale, think about pushing your tailbone towards the sky while letting your heels relax down towards your mat. Your knees can be slightly bent if necessary, especially when warming up.
7.     Allow your head and neck to relax fully. You should be able to see your legs.
8.    Continue 4-5 deep slow breaths here and become aware of your body in this pose. While you are breathing, explore the pose:
  
a.     Spread your fingertips and press each finger into the mat to support your wrists.
  
b.     Ensure you are not locking your elbows, but instead rotate the upper arms away from the head and use your muscles to feel the full extension of your arms.
  
c.      Broaden the shoulders and draw the shoulder blades back and down, away from your ears.
  
d.     Gently pull your lower belly in towards your spine.
  
e.     Practice feeling this pose with slightly bent knees, and notice how it changes as your begin to straighten your legs.
  
f.      Engage your inner thighs, pushing them away from body.
   g.     Take a break by bringing your knees and elbows down to the mat and lift into down dog when you    are ready to explore the pose again. 

Modifications:

-       If you experience wrist pain, begin the pose with your forearms on the mat, elbows underneath your shoulders. Use your forearms for support as you lift into down dog, instead of your hands.

-       Place a block between your legs to build strength and practice alignment.

-       If you experience great difficulty in this pose, try a standing version where you begin facing a wall, bend at the hips, and press the hands into the wall.  

As you can see, there is a lot happening in this wonderful posture! You may want to choose 2-3 cues at a time until you are able to integrate all of them into your pose.  Practicing Downward Facing Dog strengthens the arms, wrists, shoulders, and torso. It stretches the palms, chest, back, hamstrings, calves, and feet. Down dogs helps with lower back pain, digestion, and focus. It is said to integrate and balance the entire body, and works to balance all seven chakras, or energy centers, within us.
--
{ Mary Buchanan }

 

The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio. Offering classes 6 days per week year round and Sundays through the summer. We have 5 200 hour certified instructors. Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365

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What is Pranayama?

Posted by Brett
Brett
I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
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on Friday, 23 May 2014
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In class, you may notice our instructors placing quite a bit of emphasis on breathing. In my first yoga classes, I remember our instructor, Glenda, reminding us to breathe, as well as when to breathe, how to breathe, where to breathe, and to never stop breathing! It was very challenging for me to keep my breath in pace with the class, but I learned that my body would adjust with regular practice (phew), and that “all that breathing” in yoga exists so that I can enjoy all the wonderful benefits of a full yoga practice.

I also learned that my term, “all that breathing”, is really a part of something known as Pranayama, or “Extension of Life Force.”
Our ‘Prana’, or our ‘life force’, is our breath. Our breath acts as a stimulus to our natural energy flow and is the connector between our body and mind, which allows us to access the benefits of Yoga. If we hold our breath while in a yoga pose, we restrict our awareness, our flexibility, our strength, and our ability to learn the pose. The pose becomes only that, a physical pose. So our breath, or life force, is what turns a physical position into a yoga posture, giving us increased energy, strength, and awareness. Learning proper breathing can be challenging at first; don’t get discouraged if your breathing does not match perfectly with cues from your instructor- just keep breathing and your yoga breath will happen.

 There are many wonderful pranayama exercises you may encounter within a yoga class, or in your own research. A great way to begin your pranayama practice is with “yogic breathing,” or diaphragmatic breathing. Many of us tend to hold our belly in and breath into the top portion of our lungs instead of allowing our breath to naturally move our diaphragm downward, which pushes our belly outward slightly. This type of breathing triggers a powerful calming response within the body, along with expanding lung capacity, increasing circulation, enhancing digestive and lymph functioning, and, over time, lowering blood pressure. Practice this breathing in your yoga class as well as in your personal space; start with 10 minutes a day.

 

How to Breathe Diaphragmatically:

  1. Begin seated, standing, or lying down. Any of these positions is great as long as your spine is straight.

  2. Breathe in and out through your nose, keeping your mouth closed

  3. As you inhale fully, bring the breath all the way down your lungs and allow your belly to gently expand on its own.

  4. As you exhale, gently feel your belly relax (don’t push or force the air out).

  5. Practice making your breaths slow and even and fluid, without pausing.

  6. Feel instantly at ease J

- Note: it is best to wear loose fitting clothing to allow this breath to happen naturally.

 

 

 

The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio. Offering classes 6 days per week year round and Sundays through the summer. We have 5 200 hour certified instructors. Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365

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Easy Seated Pose (the not-so-easy pose)

Posted by Brett
Brett
I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
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on Tuesday, 13 May 2014
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As I sit here in Sukhasana (Easy Seated Pose), I immediately notice that this is not easy. I also notice that noticing this is the first step in mastering this pose! I quickly become aware of a slight pain in my middle and upper back, my knees, and neck. I notice I’m holding tension in my hips and legs, which is blocking some much needed relaxation in that area. Finally, I realize I have been holding my belly in so that the other students in class will somehow approve of me. (who, really and truly, are too busy noticing their own tension to care what my belly looks like).

 

In our Easy Seated Pose, often a beginning pose in a yoga sequence, all of these things are important to notice. This is the first step in getting to know our bodies (well, hello, body!). The next step is to respect our bodies by giving each area of tension some support. This support adds comfort to the pose. This comfort allows relaxation to begin. This relaxation allows us to begin breathing and focusing on our yoga practice for that day. 

 

So how can we add comfort to this pose? Here are a few tips:

  1. Use the tools of yoga studios

    1. You grab your mat, but did you grab a blanket or a block? Many students find that placing a folded blanket underneath the back half of their buttocks gives support to their back and hips by allowing the pelvis to tilt slightly forward, giving way to a straight and neutral spine. This feels great for any level of student, so use your blankets! If the blanket is not giving enough support to allow a straight spine, begin by sitting on a yoga block or yoga wedge (lovingly known as the butt wedge).

  2. Uncross your legs

    1. Sometimes crossing your legs is just uncomfortable. Try using a blanket for support and uncrossing one leg, allowing it to extend in front of you. If this feels comfortable and allows for a straight and comfortable spine, you have found your easy seated pose for that day.

  3. Grab a Chair

    1. The main goal of Sukhasana is to relax in a seated position with a straight spine to allow full and relaxed breathing. For some students, this may mean sitting in a chair. Just make sure your feet are flat on the ground (grab a block or blanket if not), and that you are not slouching.

      These are just some ways to assist in creating a comfortable easy seated pose. Once you become comfortable while using assistance, you may find after a while you no longer need these tools, but until then, practice compassion towards your body and do what is necessary to support your yoga practice. Your body and mind will thank you.

      Namaste,

      Mary

 

The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio. Offering classes 6 days per week year round and Sundays through the summer. We have 5 200 hour certified instructors. Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365

 

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3 reasons to start your yoga practice now!

Posted by Brett
Brett
I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
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on Monday, 05 May 2014
in Uncategorized

The benefits of yoga are practically endless.  But I wanted to keep this somewhat short, so here are a few that I think many future students can relate to.

 

  1. You are not a pretzel.
    You don’t have to be fit. You don’t have to flexible. You just have to show up. Many future yogis are hesitant to begin their practice because of their current physical condition. Many, including myself at one time, come to our studio with the perception they must be able to push themselves into a pretzel to be ‘good’ or ‘ready’ for yoga. This is simply not necessary! The practice of Yoga benefits every person, at every stage of flexibility, and every stage of fitness. To me, a successful yoga practice consists of a) getting on the yoga mat, and b) doing what feels right for your body on any given day, and c) not judging yourself for what you could or could not do in class that day. That is it. However, if you are still thinking about pretzels, like I am, hopefully it is the fresh baked variety, with a pinch of sea salt.

  2. Yoga stops Time.
    Ok, not literally. But we all have busy lives, and as we age, time seems to speed up, right? By making time for our yoga practice, we gain another wonderful benefit: awareness. By taking time out for ourselves where we practice connecting with our body and mind, we learn to live in that elusive present moment that so often passes us by as we are reciting our grocery lists in our head. With a regular practice, we find that a day feels like a whole day, instead of that blip that happened sometime last week. We get our time back, and this time is where life happens and memories are made. Enjoy it!

  3. Yoga enhances every aspect of your life.
    When you say it like that, why wouldn’t you start today, right? Well many folks we talk to are intrigued by Yoga, but may not be sure how it would benefit their current lifestyle. Many have already committed to being a runner, a swimmer, a football player, or maybe a championship marksman. What we have learned it that adding a yoga practice actually enhances any other physical activity by balancing the muscles in the entire body. Perhaps you are a sales executive, a doctor, or administrative assistant. Yoga improves our mental focus, stamina, our posture, and our post-work back pain. Maybe you are the world’s best Mom or best Dad, juggling children and work/home life like it’s nothing (except that you have not slept in 3 years). There’s yoga for that too. A regular practice lowers stress levels leading to better sleep and improving overall mood to handle anything that comes your way.

 

These are just a few of many reasons to begin your yoga practice today.  What’s your next step? Browse the schedule. We have at least two classes almost every day of the week.  See you there J  

 

Namaste,
 Mary (one of our 5 certified instructors)

-“I put on my yoga pants just like everyone else: One leg on, stumble. Question balance and abilities. Use bathroom counter for support. Head to class.”

 

The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio.
Offering classes 6 days per week year round and Sundays through the summer.
We have 5 200 hour certified instructors.
Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365

 

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~Branches of the Tree Pose ~

Posted by Brett
Brett
I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 29 April 2014
in Uncategorized

Tree pose, also known in Sanskrit as Vriksasana (“vriksha” meaning “tree” and “asana”, meaning “posture”), is a fantastic balance posture that is deeply beneficial for all skill levels. While it may appear physically simple, Tree pose demands use of the muscles and the mind in a way that can be quite challenging.  It is fundamental  in building balance, energy, and strength in mind and body. Here is a branch by branch guide to practicing Tree Pose:

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose, (“Tadasana”)

  2. Bring your hands to your heart in Prayer position.

  3. Shift your weight to your left leg, allowing your knee to remain soft or slightly bent if necessary.

  4. Turn your right foot out to the side 90 degrees. You will feel your hip turn to the side as well; adjust your balance to allow this happen.

  5. Bring your right foot onto it’s tip toe.

  6. Choose a focal point on the floor or ground in front of you. This focal point will help you balance and remained focused on your body and breath.

  7. Take a deep inhale, lengthening the spine and standing tall while you breathe in.

  8. On your exhale, slowly bring the bottom of your right foot to the inside of your left ankle.

    1. Note that you want to ‘place’ the foot at the ankle instead of ‘leaning’ on the ankle. There should be very little if any weight on the ankle. The weight of this pose is held on the standing leg and supported by the balance and strength of your upper body.  

  9. Take 4-6 deep, slow breaths here, noticing where you feel balanced, where you feel shaky, and gently adjusting your body as a way to explore this new pose.

  10. If you want to take this pose further, bring your right foot to the inside of your left calf, using a wall for support if necessary. Further still? Bring the heel of your foot all the way up to the top of your inner thigh, toes pointing downward toward your knee.

  11. Continue to breath, letting each breath connect your mind to the aspects of this pose.

  12. Once you have explored the right side of this wonderful pose, try it on the left. Remember balance can change from side to side, and day to day. Regular practice on both sides will help keep you balanced and focused, in and out of the yoga studio.

 

Notes:

  • Avoid placing your foot directly on the knee to avoid any risk of knee injury/strain.

  • Explore variations of this pose by lifting your arms up and reaching out (like a tree!)

 

~Namaste~

 

 

The Centre at VitaZen is Smith Mountain Lake’s premiere yoga studio. Offering classes 6 days per week year round and Sundays through the summer. We have 5 200 hour certified instructors. Join us and find out why our yogis proudly say “My Yoga Studio”.

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101 / 540-721-9365

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May at The Centre

Posted by Brett
Brett
I am Glenda's husband. Together we own VitaZen and The Centre at VitaZen.
User is currently offline
on Friday, 25 April 2014
in Uncategorized

May kicks off our Summer at The Centre! We have some fun & exciting things happening in May.

  • We are starting our weekly Qi Gong classes. Qi Gong is an integration of physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. Classes will meet on Tuesday mornings at 9:00am.
  • FREE Mother's Day Yoga & Tea will be held on Friday May 9th at 2:00pm. All are welcome to attend.
  • Our first Yoga in the Park of the summer will be on Wednesday, May 14th at noon at Booker T Washington National Park. You must prepay at The Centre prior to the class.
  • Memorial Day Yoga is Monday, May 26th at 10:30am.

Join us at The Centre at VitaZen for one of these classes  or any of our regular classses, which can be found on our schedule page.
Stop by and see why our yogis say this is "MY YOGA STUDIO"!
TCV is Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia's premier yoga studio.

The Centre at VitaZen
12787 Booker T Washington Hwy.
Suite 103
Hardy, VA 24101
540-721-9365

 

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Meet the teachers

 

Click here to meet our professional yoga instructors. Learn More


Tuesday October 22@10:30 AM
Gentle Hatha Yoga
Tuesday October 22@ 6:30 PM
Centre'd w/ Glenda
Wednesday October 23@ 8:30 AM
Power Yoga w/ Brett
Wednesday October 23@ 3:00 PM
Ageless Yogis

© Copyright 2013 The Centre at VitaZen. All Rights Reserved.
12787 Booker T. Washington Hwy. | Suite 103 | Hardy, Va 24101
540.721.9365 | www.TheCentreAtVitaZen.com