1301 Lafayette Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

10329 Illinois Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46814

Phone: 260-627-YOGA (9642)


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Yin Yoga: The Misunderstood Step-Child of Haha Yoga By Haley Sonnigsen

Although its teachings are based on ancient Daoist practices, the practice of yin yoga is relatively new-we’re still exploring our relationship with yin in the modern yoga community amongst of forefront of adjectives like hot, power, and vinyasa.
Yin, by definition and by nature, is a passive practice, and often gets dismissed as “too easy” without further investigation. But yet, those that open themselves to the concept of stillness find that yin is quite the opposite.
Yin is slow, quiet, and still and this is where lies the challenge. It becomes a practice of “active un-doing.” We learn to sit and experience the sensations that arise, both physical and mental, without moving away from them. We learn to define and discriminate what it is we are feeling, creating a deeper knowledge of the self, and honing our awareness skills. We learn to feel on a visceral level.
Structurally, we deepen our awareness inward as well. The yin sequence is designed to place deep, sustained pressure on the marma points (or more traditionally referred to as acupressure points) that works to relieve blockages in the nadis and sen lines by increasing the flow of prana. In modern science, this is synonymous with removing waste, or toxins, from the connective tissues in the body by increasing circulation to the joints, ligaments, and fascia. It increases mobility and flexibility, mainly by nourishing the connective tissues, preventing rigidity and dryness, dubbing it “the fountain of youth” and can help to prevent injury. From an Ayurvedic perspective, because of its cooling, grounding effect on the body and mind, yin is an ideal practice in times of increased pitta. The summer season, stress, aggravation, menstruation and menopause can all increase pitta in the body.
In Daosist tradition, nothing is completely yin (passive) or yang (active.) One may be dominant, but both must be present to achieve balance. Yin yoga, even in small doses, grounds us in our modern, over-stimulated society, compliments our vinyasa flow or heated practices and helps prevent injury, but with patience, can create peace in mind, body, and soul.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Teacher SpotLIGHT with Linda Krebs

P.Y. How did you get interested in Yoga?

L.K. "Yoga has always fascinated me...as a teenager, I would read my little yoga book called, "Introduction to Yoga", by Richard Hittleman and attempt to do the postures. I don't even remember what attracted me to yoga in the beginning, except that I have always been a mystical person at heart. Somehow, I knew that the practice of yoga was much more than just doing physical postures.

Fast forward through my life after raising my family, my interested in yoga resurfaced and I began taking classes here and there around the Fort Wayne area. I knew that a yoga practice would help me with the anxiety I was dealing with. I subscribed to Yoga Journal magazine years before developing my practice and one day walked into "Mind Your Body" yoga studio to inquire about a position at the front desk. As fate would have it, my timing was perfect and I finally began my yoga journey! Yoga has been an integral part of my life ever since and my teaching has evolved with the wonderful trainings and encouragement I have received here at Pranayoga Institute.

P.Y. What has been the most important aspect for you living your yoga and sharing with your students?

L.K. As my personal practice has developed to include the five pillars of yoga: right exercise, right breathing, right thinking, right nutrition and right relaxation, finding balance has been key to my approach in teaching and living my life in equanimity."

Friday, March 6, 2015

Mary Newell-PranaYoga Teacher SpotLIGHT

My yoga journey began in 1994 with a video featuring Ali MacGraw & Erich Schiffmann. My “intention” was to gain flexibilty. After practicing once I was hooked (on the feeling of “calm”...not on the “stretch” part). What started as a physical practice has emerged into so much more. I owe that to “intention” setting.

I began setting intentions for my home practice such as: staying with the breath, letting go while forward folding, opening my heart during backbends and finding the effort and relaxation in every pose. Intention setting is what guided my yoga practice from a great stretch to complete presence and awareness.
Intention setting started transforming how I instruct my yoga classes as well. As I enter the studio, I state the intention to be fully present and analyze what energy change needs to occur. I open my heart, consciously breathe, observe, and then set an intention for the practice. Recent class intentions have included: chakra balance, reaching apex poses, detoxing twists, engaging bandhas, and living the yamas and niyamas(the ethical principles of yoga)

Off the mat...intention setting continues. I began incorporate loving kindness. This turns the focus to right intention. By “right” I mean intention for the good of all, not for personal gain. When faced with tough choices, my intention is to choose what causes the least amount of harm. I was taught early on that when one suffers we all suffer.

Yoga, for me, started as a liberating home practice. I soon craved connections. My Pranayoga family provides a sense of community, support and devotion that is rare. Many different backgrounds, paths and intentions moving toward light and love. No one person has to exist in isolation.

Sharing my passions with others is a blessing. My intention today is to be a wife, mother, friend, student and instructor who is truly authentic and present.

Check out Mary's Positive and Power-Full Classes

1301 Lafayette:
Mondays 9:30am and 5:15pm
Wednesdays 5:30am
Saturdays 8:00am

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Student Feature-Kathleen Byerley-Yoga On and Off the Mat.

Although Kathleen had practiced on an off for years, her yoga journey may have began back in 1999 with her diagnosis of cancer and surgery. The practice of yoga has helped her stay centered and calm in the midst of challenging times, such as metastatic cancer in 2005 and then again in 2013, both with complete remission. 

Kathleen found her way to PranaYoga back in January 2010, just for Leah (Walker) IIse's class each week. She had been taking private yoga instruction from her, and Lea strongly suggested that Kathleen explore the pranayoga community. Until then, Kathleen had taken various yoga classes, but says she was unaware of the holistic approach to yoga, until she began classes at Pranayoga. When Kathleen began yoga 101 with Dani she knew she didn't want it to end, so she continued her studies in our 200 hour teacher training program, which she completed March of 2011. 

Kathleen enjoys the Yoga for Cancer Classes hosted by the Pranayoga Foundation on Fridays at Pranayoga Institute at 11am, and Mondays at Northeast Indiana Cancer Services at 5pm. Kathleen has experienced these classes as being very beneficial to her journey and explains, " I know that my physical body goes with the flow of various discomforts much more easily by participating in these classes.  The real asset to me is the quieting of my mind that I sense." She also loves the group involvement of these classes, and says they are a celebration of the "real principle of yoga; Union." Occasionally,  when her schedule conflicts with the yoga for cancer classes, she attends one of our pranayoga's chair or restorative classes.

At times our path is full of obstacles, and our ability to move through them and around them is a skill that can be learned on the mat and applied to life when the foundation seams shaky.  Kathleen was most challenged to live in the present when she had a torn retina with five surgeries between 2011-2012. She came to realize that it was no longer safe to drive a car.  "That certainly gives ways for new communication to open, and new contentment," she says.

Kathleen's husband Wayne supports her by driving her to classes, which she is very appreciative of. She says her desire is to attend many more yoga classes and seminars, as she did during the teacher's training, however "life goes a lot slower now," she says with a warm content smile.

We are always searching for the perfect pose both on and off the mat. Kathleen says her medical challenges have allowed a constant exploration of her favorite pose, an opportunity to always listen and flow with life's seasons. She finds the restorative and relaxation postures the most beneficial and healing, and recently found an appreciation for the improvement she felt in tree pose(vrksasana-pictured below)

 "I could sense much more stability since my perception and balance with the eye journey is constantly challenged. This gives me such a sense of joy to know that the "inner me" can grow even if the physical has changed."-  

Celebrating Tree Pose

Kathleen reflect back to her 200 hour teacher training, and Dani speaking about "Yoga Off the Mat." along with recommending several books on the topic.

 " I never realized at that time, how much that would come into my life.  I will work with Dani at Pranayoga in many ways to allow the opportunity of yoga to be given to many people in all ways that I can. Yoga can give you what you need, when you need it, if you learn to quiet and listen to the inner self.  The secret to learn is to be very gentle with yourself, sometimes going to the edge; but never causing pain.  If that edge is crossed, again, it is a learning situation to connect more with one's own body. If someone felt compelled to begin yoga, I would say to quiet yourself and sense from where this drive seems to come, and then "GO FOR IT!!!"  Start with the beginning classes and progress slowly.  Yoga is more than physical.  It is mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual, if you want it to be."

Article by Dani McGuire
Photos By Ashley Le Tourneau Photography

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Inspiration Corner- Student Feature Missy Reiff

We love this Yogini and Mother of 7-who just finished her first FULL marathon. Give her a big congratulations, and maybe a little shoulder rub next time you see her at the yoga school!

How does she do it!? We wanted to know!

Missy started her yoga practice about 5 years ago, after the birth of her 7th child. She wanted to try something different and effectively get her body back from carrying all those babies. She started for the physical benefits, but quickly found that the time spent practicing yoga helped her in other ways. 

The gift of time, important for a woman with 7 children and tons of ambition.
Missy says that her yoga classes have blessed her with time.  Quiet time for herself. Time to meditate on Christian scriptures. Time to send love to other people. And, time for her to slow down and appreciate who she is, and what she is capable of.

The benefits have been both mental and physical. Due to Missy's regular yoga practice, she claims to be physically stronger and leaner than before yoga.  "I could never run very far without aching and popping joints", she says, and after several years of having a regular yoga practice, Missy ran her first full 26.2 mile marathon!!

Family Missy's family is a huge support for her and her yoga practice has been a great support through the peace it has allowed her to share as a compassionate person, wife, and mom.

"I like to spend time on my mat thinking of someone who needs my thoughts and prayers, someone who is going through a physical ailment or an emotional event. This way, I can make my yoga time not just about me."

We asked Missy about her favorite posture and style of yoga, although we know this is always changing and hard to pick just one!

"I love trikonosana(pictured below-the triangle pose). It just feels great to be in this posture. This posture has me building strength and finding calm at the same time. I can feel the stretching and strengthening throughout my entire legs and hips. I love how my back, chest, and shoulders feel so open and strong. Its just a great peaceful pose, there's a lot going on throughout your entire body.  

I love Prana Flow Vinyasa. I find the flow of the class to be very rhythmical in nature, as well as challenging for my physical body. The flow of that class really speaks to my body and the way it wants to move and flow.  I also love Power Yoga classes. That class pushes me physically in a way that satisfies my athletic drive. I love the physical challenges, and quite frankly enjoy the muscular burn i get from holding postures.

 I recommend yoga to everyone I talk to. Seriously, i think my family and friends hear about yoga from me all the time. The 2 questions i get most often are: How do you juggle all those children? and How do you stay fit after having so many children and raising them?
My answer to both of those questions is yoga! Yoga gives me the energy to keep up with the demands of my family,and the psychological recharge time needed to raise my children. And, well, yoga keeps me fit too. It has been a great compliment to weightlifting and running.

Yoga has made me a better wife, mom, runner, weightlifter, etc....   I can't say enough positive things about it. I would love to be able to pass what i have received through yoga along to others, and that is why I began the teacher training program."

We asked Missy what she would say to someone who felt compelled to begin yoga! 

"I would say, "You will not regret it. You will learn to appreciate where your body is at right now, while at the same time improving your health.

 I just love taking classes at Prana. The people (instructors and students) are fantastic, its a wonderful community. There are great opportunities for learning as well, with all the great workshops and trainings that are offered."

Thank you for sharing- Missy, You are a HUGE inspiration to us! 

Photos by: Ashley LeTourneu Photography

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pilgrimage to India By Kim Stanley

When people find out I went to India, the next question I am most often asked is, “Why?” For a long time, the only answer I had was “I don’t know”.  I mean, I talk a good game when teaching about letting ‘our decisions come from love and not from fear’ but off my mat, fear usually keeps me far away from foreign lands supposedly fraught femicide, rampant malaria and squat toilets. Yet something about this trip seemed right. Martin Luther King Jr. said that he had traveled to other countries as a tourist but when he came to India, it was as a pilgrim. Something about this journey just felt right; almost familiar.  There was no goal, no agenda, no group, no tour. It just unfolded perfectly.
If I try to find words to convey this to people I fall short of describing how absolutely incredible it is that I went to a place where most women still wear sari’s. Tens of thousands of years have passed and the traditional dress is still thriving. Think about it, in the United States our clothing barely resembles anything worn a mere 200 years ago.  
How do you describe to someone the shade of weathered teal that brightens humble cinder block homes making them seem almost lush against the dusty orange earth?
How does someone explain the vibrant cloths used to make Rajasthani women’s head coverings or the look of genuine welcome in their rugged deeply tanned grins and toothy smiles?  
Can I ever find the adjectives to describe the festooned pilgrims that filled Rishikesh after walking hundreds of miles on foot to gather water from the grey brown Ganges and return it to their village shrine?
There is no way I could I possibly do verbal justice to the experience of practicing laughing yoga and becoming  utterly  hysterically with one good friend and 20 complete strangers all  laying on the cool marble floor of an Ashram basement while monsoon rains pounded away at the jungle outside.
 Will I ever communicate what an honor it was to be able to practice yoga with the most lovely 82 year old man who honed his gift directly through his guru BKS Iyengar? 
And how can I make clear the simple joy of kirtan surrounded by the luxe of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib and what it was like to receive the humble langar served to me on a dented thali that had fed and comforted millions before me.

Fortunately, I get to revisit all of these little scenes over and over in my mind. When I have a moment to reflect, maybe a brief second in savasana or when a word or smell fires up a memory,  I get to experience it all over again.  I do not have enough of a command of written language to tell you everything that I saw and felt and smelled and heard. All I can do is to encourage you to see it yourself.  India may not be the place where you become a pilgrim, but I believe that place does exist somewhere for everyone. Don’t let fear create the border of your pilgrimage. If you are questioning travel, trust your gut and go!  If you feel you need a reason, an answer to “why”, look to Mr. Twain who said it most eloquently; “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”   

After 11 years as a student, Kim finds the most beautiful thing about yoga is its adaptability to everyone.  No matter your age, physical ability or state of mind, you can take a class and find peace every single time; it is the only sure thing in this life.  Kim completed her 200 hour teaching certification from Pranayoga School of Yoga and Holistic health in 2013, and looks forward to continuing to learn about this amazing 5,000 year-old practice.  She has a B.S. in Organizational Leadership and lives in Fort Wayne with her husband and two children. Learn more about Kim HereTeaching: Yin Yoga, Hot Yoga, All Levels Yoga

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Salutations to Students of the Month Mark & Lori Bower

All of our students are family and stand out to us for the battles they have overcome in their bodies, minds, and habitual lives, we just have to give a big shout out to you because you INSPIRE us with an unmatched dedication and passion for learning the art and science of yoga.

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement, nothing can be done without hope and confidence." -- Helen Keller

Salutations to Students of the Month Mark and Lori Bower!

When did you first start yoga and what inspired you to come to your first
Mark- I started yoga in 2012 at a local YMCA.  I wanted to start an exercise I could do for the rest of my life and not cause me to end up in the hands of an orthopedic surgeon at an early age.

Lori- My interest in yoga began over 15 years ago.  My hobby was exercise at the time and I found yoga to be a refreshing experience compared to the gym and organized exercise classes that I would attend. 

How do you feel now that you are coming to regular yoga classes?  How is this different than how you felt before you began coming?
 Mark- I feel great.  I'm excited to fold and twist farther.  The difference from how I felt before is something I can't yet explain as to what drives me to practice yoga vs. the routine of the gym.
Lori- Now that I am able to practice yoga regularly I feel that yoga has changed my perspective on what exercise should look like.  Yoga is truly a practice not an exercise as I once thought.  The beautiful thing about yoga is that I don't have to have a destination.  Yoga is open ended and the mat is a place where I can be free physically and mentally. 

What yoga posture is your favorite and why?
Yes we LOVE the extended Side Angle too! (Utthitha Parsvakonasana) -will be featured on Tuesday DIY #HowtoYoga Featured on our PranaYoga Facebook Page

Mark- My favorite pose is extended side angle.  Twisting and revolving and opening the chest just feels good. 

Lori- My favorite yoga posture is side angle pose because it offers strength, an awesome side body stretch with a twist, and a wonderful feeling of openness. 

Would you recommend yoga class to someone else?  What would you say?
 Mark- Yes.  I would say give yoga a chance and you will notice the benefits.
Lori- Yes I have recommended yoga to others.  I say it's not exercise it's better!

In what ways does yoga add to your life?
Mark- Yoga adds stress prevention and relief.  Yoga adds to my life with a holistic approach with ongoing benefits.  It helps me make better food choices.
Lori- Yoga reminds me to breathe and stay in the moment which soothes my chattering, swirling mind.  Yoga just feels good!

What would you say to someone who felt compelled to begin yoga?
Mark- Be careful, you might enjoy it and become addicted. 
"Be Careful, you might enjoy it and become addicted"
Lori- I would say come to yoga without your "to-do list" and your expectations for what you think the experience should be or look like.  I would also say let go of your expectations for your ability.  Just come, breathe and enjoy the experience.  The mat is your own personal island with all the amenities you desire and even though other islands are near, there are none that can compare to your own. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Mark- Thank you Pranayoga for all the classes and teacher choices.  I feel like it's helpful to not get burned out.  I also should add the workshops are great. 

Lori- I appreciate Pranayoga for its variety of classes and teachers.  It's great to experience the different personalities and events that Pranayoga offers.  I appreciate Pranayoga for its focus on wellness and keeping yoga true to its nature, not exercise, but a practice. 

 "The mat is your own personal island with all the amenities you desire and even though other islands are near, there are none that can compare to your own. "-Lori Bower