Author Archives: Peggy Merrill

Restorative for Low Back Pain & Health


When your body experiences stress and tension, the muscles in the back can tighten and strain in response. Further, repetitive movements, bad posture, and a weak core also contribute to lower back pain, tightness and discomfort. Emotional issues can also manifest as back pain. Fortunately, all of these culprits for lower back pain can be relieved with specific restorative yoga postures. In this 90 minute practice, the muscles in the lower back are allowed to relax and the tension that is causing discomfort is released. As you connect with your breath in these postures, you have the opportunity to let go of any emotions that arise as you allow yourself to rest into the support of the bolsters and blankets surrounding you. Some essential oils may also be offered to further enhance the relaxation response.

Price $16

Online Scheduling

Restorative for Weight Loss?

Yes, yes, yes! Restorative yoga has been shown to actually reduce fat, especially the subcutaneous variety. If high-intensity aerobic activity is not your thing, or you’re not quite ready to jump into a power vinyasa class or other group fitness class, try restorative yoga. In a study cited in Yoga Journal, which took place over 48 weeks, there were two groups of people: one that performed a routine of simple stretching exercises and another that took part in a restorative yoga routine. Both groups lost weight, but the restorative yoga group lost almost twice as much in the first six months, and they were also better able to keep it off. The restorative yoga group also lost more than 2.5 times the amount of subcutaneous fat as the stretch group.

So, how does restorative yoga help? When we become stressed, the fight-or-flight syndrome triggers a complex shift in hormones designed to draw on our energy sources quickly in response, and can cause your appetite to increase in order to replenish that energy. You begin to eat when you are not really hungry or in need of food. Restorative yoga helps reduce stress, which in turn reduces the level of cortisol in your body. This results in a reduced production of glucose, and glucose creates fat, especially belly fat. When you reduce stress, you reduce cortisol and then glucose, which leads to weight loss. Further, it creates mindfulness which may help curb your appetite and help you make better food choices. No yoga or fitness experience necessary, all levels welcome.
(Read the article here: https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/lose-weight-with-restorative-yoga)

Price $16

Online Scheduling

Sankalpa 2020

New Year’s resolutions can be a bit negative, self-defeating, and short-lived. I recently heard a suggestion that we not make a resolution, but instead, make a decision. However, both focus on what we want to change about ourselves, leading us to feel like we’re not good enough as we are. In Yogic philosophy, the more positive approach is to create a Sankalpa or set an intention for the new year. Your Sankalpa can address any positive quality you wish to cultivate in your life! We’ll spend a few minutes creating sankalpas, move through vinyasa, and then settle in for a nice long savasana where we’ll meditate on our intention, drawing it in to our subconscious.

Price – $15

Online Scheduling

Winter Solstice Celebration

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year here in the Northwoods. It also marks the longest night, which contains the most magnetic power, making this is a time to manifest your desires, to incubate your best intentions, and nurture your high hopes for the new year. In the age-old battle between light and dark, light triumphs, and the days begin to get longer. This gradual return of sunlight has long been a time of celebration and affirmation, bringing the promise of spring and new life. Our local yoga instructors are coming together to facilitate this practice for our entire yoga community as a celebration of the beginning of the sun’s journey northward. Class begins with centering breath work & meditation with Jenny DeDecker. Next is yin & gentle vinyasa flow led by Kerry Niebrzydowski, followed by strength & balance with Jodi Wadge. Mary Inglese leads the rest & cool down portion, and then we’ll settle in for a 20 minute yoga Nidra guided by Lynn Mueller. $20 suggested donation, proceeds to the Cancer Closet.

Suggested Donation – $20

Online Scheduling

Sound Meditation, Oscillating Prana with ShaamaahS

What is sound meditation and how can it help us focus, and re-engage our “true self”.  According to Nikola Tesla, “If you want to find the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration”. 

We, as humans, are walking energy, vibrating at multiple frequencies. When we break this idea down into the esoteric realm of Chakra meditation, we note the seven major Chakras and the Universal OM have their own individual frequencies/notes. The Chakras are an intricate energy system that communicates with the body’s glandular functions. 

The importance of developing the Pranic Energy Body connection with Chakra balancing involves initiating the subtle energy body via yoga and meditation. This can be accomplished with sound meditation focused on specific Chakras and developing the subtle energy body’s ability to “oscillate” with an external sound catalyst. This workshop is accessible to all levels of yogic and meditative pursuits and will cover the following: 

  • Sound meditation theory involving both esoteric and analytic approaches.
  • Introduction to Himalayan Singing Bowls, how to “sing” a bowl, and proper evaluation of potential Singing Bowl prior to purchase.
  • Spinal Pranayamic breath via Sushumna visualization.
  • Chakra energy point stimulation via visualization and “brushing / stirring” techniques. 
  • Chakra Bija Mantra toning, Mudra exercises, and Breath Awareness.
  • Following these exercises, a 1 hour Chakra sound meditation involving Tuvan Throat Singing, Himalayan Singing Bowls and a Shruti Box. Students will have an opportunity to either lay in Svavasana, or sitting meditation to include optional Chakra visualization, Mudra, and 3rd eye lock. 
  • All attendees with receive a choice of 4 different high resolution 1hr long ShaamaahS Chakra meditations and “cheat sheet” with Chakra descriptions, Mudra, and Mantras. 
  • Students will leave this class with the ability to practice, and develop their own personal meditation practice. 
  • For an audio preview of the sound meditation go to http://www.shaamaahs.com/music 

Price $45 –

Online Scheduling

Balls To The Walls

With the use of Yoga Tune-Up® and Roll Model® Therapy balls, we locate trigger/tender points and restrictions, and then use self-massage techniques to release fascia and other connective tissues to relieve pain, increase range of motion, and improve mobility. This fun and invigorating class will show you how to incorporate self-massage into your toolbox of self-care techniques. Us this class in between visits to your favorite professional massage therapist.

Price $10

Online Scheduling

Mindfulness / Meditation

This guided meditation utilizes a variety of healing tools to bring inner calm and balance, allowing you to release the stresses of worry and overwhelm, and bringing you back into your grounded presence within.  This laying down meditation is designed for people of all levels. The class will encourage you to settle in and still the mind, body and spirit, and to access deep healing, serenity and joy.  

Price $10

Online Scheduling

Yoga for Pelvic Floor

Guest Instructor, Kristin Heyrman, PT, DPT, RYT-200 says, “A healthy pelvic floor is the foundation of body movement and stability. When the pelvic floor is strong and balanced, it helps to keep the abdominal and pelvic organs healthy.  However, pelvic floor dysfunction is incredibly common with a wide range of symptoms from incontinence to feelings of instability and weakness, to pain in the pelvis, low back, and hips.” 

This class is for anyone experiencing these symptoms, or for anyone who wants to gain a greater understanding and awareness of their pelvic floor.  Our focus will be on strengthening, stabilizing, stretching, and softening the pelvic floor, along with postures to open the hips and strengthen the core. We’ll learn how to integrate the pelvic floor into standing and balance poses to strengthen your foundation for your yoga practice and also your daily life.

Price $10

Online Scheduling

Image of runner getting ready for a race

Yoga For Runners

Step up your running game with a dedicated yoga practice. Build strength and increase flexibility, identify and correct muscle imbalances, develop a killer core. Yoga can take you to the next level as a runner, whether you’re training for a full or half marathon, 10K, 5K, or 1K. Breathing, meditation techniques, and the physical improvements you achieve through yoga combine to increase your efficiency as a runner. Coming in June, weekly classes specifically for runners.  In conjunction with the Saturday morning training runs, Sunday Yin & Restorative classes will give your body a chance to reset.  The miles you log all week are very Yang energy, and like all forms of exercise, very stressful for your body.  While running builds strength, speed, and endurance, it can also leave you feeling sore and depleted if you don’t balance it out with adequate recovery, which is where Yin & Restorative yoga come in.  While post-run stretches are important, Yin is done with cooler muscles so it targets tendons, ligaments, and fascia, helps to relieve tension and soreness, maintains range of motion, and improves circulation.  

Price $15

Online Scheduling

Goga

I come to you! Have a corporate wellness program and want to add yoga?  Is there a fitness challenge happening where you work?  If you have a physical place in which to practice and an interested group of co-workers, I will come to you. 

Contact me for more details.