88 Orchard Road
Skillman, NJ 08558

Yoga for Menopause

Before – During – After

Hormonal fluctuations generally accompany a person’s passage into each new biological stage of life; with them often come various discomforts and menopause is no exception.

Those individuals who have turned to yoga for relief have found that while asanas may not directly influence estrogen production, specific postures can help control unpleasant symptoms. Restorative postures in particular can relax the nervous system and may improve the functioning of the endocrine system (especially the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, the thyroid, and the parathyroid gland), which helps the body adapt to hormonal fluctuations.

“A regular yoga practice can make a world of difference in a woman’s experience of menopause. And a solid practice before this phase can ease the transition”, says Suza Francina, author of Yoga and the Wisdom of Menopause. “If you practice yoga before menopause, then all the poses that are especially useful for coping with uncomfortable symptoms are already familiar, and you can reach for them like an old friend,” she says. “If you are familiar with restorative poses, then you have the best menopause medicine at your disposal.”

Here are the most common symptoms that can be alleviated with a regular yoga practice tailored around this specific transitional moment in a person’s life:

  • Hot Flashes
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Mood Swings
  • Depression Memory Issues

All individuals that need to navigate their way through menopause are accepted into this community. We are open and affirming to binary/non-binary/transgender people who are going through their menopausal journey – we welcome you with love and compassion. Sharing our common journey ultimately contributes to create a sense of general wellbeing and a community where we do support each other energetically and emotionally.

We’ll learn the use of props which can support and make any pose more enjoyable. I always offer modifications of the poses for participants with special requests.

Yoga for Menopause

Weekly Thursdays, 9:00 to 10:15 am (by Zoom) with Cristina Racchella (200RYT)

Is this class for you?

This practice is gentle but energizing at the same time and very restorative. No yoga experience necessary.

What you need:

  • yoga mat
  • 2-3 blankets
  • 3-4 small pillows
  • 1 big pillow (bed pillow will be fine or a bolster)
  • 2 yoga blocks (alternative: stack-able books, disinfecting wipes containers (round) work too)
  • 1 strap (alternative: bathrobe belt)
  • 1 eye pillow (alternative: fill a little plastic bag with rice, use a tissue to cover eyes and put bag with rice on top)
  • a chair (without arms)
  • Your favorite essential oil, herbs (fresh rosemary, oregano, sage) & spices (clover, cinnamon, star anise etc) will enhance the practice.
  • A good massage cream and socks.

Meet Cristina Raccella

Always open to reinventing herself and exploring new possibilities, in 2015 Cristina became a yoga instructor (200RYT) under the guidance of Dr. Jeff Migdow, former director of Kripalu teacher training and creator of Prana yoga methodology.

She has also studied with Larry Payne, Rudy Pierce, Richard Miller, Rachel May, Gail Seckettar and others, deepening her knowledge of gentle yoga, dynamic Hatha yoga, Yoga Nidra, restorative yoga and mindfulness in nutrition.

Cristina’s passion is contribute to her community, integrating her scientific background (Biology) with the transformational experience of exploring the Yogis lifestyle, sharing healthy recipes and connecting people.
When you attend one of her classes you’ll hear often her mantra:”If you can breathe, you can practice yoga”, as she offers modifications to each posture, allowing everyone to fully experience the rejuvenation, healing, clarity and relaxation that come from deepening the asanas through Yoga practice. Incorporating chakra awareness, breathing techniques and meditation: these are the elements that contribute to complete each practice with a sense of joy and unity…….”A sense of yoga”.

Contact Cristina via Email for more info

Tips to Avoid Overindulging

Though the holiday may officially mean something else, Thanksgiving is known as a day of overindulgence verging on gluttony. And not only with food, but with drink and shopping, too. It may be the day when we are encouraged to give in to most of our vices under the guise of giving thanks for what we have.

In order to help you, we have put together a small list of ways that you can keep to your goals and still enjoy yourself.

1. Have a plan

Remember that with a plan you can decide when you are going to indulge and compensate at another time. Even if we cannot stick to a plan 100%, we will almost always do better than if we did not have a plan to start with.

2. Don’t starve yourself before the big meal

It can be easy to look forward to Thanksgiving dinner with so much anticipation that we skip breakfast and/or lunch, but even when the intent is to ‘leave room’ for extra calories this can backfire. Often when we get really hungry we overeat. Coupled with alcohol, it is very easy to seriously overindulge. If you are using time restricted feeding (TRF) as a tool then you can adjust your feeding window accordingly and keep yourself in check.

3. Pace your drinking

Family, food, and alcohol, they often go together on the holidays. And do not worry, no one here is going to tell you that you have to forgo all your favorite booze on the holiday. But (yes there is a but), it is important to pace your drinking. Have a plan that includes how much you want to drink and try to stick to it. Sticking to this one point is often the key to sticking to everything else: besides the 100+ calories per drink, permission usually flows with the alcohol and that often means eating more than we intended.

4. Do not limit what you eat, just how much

If you want to try the sweet potatoes, the mashed potatoes, the turnips and then stuffing then do so. If you want ice cream on your apple pie go for it. You can taste and try all the different dishes while also being mindful of how much you are eating of each.

5. Workout before hand

Working out before dinner does a couple of things for us that are beneficial. It can help put us in a good mindset and reduce stress so we do not seek food or alcohol for comfort, it creates a little bit of a deficit so that it takes a little sting out of our indulgence, and sometimes it helps us to be more mindful of our goals and how easy it would be to delay reaching them with some poor choices.

6. Do not beat yourself up over one meal

If planning and pacing and the workout before hand do not work and you end up looking like my uncle on the couch after dinner with the top button of your pants open, do not beat yourself up over it. It is one meal and not the end of the world. If this happens then we plan again and move forward from that point. The most important idea to keep in mind is that one meal is just one meal, no matter how large, and each meal after that is a new decision with a new possible outcome.

Mindfulness in the Continuing Pandemic

There is no doubt that the pandemic and subsequent lock-down has been a challenge for everyone. If the inconvenience of closing businesses is all that we have had to deal with we should count ourselves very fortunate. Unfortunately for many of us this year has been much more challenging.

And though there may be vaccines on the horizon, it looks like we may need to undergo another round of increasingly tight restrictions on gatherings and closing businesses. Despite our best efforts, the number of cases are steadily rising again and, if Europe is any indication, we will be locking down again before the holidays.

This time, however, we have a better idea of what to except and we can be more proactive in having plans and contingencies in place for if it happens.

Two things that can help are mindfulness and meditation. Both of these practices are great for stress reduction by bringing our awareness to the present and helping us shine light onto what we are feeling and why we are feeling it.

Often our expectations about the future feed into our stress far more than the conditions in the present. Though we should take actions to direct our futures in ways that we wish, we should not live in stressful futures that may never happen.
Stoicism, Buddhism, and Yoga are just a few of the philosophies that train us to be mindful of the things that are under our control and to focus on them rather than the things that we cannot.

At Princeton Center for Yoga and Health many of the classes we off are based on stress reduction, mindfulness, and being present in the now. Whether you are looking for a new philosophy or simply need a break from worry over the future, we have a class for you.

In addition we are excited to bring back our popular 8 weeks Mindfulness Stress Reduction Program. Join our Free Intro to learn more.

We encourage you to use these classes to compliment your other exercise and nutrition efforts, as well as to reduce stress, meditate on the the things that matter to you and to dive into understanding why you want what you do.

Reclaim Your Bliss! Mental Health Toolbox w/ Cindy Beers

ZOOM – Mental Health Toolbox

Workshop Dates: August 3rd-7th, 2020

Workshop Time: 1:00 pm (est) to 2:30 pm (est)  Register Here

We are in trying times which can bring on mental difficulties.
This training is for anyone who would like to use holistic ways in dealing with common mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and stress.
This training will emphasize the following techniques and practices:
• Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping) – EFT is using acupuncture points with your fingers to help relax the central nervous system
• Meditation –mantra-based meditation helps the mind from racing, keeps one present, and calms the central nervous system
• Pranayama (breath) – there are three different breathing techniques to help simply relax the sympathetic nervous system
• Chakra’s – understand what chakras are and how they can be used to identify issues within the body
• Affirmations – using affirmations to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts
• Body Positivity and how you view your own body
• Self-Compassion-how to have it and how to keep itEach session will be approximately 1.5 hours and will be recorded so you can go back to it anytime.Register Here

Yoga Center Re-Opening Guidelines

Dear PCYH Family,

We are beyond thrilled that Governor Murphy is allowing yoga studios to re-open (see article here https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/07/yoga-pilates-martial-arts-studios-can-reopen-for-indoors-classes-in-nj-here-are-the-new-rules.html?utm_source=subtext&utm_medium=sms&utm_campaign=coronavirus).

To ensure the safety of the students and staff, please follow the guidelines below:

  1. Room capacity is limited to 8 people, therefore, you must pre-register for classes before coming to the studio.  No Exceptions.
  2. We will take your temperature upon arrival (touchless thermometer).  Your temperature must be less than 99.2 to participate in class.
  3. If you feel ill or have had contact with anyone who is currently feeling ill, we ask that you please refrain from coming into PCYH.
  4. Covid-19 Release Forms must be signed before you enter into any studio or into the restrooms.
  5. Masks must be worn at all times, and all students must remain 8 feet apart.
  6. You must supply your own yoga mat, yoga blocks, yoga strap, towel, masks, gloves, etc…
  7. Each studio is allowed to operate at 25% capacity.  For extra safety, we are capping the indoor class size at 8, for the time being.
  8. To keep a safe distance, follow blue lines on the floor.
  9. Live classes will also be Zoom’d simultaneously.
  10. Only come into the Center if you feel completely comfortable.  There are many class options and we will do our best to make sure everything will be Zoom ready. 🙂
  11. In person classes will begin on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
  12. Some classes on the schedule will remain Zoom Only.
  13. Pretty please be patient as we update the current schedule.  It is going to be trial and error.
  14. We love you and have missed you!

I know it seems that we are being extra cautious, but we want to make sure everyone is safe and comfortable.

Thank you so much for all the support you have shown us!

Wishing you abundant health and happiness,

Jodie & Steven Shuster, Owners, PCYH