Nourishing a Healthy Heart – A Yoga and Nutrition Workshop

Yoga and Nutrition – Effective in Reversing Heart Damage

We have long known of the power of yoga and sound nutritional awareness in bettering health and wellness, but it was these words “reversing heart disease” that really captured by attention this year. Dr. Dean Ornish, recognized for his international scientific heart research, has documented proof that heart disease can be halted or even reversed simply by changing your lifestyle. His current best-seller is titled “Reversing Heart Disease”.

I am passionately drawn to this work, as I lost my husband to a sudden, unexpected heart attack last year. Garry unfortunately had a  hereditary predisposition, like many others. I want to see people make  positive changes for better heart health. The good news is that through knowledge, people can become proactive and actually reverse heart damage. The first steps are knowledge, awareness, and a commitment to making change in your health and wellness.

Yoga Sol is reaching out to educate in our February 22nd workshop: Nourished Healthy Heart. Our vision is to provide a comfortable setting in which current yoga practitioners can learn new information, and new-to-yoga students (or even yoga skeptics) will be introduced in a non-threatening, safe and fun setting.

Two highly credentialed and respected instructors – Noelle Sumaya and Marisa Voorhees – lead the workshop. I asked them both to give us a little sneak preview:

Interview with Noelle Sumaya:

Rozanne: We are so thrilled that you are bringing this important knowledge to us! Can you share a little of your experience working with students and seeing progress they make with these practices.

Noelle: I’ve found that over a period of time, many students experience less chest pain, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and reversal of artery blockages leading to the heart. As a result, they experience a greater sense of well-being.

Rozanne: Can you give us a little preview of the research that you’ll be sharing in your workshop?

In the workshop, I will be talking about the term “stress loop”. It refers to the sympathetic nervous system, which sends stress hormones, including Adrenalin, into your body. As a result, “fight or flight” is triggered; blood then flows away from our vital organs and is redirected towards the large muscles of our body. Our brain perceives when our body is stressed, interprets it as confirmation of danger being present, and continues with the stress response. This keeps our body in “fight or flight” mode and continues to send the stress signals to our brain. The “stress loop” cycle continues on and on. I will share tool to break the “stress loop” through breathing techniques, movement, mediation, and restorative postures to open up and improve circulation to our heart.

Interview with Marisa Voorhees:

Rozanne: We are so excited that you will be enlightening us on heart healthy AND delicious foods.  Can you share a little of your passion for helping clients reshape their diets.

Marisa: I love helping people discover all of the delicious food that IS available to them. So much of dieting, and big lifestyle changes, tends to focus on what you can no longer eat or enjoy. And when we’re focused on what we can’t have, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not even take the chance to feel better.  But, the joy of the kitchen is that there are still so many flavors and foods available and with a little patience and a sense of adventure, you’ll discover that none of those past flavors or foods tasted as good as you now feel. You just have to be open to trying different things and curious to discover your new favorite foods. And it is when people try something new, love it, and then make it themselves – well, that’s just magic.

Rozanne: In your experience working with clients and seeing food trends, how much progress are you seeing in people adopting heart healthy diets?

Marisa: Overall, there’s a positive movement towards people adopting heart healthy diets. We happen to live in California, which was leading the movement in alternative diets like vegetarian, vegan, and locavore. And, because of where we live, we’re fortunate to have access to fresh fruits and veggies year round which is a key component to a heart healthy diet. But, what I love about Yoga Sol, is that people coming to yoga are already ahead of the game because, by choosing yoga, they are already making a nourishing choice to support their heart health. And, because of this, are much more inclined to be open to making healthy choices on and off their plate.

The truth is, we all have a connection to someone who has had their life affected significantly by an unhealthy heart. With a few simple lifestyle changes, and a good support group, becoming heart healthy is an easy process and makes a huge difference in your future.

In this Valentine’s month of love, invite someone you care about and introduce them to this powerful information. I do strongly believe, like Dr. Dean, that we have the power to reverse heart disease!

Rozanne Englehart