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The yoga taught by Marie Muscatello at SportsFocus Physical Therapy, PC is known as Hatha Yoga in the Himalayan tradition. Marie earned her yoga teacher certification by amongst other things, successfully completing 200 hours of training and testing at the Himalayan Institute of Buffalo.

Although yoga is a 2000 year old Eastern philosophy for successful living, in the United States yoga is most often used to describe the performance of various physical poses or “asanas”. These asanas or postures, were created to align and move your muscles, joints and bones while promoting the appropriate, free flow of our subtle energy or prana though the many energy channels of our body. Yoga is considered a mind-body type of complementary or integrative medicine practice aimed at improving, maintaining or restoring our holistic health and well being.

T
he “ha” of Hatha is translated as meaning "sun" and the “tha” as meaning "moon." This refers to the balance of masculine aspects— sun, active, hot,—and feminine aspects— moon, receptive, cool—within all of us. Hatha yoga is a practice that uses physical movement, breath and relaxation as a path toward creating balance and uniting seeming opposites, it is a practice of harmonizing our currents of feeling, thinking, willing, and acting until they are in balance. In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also earn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose.

What People Should Expect (From the Class and Continuing)….

The core components of a Hatha yoga class at SportsFocus are: 

Poses: Yoga poses, also called asanas or postures, are movements into and holding static positions designed to increase strength and flexibility. Some poses will have you simply lying on the floor while other postures will have you more upright and gently and safely challenging your physical limits. You will most likely find these classes to be slower paced, friendly, gentle but still challenging. 

Breathing: Working with your breathing is an important part of yoga. In yoga, breathing reflects movement of your vital life sustaining subtle energy. You will be practicing coordinating your in breath and out breath with various movements and “directing” your breath to various parts of the physical body. And sometimes just remembering to not “hold your breath” is practice enough! Linking the breath with movements allows practitioners to become more aware of the state of their body and mind. 

Relaxation: In addition to the physical exercise of the asanas, each class will be balanced by physical and mental relaxation exercise. By relaxing deeply muscles, breathing and mind yoga can help release tension, thoroughly rejuvenate the nervous system and promote a deep sense of inner peace. With our culture’s emphasis on doing, attaining or achieving, we have lost site that true rest and relaxation is a natural way of recharging ourselves. Our natural effectiveness and efficiency at performing mental and physical works suffers when we are either continually working or continually preparing for doing work. By learning how to relax and practicing relaxation we learn a vital life skill at conserving energy and balancing the work of our body and mind. 

Meaningful Guidance: No matter what your yoga experience level or physical capacity is, you may not be able to comfortably nor safely perform every posture. In these classes you will receive instruction and advice that you guide you to modifications or substitutions that will not allow yoga to be accessible to you but to make it safe, enjoyable and effective.

What Scientific Studies Say About Yoga

Current research suggests that a carefully adapted & diligently practiced set of yoga poses may: 

Improve overall physical fitness, strength, range of motion & flexibility 

Improve balance 

Improve quality of life 

Reduce low-back pain 

Improve physical function 

Reduce stress 

Relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia 

Enhance mood & overall sense of well being 

Reduce risk factors for heart disease and high blood pressure.