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 July 2014 


Do you know a young adult heading off to college next month? Encourage him or her to take a tai chi class if it's offered on campus. A recent study suggests that tai chi isn't just for "old folks" and may help young adult's cognitive performance. Although the study's participants were college students with ADHD, who wouldn't benefit from learning to be more mindful and control stress.

If you appreciate articles like the one in this month's newsletter, please let us know. We're asking you to take a short survey designed to help us give you the news and information you want. You can find a link to the survey here.

Welcome Massage Therapist Danielle Ray to our staff. Danielle has 12 years' experience and is available for evening hour appointments.

Tracey Curtis is offering another Karma Yoga class on Saturday, August 2, 1:30-3:00 pm.  All proceeds will go to benefit Alton Area Animal Aide Association (5As). This donation-based class is appropriate for all levels. Join us in supporting this worthy organization.

Heron is a particularly challenging pose, but one that is attainable with some practice.

We offer a wide variety of classes and times. Check out our calendar to find something that fits into your schedule or a service to give you a pick-me-up.



Theresa Franklin, NCTMB, LMT, RYT, CMT
Olivia Kelly, NCTMB, LMT


Feature Article

 featurearticle Cognitive Benefits of Tai Chi in College Students      
Tai chi is often seen as an exercise for middle-aged and older adults who practice it to improve their balance or for other health reasons. But a study published earlier this year in the journal Frontiers of Human Neuroscience indicates this exercise modality may be just as beneficial for younger adults' cognitive performance. 

The rationale for the study included the need to promote and support positive mental health in college students, as well as the need for non-pharmacological options for disorders such as ADHD. The researchers also alluded to the need to help students find alternatives to "Academic Doping," a growing problem on college campuses, where students are taking a wide range of "unprescribed" prescription drugs to deal with the challenges of college life and improve academic performance.

Study participants were University of Wisconsin students enrolled in either a 15-week Intro to Tai Chi course (N=28) or an Intro to Psychology course for the same length to time (N=44). The students were assessed using self-reported symptoms of attention deficit disorder and objective neurocognitive measures at the start, middle and end f the study.

Tai chi involves mindful attention to the body during a well-defined series of slow-flowing movements. The students in the Intro to Tai Chi course were taught by an instructor with 10 years' experience, who emphasized the mindfulness aspect of tai chi. The course consisted of Yang Style 24 Form with initial emphasis on basic exercises, walking and posture, as well as mindfulness and tai chi principles. The class met for 50 minutes twice weekly and students were encouraged to practice outside of class as well. Students logged all practice times, including in-class time, in a journal that was included in the study measures.

The results of the study were promising and showed significant reductions in self-reported symptoms of inattention that were corroborated by objective neurocognitive measures, including reaction time and improvements on tests of affective (emotion based) information processing.

The study's findings contribute to a small but growing body of literature describing the effects of tai chi training in healthy young adults. This literature suggests that tai chi training may lead to - among other findings - improvements in self-report of physical and mental health measures, decreased nightmares and improvements in self-report of mindfulness, mood, perceived stress, and sleep quality.

Collectively, this literature suggests tai chi training in young adults may have beneficial effects on mental health, perceived stress, and immune function. This literature also points to the need for more randomized controlled trials with objective measures of cognitive function.

In conclusion, the results of this study in healthy young adults suggest that tai chi training improves attention and may therefore hold potential as a non-pharmacological intervention for individuals with ADHD. Additional studies are needed to confirm these results in healthy subjects and to extend this research to ADHD patient populations.


Read the original study here 


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Asana Zone

asanazone Heron  Pose    
Krounchasana is a seated stretch, one that is challenging to execute. The extended leg resembles the neck and head of a bird in this posture. It stretches the hamstring muscles and limbers the hips, knees and ankles

The blueprint
The yogi sits with one leg in Virasana (Hero Pose) and the other leg extended upward, perpendicular to the floor, with hands wrapped around the extended leg's foot.

How to do it:
1. Start in Dandasana with an elongated spine and your legs extended out in front of you.

2. Draw your left leg back into Ardha Virasana. The top of your left foot and shin should rest on the floor; toes should be pointing straight back. Keep your knees together with your weight distributed evenly on your sit bones.

If you experience discomfort in your left leg, try placing some padding under the top of the foot. If you experience pain, stop.

3. Bend the right knee and bring it close to your body. Hold the right heel with both hands. Straighten the right leg vertically.

While doing so use your hands to press down on the heel as if you want to shorten the distance between the right heel and the sitting bone. This may seem contradictory but it actually helps straighten the leg.

4. Adhere right thigh muscles to the thighbone and open the back of the right knee, keeping the right leg (neck of the Heron) straight and long. Lifting from the tailbone, curve in the lower back and slowly bring the chin to the right shin, looking up toward your right foot. Stay for 10 breaths.


5. Exhale, bring the right leg down and straighten the left leg. Take a moment to release the muscles then repeat on the other side.  


6. Counter with Cobblers Pose, Baddha Konasana.   


  • make sure the toes of the foot of the bent leg are pointing inward or back, not outward.
  • keep the front torso long
  • firm the shoulder blades against your back to help maintain the lift of the chest.
  • round the back or collapse the chest 
  •  Stretches the sides of the torso and spine
  •  Stretches the hamstrings
  •  Opens the shoulders
  •  Stimulates abdominal organs and lungs
  •  Stretches the pelvic region
  • See modification below if you have knee pain

If there are knee issues that make kneeling impossible or difficult, perform the pose sitting on a chair. Arrange your legs either in front of your torso, with knees at right angles, or stretch one leg out to the side, mimicking the full pose.  


If you can't press your foot of the straight leg flat onto the floor, you have two options: either raise the ball of the foot on a thickly folded blanket, or work against a wall, with the ball of the foot pressed against the wall.


The Be Well Now newsletter is edited by Danette Watt. For suggestions, comments or concerns about the newsletter content, contact her at 
In This Issue
Quick Links

Our schedule of classes

Our services
Karma Yoga
Saturday, August 2, 1:30-3:00 pm

Donation-based class for all levels.

Proceeds to benefit Alton Area Animal Aide Association (5As)
Some of the classes and services we offer:

* Reiki
* Massages (weekends and evenings, too!)
* Skin care 

...and more! 
When you catch yourself slipping into a pool of negativity, notice how it derives from nothing other than resistance to the current situation.

~ Donna Quesada,
Buddha in the Classroom: Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers

jaimesanchez Tai Chi Classes Return July 14

The next series of Tai Chi classes with Jerry Whitten begins July 14.  


All classes are on Monday and are $60 for a 10-week session.  


Intro to Yang Style Tai Chi - 5:30-6:30 pm  


Intro to Chen Style Tai Chi - 6:30-7:30 pm  


Adv. Chen Style Tai Chi - 7:30-8:30 pm  

 ourclasses Our staff 

Samantha Burton
Amy Clary
Tracey Curtis
Shannon Dunham
Theresa Franklin

Theresa Franklin
Olivia Kelly
Danielle Ray
Katie Roach
Daniel Sheets

Kendelle Pelot

Jerry Whitten

Matt Hawkin

 ourclasses Our classes
Please check the website calendar to confirm class times. Friend us on Facebook for updates and cancellations.

12:30-1:30 pm Hot Yoga with Shannon 
8:00-9:00 am - Hatha
YTT Student-led - $5/class   
9:00-10:00 am - Hatha with Theresa
5:45-6:45 pm - Vinyasa with Tracey

5:30-6:15 pm - Hatha 
with Samantha 

5:30-6:15 pm - Vinyasa with Tracey 


4:30-5:30 - Restorative with Tracey
8:30-9:30 am Foundations of Yoga with Amy
10:00-11:00 am
- Yin with Tracey

Intro to Yang Tai Chi 
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Intro to Chen Style Tai Chi
6:30-7:30 pm

Adv. Chen Style Tai Chi -
7:30-8:30 pm
8:30-9:30 pm