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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Deep Healing Yoga In Southwest Florida

Aug 30, 2013 09:40AM ● By Linda Sechrist

In Southwest Florida, hundreds of individuals are enrolled in local yoga classes with the expectation of gaining physical benefits such as elongated and toned muscles, as well as flexibility. Often, open and committed yoga students that follow a regular practice reap some unanticipated benefits—the release of emotional and physical pain associated with trauma, and resilience. Local yoga teachers Susanna Tocco, owner of Anahata Holistic Healing & Spiritual Center, in Naples; Debi Grilo and Aleksandra Eifler, at Bala Vinyasa Yoga, in Naples; and Susan Lovett, owner of Restore Inner Harmony, who teaches at Joyful Yoga, in Bonita Springs, and at the Happahatchee Center, in Estero, report their own personal and student experiences of these benefits.

Tocco recounts a brief story about one of her students that discovered yoga could heal in countless ways. “Rachel had a hysterectomy in 2009 and knee surgery in 2012. As a result, she had many aches and pains, poor digestion and trouble with her overall state of well-being. She felt immediate results. Her knee pain subsided. She no longer feels trapped in her body and her stress level decreased substantially,” advises Tocco.

Grilo, who is also a clinical social worker, experienced the healing value of yoga after suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by witnessing the death of a baby. “I was highly agitated and anxious, living in constant fear of something happening to my children. After about two months of a daily slow flow restorative practice, I noticed a shift in my energy. I was able to breathe through my anxiety and create space from disturbing thoughts and images. The practice gave me a safe space to release my tension and energy, which in turn created more space from the event and eventually, peace,” explains Grilo.

Lovett teaches yin yoga, a gentle form that targets the connective tissue in the body. She combines yoga with the healing power of her crystal bowls. In yin yoga, students hold poses for five minutes. This slow pace allows for insights and the release of tension and stored memory in the body. “In general, students often comment about the level of relaxation and peace they feel from this combination of healing modalities,” she says.

Overwhelmed and emotionally drained from attempting to balance long workdays, the responsibilities of motherhood and a tumultuous relationship with her parents, Eifler was also suffering from chronic pain in her back and wrist when she became a yoga student. After removing blocked energy and releasing deep emotions that were often accompanied by tears, Eifler was pain-free and happy. “My life was literally transformed by my teacher training,” she enthuses.

Anahata Holistic Healing & Spiritual Center, 1065 5th Ave. N., Naples. 239-262-0811. AnahataNaples.com.

Bala Vinyasa Yoga, 6200 Trail Blvd. N., Naples. 239-598-1938. BVyoga.com.

Restore Inner Harmony. 617-921-1037. RestoreInnerHarmony.com.

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