Yoga Classes by Studio Santosha Yoga & Wellness
Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It's a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation. On a physical level, yoga improves flexibility, strength, balance and endurance. On an emotional level, yoga cultivates mindfulness and teaches you how to better cope with stress. Research has clearly demonstrated the many health benefits of practicing yoga. Whether you are looking to lose weight, get more tone, manage a chronic disease or improve your mental well-being and mood, yoga can help. Yoga classes are recommended as you begin your practice so you are certain to maintain alignment in your poses and learn the art of mindfulness.
We are excited to partner with the yoga instructors of Studio Santosha Yoga and Wellness to continue to provide the Phoenix Northwest Valley access to high quality yoga instruction.
Studio Santosha Yoga and Wellness was born out of a deep love for personal transformation. They strive to meet students where they are and help carry them forward into where and who they want to be. There will be personal catering to all levels of practitioners from those just beginning to those deepening an advanced practice. They guide with a strong emphasis on alignment in the poses, making each posture safe and accessible for your individual body.
Yoga for General Health & Wellness by Studio Santosha Yoga
Building a strong foundation in your yoga practice from the very beginning is going to help set you up for a long healthy practice. This class will help establish the basics of how to utilize props to support the body and practice and how they can be helpful when making transitions in poses. We will learn how to modify and adapt your practice to meet the continuously changing needs of your body. We will break down basics of the most common poses you will experience in a typical active practice. We will work on building strength and stability so that you will feel confident moving on to the next level if you choose.
Sunday @ 10:30AM Friday @ 4PM Sign Up Now
A journey through mindful movement with an deliberately slower rhythm. Emphasizing the importance of the breath to transform your spirit, this is one of our signature classes. Move with fluidity and grace to find your personal practice. This class is intended for those with previous yoga experience and knowledge of Surya Namaskara A and B.
Sunday @ 9AM Monday @ 7PM Friday @ 9 AM Saturday @ 9AM Sign Up Now
Slow Flow 2
This class is intended to be playful and powerful as we venture from the foundations of SlowFlow 1 into more advanced sequencing. We will include strong variations of arm balances and inversions with more dedicated time for pranayama (breath work), too. As always, there will be a keen focus on alignment and presence. This class is recommended for those that know their Sun Salutations (A & B) and have a regularly established practice.
Saturday @ 7:30AM Sign Up Now
With a blend of Yin and Restorative postures, this class will help you create more space and length in the connective tissues and joints, plus illicit the relaxation response for a long deep Savasana (final pose). You will leave feeling spacious, grounded and refreshed.
Friday @ 10:30 AM Friday @ 5PM Saturday @ 10:30AM Sign Up Now
A gentle practice consisting of passive seated postures with long holds (3 mins and up). The focus is on the deeper layers of the body, connective tissue and the joints, allowing for the release of deep-rooted toxins and an increased flow of prana.
Friday @ 10:30 AM Friday @ 5PM Sign Up Now
Proven Health Benefits of Yoga
At a time when technology and drugs dominate the way we live our lives, it's refreshing to know that the ancient and simple practice of yoga is gaining attention in the world of science and evidence-based medicine. Research has shown yoga to be effective in reducing essential hypertension and anxiety during pregnancy, regulating heart rhythm, changing brain wave activity, improving core stability and balance, and relieving post-partum depression. Below is a list of other proven benefits.
- emotional wellbeing
- Back Pain
- Chronic Pain
- Stress Relief
"In a study from Duke University Medical Center, yoga has been shown to stimulate the production of oxytocin, (the love bonding hormone), and increase serotonin levels (the happiness hormone). These hormones help people living with depression, sleep problems, anxiety and other psychiatric conditions."
- One NCCIH-funded study of 90 people with chronic low-back pain found that participants who practiced yoga had less disability, pain, and depression after 6 mos.
- A 2011 study compared yoga with conventional stretching exercises or a self-care book in 228 adults with chronic low-back pain. The results showed that both yoga and stretching were more effective than a self-care book for improving function and reducing symptoms due to chronic low-back pain.
- Conclusions from another 2011 study of 313 adults with chronic or recurring low-back pain suggested that 12 weekly yoga classes resulted in better function than usual medical care.
Multiple studies have found yoga to be a more effective treatment for chronic back pain than usual care. Some examples include:
"Chronic pain is a persistent problem that affects millions of people and has a range of possible causes, from injuries to arthritis. There is a growing body of research demonstrating that practicing yoga could help reduce many types of chronic pain.
- In one study, 42 individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome either received a wrist splint or did yoga for eight weeks. At the end of the study, yoga was found to be more effective in reducing pain and improving grip strength than wrist splinting.
- Another study in 2005 showed that yoga could help decrease pain and improve physical function in participants with osteoarthritis of the knees
"According to a study by Svetlana Bershadsky and colleagues from the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, UC of Irvine, yoga reduces stress in pregnant women. They tested the effect of yoga on 51 pregnant women, looking at their levels of the stress hormone cortisol and their mood before and after a yoga session. Their results showed that practicing yoga while pregnant can reduce stress, improve mood and even reduce postpartum depression symptoms. " This is an important finding because cortisol is known to cross the placenta wall and can impact the development of a baby in utero.
"A report presented at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) Conference 2015 in April linked yoga to lowering levels of cortisol. The study looked at 52 women, ages 25 to 45, who had mildly elevated anxiety, moderate depression or high stress. Those who performed yoga twice a week for 90 minutes felt better, looked better (pounds came off), and had better control over their anxiety."
"Hypertension is due to a constriction of blood vessels and heart disease is due to blockage of coronary arteries. When relaxation sets in while doing yoga, the blood vessels relax and this reduces blood pressure while increasing blood flow to the heart muscle.
A study published in the journal Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome followed 182 Chinese adults who suffered from metabolic syndrome. After practicing yoga for a year, participations not only lowered their blood pressure but also experienced significant weight loss as well."
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has been funding research to identify nonpharmacological interventions that help reduce the symptoms of depression and the research findings offer promise.
- The Boston University School of Medicine published a report showing people with MDD who participated in yoga and deep breathing classes at least 2x weekly (and practiced at home), experienced a significant reduction in their depressive symptoms. - Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine - March 2017
- A November 2016 study from the University of Pennsylvanian found a breathing-based medication practice, known as "Sudarshan Kriya yoga" helped reduce major depressive symptoms in those who had inadequate response to pharmacological antidepressant treatments.
- One study demonstrated the powerful effect of yoga on stress by following 24 women who perceived themselves as emotionally distressed. After a three-month yoga program, the women had significantly lower levels of cortisol. They also had lower levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression .
- Another study of 131 people had similar results, showing that 10 weeks of yoga helped reduce stress and anxiety. It also helped improve quality of life and mental health .
When used alone or along with other methods of alleviating stress, such as meditation, yoga can be a powerful way to keep stress in check."
Our Yoga Instructors
Amber’s yoga journey began in 1998. She instantly fell in love with how the practice allowed her mind, body and soul to harmoniously unite. These feelings were foreign to her competitive nature from years of athletics. She found a regular yoga practice to be just the counterbalance she needed. Finally, after many years and many yogic journeys she heeded to the call of teaching. Amber is an E-500 hr RYT. Her first 200 hours were through YogaWorks and an additional 500+ with SmartFLOW by Annie Carpenter. The training she has received through her master instructor, Annie, gives her the necessary tools and confidence to provide each student with proper alignment, intelligent sequencing, and creative individualized transformational techniques. You’ll find Amber’s yoga classes to be uplifting in nature - always seeking the balance. Bringing yoga to the masses is truly her joy to share with everyone.
Jen - While I will always associate Santa Fe, New Mexico as my home, Phoenix is the place where I have built my life and formed my tribe. In my 30's, I discovered yoga, a way of life that is much more than physical poses. Knowing I possess a teacher's heart, I become a 500hr EY-RYT Instructor and started teaching classes, eventually opening a yoga studio. But I am more than a student and teacher of yoga. My purpose is to support, empower, motivate, and inspire people to live their best life. I believe that each of us has the power to change our lives, but none of us need to do that in a vacuum. So whether it is finding ways to fuel your body in a healthy way, learning to love what you see in the mirror, or building physical and mental strength through the practice of yoga, my passion lies in helping YOU reach your goals.
Dawn - I began Yoga in 2007 looking for something different in my workout routine. I was also going through a crazy time in my life and needed to create a better work / life balance for myself. A friend encouraged me to try yoga, but I admit that I was apprehensive. I went with her to my first class and have not looked back. I originally enjoyed the physical workout and community of wonderful individuals I met through my yoga classes. But shortly realized the multitude of other benefits that I receive. Each time I practice, I am amazed at the things my body is capable of and the ability to quiet my mind, follow and connect to my breath and allow the calmness to come over me. After finishing my 200-hour teacher training through YogaWorks, I became so inspired and eager to pass on this gift that I have experienced to others. I hope to make my yoga classes challenging but mainly want everyone to smile, have fun, be proud of themselves and find a balance both on and off the mat.
Heather took her first yoga class in 2001 and instantly fell in love! She quickly discovered the healing aspects of a consistent yoga practice to one’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. As a mental health professional, she was drawn to complete her Yoga Nidra/Guided Relaxation Technique facilitator certification with Jane Gleason, and additional Restorative Yoga training with Mary Bruce in 2012. In 2013, Heather added Pre and Post Natal Yoga training with Desi Bartlett, and Yin Yoga training with Joe Barnett. Her exploration continued in 2014 with the completion of Second Degree Reiki with the International Center for Reiki Training, Mini Yogis® Yoga for Kids Certification with Shana Meyerson, and SmartFLOW® Yoga Teacher Training with Annie Carpenter. Furthermore, Advanced Reiki Training/Reiki Master Certification was awarded in 2015, and Holy Fire II Usui Reiki Master/Holy Fire II Karuna Reiki® Master Registration added in 2016. Heather completed Chair Yoga Certification with Donna Schnoor in 2017, and Yoga Wall Training with Rasoul Sobhani in 2018. As a certified Connection Coalition Instructor and Love Your Brain Yoga Teacher, Heather combines her social work and yoga training to participate in community outreach programs.