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Victoria Stewart / For The Chronicle

Top: Thorbeckes Fitlife yoga instrutor Melissa Fox demonstrates one of several “warrior” poses used in yoga. This pose is the yoga triangle and stretches the spine and legs. Left to right: Thorbeckes Fitlife yoga instructor Melissa Fox demonstrates another version of the Warrior pose. The crocodile, right, is a yoga pose that involves hovering the full length of your body over the mat in a plank position for several counts. The position builds upper body strength.


The Practice of Mind and Body By Victoria Stewart

For The Chronicle India, 5,000 years ago: A mystic

place where Westerners imagine elaborate asanas (yoga postures) were practiced by masters clad in simple loin cloths. While many of the original asanas have doubtless been lost to history or modified by Westerners, it is certain the exercise has found an upsurge in popularity in the United States. Here in Lewis County there are several places to partake in yoga, including Thorbeckes FitLife Center in Chehalis and Centralia, where Melissa Fox is one of the instructors. Fox, 42, is a certified yoga instructor and has taught for the past year and a half. “I’ve been in the fitness industry for a long time, long before I became an instructor here,” she said. “Fitness was always a passion for me.” Fox did aerobics classes and became a power lifter, a sport she still practices to this day. “Then I started having a family and became a stay-at-home mom (of three children).” But that didn’t stop Fox, who, while fairly new to the practice of yoga, was immediately hooked. “Thorbeckes was my second home

and when they needed a (yoga) instructor I got certified and I just love it. It’s been an amazing journey and it’s very rewarding.” For student Hyesoo Albright, Centralia, yoga aids in sleep and peace and so much more. “I’ve been doing it off and on for about three years,” she said. “I sleep so deep and good every time I do yoga. It is so relaxing and I feel like I have oxygen throughout my body.” New student Ashley Sickles has found a new love in yoga. “I’ve been doing it just two weeks now,” she said. I came with a friend and it’s just really relaxing. You are actually working your entire body but you are calm and relaxed.” Benefits of Yoga The benefits of yoga are myriad. The best part of all? You don’t have to be a circus gymnast to practice yoga safely and correctly. Work at your own pace. Yoga gently stretches not only your muscles, but all of your soft tissues and tendons, and increases flexibility in joints. “Yoga can reduce your stress,” Fox said. “It increases your flexibility,

increases strength and circulation; improves your core strength, agility and endurance. Internally, it warms the body and makes the heart and lungs more efficient. It increases your mental clarity as well and helps you to just ‘be in the present moment,’ enjoying.” “It’s a great supplement to what you are already doing,” Fox said. And age doesn’t matter. “You can do it when you are 4 years old and when you are 80 years old. I have some clients in their 80s and (yoga) has made their life more productive and they are enjoying having a better quality of life.” Yoga is not a competition, Fox noted. “When people come into my class, I want to make sure they feel successful and comfortable and have this be their own practice.” Fox reminds class participants to not look at their neighbor and to let go of any competition and all expectations. Breathing There are several kinds of breathing used in yoga. Two practiced by Fox

Tips and Etiquette for the Yoga Novice By The Chronicle

Turn off your phone Remove your shoes and place them out of the way of other students Try to avoid bathroom breaks during class Get to class on time and don't leave early - in a quiet and dim lit studio you WILL distract someone! Don't have a big meal or go nuts on caffeine right before class - Downward Dog can be uncomfortable with a gut full of pasta! You should get a good stretch and work muscles but don't expect all your poses to look as graceful or come as easy as the more advanced students If you have trouble with painful joints or dizziness don't be afraid to modify poses so they work for you. Enjoy it — the more you practice yoga the more you will benefit

Live Healthy ● July 2011


2 • Live Healthy • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, July 14, 2011

Live Healthy • The Chronicle, Centralia/Chehalis, Wash. Thursday, July 14, 2011 • 3


Where to do Yoga

By Alison Johnson

Take a Class at Thorbeckes

Daily Press (MCT)

Yoga classes at Thorbeckes are free with a gym membership. Call 748-3744 or 736-1683 for more information. For those who would just like to take a class, a day-use gym membership will get you into the class and the gym. Classes are: Wednesday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. Basic yoga with Mary Goeman Monday, 8:30 a.m. Basic yoga with Karen Snipes Monday and Wednesday evening, 5:30 p.m. Basic yoga with Melissa Fox Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. Power yoga with Melissa Fox Friday, 10:30 a.m. at Centralia Thorbeckes, Senior Yoga with Karen Snipes.

Purchase a DVD or check one out from your local branch of the Timberland Regional Library. Learn more online at or

Victoria Stewart is a freelance writer and photographer. She can be reached at creative01writer@yahoo. com.

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Don’t Worry, You’ll Get It Fox encourages those new to yoga to not get discouraged. “When you first start practicing yoga it is not habitual. It comes. You need to be patient with your practice and in time you will create a rhythm and before you know it, you will be doing it.” Yoga brought new depth into

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"I hate it. I hate it," personal trainer Dawn Maynard tells me. She's talking about exercise. "I'm a strength specialist who hates to exercise," Maynard said, when I called her to ask if she could recommend some athome starting points for the vast majority of us who are exercise-phobes. It turned out that Maynard, 54, is one of us. Sure, she exercises – she makes her living at it – but it doesn't mean she likes it. She likes the effects – the way it makes her feel. She works out because it gives her energy. "I got tired of being tired," she explained. "Now, I have the energy of a 20-year-old." What small steps can she suggest to let us try out her thesis that exercise will make us feel better? "Start slow," said Maynard, issuing an exercise directive we all can love. "Lower expectations," she continued. Yes! And, don't think about losing weight. Yes, again! "If you focus on weight loss, you're going to become discouraged," she said. There will be plenty of time for that. Keep reminding yourself that this is about "getting more energy," she urged. Maynard, who works in Bethesda, Md., suggests that e x e r c i s e - h at e r s start by utilizing movements that come naturally: sitting and standing up. Using a straightback chair, slowly sit, then stand. "Do it until you feel a burn in your muscles," she said. Keep your back straight, chest facing forward and

focus on the movement of your legs. Set a goal of 10 minutes at first. If you feel unbalanced, Maynard suggests resting one hand against a wall, on a broom handle or on another chair. Getting started is the hardest part, says Maynard. If you're reading this sitting down, stand up. Then sit down again, slowly. Then stand up. Good start. The hardest part is behind you now. LH

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Fox’s fitness routine. “It’s something I always wanted to do. Yoga unites your body and your mind, yoking (both) together. I just have peace of mind and serenity while stretching muscles,” she said. The best advice of all is to relax, be patient and enjoy yourself. “Be patient with your practice and respect the process, because you don’t always feel the same. Every day is different, your body feels different. Sometimes, each side of your body feels like a different animal. You might be more flexible on one side and in tune with your body,” she said. “True peace of mind and joy are found when our bodies and minds and spirits are strong and LH healthy.” •••

Frozen drinks. A 20 oz. fruit smoothie can run 500 calories, while a 16 oz. iced coffee concoction can add 400. Order small sizes, ask for coffee drinks with nonfat milk and no whipped cream and make homemade smoothies with fresh fruit, ice and nonfat yogurt. Cookout spreads. Research shows the more food you have in front of you, the more you'll eat. Look over everything before you start loading your plate. Then fill up with fruits, vegetables and lean meats such as grilled chicken or fish, along with small portions of your favorite treats. And spend more time mingling and playing games than eating! Festival foods. You'll run into plenty of burgers, ice cream and funnel cakes. Tame cravings – and beat crowds – by heading to a festival just after breakfast, or have a small, healthy snack beforehand. Scope out healthier options such as real fruit pops or grilled corn on the cob, and split less healthy fare. LH

Classes start July 14 and include a number of offerings, taught by Danielle Hull. Mommy and Me Yoga, Thursdays, 10-11 a.m. Adult Yoga, Thursdays, 7:30-8:30 a.m. All classes take place in the activity building at 25 S.W. Circle Drive in Chehalis. Call 748-0271 for more information.

include the complete breath and an equal breath. The complete breath is a threepart process and is calming and energizing at the same time. Inhale deeply into the belly, ribs and lungs, using the full capacity of your lungs. “When we are just sitting, we are using shallow breaths,” Fox said. Utilizing the complete breath, breathing in and out through the nose “oxygenates our body and brings red blood cells to our brains so we can feel clarity. It also calms us and if we are stressed out and nervous, we can visualize the tension being released from our bodies.” The ujjayi breath is what Fox calls the “Darth Vader” breath because of the gutteral, back of the throat noise that is made. It involves breathing equal breaths in and out through the nose. Simultaneously, close off the back of the throat when breathing out, creating the “Vader” sound. The purpose of this rhythmic breathing is to “bring your mind back to your body.”

Victoria Stewart / For The Chronicle


Chehalis Parks and Recreation Summer Yoga Class

Thorbeckes Fitlife yoga instructor Melissa Fox demonstrates the cobra, a great pose for strengthening and stretching the spine.

Fresh fruits and vegetables abound in the summer, but so do some diet wreckers. "Barbecues, cookouts and picnics are built for grazing," says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Some common trouble spots: Summer "salads." Potato salad, pasta salad and coleslaw might sound healthy, but they can be high in calories and fat. Half a cup of potato salad, for example, can pack 200 calories. Keep portions small or lighten salads by cutting mayonnaise content in half – you can sub in nonfat Greek yogurt – and adding mustard and diced vegetables for flavor. Mixed drinks. Margaritas, daiquiris and other mixed drinks are high in sugar and can easily top 400 calories. Stick to wine spritzers, light beer or sparkling water with a twist of lime, and alternate alcoholic beverages with water (but remember: doctors recommend no more than one drink a day for women and two for men).

Reduce stress with relaxation must-haves By Metro Creative Connection

Stress has become a daily part of people's lives. Despite its detriments to health and well-being, stress seems to be something most people can't shake. Increasing the number of relaxation tools around the house may prove effective at reducing stress. Pick any number of surveys and you're likely to find that the general public is stressed out. A survey by Northwestern Life indicates that 40 percent of workers report that their job is "very or extremely" stressful. A National Health Interview survey indicates that 75 percent of the general population experiences some stress every two weeks. Forty-two percent of people questioned by an American Psychological Association study found that stress has increased in the last few years. Considering more than half of all Americans are concerned with the level of stress in their everyday lives, the following steps to reduce stress might be very helpful to millions of people across the country.

Relax in a hot tub

Water, heat and massage therapy as provided by a hot tub can alleviate many of the body strains caused by stress. Raising core body temperature for 15 minutes around 90 minutes before bed has been shown to induce a more restful sleep. Heat also dilates blood vessels to increase blood flow to sore or damaged tissue. In addition, water provides buoyancy that reduces strain on muscles and joints. Add the gentle massage from spa bubbles and the body is relaxed. This, in turn, can help turn off the mind and facilitate feelings of ease.


Exercise is a known mood-booster. In a 2007 study at Duke University, exercise was shown to reduce major depression as well as standard antidepressant medication. Stress and depression are often linked. Exercise releases endorphins into the body,

which can banish the blues. Other studies have shown that as little as 10 minutes of brisk walking raises the mood and increases the energy level of people for up to two hours after the walk.

Get a massage

Few things can reduce stress as much as the feeling of human hands working the kinks out of tense muscles. Massage can alleviate pain, reduce anxiety and may even improve immune system function. There are many different types of massages available. A person can certainly invest in a massage table for home and have a spouse or family member do the massage. However, most prefer to visit a spa or rehabilitation center and rely on a trained professional.

Go for a swim

A pool, much like a hot tub, can foster feelings of relaxation. Swimming

combines the stress-relief of water with the benefits of exercise. Daily swimming can shake off the stress of work and family life.

Alternative Therapies

Everything from acupuncture to aromatherapy to music therapy can be tried in an effort to staunch stress. Following in the footsteps of Eastern cultures, many people are finding meditation, yoga, deep breathing and Tai Chi are effective at calming the mind and the body. Look for local classes where these activities are offered, or simply try them at home. Stress is something that is a part of most people's lives, but it doesn't have to be an overwhelming factor. With a few simple stress-relief techniques, individuals can feel calmer and LH healthier.

“I’m back in the saddle again, thanks to Capital Medical Center!” Carol Swindall is so glad she’s back riding her horse, J.R., on her farm in Shelton. Less than a year ago, she thought her horse riding days were over because of a bad hip. “The pain in my leg was so severe, I couldn’t swing my leg over the saddle,” explains Carol. “It was affecting my whole life.” When Carol decided she needed hip replacement surgery, she did plenty of research before choosing Capital Medical Center. “Having surgery was not a decision I took lightly,” she says. At a seminar conducted by Dr. Patrick Halpin, an orthopedic surgeon, she learned that Capital Medical Center offers anterior hip replacement. This less invasive method, performed on a specially designed operating table, avoids the cutting of

– Carol Swindall

any muscle. The benefits are many: less pain, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery. She also discovered that the Joint & Spine Center at Capital Medical Center was designated the best in Washington State in 2010. Carol also participated in Capital Medical Center’s Joint Camp, where she got to talk to her medical team before her surgery on December 14, 2010. “I just can’t say enough about the care I received during my hospital stay,” says Carol. “I was absolutely thrilled. On New Year’s Eve, I was able to dance with my husband. And by mid-February, I was riding J.R. again. My hip is pain free!”

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