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‘Relax, refresh and rejuvenate': Nationally recognized yoga instructor coming to Seaside

by Deborah Wheeler

The Walton Sun

Vandita Kate Marchesiello, a nationally known registered and certified Kripalu Yoga teacher, is coming to Seaside in January to lead a workshop.

The workshop titled Creating Ease: An Introduction to Yoga, Meditation & Stress Management, will be Jan. 20-22, 2012, in the Seaside Lyceum meeting room.

The focus will be on gentle yoga, meditation, and stress management, and is suitable for all levels, including beginners.

Marchesiello has been teaching and leading workshops and training programs in health, wellness and yoga since 1977. From 1989-99 she was executive director of the Albany Kripalu Yoga Center where she trained teachers and students of yoga. Since 2000 she has been director of the Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Mass., where she is a senior faculty member and pioneered Teaching for Diversity, a grant program to bring yoga to diverse and underserved populations.

Marchesiello met local Realtor and yoga enthusiast Pat Carlyle at a retreat, and Carlyle invited her to come to South Walton and lead a workshop.

Carlyle is a cancer survivor, who has been practicing yoga for 15 years and teaching it since 2000. She believes in the healing benefits of yoga and meditation for stress management.

"People think they know how to do stress management on a daily basis, but when something happens they often find out they don't," she said. "I have learned and teach people to incorporate three things: awareness, acceptance and how to adjust their thoughts. Yoga is my tool kit."

Two months ago Carlyle met a kindred spirit in Laurie Beck. Beck is also a cancer survivor and owns Pilates by the Sea at Gulf Place. She has been teaching yoga for 30 years and discovered Pilates 17 years ago and has now been teaching it for 10.

"Yoga is not just exercise, it's a way of life; it is breath," said Beck. "Since I have had non-Hodgkins lymphoma and leukemia, I must stay focused because stress can exasperate such conditions."

In bringing a yoga workshop to the area, the women want to share what they know with the community about the effects of stress and how to live a healthier lifestyle. They both believe in the healing benefits of yoga, meditation, and stress-management techniques.

"There are people here who are going through difficult times," said Carlyle. "The weekend will bring an awareness about yoga, and it can be an impetus to share what we know and how to shift thinking so you can be healthy."

"Yoga offers an opportunity to connect to your breathing and be mindful about what your body is telling you," added Beck. "It's about being mindful every day."

Benefits reportedly include increased flexibility, stamina, strength, muscle tone, and range of motion in the joints; healthier breathing and sleeping patterns and cardiopulmonary functioning; detoxification and more efficient metabolism; overall well-being and ease in daily life; creative visualization, deep progressive relaxation (yoga nidra), and conscious eating.

"It will be a weekend to relax, refresh and rejuvenate," said Carlyle. "My life is so fast paced with few opportunities to disconnect and be with myself. Yoga is a way to reconnect with where you are and push the outer world away."

In the bigger picture, Carlyle envisions the workshop becoming an annual event and conference.

"We want to have fun with it. There are so many practitioners here, we need to pool our resources to bring awareness about the health benefits of yoga," she said.

"It's a healing from the inside out, a journey, a shift, an awakening," added Beck.

The cost of the workshop is $199 through Dec. 19 and $249 after that.

Carlyle suggests giving the workshop as a gift this holiday season.

"Give the gift of well being," she said.

For more information visit www.creatingeaseyoga.com or email creatingeaseyoga@gmail.com.

Part of the proceeds will be donated to Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast's Women's Center.

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