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Breathing in Peace, Breathing Out Stress at Yoga Sanctuary

By Pamela Sosnowski

Yoga Sanctuary lives up to its name and its motto, "Breathe in Peace." Located in Litchfield, a quaint community situated between Merrimack and Londonderry, the studio offers its students a chance to rejuvenate their physical and emotional well being in a setting that is surrounded by trees and a wildlife reserve. And as owner Priscilla Flynn Belisle explains, her studio is suitable for everybody.

"Students at Yoga Sanctuary report feelings of peace, tranquility and safety during their time in the studio," she says. "(We) provide a non-competitive, non-judgmental, safe space for students, clients of bodywork and workshop attendees of both sexes and all ages."

Yoga Sanctuary is housed on the second floor of the detached garage on the right.

The studio offers yoga classes that offer a slow relaxed practice as well as more vigorous classes, which strengthen and balance through physical poses. Yoga Sanctuary also offers integrative restoration yoga, also known as iREST, that is being used with great success at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in assisting veterans suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) With iREST, participants relax and are led through a guided meditation that often leads to improved mood, improved sleep, a reduction in depression, anxiety, and fear, and several other benefits.

Throughout the year the studio also hosts special yoga events and daylong workshops; past sessions have included a Reiki Level 1 and 2 workshop, and a slow yoga and qigong session. For these classes, Belisle usually invites special guests from the yoga industry to lead students through the instruction.

Belisle has been teaching yoga since 1990 and is certified in several other areas including Thai Yoga Bodywork, a technique often referred to as "lazy man's yoga" that delivers lasting physical effects. Her students have described her as "a compassionate and intuitive teacher who encourages students to listen to the wisdom of their bodies as she gently guides them in a very personal practice of yoga."

There are several benefits to practicing yoga on a regular basis. Says Belisle, "Yoga practice can balance high or low blood pressure. A certain amount of stress on your bones helps to strengthen them. If you practice meditation (what yoga was originally intended for), mindfulness becomes more of a way of life and anxiety and worry tend to retreat more and more. A sense of ease and peace of mind replace feelings of being stressed."

The studio is located in a detached garage on Belisle's property, and has received several glowing testimonials from satisfied students. For more information and to view the current schedule, visit the website at www.yogasanctuary.com.

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