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We’ve been talking about it for a couple of  weeks now, but now that it’s almost here, we can’t contain our excitement for this weekend’s festival! The St. Armands Art Festival this weekend will prove to be one of the most fun in recent memory, thanks to our friends at CircuSoul Yoga. Three different instructors from the Sarasota yoga studio will be offering free sessions around 11am, 1pm, and 4pm at the center circle, joining over 150 artists and crafters for two days of  original pieces made in the U.S. and displayed on booths lining St. Armands. We are just so excited; these classes will add a dimension to the already-exciting art festivals that we’ve never had before.

Image courtesy of Vlado/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Vlado/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Benefits of Yoga

Of course, we’ve heard about the many benefits of yoga, but for many of us, this is brand new territory. As it turns out, what started as a passing fad for many is now quite an everyday occurrence, as many turn to yoga for its healthy and comforting properties. Have you ever wondered what the health benefits of taking up yoga could be for your health and general well-being? Whether you’re on your way to becoming a yogi — a yoga teacher — or you’re  just starting out, here are some excellent reasons why you should consider taking up yoga beyond this weekend’s St. Armands yoga sessions.

Flexibility and strength. According to WebMD, regular practice of a series of yoga poses called “asanas” can help you become more flexible, release stiffness and tension from joints, and increase joint lubrication and range of motion. Yoga is also a great way to develop strength and endurance, particularly in the core abdominal area as well as upper and lower body strength.

Lung and heart health. While many people may think that yoga is about the poses, the truth is that yoga is really all about the breathing, which is why regularly practicing yoga greatly improves lung function. It has also been known to reduce blood pressure and increase blood flow. Other conditions that yoga can successfully improve include high blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides, arthritis, asthma and multiple sclerosis.

Concentration and overall brain function. People who regularly practice yoga have found that yoga improves focus, increases levels of concentration and speeds up brain function. This may be due to increased oxygen levels in the brain. All of that deep breathing definitely keeps the brain awake!

circusoulMental health and stress relief. The breathing in yoga combined with the asanas and other yoga poses can also help with depression and anxiety, boosting depression-fighting chemicals in the brain and helping mood.

Overall happiness and greater self-confidence. Basically, yoga makes you happy by improving your physical and mental health, while boosting your confidence by showing you what your body can do rather than what it has or doesn’t have. Yoga helps your body function better and your mind feel better about it.

Our friends at CircuSoul Yoga are coming to St. Armands this weekend to demonstrate some yoga and hopefully get you in the groove of the practice. In addition, you’ll get to see demonstrations of one of the things CircuSoul teaches a lot of: aerial yoga. Doing the same positions, breathing and exercises while suspended in the air, aerial yoga is a fun, interesting twist to the already beneficial practice. The demonstrations and classes will take place at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the center circle at St. Armands.

Featured Artist: Marvin “Murf” Murphy

When The Moon Was HighWhile you’re at the St. Armands Art Festival, be sure to visit Marvin “Murf” Murphy, our awesome featured artist for this show. His vibrant body of work along with his contributions to environmental projects have earned him accolades among national and international audiences. His works can be seen in private and public collections throughout the world; Over the course of these past few years, Murf has been praised by the likes of U. N. Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan, Ivana Trump and former Vice-President Al Gore. The piece for this weekend’s festival, titled “When the Moon was High,” is a 32″x36″ framed giclee valued at $900. You will truly fall in love with Murf’s art. He is definitely one featured artist not to be missed.

Bring your yoga mat, your comfy clothes and come to the St. Armands Art Festival, happening Nov. 9-10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 411 St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, Florida! Everyone is invited, and admission is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.artfestival.com or email info@artfestival.com. Be sure to also join our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest communities, and go to our Facebook page to enter the Howard Alan Events Joy of Giving sweepstakes, happening throughout November!

 

*Sources: 

http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/the-health-benefits-of-yoga

http://www.self.com/fitness/2012/03/benefits-of-yoga-slideshow#slide=1

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/28/body-on-yoga_n_4109595.html

http://www.yogajournal.com/health/1634

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