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Moonflower Yoga Beckons Beginners With Variety, Smaller Class Size

By Pamela Sosnowski

A common misconception people have about yoga is that you must already be flexible and have a certain body type in order to reap the benefits of yoga. But as Nancy Weshkoff of Moonflower Yoga explains, that isn't the case at all. As the owner of the Bellmore-based studio, she's seen yoga practitioners of all ages from eight to 80 comes through her doors and leave feeling wonderful.

"The most important thing to remember is that yoga is not a competition," she said. "You do what you can for how you feel on the day you are practicing. All yoga poses can be modified, and we have an extensive supply of props such as blankets, bolsters, straps, and pillows to help you feel comfortable while moving."

Moonflower Yoga, launched in 2012, has several options to help ease total beginners into the ancient practice. There's Chair Yoga, which is ideal for seniors, those with limited mobility, or office workers who would like to learn stretches they can do during the workday. Beginner Yoga Fundamentals teaches all the basics and uses props for support while Gentle Yoga Stretch helps participants unwind at the end of the day. The beginner-level classes are available seven days a week.

In addition to the beginners' classes, the studio offers a variety of yoga variations to challenge any fitness level. The Yin and Restore class, for example, takes a more meditative approach to yoga and consists of poses that are held for a longer period of time (three to five minutes each) for a deeper stretch. Stretch and Tone, while still being suitable for beginners, puts an emphasis on toning muscles and building strength. No matter which class students choose, they will never share the space with more than seven other participants; this allows for a higher level of personal attention from instructors, keeping the feel of the classes on the semi-private side.

There are no membership fees or contracts at Moonflower Yoga, which is another way Weshkoff and her team keep the classes accessible to all. Individual yoga classes are $21 each and a variety of monthly class packages are available for repeat students.

Weshkoff knows first-hand how yoga can make a difference in one's life. During her many years working a stressful corporate job, yoga was the only thing that she says helped her remain calm and centered.

"When my life in corporate America ended, I decided to train to become a yoga teacher to share my love of yoga, and Moonflower Yoga was opened," she explained. "I wanted (the studio) to be a little different by offering semi-private yoga classes and focusing on ALL age groups including older Americans."

In addition to yoga classes, Weshkoff also organizes the Moonflower Yoga Book Club where people can gather to discuss books and enjoy home-baked goods, and the Moonflower Yoga Needle Arts Group which teaches knitting, crocheting, and quilting, and the Moonflower Yoga Mah Jongg Club where people learn to play Mah Jongg while having fun. The studio also hosts a variety of workshops and classes covering topics such as astrology, tarot cards, Reiki training, vegetarian cooking, and more. One of the studio's most popular events is their psychic medium readings, which usually sells out.

Moonflower Yoga will also travel to a workplace to teach a yoga class to a place of business, reducing stress and helping to build camaraderie among employees. For more information about the studio and any of its classes and workshops, visit http://www.moonfloweryoga.com.

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