Relax your way to less stress, better health

Try dancing,Reiki or yoga to calm down
By: Teresa O'Hanlon, Gold Country News Correspondent
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An old proverb cautions that worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. Sometimes stress comes on so strong that folks don’t think twice about eating a candy bar, zoning out in front of the television or even popping a pain pill. According to studies at the National Institutes of Health, finding a relaxation technique that helps reduce stress can decrease pain, reduce fatigue and increase motivation. For Dayna Wergedal, a Rocklin mom, graphic designer and fitness instructor, the recipe for relaxation is making the connection between the physical body and the spiritual being. A dance instructor and West Coast regional trainer for the internationally acclaimed Body and Soul Fitness program, Wergedal recently brought the holistic workout to Rocklin at Dance Elite on Sunset Boulevard. “Dance Blast provides a fun, dance-fitness workout for any fitness level,” shared Wergedal, adding that a dance background isn’t necessary to achieve the relaxation benefits of exercising. The goal behind the non-denominational fitness program is to help students from a wide variety of spiritual backgrounds build up their bodies inside and out with easy-to-learn routines in a supportive and safe atmosphere. “I love Body and Soul because it keeps me sane!” said Julie Ourada, a Rocklin resident who has enjoyed 18 years with the program. “Not only does it exercise my body, but it also exercises my soul. It is the only exercise program I have ever done that I look forward to going to.” Wergedal recommends Dance Blast as part of a healthy way to relax. “Moving your body is key, whether it’s walking or just doing some stretching exercises, but getting your heart rate up for 20 minutes is really important,” she explained. Fifth-generation Reiki master teacher and vibrational healing practitioner and instructor Kathleen Johnson of Rocklin has been practicing the holistic hands-on energy healing system for more than 20 years. “Reiki can help reduce stress levels by the transfer of energy from practitioner to patient to enhance the body’s natural ability to heal itself through the balance of energy,” said Johnson. “The thing I love about Reiki is that anyone can learn it and use it on themselves or their loved ones. As a bonus, when one is giving a Reiki treatment we are also receiving our own treatment automatically.” She invites people interested in learning more to attend her free Reiki Share at The Healing Arts Institute of Citrus Heights. Yoga instructor Susan Whitaker, who owns Canyon Spirit Yoga Center in Auburn, has seen how the ancient practice that combines breathing and relaxing with movement can create a healthy body and mind. She said the first step in truly relaxing is for folks to set aside time to take care of themselves. “Set aside five minutes twice a day and focus on your breathing,” Whitaker said. “Sit on the couch. You might even put a timer on and allow yourself to take slow breaths and you can count, breathing in for a count of 10, breathing out for a count of 10, and if you do fall asleep that’s probably a good thing because you’re exhausted.” ________ Know and Go California Center for Reiki Training Where: 6044 Little Rock Road, Rocklin Info: (916) 833-3529, www.californiacenter Body and Soul Fitness – Dance Blast Where: 2610 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1, Rocklin Info: dayna.werge, (916) 860-7028,