"...Door County's first Yoga Studio located north of Jacksonport."

Category: News

Peninsula Pulse Features Junction Center’s Restorative Yoga

Aleah Kidd, reporting for the Peninsula Pulse, dropped in for a class to get a feel for what restorative yoga is.

“I found a balanced blend of inner focus work – breathing and quieting the mind – and basic yoga movements that focus on alignment, flexibility and balance. Throughout the class, the primary intention is to stay present and practice one of yoga’s core principles: unifying the mind and body.”


In her session, she says, “four men and eight women attended, which is a standard group size for most classes. Ages ranged from those in their 60s to those in their 80s. According to Navis, men have become more frequent practitioners at the studio after word got out that practicing members were seeing improved performance in their golf game.”

CLICK to READ the full feature article… 

Junction Center Yoga & Zen, Completes 15-year Anniversary!

“It has now been more than 15 years ago that I was practicing yoga with a group that met in the basement of Melissa Nelson’s former chiropractic office in Sturgeon Bay.” – Kathy Navis


I didn’t intend to become a yoga teacher, but when the instructor who had been commuting from Green Bay decided to stop coming, the group was left without a leader. They asked me if I would take on the role, so I proceeded to get my yoga teacher certification, but still had no intention of opening my own studio or to teach more than a couple of classes. So much has come to pass in what feels like the blink of an eye…

In July of 2001, I began working with a local carpenter to turn the former blacksmith shop that was attached to the barn into a yoga studio. We added skylights, patio doors and a large picture window looking out over the meadow in the back. The floor was a concrete slab which I was determined to turn into a heated floor. I did the research online and spoke with contractor friends to come up with a plan… one that unfortunately included hauling all of the concrete in 5-gallon buckets to create a greater mass for the heating system. I called some friends including Wence Martinez and his son, to help create a day-long bucket brigade.

On September 11, 2016, we celebrated our 15-year anniversary.

Much has transpired over the past fifteen years and now Junction Center Yoga Studio is a mainstay, with regular classes for all levels of practitioners. Yoga has also transformed here in Door County with the general public coming to realize that practicing yoga is one of the most enjoyable forms of preventive medicine you can undertake.

Celebrate the Gratitude Tree at JCY&Z!

It all started with the Door County Maritime Museum’s “Merry-Time Festival of Trees.”

gratitude-treePeg Lowry, owner and manager at the Blue Dolphin House in Ephraim, was one of the many local businesses and organizations that created a unique Christmas tree donation.


She decided to fashion a Gratitude Tree, adorned with tiny bundles of thankfulness notes. Every tree went home with a lucky winner on December 10 at the museum’s “Jingle, Jingle, Mix & Mingle” raffle! Nancy Erickkson, a regular Junction Center yoga practitioner, also works at the Blue Dolphin and attended the museum festivities. When she won the tree, she decided it belonged at Junction Center…  (Thanks so much Nancy!)

You are encouraged to bring non-perishable food or personal care items to Junction Center as a donation to Lakeshore CAP (Community Action Program). The CAP’s motto, “Increasing economic self-sufficiency in Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties,” is reflected in their programs to educate families, protect youth, secure shelter, deliver skills training, promote entrepreneurship and to provide food for the needy throughout northeastern Wisconsin. Your contribution will be delivered to Door County’s CAP located at 131 S. 3rd Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.


The Gratitude Tree has a pair of scissors hanging from one of the branches and a card that explains, “In return, please take with you one of the little polka dot bags filled with notes of appreciation and pass them on to others to whom you are grateful! May the spirit of Gratitude remain with you!”

Each of the cards in the packets has a different saying about gratitude and a place to write 3 reasons why you are grateful to the specific individuals that you choose give a card to. So, plan on sharing the joy next time you visit Junction Center Yoga Studio and have a Merry Holiday Season!


Current Articles About Yoga

The New York Times has a special ongoing section dedicated to the current news about yoga. One recent article includes a slideshow with a preview…

“For some yoga practitioners, the body is a sacred vessel that should not be tainted. For others, the skin represents a blank, movable canvas for tattoos displaying thoughts, texts and deities that inspire and inform their practice. These works of art, stretched across shoulders, chests, arms and legs, may be tucked away during the workday. But when clothing comes off, as it often does in yoga studios, they are on display for all to see.”

Here are a few more fresh articles from the New York Times yoga section:

The Sky’s the Limit as More Yogis Seek Open Spaces

Outdoor yoga, once mostly confined to resorts, is spreading in the New York area to rooftops, parks and beaches.

Yoga Therapy May Help Prevent and Treat Orthopedic Problems

It pays to know about methods of prevention and treatment for orthopedic problems that are low-cost and rely almost entirely on self-care.

Yoga as a Stress Reliever in Infertility?

In recent years, “yoga for fertility” classes have become increasingly popular.

Sri Lankan MP’s Take up Yoga, the Africa Yoga Project, India seeks to patent 1,000 asanas and frees prisoners for studying Yoga

The BBC’s Charles Haviland reports, “Sri Lankan members of parliament are to be offered yoga sessions at work, starting next month.”

“With peace in Sri Lanka, the most stressed-out people are now the politicians,” said the instructor in charge, Chamin Warnakula.

His yoga organization has produced a leaflet headed “Yoga for MPs – For Mind, Body and Soul”.

Breathing and posture exercises will “teach them discipline, good behaviour, and how to control themselves in stressful situations”, he said.

“MPs get very stressed and they’re not in a position to do other exercise,” said his pupil, Sanjeewa Perera.

Film actress and Sri Lankan MP Malani Fonseka

The sessions will be held before parliamentary sessions begin in hopes of deescalating tension. The BBC reports that film actress and MP Malani Fonseka introduced the idea of yoga sessions for Members of Parliament noting that, “if the lawmakers concentrated intently on what their bodies were doing, it would bring calmness to their minds, giving them a break from stress factors and helping them put things in perspective.”

“We hope at least that by doing yoga they can learn to respect democracy and be more disciplined,” said Sri Lankan Parliament member Ranjan Ramanayake,.

On other pages, the BBC reports that, The Indian government is planning to patent nearly a thousand yoga postures. Western companies are claiming the rights to certain asanas, driving India to protect their cultural heritage in defense of everyone’s rights to practice yoga. Click to read and listen… Can you patent yoga postures?

Yoga is spreading across Kenya, where thanks to the Africa Yoga Project, a non-profit organization, the classes are free to even the poorest communities. Read the entire BBC feature… Stretching the bodies and minds of Kenyans.

Indian authorities in the state of Madhya Pradesh say that Yoga helps to improve prisoners’ self-control and reduce aggression so they are being freed early if they complete yoga courses. For every three months spent practicing Yoga posture, balance and breathing the inmates can cut their jail time by 15 days. Read and watch this BBC feature to learn more… India inmates take yoga to reduce their jail sentences.

Searching Yoga Journal Archives for Asanas and Pranayama to Support Your Immune System

Arm yourself against this year’s bug with a gentle asana practice.
By Angela Pirisi

Ask a dozen sniffling, sneezing people to talk about the bug they’ve caught, and you’ll likely discover a pattern. Chances are good that before they came down with the cold or flu, they were working long hours, eating on-the-go, getting little sleep, operating at full-speed ahead. While not always the case, many people report that these winter afflictions creep up on them in times of stress, when they’re pushing themselves too hard.

More and more, it seems that science backs up this observation. According to William Mitchell, N.D., a Seattle-based practitioner who teaches advanced naturopathic therapeutics at Bastyr University, studies show that many viruses and bacteria quietly reside within us until something within the body’s internal environment becomes unbalanced. Then they rally into action and attack.

As many longtime yogis can attest, asana practice provides a gentle, natural means of supporting the immune system on a day-to-day basis—no matter how hectic your schedule might be. Yoga helps lower stress hormones that compromise the immune system, while also conditioning the lungs and respiratory tract, stimulating the lymphatic system to oust toxins from the body, and bringing oxygenated blood to the various organs to ensure their optimal function.

“Yoga is unlike other forms of exercise that focus only on certain parts of the body,” says Kathleen Fry, M.D., president of the American Holistic Medicine Association in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Yoga works on everything.”

, from Wikimedia Commons”]By http://theholisticcare.com [CC-BY-3.0], from Wikimedia CommonsMitchell, who teaches Paramukta Yoga (Yoga of Supreme Freedom), points to a number of poses that can help a practitioner get through a winter cold.

  • Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose) supports the thymus.
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) encourages blood flow to the sinuses—although Mitchell adds that most inverted postures or forward bends will focus the immune system on the sinuses, ultimately helping to ease congestion.

These particular types of poses also work to prevent the complications of secondary infections by draining the lungs.

If bronchial congestion has you gasping for air, Mitchell suggests you practice:

  • Ustrasana (Camel Pose),
  • Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose), and
  • Balasana (Child’s Pose) with arms extended in front, moving into
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) to open the chest and prevent pneumonia.

Should you come down with the flu, however, it’s best not to practice yoga at all, since the condition requires absolute rest. The one exception to this rule, according to Alice Claggett and Elandra Kirsten Meredith in their book Yoga for Health and Healing: From the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan (1995), is in the case of fever. Sitting in Sukhasana (Easy Pose), with the backs or sides of the hands resting on the knees, thumb and index finger touching in gyan (or jnana) mudra and breathing through a U-shaped tongue for a minimum of three minutes will help reduce a temperature.

It seems reasonable to focus preventive measures on the areas of the body that fall directly under siege: namely, the nasal and bronchial passages. But the yoga tradition also suggests that colds and flu result from poor digestion or an energy imbalance originating in the digestive tract, which results in a build-up of mucus and phlegm that moves into the lungs. The theory, suggests Gary Kraftsow, a Viniyoga teacher based in Maui, Hawaii, is that improper digestion causes toxin build-up, which in turn manifests as disease anywhere in the body. Poses that gently compress, twist, or extend the belly can help a host of digestive ailments.

Pranayama Power

While the asanas make up the cornerstone of infection prevention, yoga’s benefits don’t stop there. Since both colds and flu attack the bronchial passages, it makes sense that conditioning the lungs and maximizing one’s breathing capacity through pranayama would build resistance to preying organisms.

Kraftsow, in his recent book Yoga for Wellness (Penguin, 1999), explains that cold and flu infections, allergies, asthma, and other chronic respiratory conditions are “directly linked to a weakened immune response” due to “disturbed, irregular habits of breathing.”

Drs. Robin Monro, R. Nagarathna, and H.R. Nagendra, authors of Yoga for Common Ailments (Fireside, 1991), also emphasize breathing exercises. Sectional breathing and rapid abdominal breathing (Kapalabhati) “increase the resistance of your respiratory tract,” they advise, while the nasal wash and alternate-nostril breathing “increase the resistance of your sinuses.”

Recent findings from a Penn State University study involving 294 college students support this. Those who irrigated daily with saline experienced a significant reduction in colds.

Finally, meditation also reduces the incidence of infectious ailments by de-stressing the body and mind. Ample research has shown that just 20 minutes of meditation a day increases endorphins, decreases cortisol levels, and fosters positive states of mind to promote better health.

So how does one begin an immune-boosting yoga program? Rest assured that whatever your current yoga practice entails, it already strengthens your resistance.

But if you want to take extra steps to avoid infection, take this advice from Richard Rosen, frequent Yoga Journal contributor and instructor at Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, California. He explains that modified versions of forward bends, backbends, and twists can all lend a hand in supporting and strengthening the immune system. Practice the sequence regularly throughout the winter to better your chances of staying healthy. And if you do succumb to illness, you’ll find these poses provide just the R & R you need to get better.

Striking a Pose For the Safe and Gentle Sport of Yoga, How Mainstream Media Agrees

The Grim Facts Department reports that  more than 50,000 people wind up their exercise routines in the emergency room every year because of mishaps on gym equipment, according to numbers from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Worse yet, more than 17 million Americans are treated for sports-related injuries each year, including 3 . 5 million children under the age of 14.

Class in session at Junction Center Yoga Studio

Class in session at Junction Center Yoga Studio

While we at Junction Center Yoga Studio encourage you to maintain a focus on the bright side of life, it’s sometimes valuable to reflect of why yoga is such an important lifetime “sport” – one that should be taught in schools and practiced throughout life for optimal health and well-being.

It certainly appears that many more people including the mainstream media agree. On Point Radio recently featured Strike a Pose For Yoga that explains, “Yoga in America. How downward dogs and crow poses went mainstream.”

The New York Times recently featured When Chocolate and Chakras Collide.

“The words of Ziggy Marley’s ‘Love Is My Religion’ float over 30 people lying on yoga mats in a steamy, dim loft above Madison Avenue on Friday. All had signed up for a strange new hybrid of physical activity: first an hour of vigorous, sweaty yoga, then a multicourse dinner of pasta, red wine and chocolate…”

The fact that more peoiple are discovering the long-term benefits of paying attention to you physical and mental flexibilityis an encouraging sifn of the times. We hope that you are among them! And if not… Join us in the next Beginner’s 6-week series to learn more. The hardest part of change is often just taking that first step.