Top: Twilight Yoga at Rockport State Recreation Area Middle: Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga at Mich-E-Ke-Wis Park
We’ve become a society of
chest breathers. Forever fighting
the clock. Packing a calendar
date to the brim with meetings,
work obligations, kid’s activities,
and appointments. We know
that life lived in a rush is never
a good long-term plan. But we
get caught up and before long
the days have turned into years
and the constant state of “fight
or flight” stress has caught our
breath in our chest and given us
the lifestyle ailments to prove it.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol,
headaches, heart trouble,
and the list grows each year.
It’s something so simple we don’t
even think about it anymore.
Breathing in. Breathing out. We
let our brain handle it. But when
our brains are focused on work,
family commitments, and everything
else that takes up residence
in our thoughts as we try to sleep
at night, our breathing is relegated
to the most basic autopilot
function available. This results
in quick, incomplete breaths that
don’t fill up the entire lung cavity,
leading to fight or flight breathing.
This fight or flight, short hurried
breath, raises cortisol levels
leading to poor stress management
and lifestyle ailments.
Expand your abdomen as
you inhale. Count to 4.
Slow your exhale.
Reach your arms overhead,
breath in the fresh breeze off
Lake Huron. Lower your arms
to your sides. Feel the warm
sand under your fingertips. The
sunrise is beginning to heat up.
You can feel it on your face.
A flock of birds take off from the
water. Their wings create a velvet
symphonic hum reflecting off the
surface. You smile, knowing that
you are exactly where you need
of the Great Lakes.
Science supports medical research
proving that time spent
in nature has the ability to lower
blood pressure as effectively as
prescription medication. The
practice of Shin-rin Yoku, or
forest bathing, has been a staple
of medical treatment for many
Asian cultures and has recently
become a legitimate method of
improving health and wellbeing
in the western world.
While the Alpena area is known
for relaxed adventures and the
experiences that await on more
Vibes in the Sanctuary
of the Great Lakes
Yoga warrior pose at the beach;
Courtesy Amy Schultz
16 Sanctuary of the Great Lakes