Sharon Fennimore Rudyk, MA, E-RYT, RPYT, DONA Trained Birth Doula
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The Perfect Reasons to Work with Me
Crisis of Change
When all the signs point to a need for change—in relationship, in career, in lifestyle, in diet, in habit—any change, then turn to yoga sessions with Sharon. Change, even changes that are positive and that we know will create beauty and joy in our lives, creates stress. We find ourselves indecisive, procrastinating, hiding, unhappy and terribly afraid. We may be angry. Anger is especially prevalent when circumstances are requiring change that were not predicted or undesirable. Yoga provides calm in the storm and it is from this place of centered peace that we can make decisions, create a plan of action and allow a complex response that doesn’t feel scary or overwhelming.
Women’s Health, Fertility, Pregnancy and Beyond
Sharon uses the tools of yoga to help women learn about the unique powers of both predictable and unpredictable powers that they alone hold. She provides holistic guidance on physical practices, lifestyle, nutrition, visualization, breathing and meditation techniques that can help: support a healthy endocrine and hormone balance, regulate menstrual cycles, ease symptoms of PMS and menopause, optimize fertility, prepare for childbirth, heal from birth, strengthen bone, tone the body and explore the energetic patterns that support great health.
Living Outside the Body
Does your body betray you? Do you feel uncomfortable in your body? If you dislike your body, don’t understand your body, ignore your body or suffer in your body (pain, headaches, shoulder pain, back problems, weakness, generally feeling tight or inflexible…..), then yoga is a perfect way to start to connect who you are with the body that you have. Our culture asks us to ignore the pain or suggests that we dull the pain with medication and there are companies that will try to sell you special products (mattresses, chairs, shoes, heating pads, magic ointments and more!) that will bring you some kind of relief. The wonderful thing about yoga is that it teaches us that we already have the best tool we are ever going to have for our relief—-the body! Yes, the very same body that we think is the problem is also the solution!
Cancer and Other Life Changing Diagnosis
While my wish for you is that you never receive a diagnosis of cancer or another life changing diagnosis, I find that yoga supports healing in two different ways. First, yoga provides us with stress relief and helps us manage fears, anxiety and pain. There are specific exercises that can be done that have immediate benefits in these areas. Second, yoga works on an energetic and cellular level to support healing. This yoga involves work with relaxation, visualization, breathing and, as appropriate, gentle movements. Sessions can be conducted in your hospital room, at the studio or through SKYPE. If you need a recorded session that you can play at any time when you need it, Sharon is happy to prepare an MP3 recording of an individual session that is created uniquely for you.
- open to the transformative power of yoga and seek an intellectual approach to practices for mind, body and spirit that originate in healing and spiritual traditions from India, Tibet and China.
- ready to explore the tools of the human experience: sensation, movement, awareness, breath and relationship and how these can be used to find relief and well-being
- looking for profound peace and comfort while supporting the body in coming into a greater state of balance and health. It is in this state that we are better able to use our intuition and natural intelligence to make decisions, accept and create change.
Improve the Quality of Your Life
Stress manifests itself in different ways for everyone. Working with me, you will find both an immediate relief from tension, worry and stress and, over time, a substantial difference to the way that you manage and related to stress in your life. Stress is a natural part of life and cannot be avoided. We can choose how we relate to it and manage it. Finding a way to manage stress is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. Find greater joy in your life, prevent and heal from heart disease and learn to access and appreciate your intuition, creative spirit and purpose.
Poorly managed stress finds a way of calling attention to itself in the body through chronic pain, problems sleeping, digestive issues, headaches, back pain, weakness and a tight feeling across the body. Working with Sharon is a wonderful way to find open spaces, relieve these chronic physical complaints and strengthen and tone the body. Breathing practices both enhance nervous system processes and help with asthma, panic and anxiety. Stress has been implicated in infertility, cardiovascular disease (the no.1 killer of women in America) including diabetes, asthma and breathing problems, endocrine disorders, PMS, migraine, digestive problems such as IBS and more. Yoga and meditation help us to approach the body on an energetic level in order to receive incredible health benefits and relief from chronic health problems.
Yoga and meditation are sciences that provide us with specific tools for mental health and well-being. We know that brushing our teeth twice a day is important for oral health, but we tend to ignore mental hygiene. The science and medicine of yoga and meditation have been proven, for thousands of years, to provide evidence-based changes in the brain, endocrine and circulatory systems. While working with Sharon, you will learn techniques that you can use at any time and in any place to support mental and emotional health and well-being. Yoga philosophy teaches us the incredible benefits of compassion, awareness and approaching problems with equanimity. These are learned skills—the very skills you will learn while working with Sharon.
Yoga and meditation draw upon philosophical and spiritual systems and cosmologies that suggest we are all connected. This sense of connection provides relief and promotes well-being. You are not alone. If you are suffering, you are not the only one suffering this way. If you are in a state of bliss, you are connected to all living beings enjoying happiness at this very moment. Our American culture teaches us that we should be independent and self-reliant. Yoga and meditation help relieve us of the pressure of being alone in the world and we not only find a very real community of people to support us on our adventure, but we start to feel connected the the earth, our environment, to the movement of time and all living beings in a deep and meaningful way. Some might say that this adds a spiritual component to their practice, but what you call this sense of connection isn’t as important as how wonderful it makes you feel!
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Many people do not think about yoga as a form of therapy, but it is one of the top ten alternative healing modalities practiced in the United States (according to NIH) I faciliate yoga therapy for teens and adults of all ages, physical abilities and experience levels with the following specialties:
- optimum fertility
- assisted reproductive technology procedure support (IVF support)
- bone health
- pain management (arthritis, shoulder pain, chronic pain, painful periods)
- cesarean and surgical birth recovery
- depression, anxiety, fear
- menstrual education
- postpartum issues
- hormone balance, metabolism, weight management
- phone or in-person deep relaxation sessions
- gentle yoga
- anxiety, fear and mood
- pain management
- surgical recovery: rejuvenation, strengthening, flexibility, balance
- living with cancer
- older adults with arthritis
- chair yoga
- heart and circulation issues
- breathing problems
- fall prevention/balance
- injury prevention
Teens and Adults
- chronic headaches
- back and neck pain
- metabolism and weight
- painful periods
- menopause support
- injury recovery
- injury prevention for athletes
- depression and anxiety
- stress management
- family yoga sessions
- couple sessions
- birth preparation for couples
- parenting planning for couples
- postnatal family sessions
- mother/daughter sessions
- birthday parties, celebrations, remembering
What the Science Says About Yoga
Current research suggests that a carefully adapted set of yoga poses may reduce low-back pain and improve function. Other studies also suggest that practicing yoga (as well as other forms of regular exercise) might improve quality of life; reduce stress; lower heart rate and blood pressure; help relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia; and improve overall physical fitness, strength, and flexibility. But some research suggests yoga may not improve asthma, and studies looking at yoga and arthritis have had mixed results.
- One NCCAM-funded study of 90 people with chronic low-back pain found that participants who practiced Iyengar yoga had significantly less disability, pain, and depression after 6 months.
- In a 2011 study, also funded by NCCAM, researchers compared yoga with conventional stretching exercises or a self-care book in 228 adults with chronic low-back pain. The results showed that both yoga and stretching were more effective than a self-care book for improving function and reducing symptoms due to chronic low-back pain.
- Conclusions from another 2011 study of 313 adults with chronic or recurring low-back pain suggested that practicing yoga for 12 weeks resulted in better function than usual medical care.
Call Sharon for your FREE consultation or
to schedule your first session today!
I am a shape changer, healer, artist, scientist and teacher. I bring over 20-years of practice, research and teaching experience to our work together. I have one graduate degree in Chinese and East Asian Studies from the University of Pennyslvania and a second graduate degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. My academic work in Asian Studies, Public Health and Anthropology help inform my philosophy, training pedagogy and perspective on the current and historical use of mind-body therapies.
Most of my advanced yoga studies were with Jill Satterfield of Vajra Yoga and I continue to be inspired through Jill’s ingenuity and most kind and intelligent mentoring. My own style of yoga that draws upon Tibetan, Chinese and Indian yoga traditions and is infused with mindfulness and vipassana meditation techniques. I am honored to study in Pittsburgh with Bhante Pema of the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center, Mark Chandlee Taylor of the Center for MindBody Movement and Jan Mallak of Hearts and Hands Doula. I completed my DONA birth doula training with Jan Mallak in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
I am based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but am available to facilitate private sessions, coaching, trainings, workshops and other services long distance through SKYPE or Google Hang Out. As long as you have access to the internet, I can help you access these free communication tools so we can work together long distance.
Sharon offers instruction in yoga and meditation techniques including:
- physical postures (asana)
- breath work (pranayama)
- energy and chakra balancing
- meditation and moving meditation
- yoga therapy
- yoga teacher training for adults and prenatal and postnatal specialties
- mindfulness techniques for pregnancy, labor, birth and parenting
Instruction is provided in the following formats:
- Individual private sessions (for one or two adults): 50-minute sessions, in person, at my studio space
- Corporate sessions (for up to 30-students): 50-minute sessions at your office or other facility
- Phone/Skype sessions: 45-minute distance sessions
- Yoga Therapy: in your home, hospital or rehabilitation facility
For corporate yoga, private parties, events and other requests, please call Sharon for pricing (412) 855-5692. Individuals who wish to study with Sharon for teacher training, advanced study or for professional development should explore teacher training packages and call Sharon to schedule a phone session or private session to initiate the application process. The teacher training process is highly selective.
Wellness & Lifestyle Consultations
I provide wellness consultations for teens and adults that are looking for assistance with chronic health issues and feel that alternative and complementary medicine, yoga therapy, nutrition support and other lifestyle adjustments may be of assistance. I do not provide medical care, but I can provide:
- assistance in the creation of a wellness plan that includes suggested yoga, meditation, relaxation and lifestyle adjustments to support greater health and well-being
- referrals to doctors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, therapists, physical therapists and other care providers who can provide the medical care you need in a way that will work in a complementary way with your wellness plan
- techniques for making lifestyle changes in a manageable way that are likely to support great success
- use of meditation and mindfulness techniques for greater mind-body connection, reduced stress and access to intuition
- use of movement, yoga asana and breathing techniques to support health in the physical body and energetic body
- design of home yoga and meditation practices
- preparation of personal MP3 recordings and other wellness plan support
By being generous–not only with material things but also with your time, your energy,
your forgiveness, your willingness to be fair and
just with other people–you create a good world in which to live. ~Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Wondering what all those letters after Sharon’s name mean?
MA: Sharon has two graduate degrees! First, she studied Mandarin Chinese, Classical Chinese, Uighur, Chinese and Central Asian Art and Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Then, she studied Cultural and Medical Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center, Columbia and NYU ultimately earning a second graduate degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. Yes, that IS a lot of school!
E-RYT: Sharon is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E for Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher.
RPYT: Sharon is registered with Yoga Alliance as a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher
DONA Trained Birth Doula: Sharon completed a DONA certified training course to be a birth doula
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