Yoga for Optimal Health
Yoga is a practice that yields many physical & mental health benefits. Pranayama is an ancient yoga breath technique that originates from yogic practices in India. It involves controlling your breath in different styles and lengths. It has more recently gained popularity in the western world because of the many health benefits that come from a pranayama practice. Utilizing these practices can help boost your immunity, physical fitness, health, and mental wellbeing.
Pranayama Breath For Boosting Immunity
Breathwork is an integral element of Pranayama and can be utilized to help boost the immune system along with other health benefits. Pranayama is beneficial as the exercises increase the intake of okygen into the blood, which improves lung function & efficiency. Stronger lungs help build resistence to sickness & infecti.
Deep breathing, alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Sodhana), and breath of fire (Kapalabhati) bring oxygenated blood to various organs throughout the body to ensure optimal function.
Boost Immune System Through Yoga
Inversion poses such as headstand, shoulder stand, and legs-up-the-wall help circulate lymph fluid through the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system filters toxins from the blood and transports immune cells throughout the body to fight off infection.
When you focus in meditation, you’re removed from the daily stresses that take a toll on your body and mind. This gives the body time to recover and enter a positive healing state. Studies have shown that meditation builds antibodies, the body’s natural defense against bacteria and viruses.
If weather permits, take your yoga practice outside and catch some UV rays. Vitamin D deficiency is a common cause of lowered immunity in northern climates that experience cold temperatures and shorter days during winter. Give your body a natural boost by doing a few sun salutations in the sunshine. Twenty minutes is all it takes.
Spice it up
Ayurvedic herbs and spices that stimulate blood flow and digestion include cardamom, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon. Sprinkle these on hot oatmeal or vegetables; or steep to make tea to keep the digestive system active and healthy throughout the winter.
Do the twist
Yoga poses that gently twist the spine and compress the belly, like Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Twist) or Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes) improve poor digestion that could otherwise cause toxins to build up in the digestive tract and lead to illness and infection.
Bring a friend to yoga
Holing up at home may seem like the best way to avoid illness. But research suggests that socializing and engaging in positive interactions with others is good for your immune system. So grab a friend next time you head to yoga class; and give your immune system the ultimate care package.
Phaedra Jill O'Connell
E-RYT 500, Director of Yogic Practices
“Yoga and movement are integral in my journey. Yoga has helped me process early trauma. As my focus moved from intellectual into physical and spiritual, yoga spread its wings through me. I spent hours talking philosophy with my father growing up and now I live that philosophy every day. Yoga has brought me into an integration with my spirit, experiencing union of mind body soul.”
Phaedra’s yoga journey began in 1987, while exploring dance, herbalism, homeopathy and the healing arts she discovered yoga from a book The Sivananda Companion to Yoga. The seed of healing herself that rooted there inspired her to earn her B.S. in Environmental Studies at Slippery Rock University in 1992, where the planetary healing concept of Gaia was revealed. Since then she has dedicated herself to the study and teaching of yoga and meditation. Phaedra learned from many yoga masters and influential teachers in the West–Shiva Rea Global Yogini, Marie Joseph Dudsic born at the foot of the Andes in France, and the India born yoga master T.K.V. Desikachar.
She was a young initiate into Kriya Yoga (Hariharinanda lineage) and Transcendental Meditation (Maharishi lineage), and is a Usui Reiki Master. Phaedra has 20 years experience as a yoga instructor. She instructed yoga and meditation classes at Clemson University for 6 years, rising to the position of senior instructor. She led trauma informed yoga at many Sunset Retreats for Project Odyssey; which is an outreach program within the Wounded Warrior Project. She now leads yoga classes, Paddleboard yoga, workshops and events at The Cliffs Club Services LLC. She is also on the Faculty at Foothills Dance Conservatory.
Phaedra earned her 200 RYT certification in 2013. In 2020 she completed a Bhakti yoga training in Varanasi, India with Shiva Rea which sparked the firekeeper inside to complete the 300 hour Teacher Training at Samudra Global School of Living Yoga. Her devotion to Self-Realization stems from a deep 3 year study of the Teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda through SRF. Phaedra also studies sanskrit, Vinyāsa and Bhakti yoga with Michael Johnson of Clearlight Yoga.
Other gifts include a magical Sound Healing training rooted in Celtic Shamanism with Anne Malone from the U.K. Her studies and teaching continue to blossom. She draws from these skills in her classes, blending her extraordinary expertise with a quiet patience and concern for each student. These qualities have sustained her passion and practice of Yoga as she has helped countless people on their journey toward healing.
The purpose of my teachings is to offer a way to find realization of the self through yoga and healing. The art of living in rhythm with nature and harnessing inner resiliency to life changes evolves from these teachings. The divine mission of opening hearts and sharing knowledge flows from my lineage of yoga gurus shines through me. I teach how to integrate the practices which nurtures healthy life choices.
In individual sessions I empathetically pinpoint regressive behavior patterns (samsaras), which can gently evolve into healthy habits. Self observations allow students to let go of familiar unhealthy patterns; replaced with simple ayurvedic daily rituals, yoga, meditation, sound healing and reiki. The well being of all my students remains at the forefront of my concern
“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Dr. Heather Kline Schaffer
Ph.D., M.Ed., NCC, LPC
Heather's presence is radiant as she wholly embraces individuals, as well as our community, by actively engaging patients in insight oriented reflections thoughtfully combined with the benefits of an Integrative Medical approach. She facilitates their deepening awareness through the process to help them in living their best lives.
She acknowledges over her fifteen years in practice, the thousands of evidenced based research studies now confirm an integration of the practices utilized for thousands of years in concert with state of the art modalities is our best opportunity to live our best life Recognized by a US Congressman for her outstanding work with Individuals & Families, inspiring & teaching integrative medicine, providing counseling, Self Care & Therapeutic Meditation, Tai Chi & Yoga in Public Healthcare Settings, the Corporate Sector & Private Practice as well as leading individual & group restorative retreats.
Supporting clients with a holistic approach utilizing the best practices of Functional & Integrative Medicine, she personalizes each treatment plan, working at the individuals pace to facilitate awareness, growth & inspiring healing!
She continues to learn & grow through her own daily practices while serving others and has attained her
Doctoral Diplomat of Integrative Medicine &
Optimal Health Practices,
National Board Certification as a Counselor,
is a member of the American Counseling Association,
Licensed Professional Counselor,
Founder & Integrative Medical Director of Fernview Center,
Clinical Director of Stress Management Center,
Certified & Studied in Trauma Resolution,
with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Harvard Trained Psychiatrist,
Student & Teacher in the practice of Unionizing the Body, Mind, & Spirit based on his teachings & writings of his work The Body Keeps the Score, She works individually and in small groups at the corporate level in teaching & training on unionizing the body & breath to engage the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system to heal trauma and embrace optimal health & wellbeing,
Her podcast series The Body & The Breath is available on Spotify, Podbean, and Online at The Art of Living well, & is utilized globally to help individuals live their healthiest lives both intrapersonally and interpresonally, She is a Certified Reiki Master, with Mission Hospital with Avril Wilson, Mary Regina Asriel and continues to practice with Dr. Makiko Suzuiki Fliss, three generational Reiki Master & graduate of Mt. Sinai as well as Meiji Univerity in Japan.
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist,
Yoga Certifications, Studies & Trainings with Aadil Palkhivala, Shiva Rea, John Baptiste, Angela Farmer & 'Shri Dharma Mittra,
Mindfulness Training with John Kabat-Zinn, PhD.,
Meditation Student & Practitioner in the Styles of Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, Tara Brach, Surya Das, & Paramahansa Yogananda
Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500,
Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider
She individualizes treatment goals with all clients to attain optimal results and achieve their highest potential. Her comprehensive, person-centered approach is ignited by her love for all people. Her background is treating individuals coping with trauma, chronic pain, & terminal illness has helped her evolve successful functional medicine & counseling.
Inspired through the process she whole heartedly embraces supporting individuals through life transitions & helping facilitate individuals, couples, families, and groups in discovering clarity through life changes.
Sthira Yoga For Balance
“Sthira" translates as strong, steady, and stable. Join us for an overall stretch and release of tensions, a perfect for mid-day relief, which allows the body & mind to relax, re-balance, and refocus. This is a time to release and renew as you clear out tensions. Allow yourself to be inspired as you gently attain a greater balance in your own physiology & psychology. No experience is necessary, just an open heart & mind.
Beginners to Advanced Will Enjoy!
Reduces symptoms of depression, restores sense of hope, elevates mood, rebalances autonomic nervous system, heightens ability to focus, improves attention span, and restores equilibrium in the body & mind.
12:15pm - 1:00pm Monday, Wednesday, & Friday
Pranayama & Yin Yoga
“Pranayama” is derived from the Sanskrit prana meaning “life force” and ayama meaning “control.” This practice of controlled breathing techniques creates a calm & clear state of mind which brings harmony to the body-mind. Yin Yoga emphasizes stretching the connective tissue, especially in the joints, by passively holding poses for long periods of time. Join us as we combine these elements into a relaxing, gentle class designed to release daily tensions.
Beginners to Advanced Will Enjoy!
Beneficial for alleviating anxiety & depressive symptoms, improving oxygenation & healing of body tissues, relieving muscle tension, chronic pain, and inflammation.
12:15pm - 12:45pm Tuesday & Thursday
Yoga Rasa Series
Commencing Tuesday January 17th, We will be offering 10 Sessions Monday Evenings in Person as well as Online through the artoflivingwell.online of Yoga Rasa. Please call the office at 864.225.0792 to make a payment or to register.
Please join us for this beautiful winter practice to balance our
Body, Mind, & Spirit.
With Phaedra O'Connell
Rasa is a beautiful sanskrit word describing a current feeling or bhava. This 3 month yoga journey invites you to feel inner freedom through a foundational practice of Namaskars. Sun and Moon Namaskars can ignite fire or invoke calm. This opens an awareness of what is needed in terms of emotional balance.
Once the basic Namaskars are embodied, our interests shift to inner awareness of the bhava or feelings behind yoga. We will study three of the nine rasas or emotions of yoga. In the Prana Flow Yoga style we will invite inner strength, openness and suppleness as a foundation. Our first foundational practice will be a classical sun salutation modified to a high energy (solar) or conserving energy (lunar) for all levels.
Our second foundational Namaskars are described as Prana Flow Namaskars. This includes three Dancing Warriors: heart opening, hip opening, side waist opening. Rhythmic Vinyasas are flowing ways to integrate classical movements. From Sun A and Sun B Namaskars we learn flowing Rhythmic Vinyasa A and Rhythmic Vinyasa B.
Third we will explore the Moon Salutations as a lunar practice. Rasa Vinyasa is much like dance because we are allowing our feelings to flow as a practice. The healing rasas of Vira~Courage, Shringhara~Love, Shanti~Peace are all pervading pathways from life into yoga practice. Starting with root emotions we will open freedom of movement and breath.
6:00pm - 7:00pm Tuesday
Commencing Tuesday January 17th, We will be offering a Warming Winter Series of 10 Sessions in the Practice of Yoga Rasa Tuesday Evenings in Person as well as Online through the artoflivingwell.online. Please call the office at 864.225.0792 to register for in person participation