Blog Archive

Find free parking in the lower lot on 14th street next to Table Mountain Inn, or on the street, or in the large parking lot one block away at miner’s alley and 13th street behind the Foss building.  There is also an underutilized, free parking garage at Jackson Street and 12th Street.
Click here for a map
Through the winter we’ll have free hot tea most days that the store is open. If you arrive early or want to sit for a few minutes after class, come in and enjoy our community room. There are also 2 more restrooms in the clinic if you need to change your clothes before or after class.

Save the Date For Workshops
The workshop schedule is taking shape.Save these dates:
Sign up on line  or come in.
Saturday November 22, Prenatal workshop
$25 in advance/$30 at the door
With: Katie Todd

The prenatal workshop will take a look at the benefits of yoga during pregnancy and postures to aid common discomforts.  Modifications of yoga postures will be taught and discussed.  Students will learn about precautions that should be taken while practicing yoga as well as what poses to avoid.  This class will give you a chance to connect with other pregnant moms and learn some great “tips and tricks” for pregnancy, child birth, breastfeeding and postnatal care.  We will also touch on breathing techniques and yoga poses that can be beneficial during labor.   The workshop will include an asana practice that is safe for all stages of pregnancy and will help build strength, stamina and stability.

Saturday December 6, Winter Soltice Exploration-Celebration!
$50 in advance/$65 at the door
With: Jen McCarron

FULL Yin & Vinyasa Yoga practice, Guided Meditation and Journaling time to set
intentions for the coming year.

Saturday December 13, Foundations
$25 in advance/$30 at the door
With: Kimball Cicciu
Beginning students and experienced practitioners of yoga will all benefit from exploring the foundations of the practice. The foundation of the pose is the most important part of performing the pose technically correct so as to avoid injury and to get the most out of the position. The foundation is completely unsupported and the balance of the pose is lost if the core is not strong. We’ll explore how core strength is vital to strengthening the foundation and helping us find balance. Without the engagement of breath, the foundations are still not met. The breath will guide the practice for a fun filled 2 hours.

Saturday December 20, Turning Upside Down
$25 in advance/$30 at the door
Brittany Plaven
We all know that finding your balance when you’re upright can be tricky, but it’s an entirely different ball game when your whole perspective and body is upside down. Consequently, inversions can be daunting and it can be difficult to know where to start.

This workshop will give you the guidance and confidence to challenge yourself and give you tools to take back into class with you. We will begin the workshop with a yoga flow focusing on core strength, balance, wrist/shoulder/back opening. We will then start with some basic inversions and variations including crow (and side crow), fire fly, 8 angle pose and more. We will continue onto headstand, forearm balance, and handstand; breaking everything down step by step and doing exercises to stretch/strengthen necessary musculature.

Join Britt, yogi and professional circus artist, and deepen your inversion practice.

Join PranaTonic at
The Golden Women in Business Expo!
Thursday Nov 6th from 4-8PM.

Food from Bob’s Atomic Burgers
Beer from AC Golden
Music in the Park demonstrations
Art on the Brix leads an art activity

Please come support us at this fun event where we get a chance to show our community what we do! You know many of the 270 women in the Golden Women and Business professional group – they are your friends and colleagues, and we all come together like this only a couple times a year!

The group is evolving to include a few men owned businesses that will be joining us this year! We want all of Golden represented.

One thing that makes PranaTonic Yoga so special is our excellent teaching staff!
This month we are featuring yoga teacher Jen McCarron

“I have been practicing yoga since 2004 and teaching since 2006.  I prefer a gentle, flow centered and non-competitive approach to the practice.  My own biggest challenge is practicing SANTOSHA –  to be as you are and gain supreme joy; that’s why I make it the focus of my classes! I utilize flow, mantra, and music to inspire me daily. My favorite things are hiking with my husband and dog (Shanti), dancing, the ocean, and the summertime.” Jen

What others are saying about Jen’s classes

“Jen, thank you for sharing yourself with us. Your classes flow so smoothly. They challenge me at a pace that allows me to connect to my breath with ease.”  Namaste, Kimball

“That was our first class in years and it was excellent. We will definitely be coming back”, K.R.

“I liked Jen’s class and style — very engaging and individualized. She asked me about myself and incorporated my requests in her own way. I’ll be back- hopefully with a friend!”, C.P.

A shout out to all of our excellent teaching staff!
Thank you for joining PranaTonic to create a new yoga community in Golden!

Allegra Wermuth Kimball Cicciu
Brittany Plaven Laura Beer
Caitlyn Marino Lindsay Gonzalez
Claire Le Lait Nikki Sutton
Gretchen Roberts Rae Lyon
Jackie Salzillo Sarah Louisignau
Jen McCarron Tiffany Shocklee
Katie Todd Toby Nitschke


What is PranaTonic?
By Kimball Cicciu, L.Ac.
Prana = Qi = Life
Tonic = Invigorating
The word Prana is loosely translated as “life force” and is another word for Qi. This is the abundant energy that our bodies are not only composed of, but that which allows them to function. It is the force behind the beating heart, the magnificence behind the development of cells and what courses the blood through its vessels. Without Prana, life would not be. With an insufficient quantity or quality of Prana, our bodies functions are impaired resulting in pain and disease.
A tonic is a medicinal substance that provides vigor and well-being. We all know that feeling good involves more than just being free of disease. Mental clarity, emotional stability, physical vigor and spiritual peace are all important ingredients of well-being. We support healthy living with Acupuncture, Massage, Herbal Care, Nutrition Therapy, Yoga Instruction, and Fitness Training. In addition we have an extensive herbal apothecary with both Chinese and Western herbs that you can select yourself or consult with one of our practitioners for appropriate recommendations. Some of the many health conditions that we treat naturally include infertility, pain, sports injury, overuse injury, digestive problems, PMS, hot flashes, endometriosis, neurasthenia, insomnia, migraines and mood swings. Healthy living requires a healthy lifestyle. Our store includes many products to support such a lifestyle including yoga and meditation supplies, natural skin care, books, CDs and DVDs, nutrition supplements, fitness supplies and therapy tools. Our wide variety of natural products and services support every aspect of your well-being. As a community resource for all things healthy, if you need a natural product and we don’t already have it, let us know and we will do our best to meet your needs. Our comfortable healing environment and caring staff provide for a stress-free experience from beginning to end.
How Many Acupuncture Sessions Will It Take?
By Kimball Cicciu, L. Ac.
This is a very common question for anyone looking to turn to alternative holistic therapies. The answer is, however, a little complex. There are many factors involved with the progress one makes with acupuncture and herbal medicine. Before answering, I would ask several pertinent questions.
How old is the patient?
How long has the condition been going on?
What lifestyle habits might interfere with progress?
How motivated is the patient to make changes?
How frequently can he/she come in for treatment?
Does this person want relief care or corrective care?
Honestly I think that if you are a healthy individual with minimal to no health symptoms you should get acupuncture 1-2 times a month. The value of acupuncture for prevention can’t be understated.

If you are being treated (or desire to be treated) for a particular health condition, results can vary widely. Here’s the gist. After the initial treatment, you will probably notice some benefits, even if it’s not the benefits you expected. You may feel less irritable, more energetic, a reduction in pain or a whole host of other improvements in your health. If you wait too long to get your next treatment, those results may wear off as you go back to your normal routine and habits. However, if you get your next treatment relatively quickly (how quickly depends on your body and your condition), you’ll accumulate greater relief from the acupuncture. Each successive treatment piles on the initial treatments to accelerate the results. Come back soon, accumulate the benefits. Wait too long, regress in your progress. It’s that simple.

Don’t fret though. You won’t have to come back so frequently forever. If you stick with regular sessions for a short while, you’ll be able to spread out your treatments pretty quickly. Soon you’ll be symptom free and on a maintenance plan as described above. Of course the relief of being symptom free can be deceptive, but don’t stop just when the symptoms go away, or you could end up regressing again. Correct the underlying problems by continuing your maintenance plan. How quickly you can get on your maintenance plan is partly up to you. Be willing to make good lifestyle choices, change some of your habits that got you where you are, and take the appropriate herbs as recommended. Your health will rapidly improve and you’ll feel GREAT!

How Diet and Lifestyle Can Effect Hormones

By Erin Jorgenson, CNT
Both excesses and deficiencies of hormones can lead to illness. This is because hormonal imbalances can lead to regeneration problems. These regeneration problems can lead to accelerated metabolic aging, degenerative disease and premature death. Poor diet, such as high intake of sugar, carbohydrates, caffeine, and alcohol; and lifestyle choices such as drug use, over and under exercising, too much stress, and too little sleep will use up your biochemicals faster than you can replace them- leading to hormonal imbalance. These imbalances will not only cause many unpleasant symptoms but, over time, will also lead to the degenerative diseases of aging.
Adrenaline, cortisol and insulin (described below) are all major hormones that are necessary for proper function. Having either high or low levels of any of them can cause  symptoms. Thyroid disorders, insulin resistance, Type II diabetes, weight gain (especially  around the midsection), anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, stroke, allergies, headaches, severe bone loss, high and low blood sugar, and plaque build up in the arteries are all consequences of unbalanced hormones.
How to Rebalance Your Hormones:
All of your biochemicals- your neurotransmitters, enzymes, hormones,cells, bones, muscles, glycogen and fats- are made out of food nutrients. Your body uses food to regenerate itself. Therefore the best way to rebalance your hormones is to feed your body high quality nutrients that it can use to rebuild and repair. This includes adequate protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals from vegetables and real carbohydrates such as legumes, whole grains, fruit and starchy vegetables instead of sugar and processed  grains. Avoiding toxins such as caffeine, alcohol and drugs is also necessary, as is getting adequate exercise, but not too much. In severe imbalances, sometimes hormone replacement therapy is necessary.
About the Hormones:
Cortisol functions to maintain blood pressure; help the liver store glycogen and prevent hypoglycemia; directs cells to break proteins to be converted into sugar by the liver to  maintain blood sugar; and controls inflammation.
Adrenaline is best known as the fight or flight hormone. It is also helps your body access all the biochemicals it needs to think, move, eat, and breathe. Adrenaline keeps your heart beating, however Too much can cause disease.
Insulin keeps your body from using too many biochemicals and helps you rebuild all your functional, structural and energy biochemicals. Low insulin causes you to “eat yourself up” and high insulin increases disease risk.

It is not just about willpower

Changing your diet is not always easy. Here are some things to expect, and how to handle them.

By Erin Jorgenson, CNT

How many times have you started a new diet only to succumb to the intense cravings for the foods you are trying to avoid? Bingeing on “forbidden” food while dieting is part of the reason restrictive diets fail. There are three major biological reasons for cravings, addiction/ allergy, discharge of toxins and imbalance of symptoms. Understanding these will help you get through the tough times. Some foods have addictive qualities and symptoms of withdrawal can occur when eliminating them from your diet. Although these symptoms are unpleasant, please know that they are temporary, and you will get through it and feel healthier on the other side. Headaches, irritability, fatigue, and depression. If eating a cookie or drinking a cup of coffee clears up your symptoms, you may be suffering from an addiction. The good news is the physical addiction symptoms will disappear in 3-4 days, so just stay strong. The bad news is, the addiction can return if even a little of the substance is introduced, so tread lightly. While in an addiction the offending food eliminates the symptoms, the opposite is true in an allergy situation. Many times, however, an allergy remains unknown because the body, ironically, craves the substance that is making you sick.

The body also craves certain foods while it is detoxing. Toxic elements circulate the blood stream, triggering cravings of themselves. This will pass.

Eating foods such as refined sugar and processed foods displaces whole foods in the diet, creating imbalances. Knowing which foods to use to correct these imbalances will calm your cravings and restore your health.

To diminish sugar cravings completely eliminate sugar and eat more whole grains, cooked fruit and baked yams and less meat, salt and diary. To diminish cravings for salt add more seaweed, black beans and vegetables and fewer sweets, fats, alcohol and grains.

Astragalus, Huang Qi

By Kimball Cicciu, L.Ac.

This is the season that so many people seem to be getting sick. Isn’t it interesting that not everyone who is exposed to a bacteria or virus gets sick? Catching a cold or contracting the flu can be avoided by keeping your immune system strong, getting enough of rest, eating well, and drinking plenty of water.

How does one keep the immune system strong? Astragalus (Huang Qi) is a Chinese Herb that can be a big help. Studies show that Astragalus lowers the risk of infection, shortens the duration of infection, prevents respiratory tract infection, reduces rhinitis (inflammation due to allergies), improves asthma, cough, and quality of sleep, increases energy and appetite and so much more. Even for cancer patients, Astragalus was found to be a potent immune stimulant.

According to Chinese Medicine, practitioners would choose this herb to benefit the lung and spleen. The main function of the spleen is to produce white blood cells, your greatest defense against microforms such as bacteria or influenza.

Astragalus is known to increase energy, treat prolapse or spontaneous sweating and reduce edema. It can also be used topically or internally for non-healing sores.

Visit our store to see our entire selection of herbs.