Independence Blue Cross Presents Free Standing Yoga and Nutrition in the Garden Sessions

Starting August 15th at the PHS Pops Up Garden at 20th and Market Streets

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Independence Blue Cross (IBC) presents "Yoga and Nutrition in the Garden," a FREE healthy eating and yoga foundations class for the public that offers a break from the ordinary day – in the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's (PHS) Pops Up Garden at 20th and Market Streets. Sessions will be offered on three consecutive Mondays: August 15, 22, and 29 over lunchtime.

Members of the public are invited to enjoy the peaceful environment of the Pops Up Garden for a brief nutrition presentation and discussion beginning at 12:30 p.m., followed by a half-hour of standing yoga instruction, starting at 1 p.m. Together, these healthy education elements, part of the IBX Healthy Steps program, will provide soothing tranquility and wellness for the mind, body, and spirit.

The classes are free and open to participants of all fitness levels. Participants can experience the physical and mental health benefits associated with gentle yoga and learn simple and effective ways to achieve a smart diet with emphasis on fresh vegetables and herbs.

"Standing yoga can safely stretch your muscle groups and relieve stiffness, tension, and overall fatigue," said Dr. Richard Snyder, chief medical officer at IBC. "Yoga can also lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate, which can favorably impact the health of those with high blood pressure and heart disease. For many people, standing yoga offers anti-stress benefits as well, so it may be a great mid-day opportunity for center city Philadelphia workers, residents, or visitors."

The Pops Up Garden offers a great location to learn or practice standing yoga. Focusing on effective yoga breathing techniques as well as precise alignment, standing yoga poses can be done in the comfort of a home garden or just about any exercise space. Participants must be at least 18 years old, must sign a waiver upon arrival, and are advised to bring bottled water. Appropriate shoes and clothing must be worn and yoga mats are not required.

IBC's wellness experts will speak about optimal nutrition options and menu planning and will provide take-home recipe cards. Each of the three sessions will offer a different focus on nutrition topics. A table display of nutrition information, including exercise tips and healthy recipes using vegetables and herbs grown in the Pops Up Garden will be featured. Participants can also enter a drawing to win exclusive healthy living gifts.  

The Yoga and Nutrition in the Garden sessions are part of the IBX Healthy Steps program, focused on making incremental lifestyle changes that can have a lasting impact on health. In addition to Yoga and Nutrition in the Garden, IBC launched Get Out, Get Fit!, phase two of its IBX Healthy Steps social media campaign with a focus on practical fitness tips and fun ways to get physical activity. Through its sponsorship of the PHS Pops Up Garden, Independence Blue Cross remains dedicated to its mission of building healthier communities.  

All PHS Pops Up events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, weather permitting. Come one; come all, and bring a friend or coworker! Participants are advised to consult their physician before beginning new types of exercise.

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.1 million people. For 73 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. More information about Independence Blue Cross is available at

SOURCE Independence Blue Cross