All posts by Anne Cosgrove

Bring me sunshine and a smile

As the days draw in and the year end approaches, every sunny day is a bonus. I was inspired by Pam Grout’s blog last Friday to make the most of the sun and went for a walk in a local park. The photo on the right really doesn’t do it justice, though it does show how clear and blue the sky was. The ground was covered with water droplets that glowed in rainbow colours as the sun caught them. They looked like tiny fairy lights strung between the blades of grass but they just weren’t visible in any of the photos I took.

As I was reflecting on this, I was reminded of the Morecambe and Wise song “Bring me sunshine in your smile” which seemed to bring a smile to everyone when Susan Calman recently danced to it on “Strictly come dancing”. Smiling, apparently releases serotonin and I’m told that just the action of smiling, whether you feel like it or not, can lift your mood. “Strictly” often makes me smile. I’ll be watching a dance sequence and suddenly realise that I’m smiling. Dancing and music can bring such joy.

In a recent newsletter, Anne Jirsch suggested smiling at yourself in the mirror, smiling at everyone who crosses your path (even if they think you’re crazy) and sending a huge smile out to any area of the world that needs help. My grandmother used to say, “a smile costs nothing”.  She was right. Shall we give it a try this month?

And finally, a quick reminder that there are no Nia classes on Monday 13th November.

Have a great month.


Nia move of the month – Hand technique:
Webbed Spaces

If you want to strengthen your hands, wrists and fingers, this is one to practise. And it’s so simple: you just “yawn” with your hands. Spread your fingers, and sense the spaces between them. Extend your fingers and increase the space between them.

“Dance” your hands around you. What sensations do you notice? Tingling? Temperature changes? Can you “feel” the space in the palm of your hand too?

The faster version involves both hands chopping at the same time, keeping the wrists loose  – like a massage therapist working on tense tight muscles.

Here’s Laurie Bass to tell you more.


What I’m reading

Pam Grout: Have you claimed your gifts today?

What I’m watching

Can’t resist linking to this – it just makes me smile…


Dates for your diaryCalendar

Nia classes

No classes on 13 November 2017

More information on the Classes and Events page.


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Back to work & everyday dancing

After a few days away from home for a late summer break, I’m back to work this week and autumn has well and truly arrived. It was good to meet up with people I hadn’t seen for a while, and to have time to read, to draw and generally relax.

I went for a few long walks during my break. It’s a while since I’ve done that.  I’m used to walking from the car park into work, I’m on my feet all morning and I’m used to teaching Nia classes, but I’m out of the habit of walking for more than 20 minutes at a stretch.  And, I have to admit, for most of my week’s holiday, I was sitting down.  Getting back to teaching Nia classes yesterday, reminded me how much I love to move, how much my body needs to move and how it gets me out of my head.

It put me in mind of a talk I heard a while ago by Paula Byrne where she talks about how modern life means we sit more and move less. It’s both fascinating and amusing to see her lead the audience through a 3 minute movement workout with no steps to learn, no counting and no need to know left from right (a bit like Nia classes in a way). You can find a link to it below. I got distracted looking at her outfit. I love it. Any idea where I can find one like it?

Classes are back to normal from this week, but unfortunately, I’ve had to cancel the workshop planned for tomorrow, Wednesday 4 October 2017. For details of what’s on currently, please visit the Classes & Events page.

Have a great month.


Nia move of the month – Hand technique:
Chop Cut

This is a great move for releasing stress and for improving strength in your arms and shoulders.

You can do a slow version: hold the palm of your left hand up and in front of you and with the other arm, chop down with the side of your hand (like a karate chop). Don’t hit the palm of your hand – stop just as you get there. Repeat on the other side.

The faster version involves both hands chopping at the same time, keeping the wrists loose  – like a massage therapist working on tense tight muscles.


What I’m watching

Everyday dancing by Paula Byrne
Dancing is an act of trust – giving our bodies permission to speak up, to move any way they want. It’s an act of moving meditation, because our bodies are always in the present moment… and the present moment is where life is happening.


Dates for your diaryCalendar

Nia classes

  • The block of five classes that began at Keep Fit Darlington and at the Pioneering Care Centre on 18th September continues on 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd October.

Advance notice – Another Sparklicious Day Retreat

Saturday 6 January 2018 – a great way to leave the old year behind and step into the new. Details to follow. Check out Sparklicious Living’s website.


More information on the Classes and Events page.


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Ooh… there’s a chill in the air

Did you notice it? Already the mornings are feeling just a little colder and I noticed on my way to work on 31st August, that the leaves were beginning to change colour and fall. That chill in the air always makes me think of going back to school. Families are gearing up for the new school year, and many of us are thinking about new beginnings.

There are a few new beginnings for me too. Following a really busy summer in the day job, I am looking forward to a new block of Nia classes at Keep Fit Darlington and at the Pioneering Care Centre starting on 18th September. I’m maintaining the price at £25 for a block of five classes and £6 pay as you go for the rest of the year. I’ll remind regulars, but there will be no Nia classes on Monday, 25th September.

And a first Introduction to Nia workshop at a lovely new venue in Darlington. It’s on Wednesday 4 October. I’ll provide a bit of background about the concept, the format, what makes Nia unique and the benefits before doing a  taster class. Great for complete newcomers or anyone who just wants to delve deeper. Full details, as always on the Classes & Events page.

Finally, I had a bit of a surprise over the summer, when I was contacted by Helen Sanders of Health Ambition.  She had come across a post I did back in February where I mentioned gin-soaked raisins as a possible aid to arthritis pain relief. She had written on the same subject and included a great deal more research in her article! There’s a lot of interesting information on the website on a wide range of health-related topics.  Why not check it out?

Have a great month.


Nia move of the month – Hand technique:
Strikes

Imagine you are pushing someone out of your way. Use the heel of your hand, and stop before you fully extend your arm. Stop suddenly. Strikes help you move with precision and help develop quick reactions. You can even say “Stop!’. Out loud. Try it and feel your confidence increase as you practise. Or you can take it slowly and strike out in different directions. Let Laurie Bass tell you more:


What I’m listening to

A few months ago I discovered Hay House Radio. You may have heard of Hay House publishing or read about its founder Louise L Hay who wrote a book which has helped so many people: “You can Heal your Life“.  It was one of the first books I ever read on the powerful mind, body connection.
Since then, I’ve come across many Hay House authors and occasionally listen to Hay House Radio. Last Wednesday, I found myself listening for most of the afternoon and discovered that Louise Hay had passed away that same day, just weeks away from her 91st birthday.  You can read more about her and her amazing achievements on her website.

Dates for your diaryCalendar

Nia classes

  • Classes continue after the Bank Holiday at Keep Fit Darlington and the Pioneering Care Centre on Mondays.
  • A new block of five classes starts at both venues on Monday 18th September.
  • No classes at Bannatynes,  Keep Fit Darlington or the Pioneering Care Centre on 25th September.

The Body’s Way – step in and discover the Power of Nia
Introduction to Nia workshop, Wednesday 4 October, 3.45 – 5.15 p.m.
Pilates & Beyond, Darlington.

Events organised by The Healing Trust which may be of interest

  • “The Healing Intent” workshop with Matthew Manning, Patron of the Healing Trust, Newcastle Civic Centre, Saturday 23 September 2017
  • “Healing Circles”, Sunday 24 September 2017, Newcastle Civic Centre

More information on the Classes and Events page.

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Love what you do – then it doesn’t feel like work

One of the great things about having my own business is that I get do things I love. Meeting new people is only one of them, and through attending networking events I’ve met lots of amazing and interesting people doing everything from financial management to garden design, dog-walking to catering and everything in between.

Often I meet other people who, like me, are interested in holistic health and wellbeing and I get the chance to find out more about what they love to do, usually over a leisurely coffee (I love that too). At the beginning of July, at “Bubbles in Bishop“,  I met Debbie Barber who is bringing together information on all sorts of wellbeing-related topics on her website Wellbeing Unlimited. Her mission is “to positively impact the health and wellbeing of the world, one person at a time… [so that] you can be the happiest, healthiest version of you!”  And she’s a fantastic advert for what she does; she positively glows!

Debbie interviewed me about Nia a couple of weeks ago. You can read thNiae interview on her blog. She has very bravely undertaken a Body Transformation Challenge and is reporting on her progress on the blog too. Take a look; you’re sure to find something of interest.

My regular Nia classes have started up again after my summer break. A new block of five classes starts at Keep Fit Darlington and at the Pioneering Care Centre on Monday 7 August. Check out the dates on the Classes and Events page – there’s a Bank Holiday on 28 August and not all venues are open.

Have a great month!
Anne


Nia move of the month – Hand technique:
Hand Pumps

Squeeze and relax the palm and fingers of your hand (think Open and Close. It’s exactly what you’re asked to do if you’re giving blood!) Change the amount of tension you use as you squeeze and sense increasing relaxation as you release. this move is good for building power in the forearms, fingers and wrists and can be helpful for those with repetetive strain injuries. Watch it here.

What I’m watching

Some of you may remember me telling you about a version of the Nia routine “Passion” which was set to the music of U2. Well, here’s Marybeth Grinnan, the amazing Nia teacher who put the moves to the music talking about her passion for Nia.


Dates for your diaryCalendar

Nia classes
Regular Nia classes have started up again after my summer break. A new block of five classes starts at Keep Fit Darlington and at the Pioneering Care Centre on Monday 7 August.

No class at Keep Fit Darlington or the Pioneering Care Centre on 28 August.

Events organised by The Healing Trust which may be of interest

  • “The Healing Intent” workshop with Matthew Manning, Patron of the Healing Trust, Newcastle Civic Centre, Saturday 23 September 2017
  • “Healing Circles”, Sunday 24 September 2017, Newcastle Civic Centre

Full details on the Classes and Events page.

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Holidays, Nia Hand Moves and Summer Events

Holidays, Nia Hand Moves and Summer Events

What a great month June was. The taster at Heighington Fair was fun if rather wet and windswept – I’m very grateful to those who turned out in such wet weather to join me – and the “Loosen Up!” half day retreat was well-received. With a few tweaks, I’m ready to share it with a wider public. Get in touch if you’d be interested in attending or hosting something along those lines; we can have a chat about adapting it to suit you, your friends or your colleagues.

At the time of writing, I’ve just worked my last day in the day job before taking a  break. Those who have read my story will know that if it wasn’t for Nia and the simple hand and arm moves, I wouldn’t be able to do the job at all as it requires quite a lot of lifting and moving around. So this month, as we begin the Nia Hand techniques in the “Nia Move of the Month” slot below, I’m reminded of how much I have gained from learning and sharing Nia and other amazing movement techniques in the last six years.

I have a new respect for the wonder that is the human body, its ability to recover, repair and heal itself and the link between mind and body which never ceases to inspire me. I hope that what I’ve been doing has helped and inspired you even just a little.

I’m not only taking a break from my job, but also from Nia classes for a couple of weeks. You’ll find changes to the normal class schedule below and on the Classes and Events page.

I’ve also included details of:

  • The Sparklicious Summer Retreat day around the theme of “Being Brave”. It’s on 8 July. Contact Karen Hughes if you’re interested in joining her for the day.
  • Two exciting events in Newcastle organised by The Healing Trust – a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in healing.

Keep moving and I’ll see you next month!


Nia move of the month – Hand techniques: Fists

This is a great move for releasing stress or emotions, and for improving strength in, and toning your forearms. Fold your fingers, keep your thumb on the outside and shake your fist as if you’re shaking dice. Your fist is fairly relaxed.  You can see the move being used as part of the Nia routine “Soul” where you can see the contrast of strength in Fists and flexibility in one of the finger moves: Creepy Crawlies.
Watch Laurie Bass show how you can build in strength in the whole body and how you can incorporate the three planes of movement – low, middle and high.


Dates for your diaryCalendar

Nia classes 3-17 July 2017

  • Week beginning Monday, 3 July
    Bannatyne’s – no class
    Keep Fit Darlington – no class
    Pioneering Care Centre – Nia class at 6.30 p.m.
  • Week beginning Monday, 10 July
    No Nia classes
  • Week beginning Monday, 17 July
    Bannatyne’s – Nia class at 1 p.m.
    Keep Fit Darlington – Nia class at 2.30 p.m.
    Pioneering Care Centre – No Nia class

“Being Brave” Sparklicious Summer Retreat Day
Saturday 8 July 2017, The Yurt, Hardwick Park, Sedgefield.

Nia Taster session in the morning. Contact Karen Hughes if you’d like to take part in this summer retreat day in the beautiful setting of Hardwick Park. She has lots of amazing activities planned. More


Two events organised by The Healing Trust
  • “The Healing Intent” workshop with Matthew Manning, Patron of the Healing Trust, Saturday 23 September 2017
  • “Healing Circles”, Sunday 24 September 2017

Both events at Newcastle Civic Centre. More

 


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