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 the 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!
Nia move of the month – Hand technique:
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 diary
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
Having just seen a recent photo of me on Facebook, a friend commented that I just keep looking younger. If the items below are to be believed it must be because I dance often, am always on the move and I love Brussels sprouts! As you’ll see, the emerging theme of this month’s blog seems to be: keep moving to stay young at heart and fit and healthy in mind and body.
So here’s where you’ll find me moving in May. If you’re able to join me for some Nia classes this month, then a new block of 5 classes begins on Monday 8th May at Keep Fit Darlington at 2.30 p.m. and at the Pioneering Care Centre at 6.30 p.m. It would be great to see you!
I’m looking forward to the Day of Dance in Saltaire on 13th May because I get to go to a Nia class with Lynette McFadden who will be leading a workshop there. It will be such a joy to join in as a participant! I’ll be rounding off the day with an Irish Set Dance workshop (Irish Set Dance is why I started doing Nia in the first place – to stay fit enough to continue).
And finally, a lot closer to home, I’m delighted to have been invited to share some Nia at the Sparklicious Ladies’ Retreat Day in July. You can read all about it below.
Have a great month
Nia move of the month – Elbow Strike Side
Elbow Strikes all start from Sumo Stance or Bow Stance and use the opposite hand for support to direct the strike. They invoke the power and precision of the martial arts.
They help to release stress and condition the upper arms, chest and back.
For Elbow Strike Side, use the opposite hand to push on your fist, in order to drive your elbow out to the side.
What I’m reading
Eat your greens – Brussels sprouts in Dementia Research
Who knew? It seems that sprouts are being investigated as a potential cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. More
And if you’re not keen on sprouts, you could try dancing:
Why is dancing so good for your brain?
Dancing improves brain function on a variety of levels. Two recent studies show how different types of practice allow dancers to achieve peak performance by blending cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory and ‘proprioception’ held in the cerebellum. Through regular aerobic training that incorporates some type of dance at least once a week anyone can maximize his or her brain function. Continue reading thisarticle from “Psychology today”.
And if you don’t consider yourself a dancer, just keep moving. “Through Movement We Find Health” is the Nia philosophy and core belief, reiterated by Debbie Rosas, Co-creator of Nia, in a recent newsletter:
Science has proven that movement: 1. Produces new brain cells and their connections. 2. Stimulates the brain. The brain is a highly sensitive communicator designed to detect motion, cues, and patterns.
3. Enhances neurotransmitter, nerve connections and their growth.
4. Helps to form new blood vessels.
5. Helps regulate and reduce stress.
6. Boosts the production of brain chemicals that enhance learning.
Having just led my first Nia class of 2017 in Darlington, I’m looking forward to catching up with all of you again when regular classes start next week and and hope to find new ways to help you move through life with Joy and Ease.
We’ll be sharing gentle moves to ensure we stay strong, flexible and mobile in body and spirit and, as always, with an emphasis on fun and doing things the Body’s Way.
And it works! After several years of doing Nia, a bit of Ageless Grace and a few Somatic moves, I discovered this Christmas that I find it considerably easier to sit on the floor, get down and get up again and have more stamina than several younger members of my family.
Being alert to what my body is saying, extends beyond the Nia class and for me, it’s going to mean setting the intention of taking more care of myself this year, setting aside more time to rest, time to be creative, and to eat more healthily (to ensure that my clothes don’t feel tighter for the whole year!). I came across an interesting article on that very theme last week – using the power of intention to lose wight without dieting. Intrigued? You can read more about it under “What I’m reading” below.
If you favour healthy eating to lose any excess weight gained over the holiday, my feeling has always been that moderation in all things is probably the key. I like coffee and chocolate too much to give them up entirely, but I can limit my intake. I halved my coffee consumption some years ago simply by drinking a cup rather than a mug full of coffee. It worked for me. Kelly Rose, whose blog “Passionate about Nutrition” is a mine of information about healthy eating, recommends drinking lemon juice in warm water in the mornings and adding a pinch of cayenne to speed up the metabolism. That alone, made a huge difference to one friend who started to do this last year. See below under “What I’m watching” for more on the theme of healthy eating and dieting.
And finally, owing to a change in my working hours, almost all of my classes have moved from mornings to afternoons. There’s also a new seated movement class in the pipeline which aims to keep body and mind healthy. Please check out “Dates for your Diary” below for details.
Have a very happy January
Nia move of the month – Punch across
There are four basic punches: Upward, Outward (forward), Across and Downward. as with the Blocks, they all begin and end in the Ready Position: A or Sumo Stance, knees soft and spring-loaded, hands in a fist with palms up, elbows in, forearms close to your body.
You can sound, “up!”, “out!”, “down!” or “across!” to engage your core and diaphragm.
Punches can help you move quickly and rhythmically. They develop strength in your core and arms and condition your back and legs too! and can really make you feel more powerful. Put on your favourite music and depending on the beat, play with strong, powerful, jazzy and gentle punches.
For Punch Across, start in Ready Position and bring your fist and forearm across your body. The other elbow draws back. Your palm begins the move facing up and, as your arm sprials as you puch across, the palm ends facing down. Oh, and there’s no need to lean into the move, you can stay upright.
Where do you feel the muscles engaging in this move? Do you feel it in the places Laurie Bass mentions in the video below? I love her explanations and demonstrations of the moves.
What I’m reading – Think and lose weight with ease
“A friend of mine, by simply changing her phraseology, has lost 18 pounds in the last month. She hasn’t changed her diet or started a new exercise program. She simply started believing that losing weight is easy, a piece of cake.” – Pam Grout
Do you think this could work for you? It may not be losing weight where you’re concerned. By simply changing the way I think and speak, and choosing to say something is easy rather than hard, how much could I achieve this year? Or what one thing could I change this year by believing it’s easy.
What I’m watching – Good health and losing weight well
There are two interesting programmes on television this week around the theme of diet and healthy eating. Sian Williams is presenting Save Money: Good Health which takes a look at diets. However, it’s her article in the Radio Times this week which caught my eye. She talks about how many foods we cut out of our diet in an effort to look younger, live longer and stay slim. However, after recovering from breast cancer her oncologist recommended “moderation in all things and a little of what you fancy”. It seems that variety is the key.
The full article is well worth a read.
How to lose weight well promises to be interesting too. Again there’s an article in the Radio Times which, in summary, says DON’T use a blender – as the nutritional benefits of “juice” are outweighed by the sugar, lack of fibre and expense, – and DON’T take vitamin supplements – you should be able to get all you need from food. They recommend ditching junk food and cutting back on processed food, filling up on vegetables, checking calories and your weight. Both programmes are on ITV and there are articles on both in the Radio Times, 31 December – 6 January edition.
Dates for your diary
New class timetable from Monday 9 January 2017
Mondays, 2.30 – 3.30 p.m. Nia class Keep Fit Darlington, (on Faverdale Industrial Estate, DL3 0PP).
Mondays, 6.30 – 7.30 p.m. Nia class
Stephens Room, Pioneering Care Centre Newton Aycliffe, DL5 4SF
Tuesdays, 1 p.m. – 2.p.m. Move with Ease – seated! Auckland Youth and Community Centre, Walker Drive, Woodhouse Close Estate, Bishop Auckland DL14 6QL
Free taster session 1 p.m. Tuesday 10 January 2017
Tuesdays 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Nia class Woodham Community Centre , St Elizabeth’s Close, Woodham Village, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 4UE.