Category Archives: Mind body spirit

Think and lose weight with ease

bubblyHappy New Year!

Here’s to a New Year filled with Joy and Ease.

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 FunBody’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

Anne


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.

You can read the full article by Pam Grout here.


What I’m watching – Good health and losing weight well

Tfood-varietyhere 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 diaryCalendar

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.

More information: Classes and Events page

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Autumn, changing your brain and “U”

pumpkin-autumn-leavesAutumn has finally arrived and though it’s still sunny as I write, there’s a crisp coldness in the air and the next block of Nia classes in Newton Aycliffe will take us almost up to Christmas! In the meantime,  I have plenty of news and tips to pass on this month.

I’ve just heard a great TED talk by Denise Medved on changing your brain through play. At a time where one of our biggest preoccupations as a society is coping with an ageing population, she proposes a really simple way to keep people’s brains healthy. I’ve shared details below. Do take a look.

Have you ever been told how good meditation is for clearing your mind, but struggled to get started? Well, I’ve found a five minute video that really helped me (see below).

If you’ve ever wondered how the Nia routines I teach are put together, there’s a link to an article on Ann Christiansen, Nia trainer and creator of the routine “U” where she talks about the process.  And in the “Nia move of the month” section, we’re beginning to look at punches, which are great for strength and conditioning.

I’m looking forward to beginning another block of five evening Nia classes starting on 14 November at the Pioneering Care Centre and taking us up to 12 December. We’ll then take a break for Christmas. Full details below.

Have a great month!

PS. Following the discussion at the end of today’s class, the last track I used was: “The Unwinding” by Parijat. It’s used in the Nia routine “Humanity“.  The other track we talked about was the first track of the routine “Grace”. It’s called “To make the impossible possible” and you’ll find more information about it here.


Nia Move of the month – Upward Punch

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 the Upward Punch, from the Ready Position, use your elbow to power the punching fist up in front of your face, while the other elbow draws back. Repeat on alternate sides.

Watch it here :


A five-minute invitation to meditate

tibetan-singing-bowlsHow many times have I read or been told how beneficial meditation is? I’ve lost count. Here’s a five-minute YouTube video that really helped me. I tried it and couldn’t believe that it really was a full five minutes, so I timed it! And I can confirm that it is just over five minutes long.


What I’m watching
Changing Your Brain Can Be As Simple As Child’s Play, Denise Medved

Here’s a fab TED Talk from Denise Medved, creator of Ageless Grace, about how movement, and specifically play, can activate the brain and keep it healthy. Enjoy!

Denise is the creator of Ageless Grace which uses the simple techniques she describes here.


What I’m reading
u-class-experienceAnn Christiansen on creating the Nia routine “U”

I mentioned last month that the Nia routine “U” is now available as a digital download from Amazon, iTunes and Google Play and you can buy the DVD from Nianow and Amazon. Here’s its creator Ann Christiansen talking about her inspiration for the routine and what the choreography is intended to do. Read it now: Behind the scenes with Ann Christiansen.

And this video captures the power, grace and strength of Ann’s moves.


Classes and events
Nia in Newton Aycliffe, Mondays at 6.30 p.m.

Nia logo new redThe next block of Monday night classes will begin on 14 November.

£17.50 for the block of five. Please bring the correct money in an envelope with your name on it. £5 per class

More information on Classes & Events page.

Take 5 – All change

I’m planning a few changes.

Nia logo new redFirstly, there will be no Nia class at Woodham Community Centre on Wednesday 28 September. It’s just for the one week.

Secondly, I’ve extended the Early Bird price for the “Move with Ease” session on 30 September to anyone who books on or before Monday 26 September and to anyone who’s a regular at my weekly Nia classes. In addition, if you book for yourself and a friend, you can both pay the Early Bird price. So join us, release the tension in tired muscles and relax completely. See below for more information and a link for booking.early-bird

Thirdly, I’ve decided to change this to a monthly newsletter/blog, with occasional updates in between if there’s a special event coming up or important information I need to give you. This means that the next “Take 5” will be out at the beginning of October.  This should give me time to mull over some changes I want to make to my website over the next few months.

And finally, the next block of Monday evening Nia classes will start at the Pioneering Care Centre on Monday 10 October 2016.  Check out Classes & Events  for more information and how to book your place.

Have a great week, see you at the beginning of October.
Anne


Nia move of the week – Inward Block

All the blocks 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. As you move your arms, imagine your head and shoulders are staying within an imaginary picture frame.

To do the Inward Block, from Ready, bring your fist and forearm across your body to block the opposite side of your face, while the other elbow pulls back. Keep your hips facing front.

The Blocks help build strength and speed in your arms and the core of your body.

Watch it here


Classes & Events – Dates for your diary
Move with Ease – still, calm and relaxed

Simple moves to help relieve tension so you feel totally relaxed
in mind and body

move-with-ease-20160930Friday, 30 September, 18.30 – 20.30, Darlington

STILL YOUR MIND, CALM YOUR SPIRIT, RELAX YOUR BODY
Simple moves to relax muscles, help relieve tension and move with greater ease will be followed by a gentle moving meditation and then a time of complete relaxation with a guided visualisation.
Early Bird price £15;  full price £17.50
Book now or go to the Classes & Events page for more information

Download Flyer


New block of five Nia classes at the Pioneering Care Centre,
will begin Monday 10 October 2016. A minimum of 10 people is needed to run this class. Book your place now.


 

Saturday 8 October, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Northumbria Healers Mind Body Spirit and Wellbeing Event
Hexham Auction Mart, Tyne Green, Hexham

128-A5_Vertical-2016-Mind-Body-Spirit-Event-Version-1-Flyer (single-sided)The Northumbria Healers provide a free healing service to the public on the last Saturday of every month in Riding Mill, Northumberland and I had the great pleasure of sharing some Nia with them on 20 August.

The Mind Body Spirit Event is their main fundraising event of the year and is usually a very enjoyable day with a range of interesting workshops and taster sessions, gifts and healing available.

You can read more about the healers on their website.

Full details of all Supple Change  Classes & Events

Take 5 – Back in the old routine?

schoolAre you back in the old routine this week? It seems to be back to normal for so many people, especially those with children and grand children. Even for those of us not involved in the school run, September can feel like a new start. There’s that “back to school” chill in the air as the seasons change and the excitement of everything starting up again.

The Monday evening Nia class began again last night (Monday 5th) at the Pioneering Care Centre after a break in August. It was great to welcome back lots of familiar faces and to discover how many had actually missed coming to the class. Apart from the benefits of regular practice (my mind and body really miss that regular dose of movement and magic), there’s the opportunity to meet up with friends old and new.  If you’re thinking of coming along, please join us next Monday. I’m holding the block price for next week only, to give regulars and newcomers a bit of a discount. Full details

I’ve also just fixed the date for another “Move with Ease” session. This is a two-hour session on with simple moves which help relieve tension, to help you move with greater ease, feel better and relax. Great at the end of a busy week! Book by Sunday 11th September to benefit from the Early Bird price!

And, as always, have a great week
Anne


Nia move of the week – Downward Block

All the blocks 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. As you move your arms, imagine your head and shoulders are staying within an imaginary picture frame.

To do the downward Block, from Ready, bring on fist and forearm across, down and out in front of your pelvis. At the same time, draw the other elbow back, keeping the arm at waist height.  Bring your arm back to the Ready position.

The Blocks help build strength and speed in your arms and the core of your body.

Watch it here:


Classes & Events – Dates for your diary

Move with Ease – still, calm and relaxed
Simple moves to help relieve tension so you feel totally relaxed in mind and body.

Friday, 30 September, 18.30 – 20.30, Darlington

STILL YOUR MIND, CALM YOUR SPIRIT, RELAX YOUR BODY
Simple moves to relax muscles, help relieve tension and move with greater ease will be followed by a gentle moving meditation and then a time of complete relaxation with a guided meditation.
Early Bird price £15 (book before Sunday 11th September), full price: £17.50
Book now or go to the Classes & Events page for more information

Saturday 8 October, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Northumbria Healers Mind Body Spirit and Wellbeing Event
Hexham Auction Mart, Tyne Green, Hexham

128-A5_Vertical-2016-Mind-Body-Spirit-Event-Version-1-Flyer (single-sided)The Northumbria Healers provide a free healing service to the public on the last Saturday of every month in Riding Mill, Northumberland and I had the great pleasure of sharing some Nia with them on 20 August.

The Mind Body Spirit Event is their main fundraising event of the year and is usually a very enjoyable day with a range of interesting workshops and taster sessions, gifts and healing available.

You can read more about the healers on their website.

Full details of all Supple Change  Classes & Events

Take 5 & Move with Ease

mountain lakeHow would it be if, at the end of a busy week, you could give your mind and your body a real treat?  What if you could find some simple moves that would release all that tension you’ve been holding in your shoulders? What if you could do some really gentle exercise that would lubricate your joints, and soothe your spirits and then you could just relax and float away without feeling guilty for doing nothing for a full 20 minutes?

Well, here’s the good news. You can! I’m currently taking bookings for another Move with Ease session on Friday. And do you know what? as it’s almost as relaxing to deliver it as it is to participate.  I consider it a success if someone falls asleep! So do come and chill out with us. Please contact me as soon as possible to book your place.

Have a great week!
Anne


Nia move of the week – Head and Eye Movements

Be curious – what do you see around you? Use your eyes to look and follow the direction of your eyes to move your head. Follow a body part – hand or foot with your eyes and allow your head to move with them, in order to engage the muscles of the neck integrate the top of your spine in your moves.

Press your chin down towards your chest to open the back of your neck; then take your chin up and back and look at the sky (opening and closing your mouth will help condition the muscles under your chin). Nodding, shaking and rolling your head helps to find the right balance and releases tension.

Watch it here.


What I’m reading

Jade Barbosa, Brazilian artistic gymnast, performing a turn during a floor routine, 2007Like me,  you may have enjoyed watching the floor exercises at the Olympics last week and cheered, as I did, when Amy Tinkler from Bishop Auckland won her bronze medal. Most of us would never dream of even attempting the kind of floor work she does, but getting up and down from the floor is the first skill we learn as toddlers and a really important one to maintain as we get older.  Here’s an interesting take on “Why the floor is your friend” by Stacy Barrows

“If you’re like most of us, the word “floor” probably makes you think more about tile, hardwood and carpet than friendship….it’s not the first place your mind goes when you think of relaxation, repose and rejuvenation. The floor, after all, is for foot traffic. It’s hard… needs a good cleaning, and is much farther away from our derrières than the comfy sofa. The floor has a bad rep.  But as a movement therapist, I have learned that the floor is my friend. Here are three reasons why…”
Continue reading


Classes & Events – Dates for your diary

26 August,  18.30 – 20.30 – Move with Ease – r-e-l-a-x on Friday evening
Aditi Yoga & Pilates, Darlington
.

An alternative Friday night out!  Join me for this two-hour session with a focus on breath and body, mind and spirit, relaxation and self-healing.

Learn some simple moves to help relieve tension and back pain, move mindfully to soul-stirring music and then relax completely to set yourself up for a great night’s sleep. Contact me now to book your place.

5 September – 3 October, Mondays 18.30 – 19.30, new block of 5 Nia classes, Pioneering Care Centre

Full details of all Classes & Events