Category Archives: Mind body spirit

Move over Super Woman! Time to de-stress

Super WomanHow do you de-stress when you find yourself thinking: “I’m  not Super Woman, you know!”; “There are only 24 hours in a day!; or, “I’ll never get it all done!” ?

Life just seems to go so fast these days and there are many demands on our time – work, home, family, smartphone, email,  shopping,  the same amount of work to be done in the office but fewer people employed to do it – and I’m finding that, unlike Super Woman, I can’t do everything and I need time out. Regularly.

Stop and de-stressAnd right on cue, in the past few weeks, I’ve come across several people, websites, techniques and ideas to help people do just that: de-stress switch off, take a break, and take care of themselves, sometimes just by taking the time to breathe or be present, or by switching off the technology.  I’m sharing some of them below. Something might just strike a chord with you or be useful to someone you know.

One Nia class member recently told me that her lunch time Nia class does the trick and sets her up for the afternoon.  And she’s not the first to have said that Nia makes her feel chilled even though she knows she’s been moving every part of her body.  And if Nia works for you, from mid-March, there will be a new opportunity to join a  Nia class on a Wednesday evening. The details are below.

Have a great month of March!


Nia move of the month – Elbow Strike Down

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 Down, bring one fist and forearm down. Here’s Laurie Bass giving a demonstration:


What I’m reading

  • How my cat taught me to stop worrying
    In this article, Cheryl Richardson talks about being more present instead of worrying about everything that needs doing. Read the full article
  • 5 Ways to start putting your needs first without feeling guilty
    If you don’t look after yourself, you won’t be able to give to your nearest and dearest or do what you need to do for yourself or your family. Do you agree? This article suggests ways you can look after yourself and say no so it doesn’t feel like you’re being mean. It also talks about setting boundaries, creating  time for yourself, thinking more positively and concentrating on what makes you happy. Read the full article
  • Time to Log off
    Mobile phoneThis website claims to be “spearheading the movement to disconnect regularly from digital devices and reconnect with the world offline.” They provide digital detox retreats where people hand in all digital devices on arrival.  Find out more
    And I’ve just spotted their latest blog post “10 digital habits to ditch for Lent“.

What I’m watching

  • Asleep in 60 seconds: 4-7-8 breathing technique claims to help you nod off in just a minute
    I always feel overwhelmed if I don’t get enough sleep and found this breathing technique helps me to feel calmer – I’d be interested to know if it works for you. Watch the video


Dates for your diary

Happy, smiling people doing NiaNia on Wednesdays starting 15th March 2017, 6 – 7 p.m.
Main Hall, Bishop Middleham Village Hall, Front St, Bishop Middleham, Ferryhill DL17 9AJ

A course of five Nia classes for £25
Wednesdays 15th, 22nd and 29th March, 5th and 12th April

 

Ageless Grace LogoAgeless Grace on Wednesdays starting 15th March 2017, 4 – 5 p.m.
Supper Room, Bishop Middleham Village Hall, Front St, Bishop Middleham, Ferryhill DL17 9AJ

Fun, easy moves to improve joint mobility, strength, balance and overChairall fitness. Gives your brain a workout too, and all from the comfort of a chair

A course of five Ageless Grace classes for £25
Wednesdays 15th, 22nd and 29th March, 5th and 12th April

More information about these and all current classes on the Classes and Events page

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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