Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Anita is guest teaching at StudioNia in November

Hi all
I wanted to let you know that I will be teaching at StudioNia the following days in the month of November:
11/6 Sat 10:15 am
11/7 Sun 10:15 am
11/20 Sat 10:15 am
11/27 Sat 10:15am

StudioNia, the Nia International Training Center, is located on the fourth floor of the Pythian Building in downtown Portland, Oregon (918 SW Yamhill Street).

If you want that extra day or two of dance in then come and join me, if not I will see you at my home studio!


Hi all ~

October has been a wonderful month of dancing. Let's continue

radiating the light as we move into the darker months.

I will be in San Diego for a Water Polo Tournament on Oct 29th so

freedance that morning on your own ....

A note about the Wed evening yoga class ~ for now I am putting the

class on hold (no class this evening). My MAC teaching schedule is

expanding and my non-teaching work is expanding ~ all things that I

have been manifesting. If you have yoga credit please contact me.

As well, I have renewed my NIA license and we can legitimately refer

to AM classes as NIA or Anita's NIA. I am content, happy and feel

full circle about this decision and the organization is moving in a

direction that I have always desired for it to.

So we continue to dance and radiate light and love in community as we

love our bodies and love our lives.

Anita :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Welcome the fall with the internal softness of the breath

Beautiful September Day ~
Let's welcome this fall with a breath of internal softness as we enter into a new cycle of nature - shorter days, soft windy days and cooler evening for peaceful rest.
Please start bringing a yoga mat to class if you have one. This will become an active tool in your practice

From this point on every class will be well rounded with a wave of cycles of effective and creative flows linked together through the breathwave. Using more yoga-like movements to create whole body transformation of strength and fluidity, circulation and centering.

Yoga is calling me more in more in our dance. Come and enjoy the free flowing movement - dance, giggle and jiggle followed by energizing our bodies with deep stretching utilizing free flowing yoga tools. Be prepared for more awakening and more challenges that your body will ask for.

I love hearing from you and knowing where your are in your longevity and devotion to movement.

Let the flow of the soul dance continue ....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yoga update and July Schedule

Hi Yogi's and Dancers ~

I would like to switch the evening yoga class to one day a week either on a Mon or Wed.
Can you let me know what your evening yoga preference would be ~ MON OR WED?
Also, if you have a time preference other than 5:30 - 6:45 pm
let me know (a little earlier or later perhaps).
I notice sometimes that a few of you are rushing to get here.
I want to put everything into consideration.
I would like to make the switch beginning the week of July 12th.
AND, I am really happy that the yoga community here at the dojo is growing. Thank you.

As always, we have morning class on Mon, Wed, Fri from 9am - 10:15am.
Come and Dance ~ we have been doing lots of leg lengthening and strengthening from the core.
I have not seen a few of you for a while. Time to re-adjust your schedule to fit time in
for the health and happiness of your mind and body.

Lastly, the Dojo will be closed on Monday, July 5th for our holiday independence weekend.
Go and play!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pearl #17 Your Wellness Toolbox

As of late many student friends and I say student friends because I do share my teachings with my students and I also share my heart with my students ~ therefore we are student friends. And I am a student friend to them as well. The follower/leader relationship flows perfectly back and forth with ease because it comes from the heart. We are heart-centered beings.
That said, recently I have had new student friends join in on my classes. Often times in the new transition I hear "I used to do run or I use to lift weights and that kept my body svelte. I did the this diet and it worked. But it doesn't work anymore." And my first question is "are you still motivated to do those things for your wellness program". And the answer is "No not really but I want the results that I use to get".
So search for something more balanced. Chances are you were only utilizing the physical body to create pleasure and acceptance in life. There are 3 other realms that I would like for you to consider when developing your wellness program: mental
When I approach my wellness program - nutrition and exercise - I touch on each realm - the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual. I seek out a wellness program to feel clarity that my choices are bringing pleasure into my life at that moment and into the future. I can also look back into the past and say I am satisfied with the movement I just did and what I just ate to nourish my being. Your wellness program is not one thing like pilates or yoga or Nia or running or a diet. It is a toolbox that you go to on any given day to bring pleasure into your life. YOU create your toolbox by constantly learning and exploring new ways to take care of your body. You own your wellness toolbox and you have choices as to what goes in your toolbox. Keep adding to it all the time because the body at a cellular level is changing every moment. And the stimulation of learning is what keeps us alive and well!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pearl #16 Learn to Heal

Thank you all for your kind words and healing thoughts. Yes, my knee hurts and it is a temporary state in my body. None-the-less the more I educate myself about my injury and how my body will heal the more connection I have in the process of MY healing.
My medical doctor is wonderful. He always appreciates that I come in with an investigative sense of what is happening in my body. And he knows his job is to teach me the best way to heal blending my healing modalities and his healing modalities. We both leave with a plan. A plan for healing.
What is your plan for your healing journey? Healing is a journey. Their are many routes we can take on our healing journey. For me, I have a team of healers that I call on depending on my need for healing. Some are alternative therapies others are medical therapies and most often I combine the two. There is a science, a craft and an art to healing. The science is what is happening scientifically to my body. Here is where you investigate, read, go to the doctor and try to understand your body, the symptoms and finally the diagnosis. Understanding your diagnosis allows you to apply your craft in healing. What modalities you will use in your healing and why. What team of healers can you call on to help you heal? Do the modalities offered make since to my body? The third is the art of healing - embracing the healing. This is the journey - the art of knowing your sacred SELF. How you manifest the healing in your journey is the art.
We all need healing ~ the world needs healing daily. At times the healing is outwardly noticeable and other times it is inward and deep inside and hidden. Just take notice and begin to heal physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Happy healing.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pearl #15 Healing

Well lovely ones ~
From the time I started teaching 25 years ago in East Texas, then at Body Moves in Portland Oregon and then onto my own Home Studio many of you over the years
have said "Anita keep it real ~ you don't "guru" yourSELF, you help people connect to their bodies so they can heal and continue to learn about themSELVES, you raise your family, you work, you play, you take care of yourSELF and you continue to learn and grow".

Oh and one other ~ I also get injured. It's ok ~ I am REAL! Yesterday at Timberline I came off the lift and instead of running into the person standing at the bottom of the lift I decided to forsake my body instead of theirs and injured my medial collateral ligament (the inside ligament of my right knee). YES it really does hurt and YES I am hobbling. I am keeping it real.

BUT I did have fun yesterday. Was it worth it - yes it was because this injury is healable and temporary. It will only help me understand mySELF and YOU more.

So I need some time to re-coop. Get intervention from my healers and practice my latest healing triad - meditate, ice and re-organize.

I will not hold class from 2/4-2/8 at my home studio or at the MAC club.

I need one week to assess the movement and range of motion of my right knee and then learn how to teach with an injury while keeping it real.

YES, I know what I am doing I have been here before with other injuries.

I am keeping my head above water (not crying). Remaining positive will help me to heal for longevity. Life is moving along wonderfully in all of the classes I facilitate both morning, evening, at the MAC and the workshops. I am relishing the forward motion. Many of you have e-mailed me that you are bringing new people to class. Just asked them to wait til next Monday 2/11/2010 when we resume class.

Here is what I would like from you:

Keep your forward motion this week - walk, dust off old exercise videos, get some new ones, try a new class, stretch on your own, put some music on and dance, take out an exercise ball out play on it. Expand your movement option this week just like we do in class. Use your body intelligence to creatively move this week. And I welcome your healing thoughts. A person can never have to many!

You are your own sacred teacher and you are a sacred student.

AND I will see you next week starting 2/11/2010.

MAC Club members I will contact Valerie to see you she can facilitate your classes this Tues/Thurs. You will hear from me shortly.

love always

More on healing on Wednesday weekly blogspot

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pearl #14 Fluidity

To let you know, I may miss a day of the week blogging but I will always be back. Things come up in life and the information doesn't always present itself easily. So I wait and remain fluid and when the information presents itself then I blog.
I use this concept in my daily movement practice. I encourage my clients to remain fluid about their bodies and to move fluidly in their bodies. I encourage my clients to do the same. I always ask my body to remain fluid no matter how much effort I am asking my body for. There are days when I walk into my class and the clients are bursting with energy. We harness the energy in our joints and stretch every movement as far as we can in the upward and the downward transitions and movements. And on the days when the energy is low we do the exact same ~ again we harness the energy that we have and move as deeply and fully as we can. So on both energy levels the movement is never forced or "blown out". The energy in YOUR body is consistently returned to a place of fluidity. This is how you listen to your body and create a constant flow of energy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pearl #13 Diet is not about elimination

I am going to change the subject today from the physical body to the emotional body. HOWEVER, reread Pearl #12 and allow those feet to OPEN and RELAX.
Last Saturday, I presented the cleansing workshop to a lovely group. I asked on Wednesday that they check in with me and let me know what they have learned in the first 5 days. I asked the participants to be gluten free and sugar free. I presented this FREE portion in such a way as replacing as opposed to taking away. i offered foods that can be eaten rather than what needs to be eliminated. Well the feedback has been wonderful! From I didn't realize how much sugar I was eating to sleep improvement to how limited I have been in my food choices to I love paying attention to myself on a deeper level.
That's it! Diet is not about elimination. But when I hear, especially in the new year - I am going on a diet. Such a dread and all the things I have to give up. Instead I look at it as a cleanse or a vacation from what I normally do - a change in my nourishment routine. It allows me to experiment with new foods. Expand my taste buds. Try a smorgasbord of yummy things to eat. Then when I end the cleansing my palette, my options, my choices for nourishment have opened up. I am re-energized. Just like taking a vacation!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pearl #12 Openness of the foot

I want my feet to spread on the earth and feel their impression in the sand. Whether I roll in or out, have a high arch or flat foot I want to create as much contact and openness with my feet as I possibly can. My feet give me instant feedback WHEN I pay attention to them.
Feet can carry tension and clench just like your teeth can or your neck or your shoulders. Your feet are like a diagnostic tool for the body. If your toes are drawn in and clenching I can assure something else is drawn in and clenching in your body. When you sit at your computer do you draw your feet in at the arch as you think? Try to think and relax your feet. Unlock the sole of the feet my moving the spaces in between the bones of the feet. As you walk do you allow the feet to relax into the earth or do you drive the heels into the earth causing tension and forget to stretch and naturally roll through the center and up an away into the balls of the feet?
Feel your feet so that you can feel your body. This contact provides you with constant feedback. The majority of the day your feet are in contact with the earth. When you are at your desk or home or outside shed your shoes, wiggle your toes, flex the ball of your foot, lift your arches and free up your soles!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pearl #11 The feet again

So we have some basic alignment skills - standing in the four corners of the feet, the tailbone carrying our bodies forward and through, the navel lifting upward and the buoyancy of the ribcage. Let's go back down to the feet and do a series of moving our alignment through our whole body.
Stand with your feet parallel. Notice the distance between your feet. Just notice. Feel your hipbones - the body part of the top of the hip - the sensitive edge of the front of the hip that we often bump into a countertop - ouch! From your hipbone slide your hand down the front of the thigh in a straight line. If you are to the left or right of the center of your thigh then you are either standing too wide or too narrow. We want the line from the hipbone to the knee to be a straight line. If you are to narrow or to wide start the adjustment in the stance from the heel not the ball of the foot. Adjusting from the heel will release the back of the body - allowing the body to receive the adjustment without any tension. Now move your ball of the foot to line up with the heel. There you are now standing parallel and hip width apart. Notice how your buttocks release and when the buttocks release the lower back gently follows it's natural curve. The body is relaxed and standing in its four corners with the feet openly planted on the ground. Wiggle your toes and enjoy the rise through your whole body!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pearl #10 The ribcage

The cleanse and begin workshop was a success. You can try it too - just replace your gluten and sugar intake with
fruits, veggies, rice, meats, fish, dairy and nuts. Try it for 5 days. See how you feel. Often times this will create more balance in your nourishment of your body.

Now onto the ribcage. As you inhale not only allow your ribs to rise from their base but also allow the complete ribcage to expand especially along the edge of the collarbone. Now as you exhale release the breath but maintain the lengthening and expansion of the ribcage. There now feel the self-carriage. The body weight of my chest is lifted and relaxed and independent of my body weight of my pelvis. Their connection is through my spine and the soft tissue in my lower core - organs, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fluid. When I allow my ribcage to float and to feel the buoyancy from the air in my lungs I create self carriage in my middle core. I get off of the seat of my pelvis. Breathe in and rise and expand. Breathe out and extend and release as you open and create self carriage in the ribs.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pearl #9 Try something new with your Body

Today at the club I had a woman walk in and ask what class I was about to teach. I said expressive movement. She ask if that meant dance and I replied yes but easy to follow. She remarked quickly as she was leaving that she had no rhythm before I could even let her know the pleasure the body receives from just swaying to music and that everyone can dance. At that moment I felt she had limited her joy in her body. She just communicated to her body that it has no rhythm and cannot dance.
I encourage you to try something new. And when you do, go with as much joy and confidence as you can muster during those humble and fumbling times of learning.
After my dance class today I took a basic yoga class. I've done yoga for awhile. It was a wonderful class. I allowed myself to completely take it in and feel every movement as if it were for the first time. And it was for the first time because I was truly in the moment. Try as many things as you can. Why limit yourSELF . Judgement will not serve you. If you want to return to love in your body then give it different experiences. Go and play!
Tomorrow we will get to the self-carriage in the ribs - I promise.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pearl #8 The Direction of the Navel

In Pearl # 7 I talked about the tailbone coming through to the front of the body. When you bring the tailbone through the front of the body the navel naturally joins with the spine. The navel moves inward slightly and upward. Try not to contract just feel the relationship of the tailbone scooping through to the front of the body and the navel moving inward and up the spine. Try not to tuck the tailbone and squeeze the navel. This is unnatural to the body.
You want to maintain the natural, beautiful curvature of the lower spine while lengthening the lower spine with a little help from the tailbone and the navel. It is a physical movement just not a huge amount of movement. imagine the pressure of a wet rag on the navel. Not to much not to little - the Goldilocks principal.
Simply follow the direction of the tailbone to the navel up the front of the body. I know it's happening ~ now the ribcage wants to lift off of the navel and and create self-carriage in the body. More to come on the ribcage in Pearl #9.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pearl #7 Impulsion Through the Tailbone

Because of my somatic training my observation of the human body is constant. I often witness people struggling to move in forward motion. So over time I realized that the tailbone often "hangs back" or "tips up and out behind" (due to a weak core). So if you are walking forward but your tailbone is "hanging back" this is a confusing message to the body. The mind says lets go forward and the body says I am trying but the tailbone just keeps dragging behind.
At the tail of the spine is the coccyx which is the bony fused spine that tips forward or curves underneath us like a little hand scooping you forward. Go ahead and stand up and bring your tailbone through. Feel the the engagement of your lower core and the forward motion it creates. Now walk with the tailbone coming through towards the pubic bone. We are not clenching the buttocks or tightening. We are just allowing our tailbone to through move through the front of the body towards the pubic bone to create impulsion or forward motion. Allow your legs to lengthen their stride and release the front of the hips and legs. Feel the shifting of each stride ride up the spine into the shoulder and down the spine into the hip. Keep lengthening your stride by bringing your tailbone through - no need to clench the buttocks. Open at your solar plexus and clavicle and feel the forward motion. This is impulsion through the tailbone. Practice, practice, practice.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pearl #6 Feeling Tired ? Realign yourSelf

If you are feeling tired due to stress, trying something new physically, didn't get enough sleep or for any number of reasons I really encourage you to re-align your body. Simply, stand in the four corners of your feet, take a breath in through the low belly, allow your spine to extend and ribcage to open. Here is the key ~ allow your body to feel the energy rise up the front of the body as you inhale. This is where the front of the shoulders will open through the clavicle (your collarbone). Now as you exhale feel the energy or sensation release over the top of the head and down the back of your body. So in a sense the energy or sensation rises up the front of the body and releases down the back of the body creating a continuous circular motion ~ up the front down the back flow. If you sit, walk or stand with your shoulders sloped forward then your energy will continue downward - down the front of the body. You will feel even more tired. Your eyes will strain to look forward. Your head (a body weight) will become heavy and the energy, feeling, sensation will became heavy and tired. Lift your head and open (don't tense) your shoulders, expand through the ribs and breathe. Lift your eyelids, softly not abruptly lift your chin and open the back of the neck. These small adjustments will help you to re-align your posture and get you through a day of feeling fatigued. AND you might participate in the joys of life a bit more.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pearl #5 RELAX

When you are moving in your practice - RELAX. I don't mean collapse. I mean relax and release negative tension so your body can receive the full benefit of your practice. When you relax your body opens up and your joints are able to feel their range of motion. Your muscles become supple and your tendons and ligaments can release the range of motion in your joints and muscles a little more. Relax if your running so your whole body can connect and your mind will open - you might even see the details of the trees with more clarity. Relax if you are stretching to create long, fluid motions not static, held stretches. Relax if you are walking so you can feel the lengthening of the back your body coming through to the front of the body. Relax .... and enjoy your being! Have a wonderful weekend and I will blog again on Monday....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pearl #4 Stand in the four corners of your body...

You can read and do this at your computer.
Stand up and place your feet parallel and hip width apart. Now lift your toes off of the earth. There! I am sure your body rocked slightly back which tells you how much standing you were doing in the front of your body. Possibly your core engaged - especially your lower belly. Your solar plexus rose and lifted your ribcage which then opened your collarbone.
Stand in the four corners of your feet. Lift your toes. Notice how your body stacks itself differently - a little more balanced between the front, back, sides and top and bottom. It's easy - standing in the grocery store line lift your toes in your shoes (yes there is room - there better be or you need new shoes). Allow the instep of your foot to awaken, spread and lift and follow that sensation all the way up through your body out the top of the head. Now that's better - nothing had to lock and hold. The body said "thank you" for engaging. Try walking and lifting your toes - I know you can. The toes are tentacles. Seekers of information. The ball and heel of the foot are informational thoroughfares.
We want to feel the balance of our body weight between the ball of the foot and our heel. Feel the four corners of your feet. Lift the toes and feel how the pelvis, chest and head lengthen and suddenly realize they have four corners as well. Try this - lift the toes notice if tension releases elsewhere in your body. Did it? Become aware of how one movement behavior effects another relationship in your body.
It's simple and can be done anytime. Do it in the morning right when you step out of bed. AND connect 5 deep breaths to this practice. Take the moment before you head into the shower or have your tea. This is how you create a practice. Now go and lift your toes and stand in the four corners of your body!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pearl #3: A little is better than none at all

Over the years I have really, really encouraged my clients to come into class late or leave early if they need too. I don't find this to be rude. All of my clients are respectful of the learning environment that we have created in the classroom. I really stress to my clients that if you get caught in traffic and are 20 minutes late come to class anyway. I even have clients that have come into class the last 10 minutes.
Here is why I stress the importance of "a little is better than none at all". Even if you get only 10 minutes of movement you are setting a pattern into place - a behavioral change is occurring. The 10 minutes of movement still releases endorphins, relaxes and opens your body and sets a precedence to do this AGAIN. Our bodies love to move - really you do like to move. So when you give the body a little movement and then a little more you create a craving - a positive craving. Hmmm, that felt good for 10 minutes maybe next time I can make it to class for 20 minutes. A little is better than nothing at all. By the way, I have a bite of chocolate everyday. I love it and a little is better than leaving myself feeling resentful that I can't have something. And then suddenly one day having and emotional outbursts and eating every last crumb of chocolate in the cupboard. BALANCE!
So if you have 10 minutes left on your lunch break and not the 30 minutes you thought you had for a walk, go anyway and create positive patterns for yourSELF. We are all trying our best to live a balanced, healthy life and there are days when time just gets away from us or the weather doesn't cooperate or.... Sit on the floor and stretch, put on a favorite song and dance around the living room (the average length of a song is about 5 minutes). That's a nice amount of time to start with. Have fun with your practice!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pearl #2: I over did it - Break the pattern!

As I started back teaching classes this week, I heard many of my students say "I overdrank, overate, stayed up to late, didn't move and on and on. Our human nature (mine too) is so fascinating ~ after overdoing it we vow and commit to changing our ways, regaining balance, shifting our perspective on exercise and diet (remember diet means the food we eat - not the food we restrict) and maybe other stuff in our lives too. But Monday I decided - no I have a practice and my practice remains with me at all times everyday throughout the day. The food choices I make and the movement choices I make fluidly (and I mean that) fluidly integrate into my day, every day. So when I walked into my 9 am class on Mon and Tues - my clients were ready, ready, ready to go. I love that energy and I can run like a racehorse with it and often times "blow myself out after class". Truly knowing I get to dance and move with group energy like that tickles the inside of my belly. I didn't let go of any of that feeling and yet I said to the class "Take it easy, we have all the time in the world to release those endorphins, toxins, get the heart and lungs motivated and create pure pleasure in the body. Take it easy! We are NOT going to make ourselves sore by stocking up on lactic acid in the muscles. We are going to ease and please the body". And that is what we did. We all left feeling so good and I have not a sore muscle, joint, tendon or ligament in my body. I can do without that at 46.
Through a positive practice you set into place even more positive practices - fueling and feeding your body with dietary choices that you know will ease and please the body.
I went to TJ Maxx today to buy an exercise ball to sit on (which please go out and buy one today and sit on it at your computer...more to come on that subject later) ~ and as I walked in the front door all the exercise clothes were lined up ~ circles and rows upon row and videos and bands and diet books and more and more stuff to say get fit now! Way overdone and the encouragement to but all this stuff was just more stuffing and not very realistic. But I smiled and thought my practice is such a daily part of my day ~ it lives and breathes within me all the time - I can honestly say I did not over do anything during my break. I took a rest from teaching to explore hiking, snowboarding, playing board games with my kids and laughing my stomach to incredible strength but I never over did anything.
PlEASE be careful of fad diets, overdoing it in your class, your run, your hike and at work and play ~ overdoing it can set you up for failure whether good or bad for you. BALANCE is the key.
Now go and exercise and eat to fuel and feed your body. And say thank you to your body...
And remember keep it simple. A 10 minute walk is better that doing nothing at all. Sitting on the floor and stretching for 5 minutes is better than doing nothing at all. 5 deep breaths is better than .......
And thank you all for your positive feedback on the blog. I feel I can serve even when I am not dancing with you!!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pearl #1: Practical Ways to health, fitness, wellness and better living

I have decided to blog simply because so many thoughts about living a better life through movement and balanced eating habits run through my head all day. I teach classes 5 days a week but I want to reach even more than those in my class. What I do is good, really good and there is only so much time and space in the day to reach many of you.

This blog is designed for those of you who come to class and those of you cannot. I will post daily simple, REALISTIC shifts you can make in your daily life to bring greater health to your body.

To begin...
Every day take 5 deep breaths in the low belly - that is the pelvis belly - the belly that creates a triad connecting the two hipbones and pubic bone. Do it now. Big, buddha breaths deep in the low belly. Notice each time you breathe in your ribcage lifts and creates a sense of self-carriage. Your spine lengthens and your collar bone opens. Do it sitting, standing and walking. If you are a runner do it running, if you are a yogi do it in yoga. 5 deep long breaths. The exhale releases and allows your back to expand horizontally into a lift in the upper chest. 5 deep breaths will strengthen your core and take you into your natural alignment with positive tension. If I tell you to sit up straight you will most likely hold your breath, tighten your core and create negative tension.
Every day take 5 deep breaths in the low belly. Could you do this 3 times a day? You can. Can you do this 10 times a day? You can? Driving in your car, a pause at breakfast, lunch and dinner, standing in the grocery line, making a deposit at the bank, talking on the phone to a business associate. Reading e-mails, twittering, facebooking - 5 deep breaths can be done at any time. Expand your core and begin to open up the space for your organs to release vital energy and create better alignment. Engage your core with Breath!
Now go and breathe.