Thursday, July 18, 2013

Environment Based Movement - new class dates open!

Environment Based Movement Class
Nature is wherever you are. 

Develop balance, strength, coordination and flow while learning to move comfortably in your environment, whether at home, on the street, in the park, or out in the wilderness. These basic movement skills and awareness practices form the basis of traditional Chinese movement and martial arts as well as being common to most traditional cultures.

This program will be 3 meetings, one Saturday morning a month for three months. It includes a specific movement program and exercises to train throughout the month to prepare the students for each subsequent session.
Session dates are: August 24, September 28, October 26.

The cost for the program is $120. The member's rate is $108. The class size is limited due to the nature of this program.
Class location will vary as we will be going to different environments to practice nature awareness and train our movement skills. This class is for all ages and abilities.

Have fun and enjoy moving freely as part of your environment!

Contact us for more information or to reserve a spot.

Feedback from a participant in our last session:

"I really enjoyed your Environment Based Movement class...

It was so helpful and non-threatening the way you tailored the class to fit each persons ability level, and showed us exercises and ways of moving that I could actually practice and do. You showed us all that we don't need a gym or fancy equipment, that wherever we are can be a practice area: stairs for the quadrapedal crawling, both forward and backwards; sidewalks for blind walking; curbs and benches for balancing; and door frames and wall for push-pull strength building. What amazes me is how quickly I see improvements in my balance and movements.

You also showed us that being aware of our environment is not just appreciatng the grand scheme of nature - trees, clouds, sky, etc, (which is important and relaxing), but also cultivating our sensory perception for the little things. Becoming familiar with our norm and then being aware of small changes in it that can trip us up. That was very important for me!

The simple daily routine you gave us was very helpful and manageable. I really like the balance exercises and how to "bounce off" obstacles to minimize injuries from falls. I am more conscious of walking in a balanced way, and it feels good!One of the most important lessons for me was changing my mind-set from "I can't" to "I can take small steps and move forward." Hopefully with practice I can recapture some of that freedom and joy in movement that every child is born feeling!"

Archive of a Guest Blog from 2009 - Qigong: Rhythm and Movement

I just found this guest post that I did for a health related blog in 2009.

Qigong - Rhythm & Movement

It was evening and my 10 week old daughter was starting to cry. Without thinking, I began to rock and sway as I held her.  After all, rhythmical, gentle movement is something that we all intuitively do to soothe and calm. 

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Qigong, all of life alternates in rhythmical movement. Within the body the most fundamental rhythm of the heart and lungs forms the basis for our individual life. Within all of nature, we can find a similar, familiar rhythm. The activity of the day quiets at night, and the exuberance of summer is internalized and nurtured during the stillness of winter. All of these fundamental rhythms and movements, both within us and within all of nature, are described as “qi.”

Qi can be translated as energy, influence, vital function and breath. Within nature the transformations of qi can be seen in the cyclical movement of day and night, the phases of the moon, and the changing seasons. Within the body, qi is the energy that allows the functioning of life through warmth, movement, transformation, containment and defense. It is the energy that maintains and safeguards the integrity of the body and mind, containing and preserving what is necessary to our life and repelling what would be harmful to us. The attributes of qi within the body can be seen in the energy, warmth and vital movement of life. From this perspective, all transformations and movements within the body, whether physical or emotional, depend on the correct and balanced movement of the qi.
Medical Qigong is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, like acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Medical Qigong consists of traditional therapeutic exercises used to support the correct movement of qi and address specific health issues. These are relatively simple, gentle exercises that are consist of what are traditionally referred to as the “Three Regulations,” the regulation of the body, breath and mind. Through specific methods of regulating the body, breath and mind we can enter into a rhythm that is in harmony with the greater movements and rhythms of nature. This process can be likened to rocking a baby to calm and settle the little one, helping them to enter into a deep and restorative sleep (at least that’s an analogy that I’ve been thinking about these days).
Traditionally, Medical Qigong has three interrelated goals: to enhance the body's self healing abilities, to increase vitality, and to cultivate skill in adapting to change. These three goals contribute to the process of promoting health and nourishing life. All of this through integrating body, breath and mind in a way that helps us to participate more fully in the movements of life. 
Oh, and it really is very good at calming babies.