This is a picture of my son Erik. Two years ago we headed out just before Christmas as he had found a new job working at Breckenridge Ski Resort. It happened rather quickly as a friend of his from Fisher's Island was out there and said there was plenty of work. So on December 17, we hopped into Erik's Tacoma and headed for Colorado. We were blessed with the most perfect weather, no rain, no snow, no storms, just beautiful weather. We stopped in Chicago for some Deep Dish Pizza and people were in light jackets as it was a warm day for December. We saw the Great Lakes which I had never seen before. We stopped at small towns for dinner and I so enjoyed the long sunsets and we moved to flatter terrain. It was a good trip and we both had a lot of fun. It was a spontaneous event as I had two days to pack up and hit the road. At the end of our journey I was able to stay with a friend and Denver who took me around the spots, to Red Rocks and for some nice hikes in the foothills as my son travelled on to the ski area about an hour and a half away. He remains there still, and as a snowboarder he is in a winter paradise. He now works at a restaurant called the Distillery and the food is excellent. Being spontaneous and flexible with a sense of adventure opens one's life to possibilities and journey's that make our lives just so much better. Be OPEN, be spontaneous and let your adventure begin. Namaste.
This is my sister, Paula Hunter. Yes we are swimming in the ocean last October! Didn't get an October swim in this year, but perhaps there is still time as Indian Summer hasn't hit yet. My sister is a remarkable woman. She has worked hard her entire life. She has been a marathon runner, world traveler, and lives in New Hampshire. Her gardens are beautiful. She and Joe have done a great job and they work has been featured on magazine covers. She enjoys being in the garden as do I. My sister Susan is also a gardener in Berkeley and like I, takes on a few landscaping jobs. We are not close in mileage but we are close in spirit. Every year we go up north to hike and enjoy the peace and quiet. My sister Susan, Paula, and my daughter Kate usually rent a house in the Northeast Kingdom. Last year we stayed on echo lake. The sunsets were stunning. And there are some great restaurants as well. You will be sure to meet some Canadians when you are there. Paula also has grandchildren, they call her "Paula". She takes them hiking, and climbing and skiing and to the top of Mount Washington to the weather station.
This year, Paula could not go with us but she was travelling to South Africa where she was starting work for the Gates Foundation. She has never stopped amazing me. So this year my son Erik, Susan, my daughter Katherine & I ,along with her business partner, Ross enjoyed the Kingdom, hiked two mountains and swam in Lake Willoughby. But she was with us in SPIRIT as we gazed up at the night sky that was illuminated with thousands and thousands of stars.
am an advocate of using bands and weights. The bands help stretch the muscles and the weights build them. You do not need to use heavy weights, anywhere from 2-5 pounds will make a big difference.
Resistance training is one of the best way to increase muscle strength because its natural and fluid. They come in different sizes and offer a variety of exercises and are often used in physical therapy. They are safe and easy to use and gradually build up muscles. Bands give people an extended reach allowing them to improve flexibility over time. It is definitely worth the time to incorporate resistance bands into your exercise routine. Practicing 3-4 times per week you will notice a marked difference in your strength, flexibility and toning of the muscles.
In my Pilates classes I have incorporated all the exercises that you need to keep your body in good shape. We use several different props including core stabilization balls which really tune in to your core, the “girdle of strength.”
Bands offer resistance. Weights will increase your lean body mass, and will help you burn more calories and build strong bones. As we age, strong bones are important for stability and balance.
We also do “balancing” exercises which not only help with your balance but strengthens your bones as well.
It’s a pretty complete class and we work from head to toe. You will definitely notice a difference. I have also incorporated “therapeutic” movements to assist with areas such as the hips, spine, and knees.
Yoga is also a component in this class as it adds to the balance, grounding, centering, flexibility and the stretch!
That is why I call this class Pilates & Movement which incorporates of all of the best practices that work to firm, tone, strengthen, stretch, breathe and finally relax and recover…
If you haven’t tried my class, it may be a bit different that a traditional Pilates class but I think you will find the workout to be very satisfying with results.
Many students have been able to do activities they haven’t done in a while like ski, or perhaps take a nice long hike and get back to the activities they once enjoyed. Pilates was discovered by Joseph Pilates who worked in an internment camp working with people recovering from injury. He brought to NYC in the 1930’s and was widely used by dancers and actors. Many still use this practice today. The goal of Joseph Pilates was to help people recover from injury and also prevent them from injury.
You will find that you will have more stability, flexibility and balance just after a few sessions. This, along with Yoga is something you can do your entire life with modifications as needed.
I have been doing Pilates for 17 years and I have done many forms of exercise over the years, mainly because I enjoy exercising. Pilates and Yoga (Yoga 40 years now) are my mainstays of exercise with a hike in the woods or a swim in the ocean… And most importantly maintaining a good diet and eating a low carb meal. You will be surprised how the weight melts when you lower the carbs.
So, if you would like to try a class out, please drop in. For more information, please go to my website at www.spirit7moves.com. Namaste. Anne
Article on Weight Training and its benefits:
Approaching Life with Beginner’s MindBY LEO BABAUTAA lot of our troubles could be solved by one simple practice.
A lot of joy could be found with the same practice.
And it is simple: practice seeing life with a beginner’s mind.
I’m stealing this of course from Zen Buddhism’s shoshin and Shunryu Suzuki’s Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind, and I’ve written about it numerous times. But it’s more fundamental than most people realize.
It’s not just something you practice when you’re learning something — though dropping the “expert’s mind” and seeing the learning as a beginner is an important practice in learning. It’s something you can practice every single moment of the day (if you can remember to do so).
What is beginner’s mind? It’s dropping our expectations and preconceived ideas about something, and seeing things with an open mind, fresh eyes, just like a beginner. If you’ve ever learned something new, you can remember what that’s like: you’re probably confused, because you don’t know how to do whatever you’re learning, but you’re also looking at everything as if it’s brand new, perhaps with curiosity and wonder. That’s beginner’s mind.
But imagine if you could apply this to every activity. Take eating breakfast, for example:
Why It MattersWhen you practice beginner’s mind with an activity:
I’m not saying all of this happens automatically. It takes practice, but it’s worth the practice.
For more on how to: https://zenhabits.net/beginner/
“Each chakra is a vision of the world. It is a collection of our feelings, thoughts, values, and how we encounter the world within them.”
This surgery blew out my first and second chakra, the energies of “grounding and balance.” Rising up from our root chakra to the 2nd, it is our place of security and wisdom.
The First Chakra “represents the earth element, the strength, the grit, that bullish part of you.”
It is the deep instinctual patterns we learn for survival. It is at the very base of the spine, the power center that comprises our bowels and our anus. The first chakra reduces everything to the bottom line.”
The Second Chakra
The energy of the second chakra involves other humans, unlike the first which vision for the world is singular. The second chakra involves so many contraindications in us. Our entire economy seems to be fueled by this center, and yet people do not associate the idea of sexuality with creativity. Those who function strongly out of this center at a speed dictated by their feelings, desires, impulses and passions.
When this chakra is blocked in this center, life becomes more listless, empty and tedious. When overstimulated, the person sees everything in sexuality. Everything is said or done with one goal in mind: to fulfill the person’s passionate nature. And sometimes we get stuck, almost as if in a holding pattern, perhaps gripped with fear. A combination of the two basic survival of our being, the first and second chakra.
The combination of the shattering of the two, being the earth’s chakra or ours, as we are all connected to this place called earth. When the earth shatters so do we. We are living in times of stress and distress. We need to deeply connect to our inner self and voices despite the noise to return to our souls, our beings and know who we truly are.
Your relationship to nature is the essence of your being.
I have always been deeply connected to the earth. Out alone in the woods I am never afraid because I am at home with my creator, and she takes care of me. Below is a link about the 1st Chakra if you are interested. I also have many resources on this topic I am most willing to share. Be well.
For more information on the 1st Chakra: https://www.doyouyoga.com/alchemy-of-stability-earth-energy-of-root-chakra-48245/
In the Fall I will be offering a deeper exploration into Yogic Philosophy. It is good for healing the body, mind and spirit. A schedule will be posted late summer. Focus will be on the Chakra with yoga postures to lift blockages, open the body and spirit. This will include discussions on the Chakra’s with guest speakers as well.
About 15 years ago I discovered Pilates. It is an excellent practice and nice compliment to Yoga or any form of exercise that you might engage in. The mat work of Joseph Pilates is over 90 years old. The first Pilates studio opened in NYC in 1926. It has been the secret of dancers and performers since the late 1920's and in recent years been discovered by athletes, models and actors who say they own their strong lithe bodies to the Pilates method.
The Pilates method of body conditioning is a unique system of stretching and strengthening exercises. It strengthens and tones muscles, improves posture, provides flexibility and balance, unites body and mind and creates a more streamlined body. These exercises will assist you in daily activities stabilizing muscles that protect your back as well as developing a sleek physique. Of course, any exercise program must be accompanied with health eating habits and a lower carbohydrate intake.
All my classes include components of Yoga as the practices compliment one another nicely. Yoga is a complex tradition that has a history of over 5,000 years. Hatha Yoga is a forceful yoga aimed at liberation through physical transformation. Yoga incorporates poses designed to balance the body and the mind, generally including many active expanding poses/postures or known as asanas.
For years I have studied and participated in many forms of exercise, aerobics, running, biking and callenetics. I found that the most consistent form of exercise for me was my Yoga practice. It is a practice you can do anywhere and I knew that when I was mindful of my practice, I always felt a sense of inner peace and could move my body well. When I discovered Pilates I was amazed at the short time I was able to transform my body and strengthen and stabilize my movements.
It is the richness and complimentary nature of these practices that enhance our body, mind and spirit. I am a firm believer that you do not need to purchase a lot of expensive equipment to look and feel good. A mindful mat practice will strengthen, tone, increase flexibility and balance and increase your body awareness.
Remember that these exercise are not competitive and you need not push yourself. Each time you do a posture it will become easier and more comfortable. Do what your body allows and remember to breathe with each movement.
Joseph Pilates says "In ten sessions you will feel the difference, in twenty you will see the difference and in thirty you will have a whole new body.
References: The Pilates Body by Brooke Siler
Mindful Mat Technique
Mindful eating: The Zone Diet (A good start and great information)
Low carb lifestyle https://www.carbsmart.com/
I keep talking about bicycle riding in Pilate’s class and we have been doing a lot of bicycle leg exercises on the mat. My hubby had brought my bike down from the rafters and I had been procrastinating because I know that the hills wait on 184 no matter which way I go.
So I finally opted one way to go out and found that my gears were in a need of repair; 1st a bit cranky 2nd fussy and 3rd gear no way! So I rode it twice to makes sure it was not just the rider who was being incompetent having not ridden in 2 years. I chose the easy route down Rocky Hollow and back; other than the glitches’ on the gear the ride was rather nice I realize how much I missed riding.
My next trip was up to Jeremy hill to complete some landscape work so I took the bike riding up the hill and that’s where all those bicycles from Pilate’s class kicked in! As I biked to the top and then sailed own the hill I felt joyful in making it up and the gift of the downhill with the winds keeping me cool and free.
On my way down to Mystic to swim with a friend I took my bike to Mystic Cycle Center who fixed my bike in 20 minutes complete with a new mirror.
I rode it today and the gears shifted nicely heading up the hill on a new route to realize we can always be challenged! Particularly by this small but rather steep hill which tested my knees an my lungs as I used mouth breathing on the exhale which got me up the hill and then release with shorter out breath at the top to cool down. I realized that I had learned these breathing techniques from Yoga.
Yoga is part of our lives that keeps us connected to our mind body and spirit. We know what we are made of and we use our energy wisely. As I sailed down the hill I felt happy to be alive, and as I turned onto 184 grateful of my mirror purchase!
I plan to continue to ride this summer and will be heading to Weekpaug for evening rides. The view is beautiful and warm seas for a swim. Enjoy your ride! Namaste Anne
The picture above was taken at Kripalu on the lake.
As I reflect on Earth Day this year, April 22, I made some new commitments to take care of her. She nourishes and heals us and if we take care of the earth, we take care of ourselves.
Climate change is the earth cleansing itself; you can feel the energy and if you are sensitive you feel it even stronger. This VATA weather with its drying winds creates a feeling instability and anxiousness. The winds of change are strong now and change can be messy and uncomfortable. But with this there is renewal and growth.
(More on VATA Ayurveda Dosha at: http://ayurvedadosha.org/#axzz3ZS69I71O)
When we have the practice of Yoga in our lives, it enables us to connect to our true self and not let anyone take that away from us. Stephen Cope, a Kripalu instructor wrote the book “Yoga and the Quest for True Self.” I read it many years ago and it always stuck with me. It is an excellent book and I have been inspired by his work and writings. I have Stephen Cope's book "Yoga & the Quest for True Self" if you would like to borrow it. I have an extensive collection of books on Yoga, Pilates & Meditation if you would like to borrow them.
Yoga allows you to get rid of the chatter of the mind, to find the time to just be. Be still, calming the mind and body. Yoga creates an environment of peace and contentment. It gives the breath a time to settle and find your rhythm.
The community at Spirit Moves is a wonderful joining of people who are taking care of their health and share with others. Creating community is perhaps one of the most important parts of living I this world and I am grateful for Mark’s eggs and Peggy’s herbs, Elora’s lavender for eye pillows, new babies! Deb’s scarves and the sharing of stories, trips and many adventures!
“Seekers who believe they must practice yoga only in the meditation room are under a great illusion. They must practice yoga in society as well. Practicing yoga in the meditation room is easy because there are no external disturbances. But one encounters many disturbances while practicing yoga in society, which makes it very difficult. The true yogi is one who can successfully protect his mental steadiness while in society.”
I often speak of taking Yoga off the mat. Swami Kripalu summed it up quite nicely in the quote above. Yoga was first a philosophy of living and the asanas came later. You can read more from reading the Yoga Sutra's by Pantajali.It's a selection in the Lending Library. Not any easy read but interesting.
Each posture has a purpose in the body as well as the mind and spirit. It's really complete. I often thought as I studied psychology in grad school that Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs was missing one thing "spirit." That which keeps us whole and when our spirit is damaged, so are we. It's a tough world out there these days, things move so fast we probably don't always have time to comprehend them. We are overburden with too much information. We are constantly "distracted."
Practicing Yoga will lead to more mindful behavior, to paying attention and in the present because where else can we be but the present! Start your practice at home. Grace Graber who is 80 years old wakes up each morning with back stretches and a few Yoga postures she enjoys. Her doctors are impressed with her breathing! She takes her practice seriously and makes it a part of her life.
At 80, she moves well, swims, works in the yard and has good energy. I admire Grace (aka "Teddy). She has been doing Yoga for 10 years now and probably another 10.
Yogic philosophy gives us what we need to live healthy lives, mind body and spirit, Take it with you, wherever you go. Namaste,
Is taken from Anahuac National Refuge. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The vast wetlands surrounded by protective marshes filled with so many species of birds, the largest population of Alligators in the United States. My brother Bruce lived in Anahuac, Texas after moving his family there on a wing and a prayer for a job. He was smart and came by things naturally. He raised his children, Catherine and Bruce the 4th in this beautiful place which we visited, for me once again. My heart became opened as I felt the energy of my brothers spirit, who died way too young at 41. He was a wonderful father who loved his children and would do anything for them. He taught them to fish and swim, they spent a lot of time at the water. They have grown up into fine young adults with wonderful spirits, his son the same twinkle in his eye and the spitting image of my brother and Catherine, a big adorable heart filled with much joy. My brother was a wonderful father and you can feel the love surrounded them. It was a wonderful visit and my daughter, Katherine and son Erik joined us. We met their friends, went clubbing in Houston and I listened to some great music...A birthday party at and for Catherine's where we celebrated and made new friends. We met Bruce's wife Aurelia and his son, Bruce Alexander Hunter, 4th! I can remember when I asked my nephew Bruce was going to call his son, without hesitate, he said, "Well Bruce, of course." He's one and a half and devised his own language which he understands. He calculates his moves, you can see his mind working. He did not crawl, he got up and just ran (and hasn't stopped since!) He's a beautiful baby with a wonderful smile,
So, if you are ever in Texas and like birdwatching a lot, take a trip to see nature at her finest, do go to Anahuac National Refuge, spend a few days to explore! http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Anahuac/
by Everything but the Girl
on Amplified Hearts
An excellent CD. I came across this album quite some time ago, and never tire of listening to it. Perhaps the most important thing for me about this CD is the song “Missing”. It’s a powerful song, passionate and heartfelt.
When my sister Barbara was 41 years young, she died from cancer. She was too young and I will always remember her wonderful smile, generous nature and sense of humor. She was a beautiful young woman in every way. She lit up a room with her radiant smile and warm embrace. She made me laugh and was always there for me. I learned about courage from my sister Barbara.
She will never leave my heart; she will always be a part of mine.
When I heard the song “Missing” one day while cleaning out some of her personal items, this song came on and totally described the feelings I was having about my sister. I was so missing her.
“And I miss you, like the deserts miss the rain”
When I hear this song, it evokes emotion in me in a wonderful memory of my sister Barbara.
“You found some better place.”
How does music affect your lives? For me it opens new pathways, delights the ears and makes the body move. It helps me release feelings and emotions that may have been bottled up, or breathe into meditation and relaxation. Music is a big part of my life and I enjoy exploring new music and enjoying the old. There is something for everyone. So, the next time you are feeling blue, in need of motivation, or just a quiet moment, find the music that speaks to you. Listen and let the music take you where you need to go. And, if there is no music, go outside and listen to the birds sing.
You will be hearing the jazzed up version of “Missing” in Pilates class. Let your spirit move you!
“Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.” John Denver
“Music makes pictures and often tells stories
All of it magic and all of it true
And all of the pictures and all of the stories
All of the magic, the music is you.”
Usually while walking a topic will come to mind that opens my mind to much conversation, albeit, sometimes just by myself, and as I walk I contemplate on the possibilities. Of course, I have to remind myself to be present in nature, but walking energies my brain. Walking helps me sort out everything that matters and leave the rest behind…
I am reminded of one of my Pilates music selections for class called, “Leave it All Behind” It was an intentional choice of music. For me, using many methods to integrate the change I need, or the path to follow becomes more solidified. By using all my senses, I integrate the intention in my body as it becomes part of who I am as a being.
Yoga has done that for me. It is a practice that will help make you whole despite all that tries to bring us down or in other directions. We have to be true to ourselves and “Let Go” of the judging.
I had no idea what I would write about today; sometimes it just flows in an area you weren’t even thinking of. So, the title of this being New Year 2014 leads to my quest is to “look at things differently” with my third eye.
Become unattached and clearly see.
(To learn more about the “Third Eye” go to http://www.yogajournal.com/basics/898?page=7. They can explain it a lot better than I!)
Since I have started this practice in my life, right around the holidays, I looked more upon people with compassion, rather than trepidation from the dreaded or not-- holiday family season. I looked at all the gifts I have received from others. A smile, a hug or good laugh at the dinner table. A kind remark, a loving look and being able to laugh at myself and enjoy the company of others. Not that I haven't in the past but being more conscious. Not letting the details or perfections I require get in the way. Truly being present in that place.
I thought of the uniqueness of each being, and I embraced the thought which brought much joy into my heart this holiday season. A season of JOY!
What will your practice be this year? What is your intention? If you allow it, it will come quietly to you without any fanfare, all you have to do is listen and be open. Manifest your intention using your senses, in a way that works best for you. See what happens.
In Joy~ Anne See Play list of Music under “Originals Only” at www.spirit7moves.com
Unsettled weather has a tendency to put one on edge and yet there is an opportunity to be with the flow of the weather. Rain may quiet us. T-storms invigorate, and the humidity slows us down.
Weather invites us to be part of the energy of the earth.
This summer has been unsettling for me. Perhaps the most traumatic was my son who was stricken with Lyme Carditis on August 26. This is an acute Lyme disease attack. Due to the diligence of an EMT and an excellent cardiologist, my son will be okay. He is not out of the woods and must take good care of himself with no strenuous activities until the cardiologist and infectious disease doctors give their blessings. Lyme Carditis is a complete heart block and happens more often than you think. The nurses and docs at L&M emergency were quick to recognize this and immediately put in a pacemaker. The prognosis’ is good with IV antibiotics and a weeks’ stay in the hospital and more antibiotics and rest. There is not a day I don’t thank God my son is still with us.
The docs everywhere have said that Lyme disease is rampant this year. My husband Jeff, his face feeling tingly was also just diagnosed with Lyme disease. I had Lyme myself over 20 years ago. So don’t hesitate to be tested if you are having symptoms of Lyme disease. Know that it affects everyone differently. Do be mindful of ticks and mosquito’s it’s been a banner year for both and with these wet and humid days, there will be more.
I find that it is at times like these that the practice of Yoga has helped me. I resonate with the philosophy and the movements help my body release and let go of what is not needed and bring in that which is. A breath of air, a nice slow stretch, meditation or perhaps a good hard Pilates workout. Working the body, mind and spirit. The best work you can do.
So, in these unsettling times, take the time to cherish the people you love, take the time to be with them for a cup of coffee, face to face or a nice long conversation. Breathe often. Sing. Dance. Love.
And smile. A lot. A smile will always brighten you up and those you share it with.
Hence, my son will not be shredding the nar for a while, and as there are no storms in the offing, he won’t be tempted. He can watch, film and be near the water and eventually he’ll go back in with his seal energy and enter the waters again. The seal is one of my son’s animal totems. We all have our totems, some of us carry several. My son’s is the seal and he swims just like one and is so comfortable in that environment. Ted Andrews has one of the best books I have read on Animal Totems. (This year I will be having a “lending library” at the studio with many good books to share. More information will be available on my website at www.spirit7moves.com and Ted Andrews will be on that list.)
Unsettling also makes room for new growth, for vulnerability which opens new pathways in the mind.
“Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. the new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable, i.e. open.”
― Stephen Russell, Barefoot Doctor's Guide to the Tao: A Spiritual Handbook for the Urban Warrior
Make more time for yourself and your family. Do things together. Get rid of distractions you no longer need for they only hold you back. Take time to breathe and be. Namaste. Anne