Happy New Year 2018 – The Year of Balance

Winter is time for rebirth of sorts. After cutting away what we no longer need in the fall, we look to winter for a chance to renew ourselves. That’s why we talk about making new year’s resolutions in order to be a better person. But most of us fail when we have not gotten rid of the things that are in our way.

 

For me, there were a lot of events in my life forcing me to let go of things that were no longer serving me. And while it has taken a while to adjust to the change in energy, I begin to set the intention of manifesting a community of people who are ready to let go of unproductive stress, excessive workouts that really only aggravate the body instead of rejuvenating it and are ready to be happy! And I mean truly happy which implies being grateful for each and every moment (good or not so good), focus on the present, and being content with whatever comes our way. And I am truly grateful for all the events of 2017 even though it made me uncomfortable and angry sometimes. Those events forced me to look inside and see what part I played in my own stress and discomfort.

 

Moving out of downtown Peekskill where we were located for over 8 years into our new space at Go No Sen Karate center allowed me to let go of extraneous expenses, parking problems, and noise! Thank you Renshi Adam McCauley and your staff for welcoming us so warmly and graciously! We feel so at home here. I look forward to seeing some old and new faces and introducing you all to the people here at Go No Sen Karate.
My hope for this year is to see more of you at our new location. We are enjoying our bigger and better space that has lots of free parking so we can better offer more New and Free Classes and workshops!

Self Discovery

Self discovery is the process of learning more about yourself and who you are. An example of self discovery is going to therapy or meditating to have time to consider and contemplate your strengths and weaknesses.” This definition was found on www.yourdictionary.com and is an example of how to create the meaningful life that you are meant to experience. It is a part of Self Mastery: the distance between upset and reset. Finding your center of balance.  Self Mastery is not about being perfect and it is not a judgment of someone else’ balance. it is about finding that place of peace within yourself, whatever that is. For some of us that peace has more quiet time for reading, contemplation, or creativity. For others it maybe more time with family and loved ones and being more active. Where ever your center is, that is where your self mastery is. The important thing is not to judge that against others. Find it in yourself. It starts with meditation. Meditation comes out of being completely in the moment, once you observe yourself in that moment and make judgement about it you are out of meditation. It is a practice and if during that practice we get a moment or two of complete clarity we have succeeded.

We can meditate in many ways. Most people think of meditation as being a seated practice, but one can also meditate standing, moving, or doing the mundane tasks with complete immersion in what you are doing. Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, are all examples of moving meditation, but you could also do silent walks where you are completely focused on what is around you without judgement or story.

The Meat Suit

Starting a yoga practice can be very intimidating and sometimes confusing. Some of us have a very hard time connecting to our bodies and for others it can be very scary. I even went through a time where I really hated my body and didn’t even want to look at it. But through my journey with yoga I discovered wonderful things. With each yoga session I began to feel stronger and each session brought a little more release and peace to my spirit and well being.
Over the next few weeks, we will be offering the following classes to help the novice and the advanced alike to rediscover their bodies and all it has to offer.
My teacher calls our body a meat suit. You see, we aren’t our bodies. We are only consciousness residing in form temporarily. When we learn how to connect to our vessel that we present to others, our true selves can show through then our real power and vitality shines and we become our true purpose. We begin to find our voice.
If you have been reading our weekly emails and have not tried a class, now is the time. Call us, email us, like us on Facebook! Our purpose at Energy Movement Center is to offer small group classes taught by compassionate, knowledgeable and caring instructors that will guide you through your process without judgement.

Swiss Chard Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Yield: 6 servings
 Ingredients:
1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard, finely chopped
1/2 package baked chicken, fish,or tofu cut into bite-size cubes
2 cups red cabbage, shredded coarsely
2-3 carrots, grated
1 cup toasted walnuts
Oriental Dressing
2-3 cloves garlic (pressed or chopped)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup walnut oil
2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
Directions:
       1.  Cut off stems of the Swiss chard and slice small, then chop leaves by rolling the chard into a tube and slicing thinly, creating narrow strips.
       2.  Blend all dressing ingredients and mix well. The dressing will last for a few days in the refrigerator.
       3.  Mix all salad ingredients and drizzle with dressing.

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day! April Showers bring May Flowers, but someone forgot to turn off the faucet! Well, the flowers are coming up at least and they bring beautiful color to the gardens! Just in time for Mothers Day.
They say the hardest job on earth is the job of being a mother. Even when the job is “done” and the children leave they take a piece of the mother’s heart and soul, leaving them with a sense of uncertainty. “Did I do my job well enough?”, “Did I teach them everything they need to know?”, “Will they remember to brush their teeth?” … As a mother of two young men I know. Even though they are still under our roof they  will eventually leave to start a life of their own. Sometimes I start to panic. I hope I have at least given them the confidence that they can face their fears and enjoy their lives. And when they stumble they know that I am here and they can come to me for guidance and support.
If you are reading this you have a mother, some of you are also mothers, some of you will celebrate with your mother and/or be celebrated.
Some of you will be remembering your mothers and missing her deeply. As I spend another Mother’s Day a few hundred miles away from my mother, I am thankful every day that she is here and I can call her and visit her. I cherish the time I have with her every day even though we may not speak for a week or two at a time. Some of you are not so lucky. So remember her with compassion and love and remember the hardest job on earth is motherhood.
In Peace and Gratitude,
Darby

Food Energetics and the Inner Smile Meditation

12 Weeks to Vibrant Health & Wellness
Food Energetics and the Inner Smile Meditation

Inner Smile Meditation.
“An inner smile radiates powerful healing energy. Start with the eyes. Practice the inner smile by closing your eyes and smiling sincerely into them. Relax and let a deep, loving smile shine through your eyes. By relaxing your eyes you can calm your entire nervous system. Continue by smiling down the front line (from the eyes down through your vital organs towards the genitals effortlessly like a waterfall): into the face (especially the jaws), neck, heart and blood circulatory system, the lungs, liver, kidneys, adrenals, pancreas, spleen, bladder and genitals. Continue by smiling down the Middle Line: Smile down from the mouth to the stomach, small intestine, large intestine and rectum, simultaneously swallowing saliva. The Back Line: smile down the inside of the vertebrae of your spine, one by one.” (Chi Fit for Life, Michael Leone)

We also talked about the energetics of foods and the concept of Primary Food. Food can be measured in many ways–not only for its nutrition, but for the experience it gives to you and the energy it creates in your body. You’ve heard it said “you are what you eat.” It is true that food makes up the cells in your body, but have you ever thought it may also impact your relationship to life?
Primary food is everything that feeds our soul and who we are. Primary foods feed us, but they don’t come on a plate.
Learn more about the energetics of food and the importance of Primary food by signing up for our next Vibrant Health and Wellness workshop series.

New series will start in January!

Stay tuned for dates and times. Please call Darby at 914-393-2423 if you are interested in scheduling a free consultation to get you started!

Great Start to 12 Weeks to Vibrant Health & Wellness

We had a great start last Saturday embarking on our 12 week journey towards vibrant health and wellness. We started by creating an awareness of where we are now and where we want to be heading towards. Only by being aware of what isn’t working in our life but accepting ourselves for where we are at can we begin to create a map of small achievable goals that will help us get to where we ultimately want to be.

By understanding that our internal beliefs manifest themselves to the outside we can start to change the dialog we have with ourselves. And that’s where we begin.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
 
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Excerpted from A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles,

by Marianne Williamson.

New series will start in January!

Stay tuned for dates and times. Please call Darby at 914-393-2423 if you are interested in scheduling a free consultation to get you started!

Squat for Life

My son Alex is starting off his career as a Strength and Conditioning Trainer. He just graduated from URI (University of Rhode Island) and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise. I am so proud of him and his ability to think for himself not to just go with the mainstream.

Here is his take on Function vs Strength:  “It’s been debated over and over again.  Most stick with one side or another.  This is a problem because they’re basically the same thing!  Look, squatting to depth is a functional exercise no ifs, ands, or but(t)s about it.  You can focus on strength by adding a heavy external load, take away or lighten the load and you are working on the functional squatting pattern.  I know functional training is more complex than one movement pattern, as well as strength training, but when we combine these two modes of training we can make the most progress.”

He is absolutely right. We squat every day when we sit. In China you often find people squatting, reading the newspaper while they wait for the bus. It is a function of longevity. If done correctly there is little risk to the knees in fact it is a part of maintaining health knees. Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong all encourage daily squatting practice.

Body Mind Connection

Yoga is a “Body/Mind/Spirit” experience.  We know the physics of movement; “a body in motion, stays in motion” and through continual flowing movements of yoga we become more cognizant of ourselves and learn to relax the body and clear the mind, especially of the more obvious stressors; job, finances, relationships, etc. Through breath and movement we align our bodies and connect to a relaxed state.

The mind and body connection may be obvious to some but unrecognized by others. As we loose the connection to our feelings many think of these pains and discomforts in our body as warnings about impending disease when most of the time you can calm them by just feeling the feelings and recognizing where they come from then releasing them.

We have sayings that express exactly that connection. Let’s look at some of the ways we express discomfort, what our mind is saying and how our bodies might be manifesting.

“he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders” – Stress – Shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, unnecessary surgeries…

“the hairs on the back of his neck stood straight up” – Fear, anxiety – Heart problems, arrhythmia, mental disorder…

“Pit of the stomach” – Dread, nervousness, knowing that your love is not returned… – can lead to IBS, stomach problems

“heart is heavy ” – Sad, overburdened – depression,

“head about to burst” – Angry – addictions

These sayings imply a mind/body connection, right? The ailments that sometimes lead us to seek a physician when all we need is to take some time for self-reflection? You’ve heard the saying “you are what you eat.” How about “you are what you think, feel?” Because we are a society that is encouraged to hold back feelings to keep us from being vulnerable or embarrassing to ourselves or others we have learned to ignore the instincts that tell us many things about ourselves. Over time stress in our body lay the foundation to many diseases that when not moved out, can get us hooked on unnecessary medications, bring us to the emergency room or worse, CANCER!

However, we can release these physical pains through exercise, meditation, a good cry or a big pillow to punch. Ancient eastern cultures have recognized the connection to body/mind/spirit for thousands of years and we are just now adapting the remedies they discovered like Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and meditation.

Adding just a few movements a day to move the discomfort can result in a better nights sleep, being more focused and feeling more connected to self  and others.

 

Food Focus: Water

Most of us are aware of the importance of drinking enough water. Getting our daily dose of water helps our organs perform their functions, keeps our skin clear and hydrated, and allows physical action in our bodies to flow smoothly. Even with this knowledge, it can still be challenging to drink all the water our bodies deserve daily. In the summer, when we tend to play hard, sweat and spend prolonged time in the sun, drinking plenty of water is critical. Those who are not drinking enough may experience poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath and general fatigue.

To start your day right, set a large glass of water by your bed each night and drink it when you wake up. Drinking water first thing in the morning pulls out toxins from the previous day and freshens your system for the day ahead. Keep a bottle of water accessible throughout the day, whether you are on the go or at a desk. Having a bottle of water close by will remind you to take a sip when thirsty. The first sip will usually let you know how much more water you need. A sip or two may be enough, or you may need a big glass. If you drink most of your daily water before early evening, you most likely will not be thirsty before bed. This is good, because drinking before bed and then waking to use the bathroom disturbs your peaceful night’s sleep.