It begins and ends with POSTURE!

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It begins and ends with POSTURE!

Hi there, Wobblers.

Prepare for a soft rant.  This rant is designed for your own good and longevity and your ability to #move4joy until you die, so I figure it will be well placed.

Here we go:

I was out on my bike yesterday and wound up tooling around a popular lake path here in Minneapolis.  Since it was gorgeous day, there were all kinds of folks out strolling around—young people, older people, people with dogs (I have, at times, believed that in this region when you go to walk around a lake, there is a person there handing out golden retrievers on leashes as some kind of prerequisite for being on the path, but that is a whole other blog post), people on rollerblades, people with headphones, and many other demographic identifyers.  What struck me most as I rolled past were the people with GOOD posture, and the people with, well, BAD posture.  And, many of the people who had BAD posture looked to be fairly young in age. This is one of those facts that just should not be true.

Having good posture helps many things (breathing, core strength, balance, confidence, mood, and more!).  And, there are many medical and lifestyle-related factors that influence posture.  The lifestyle stuff is manageable with even a little bit of effort and consistency.  The medical stuff we can work around, at least to a degree.

Please check yourself out right now.  Are you slouching?  Are you sitting and your spine is rounded?  Are you walking but staring DOWN at your phone? Here are a few tips for changing bad posture RIGHT NOW.

  1.  When standing/walking, picture yourself as a ballroom dancer, gazing up into the 3rd balcony.  We want to draw in our tummies a bit (that’s your tranverse abdominus muscle working….the deepest ab muscle in your core) and pull our shoulder blades together behind us.  Now take a deep breath.  Was it easier to breath big with all that expanded chest space? I thought so.
  2. Limit your time sitting. This one can be a toughie if you have a sitting type of job. Take a standing break every 20 minutes or so.  If you are on the phone and don’t need to type at your computer, talk while standing up!  And better yet, get a head-set for your phone or an ear bud that lets you keep your neck in a neutral position.
  3. Do a standing back-bend stretch.  We spend so much of our waking lives either sitting or leaning forward.  Counter act those tendencies with some deliberate stretch a few times per day.  Stand tall with feet about a foot apart, place your hands on your lower spine.  Inhale and send your hips forward a little, while leaning backward slightly on the upper body.  This should feel like the front of your body is getting longer.  If you notice any uncomfortable squeezing or compression feelings in the spine, stop, regroup, reposition, and try again with less leaning.
  4. Have your walking buddy keep you accountable! During my observation at the lake, I noticed many people walking and talking in pairs.  This is a great chance to observe your walking partner and give each other encouragement to walk tall.  Bonus: breathing and speaking will be easier, so you can fully solve all the world’s problems while getting healthier in the process!

Thanks for reading our Posture Rant this week.  If you’d like further help in addressing or correcting your posture, we do that!  Check us out at http://www.embracethewobble.com for all of our group and private instruction options.  We guarantee with a little practice, you’ll FEEL about 10 feet tall (and possibly bullet proof) in our #move4joy studio culture!

Have a great week, Wobblers!

Leah:)

 

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This one is for my clients (read: family)

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This one is for my clients (read: family)

Dear All My Personal Training Clients:

Have I told you lately that I love you?  And by that I mean I love you in the least stalker-ish, most heart-warming kind of way.  I love that you talk the big gulp and dive into your first sessions, probably wondering what the hell I will ask you to do and whether you will be able to climb the stairs or lift your blow dryer the next day (Spoiler:  You will.)

I love the way you trust me with your bodies and your learning curve about movement.  I love the way you keep coming back, session after session, sometimes WAY before it is daylight when the temp hovers at too many degrees below zero and your face hurts as you walk to the studio door.

I love when you can finally smile when you move your body.  Watching that moment, after hundreds of sessions or just one appointment never gets old.

I love when you nail a push-up of any kind.  Know why?  Because then I know that you are strong.  Often, stronger than you think you are.  I know that your muscles have learned to play well together and you are really starting to get this whole exercise thing, even if you don’t really love push-ups themselves.  I love that you do them when I ask you to–so we can both marvel at your strength.

I love when you tell me that you have finally stopped worrying about losing weight and that you are happy that you can run, and you will stay happy as long as that is true.  (And, sometimes running isn’t a lifelong thing…..I will be here to help you find the next kind of #movement4joy should the need arise.)

I love laughing with you and solving the world’s problems together for 30 minutes while you are telling me you are ready to sweat, sweat, sweat.  (I can make that happen for you, for sure!)

I love hearing you say that you feel safe in my studio when you just need a quiet place to feel the things you are feeling while we move through some gentle stretches with few words.

This is the work I love, and you people are so amazing.  If you are not yet part of the group I am addressing in this open letter, are you ready to join this family of Movers 4 Joy?  We are ready for you.  Reach out and let us know when to expect your knock on our door at Wobble.  leah@embracethewobble.com.  615-887-1257. And, to give you some extra incentive, our sessions are currently on sale at 4 sessions/month (1 per week) at only $137.00/month!  

The mat is waiting.  Your name is on it.

Leah:)

Wobbling with addiction–partner with us and help!

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Wobbling with addiction–partner with us and help!

IMG_20171211_090513The Holiday Season looks quite perfect on every TV commercial, Magazine cover, and mailed-out family photo.  And many families–my own included–create happy holiday memories and warm, giving occasions that feed us for years to come.  However.

Let’s please take a moment to look at some Holiday shadow.  When we can view any shadow square-on, the shadow begins to shrink as the light of honesty hits it.  Today’s holiday shadow is the one named “addiction.”

Holidays bring out the addict in all of us.  No family is as perfect as the photos and we all have our coping mechanisms to deal with this time of year where depression and anxiety run high anyway because of the change in season, and relationships or lack thereof magnify many uncomfortable emotions.  Since none of us enjoy feeling uncomfortable, we ALL tend to turn to things like eating, wine, shopping, isolating, avoidance, partying a little too hard, pain-killers, or anything else that seems easier than confronting the people, places, and things that send us down a bad-feeling path.

The line between being able to stop this temporary coping behavior and being powerless to stop it is a thin one indeed.  This is the line that defines true addiction.

I know first hand that addiction is a chronic disease.  My first marriage was to a drug addict, and I myself also struggled with behavioral addiction during that time.  It always seemed that the holidays were the most triggering time for my former spouse, and often resulted in drug use for him, and confusion and pain and hopelessness for myself and my daughter.  When he was using pain killers, he would seem fine—well-adjusted, happy, and relaxed—which was outside of the norm for him.  I began to associate “good” behavior from my spouse with a relapse of his disease of addiction, and “sick” behavior (crippling depression, anxiety, extreme isolation) with normalcy—a very crazy-making cycle in any marriage.

I was the first one to seek help.  Though our marriage ultimately did not last, I learned a ton about how addiction works.  It is a slippery illness to say the least, and one that requires firm boundaries and also a lot of compassion and serious and lasting help.  The user MUST take responsibility for his own chemical use and health care, and family and friends must provide a good balance of accountability,  and responsibility to step in when the addict truly needs help and/or resources.  As one addiction recovery specialist put it recently, (paraphrased from conversation) “Treating addiction is very similar to treating diabetes in that it requires constant monitoring of symptoms and quick application of quality intervention, tools, and therapies to manage the disease.  That is what you do with addiction.  You manage it.”

This year at Wobble, we are proud to partner with Wayside Recovery Supportive Housing.  (www.waysiderecovery.org)   Once chemical addicts complete a treatment program, they need a safe place to slowly practice their sobriety skills in real life with their families.  Wayside Recovery does a great job of caring for the whole family unit with supportive housing, financial planning programs, goal setting, enriching activities for children, relapse prevention, community meetings and more.

We have a Wayside Recovery Big Blue Barrel in our lobby that needs filling—with books, toys (non-battery please), and board games for kids from age toddler to middle school.  Let’s fill this barrel and take a bite out of the damage that the disease of addiction causes for ALL the families it touches.

Remember, addicts never choose this disease.  The urge to use in the first place is always from a place of coping—of trying to do something to make us feel better—and who among us doesn’t want that?  Wayside helps affected persons and families find ways to feel better permanently–by showing them how to craft and practice a future free of addictive drug use.

Please drop by during any of our class times (found at http://www.embracethewobble.com) and fill up our barrel!

Thanks, Happy Holidays, and see you soon on the mat!

Leah:)

 

Stop trying to “burn off” your Halloween Candy!

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Stop trying to “burn off” your Halloween Candy!

halloween-candy1It is Halloween.  That time of year when all the Facebook posts have a picture of candy and the number of minutes you have to spend doing jumping jacks for each “fun size” treat you consume.

How come they don’t post the rest of the year about how many minutes of walking you have to do to “burn off” a carrot?  The number of leaves you have to rake to “justify” eating that 4 ounces of pork loin?  The number of stairs you have to climb to use up all the soup you had at lunch?

My point here is, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY for eating—and I’m talking about all of the foods here– with exercise.  Because here’s why:

  1. Most of the calories you consume are for your body’s basic functions:  breathing, digestion, heart beat, and other autonomic functions.
  2. Eating is functional and fuels us, for sure, but also eating is largely social, celebratory, and often a form of cultural ritual–why do we continually weigh that down with guilt or expectation?
  3. If you ARE trying to change your body composition (i.e. lose fat and gain muscle), you cannot exercise your way out of the particular food choices you make–you have to approach the project as a total package, working towards your best health with a combination of sound, intuitive balanced nutrition, exercise/movement, quality sleep, preventative and/or proactive health care, and stress management.

So, coming from a body-positive perspective, here is how I suggest we ALL approach Halloween and the rest of the Holidays that take us out to the end of the year:

  1. Eat when you are hungry.  And, if you have somehow lost touch with your body’s hunger cues, start seeking help and guidance with that from your doctor,  a body-positive trainer (like me!), a registered dietitian, or a psychotherapist.
  2. Eat a variety of foods when you are hungry, until you are no longer hungry (meaning satisfied, but not stuffed–which may also take some intention to figure out).  That might mean that if you choose to have candy (which is totally fine) that you also include some more nutrient-dense food along with your candy, like a fruit or a vegetable, or a grain-based food with several grams of fiber, or a source of protein like yogurt or eggs, or lean meat, beans, etc.
  3. Eat joyfully with no guilt.  (Again, this might take some doing, or undoing, depending on your previous conditioning, and you might need to seek out some help with this from a therapist, or do some journaling, or surround yourself with friends who have healthy and balanced and joyful relationships with food.)  Because even if you do eat until you are stuffed, you will be hungry again at some point, and you will get another shot at connecting with your body in an intuitive way.

It also bears mentioning that if you have addictive behaviors around candy, then again, no amount of exercising or calorie burn is going to address those behaviors.  Food addictions require lots and lots of help, usually, to recover from those patterns and shift your food relationship to a healthy partnership between you and the fuel that you eat and enjoy.

So, go Trick or Treating with your kids, and enjoy a piece of candy or two together!  Help sort, be sure to inspect your candy for safety, and revel in the food rituals that come with fall.

Enjoy your Halloween, Wobblers.

See you soon on the mat!

Leah:)

(Psssst:  Are you looking for some help with moving for joy or with YOUR particular food relationship?  I’ve got you covered, and if I don’t, I have great referral partners.  Let’s schedule a consult.  leah@embracethewobble.com)

 

Creating the Wellness “Container.”

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Creating the Wellness  “Container.”

containerDear Wobblers:

Today is all about you.  (It’s mostly about you all of the time, because you are why I own a yoga studio, teach yoga, do Intuitive Personal Training, and guide your Wellness Careers, if you have those hopes and dreams.  And also why the rest of our brilliant teachers do what THEY do as well.)

Can I please just say how much I love you all?  And not in that creepy, stalkerish, person-you-are-immediately-going-to-scrub-from-your-friend/like-list.  I love you because you are willing to be vulnerable when you come in the studio.  I love you because you sometimes roll out of bed and right into your yoga pants to be able to wake up with us. I love you because you often stop by after work to somehow claim yourself back from the stress of your day with us.  I love you because you grow and change and become stronger and healthier and less depressed and more energized by allowing us to guide you.  I love you because you often allow us to be your foundation—your community when family members pass away, when you lose your job, when you get divorced, when you have chronic pain, when you just need a minute, for Pete’s sake, when the only thing you need is for someone to tell you to breathe.

That is why I love doing this work.  Because I get to use a particular skill set (teaching, training, listening, coaching) to be a witness into all your humanity—to sometimes be the (only?) person who can hold a container for you when you most need it.

Today, I’m also writing because I have a few of these containers open and available for new students, or existing students who would like a more focused and specific kind of container for whatever Wellness issue YOU might be dealing with.

Come talk to me.  Consults are always on the house.  You get 30 minutes of my or another of team member’s time to let us know where you are stuck, where you want to go, and begin piecing together the action steps to get you there—with our help.

Of course, we have services to offer that will help you along the way and we will ask you if those feel true and whether you are ready to dive into that deeply rewarding process.  However, we mainly just want to know you more.  To help you feel even more at home with us.  To hear your feedback and your struggles as well as your triumphs and wins.

Reach out today to schedule your “container.”  Hit me up at leah@embracethewobble.com, or text/call at 615-887-1257.  Not local?  That’s okay too, because technology.  We  will figure it out.

Big hug, bright smiles, and a helping hand to all of you!  We need each other, and I’m so excited to connect.

Leah:)

 

 

It’s the small acts of wellness that make you a great Wobbler.

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It’s the small acts of wellness that make you a great Wobbler.

unnamedGood morning, Wobblers.  I’m coming to you today with some great news:  Wellness is a thing all of you can do!  Did you know the following small acts of wellness will increase the quality of your life in the next minute, hour, day, week, month and year? (Depending on how consistently you practice them—-we recommend starting really tiny.)

  • Have a water or sparkling water for your next lunch instead of pop/soda.
  • Mix your wine with sparkling water to cut down on the amount of alcohol you consume. (To prolong the feel of having a drink but still keep your intake at moderate levels.)
  • Go for a wellness consult at your local fitness center—even if you don’t sign up for the services.
  • Look up a 10 minute beginner, restorative, or Curvy(tm) yoga practice on YouTube–even if you just watch it without doing it.
  • Fall asleep with a guided meditation on your music streaming service—did you even know that was a thing?  (It totally is!)
  • Walk your dog 2 blocks longer than normal.
  • Smile and engage for a few seconds with the barista/bartender/waiter/dry cleaner/store clerk–make an effort to lift someone else, especially if YOU are feeling low.

Why should we do these things?  Because they all make us feel better. . Even if you were feeling pretty good to begin with.  And there is plenty of science to back up that claim. Wellness is so much more than being able to lift a dumbbell or do a squat or get all bendy in a yoga class (as our own Cathie W. is doing in the pic above)—though those practices are still real, valid, and will do you a world of good.  Sometimes we need some baby steps to dive into the world of movement and wellness, especially if we feel not so great about our bodies at the moment.

To that end, Wobble is getting way more comprehensive in Wellness delivery this fall.  Here are some baby steps you can try with us–if you click on each option, you can learn more:

  • Schedule a wellness/intuitive training consult.  This is our freebie.  You can ask ALL the questions about us and we can find out a little about you so we can help you get started on your wellness path, regardless of whether you use our services or not.
  • Attend one of our wellness or special movement workshops.  We are offering classes to help you process anger, increase your energy, dance and move for your soul, figure out what role sugar should have in your life, and more! (Pssst:  Monthly and Yearly Unlimited Members save 10% on all workshops!)
  • Attend a class.  We offer drop-in class options so you can try them out at your own pace, finding the ones that feel like they would fit the best on your body!

I very much hope you will join us this year in taking charge of you.  You don’t have to move mountains to start feeling better.   You can do it one small marble at a time.  Let us help you find all your lost wellness marbles.  Hit us up for help whether you are local or far away.  We relish the idea of serving you.

See you on the mat!

Leah:)

 

Fall: Retreat, Release, Recharge

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Hello Wobblers.

This whole summer has felt like a steaming cauldron of transformation, culminating with the Solar Eclipse last week.  I don’t know about all of you, but THIS summer in particular felt different.  Faster.  Imperative. Incendiary. Not the relaxed I-don’t-care-about-anything-for-the-whole-month-of-July feeling I usually enjoy having.  Though our class attendance took its typical warm-weather-in-the-Northland dip, everything outside the yoga studio in our country and culture feels accelerated and preparatory.  What is all the prep for? How about expansion?  Claiming our voices.  Standing in our truth.  Healing wounds.  Creating space for what is next for us. It is big work, indeed.

To balance the transformative hot-bed in the skies above and the earth below, I propose this:  Let’s get away for awhile and sit with our summer season of change.  Let’s come back to yoga that honors ALL of our bodies at the studio.  Let’s sit in on the upcoming Wellness Wobble series.  Let’s learn how to YIN up our Wobble—the opposite of all the summer Yang going on—a dive into softness, stillness, into the art of being.

On the “being” radar for October are two retreat opportunities.  October 6-8, I will be leading Women On Fire:  A Retreat For Professional Evolution.  This is a getaway designed to sit with yourself and the professional you WANT to become, even if you are currently in a job you love.  For those that may be searching for something new–a shift into the work that really feeds you, this retreat provides the time, space, guidance, and community for you to do some serious figuring out—simply being with the person you want to become.  The place is the ARC retreat center, (www.arcretreat.org) a beautiful intentional community just north of the Minneapolis metro.  Sit with nature.  Eat yummy food that fuels you.  Walk. Stretch.  Meditate.  Dance. Be gently coached with me and gain support from the community we create that weekend.  This is work I love doing and I’m so excited to see where you want to go.  Since I love the work so much, I am extending 1 private follow-up session after the retreat, included with the all-inclusive retreat fee of $439.00. If you are willing to share a room, take $20.00 off the fee as well.  7 spaces available.   I do my best work in smaller groups.  Register here for this retreat.

Then, at October’s end, my lovely friend and colleague Christy Diane Farr (aka The Unruly Woman, (www.theunrulywoman.com) will be leading a weekend (at the same location!  Go figure!) focusing on Release.  Release of barriers.  Of wounds.  Of old stuff.  Of behavior.  Of limitations.  Of others whom you have not yet forgiven.  She will cover all of it.  And, she is offering two private follow-up sessions after you go back home to make sure the stuff you release stays gone.  Do yourself a favor and start getting to know this woman. She has 11 spaces available, and a discount for room-sharing.  Register here for her event.

I am really excited to see what we do with ourselves this year—how we will use our voices, our power, our gifts, our service.  No matter what your spiritual beliefs, it is a fact that we are all part of something larger than ourselves—-that something might be your group of neighbors, your school, your yoga class, your God/Goddess.  Be intentional about your belonging and know that you are so important in our collective path.  If you are looking for a place to belong but not sure how to break the ice, message us at http://www.embracethewobble.com, on facebook, or twitter.  If you reach out, we will reach back!

See you on the mat, Wobblers!

Leah:)