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)

 

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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:)

Are you good at anger?

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Are you good at anger?

Hi there Wobblers:

On my mind tonight is a question:  How good are you at doing anger?

Reason I ask is, I haven’t always been good at anger, and even now I continue to evolve with my ownership of this emotion.

Growing up in Minnesota (a “good”, predominantly Lutheran state for many years, heh, heh), I never learned to do anger.  Instead, what I learned to do was simmer.  We simmered on all kinds of hurts and wounds that were annoying growing up.  I watched my parents and much older sister simmer on relationship stuff and work wounds.  I grew up and did the same simmer with partners and professions, as well as loss and trauma and grief.

With all this simmering going on around issues that made our family truly angry, the anger got transmuted into some really bad stuff—resentment, health issues, chronic pain, and of course the classic Midwestern sideways anger, Passive-Aggression.  There is now a T-shirt that proudly bears our state motto:  “Keep Minnesota Passive-Aggressive! (or not, whatever you think is best.)”  If you are from around here, you totally get that t-shirt and are rolling your eyes at its dead-on accuracy. I’m ordering mine tomorrow, just saying.

When we talk ourselves out of anger or pass it off as something else or “just get over it”, anger erodes us, because the wounds that caused the anger never heal.  Anger smashed down in our bodies has the power to turn us into addicts, victims, rage-aholics, and physical and mental health disaster areas.

Unless it doesn’t.  

There are ways  to have anger and not be a total d*ckhead.  There are ways to have anger and not feel like it will swallow us whole. We can learn to use this emotion to harness our energy and motivation in ways to help us take real care of ourselves, heal the wounds that caused the anger in the first place, and step into authentic power without harming anyone else along the way–least of all, ourselves.

This week I will be leading an anger workshop.  During this evening, I will be taking a group of women through some creative and expressive movement,  artwork, and sharing exercises to help us observe and befriend our anger, and to practice a number of ways to express it openly, honestly–ways that help us champion our own self-care without needing to hurt others in the process.  Anger is NOT a thing to be feared.  We are absolutely allowed to have anger.  Come and befriend your anger this week.  See how this emotion can drive us to new levels of healing and self-connection.  Register here.  Space is limited, and you might need this workshop a lot.  

Namaste, Wobblers.

Live in a Larger Body? Do Some Yoga with us. No shrinking Required.

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Live in a Larger Body? Do Some Yoga with us. No shrinking Required.

So, you live in a larger body.  We all live in a culture that tends to shame people if they have larger bodies.  That sucks.  We have made it a priority in our culture to tell those people with larger bodies that they must work very hard to shrink their bodies if they are to enjoy all the same cultural benefits (acceptance, respect, visibility, cute clothing, the ability to feel handsome/beautiful to name just a few) that straight-size bodies enjoy each and every day.  That also sucks.  

Thankfully, there is yoga.  Yes, you heard that right.  The wellness practice that has for years been portrayed as a destination for slender, bendy, white woman, is in fact a practice that everyone—yes, really everyone, can not only execute but enjoy.  You wouldn’t know this based on the look and feel and instruction at many studios and fitness centers, yet it is a fact.  

Enter Embrace the Wobble Yoga. I opened ETWY for completely selfish reasons:  I wanted to do yoga close to my house and get paid to teach others this amazing practice. I have made my career out of teaching individuals and groups how to move their bodies and make them stronger and better (notice I did not say “smaller”) in order to enjoy life more.  I have always thought I was pretty good at inviting people into very large gyms filled with gleaming fitness machines and shiny posters of lean people on the wall.  I now think instead that I was good at making people feel comfortable DESPITE the equipment and the posters, so much so that they could focus on their bodies without fear of being shamed for their size or for what their bodies could or couldn’t do. So, when I went out on my own, I wanted to create something completely different than the traditional exclusionary gym vibe.

Shortly after I opened ETWY, it took on a life of its own as an inclusive yoga community—a place where all the students in all the bodies began to tell me how welcomed they felt in class, how amazing all the instructors were, and how all the yoga and related movement was helping them through things like grief, life transition, loneliness, sleep problems, and stress.  Not to mention the real life milestones that got easier on the way: walking up stairs, carrying groceries, walking the dog, running races, the occasional triumphant headstand, even yoga teacher training!

Our students don’t seem to care so much about how yoga and other movement will make them look (though their skin often glows and their smiles light up the practice rooms), rather they comment often about how they feel (“best way to start my Saturday”–Kristen, 9:30 a.m. student) after classes and private sessions.  I am now just along for the ride as I watch and enjoy the parade of different bodies, personalities–the walking, talking GIFTS that stride confidently through our doors each week.  

If you live in a larger body and you want to figure out how to move it in ways that make it feel amazing, strong, capable, and  WELL, I implore you to take a breath, take a gulp, and call us, email us, or even walk in and connect.  We are ready for you.  We have classes that are fit for you (Slow Wobble, Wobble Plus, Candlelight Wobble if you are a beginner, and Wobble Mix, Core, and Progressing Wobble if you are experienced).  We have training for you (Intuitive Personal Training provided by me, Leah, the studio owner, and an expanded team of gifted coaches as our demand continues to rise.) We honor YOUR body and vow to show it and you all the ways that movement can be joyful, fulfilling, and WORTH IT.  Just like you.  You. Are. Worth it.

And, to further decrease any barriers that may still exist, all our Wobble Plus classes will be donation-based until April 15th.  That’s right.  Try class.  Pay what you can.  Fall in love with your body. Register here:  www.embracethewobble.com.

 
Thanks.  See you on the mat.–Leah

How to survive your first week in a large gym (and, maybe make the choice to move to a small one.)

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How to survive your first week in a large gym (and, maybe make the choice to move to a small one.)

Good morning, dear Wobblers.  

Here we are at the beginning of February, and here I am to ask those of you who live near our yoga studio to come try us out.  I never like to make an ask without first offering something in return, so here we go–and this is for EVERYONE, no matter how far or near you are to Robbinsdale, MN.

Last Friday, an instructor friend of mine gave me a guest pass to her large gym to come to one of her strength training classes.  I was so excited!  It had been a really long time since I worked out in one of those places, and truly, sometimes I miss it–the rows upon rows of treadmills and bikes, the power-lifting corner, the big locker room with amenities, and parquet flooring on the group fitness studio as far as the eye can see.  I grew up in these places, and when I was old enough, I worked in them joyfully, exuberantly, for 21 years.  

With the barbell on my back squatting and lunging away to my friend’s capable cues, though, I also remembered why I left.  Our class was large and there were many students who were not doing the exercises with proper form, which always makes me a bit nervous.  Most of the people in class were VERY fit and well-muscled.  Absolutely no one, save my friend the instructor, said hello to me or asked my name.  And, another thing became apparent at this large gym—the pervasive message that my purpose for going to class should be to change the way I look.  This was a message I bought into all those 21 years on the large-gym staff and in leadership, and it was only after having been away from that culture for a couple of years that I really could see the forest for the trees.  

These larger facilities and their “change your appearance” vibe, no matter how unintentionally communicated, can be REALLY overwhelming for a new person to navigate.  Here are a couple of tips to help you get the most out of your large-gym investment if you want to exercise and this is the most convenient and economical option for you.

  1. The day you purchase your membership, schedule an orientation on the exercise floor with a fitness staff person. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200. This appointment should always be free, otherwise, choose another gym.  This is your tutorial on how to use the equipment safely.  Ask the staff person to show you about 3 pieces of equipment, and then practice using them for a week or so.  Go back to the staff person after that, and ask them to show you three more pieces of equipment until you have the hang of it.  Not every machine will be a good fit for you, and that is okay.
  2. Be okay with being a beginner, and only say positive things to yourself.  For example:  “Yay me!  I did a whole 5 minutes on that treadmill!  I got to know some of the buttons, and I survived!  Maybe next time I will do 7 minutes!”  Little moments of triumph like this tend to build on each other.  No matter what the fitness floor staff tell you about what you SHOULD be doing, always congratulate yourself for what you ACTUALLY do, no matter how small a win it may seem.
  3. Put on blinders to the posters on the walls:  “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”  “It’s not worth it unless you sweat!” written over the image of a ripped, muscular body lifting mighty weights are counterproductive when you are the person feeling like you are dying after 10 minutes on a bike.  Pain should never be ignored or viewed as a badge of fitness honor, and sweat is optional in improving our strength, flexibility, balance, and overall health.  Be YOU.  Hold yourself to no other standard than your own comfort and joy of movement.
  4. If you are going to a class, choose the one that best fits your schedule, and then expect to be successful at performing 25-50% of the exercises in your first month of classes. Go early and let the teacher know you are a beginner.  Trust your own body, and have an experimental attitude.  “Does my body like this movement?  Let me try one or two squats and see how they feel on my joints.  Maybe I can move my feet or shift my body so this movement feels really comfortable and strong for my legs.”  If an instructor calls you out for not doing a full set or not trying hard enough, leave the class and alert the management about the behavior.  They are getting paid to help you feel successful and keep coming back, after all.
  5. Finally, going to the gym even once per week can really help to improve healthy habits and get you learning and practicing new ways to move.  Consistency trumps intensity every time.  View your gym membership and the move toward better movement and health as a slow cooker, not a microwave.  After all, there’s a good chance your gym wants you to sign up, but then burn out and not come back.  Their membership pricing is low so that you will keep the auto-draft, but not make them deliver on all those promises for change they make by actually coming in regularly.  Get the last laugh by putting yourself first at these large gyms.  

And, here’s the ask part:  COME SEE US at Wobble (or another boutique studio in your area.)  We are local, we care about our communities, and we actually WANT you to come to class and have a wonderful experience while you get to know your classmates and work steadily toward more confidence, strength, stamina, and health.  Your body may change in appearance.  It may not.  There are no gritty posters on our walls.   Just a big “Well Done!” from all our instructors and the gift of #movingforjoy.  No one needs a gimmick for that.

See you on the mat, Wobblers.