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the whole way health & fitness studio is now offering kettlebell classes designed specifically for those of us dealing with issues related to aging.

there is a growing body of research which tells us that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, by as much as 50%. the mechanism seems to be the increased flow of blood — therefore oxygen — to your brain. this is a message consistently put out there by neuroscientists — exercise which increases your heart rate is the best preventative for dementia and a vital prescriptive for dementia.

recent research indicates that resistance training can reverse aspects of aging at the gene level. wow! regular, progressive resistance training also improves the muscle’s longevity profile at the molecular level;  long-term resistance training is associated with a lower risk of age-associated disease and death.

resistance training does more than just make you stronger. it helps optimize biomarkers indicative of overall wellness such as triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol, and HDL-cholesterol in both men and women. sweet news.

mood and mental health markers, like depression, anxiety and response to stress are improved with regular exercise.

the amount of daily or weekly activity you put into your life is totally within your control!  group activities have the added benefit of new social interaction.

the whole way health & fitness studio provides a friendly and supportive atmosphere; a place where you’ll receive instruction with care and expertise.

 

60+ab

aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.
betty friedan

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seaglassthe waters of the world — the oceans and seas — are powerful alchemists.

broken class is tumbled by currents, by waves. rolled in the sands of beaches, stroked along craggy rocks. over time, the sharp edges begin to smooth. the transparency of the glass is polished into an opaque lustre. what was once hard is now soft, what was once hidden is now revealed.

as with seaglass, a meditation practice performs this exact process on our mindheart.

when we sit with ourselves, we discover our hard places, our sharp edges, our cocoons. with time, the sharp edges begin to smooth, the hardness in us softens, the reasons we cocoon fall away.

what was once hidden is now revealed. compassion for self.

compassionate action starts with seeing yourself when you start to make yourself right and when you start to make yourself wrong. at that point you could just contemplate the fact that there is a larger alternative to either of those, a more tender, shaky kind of place where you could live.”

― pema chödrön

sutra244a

curiosity, an open sense of wonder, sometimes leads us to flip perceptions on their head in order to know things in different ways.

yesterday dawned as the last day of summer and ended as the first day of autumn.  it was forecast to be a warm, clear day and so i went to the beach to meet the dawning.

while the movement of planets, moons, stars and other celestial bits and pieces is a complex ethereal dance, the notion of the earth rotating on its lovely axial tilt as it travels in an ecliptic plane around the sun is not at all captured in the notions of ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’.

i have been sitting with this a bit lately.

yesterday, i stood still and quiet on beach sand damp with ebb tide while the horizon revealed the sun. in the vastness of that moment where the five elements met — earth, water, fire, air, ether —  there was a dizziness. a giddiness. a lived experience of rolling toward the sun.

as individuals that exist as part of a potentially infinite expanse, getting to know this expanse is part of getting to know of oneself.          ~ nicole katz on patanjali’s yoga sutra 2.44: svadhyayat ishta devata samprayogah

 

i recently spent a few days camping with my partner.

annually we spend 4 or 5 nights at a particular island campground. we head to the northside of up east, to a cozy place called Campbell’s Cove (if you are not familiar with the geographical directional lexicon of prince edward island, you need only know it is island-centric and, though i can say the words, it remains a mystery to me).

DCIM100SPORTour day of arrival was steely gray, blustery and wet. the ocean was churning red waves upon the shore. the clouds were low, dancing a chaos of squalls. it was pretty much perfect.

the next morning dawned drier and slight bit more calm. clouds scampered along the early morning sky and the beach seemed to invite us down for a post-coffee stroll. it was the thrice daily ritual of ours days.

DSCN4624the way the sands allowed the waves to insistently rock ‘n’ roll, build and surrender, as the horizon shifted grey then blue then cloud then sky, seduced me into the landscape. i stopped being there and began projecting myself upon/into this mirific backdrop. the outcroppings of rocks, upon which the waves released, the uptakes of the stiff breezes, the passage of time with the skuddle of clouds . . . i wanted to place myself into this beauty. i wanted to strike a yoga pose on the edge of the ocean and have it captured with the camera so i could put it on my facebook page.

only seconds after this desire came upon me, my awareness of how ego-based the desire was crashed across my mind, much like the surf upon the boulders. and i let it go.

no.

i did not.

let it go.

the next day, on one of those lovely beach strolls, i capitulated to ego and handed the camera to udo. i was heading out onto that outcropping of rocks, there, i said, and i was going to stand in vrksasana – tree pose – and would he please snap a picture.

there was still a stiff breeze arriving on shore from the atlantic ocean  and coupled with some recent inflammation in my knee, a gradual growing into tree was required. there was a measure of challenge to holding the asana under these conditions.  after i had felt one with the universe long enough for it to be captured for social media, i climbed back over the rocks toward him, asking if he had gotten the shot.

no. he did not.

what??!

and so, i repeated the above process. this time he declared his part, solicited as it was, of my ego escapade a photographic success.

DSCN4699

later in the day i had time to check out the pictures. there were a few of me prepping for the pose, which explained the missed shot the first time around. the second time, the frame was zoomed in, so much so that the perspective, of my lovely self in this beautiful seascape, was lost.

all this to say, my ego was defeated. not by me, but by him. he has been my ego-eradicator from the beginning.

these photos. the ones where we place ourselves into landscapes and then share them — often multiple versions of them; the ones where we take multiple shots, looking for angles on our faces, the slant of light, the one that has that feel of serenity or excitement or pensiveness or unawareness or accomplishment. our lashes, our hair, the tilt of our head, the turn of the body, the shadow defining a muscle, that oh-so-horrible duck-face evolution of lips pursed so awkwardly … the entire process, from idea to selection to adding effects to captioning … these are important. they are important as our teachers. they tell us about how attached we are to our egos and give us more stuff to work with.

he recognized my ego and he deflated it. i am so very thankful for his gurudity in my life. i have so much more work to do. i am constantly amused by and curious about it all.

all

I am not this hair, I am not this skin, I am the soul that lies within ~ Rumi

 

 

DCIM100SPORTi step sweet gingerly

on the carpet of wild strawberry blossoms

strewn alongside the driveway

mourning doves scatter as i advance

they lift and spiral outward upward

like the dance of dandelion seeds on the wind

i run awkward

the soles of my feet

have softened in the dewy grass

and have awakened

to the richness of the textures

that is the asphalt

i run solely

my ears fill with the succession of cars passing

and then

they empty of the roar

the kirtan of birdsong rises all around me

and settles venticularly

vibrating

i do not know if it is internal or external

i run blurry

the air sits heavy humid

DCIM100SPORT

DCIM100SPORT

immediately sticky on my skin

my fingers tingle with the coolness of early

the sweet scenty aura

of apple blossoms warms me

and slugs hieroglyph

messages of love I leap over

i run hearty

practice3i unfurl my mat on the deck amidst intoxicants

of barely blossomed lilacs

with just out fragrances

bumbling bees

as they buzz the sound of the universe

morning practice

for_peace

the asphalt warm as it caresses the underbelly of my foot

a gentle south breeze slowly watlzing the laundry on the line

mating and nesting songs being passed in a stand of trees

foliage escaping once tight buds.

running. receiving. rejoicing.

hold fast to the mother

 

runhome

at the end of the run

i am not a runner.

yet every spring, song birds beckon me outside, to be their audience as they are mine. it is the same universal energy which led teenage me to cut high school classes in april and, for a short while in my adult life, led me to believe that ‘spring cleaning’ was actually a thing.

i generally wait until the morning temperatures reach 7°C; the encumberances of cold weather running do not suit me well.

today it was 14°C when i got up. and humid. go time!

the asphalt under foot was warm and the shoulder of the road was spring time soft; so pleasant to run on. the warm breeze from the south, the sweat gathering along my hairline, the birdsong.

running with the mind of meditation.

yoga for cool down.

a great start to friday.

may we all be happy just the way we are.

 

 

 

today i subbed a class. i coached a kettlebell class – well, a kettlebell circuit – at atlantic fitness east. this is the gym where i first began coaching/instructing kettlebell training.

it just so happens that today is only 8 days short of the nine year mark of group kettlebell love in pei. though i used kettlebells to train private clients (amazing Tracy, now a competitive power lifter, and Mandy, now a 3rd dan black belt TKD and international ref) prior to beginning the group classes, it took a bit to develop a group/class format and get it underway. there were no resources on line to help with group kettlebell training and nothing in my first certification course to suggest a path.

it was exciting to create a format and it has been quite satisfying to see the number of instructors who have subsequently adopted and/or adapted my methods.

i am a bit of a math/statistics/records geek. today’s class was the 19th class i’ve led this week (not exclusively kettlebell classes) but the 3660th kettlebell group that i’ve coached.

that is an unfathomable amount of iron moved and movements coached over the years.

when i came home after today’s class and reflected, i realized that two of the women in this morning’s class were also in that first class 9 years ago.  anne and dianne. steady and beautiful, strong and resilient. friends. friends forged through the iron.

i honor you for every time
this year you:

got back up
vibrated higher
shined your light
and loved and elevated
beyond

—the call of duty.
~ lalah delia

xo

 

 

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flexibility and strength are highly compatible skills when you know how to develop both without sacrificing either.

this is precisely what Jon Engum of Extreme Traininga 7th Dan Kukkiwon Certified Taekwondo Grandmaster and Hapkido and Kumdo Master,  had in mind when he developed the Flexible Steel program. His Flexible Steel approach to training draws on his considerable and measured knowledge of movement potentials and how to unlock them.

FLEXIBLE STEEL allows you to be both STRONG and FLEXIBLE!

the bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists   ~ japanese proverb

in this Certification Course you will learn how to use the 3S’s – strength, space, spread – to make and/or coach substantial gains in flexibility. you will leave with hours of personal practice and detailed instructions to work on flexibility specifics by following a particular order of stretches.

move your body into greater flexibility. coach your clients into greater flexibility. do not let your strength be compromised as you do.

this course is offered by Flexible Steel Instructor Specialist Louka Kurcer of Hardstyle Kettlebell Mtl. Louka’s command of body strength and flexibility matters is inspired and inspiring. his coaching skills are outstanding.

come join him and the first cohort of Eastern Canadians certified as Flexible Steel Instructors.

this course has been approved and recommended by Pavel Tsatsouline.

april 16th, 9am – 4pm

the whole way health & fitness studio

306 university avenue, charlottetown

register HERE for FLEXIBLE STEEL INSTRUCTOR LEVEL 1

kettlebell-pics-034eight years ago today group kettlebell training launched in prince edward island. well, in atlantic canada.

this morning my day started at 6am with a private client’s hardstyle kettlebell training.

in between, there have been more than 3300 group kettlebell classes and workshops in my life and a juicy heart-thumping growth in the number of kettlebell coaches and kettlebell practitioners in eastern canada.

when i reflect on how much good and strong and laughter and friendship and sweat kettlebell has brought into my life, which is pretty much daily, i am grateful.

grateful for everyone who has coached me. in person and on line. your gifts have been treasured, repeatedly distilled,  and respectfully honoured.

grateful for everyone who has endured my coaching and truly graced my life by touching iron with me. your gifts have been selfless and are held near and dear.

grateful for kettlebell, who is a steadfast and humbling comrade. your gifts are enduring and finely nuanced and warmly worn.

cheers to you all for you are the kettlebell universe.

only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.           ~ pema chödrön

kettlebell wow

 

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