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i ran outside this morning for the first time since forever.
i did not run far or fast, but i ran fresh, with the heavy morning dew collecting along my hairline, alongside corduroy fields and amidst a veritable symphony of morning song birds.
i was grateful to be there.
the weekend before last, i attended a chair yoga teacher training course. getting to the program was a bit of vehicular adventure, but the mishaps and setbacks were well worth it.
the course was held in the very special space of Fall River Yoga Centre and offered by Julie Palmer of Yoga4All in the Annapolis Valley. Julie has a depth and breadth of presence, knowledge and skill. the eleven other students in the course brought an abundant diversity to the experience; the centre quickly opened into a sharing, practice, exploring and learning space.
chair yoga is an adaptive form of yoga, well-suited to any body with ambulatory or joint mobility challenges, concerns with balance, and a variety of issues often associated with aging, though not necessarily so.
the course started each day with a master class, in which Julie opened the class with a meditation/centering practice. this was followed by pranayama (breathing exercises) and warm up movements. seated yoga poses and standing yoga poses followed. and then optional resistance training or hand/finger mobility with neurological patterning, self massage and another meditation. the master classes were all wrapped up, of course, in a luscious silky ribbon of relaxation.
chair yoga, in case you’re wondering, can be plenty challenging if that is where your practice is. it is also a mat/chair time which begins right where you are. (yeah, the cape bretoner in me wanted to say: right where you’re at)
over the weekend, we explored seated yoga postures and standing postures using the chair. there was a good deal of fun and creativity in the room, and all manner of learned lessons and tips from the participants.
a variety of pranayama techniques, hand mudras, and do-in self-massage were shared and learned along with some very fun silly shakers offered up by one of the other students.
issues of concern when working with an older adult population were covered quite well. from hearing to blood pressure, from arthritis to osteoporosis. the information was just meaty enough for someone new/er to working with this population to have confidence in themselves and fingertip access to a fantastic reference source.
i had been eyeing this program for a couple of years now and am so glad i had the opportunity to attend. i’ll be using so much of this in the programming i already offer seniors.
i am grateful to Julie, for creating such a wonderful container for our learning and curiosity and to all the other participants who filled the room with comfort and creative energy.
and so it began.
from books put out by Dragon Door, i began teaching myself kettlebell movements and began incorporating a bit of kettlebell training with personal training clients.
in late 2007 i attended my first certification course and learned so much! it was a heady weekend full of sweat, bruises, and total mind engagement. with this, my initial fascination converted into a passion, both to use and to share this unique and effective way of training.
after that first cert, i continued using the kettlebell as part of my personal training repertoire, but i also developed a group fx format with kettlebells which i eventually had opportunity to roll out.
today, january 28th 2015, is the 7th anniversary of the first group kettlebell class i offered.
since then, i have taught kettlebell skills in a group format and led group classes 2975 times.
and because kettlebell training has so many nuances and iterations, i have also since completed 6 additional kettlebell certification programs and attended/audited quite a few other kettlebell trainings, such as workshops and certifications courses.
the opportunities for learning are endless. there are at least 4 or 5 additional kettlebell certs i’d love to take. if the time is right, some of them will happen. i am happy to leave that to the future.
the kettlebell universe is an interesting and quickly expanding place, filled with all manner of passion, talent, commitment, skillful execution, amazing coaching, and creativity. it engages and pushes limits and evolves. this is what i most love about kettlebell training.
little did i imagine what would come of my fascination with kettlebells when i came upon them in a 2005 magazine spread. (you can read more on that here)
daily i am grateful for how kettlebell training has contributed to my life and that of my family and communities.
thank you to those from whom i have directly learned: Shawn Mozen of Agatsu, Ajamu Bernard and Drew Miller and Stephanie Yankovich of KBell Training Academy, Steve Cotter of Full KOntact Kettlebells, Sharon Shiner SFGII, Jason Dolby and John Buckley of Orange Kettlebell Club. and to the many, many who share top notch on-line resources which have contributed to my knowledge.
and so it continues.
This 7 and a half hours of practice for $48 + hst.
Numbers are limited.
Sundays. 8:00am – 9:15am
Contact me at email@example.com or call 902.894.8943 for information and/or to register
Clubbell Yoga is a fusion of strength training & yoga, created by Summer Huntington and Scott Sonnon, to improve quality of movement. The practice will help to improve shoulder stability, core strength, single leg balances and vinyasa yoga transitions. Every class focuses on refining alignment and motor patterns, increasing awareness of core and shoulders. You will be empowered to move better.
This fusion of two ancient traditions – clubbell and yoga – will help you strengthen and tone your arms, legs and core in every exercise or pose.
Clubbell Yoga Class Format:
Joint Mobility Vinyasa warm up specific to the Clubbell Yoga Flow for the class
Mini conditioning circuit
Clubbell Yoga Flow
Deep Stretch/Fascia Release/Decompression poses
Class is broken down into three phases and will be a wonderful addition to your Sunday morning, your week, your life:
To learn more, listen to Summer talk about this practice:
i overslept this morning. my intention was to take a 5 or 5:30am run. my body needed more sleep than running. mmmmm
when i got up at 6:45, i passed on the run, did some happy chores with the extra time and headed off to the gym to teach classes.
i came home from work a bit earlier than expected.
for someone who likes the quiet runs of the early mornings, the world is an entirely different run in the heat of the late morning sun.
as the breeze fell, waves of heat washed past me. it wasn’t long before my body began to develop a humid microclimate of its own.
the birds were subdued, brief soft calls from high branches. do they nap in the heat?
the asphalt offered a cool, but friendly, shoulder in the short stretches of dappled shade where overhead leaves sang rainstick songs. this in contrast to the warmth the road is holding in places exposed to our accumulating days of hot bright sunshine. a natural inspiration for in-floor heating?
winking brown eyed susans overshadowed by the graceful noddings of queen anne’s lace, impossibly statuesque on spindly stalks. white clouds of yarrow snuggled into the yellow buzzy busy-ness of st. john’s wort. shy fleabane peeking out from under the protective umbrella leaves of hostas. the march of goatweed and tendrilling crown vetch, delightful butter & eggs, abundant clover, laughing lilies. daisies and buttercups and dandelions, oh my.
a wsw wind, the compassionate sister of the churlish outbound breeze, nudged me home as my lower lids gathered and released, with each blink, the salty sting of sweat. my mind free and my bare feet singing a rhythmic song of solitude.
i am thankful for the new perspectives of the run. everyday is another opportunity to soften and open. blooming goodness.
the shimmer of trails left by snails, glinting patterns drawing my eyes
the soft essss curve of a wee garder snake in permanent repose
a gauntlet of pine forests, overfull with the kirtan of morning birds
breezes riffling leaves
the steady fall of my feet on asphalt, still embracing some of yesterday’s heat, softly yielding beneath my soles
a warm sun climbing a morning sky
every reason for joy held in the freshness of the day
a sweet morning run in the chilly aftermath of andrea.
winds gusty from the north. greybluepewter clouds hanging just out of reach.
damp, mist-laden air. moisture gathered on my arms and face, traveling with long, juiced-up red worms.
thumbs numb and my soles soften on the wet asphalt. my toes chill through.
birdsong, ever optimistic, fills the air, calling down the sun. chirpy hearthappy trilling.
spring growth on pine trees, dressed in new greens, awkwardly erect.
drizzled brown, they are beautiful in their surrender to another of many successful successive bloomings.
and i shake off the chill with my hands alternating between keyboard and a tall warm ceramic mug of bulletproof coffee.
i have thought about urban poling off and on for years. i did some on-line research and thought about how fun it might be in a city setting and how accessible an activity it would be for the general public.
as i age, i look toward fun activities i can participate in safely. urban poling seemed to be another of those.
i wondered whether it would work for a barefooter, like me.
several months ago i was contacted by Barb Gormley of Fitness Business Canada Magazine regarding an article they were writing. i quickly recognized her name as connected with urban poling and took the op to ask a few questions. that brief conversation was all i needed.
so now, here i am, in the process of writing my exam for Level 1 Nordic Walking Certification. it is good stuff.
from Canadian Living on line:
because you’re using your upper and lower body, you’re targeting more muscles than you do when just walking – and getting a better cardio workout. studies show that Nordic walking burns 25 to 40 per cent more calories than regular walking, while helping to improve your posture, strengthen your core and tone your arms, legs and butt. It’s also a great rehabilitation tool, especially for anyone with knee or hip issues … because it helps relieve stress on the joints.
the sun was shining bright today. one of our first warmish and warming spring days. and, i finished work early. so there it was, my first opportunity to test drive my nordic walking poles. they are sleek, easy to adjust for height, light weight, and there is a short learning curve.
all the urban poling literature and videos make reference to the ‘heel to toe’ foot strike. as a barefooter, i no longer heel strike, not even when walking. i was jubilant to find i could still strike midfoot and use the poles efficiently.
80 minutes of walking, with a few stops to listen to woodpeckers, snap a photo, bask in the sun upon my face, offer gratitude for a haymarket martyrs and all since who have been courageous warriors for workers’ rights.
i have never met a wednesday with a hump in it.
i’ve been itching to spread my toes in an outdoor run. today, a rare day off, the sun was shining and enticing and my elbow was rubber.
i did not head out early. i needed the sunshine to take the sharp edge of chill off the asphalt and i hoped for the temperature to climb a couple of degrees.
at noon time, with a temperature of 0℃ and a pair of thermals covering my happy backside, i headed out.
the driveway was amazing underfoot. the cold, smooth mud of early spring, framed by squishy wet moss borders and dotted by ice-skimmed puddles, inspired me instantly.
there was a gusty nnw wind, on my right on the way out. a bit biting when the road was opened to not yet awakened farm fields. nipping the bits of my earlobe that pushed out of my cap. the asphalt, though, was warmed by the sun, dry and happy to be tickled by my toes. when the trees gathered along the shoulder, they cast patterns of chilly shadows to entertain me.
the run was short, sweet and satisfying. i was able to practice the chirunning form, focusing today mainly on my pesky shoulders which know not how to properly relax and allow my arms to be along just for the ride. adding the chirunning to the concepts of running with the mind of meditation made for a wonderful running experience.
so many blessings. such a good friday.