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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

 

a group of smart, big-hearted women have come together to help feed island children.

from their facebook page:

We are a group of moms challenging you! How many children can you feed?

Research shows a strong correlation between healthy eating and academic success. Let’s give all children the same chance to succeed. Feed a child and raise a reader.

It takes roughly 3lbs of food to feed a child for one day. Let’s see how many children a community can feed. We are challenging you to reach out to your family, friends, colleagues, contacts, to see just how far reaching our community is.

How can you help?!? Reach out to your family, friends, colleagues, contacts and organize a friendly competition or host a party and get your guests to bring a can of food rather than a host gift! Put together a neighborhood challenge and challenge another neighborhood. Challenge another company or department at work; challenge yourselves.

Together Everyone Achieves More.

Contact us on FB for more details or email us at momsvshunger@gmail.com.

part of their drive was to organize yoga instructors to offer classes as part of the drive.

i have two coming up.

donations are accepted at both locations – the whole way health & fitness studio and Atlantic Fitness East – even if you do not attend the class.

be generous.

gentle yoga.png

dee

i picked up the kettlebells and got today’s program done.

i am in the second week of a StrongBody Challenge. it is far more volume than i generally work, with a 5 day on 2 day off layout. double kettlebell complexes 3x per week.

i didn’t want to do the workout today. i could list all sorts of excuses, but you already know them all. they’ve taunted you too.

so i set two goals before i started:

  • get it done
  • stay safe while doing it

when i finished, my first thought was: that was not your best effort wendy.

but that wasn’t true.

there’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater,you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean.    ~ dave barry

i worked, for many years, with stressed and distressed people. poverty. addictions. housing. abuse. marginalization. education. mental health issues. the stresses almost innumerable and so many unfamiliar to me.

in the early years of this work, so much of what i came upon, the context of people’s lives, was far beyond my ken. i am grateful that some wonderfully supportive mentors helped me keep my mind and heart open.

one of the earliest conclusions i came to was that people invariably do the best they can with what they have at that moment. no one puts out less than their best effort. at least i have never witnessed anything less than a person’s best. even when, from most perspectives, the outcome doesn’t look so good.

today i put in my best effort. as i always do. best efforts have a context.

best efforts can look different each day. don’t miss the whole point of them.

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

 

Louka Kurcerwell first off, you might be wondering just who is this Louka Kurcer?

i first met Louka on facebook, a place where communities grow and evolve. most anyone who has some mention of kettlebell in their profile, or are somehow affiliated with kettlebell training, will accept a friend request from a compadre kettlebell enthusiast.  Louka was training and growing his business and so we connected in the virtual world.

then, much to my surprise one day, as i am puttering in the kitchen, i hear him being introduced in a DNTO episode on CBC radio! that rather put his cool factor up in my books.

and, to continue with the coincidences, when i arrived at the site of the february 2015 StrongFirst SFG1 course – at United Therapies Strive in Winnipeg –  the first person i was to meet, as we doffed our footwear, was none other than Louka.  Louka was there as a course assistant.

this is how the kettlebell universe continues to expand.

so ….

Louka Kurcer is above all else StrongFirst. his training is based on the belief that strength fixes almost everything. he trains and teaches with a minimalist, yet highly effective, approach and is considered an expert in the practice of hardstyle kettlebell, flexibility, and bodyweight strength training within the StrongFirst community.
Louka’s attitude can be compared to that of an old-time strongman and a martial artist. he challenges his students to “practice” rather than “workout”.

he is about the underlying principles, not just the tools:

“an exercise or movement has greater value if it is done with quality and purpose. that is how I build real, long lasting strength.”

he believes strength training should be a lifestyle and advocates being able to train anytime and anywhere.

“A kettlebell can replace an entire gym…and if you don’t have one available, you can still get very strong using just your body.”

that is his one-mind-any-weapon mentality.
Louka currently teaches workshops in and around Montreal and is based out of Hardstyle Kettlebell Mtl. when he is not swinging a kettlebell or putting heavy weights overhead, he pursues his other passion of art in the form of painting and drawing (which was a part of his DNTO story).

check out some of his kettlebeasts:

kettlebeastsdoesn’t that almost make you swoon?

Louka is offering two days of workshops – and they are happening just weeks from now!

HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL – TECHNICAL AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

the whole way KB poster1if you haven’t yet worked with kettlebells, you might still be wondering why you would want to.

  • skills developed by kettlebell training increase body awareness which translates to better safer movement
  • kettlebell training develops functional strength. that which once felt heavy will feel like a toy
  • kettlebell training delivers bang-for-your-buck fitness. you can achieve extreme conditioning with all-purpose strength
  • kettlebells are compact and can be taken almost anywhere; they can replace an entire gym
  • kettlebell training can help heal & overcome injuries while simultaneously increasing flexibility, agility & strength
  • kettlebell training benefits both sides of the performance coin: maximal acceleration in the quick lifts and maximal tension in slow lifts
  • kettlebell training teaches the correct way to perform the exercises! you will stand out because rarely does a trainee use them properly, including many (uncertified) trainers

what, exactly, is HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL?

the term refers to a style of hand-to-hand combat practiced in Russian Special Operations in the 1970s. in the 1980s, Hardstyle Kettlebell training was developed to support this combative practice.

hardstyle strength was exemplified by powerlifting and Okinawan karate. the common denominator in any hardstyle method is compression:

  • compress the muscles, because muscles produce force by tensing. maximize the tension
  • compress the joints, because a loose joint absorbs the force meant to go elsewhere; it “leaks” power and is easily injured
  • compress the breath, because a slack waist dissipates force like Jell-O. high intra-abdominal pressure increases strength
  • cCompress the ground, to maximize stability and to take advantage of the reactive forces
  • compress the focus. direct the force precisely to minimize losses

hardstyle strength training is the practice of the totality of compression skills.

this workshop will provide an in-depth practice of the 6 fundamental kettlebell exercises and their variations:

  • the Hardstyle KB swing
  • the KB Front Squat
  • the Turkish-Get Up and the Arm-bar
  • the KB Clean
  • the KB Military Press
  • the KB Snatch and the High Pull

plus, you will get:

  • technique/ form fine tuning, intensive practice
  • detailed progressions for every level of strength
  • coaching cues and exercise correctives
  • mobility drills to boost health and performance
  • safety procedures
  • program design

BODY WEIGHT POWER LIFTS – BEGINNER TO ADVANCED PROGRESSIONS

body weight progressions

body weight progressions

what are the Body Weight Power Lifts?


simply put, body weight power lifts are state-of-the-art drills that can be practiced practically anywhere which will increase your overall strength. the benefit is they have a large carryover to many real life applications. you will get back so much more than you put in!

this day long workshop will allow you to learn principles and techniques that will instantly make you stronger, such as total-body tension, power breathing and, NEVER training to failure. learn the Artificial Controlling Environment that will help your students and yourself become stronger fast.

you will learn that the KEY to all bodyweight drills is the hollow body position and you will receive detailed instruction in how to achieve and maintain this position.

all the exercise movements will be deconstructed and then progressively reconstructed for a systematic learning process, including:

  • the one-arm pushup series: hardstyle plank, pushup, one-arm pushup
  • tactical pull-up series: hollow rock, chin/pull-up, hanging-leg raise, front lever
  • pistol squat series: close squat, airborne lunge, pistol squat
  • handstand pushup series: headstand, handstand, piked/handstand pushup, headstand leg raise

this workshop will also cover how to design your own program incorporating the body weight power lifts.

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HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL:  saturday july 18th, 9am – 4pm

BODY WEIGHT POWER LIFTS: sunday july 19th, 9am – 4pm

either workshop:

$200. by JUNE 30TH
$250. after JUNE 30TH

combine HARDSTYLE KETTLEBELL with BODY WEIGHT POWER LIFTS for
$350. by JUNE 30TH
$450. after JUNE 30TH

contact Wendy Chappell 902-894-8943
thewholeway@wendychappell.com
for information

payments via email transfer to
thewholeway@wendychappell.com
or through paypal
info@wendychappell.com

this is an opportunity you do not want to miss!

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