The meetings will be on Saturday afternoons @ 2:00pm. Come dressed to work out and bring questions and ideas.
Our goal is to move forward with the "Dear Mom Campaign" and spread the word about osteoporosis prevention to kids and teens world-wide! Everyone is welcome.
First meeting is November 19th. Please join us.
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For those (ALL!) of you who have been patiently waiting for the Internal Alignment Awareness Illustrated Workout they are finally ready! Thanks to the talented photography of Tiffany Wayne, model and stylist Nichole Rigolosi and the unending patience of my husband Steve Cosimano for putting it all together for me, I AM FINALLY able to have it available to you to jog your memory for home practice. Worksheets are avialable at the studio and you will soon be able to download them from my website for you and your friends.
Soon to come will be specific instructions on how to do each exercise in case you aren't able to come to the classes at the studio.
And in the not too distant future, the CD and DVD versions! (As soon as I figure out how to clone myself things will happen faster.) As for now, Thank You ALL for your patience and ongoing support. Without you, I wouldn't be able to do what I do.
Lots of Love,
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By the end of the week I will have launched my new "KICKSTARTER" site to raise money for my dream project of creating a user friendly educational program to teach children about osteoporosis prevention through movement, music, fun food and friends. Specifically Kickstarter donations will go towards music and film development on this project. This will be a way for kids to learn and teach their friends and family how to stay strong and healthy. This is also a way for them to make new friends and impact the world in a positive way through their favorite ways of communicating! Everyone that gets involved will help prevent the epidemic of osteoporosis. Individual artists will be highlighted.
Please feel free to contact me with questions and/or suggestions.
Thank Everyone in Advance for Helping Make My Dream Come True!!!!! Wish Me Luck!
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16 wilan lane albany, new york 12203 (518)669-9677
I am asking for your help to raise awareness in our community about bone health, osteoporosis prevention, and good nutrition for our children.
I believe that if children are taught healthy lifestyle habits NOW, they will reap benefits throughout their lifetimes. I see a future with fewer health problems because we have learned the benefits of an active lifestyle. Let’s begin with our kids, getting them excited about being healthy, and making learning fun through music, movement, and eating!
I believe that if we work together in a “Dear Mom” letter-writing campaign, texting, and using the internet, we can be a force of empowerment and healthy living that will lead to healthy kids and healthy parents. We can reduce healthcare costs, stress, and the chronic issues associated with osteoporosis.
I will come to your school to give a free workshop on bone-healthy SAFE exercise. All you have to do is print the “Dear Mom” letter and have your students finish the last paragraph on their own at the end of my class explaining why bone health is important to them.
Please help spread the message now about bone safety and osteoporosis prevention so our children may stand tall and have a healthy life with no worry about osteoporosis.
Penny Shure, owner Pilates Playground, Albany, New York
Certified Meeks Method Exercise Specialist
Pilates Method Alliance certified instructor
National Osteoporosis Foundation Support Group Leader
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Today in school we learned about a disease called osteoporosis, and things we can do to keep our bones healthy and strong.
Osteoporosis means our bones get weak and break without much force. Even a sneeze can break a bone!
I didn’t know that preventing fractures (broken bones) and osteoporosis begins NOW for me. I found out that our bones never stop building, but by the time I am in my twenties my bones will have become as strong as they ever will.
The way to stay healthy and strong is to eat right, exercise, get plenty of sunshine, drink enough water, and have fun! Things that can hurt our bones are fast foods, fatty foods, and cola drinks. Not getting enough exercise and sitting around too much are bad. And for grown-ups, smoking, drinking alcohol, and stress are bad too.
Mom, you don’t have to be old to get osteoporosis! I want us all to have strong bones, talk about eating and exercising to build strong bones, and learn how to make healthy choices. Can we talk about all of the ways we can think of to keep our bones and bodies healthy?
I love you, and the first thing I can think of that we can do together to build and maintain strong bones is:
(This part filled in by individual.)
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Remember! Our Voices Count! Thank You Senator Gillibrand from our own Community for introducing this LIFE SAVING Bill!!!!
Dear [Decision Maker],
As your constituent and an advocate for better bone health, I urge you to co-sponsor the "Bone Health Promotion and Research Act of 2011," S. 966, which was introduced on May 12, 2011, by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York. This bill would provide coordinated federal and state efforts to improve bone health education, osteoporosis prevention and disease-specific surveillance. It also would expand bone health research to improve the lives of those at risk for fractures because of diseases such as osteoporosis.
*Please personalize your message
In the United States today, 10 million individuals are estimated to have osteoporosis, and 34 million more are estimated to have low bone density, placing them at increased risk for the disease. Osteoporosis-related fractures cost our health care system $19 billion each year and costs are expected to rise to $25.3 billion by 2025. Early diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis have been demonstrated to dramatically reduce fracture rates and generate substantial savings, while Please personalize your message
also improving the quality of life of osteoporosis patients.
Although many states have passed legislation relating to osteoporosis, very few states currently have funding for those programs. In 2010, only 11 states reported funding for osteoporosis programs as compared with 22 states in 1998-99. Cuts in funding for these programs comes at a time when the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the U.S. population aged 65 years and older will double from 2007 to 2030.
Because it is vital that we address the growing problem of osteoporosis, preventable bone fractures, and the costs associated with such fractures, I urge you to cosponsor the "Bone Health Promotion and Research Act of 2011" (S. 966) to implement a comprehensive National Bone Health Program and help reduce the physical and economic burden of osteoporosis and poor bone health for millions of Americans.
(City, State ZIP)
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I will be at the Pilates Method Alliance conference between Tuesday November 1st and Monday November 7th. However, you don't have to miss your Pilates sessions!!! Anne is teaching the Tuesday and Thursday evening classes and Gerry is teaching on Saturday, 11/5. Private, duet and trio sessions are still open with Gerry so call the studio to set up your appointment!
Also, ALL CLASSES ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9th are canceled.
See you soon.
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"The major benefit of exercise as you age is not to add bone density, but to maintain strength, balance, and coordination, and thus decrease your chance of falling."
R. Keith McCormick, DC author of "The Whole-Body Approach to
First, let me say that I really love this book and thank you Dr. McCormick for writing it. I hope to meet you in the near future.
Secondly, I can't stress enough the importance of staying active and having fun and LETTING GO OF ANGER as you age and always. Without this prescription for life you will suffer chronic debilitating inflammation and life will not be the joy that it is suppose to be.
As all of you who know me understand, this begins with movement and becoming aware of your bodies place in space. How we move effects how we live, breathe, age and journey through life. Don't be sedentary. Keep moving. Breathe deep and be grateful for what you do have in this lifetime. I am!
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Thanks for your book. It is inspiring. For more information link on to the BIRS site on the right.
We also have books for sale at the studio.
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Never forget what time classes are at Pilates Playground again with our FREE magnets!
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Thursdays @ 5:00pm with Anne Bette
Anne is a Power Pilates, NY mat certified instructor. She is terrific!
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Some of you know that my brother Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early March. He died on August 18th. I am so grateful for all of your love and support over the past few months as I have been coping with his illness and passing. Your prayers and kindness continue to comfort me. Thank you!
We just celebrated Rosh Hashanah and I would like to wish everyone a sweet and healthy New Year! Losing a loved one has the ability to bring a new perspective to our lives. As I approach my 50th birthday I hope to be and do the best I can each day. Remember that each and every day is truly a gift so embrace the present, be grateful for all of life's many experiences and adventures, and don't waste time on anger, fear, complaints or regrets. Just live,love and give of yourself. Life is an occasion. Rise to it!
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The Thursday morning mat class @ 9:30am is now an IAA class.
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He will be in the studio on Saturdays and is available by appointment. He will be teaching the 10:00 mat class this coming weekend on March 26th.
I am very happy that Gerry is now a part of the studio family and know you will all benefit from his expertise and compassion.
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Thank you Sara for the opportunity to be a part of your Steering Committee and to have the honor of meeting and sharing with so many like minded professionals from the United States and Canada. We all share the same dream that someday soon everyone will have access to SAFE movement education whatever their physical condition. I strive to be the best representative I can of your methodology and spirit.
Thank you Robert Redford for having the vision to create Sundance. I have never been to a more beautiful place. There is an energy here that is magical. I can't wait to come back. It felt like coming home. Sundance is a gift to all who come to visit or live.
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I am teaching a workshop on modified exercise for osteoporosis at Congregation Agudat Achim in Schenectady, NY from 10:00am - 12:00pm
All are welcome! Bring a mat and towel to support your head if necessary.
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Interesting facts for anyone who needs an X-ray:
Dr. Oz had a show on the fastest growing cancer in women.......thyroid cancer. It was a very interesting program and he mentioned that the increase could possibly be related to the use of dental x-rays and mammograms. He demonstrated that on the apron the dentist puts on you for your dental x-rays there is a little flap that can be lifted up and wrapped around your neck. Many dentists don't bother to use it. Also, there is something called a "thyroid guard" for use during mammograms. By coincidence, I had my yearly mammo yesterday. I felt a little silly, but I asked about the guard and sure enough, the technician had one in a drawer. I asked why it wasn't routinely used. Answer: "I dunno. The patient has to ask."
Well, if I hadn't seen the show, how could I have known to ask???
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A big THANK YOU to everyone who calls and lets me know if they are going to miss a mat class. Even though classes are on a drop in basis, I appreciate knowing if you won't be able to attend because you are missed!
Have a wonderful day!
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Please drive safely if you have to go out!
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Beginning Tuesday, February 1st, I will be teaching a new gentle mat class for bone health that will meet weekly. The class is from 10:30am - 11:25am. This is in addition to the Saturday morning 9:00am class. If you have the time, take Steve's qigong class at 9:30am first. You will love the combination!!!
See you there.
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I just got home from the "Save Your Body Parts" weekend at Kripalu retreat in MA. It was AMAZING!!! I am looking forward to sharing all of the wonderful nuggets of information Yamuna and Vicki taught this weekend and am very excited to begin further training in anatomy and body rolling at Yamuna's flagship studio in New York. I can tell you that this is the hardest work I've ever done. It is uplifting and energizing and you will love how you feel. Stay warm and breathe deep!
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Due to the inclement weather ALL Pilates classes will be closed for today. Drive carefully if you have to go out.
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I have had many requests for another 'skele-toner' mat class at the studio and am looking at Tuesday mornings @ 11:00am. Please let me know if this time slot is convenient. I'm looking forward to this addition.
Stay warm this weekend!
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SAFE Pilates for Osteoporosis; “The Skele-Toner Workout” by Penny Shure.
• Learn how to take stress off of your bones in the constructive rest position. This position places the least amount of compression on the front of the backbone where wedge compression fractures occur. Learn how to strengthen the muscles that support the spine.
• Learn the triangular base of support for the soles of your feet in order to create a neutral stance, posture and gait.
• Learn how to walk and stand tall and stimulate bone building in your hips.
• Learn how to get on and off the floor and in and out of a chair safely.
• Learn the Pilates “scoop” in order to stabilize from the “powerhouse” and train your abdominal muscles without dangerous sit-ups and crunches.
• Discuss options available for fracture prevention through lifestyle modifications, specifically:
• Safe exercise options and modifications of activities of daily living to improve posture, core strength, flexibility, & balance
• Getting to know your body and your personal habitual movement patterns
• Ways of reducing emotional stress
• The importance of smiling, gratitude and being in the moment
• Weight bearing exercise: walking, dancing, hiking, modified Pilates, modified yoga, qigong
• Your diet
• Get enough sunshine and discuss vitamin D3 with your healthcare provider
• Drink enough water, avoid ALL soda, caffeine, alcohol, smoking
• HAVE FUN EVERY DAY!
• Review Pilates principles lying supine: stabilize, breathe, center, decompress, concentrate, full range of motion.
• Meeks Method “Fab 4”
• Supine mat work into footwork
• Sidekick series for hip strengthening
• Prone extension work
• Quadruped wrist strengthening
• Standing balance work into
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Enjoy the snow and drive safely if you have to go out...
Happy birthday Mom!
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It looks fine to me outside....Classes are ON this morning. See you soon!
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I hope everyone's New Year is off to a good beginning.
Good luck with all of your dreams and resolutions. Remember not to push yourself so hard into new habits that they become too much to take on. Changing habitual patterns either in movement or thought takes patience, practice and perseverance. It CAN be done. Remind yourself each day what your goals are and give yourself rewards regularly when you accomplish them. Positive reinforcement works for all of us!
Be grateful for the chance to create your new habits each day and you'll see them materialize faster than you ever thought possible.
Happy January! (my birthday month by the way)
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I was born 3 months early in 1962. I weighed a little over a pound and spent the first 3 months of my life in an incubator never being touched by my parents. I just lay there under warm lights and I'm sure with the arms of my guardian angel around me keeping me alive. I am very blessed. I am not blind or in any way neurologically or physically impaired. I wonder about the emotional implications of not being held or nursed as an infant and will always be grateful that my 2 sons were born healthy so we were able to bond instantly through touch and nourishment. I realize that the miracle of life was given to me twice at birth since the statistics were not in my favor.
Because of this gift of life and health I have long felt that I have an added responsibility to take the best care of myself physically, nutritionally and spiritually as I can. I try my best. Some days are better than others.
So, what is something people would probably never guess about you? Something to ponder as the new year approaches...
Love & Light,
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I met Penny when she came to Kripalu to take a workshop with me in May 2009. To say that she is the most fabulous, intuitive teacher of movement (for someone with no formal training in anatomy, kinesiology or the like) is a definite understatement. Penny intuitively understands the human body and is able to convey that message to others in a very soft, yet convincing, way. It has been and, hopefully will continue to be, a delight to work with her. You are indeed fortunate to have such a teacher come into your lives and she is fortunate also for you.
Sincerely Yours In Good Bone Health,
Sara M. Meeks, P.T., M.S., G.C.S.
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Special thanks to Lisa Greene for supplying all of the beautiful studio decorations and helping me decorate, Sue Flansburg and Deborah Lane for contributing gift baskets, Cindy Crounse for designing and donating the exquisite 65 Roses necklace, and my husband, artist Steven Cosimano for donating his artwork. This wouldn't have been possible without all of your kind work.
What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
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Pilates is important because it teaches you how to move your body from the inside out. When modified via the Meeks Method it also becomes SAFE for those of us with bones at a higher risk for fracture. (osteopenia or osteoporosis) Pilates is not just about strengthening. It raises our awareness of lengthening as we move. Concentration, breathing, flexibility, balance and posture improve and we learn to appreciate our center of gravity and how we move through space.
The exercises I teach remain rooted in the classical method with the elimination of all flexion based movements and a strong emphasis on the Meeks approach from working in the positions of least to most compression on the spine. Remember gravity causes the bones in our spine to compress. This can cause back pain and ultimately compression fractures in 50% of women over 50 and 25% of men over 50. We are working to take that pressure OFF of our spines!
After beginning in the supine position and releasing the all important psoas muscle that supports our trunk like spokes on an umbrella, connecting the top of our body to the bottom, we are ready to gently strengthen and elongate our muscles. We sprinkle in some relaxation and breathing exercises as we go, spend some quality time getting to know the range of motion in our feet and toes and eventually end with standing.
We test our balance and transition our Pilates mat work into an upright position which adds the benefit of being weight bearing. Weight bearing work sends vibrations directly to our bones signaling them to get stronger. We practice walking through space in correct internal alignment before we leave to hopefully take this new training for our bodies into the most important phase: OUR DAILY ROUTINE!
Remember, Pilates was never meant to be all that you do. Pilates itself is the foundation for initiating correct movement patterns and healthy postural habits that will keep you standing tall and remaining strong throughout your life.
As we approach the end of 2010 and get ready to welcome the new year, make a pact with yourselves to stand taller and really learn how to take care of your bodies by exercising SAFELY! Remember, movement heals not just the body but the mind and spirit as well.
Plus, it's really fun!
Wishing you peace, love and light,
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Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!
See you in January. The studio will be closed December 24 thru January 1st.
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First, I've been practicing how to slow down. No, this doesn't really slow down time but it calms me down and helps me to really prioritize tasks, be in the moment and get perspective on just that, TIME.
As the end of the year approaches and everyone's busy, hurried schedules collide I find that taking time to do nothing but breathe and be grateful (where the perspective comes in) is helping me cope. The older I get the more I think I am beginning to understand this crazy game we all are playing called life. I think it is about being present in each moment and whether it feels good or bad, trying to find the positive and focus only on that. There will always be situations that present themselves that are extra challenging. Now I try to accept the "present/gift" of those situations, color them with loving kindness and send them back where they came. Doing so seems to create more TIME to focus on the joy. And isn't that what the holiday season is all about? Focusing on the joy! So I'd like to wish everyone a joyous holiday season filled with TIME to re-connect to your own spirit and to those who are lucky enough to be a part of your lives. Peace and Blessings to all of you!
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My first session with Ellen was amazing. To be honest, the studio although charming was very intimidating for me. The equipment looked like it belonged in a torture chamber and I had no idea what to expect or what I was capable of. I had been dancing since I was 5 years old so I've always had a pretty strong core but lacked flexibility. I have also had a head forward posture due to years of poor training along with emotional stress and abuse throughout my life. I had no idea that this first session was the beginning of a whole new chapter for me.
Nothing profound really happened that morning. I was taught the basic mat from hundreds to teasers. We then went to the reformer which I loved but couldn't imagine how anyone could ever learn to use. Fortunately Ellen not only got her training from Romana but still traveled into the city each Friday for private lessons with her so I was getting an excellent start to my Pilates education.
I left my first session with a newly scheduled weekly Pilates appointment and feeling like I sparkled! I felt tall and invigorated with more energy than ever. I was breathing better and smiling a lot. I told everyone I could about this great Pilates class but I couldn't tell them exactly what it was or even what I did because I didn't really know. I just knew that I felt really good and couldn't wait to get back into Ellen's studio.
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AS YOU STRENGTHEN YOUR CORE AND IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE YOUR SPIRIT IS STRONGER TOO! EMOTIONAL WOUNDS BEGIN TO HEAL AND YOU GAIN THE INNER STRENGTH NEEDED TO RIDE THE WAVES OF LIFE'S BIG KAHUNAS!
Joseph Pilates was a genius and I will be forever grateful to him for developing his method of exercise that has made such a difference for me. In case you don't know Mr. Pilates lived from 1880 - 1967 so this work can in no way be considered a fad. I can go on for hours on the history of the method but for the purposes of this blog and how Pilates can change/save YOUR life too, I am going to get more personal...
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I love September. It seems like a new beginning. Everyone gets back into their routine which hopefully includes taking good care of yourselves. Taking stock in yourselves as a New Year approaches. Following along in the personal wellness list tradition I want to remind everyone about the importance of staying hydrated!!!
I can't stress enough how important it is to drink enough water everyday. The general rule is that you should drink your body weight in ounces of water daily. If you also drink beverages with caffeine or alcohol that are dehydrating then you need to drink extra water. I find too that if you eat a lot of sugary snacks that day that extra water helps to flush out your system.
Remember our bodies are 70% water and we need to keep them hydrated, healthy and happy. Simply a glass of water will help relieve stress, back pain, headaches and remember too; our bodies sometimes confuse thirst for hunger so drinking a glass of water can help keep your favorite jeans fitting just the way you like!
As the fall approaches I know things get busy with a new school year beginning for you or your children and frequently many other changes. Use this time to get organized and think about 1 thing you can do to stay healthy and REALLY IMPORTANT HERE... Stay HAPPY! Start your day with a glass of water and keep your water bottle with you as the day goes on. That's what I do. You'll surprise yourself. It's easier than it sounds once you get into the habit of staying hydrated.
Good Luck and Happy September 1st!
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I am also now certified in the Meeks method, level 1 as an osteoporosis exercise specialist.
I will continue to strive to be the best teacher I can be through continuing education and studies. Thank you to all of my clients, teachers and angels helping me out on my personal journey!
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See you soon. Have a wonderful day!
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Smile, Breathe, and Have a nice day!
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1. get 7 hours of sleep
2. wake up early enough to walk
3. drink fresh carrot-apple juice in the morning
4. write down my thoughts in a journal before I speak to anyone
5. take my vitamins
6. drink enough water
7. practice Pilates exercises
8. do my Karen Voight workout
9. check on my goals & visualize positive outcomes
10. practice QiGong healing sounds before bed
11. this is actually the first thing I do each day upon awakening. I thank God in a prayer that goes 'I am grateful to you source of all that lives and exists for restoring my soul with compassion, great is your faithfulness, Amen.' This is a Hebrew prayer that gives me great comfort and spiritual strength.
These all help me have a happy, pain free day. I don't always get them all done but I try my best. I have more energy and I think my family likes having me around better because I am happier and less stressed when I take care of me... It's taken some practice to allow myself to take this personal time but when I do I find that life in my world flows along gloriously.
Now, no one in my family but me would thrive on my wellness list so I don't try and encourage them to. Just because these activities work for me doesn't mean they will work for you. That is the personal part. What I can tell you for sure, is that once you find the magic ingredients to your own list (and it will feel like magic because you are functioning so much better) simply follow this list to the best of your ability everyday. Once you begin to make yourself your number one priority you will feel better and life won't seem like such an overwhelming job. It shouldn't be about the effort of getting through each day but the joy. Life is a gift and it is our personal job to make each day the best we can for ourselves through our unique perspectives.
Good Luck!!! Let me know how this works for you.
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What is a 'Personal Wellness Plan'? For me it is a list of between 3 and 10 tasks that I try and make a habit of DAILY that I know will make me feel better and have a good day. This is personal because my list won't necessarily be what helps you and yours may not help me. Part of making your list is a journey into self discovery. WHAT makes you happy and brings you joy? It is a good idea to have one item on your list that you can't physically accomplish but forces you to use your imagination. See yourself fulfilling one task in your mind's eye. For example I love to be at the ocean but I live in Albany so I like to imagine the beach. The sand on my feet, the sound of the waves and the smell of the salt air. Never underestimate the healing powers of your imagination and creativity at work. If one of your daily objectives is to go for a 30 minute walk but you didn't get outside that day then imagine yourself doing the walking. Try to get all of your senses involved. Smell the fresh air. Feel the breeze against your skin. See the colors of the sky and trees. Listen for sounds of nature around you as you imagine yourself on your walk. Our bodies are 70% water. Try to feel the fluidity in your gait as you move effortlessly on your walk. Of course if you're actually able to go for the walk that day then Please allow yourself to experience all of these sensations. Don't use your walk to go through a mental list of what you need to do next...Try to be in the moment as you perform each task on your wellness list.
Another important part of the list is being grateful for the opportunity to complete each task. For example when I am walking I am thankful for the ability to walk and that I have made the time in my day for such a healthy choice. You get the idea. Don't take anything for granted...
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We all get used to doing simple things the same way all the time. Start to think about how you go about your simple ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING and change them.
Put on your shoes or lace them up different foot first.
Put on your shirt a different way.
Brush your teeth with the other hand.
Take a different route to work or school.
It's the simple things that I want you to try and change in order to stimulate your brain in a different way than normal.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO CHANGE YOUR HABITS...
See if your memory improves by doing this. I think it will...
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The studio is finished and our new room is beautiful. The fireplace makes things extra cozy and everyone is thrilled with our new, peaceful space.
Beth Foster is teaching NIA classes on Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings. She is fantastic and so are her classes. Come and see for yourselves...
Dr. Oz says if you want to live to be 100 than practice qi gong! Need I say more? Steve is teaching Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons here and is also available for individual sessions so what are you waiting for?
I am now practicing the Healing Sounds daily and I consider this AS important as my daily Pilates practice.
The cd's are in production and I hope to have them available soon for everyone to purchase. For now look me up on www.sellaband.com for more information, sound clips, pictures, and soon a music video of the "heel-toe" song!
Best in bone health and good posture!
Peace and Light,
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The construction is in progress for our studio expansion so please forgive our "growing pains" while the work is going on. It's very exciting to see the progress and I hope everything will be done by the middle of January.
On another note, we began production on our CD series through Indian Ledge Records. The Skele-toner audio mat class to build strong bones will be available for sale soon. 10% of profits will be donated to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Make 2010 the year you re-commit to yourself! Pilates is the perfect way to begin. Class sizes will soon be increasing due to our newly renovated space...Currently mat classes are offered Thursdays @ 9:30am and 5:00pm and Saturdays @ 10:00am. A specific osteo mat class is offered on Saturdays @ 9:00am. We will be adding more classes in the future.
Whatever your fitness level, come have fun and be part of the Pilates Playground family!
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