Hey, November I’m glad you’re here!
November is the month where you have a good momentum happening as 2023 comes to an end and foreseeing growth for a new year!
In this newsletter,
- Article: The Pleasure of Movement
- Art + Harmony, Reflection of my travels in Japan
- Book Review – The Thursday Murder Club Series
- Recipe – Creamy Avocado Chill, a Malaysian dessert
- WEEKLY SESSIONS AND PROGRAMS
World events and natural disasters have been devastating for many of us emotionally and politically. We can only hope a resolution comes sooner to the wars in Israel and the Palestinians, Ukraine and Russia and other events that have meaning for you.
While these issues surround us, we can only look to appreciating what we have and connecting to the people we care about.
Article: THE PLEASURE OF MOVEMENT
This is also a time to take care of yourself and explore the pleasure of movement! Regular daily movement with less intensity releases tension and stress in the body and at the same time will revitalize the whole of you.
Moving your body is almost like playing and rediscovering the pleasure of being a kid, moving freely without inhibition. It makes us happy to be spontaneous and feel a sense of freedom in ourselves.
Somatic movement includes these elements of freeing yourself. It provides relief from chronic pain, improving bodily function, and recovering from musculoskeletal conditions. It can also be integrated into your daily exercise.
The word somatic means “of or relating to the living body,” Somatic movement is a system of neuromuscular movement awareness and education. This work teaches you to recognize and release holding patterns and chronic pain resulting from injury, stress, repetitive strain, and habituated postures. These movements offer ways to heal yourself from back pain, neck pain, whiplash, sciatica, shoulder, tinnitus, TMJ, tendonitis, spinal stenosis, hip, headaches, ankylosing spondylitis, sacro-iliac pain, sciatica, uneven led length, joint pain, arthritis and more.
Movement sessions are structured and follow a sequence focused on a specific part of the body each week. Cat Stretches based on seven movements from the Myth of Aging series provides a foundation for daily movement plus exploring movement in more depth to release unwanted tension or pain..
From my experience, I have encountered significant physical release from restricted tension in parts of my body that I didn’t even know I felt. It moved me into a deeper state of relaxation, calm, and with more agility. At one point, it released my jaw, my shoulders dropped, my whole diaphragm softened. I realized I was tapping into something bigger than just movement. I also became aware of finding pleasure in these movements.
Primary principles of somatic movement are different from the practices of yoga, Pilates or other exercise programs:
- Focusing on the movement itself instead of focusing on a goal.
- Moving slowly in smaller movements and avoiding pain.
- Appreciating the release and letting go of muscles to their natural ending.
- Appreciating ordinary movement and discovering the joy of simple movements between body and mind.
- Trusting your body’s ability to organize itself
- Actualizing your potential to produce movements that were long forgotten (Sensory-motor amnesia) and being able to so them without any effort, regaining confidence in your soma and health.
To find out more about somatic movement you can join a session for free or participate weekly (see below Calm Membership).
Register for Somatic Movement Group Sessions on Thursdays at 9am
One-on-one somatic movement sessions are also available separately! Please contact me at email@example.com
ART + HARMONY Reflections of my Travels in Japan
Our travels in Japan were different than our last trip. We focused on travelling to villages and cities outside the main tourist sites. We wanted to experience the culture in smaller centres. The Japanese love to create immersive experiences that are found in their gardens, temples, art, museums and food presentation. Everywhere we went, we discovered another layer of visual detail revealed in perfect execution and design.
The most impressive part of our travels were realizing how these exterior and interior environments were curated for the viewer. Walking in spectacular landscaped gardens where the ground moss is perfectly manicured, packaging or wrapping foods, clothing, items is an ancient art form called Furoshiki, These all projected sensations of harmony, calm and introspection. We realized that their culture infuses these values to provide spaces to decompress and reenergize in nature. We’re going back to Japan in a few years because there is so much more to experience!
BOOK REVIEW The Thursday Murder Club Series
If you are looking for a series of books to read that are light, quick paced and enjoyable, I really enjoyed reading the series the Thursday Murder Club. Created by former BBC host Richard Osman, they are hilarious and I really got into the characters. Each book focuses on four friends living in a peaceful retirement community meet every Thursday to investigate unsolved murder cases. Elizabeth is a former MI6 agent, Ibrahim is a psychiatrist, Joyce a retired nurse and Ron a former union organizer. When a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case (the first book). While most are pushing eighty years old, they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. An entertaining read.
RECIPE Creamy Avocado Chill
You will need 4 ingredients:
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
- 1 tsp vanilla.
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice (optional)
- 1/2 cup fruit for topping (optional)
Directions: Add the slightly softened ice cream in the food processor. Peel skin from avocado and remove pit. Add the avocado into the food processor. Blend until you have a thick cream. Add vanilla and additional sweetener if needed. (usually the ice cream is enough). Top with fruit of your choice such as mango, pineapple or papaya or whatever you have.
When we were in Malaysia we ate delicious foods: curries, noodle dishes, soups and creamy sauces. We also had some tasty desserts. We visited Pangkor Laut, a resort island off the western coast of Malaysia. We ate at a Chinese restaurant called Uncle Lim’s Kitchen that specializes in Nyonya and Hock Chew Chinese-style home cooking. All dishes are inspired by the unique products available locally. We enjoyed this dessert so much that the servers brought us seconds. Malaysia is south of Thailand and the influences are similar. There are three cultures: Chinese, Indian, and Muslim (Muslim is the dominate religion and culture) and they live harmoniously together. We felt so welcomed by their hospitality and kindness.
Here’s a short video about the chef and the resort. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1yPxTJ3uFc
WEEKLY SESSIONS AND PROGRAMS
PRACTICE TOGETHER – Meditation, Qigong and Somatic Movement sessions
For the past year, I have offered meditation and movement sessions at no cost. Now with more accreditations under my belt and your interest, I am pleased to be introducing a membership format with numerous perks.
Introducing Calm Membership for Meditation, Qigong and Somatic Movement sessions.
This membership allows you to take as many classes as you wish each month for $35/month.
Eating Mindfully Together Membership includes the monthly Mindful Eating Together meet-up on the last Monday of the month at 7pm. In addition receive recipes, mindful eating content and a personal consultation to guide you on your mindful eating journey.
Release Your Stress For Optimal Health Membership offers one-on-one focus to release your stress using somatic movement, meditation and a mindful eating plan. This level integrates two programs: Heal to Health and Feed The Brain with personal guidance. (A minimum three-month commitment).
If you wish to attend one session, consider buying me a cup of tea here
Silent Retreat Day is Sunday December 3rd
- 10 am to 3 pm
- Retreat runs online
- Fee: $25
Take a break and relax with a silent day retreat This is an opportunity to spend a few hours being guided through a series of mindful movement and sitting meditations. It is a welcome respite to experience stillness in the fast pace of everyday life we live in. Enjoy the benefits of restorative self-care!
Sign up for the Silent Retreat Day here
EIGHT WEEK GROUP PROGRAMS – January 2024
Feed the Brain: A mindful eating approach to nourish the body, mind and heart explores your daily relationship with food. Do you listen to your body’s internal cues or do you eat out of control and feel terrible afterwards?
Heal to Health: A mindfulness approach to cope with stress.
Transform your stress into strength! Start your own mindfulness practice and embody calm and movement with ease in your life. Based on the Jon-Kabat Zinn Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.
Find out more here
This is a long newsletter with lots to choose from. I love hearing from you! contact me anytime and we can chat or work together. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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My best in Health.