Monday, September 3, 2012

My Grandson

Austin William Beech, born Aug. 31, 3:29 am, 8 lb 5 oz.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Honoring Trees

by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Obviously, I love trees! The Body Grace logo and d├ęcor is tree-inspired, and the first impression of the studio is the ‘love’ tree painted in the stairwell. I have loved trees for as long as I can remember. As a little girl I couldn’t wait to play out in the woods with my dolls. When I was a teen getting into drawing and painting, I would spend many hours with my sketchpad out in the woods. In painting class, I would bring in pictures of trees with gnarly, moss-covered roots to paint, frustrating my teachers who would say, “enough with the trees, Jan” and then make me paint a boring still life.

My family is getting ready to put my mom’s house on the market. Recently while I was sitting outside on the front stoop taking a break from cleaning, I realized how much I will miss the big, old maple tree in the front yard. It’s a magnificent tree with an amazing root system and a beautiful shape. That tree has grown up with me. It saw me through my awkward, pudgy, crooked teeth and cat-eye glasses elementary school days; put up with my rebellious, alcohol- and drug-induced teen years; and has had the privilege of having my own two daughters play make believe under it when they were little. I only hope that whoever buys the house will love that tree as much as my mom and my family did.

Saying good-bye to my mom almost a year ago, (whose final resting place is underneath a big, nurturing tree), and now getting ready to say good-bye to our family’s home, has all been a process of letting go, which brings me to the Body Grace logo. Have you ever noticed the two floating leaves? Those leaves are what made me fall in love with the design. They represent not only graceful movement, (which by the way, is what we want in our bodies; bodies that are strong and stable, but also move with ease and lightness) but the leaves also symbolize letting go and giving back. As they fall to the ground, they are giving back to the earth.

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22 but Body Grace will be celebrating Earth Week through Saturday, April 28. I will donate $2.00 to the Environmental Defense Fund for every paying student who comes to take a class during the week. This will be one small way of giving back to the earth.

“To treat the physical world as sacred is to honor what you do with your body and environment, the food you eat, the things you buy and your means of livelihood.”
Anodea Judith, Ph.D. therapist and educator.

Taking the time to connect to Mother Nature is another way to show we care. Notice how delicate the light is when the sun shines through the laciness of new leaves on the trees, the many colors of the flowering shrubs and flowers, the chorus of birds singing early in the morning. Caring for the earth reflects how we take care of ourselves. I want to have lots of trees for my grandchildren to play under and grow up with, just like I had my maple tree.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Body Grace is Branching Out into the Community

This past week, three of our Body Grace instructors had the amazing opportunity to teach for the James Madison High School freshman P.E. department. The teachers at Madison wanted to give their students a taste of other fitness modalities, so they invited trainers to come and share their expertise with the P.E. classes. Diane Rogers and Carlos Valdes-Dapena team-taught a yoga unit on Monday and Tuesday; Julie Moore taught Pilates on Wednesday.

The P.E. teachers at Madison know that other outlets for physical activity and exercise need to be offered for teens who are not athletic or don’t want to play a competitive sport. Many of our teens are already seeing chiropractors and physical therapists for back and neck issues due to poor posture from sitting too much, heavy book bags and stress.

As Carlos posted on his Facebook wall, they reached over 300 students in two days! Diane shared this with me, “Carlos and I were so impressed at how engaged and enthusiastic the P.E. staff and students were. Some of the athletes were humbled by their difficulties in Warrior 3 and some of the less-athletic types seemed happy to learn this new form of physical activity.”

Julie had a similarly positive experience, finding the students friendly, completely engaged and open-minded. And like Diane and Carlos, she got a positive response from students she perceived as less athletic who seemed proud to be able to do many of the exercises she offered. Julie summed it up beautifully when she said, “I think the P.E. teachers accomplished their goal of exposing kids to something new and capturing their imagination of what they might do in the future.” A huge kudos to the Madison teachers for thinking outside the box!

I am so proud of the teaching team here at Body Grace! So many of you have expressed to me how caring and dedicated all the teachers are and how non-intimidating the studio atmosphere is. Mission accomplished! Our vision is that Body Grace grows into a nurturing studio where people can care for themselves, body, mind and spirit, and that we will continue to branch out into the community.



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Becoming a grandparent!

I discovered the secret to levitation; I am going to be a grandparent! I don’t think Bob’s feet or mine have touched the ground yet. The due date is August 25; so needless to say, as much as I love the studio and all of you, nothing will keep me away from being part of our first grandchild’s arrival!

An August birth has another significance. My mother would always tell everyone how she didn’t know anyone with an August birthday, so my daughter, Nicole, and her husband, Dale, planned this birth in honor of her. She passed before their wedding, but I believe with all my heart that she will be sharing this joyous occasion right along with us. I will carry on my mother’s tradition of spoiling my grandchild with unconditional love, lots of time, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and a really loud obnoxious toy or two, just like she did with my two daughters.

I am ready for this new chapter of my life to begin. I don’ t feel nervous or “old”, on the contrary, my heart is full of joy and I am excited about what the future will hold. In fact, there is not a doubt in my mind that Bob and I will rock as grandparents!