WEEK 4:  Owning Your Practice
Jan. 31, 2016

Congratulations on making in 1/3rd of the way through the challenge!  

We're one month in with two to go... and honestly?  This can be when it starts to get tough...  

The initial excitement of the New Year has waned and "life" can get "busy".  The weather can be cold and dreary and sometimes, staying in bed in the morning or going straight home after work just starts to sound pretty good. This is when the "newness" wears off - and the real work begins... this is the true beginning of your practice. 

We call Yoga and Nia "practices" for a reason.  They're not "exercise classes."  They are a practice.... YOUR practice.  Your  practice is something that you come back to again and again and again.  Your practice will grow and evolve along with you. You will develop a relationship with your practice...  And just like any relationship, after the new blush of infatuation wears off - they require work, dedication and commitment.  The reward of this work, dedication and commitment is a deepening, a trust, an evolution, a growth, a strength and transformation that you can simply never achieve through a series of puppy love affairs.  

This week, the invitation is to begin to go deep into your practice...  to develop a relationship with your practice and what it means to you.  

Sri K. Pattabi Jois - the renowned yoga guru - often said, "Do your practice and all is coming."  

Go back to the goals you set at the beginning of the challenge.  Remember them, chart your progress, keep going... your practice will take you there.

Read on for the this week's Weekly Wellness Tip, Journal Activity, Deal of the Week, Features, Prize Details and more.

And remember, join us in the Facebook Group and make sure you've scheduled your one-on-one Wellness Consultation.

With love and admiration,
Christina Wolf

Wellness Tip: Owning Your Practice

In yoga, Nia, and other movement exercises, we call what we do a "practice." That's for a reason: It implies the focus of an athlete, dancer, or musician. 

Of course, most of us probably don't have the time to invest in our practices to the same level as an athlete, dancer, or musician, but thinking of our "workouts" in terms of a regular "practice" instead can go a long way toward better health.

A practice approach puts you at the center, too. You can cultivate an awareness of when you need to  challenge yourself, and when you need to ease up. Here are some examples of successful challenges:
  • You notice that you've successfully come to class three times a week so far and decide to step it up by adding a weekend class to the mix.
  • Or maybe you feel your hamstrings aren't as tight in adho mukha svanasana ("downward dog"), so you move your feet back a little further, getting a more intense stretch.
  • Now that you've got the hang of the basic Nia steps, you relax a bit about getting that "right" and try some of those level 2 or 3 moves.
This is all about finding your edge, noticing it, and then safely pushing past it over the course of days or weeks or months. 

Sometimes your challenge is a mental one. If you always stick your mat in the back corner of the studio, or hang out at the back of the Nia class, try moving to the front. The teachers get lonely up there, sure, but it's also a place for you to test your bravery. See if you can "be" in the front, taking in all that being "up there" does and doesn't mean for you.

Whether you're challenging yourself physically or mentally, the intention is not to get stuck. At some point, if you've been practicing Nia from a chair for a while, you will no longer need that chair.

Taking charge of your practice also means tailoring it to fit your individual needs. Find out what balances your life. For example, if you work in a fast-paced environment with a lot of physical demands placed on your body, maybe a restorative yoga class serves you best. Conversely, if you work at a desk all day, you might need to step into an energetic Nia class and really go for those level 3 moves.

Remember that this level thing isn't always so cut and dried. Nia is designed for levels 1, 2, and 3 within the same class, and yoga is split between level 1-2 classes and those designated 2-3. But depending on your body and its history, some of those moves and poses might be easier than others, regardless of level. 

For example, maybe when it comes to arm balances or upper extremity moves, you have to stay at a level 1 due to a shoulder injury. But you can handle level 3 moves focusing on the lower extremities in Nia, and in yoga, your warrior pose is nice and deep.

How deeply you go in your poses and moves determines your level of perceived exertion. If the level 1-2 yoga classes fit your schedule best, you can still get a challenging yoga experience in them by reaching into that edge and striving for the full expression of each pose. Likewise, you can take a level 2-3 class but modify and dial back the poses to fit your body's needs. 

Embody Owner Christina Wolf is always saying, " your body's way" and " your dance." Don't forget this practice is for you. You deserve the time, attention, and energy it takes to challenge yourself the right way and reach your goals.

Journal Prompt: Your Practice, Your Body's Way


This week in your journal, track your practice. Before and after each class, write about how you feel, what worked for you in the class and what didn't, what progress you see yourself making.

Maybe you need to ease up to see different results, or perhaps it's time to step it up a notch. Where is your edge? Where could you challenge yourself, and how?

Embody's Featured Wellness Coalition Partner: 
Good Health Nutrition


Good Health Nutrition Center
Good Health Nutrition Center is the place to go in Lewis County for quality vitamins, powders, h omeopathic medicines, personal care products and other supplements.

They have the best selection of health conscious grocery products locally, including organic bulk grains, frozen foods, a wide array of gluten-free and vegetarian foods and a small organic produce section. 

Need someone to help you?  Friendly staff have been certified through the Nutritional Therapy Association and are available to help you!

Good Health Nutrition offers 10% off of Nutritional Supplements for Embody Members!  

Visit them today at 503 Harrison Avenue in Centralia. 




"I am blessed to have a body-centered practice to keep me present in my body.

 - Debbie Rosas, 

Nia Co-Creator

 

CHALLENGE PACING TRACKER
***
12 CLASSES 
by February 6th

Quick Links
Class Schedule
Workshops & Special Events 
90-Day Challenge Facebook Group
Nia Facebook Group
Yoga Facebook Group
Tribal Belly Dance Facebook Group
Embody on Facebook
Returning Challenger Q & A  
with Rick Bazin
Rick and his partner Diane
Q: What was the biggest factor in your success in completing the challenge last year?
A: Dogged determination, obsession?  Guess I don't see it as a challenge. It is my weekly routine. Mainly it's the weekly challenge of work and life getting in the way of my obsession.

Q: Who or what was is the greatest support for your practice?
A: Diane and Christina would be my greatest supporters.

Q: How has your practice enhanced your life? 
A: I am far healthier and stronger than I was when I walked into Embody 2 years ago. Always walk out of class feeling better than when I walked in.


Embody Teacher Feature: Madlyne Moeller, Yoga/Massage
Imagine you're in a yoga class, and in the middle of a sun salutation, one of the students asks, "Do you want to know what I had for breakfast?"

Welcome to kid's yoga. 

Madlyne Moeller has been teaching yoga to kids for three years and loves the opportunity to get silly. "Adults don't usually laugh in a yoga class," she says. "I have to stay on the tips of my toes with kids. We move a lot. We play a lot. We might pretend to be animals."

In Embody's Kid's Yoga class, Madlyne teaches students ranging in age from six to 12, both boys and girls. Interestingly, it's the younger kids who are less shy about being in the front of the room, with kids getting shier around eight.

Madlyne sees  great benefits to beginning a yoga practice in childhood. "They're moving in a positive way," she says, "getting positive reinforcement and learning to talk and move amongst other kids. They're learning to keep their minds a bit more focused."

She typically works in sun salutations and the warrior series, as kids can practice 1, 2, and 3. The poses with
recognizable names work well, too: boat,  bow, bridge, cat, and cow. Sanskrit  doesn't come into the picture. She sometimes makes up names for poses, such as a recent one she dubbed "sprout."

Parents have responded positively. In one case, a mother remarked, "This is the only thing my daughter's excited to do." She had tried other forms of physical activity, but it was yoga that lit her up.

In addition to teaching, Madlyne finished her massage certificate training just this week and plans to offer massage t hrough Embody, in the upstairs space, this spring. 

Her future vi sion is to bring both yoga and massage to autistic kids as well, building on her paraeducator experience.
Week 4 Prize Giveaway
Week 4 Prize:
For the week of 
January 31st - February 6th
$20 Gift Card from
Good Health Nutrition Center
 ~and~
MantraBand Bracelet
 from Embody
Week 3 Prize Winner:
Jay Halverson
Congratulations to 
Jay Halverson who won our 
"Week 3" Challenge Prize

Lavender "Warm Up Wonders" Heat Pack from
Medical Massage & Acupuncture
 ~and~
Kuumba Made 
Herbal First Aid Travel Kit 
 from  Embody

Embody Lifestyle Boutique Deal of the Week:
Mantra Band Bracelets
THIS WEEK ONLY! Challengers receive 10% off all Jewelry at Embody including MantraBands!

Embody Movement Studio & Lifestyle Boutique | www.EmbodyCentralia.com
(360)330-BODY(2639)  | 115 S. Tower Ave Centralia, WA 98631