WEEK 6:  You're Half-Way There!
Feb. 14, 2016

We're half way through the 2016 Embody Health 90-Day New Year Challenge.  Congrats!  

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: What Does Healthy Celebration Look Like?
Image source: NY Public Library Collection.

I had occasion recently to celebrate with friends in Seattle in two very different ways. 

The first was by sort of bar-hopping: We started around 2 pm at one place, then moved to another for happy hour, and then moved to another for dessert. Eating, talking, and drinking, we were of course sitting the whole time except for the little bit of walking we did to get from place to place. 

The second was a vigorous walk on the beach, one on one, my friend and I walking and talking and breathing in the sea-salt air.

Because I'd recently been ill and was still getting over a nasty cough, I didn't drink alcohol in the bar-hopping scenario. I stuck with tea and water. For the beach meetup, I wasn't sure I'd be able to walk much, what with the cough, and the weather being chillier than either of us had anticipated.

But in comparing these two ways of marking an occasion with friends, I can tell you I felt more celebrated by the walk.

The energetic quality of the conversation during the walk was much higher. Even though we were outside and had to contend with the wind, we weren't competing with the loud din that is an undeniable facet of today's Seattle restaurant experience. (They're actually purposefully designing restaurants to be noisy these days - see here.) It was also one-on-one, so we could concentrate on each other and reach a deeper level of intimacy. Certainly the environment we were in couldn't help but inspire us; we were walking at Seattle's Golden Gardens. A couple was getting married in the pavilion there, and we were treated to sailboats gliding across Puget Sound and the sounds of seagulls and seals.

But I think the biggest factor was actually that we were moving.

Our walking movement seemed to stimulate our conversation. There was vigor in our speech, in our gestures; but we took turns, listening and speaking. It was a really lovely give-and-take sort of conversation, both of us breathing and speaking and spinning stories in the air. Our feet kept going, on sand or rocks or cement. Our arms pumped. I think all this, and the blood moving through us, made for a much livelier, productive conversation full of support and great ideas than we would have had if we'd been sitting.

I share this with you to open up an inquiry into what celebration could mean, here at the half-way mark. You've made it this far in the Challenge. Now how will you honor that? 

It seems to be in our societal programming that celebration means an excess of things that aren't good for us. Feeling sick after a night of bingeing on anything--be it alcohol or food or shopping--isn't exactly our body's way of saying "Thanks for the memories."

There's also this: Foods that were once eaten infrequently, in fact only during special occasions, are now consumed with regularity, and that's one of the problems with the modern diet. Cake is less special if you eat it every week, and maybe eating it every week is not a component of a healthy diet, either.

Let us celebrate in a way that sustains our joy. Here at week 6, we'll treat ourselves without undermining our gains.

Maybe this means dressing up for class. What would it feel like to shed the baggy old T-shirt and get your groove or pose on in something stunning? You might also choose to celebrate by taking a deeper dive with your practice through one of the upcoming events at Embody. Or maybe it's a walk with a friend, or a soak in the tub, or a new hair style. Only you know what best celebrates your success this week.

So own it.

Journal Prompt: Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

How do you like to celebrate, and who do you celebrate with? Share some of your favorite celebration memories and describe what makes them so memorable. 

You might also consider times when you've treated yourself to something special. This might even be something small or inexpensive that is nonetheless of value to you because of what it represents. I still have the mug, etched with our school emblem, that I bought myself when I graduated college. It's just a mug, but every time I sip tea from it, I'm reminded of what I accomplished on my own.

Embody's Featured Wellness Coalition Partner: 
Heal & Toes Reflexology

Heal & Toes Reflexology
Heal & Toes Therapeutic Reflexology, located in Centralia, offers hour-long sessions to encourage balance in your body, mind and spirit.
Reflexology is a practice in which pressure is applied to the feet to unblock and stimulate energy pathways throughout the body.With its roots in places such as ancient China, it is based on the theory that the bottoms of our feet are a microcosm of our entire body.
Some clients rely on it for the deep relaxation and reduction of stress while others focus on its invigorating qualities for improved circulation or pain reduction. Many use reflexology sessions as part of their ongoing preventative and holistic approach to health.
Lorna Smith has practiced locally for more than six years. She holds international certification in Reflexology and Meridian Therapy, is certified with the state of Washington and is a member of the Washington Reflexology Association and the Oregon Reflexology Network.
You can read more about Heals & Toes Reflexology in their recent article on Lewis Talk here!
Visit her website and schedule an appointment today! 

"The more you praise and celebrate life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

 - Oprah Winfrey


by February 20th

Quick Links
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Returning Challenger Q & A  
with Valerie Sullivan
Valerie in Nia JOY
Q: What was the biggest factor in your success in completing the challenge last year?
A: I want to maintain flexibility and fitness as I grow older so I can do the physical activities I love.  The 90 day challenge encouraged me to take more classes per week and see real improvement in my body and fitness. Seeing friends my age having problems with joints, weight, stress and depression really motivated me.  Nia and Yoga help the brain as well as the body and Embody instructors make it easy to be motivated. They are so positive and helpful and the classes are FUN!  In Nia, you are sweating but you don't feel any pain and the hour just flies by.  The emphasis is on improving your health, accepting your body, and celebrating what it can do, no matter your size or shape.

Q: Who or what was is the greatest support for your practice?
A: Personally, it is easier for  me to stay committed when I join a class and keep a regular exercise schedule.  I feel like I'm part of a big, non-judgmental family and when I miss class, it is noticed. 

Q:  How has your practice enhanced your life?
A:  I feel like my body is much more flexible.  Spiritually, I have really become more grateful for the life, body, and mind that I have and empowered to try new experiences.  I am taking tribal belly dance at Embody, something I never would have tried before, and I love it!

Embody Teacher Feature: Wanda Walker, Tribal Belly Dance
When you're taking Tribal Belly Dance, every day can be a dress-up day. The "gypsy caravan" style that Wanda Walker teaches at Embody encourages traditional adornment in the form of hip scarves, jewelry, and facial bindis, makeup, or tattoos.

"When women wear these in class or performance, they feel beautiful," says Wanda. "At first, a lot of people don't want to stand out. They might start with a hip scarf. But then there's such an emphasis on connecting with the feminine self, that it's an evolution toward more adornment."

Wanda points out that the metal in the jewelry isn't shiny, as those used in the adornments that a lot of people think of when they hear the words "belly dancing." The jewelry in tribal is usually created from a melted-down blend of metals, so it has a rougher, oxidized look. It often includes real coins, giving the jewelry heft that dancers can feel as they move their hips.

Gypsy caravan takes its influence from places as far away as the Middle East, Southern Spain, North Africa, and Afghanistan. You'll find jewelry for sale in the Embody boutique that was made in Pakistan, for example.

Eye contact is important for the dancers, and their movement together requires a lot of nonverbal communication and cues. Wanda tells the story of how a dancer's plane made her late for a performance. But never having danced with those women before, she was able to join them on stage half-way through without missing a step.

"Tribal is a folkloric dance," says Wanda. "It's always done in a group of women, not solo. It's a dance for women, by women, with women."

Week 6 Prize Giveaway
Week 6 Prize:
For the week of 
February 14th - February 20th
30 Minute Reflexology Appointment from
Heal & Toes Reflexology
An Aromatherapy Beeswax Candle
 from Embody
Week 5 Prize Winner:
Jan B uffington
Congratulations to 
Jan Buffington who won our 
"Week 5" Challenge Prize
BioFreeze Gel from
Summit Chiropractic
$10 Boutique Gift Certificate 
 from  Embody

Embody Lifestyle Boutique Deal of the Week:
Big Dipper Wax Works Candles
THIS WEEK ONLY! Challengers receive 10% off all Big Dipper Wax Works Aromatherapy Candles

Embody is proud to carry Big Dipper Wax Works Aromatherapy Candles. These beautiful candles are made right here in the Northwest with locally source pure beeswax and pure essential oils.  Beeswax is 100% natural and a renewable resource that actually cleans the air by emitting purifying negative ions.

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