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“A repetitive environment breeds mindlessness. The human is constantly expending a lot of energy up front to learn, only to put the skill in an automatically run file – no energy (or thought) required. You want to kick some serious health-butt? You’ve got to mix it up.” ~ Katy Bowman, Move Your DNA p 140

Preach, Katy Bowman!

Nothing brings aliveness and health to any system like variety and that’s just part of what Katy Bowman writes and teaches about. I’ve learned all kinds of things from her teaching and I hope you will check her out. If you missed her piece about how to get more movement in through the course of even an office-working day here it is. She is prolific with her message of movement ~ see her site for more on her work and what she offers.

Below are our playlists for the week. If you’d like to listen to the music, you can find almost all the songs on Spotify (you can listen for free)! As always, please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

And friends, I am always ALWAYS looking for new music. Do you have a song that you love to move to or that moves you? I’d love to know what it is! Please respond in the comments below or email me at sjmnia@gmail.com!

Before the playlists, here is the scoop on a whole slew of great things happening this spring and summer!

Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water
Please join me for Nourishing Movement classes at the studio at Dancing Water* on Thursday mornings from 11-1215pm and for the summer, starting Jun 20 from 9-1015am (Thursday, Jun 6 & 13 are full. I’ve started a waiting list for full classes so please let me know if you’d like me to add you ~~ sjmnia@gmail.com). Classes are a mix of guided and unguided movement, meditation and creativity! Come join us in the trees by the river for grounded, flowing, spacious, nourishing movement. Go HERE to sign up!
* The Studio at Dancing Water is at 2370 Old Lynchburg Road ~ detailed directions at http://www.susanmcculley.com and via email when you sign up!

Class + Pop Up Pot Luck at the Studio at Dancing Water on Jun 13
On Thursday, Jun 13, come to Nourishing Movement class at Dancing Water and stay for a Pop Up Pot Luck! Nourish yourself with movement, then bring something nourishing to share (or bring your own lunch if you’d prefer) to enjoy together on the deck, the porch or by the river! Water shoes and/or sturdy walking shoes might be a good choice if you’d like to go down the trail to the river (or even put your feet in)!

Saturday Nourishment Series on 4th Saturdays starts June 22!
Step into monthly nourishing Saturday morning experiences on fourth Saturdays at the Studio at Dancing Water. Susan (sometimes with a guest teacher) will offer holistic, integrated experiences for all parts of you. Intimate, small group setting in a studio in the trees overlooking the river ~~ often with opportunities to stay on the land afterward.

Saturday June 22, 9-12noon – Nourishing Movement: Earth, Water & Sky with Susan ~
A morning of integrated movement, breath and meditation practices for all bodies and experience levels. Susan’s lightly guided teaching from the ground up – includes developmental movement, unchoreographed mindful movement, breath and meditation. Learn practices for promoting healing, strength and flexibility in body, mind and heart. If you like, from 12-2pm, bring a lunch and savor it on the porch, on the bench overlooking the river or on a rock in the middle of it. Bring water shoes and you could even sit in the water. $52. Register at http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop.

Co-Create Experiences at Dancing Water!
I’ve got a slew of ideas for a variety of experiences and a list of co-teachers who are conjuring up all manner of goodness for us. Lots is brewing. AND I would love to know what you’d love to do at Dancing Water. A focus that you’ want to dive into deeper ? A body part you’d like to explore for deeper health? A look at music or meditation or healing? Please email me at sjmnia@gmail.com with any inspirations for classes, retreats and Saturdays, Jul 27, Aug 24, Sep 28 & beyond!

Summer Schedule Shift
For the acac summer schedule (starting June 13), Jeanne Catherine will be teaching the Thursday morning 8:40-9:40am class. I will continue to teach on Mondays 1045-12noon at acac Albemarle Square, Tuesday 840-940am at acac downtown and Wednesdays from 11-1215pm at acac Albemarle Square and of course, I’ll be teaching on Thursday mornings at the Studio at Dancing Water…so lots of choices for nourishing movement!

Nia Moving to Heal with Rachel ~ Sundays at 330pm
Join Rachel for an hour of Nia Moving to Heal on Sundays in Studio A, ACAC Downtown. As of June 2nd, start time will be 3:30 PM (May 26, class will start at 3:15). The intent of every Nia Moving to Heal class is to feel better. You are invited to seek self-healing for your body, mind, emotions and spirit as we engage in simplified Nia routines, adaptable for all. Treat yourself to an hour of slowing down.

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Jun 7 at 11:25am
Nia Freedance is an opportunity to play and tap into the creative wisdom in our body, emotions, mind and spirit. For a full hour we get to dance together with the intention of stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance will be at ACAC Albemarle Square Friday, Jun 7 from 11:25 -12:25.

Summer Solstice Nia Jam on Jun 22!
Save the date! We’ll have a Solstice Nia Jam on Saturday June 22. Kate has given the Team a thumbs-up to take over Studio A, ACAC Albemarle Square, starting at 12:30. Join Kate, Anne and a teacher to be named soon to celebrate the wide open energy of summer!

June Women’s Retreats with Coach, Michelle Goodrich
Perhaps you sense a greater possibility for your life than what you are currently living?
Michelle Goodrich invites you to join her and a tribe of brilliant women on retreat this June. Together we will identify the number one block that holds you back from the life you came here to live, you will gain the tools to forge an unshakeable bond with yourself, with life and with others…. and you will have the opportunity to take the next step into the life you long for. Dates: June 15 (Saturday daylong) 9am-5pm; June 23 (Sunday) 1pm-5pm; June 30 (Sunday) 1pm-5pm (Attendance at all 3 sessions is requested.)
For more information see http://www.MichelleGoodrich.net
Contact Michelle at MichelleGoodrichCoach@gmail.com

Nia White Belt Training with Kelle Rae Oien Aug 15-21 at SoulShines in Richmond
Whether for personal growth, developing your practice or preparing to teach, the Nia White Belt training is a life-changing experience. Join stellar White Belt Trainer, Kelle Rae Oien at the new SoulShines Studios in Richmond. Go here for more information!
https://www.facebook.com/events/796684947329568/ (NOTE: A belt can audit 3 sessions for free. (They will need to pay for classes with Kelle – not included in the free offer) A retake (anything more than 3 sessions) is $99 to HQ and $400 to Kelle. That includes all classes.)

As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

Monday, Jun 3, 2019, 1045am ~ Mix It Up

Amazing 4:34 One Eskimo
Ae Ae 3:31 Angelique Kidjo
Rafiki 4:04 ?uestlove/Black Thought/Zap Mama
Jhala (Remix) 5:47 Stevin McNamara
All Night 2:47 Parov Stelar
After the Rain Has Fallen 5:03 Sting
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
A Night In the Park 4:42 John Kelley
Send Your Love (Art Of Peace Remix) 4:50 Sting
Mumbai Madness 4:49 Mashti + Jean Baden
Flow 4:35 Sade
Way Down 5:08 The Happening

Tuesday, Jun 4, 2019, 840am ~ Mix It Up

Amazing 4:34 One Eskimo
Ae Ae 3:31 Angelique Kidjo
Rafiki 4:04 ?uestlove/Black Thought/Zap Mama
Jhala (Remix) 5:47 Stevin McNamara
All Night 2:47 Parov Stelar
After the Rain Has Fallen 5:03 Sting
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
A Night In the Park 4:42 John Kelley
Mumbai Madness 4:49 Mashti + Jean Baden
Flow 4:35 Sade
Way Down 5:08 The Happening

Wednesday, Jun 5, 2019, 11am ~ Mix It Up

Bueno Funk 4:16 Peter White
Amazing 4:34 One Eskimo
Ae Ae 3:31 Angelique Kidjo
Rafiki 4:04 ?uestlove/Black Thought/Zap Mama
Shakedown Street 4:59 Grateful Dead
Peg 3:57 Steely Dan
After the Rain Has Fallen 5:03 Sting
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
Mana 2:11 Xavier Rudd
Bodyrock 3:36 Moby
Mumbai Madness 4:49 Mashti + Jean Baden
Flow 4:35 Sade
Way Down 5:08 The Happening

Thursday, Jun 6, 2019, 840am ~ Mix It Up

Bueno Funk 4:16 Peter White
Amazing 4:34 One Eskimo
Ae Ae 3:31 Angelique Kidjo
Rafiki 4:04 ?uestlove/Black Thought/Zap Mama
Shakedown Street 4:59 Grateful Dead
Peg 3:57 Steely Dan
After the Rain Has Fallen 5:03 Sting
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
Mana 2:11 Xavier Rudd
Bodyrock 3:36 Moby
Mumbai Madness 4:49 Mashti + Jean Baden
Flow 4:35 Sade
Way Down 5:08 The Happening

Thursday, Jun 6 2019, 11am Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Mix It Up

Bueno Funk 4:16 Peter White
Amazing 4:34 One Eskimo
Ae Ae 3:31 Angelique Kidjo
Rafiki 4:04 ?uestlove/Black Thought/Zap Mama
Peg 3:57 Steely Dan
After the Rain Has Fallen 5:03 Sting
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
Take Five 5:29 Dave Brubeck Quartet
Send Your Love (Feat. Vicente Amigo) 4:38 Sting
Mumbai Madness 4:49 Mashti + Jean Baden
Flow 4:35 Sade
Subtle Body 7:02 Wayne Jones

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

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A NOTE about the Focus Pocus art: I am in the middle of a book project called Octabusy: How To Let Go in a Sea of Doing. I’m excited about it and want to focus my art-making energy on it in the next couple of months. So instead of making more complex art pieces for the Focus Pocus blog, I will make little cartoons like this one that features characters from the book. This week, Octabusy herself plus a couple of hatchet fish and a crab are promoting our focus of Mix It Up.

Body mechanist, Katy Bowman is an avid promoter of natural movement and more movement in general in our lives. She is a prolific writer (I loved her book Whole Body Barefoot and am in the middle of Move Your DNA now and she offers practical and eye-opening information about the impact of our sedentary or often “active-sedentary” culture impacts our bodies.

Her work showed me that even though I am a freaking MOVEMENT TEACHER, I was “active-sendentary” which means that I would move for a bout or two during the day and be mainly sedentary and seated for hours and hours at a time. This realization has utterly changed the way I think about movement and the way I live my life. Here is a great piece about how to get more movement in through the course of even an office-working day. Do read it. It might change your life, too.

When I read this in Move Your DNA, I got out of bed, got my journal and wrote it down:

“A repetitive environment breeds mindlessness. The human is constantly expending a lot of energy up front to learn, only to put the skill in an automatically run file – no energy (or thought) required. You want to kick some serious health-butt? You’ve got to mix it up.” ~ Katy Bowman, Move Your DNA, p 140

YES. THIS is what I’ve been teaching and learning about for years and I love how she articulates it. Mixing it up is essential to the health of our bodies our minds. And not just that, I think it’s a way to make EVERYTHING* healthier.

If I had a really long bumper, this is the sticker I would put on it:
MAKE ANYTHING HEALTHIER: MIX IT UP (within healthy, intentional boundaries)!

Want to make your body healthier? Mix it up: move in different ways, at different speeds, on different surfaces. Go smooth and sharp, big and small, squeezing in and reaching out. And do it with healthy, intentional boundaries: know yourself and your body and make choices from there. I’m not going to start mountain biking or downhill skiing anytime soon. That’s me. You know your boundaries. Respect them.

Want to make your diet healthier? Mix it up: eat a wide variety of whole foods. Eat A Rainbow, yo. Experiment with a new veggie on your salad (ever have jicama? Or bok choy? Or Easter Egg radishes?) and make a new recipe every week (here’s one source of inspiration that I love and there are countless more). I could go on and on (and on and on) about the powerful health benefits of eating whole foods, mostly (dare I say exclusively) plants and avoiding sugar and processed foods. (If you ever WANT me to go on and on about it, just ask.) But whatever you do, give your body a wide range of nourishment. And do it with healthy, intentional boundaries: know yourself and your body and make choices from there. I will never ever eat ribs or bacon or doughnuts. That’s me. You know your boundaries. Respect them.

Want to make your relationships healthier? Mix it up: do different activities together, have new conversations, ask interesting questions. Especially if you’ve been in a relationship for a long time and even if it’s working really well, mix it up and bring life into how you are together. Be willing to step outside your roles and expectations and refresh your connection. And do it with healthy, intentional boundaries: know yourself and your relationship and make choices from there. I won’t have a romantic relationship outside my marriage and there are some questions I will not ask even my closest friends. That’s me. You know your boundaries. Respect them.

Mixing it up, as Katy Bowman points out, goes against our brain’s tendency to want to put anything new into “an automatically run file.” It can also be scary to go outside our habits and maybe even break social norms. At the very least, it can feel awkward. But be brave, friends. Mix it up and make it healthier.

* The one exception that I thought of to the “Mix it Up” motto is sleep. It’s well-documented that consistent bed and waking times lead to healthier sleep. So I don’t recommend intentionally mixing those up. BUT I do recommend sleeping in different positions, with different pillow arrangements and on different surfaces to give the intrinsic muscles of your body different experiences. So it’s an exception, but only partly. Can you think of other exceptions?

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