A Gift from A Friend

Good Morning!

Today, I am sharing a most beautiful message sent by one of my favorite Nia teachers and one of my movement mentors. The wonderful Lori Lynn Meader has a most delicious focus for this pre-Thanksgiving holiday. It’s simple and in that simplicity, perfect.

BreatheBelieveReceive.jpeg

Together, let’s BREATHE deeply. How does that feel? Where does your body expand as you inhale and where do you feel the contraction on your exhale?

Do you BELIEVE that healing happens? Your body, your mind, your spirit gravitate towards feeling good. Allow pleasure to be your guide.

Now, simply RECEIVE the magic, the gifts, the wonderful treasures that Nia offers you. 

In wellness and warmth,

Amy

 

Living LIFE!

BBBBBRRRRRRR!!!!

It’s FREEZING Outside! How am I spending this frigid day? I am inside embodying LIFE. Yes, life, in general;) And, LIFE — newest Nia routine of Ann Christianson, Nia trainer extraordinaire. I mean check out this Focus & Intent:

The focus of LIFE is to sense ones ‘life force’ and how each Nia move, song, cycle and choreography can come alive through the engagement of the body’s core. The intent of LIFE is to enliven the chakra centers, simplify, slow down and stay longer in each movement while embodying the ‘learn-move-energize’ three-step process each time you dance to it. 

In our bodies, this renewal process happens all the time - new tissue forms and cells are created. Let’s dance the sensation of LIFE with Nia and celebrate that we can reset, renew and rediscover our own LIFE every day.

 

Who doesn’t want to sense your life force and renew? C’mon. SHOW UP to class tomorrow at 11 a.m.

We’re gonna move and create a deliciously warm studio!

Amy

Ahoy There!

Such an amazing feeling on Saturday with a full room of dancing bodies, sweat rags and all;) You have no idea how long I have waited for our community to grow in Hoboken. Our Focus for class was Discovery with the Intention of bringing awareness to whatever teachings your body had to offer. 

Kristen Mangione dreamed up that focus during a conversation we were having at the Hoboken TedX talks the night before. We were inspired by the artists who were present and their works, which we were being asked to contribute to. Pretty cool. Kristen offered the same focus in the Healing Studio for meditation while I brought Discovery to our MoveIT class in the Movement Studio across the hall. We talked about it today and celebrated the richness and depth of the synergy.

00c4a30240dbb0c759eeb5ee5bec0d05.jpg

The synchronicity was so powerful for us that we decided to do it, again. We, at ZenSpace, have been working with some concepts that characterize our space and what we offer to YOU -- our community. One of the words on the list is “oasis.” This evening, we invite you to cultivate your own Personal Oasis at ZenSpace Studios through a seated meditation with Kristen or a movement meditation with me. Yes, I do consider Nia, in all its forms, to have an element of movement meditation. It is one of my favorite Principles from the White Belt — Principle 5: Awareness through Movement Meditation, Life as Art and Dancing through Life. This element of meditative movement is why we often feel so relaxed post class even though we have moved and raised our heart rates. 

When I come to ZenSpace to teach and I arrive to the studio, I feel a sense of grounding and calm. I also feel a sense of excitement for what will come. That sweet little studio is part of my Personal Oasis in Hoboken. 

Join us, in our ZenSpace, to create your Personal Oasis tonight. 6:15 pm,

Amy

 

Living an Agile Life

Hello, My Dancers,

So much going on these past few weeks. I feel a bit like I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind. Or a blender. And, yet, life goes on, and I choose to dance. Movement and dancing is my way of claiming my life in unsteady times and saying, “Now I Am.” It is my respite from the storm and my affirmation that life is to be lived. And, when I dance with all of you, it is my way of saying that community will continue to come together to mourn, to celebrate and to be.

Unknown-3.jpeg

This month in classes, we are focusing on Agility. It is defined as nimbleness or the ability to change the body’s position efficiently and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength and endurance. Agility is in essence the ability to stop and start again. In the studio, we experience and build our physical understanding and awareness of agility. In the world outside ZenSpace, we step into whole being agility - body, mind, emotion, spirit. 

How do you experience agility throughout your day?

Please forgive me! There will be no class tomorrow on Columbus Day, October 9 :(  My big is turning 19 tomorrow and we are going to check our mental agility with an Escape Room experience.

After tomorrow, we will dance as usual on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and of course, ongoing on Mondays at 6:15 p.m. 

Also, I encourage you to join me in more movement with Hip Hop on Tuesdays with Saquan and Cardio Dance on Wednesdays, both at 7:30 p.m. 

More Dance = Happier, Healthier YOU!

Amy

PREPARE for Impact

AnyBODY in?

I’ve decided to move forward with my intense interest in self defense. As a coach, I am incredibly curious how it will empower me to inspire others to take responsibility for themselves and their voice. As a woman in this very unstable and unsafe world, I am looking to empower myself to stand up to bigotry, racism and violence with strength, stability, poise and voice. 

One concept from this summer’s course in self defense continues to vibrant and echo throughout my being. Our instructor said during our first session that in the moment of being attacked: “Forget about being NICE. There is no being nice in this situation.” 

Wow. For me, not being nice is a reach waaaayyy out of my comfort zone. And he is right. There is no room for Nice when my life depends on it. It is the moment for strength, voice, stability and power. At the beginning of each sessions, we repeated in full voice:

I have the right to defend my self.

I have the ability to defend my self.

I will defend my self.

Thought each session, every counter action to being attacked was accompanied by a strong, solid: “NO!” 

And yes, they turned off the lights and attacked us from behind. We responded in full body and voice. There were 25 women in that room in their full power and full VOICE. It was creepy and definitely upped my anxiety level, and yet, after the initial shock, I found my ability to respond. 

PLEASE CONSIDER:

How many times have I asked you to use your voice in class? How many times have you shy-ed away from using your voice? How many times have you given up your right to express yourself verbally because it is easier not to? If you can’t use your voice in the safe and secure studio of ZenSpace, how will you ever use your voice when your are not safe? 

green-panel.png

I invite you to attend an introductory workshop with me on Wednesday, August 27, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, which will be given by Prepare at Grace Church in NYC. The cost is $50. I am going as a student to continue learning and to check out the organization. I’ve never done any coursework with them; however, interestingly enough, I wrote an article about their parent organization — IMPACT — 25 years ago when I was a journalism student at Northwestern. I was intrigued then, and I am still intrigued now.

If you would like to join me, please register below and let me know you are IN. 

http://prepareinc.com/events/2-hour-introductory-workshop-adults-older-teens-all-gender/

Please remember that there is No pressure ever from me for you to participate. My classes and my coaching live in a space of non-judgement. This is your choice. If you want to come and can work with the date, I will be so happy to have the company.

All my love,

Amy

Self Defense is Your Right, Your Responsibility and Within Your Power

Yoohooooooooo! 

It’s me, once again, from Israel with a seriously interesting share…Please pay attention to this one! 

My big girls and I were offered the opportunity to take a 3-time self defense course this summer. We went for it. This isn’t the kind of course where you sit in the classroom and listen. This is a full-on, impact course where we learn and experience defending ourselves in full volume. Lights on, Lights OFF - from the front, from behind, any which way. We hit cushions and we hit people. 

The instructors are from the world of Aikido so while they are gentle in their approach to the martial arts, they are not gentle in what they are offering us for our own safety. The three most important lessons I have learned during the first two sessions is:

1. Be AWARE and PREPARE 

2. Use Posture and Walk to convey that you are not a Victim

3. USE YOUR VOICE (NO! NO! NO!) with every punch, kick and movement

If you have experienced Nia with me, you already know that there are threads of these elements throughout my classes. Awareness and appreciation of your body, your strengths, your weaknesses and YES, your Voice is a pivotal component of Nia for me. In this course, we practice yelling NO while kicking, kneeing, striking our attacker. The 20+ women taking this course range in age from 12 to 65, and everyone of them has POWER and VOICE.

YOU have POWER and VOICE. Don’t shy away from it in the safe spaces of your life like in Nia class. USE IT. So in the event that you need it, instinct takes over after the initial shock, and all of your Power and Voice will be available to you.

Here is Lina (my 18 year old) in practice with an unmasked teacher. (Look at the teachers wearing masks for full-contact practice behind her.):

fullsizeoutput_342e.jpeg

 

 

fullsizeoutput_342f.jpeg

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Adi Goren, my movement mentor and dear friend, who, once again, has extended an opportunity to me to step into my power and strength. And to afford me the opportunity to teach my children a vital lesson at this age and stage of their lives. 

With all my love,

Amy

We Got Game...

Get ready!!! Cuz we got GAME for this Monday Night! Hip Hop Game!

We contacted Say Say to bring Hip Hop to ZenSpace. Who is Say Say? What?! He is none other than Derrick Ladson’s younger brother. Derrick spent years teaching hip hop in Hoboken to children and adults before moving to Puerto Rico. (My daughter, Shai, took classes with him, and he is amazing body, mind, emotion & spirit.) Say Say is just as talented and as lovely a person. I know cuz he has joined Derrick on many occasions to dance with the kids! Say Say is back from working at Walt Disney World and said YES to teaching at ZenSpace! Whoot Whoot!!!

Due to Marisa’s shoulder injury, we asked Say Say to sub on Monday night...

HIP HOP DANCE WORKOUT with SAY SAY!!

This class infuses dance moves, sports drills, conditioning exercises and high intensity Hip-Hop dance workout. First portion of the class we'll be moving for about 25mins straight, targeting different body parts and some strengths or weaknesses, followed by a 5 minute ab and core strengthening. For the last half hour, the class ends with a small hip-hop routine , a cool down, and a stretch. Think fitness meets Zumba meets Hip-Hop ! Prepare to sweat! 

We wish Marisa a speedy recovery!! And thank her for filling in for me while I am away!

Amy

Road Runner...Meep Meep!

Heeeellllloooooo…

One of the greatest gifts the Nia Principles gave me was the awareness of Natural Time. This Principal encourages you to move your body in its own way, in its own time, with individualized and personalized movements that allow you to build proper neural connections. And, when I pause to reflect on my Natural Time, I sense that I am a ROAD RUNNER. Meep! Meep!

From September through June, I’m racing around, getting “stuff” done and on a high-speed ride (for the most part). And, then we hit summer! BOOM. Sudden stop. Kids at home, late nights, later mornings and the routine is completely shifted. I do a little transition dance, which in the beginning doesn’t look too pretty and doesn’t feel so right in my body. And then, I relax into the awareness of the slower pace and my choice to be at peace with the offering to Slow Down. 

How do you sense your Natural Time?

Meep! Meep!

Amy