Group Classes that are grounded in movement, mindfulness, and self-discovery.
group classes + programs
My classes and group programs are designed to meet you where you are. And because I know that your needs vary, from the amount of support you need to your current budget, I offer several ways to commune with others as you learn. But no matter the program you choose, you'll develop your ability to tap into neuroplasticity and discover new ways to move through life with greater ease. And all of my group offerings explore...
It’s safe to say that most of us have reduced the amount we move as we have aged— limiting the variety of movements that we do on a day-to-day basis and rarely engage in novel (new) movements. These unconscious constraints have gradually limited our basic movement repertoire. And over time, our movements - and/or lack of them - shape who we are and how we move, think, sense, and feel.
Engaging the senses is a powerful way to help regulate your nervous system and find a sense of flow in your movement. For those who have struggled with chronic pain, learning how to intentionally engage the senses can be a powerful practice for shifting pain — both neurologically and experientially. And consciously using our senses to relate to the environment can be a strong ally in helping us to self-regulate.
Emotions are a part of our evolution as humans. Emotions are inherited, habituated and learned. We create and influence our emotions, sometimes involuntarily and other times voluntarily, through how we move or restrain ourselves. Once we start to understand how our emotions and movements relate to and impact one another, we begin to develop a better sense of resiliency and emotional well-being.
Thinking is more than a brain thing. In fact, some believe that thinking is done with the whole body. And, part of what we are up to in this work is learning how to tap into the power and genius that comes along with thinking with the whole self. To do so, we must begin to clarify our self-image. In the context of this work, that means ensuring that what we 'think' we are doing (our action) aligns with what we are actually doing (how we're moving).
"My first class took me into a deeply meditative state & awareness unlike anything I’ve ever experienced." —Susan
Awareness Through Movement®
Our physical experiences, lifestyle, personality, and reactions to stress contribute to learned muscular patterns that are unique to each of us. Unfortunately, sometimes our habitual ways of moving, thinking, sensing and feeling can limit our self-expression or cause discomfort and even damage. And by exploring Awareness Through Movement classes you’ll re-discover natural, efficient full-body movement patterns and develop the capacity to tap into the mind-body continuum.
You see, our ability to learn and automate movement patterns is commonly referred to as muscle memory. Muscle memory is extremely beneficial in our daily lives, allowing us to act and move quickly without conscious thought. Unfortunately, we can easily develop learned movement patterns which do damage to our bodies. Just as our increased level of muscle tension feels normal, these damaging patterns feel natural and automatic.
Over time these habitual responses shift our image of ourselves and how we move through space. Our proprioception (how we sense our body in space) adjusts so that these patterns feel normal. For example, a person who has slowly developed rounded posture over the years actually feels like they are standing fairly straight because their proprioception has adjusted.
In Awareness Through Movement lessons, we utilize gentle movements to retrain proprioception and expand your muscle memory so that you can accurately sense your movement and eliminate compulsive, dysfunctional strain.
CLASSES & GROUP PROGRAMS
$14-$20 per class
I offer a few Awareness Through Movement 6-week series a year. Each series explores a specific theme and is geared towards meeting the needs and interests of the students.
Each class offers you an opportunity to learn more about your habits of moving, thinking, sensing, and feeling. Through the process of self-inquiry and mindful movement, these classes utilize the power of neuroplasticity to improve the way you move through life.
Rocking + Extending: This six-week series is the second series of a three series theme that is designed to support a "vestibular reset" and enhance your locomotion. You are welcome to Drop-In to a single, but the classes are best taken as a full series.
Please note that this series is only offered online via Zoom and that the Tues & Thursday class will be the same lesson.
The Many Ways To Crawl Towards Sustainable Change: This six week series is the third series of a three series theme that is designed to support a "vestibular reset" and enhance your locomotion. You are welcome to Drop-In to a single, but the classes are best taken as a full series.
Please note that this series will be offered both online and in a studio in Troy, NY. Registration for this series will open up in March.
Pay What You Want
Awareness Through Movement®
The Pay What You Want, or Dāna, virtual classes are part of my "Pay It Forward" program. All of the funds collected for these classes are put into a 'scholarship' fund for those with chronic pain who are on a fixed income or who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford to work with me without one of us sacrificing our financial well-being.
All of the Dāna based Awareness Through Movement classes are typically held once a month. Registration is required.
Why A Dāna Based Practice
The first is simple. It resonates with me. I was first introduced to the concept of dāna while attending a meditation retreat. I was simply told to pay what I could and what I felt the teaching was worth… a cup of tea, a pizza, a night out or a weekend away. To be honest, this approach resonates with me. I like the permission to honor where one is in life. I like the suggestion of examining what I might give up to give. I like knowing that what I give supports another.
The second reason is a bit more selfish. You see, teaching on a dāna is itself a form of dāna. It helps me to nurture my own sense of generosity, trust, goodwill, gratitude, and a sense of community. The practice of generosity is a significant spiritual practice in its own right. The dāna system encourages me as much as it encourages you to engage in a practice of generosity. The question of how much to give in dāna has prompted me to reflect deeply on my own values, fears, and generosity.
The third reason is a bit more practical. I wanted to find a way to support those who wouldn't otherwise be able to work with me without one of us compromising our own financial well-being.
Body + Brain for Chronic Pain
The Body + Brain for Chronic Pain Group Program are currently in the development phase.
The vision for this group program is to focus on the 5 Pillars For Chronic Pain that I use in my private coaching. We'll explore live group coaching calls, specialized Awareness Through Movement classes, and so much more.
The beta program is expected to launch in the Fall of 2018.
5 Pillars For Chronic Pain
#1- Easier Movement
Discover how your movement habits are contributing to your pain and how to move without pain and more ease. As you improve your movement you'll reduce the bio-mechanical stressors that may be contributing to your pain.
#2- Less Inflammation
Certain lifestyle habits and choices over time result in metabolic imbalances which promote a more inflammatory environment. Research has shown unequivocally that this systemic inflammation is fundamentally involved with cardiovascular disease, depression, and pain. For the person in pain, this amplified quality of tenderness increases pain levels.
I'll help you to figure out how to make the diet and lifestyle changes that can reduce metabolic inflammation. This may be sustaining a food plan your doctor has you on or shifting to a more refined whole-food lifestyle, or figuring out how to integrate stress relieving practices into your daily life.
When pain occurs, the brain interprets and modulates these sensations like volume controls for the pain, by dialing it louder or quieting it down. Hyper-sensitization occurs when the brain has the pain volume constantly turned up. Painful sensations become more severe, and some sensations that might not be painful to others reach a threshold of pain for the sensitized brain.
You'll learn effective ways to control and re-regulate the volume controls.
#4- Emotional Equilibrium
Our bodies are designed to respond to our feelings. For example, when you're embarrassed your face turns red, when you're nervous you stomach feels tight, and when you're having a stressful day you may be more likely to experience a headache.
Most of the time our bodies respond to our feelings automatically. It might even respond to feelings we aren't even aware of. And those emotions have a chemical and neurological make-up in our bodies. So, we have a physiological response.
In this program, we'll explore how your emotions contribute to pain. You'll learn how to become aware of emotional triggers and how to reverse the pain brought on by emotions.
#5- Supportive Mindset
A mindset is a belief that biases how you think, feel, and act. It's like a filter that you see everything through. It's what's driving your behaviors, your movements, and (to some degree) your physiology. Identifying and shifting the mindsets that keep you stuck and in pain is essential for rewiring your pain.
You'll learn about how your mindset impacts your physiology, your choices, and your behaviors, And you'll discover how to shift your mindset for good.