May Del Rosario and I first met when my husband joined the weight management program Kulana Hawaii in November of 2013. He has type-2 diabetes, and his doctor had recommended the program as a way to increase his exercise level. May met with him and assessed his willingness, his ability, and his overall attitude about exercise. We started with a once a week, one-hour class, Tai Chair. I was there to support him in his journey. However, I remember struggling with standing and sitting using my legs, not my knees and struggling with various poses for balance even though I had the chair to support me. I know May quickly assessed my ability, my balance, and my attitude, and recognized that she could help me, too.
My husband gained flexibility, strength, and balance. He was able to attend more weekday classes when I was working. He appreciated the safe feeling of exercising with a group of people, at various stages of life and fitness. May was able to prescribe appropriate exercise for each of them. I was so excited to join the classes beyond Tai Chair when I retired. Starting in January of 2015, I participated in Gentle Impact twice a week and the Training Group 2 class once a week in addition to Tai Chair. I was able to start training with light weights with May’s guidance. However, I realized after several months of training four days a week that I was most looking forward to the dance fitness which May had introduced during the Gentle Impact classes. For me, this was my challenge, coordination of my hands, feet, and body to whatever rhythm May picked for the day. The music and dancing brings me such joy. I had tried Zumba, but I had learned that it is much too strenuous on my joints. May is able to use Latin music, popular music, and hip hop combined with her dance background to choreograph routines for the young and fit and for those who wish to be fit again.
When Rene Tillotson offered May an exciting opportunity to increase her range of healing through fitness at Still & Moving Center in September, 2015, I knew that no other “exercise” program was going to come close to what I had experienced with May. I left our group of exercise friends to grow in mind, body, and spirit at Still & Moving Center. In October, 2015 I joined as a Golden Circle member participating all six days a week that May teaches.
I continue to grow in the aerobic Dance Fitness classes twice a week, loosening up those hip flexors, wiggling those fingers, rotating those shoulders. I participate in the Gentle Impact Training (GIT) class with just a little heavier weights and a few dance moves. Saturday is still Tai Chair, but May has added lessons on breathing and an introduction to mediation which has empowered me to take control of my body in ways I never would have thought I could, and to relax completely.
May often remarks that she won’t let us get too comfortable; she’s always going to challenge us. The truth is she is an extremely skilled instructor with a deep knowledge of the human anatomy. She is able to immediately assess when she is pushing too hard, or not hard enough. She is quick to modify dance, stretches, and exercise when she sees one’s individual needs and abilities. Sometimes, she will suggest someone push themselves a little more; sometimes, she will insist someone not push it too hard.
May challenged me to join the Pilates with Ball and Mat class twice a week. I have progressed to a level of fitness far beyond what I could have imagined two and half years ago when I could barely balance holding on to the chair. Now, I’m learning to balance ON THE BALL!
As a former soccer player, as a former teacher, I have had coaches throughout my life. I know May Del Rosario is the most valuable coach I have had because she in coaching me into a long and healthy life.
(Age 63 and not ashamed to be getting fit)
April 14, 2016
This is more my style….Working out with the ball was definitely a challenge for me. This was my first time doing pilates and boy was it a workout! I loved it……This class helped me to focus on balance and coordination which was great because I am uncoordinated at times. Haha! You are always using good body mechanics and it is so safe for your body.May del Rosario is a high energy instructor who really knows how to motivate you! Her enthusiasm and warm, welcoming personality make class FUN…..Pilates is great for toning up! It helps you to condition your core with slow, moderate movement with a fun, motivating teacher. Each week May will offer a different focus for class, to progressively teach you effective body mechanics. This class helps use isometrics for stabilization as well as your whole body for core balance on the ball. Pilates will increase your range of strength and mobility.She showed us how to get into positions and explained how it helps our body. She does give us alternatives if we aren’t able to get into the position which is equally beneficial but safer for you. At the end of class we focus on relaxing each part of our body and it’s nice to cool down too. It felt so good to move and stretch! I was energized when I left and am excited to attend my next class………Melaca Canela, President of the Sjögren’s & Lupus Foundation of Hawaii
I just wanted to stop in to tell you in person what an incredible difference to my life these Feldenkrais classes have made. I’ve been in pain that was so debilitating. I’ve had to miss up to a month of work. Feldenkrais has really relieved my pain. Now I’m moving again in ways that I haven’t been able to move for decades…since my twenties! I tried EVERYTHING before: hot needles, physical therapy, Pilates, yoga, Rolfing – you name it – and they’ve each contributed something. But nothing has worked like Feldenkrais has worked. Our teacher Eve is amazing. And I’ve benefited from Eva’s Feldenkrais workshops as well.
It seems unbelievable that something that’s almost effortless can make such a difference. I’m so used to pushing hard to get better. Now I’m just rolling around a little on the floor, and I come out of Feldenkrais with my body feeling completely different and better. I’m much more in touch with my body – I’m more intuitive now about how I can move to feel better.
I really can’t thank you enough for having this great place and offering these wonderful classes. I keep telling all my friends about it! And I just had to come by and tell you.
A few years ago, my chiropractor told me that if I didn’t do SOMETHING, I was going to end up in a wheelchair. I was falling a lot. When someone just approached me from the other direction, I’d almost fall off the sidewalk. My vertigo was so bad, I had to walk hanging onto the wall. My back was a real problem and I was in pain all the time. I was also really depressed as well, grieving for my husband of 42 years.
Now after a couple years of doing Tai Chi with Jerry five times a week, I’m a different person, mentally, spiritually and physically. My doctors can’t believe the changes they’ve seen in me. My health has increased exponentially. I have no trouble walking and my balance is great. My back pain is gone. My cloud of depression has lifted. I feel good!
Although I started Tai Chi about 7 years ago, I didn’t start to practice in this new way until I took Jerry Punzal’s class a couple of years ago. My experience with him is so different. He is so encouraging. Jerry saw in me what I didn’t see in myself. Pretty soon, he encouraged me to start leading class. Today I enjoy taking Jerry’s class as a student and also being able to lead his class when Jerry needs me to. I enjoy showing new folks how to get started in Tai Chi because I love to take care of people.
I’ve had my friends regularly join our Tai Chi class because they, like me, realize that as long as you’re “up and moving” it’s great for your health. Eugene is another one student who was in a lot of pain. He also does Tai Chi and Feldenkrais back-to-back on Mondays, and he enjoys it like I do. He is someone I’ve been able to guide through Tai Chi, which is very satisfying.
I love this facility for its beauty, the staff’s friendliness and the schedule. I love to take Feldenkrais right after the Tai Chi class on Mondays; it works perfectly for me. I’ve become an annual member at Still & Moving Center!
It’s not that things don’t happen to me any more; I’m 70 years old. It’s just that now I take them in stride. I got a heel spur, and I just worked through it. I had my gall bladder removed and was back in class in just two weeks.
Jerry is my sensei. By taking Tai Chi with him on a regular, frequent basis, I’m a stronger person in many ways and so much more confident!
Wow! What a fabulous way to start the new year! I wore my Queen of Hearts teal outfit to Nia on Thursday and every single woman in the class commented on how fabulous it is. The majority thought it was so beautiful I should wear it out on a hot date with my husband. I don’t recall receiving that many compliments on anything in a long, long time.
Calming and valuable integration of body, mind and spirit. Still & Moving Center is more than a spa will ever be. The Nia classes are fantastic. All sorts of healing and meditation. The events and activities are fascinating along with organic veggie food. The Hawaiian culture is thriving there. Clothes and accessories in gift shop, too. Thank you Renee for creating a home away from home for me.
Looking back over the past very busy week, I can see I was so fortunate to be included in some extraordinary events at your Center. The Tai Ji Meets Hula workshop with Chungliang ‘Al’ Huang and Malia Helela was beyond expectation! Roger Epstein did a superb job as MC. I thoroughly enjoyed that workshop and learned so much, and it has deepened my appreciation for both art forms (both of which I have studied for a number of years). The similarities lie so deep – the movements are born out of the same womb of the infinite, defined by each heart and translated into individual expression. It was a thrill to watch Malia and Al blending their movements, yet each respecting the inherently unique art of the other. Malia was a heavenly vision of fluid beauty as she danced and sang. I thought I appreciated hula a lot, but I found improvement just by watching Al as he was watching Malia in her hula. He was sitting next to me, and it seemed impossible for Al to sit still for even a second – Malia’s every movement was echoed in him, even as he was seated on the chair. He could not keep still! His appreciation of hula and Malia was total and absolute. I learned so much just from watching Al watching Malia! Then we all got a chance to join these masters and do some free form dancing all together. It was a totally amazing evening…
A few days later I had the blessing of joining the Valentine’s/B-day party for Mrs. Jean Erdman Campbell. That was wonderful fun, and I saw so many wonderful people I had met at other places, all converged on that special night. Mrs. Campbell danced for almost 2 hours without a break, and at 98, she must hold some kind of world record. I told her I hope I can be like her when I am in my 70s, to say nothing of my 90s! What a woman!
Thank you again for providing such a beautiful space to gather together all these amazing souls, talents, minds, and hearts. I am deeply appreciative.
Hanging Out: Aerial Yoga
Working with gravity instead of fighting it
By Fernando Pacheco
I found myself on a plane to Honolulu in December 2013 to take my Nia Brown Belt with Debbie Rosas, Winalee Zeeb, and Caroline Kohles. I’ll admit that I was feeling somewhat dubious about going. I was even contemplating quitting Nia.
When I arrived at the amazing Still & Moving Center on the first day of training, I was hopeful and yet a little guarded. I had never met Debbie Rosas (the founder of Nia), and I wondered if my three teachers could help me restore my connection to Nia.
As the training unfolded, I began to unfold as well. Looking around while listening to others share their experiences, I realized THESE ARE MY PEOPLE. This is my tribe. Besides my own powerful realizations, I was honored to be a part of my fellow participants’ journeys.
The blessings of my Brown Belt are far too many to count, but are cherished and remembered. And honored in the best way I know how, which is to live them every day of my life.
S.S., Nia Brown Belt
I like the professionalism of the staff and instructors! The facility has a wide variety of classes to choose from and the location is walking distance to local shops and restaurants! My only regret was that I waited over a year and and half before I visited!
The Still & Moving Center offers the largest complement of mind/body classes and workshops that I’ve seen on the island, in a beautiful space, with friendly and helpful staff and teachers.
I love the variety of classes and the top-notch line up of professionals. You really have skilled artists leading your sessions. I love the environment … it is just a lovely place to come and nurture your body, mind and spirit.
I like your services, because there is something for everybody! I like Tai Chi for Better Balance and Feldenkrais, but there have been other services I have tried to see if I would like them. One service you provide is not something you can sign up for and you do not even have to do anything to get it. The service I am talking about is the enormous positive energy level that emanates from the center. This energy stays with you when you leave and makes you feel fantastic and wanting to return as soon as possible! I think every person that comes through the front door gets filled with positive energy!
I think all the special events you have is a great service you provide. You are always looking for new ideas, having movie nights, guest artist, guest instructors, getting the word out about events in the community and so much more. Things are always moving there. Yet you can come and be meditative and still your mind. The name Still & Moving is absolutely the right name. Your services have really helped me to relax and heal and control my chronic pain.