Mālia and I agree that we may never again in our lifetimes experience hula performed at such a high caliber, on such deep underpinnings as to what it all means. The costumes, the sheer numbers of dancers presenting such powerful, complex, fast choreography, the incredible variety of chanting styles, the artistry… absolutely over the top.
The people who put on the 5th (and final) World Hula conference in Hilo on the island of Hawai’i have a profound understanding of what’s behind hula, and an incredible generosity of heart in sharing it. Throughout the conference, the hula descendants of Aunty Edith Kanaka’ole and their hula school, Hālau O Kekuhi, shared their learning with us as profusely as Madame Pele’s contemporaneous lava flows.
We were fortunate to spend one anahulu – a 10 day Hawaiian week – with 900 other participants at the conference. Along with our field trips on this VERY LIVING island that is growing by acres a day, we enjoyed opportunities galore, experiencing hula combined with the elements of nature we were chanting and dancing about.
To give us a sense of place on the evening before the conference, Mālia drove us up Mauna Kea, a magnificent, dormant volcano from which we got a tremendous view of the sunset. This vast mountain rises up 33,000 feet from the seafloor! Our tiny – yet important to us – presence within such a grand vista signified to me something of the magnitude of attending this last-of-its-kind conference.
Arriving at the Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium for our first practice for the opening ceremony felt overwhelming, partly because it spans the size of an airplane hangar and partly because it hosts the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival every year. With Kumu Mālia were her 13-year-old sons Waiea and Kaiehu, fellow hula students Kai’olena (Elaina Malm) and Ka’ike (Alex Miller), plus myself – a merry little band of six ourselves!
From our early morning hakikino (literally “break the body”) warm-up hula practices to their late night performances every evening, this family never stopped sharing hula with us. They, with their associated kumu hula and students, presented us with many dozens of workshops on hula and related Hawaiian culture, history and language, as well as field trips all over the island of Hawai’i. The giving never stopped. The hula they danced and the oli they chanted, so far from light-duty tourist performances, were rich, intense, breath-taking and sacred.
For months, I had been steeling myself for the possibility of not qualifying to participate in the opening ceremony, yet I committed to doing my best to prepare for it. By the end of two extra days of practicing the Hawaiian chants and hula dances for the opening ceremony, I was a big knot of aches and pains, especially from the literally derrière-kicking squat turns that we danced to enter the stadium on the concrete floor, in addition to kneeling on the same surface for our ipudrum hula.
My strong attempts at memorizing the chants were less than 100% successful, although I made great strides in understanding what they meant. So I was quite nervous going into the final rehearsal on Saturday, knowing that Keali’i Reichel might again walk through the group inspecting our lips for accuracy. To my huge relief, I made it through the rehearsal and was allowed a place in the next day’s ceremony.
Mālia had been wondering how on earth we were going to find the palapalai ferns she wanted to use to make our head and necklei for the ceremony. When she woke up one morning, the word Kalōpā imprinted itself upon her mind. It felt like a miracle – she was remembering back to her childhood when she once collected ferns with her hula halau at Kalōpā Native Forest State Park. Sure enough, when we drove an hour north into the hills, we found a beautiful forest filled with exactly the ferns we needed. After years of sweeping our hands in dance through the “deep, dark forest” of ferns, it felt magical to literally see and touch these delicate plants. Wearing them the next day was an itchy honor!
We danced into the opening ceremony, a golden sea of olena (turmeric) dyed costumes, arriving wave after wave onto the stadium floor, some four or five hundred strong. I felt surrounded by support: Kumu Mālia was on the stage behind me, all three of our young men arrayed directly in front of me, and Kai’olena above in the stadium cheering us on. Hawaiian voices chanted in thundering unison all around me as we faced the altar that had been specially assembled and draped with many lei of native Hawaiian plants. The slow, ceremonial passing out of coconut cups of ʻawa, in addition to the hula and chanting, signified the creation of sacred space for the passing on of knowledge. And per Hawaiian tradition, everyone in the stadium was generously fed.
The conference continued with days of workshops, 25-30 offerings a day, and field trips all over the island. We learned so much I’m tempted to create a giant video of the event, but I’ll leave that to professionals!
The entire conference was an absolute tour-de-force by the hula descendents of a “Living Treasure of Hawaii” from 1979, Aunty Edith. Her daughter, Aunty Pualani Kanahele, largely spearheaded the conference – with support from other traditionally trained hula masters: Hōkulani Holt-Padilla, her sister Nalani Kanaka’ole, her daughter Kekuhi Keali’ikanaka’ole and her son-in-law Taupōuri Tangarō, even while mourning the loss of conference cofounder Leinā’ala Kalama Heine.
So there you have my window into the events of Ka ʻAha Hula ʻO Hālauaola, the 5th World Hula Conference. In keeping with the tradition of Hawaiian newspapers in the 1800’s, I’m afraid we will need to hold you in suspense until a future edition of Life at the Center, when I can recount what it all meant to me – the real heart of my story. Until then, a hui hou!
Dancing in Joy and resting in Stillness with you,
And you, dear reader?
Just hit Reply – I always love hearing from you.
The act of widening our eyes opens us to wonder, to awe, to taking in a broader field of experience. It’s how babies and little children learn about their world.
Physically, the very act of relaxing the eyes into a more open position releases strain and tension in the head, neck and shoulders, relaxing the body, and instantly changing its chemical/hormonal composition.
Emotionally, I’ve found that I cannot hold a grudge or feel anger or depression with my eyes wide open.
The Brown Belt training level in Nia encourages us to expand our peripheral vision. It’s even possible to focus our gaze without narrowing it… Try it! I find that I can still see the item of focus without losing its context. Good metaphor for life, eh? I still need to consciously remind myself to let go of the squint, the furrowed brow, and to expand my visual horizon.
We take a different approach to life when we mindfully use our eyes to truly receive what it has to offer. We let in its magic.
Brought to us by Bess Press
How cool is it to publish local books by your favorite authors and then open a mortar and brick bookstore to sell them from?!? In business for 39 years as a family publishing company, Bess Press has recently decided to do just that, debuting da Shop in Kaimuki.
Whether it’s history with Hawaiians of Old—Nâ Kânaka Maoli o ka Wâ Kahiko, or keiki picture books such as Twinkle, Twinkle, Small Hōkū, or local language manuals like Pidgin To Da Max, Bess Press prints it. I’m the proud owner of a gorgeous, memory-capturing tabletop book of theirs: Mālama Honua: Hōkūleʻa – A Voyage of Hope. Bess Press stands as one of the major publishers of curriculum in Hawaiian and Pacific Island studies.
And now, as of March, Buddy Bess and his ohana sell all this good reading material to us in a comfy, family friendly space called da Shop!
Their kids section that takes up half the store, but never fear, adults! Besides a great selection of Hawaiian texts and Hawaiiana literature, da Shop constantly updates their selection of New York Times best-sellers.
If you can’t find what you are looking for, you will surely locate it in their easy-access digital database: browse over a million titles, purchase them in the store and they’ll ship directly to your doorstep.
Come on in, bring the little ones, chill out in a lounge chair or bring a buddy to attend an event with a famous local kine author!
3565 Harding Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816 Tuesday - Saturday, 10a - 6p | Sunday, 11a - 4p 808.421.9460 Easy parking
Doing Hakikino at World Hula Conference & Celebrating 20 years as LMT
Our kumu hula Mālia Helelā made all of us proud at the close of the 5th World Hula conference when she took the stage at Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium on June 23rd. There she described and demonstrated, along with other students, what their class had learned in their 3-day workshop on the art of hakikino, taught by lomi teacher Keola Chan. Mālia was also joined on stage by her son Kaiehu, with whom she demonstrated the art of walking on each other!For Mālia, lomi and hula are two sides of one life practice.Used exclusively by hula schools to limber up the students for dancing, hakikino, also known as hakihaki, is a specific form of Hawaiian lomilomi massage that Keola Chan is helping to revive. Hakikino is so connected to hula, practitioners even use certain limbering movements in time with the ipu drum beats. For Mālia, assisting her lomi teacher at the Hula Conference in Hilo was a perfect blending of bodywork and dance.July 2018 marks Mālia’s 20 year anniversary as a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT). She has gone from humble beginnings as a child doing massage at home, to becoming a sought-after trainer of those wanting to learn the Hawaiian art of lomilomi.When I met Mālia in 2011, she had been doing massage at the Outrigger Hotel spa for a decade and was ready for a change. Fortunately for us, that change was moving to Still & Moving Center to teach hula, head up our massage program and help me manage the center.
Since that time she has given lomi to hundreds of clients and further developed her own techniques through advanced training. She is currently in her final year of a 4 year lomilomi program with Keola Chan. As part of this year’s work in the community, Mālia has created and is leading a 13 month program teaching lomilomi to residents and their children in Women’s Way Drug Recovery Program by the Salvation Army.
At Still & Moving Center, Mālia now provides 16 hour lomi massage training courses to local and international students who wish to learn this ancient Hawaiian technique for restoring the body. Her entire lomi program lasts 64 hours, and presents lomi in the context of the Hawaiian language, landscape, hula, chants, lei-making and knotting practices – the full cultural setting of its origin.
Cliff was a mountain man when I met him in college, fresh off Mammoth Mountain where he lived during high school. He used to love telling me about his naturalist hero John Muir merrily heading off on a trek through the Sierra – which might for last days – with only a loaf of bread in his rucksack. Cliff so convinced me of the beauty of hiking, that we spent our California honeymoon backpacking through Kings Canyon. All that dust and campfire smoke… romantic, yeah?!? 😉 And yet, let’s not forget the panoramic mountaintop vistas and spectacular sunsets!
After I stopped climbing trees as a kid, I became first a bookworm and then a gymnastics junkie in the gymnasium. Not a lot of outside time. Until I met Cliff. Everything I’ve learned about hiking is from Cliff: simple things, like toe first on the steep uphills, heel first going down the trails. He taught me how to identify a number of the forest trees and plants, including miners’ skunk cabbage, wild onions and gooseberries – edibles that had helped him survive a summer-long hike with his cousin.
Through some crazy logic I’ll never understand, at age 14 Cliff convinced his mom to let him hike hundreds of miles along the Pacific Crest Trail for an entire summer, alone with only his cousin Mike, a mere 16 year old. It is true that they had been well-trained by Cliff’s Uncle Vic. As good Boy Scouts and with their parents’ help, the boys carefully stashed food supplies near access points along the trail that they judged they would get to about every other week. They planned to supplement these staples with their fishing. Food caches in place, the boys blithely set off on their hike.
Sometimes scaling several mountains per day, they never able to consume as many calories as they burned. Their pre-planned menu would feature fish on the nights they expected to come to a good fishing spot, say, Bub’s Creek. Invariably, those were NEVER the nights they caught fish.
They did successfully catch a chipmunk once, using a bandana tied to fishing line on the four corners. They used trail mix in the bandana as bait, then jerked the bandana up with the chipmunk inside. They let him off on a little island in the creek and enjoyed watching him scamper back to shore. Never thought about eating the little fellow – it was all about the creative entertainment value with no TV to watch, no stereo to play their records.
When the boys hungrily arrived at one of their supply caches, it had already been raided by a bear. Later, another stash of food had been ruined by kerosene from a lamp leaking onto much of it… They gobbled it down anyway, and I don’t know how they didn’t die from that! Cliff says sometimes they’d just eat dry powdered Tang, or they’d fry up skunk cabbage and onions for dinner. Always hungry, they were two very skinny boys by the time they finally wrapped up their adventure. But man, oh man, were they wilderness wise by the time they got out! Cliff is more self-confident about his survival skills than most people I’ve ever met, stemming in part from that long hike in his 14th summer.
Something about hiking – especially long, wilderness hikes – seems to steady the character. Teenage years in modern society can be filled with so much JUNK… It’s a big bad world out there, and many teenagers want as much as they can get of it, or maybe they just have no way to shut it all out.
For several years Cliff and I served as Pathleaders for a wonderful youngsters group called Pathfinders. Whenever we took the kids backpacking in the Sierra, they would spend the first three days in withdrawal: from their transistor radios, Pac-Man games, and Walkman tape players. (Look up the history of that equipment and you’ll see how long we’ve been addicted to our personal distraction devices!) None of that stuff came into the backcountry with us, and we marveled at the amazing human beings who emerged once the kids dropped the trappings of so-called ‘civilization’ and truly entered the world of Nature. The way they talked softened a bit. Their eyes widened.
Sometimes on these hikes, Cliff had the youngsters climb sheer rock faces, often bringing on tears of fear and frustration. His encouraging, unshakeable confidence in their ability to make it to the top ignited their own willpower, so that even the frailest ones managed to successfully hoist themselves hundreds of feet above solid ground. The view was grand. The kids were jubilant at their success! Overcoming hardship and clear physical danger seemed to give perspective to the petty dramas of life in junior high school, and they came out of the mountains invariably calmer, more clear-headed.
Hiking became an important family activity once we had our own kids. Govi celebrated his tenth birthday with us eating freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches on top of a mountain peak. But he worried every time Cliff would leave our cramped tent to sleep under the stars. Govi had heard that marmots would eat people’s socks when left in their hiking boots overnight, and he was terrified that they’d chomp on Cliff’s sock-covered feet as he slept outside. Fun family memories!
For our daughter Sandhya, the mountains became such a natural part of her life, she chose a college in the Rockies still lives in Colorado; no week is complete for Sandhya without a good hike through her beloved mountains. Older son Shankar had his own long, grueling summer hiking through the Montana wilderness during a time of teenage turmoil and the results were transformative. The next summer he and Cliff reprised much of the Pacific Crest Trail hike Cliff had done with his cousin so many years ago, but they RAN – rather than walked – 256 miles of it! It was quite the father-son bonding experience!
I suspect everyone has their own times of wonder in the mountains or woods – experiences they can’t even put into words. I’ll do my best to tell you about two experiences indelibly pressed into my memory. On a Pathfinder hike in the Sierra, we met up with a river flushed with snow-melt powerfully tumbling down the slope beside us. That river was so mighty, so clear and sparkling with sunlight, I felts as if I were in the presence of a great teacher – in the form of a roaring river – pouring out compassionate wisdom that we could all drink from. I wish I were more capable of conveying the awe I felt so that you could share it, too.
On the last day of that same trip, the Pathfinders and Pathleaders all rose before dawn (which the kids were never willing to do the first days of liking!) We assembled in a large clearing, each child with an inspirational quote to share, as well as a personal reflection on the week’s hiking. As they spoke, we heard the thoughts of old souls, uncovered and undisguised after their time in the mountains.
Then hush fell over us all as someone pointed to a ridge crest just behind us. There, illuminated by the rising sun behind it, was a magnificent deer with a stately rack of antlers. His presence was so stunning, so magical, I don’t believe any of us breathed until the buck disappeared into the sunlight beyond. He had given the crowning touch of mysterious grandeur befitting our time in Nature, and we took our awe back with us into our everyday worlds.
Dancing in Joy and resting in Stillness with you,
And you, “deer” reader?
Comments? Email me! – I always love hearing from you.
Seldom has Still & Moving Center seen as dedicated a student as Truc Holt-Nguyen, our first person to “Get to the Center” by taking 1,000 classes! Also the first to climb up the wall into the stratosphere of 1,100 + classes! Her husband Courtlin has also faithfully attended classes, with a total of 645 visits to date. More important than numbers is the monumental life changes we have watched them make during their time with us. It is with fond sadness that we bid these dear members of our ohana “A hui ho!” as they move to Truc’s homeland, Vietnam.
Courtlin and Truc’s long journey with Still & Moving Center has tracked many important lifestyle adjustments, as they have regained their health through moving meditation, connected with the land and wholesome food, reduced stress in their work lives, and established deep, meaningful friendships.
This couple came to Still & Moving Center with serious health issues. They were seeking solutions that were less invasive, less destructive, less expensive and more effective than what standard Western medicine had to offer.
Courtlin was spending far too much time on the computer in his investment management job, sending him into searing back pain. At a Dr. Zunin’s office in 2013, Courtlin was given three options by nurse practitioner Christine Lee: “We can do surgery on your spine, or shoot needles into your back with pain relievers, or YOU can do yoga and pilates and get to the source of your problem. If you choose the last option, there’s a place called Still & Moving Center with just what you need.”
Courtlin chose Door Number Three and Truc came with him. Truc struggles with autoimmune conditions. Previously working in an underground room with no windows in Vietnam, then in a high stress finance position in Honolulu, Truc had quit her job and was still suffering from intense headaches.
Per instructions, they took Pilates (from LiSi Yang), quite a few yoga classes (from teachers including Claudia Castor and David Sanders), and added Feldenkrais (with Eva, Eve and Brigitte). Truc sampled a little of everything. After one of my Nia classes, she commented, “Every teacher here has taught me to be more aware of my body,” and I was elated by that comment confirming the core of what we do at Still & Moving. Truc’s headaches largely went away and Courtlin’s back pain abated entirely.
Jerry Punzal taught an excellent Tai Chi program here until his farm in Mililani demanded his increased attention. Truc, Courtlin, Cynthia Murata and I were some of his faithful attendees. Jerry imparts a deep sense of calm; anyone who listens carefully can glean a lot from his wisdom and life experience. Practicing with Jerry was a great antidote to Truc’s anxiety, and provided a tremendous focus to counteract the scattered, frenetic energy of Courtlin’s work world. They both learned to relax, not to try so hard, to get out of their heads, and not to over analyze it.
Kumu Malia’s classes were like a sweet, soothing balm to Truc, unlike the regimented hula she had taken under other kumu hula (hula teachers) elsewhere. As Courtlin says, Malia’s hula is like “tai chi with music and rhythm: you learn balance, weight shifting and awareness so as not to crash into people around you!” Through Kumu Malia, Truc connected for the first time with the culture and language of Hawaii, and especially with the ‘aina, the land.
Courtlin and Truc have stayed very close to Jerry Punzal, eventually going into partnership with him on his farm, continuing to improve their wellbeing by working the land. Jerry has been interested to see their organic growing practices for veggies and Vietnamese medicinal herbs. To initiate their new little company, Buddha Belly Farms, Truc learned from Kumu Mālia the protocol to ask permission to start the project, even chanting a blessing in Hawaiian. Jerry’s farm has been another peaceful influence in their lives.
Meanwhile, Truc has been able to return back to work in a flexible manner that adjusts to the needs of her health, often helping others with theirs. She has been working as a medical and legal interpreter in Federal and State courts, and at Queen’s Hospital translating for people with cancer or needing surgery. As Courtlin comments, “It’s scary enough if you understand if you can people coming at you with needles and knives; much worse if you don’t understand the language.” So Truc’s services have been much appreciated.
Courtlin left investment management for a less intense career, now heading to Vietnam for a job that has been offered to him. Jerry will no doubt keep their young company going until whenever they may return.
The hula halau has provided Truc with strong friendships, in addition to those she has made in classes with students such as Surapee Surapai, Joyce Nakauchi, Linda Awana, and Cassandra Tengen. No matter where this couple go, their classes here may stop but not the friendships, says Courtlin. That has been the biggest benefit to their time at Still & Moving Center, and those friendships will continue on.
We’ll look forward to hearing their progress in Vietnam and to the time when Truc and Courtlin can return to visit us here! Until then, “A hui hou!”
Contributed by Marta Czajkowska
I’m a rock climber. I recently climbed Half Dome in Yosemite, spending multiple days on the wall. Up there our days were filled with endless effort and tenacity, and our nights were short and uncomfortable. And we had next to nothing with us.
Everything we wanted for the trip, we needed to pack, and pack lightly, since we would be hauling it all up with our own body strength. ‘Everything’ means every single thing: water, food, sleeping gear, clothes, bandaids, chapstick. If we didn’t pack something, such as sunglasses, too bad. No running back into the house to pick it up. Climbers learn to pack smart. And even then, we’re living in constant deprivation. No toilet, no bed, no shade. Just us, the rock, and a few necessities for survival.
Maybe it’s the feeling of reaching the top that makes it all worthwhile. And maybe it’s the very experience itself: something about surviving – even thriving – in adversity and scarcity.
Upon coming back to the ground and my car, I felt a sense of abundance. A bottle of coconut water was sitting right there, in my car, requiring zero effort for me to get it. Wow! Moving over terrain with the aid of motor vehicle felt incredible; after moving upwards at turtle speed for days, 60 MPH felt so fast! I looked in my small clothes bag – many choices of clean shorts and tank tops! Now for celebrating: Where do I want to eat? Seemingly endless options!
From feeling appreciation of all the comforts of modern world, I moved on to feeling a sense of overwhelm. Why do I need all this? Everything was so simple up on the wall. A clear goal provided a singular focus. The extreme limitation of material goods actually provided a sense of peace. I had spent 3 full days and nights without thinking how to get a single thing, since it was impossible.
Rock climbing proves to me how little we can get by on. It’s the ultimate minimalist experience. That said, we don’t really have to disappear onto a vertical sea of granite to be able to enjoy everyday life more fully. How about spending a whole day without any material items? A cell phone turned off and the wallet put away. Maybe just me and my water bottle. A day at the ocean, on a river or a taking hike – with only the bare minimum to get by. The feeling of a simple shower or a hot meal at the end of such a day can be glorious!
Contributed by Lani Kwon
Today, June 7th, 2018, is the first anniversary of Hiking Hawaii Cafe’s present location at Doubletree Hilton Alana, on 1956 Ala Moana Boulevard!
Crystal Evans is proud of the service she and her staff provide at Hiking Hawaii Cafe, which includes guided hiking and custom private sightseeing tours of O’ahu, as well as serving delicious, freshly-made salads, wraps, paninis, pizza, açaí bowls, smoothies, juices, coffee, tea and other healthy options at their cafe.
They started as a hiking business in 2010, and they expanded to include a cafe in 2012, which also caters. They have vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, as well as omnivore fare, and their food is affordably priced $6.95-$12.95.
Guided tours include transportation and sightseeing stops to the North Shore or West Side of O’ahu, ranging $165-$175, while hiking excursions include transportation and guided hikes to gorgeous locations such as Manoa Falls, Kuli’ou’ou Ridge, Makapu’u, and a sunset hike at Kalawahine. These hikes range in price $45-$65. Custom, private tours range from $50/hour for 1-2 people up to $125/hour for 5-7 people, and it’s also possible to rent a dog to come along with you. Crystal says that Leila can come along on the hikes and has been popular because “people who are traveling miss their dogs, and they can request a hike with her.”
Hiking Hawaii Cafe also has a small shop with sustainable, eco-aware products, such as stainless steel water bottles and straws, reusable utensils, as well as a hiking and travel library that clients can browse. There are also a multitude of hot sauces and other condiments for customers to enhance their food and drink to their own tastes. Unique in every way, Hiking Hawaii Cafe has become my favorite place to gather friends, family and clients.
Hiking Hawaii Cafe is a not-to-miss experience for tourists and locals alike, and I love them, and wanted to share them with you.
1956 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96815 (at Doubletree by Hilton Alana on the edge of Waikiki; free valet parking with validation)
Open daily 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and available for evening event rentals
Facebook: hikinghawaii, hikinghawaiicafe
Instagram: hikinghawaii808, crystalcavazosevans
Health & Wellness Coach
Yoga, Barre and soon Aerial Yoga Instructor
Our own Kendra Gillis has been expanding her new professional and personal horizons enormously… fortunately for all of us! Kendra graduated last autumn from the Maryland University of Integrative Health with her Masters of Arts degree in Health and Wellness Coaching. Wow – a Masters! She didn’t wait long to implement her skills. She is now providing our students with brief mindful movement consultations as well as offering private wellness coaching at Still & Moving Center.
Amazingly, she has taken three teacher trainings in the last year, including Barre Above, her 500 hour level Yoga Teacher Training, and her Nia White Belt intensive. Whew! If you haven’t tried her Yoga Barre class – sign up in advance. It’s gaining popularity rapidly.
If all THAT weren’t enough, Kendra heads off at the end of this month to up her game with an Aerial Yoga teacher training in California. We look forward to her extending her already impressive teaching skills into Aerial Yoga when she returns.
As great as all these accomplishments are, the real reason we’re so pleased to celebrate Kendra’s magnificence is more personal. Over the last year, we watched Kendra lovingly brave the loneliness and disruption of her husband’s long and irregular military deployments. Later we held her close as he suddenly announced from thousands of miles away that he wanted a divorce. Kendra faced this devastating news, dealt with the emotional tidal wave it brought with it, fought to preserve her marriage, then completed the divorce cleanly. In a relatively short time, she has begun rebuilding her life on a solid foundation of increased self-awareness and personal strength.
In the eye of a hurricane of her personal life, Kendra remained surprisingly calm and intentional in righting her ship. And she’s unafraid of sharing the story of her journey with others. Such life experiences, well-processed, lend incredible insight and compassion to a professional who is coaching others through their challenges. She has much to offer her clients. We are mightily proud of our girl Kendra.
Contributed by Sharlene Bliss
Nia and aerial teacher Shar shares dietary tips from her life experiences. Digestion isn’t easy for everyone. Being able to process our food well takes priority over many other eating considerations. Dr. Andrew Weil provides a new food pyramid for healthy eating.
- I’ve had enough to eat when I feel 80% full – this tip came from my Aikido sensei. It’s much easier to dance, do aerial or any activity when I’m not bogged down by eating too much. I digest better and I’m also more alert.
- Eat the vegetables first to aid in digestion and absorption – this tip came from my internist. Some people call it eating ‘light to heavy’ since vegetables are generally easier and faster to digest. Puristat says: “Think of your digestive system as a highway; if the slower vehicles are allowed to go first, the result will be a traffic jam. If the slower vehicles follow the faster vehicles you’re highway will run smoothly and efficiently.”
- Follow an anti-Inflammatory diet – I like the anti-inflammatory diet and pyramid from Dr. Andrew Weil.
Still & Moving Center is a vegetarian, alcohol-free facility.