Yesterday, I was asked on six occasions if I was ready for the holidays. It’s a question that can send your mind into a tailspin if you let it; the kind that gives you the opportunity to fine-tune your practice of stopping and breathing. The thing is, I can’t claim to be ready and still be able to roll with the punches when the festivities begin. It’s also impossible to know what to be ready for! If the gifts are purchased and wrapped, the lights hung, the tree decorated, cookies baked, meal planned, and relatives sorted, would I be prepared to stop, relax, and take in the magic of the week to come?
The wise and inspiring Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that if you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence. I wholeheartedly believe this to be true, but I have also, admittedly, been spending the bulk majority of my ‘free time’ either out shopping or holed up in my bedroom furiously wrapping presents alone. So, today, I vow to be present--in body and mind--with my family. The trouble is, my mind is cluttered with lists of things that need to be done, gifts that still need to be purchased, and events that need to be coordinated. I’m not ready!
Even though I have been very powerfully conditioned to think of this holiday time as a long list of things to do, places to be, and gifts to buy, I realize that I have the option to toss those notions out and be happy in this moment. I also have access to a toolbox that is overflowing with every tool I need to open my eyes, relax my mind, and just be. Want to hear something amazing? So do you!
Take a moment to stop, to relax, and to contemplate what you need in order to prepare yourself for being present. Now, ask yourself, “Self, how can I make that happen?” If you need a few ideas, I happen to have some. Register for a program now, put it in your calendar, and take a break from the hustle and bustle to get yourself ready for the holidays!
Tonight, grab a friend and head to All That Matters for a Gong Bath to celebrate the Winter Solstice. The RIBC will also be parked out front for those who would like to support our annual blood drive. Tomorrow, join David Dwyer for Vinyasa, this week’s half price class! On Sunday, slow down with Zen Meditation or Early Morning Sadhana. Special holiday hours and programs are available on the holiday schedule. Call our front desk and book yourself an appointment for a massage, reflexology, or facial.
The family of students, teachers, health services providers, and staff at All That Matters wishes you a happy and peaceful holiday season. If you need help taking the stress out of last-minute shopping, stop on in. We offer beautifully-wrapped gift cards in any denomination and a store brimming with gift ideas for everyone on your list. (Tip: check facebook for our daily flash sale deals, every day until Christmas!) You can also purchase gift cards online and skip leaving the house altogether. Please join us in vowing to be present this holiday season!
Do you remember the holidays of your childhood? Close your eyes and envision the spirit of the season, the excitement to see snowfall, the meals prepared by many hands, the anticipation of guests arriving, and the crinkling of wrapping paper. Every moment was draped in a veil of magic and pure bliss.
Does this time of year still hold that serene feeling of peaceful communty sharing? If not, then ask yourself why! There's no reason that the coming weeks should not hold that same sense of mystery and awe, no matter your age. This is a time for coming together with treasured friends and family, for sharing your love, and being fully aware of what is important.
Please join with us at All That Matters to celebrate those things that renew your sense of wonder. Below is a sampling of programs designed to help you stop, breathe, and enjoy the simple pleasures of the season. Our regular yoga schedule and workshop calendar are available as well. Wishing you laughter, love, and light.
Friday, December 20
with Myra Partyka
RIBC Blood Drive 5:00-8:00 pm
Make an appointment or drop in!
Monthly Gong Bath 7:30
with Stephanie Marisca
Saturday, December 21
with Dr. Alan Post & Andrea Aschenbrener
Sunday, December 22
with Jessica Gloor
with Nancy Hedgepath
with Jenn Thomas
on Tuesday, January 7th
with Kendall Sheldon
on Wednesday, January 8th
Do you want to start 2014 with positive energy and a clear path to good health? This time of the year is notorious for self-inquiry with a great deal of emphasis put on resolving to do better, feel better, and live better.
At All That Matters, we don't subscribe to the notion that you need to find a "New You" in the "New Year."
There is nothing about to 'old' you that you should not love! If you need help reminding yourself of just that, we are here to help every single day of the week. We also offer a range of holistic health services that can be personalized to your unique situation.
Please consider calling on Carolee Vancouyghen Larimar for an analysis and treatment plan tailored to helping you be the healthiest, happiest version of you!
Carolee Vancouyghen Larimar offers Reiki, Reflexology, and holistic therapies at All That Matters. She draws on extensive training and practice in numerous healing modalities to provide relaxing, dynamic, and effective therapeutic sessions. Certified by the Center for Universal Reflexology, an American Reflexology Certification approved program, Carolee is also certified in LaStone Therapy, ear coning, myofascial release, Nasya & Karna Purana Therapy (Ayurvedic treatments), Ayurvedic Face Lift, and The New England Institute of Reflexology’s Specialized Weight Management and Body Image Reflexology.
An independent Usui Reiki teacher, Carolee completed her Reiki training with All That Matters’ senior teacher and Reiki Master Myra Partyka. Carolee has also studied the Foundation of the Sacred Stream’s Shamanic Journey as well as Depth Hypnosis – a combination of elements of shamanism, Buddhism, energy medicine, and transpersonal psychology pioneered by Dr. Isa Gucciardi. She studied nursing and biology at Rhode Island College.
Passionate about a healthy and organic lifestyle, Carolee uses only pure products in her treatments. Carolee offers Hand, Foot, and Facial Reflexology (also multi-treatment sessions), Prenatal Foot Reflexology, Weight Management Foot Reflexology, Ear Candling, Holistic Therapies for Children, and much more!
Carolee offers appointments at All That Matters on Mondays from 11:00am - 7:00pm
All That Matters is excited to welcome Jennifer Reis, the creator and developer of both Five Element Yoga® and Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra®, for a special workshop on Jan. 4th from 1-4pm. This all-levels three-hour session of Winter Fire, Inner Light weaves the elements of Jennifer's powerful yoga styles together in one potent experience. Online registration is available now. You deserve to feel this good, and to start the new year with a healthy approach to sleep!
Divine Sleep is an eight-stage guided meditation practiced laying down. Jennifer systematically guides you on a meditative journey through each layer of your being including:
Each level of your being is calmed, soothed, and transitioned into the healing mode. Jennifer’s journeys typically include nature and visualization, invoking your healing energy through colors, symbols and imagery. There is nothing required of you but to lie down and listen.
Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra allows you to experience deeper levels of inner freedom than you ever imagined possible. Effortlessly, compassionately, and rapidly, this practice brings you into a state of healing relaxation. It helps you catch up on sleep! It can also improve the quality of your sleep, lower blood pressure, aid in pain management, and improve stress-related illnesses. Divine Sleep makes it possible to live your fullest potential. Jennifer’s guided Divine Sleep CD’s are the best-selling CD’s at Kripalu Center. Effects of Divine Sleep:
Five Element Yoga® is a potent practice that realigns you with the rhythms of nature. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether are the archetypal building blocks that compose the Universe, including nature and the human body. Wellness depends on the harmony and balance of these internal five elements. This multi-faceted inquiry allows your elements to flower from within to establish balance, and fortify vitality in your mind and body.
In this practice you will move your body with yoga postures, flow with unique breathing techniques, revitalize your energy with mudras, detoxify with self-massage, deeply rest and rejuvenate in Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra, then reflect and integrate it through creative expression. This practice brings together the rich traditions of Jennifer’s experience as senior Kripalu faculty, Ayurveda and Shiatsu therapist, yoga therapist, artist and meditator.
Take some time for yourself this weekend to relax, recharge, refresh, and go back home at the end of the day ready for the holiday season. You really do deserve it. Register now!
Hwasook Lee is a Licensed Doctor of Acupuncture who earned her master’s degree from the Arizona School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Originally from Korea, she studied pharmacy there and then worked as a hospital pharmacist for two years before running her own pharmacy for five years.
As an integrative holistic health acupuncturist,
Dr. Lee has been able to help improve patients’ health using acupuncture treatments, as well as other unique modalities. These include individual Nutritional Balancing Program, Hair Tissue Analysis, Personalized Supplements and Herbal Programs, Purification Protocols and Life Style Counseling.
Dr. Lee specializes in women’s health, especially hormonal imbalances in people of all ages- from teenagers to seniors. Her knowledge and experience in both Western and Eastern medicine can support patients experiencing specific issues (such as infertility, thyroid, and adrenal issues) and help improve overall health and wellbeing.
Dr. Lee is available for acupuncture appointments:
2:15pm – 7:45pm
Initial Appointments: 90 minutes, $150
Follow-Up Appointments: 60 minutes, $85
Eat mindfully. In the article listed below, simplicity blogger and author Leo Babauta shares 12 tips he and his readers have found useful in helping him beat the social overeating habits during the holidays. Leo shares his experience, which many can relate to, about his tendency to socially overat.
"I am distracted by conversation and so I eat mindlessly; and unlike at home, where I’ve created a healthy eating environment, I tend to be surrounded at these occasions by boatloads of tempting but unhealthy foods.
Read these 12 tips here: http://zenhabits.net/full/
Stay grounded. With the excitement of the holidays, it can often be easy to get swept up into a whirlwind of activity. This presents a great time to check back in with ourselves and get grounded. Sometimes this may simply mean taking a few mindful, deep breaths or a short walk outside. Yoga and meditation are other great ways to ground.
Do what you truly want to do. In the article listed below, author and life-coach Martha Beck shares her words of wisdom:
"Are you looking forward to the season ahead with shivers of anticipation? Or just shivers? Here are 6 steps to save you untold aggravation, angst, time, and money by persuading you not to do the things you don’t want to do this holiday season."
Learn these 6 steps here: http://marthabeck.com/2013/11/stay-sane-this-holiday-season/
Be well this holiday season!
Wednesday, December 4
Meditation for Health
with Dr. David Dwyer
Meditating in a group lends power to its effectiveness and enhances the development of individual practice. David Dwyer, chiropractor and yoga and meditation instructor at ATM, opens this session with 30 minutes of instruction followed by group meditation and relaxation. Those familiar with the meditation may come at 7:30 pm for a 25-minute meditation followed by a 10-minute rest period. Join us to create a meditation community that meets regularly.
Saturday, December 7
Yoga and Meditation Half-Day Retreat
with Jenn Thomas
Take a break from the holiday season and give yourself a gift of peace and relaxation!Come befriend your body, heart, and mind. Explore mindfulness meditation and yin yoga, and discover the richness in the quiet, still attention you cultivate through both movement and stationary practices. Whether you are new to yoga or mediation or a long-time practitioner, this half day retreat is for you. Your morning of self-care is designed to recalibrate and balance wayward energies, and ground yourself in your inner resources.
Saturday, December 7
Meditation for Spiritual Awareness (formerly JYOTI)
with Dr. Alan Post & Andrea Aschenbrener
Derived from a Sanskrit term meaning Inner Light, Jyoti meditation is a non-sectarian practice that calms the mind while opening to the universal source of inner peace "hidden" within every person. Each session includes some instruction, a meditation sitting, discussion, and sometimes a short, helpful discussion/video by Sant Rajinder Singh, current living master of this tradition.
Sunday, December 8
Vibrational Healing, Gongs, Crystal Bowls & Reiki
with Stephanie Marisca & Myra Partyka
Explore the powerful effects of vibrational healing with sacred tone artist Stephanie Marisca and Reiki Master Myra Partyka. Learn how sacred sound and the ancient healing art of Reiki promote wellbeing, then relax into a healing combination of Reiki energy and a sound experience of gongs and crystal bowls. Helping to harmonize your inner being and promote emotional stress release, energy clearing, and balancing, this event leaves you feeling deep peace and harmony.
Sunday, December 8 - Tuesday, December 11th
The Business of Yoga for Teachers and Students
with Joan Dwyer (Taught at Kripalu Yoga Center)
Whether you are a yoga teacher, studio owner, or owner-to-be, come realign with your vision and gain tools for creating right livelihood. Map out viable action steps with the support of two yoga teachers and successful yoga studio entrepreneurs. Between them, Joan Dwyer and Janis Bowersox have not only founded, bought, and sold studios, but also won awards, managed expansions, opened stores, created and sponsored workshops and teacher trainings, and hired hundreds of yoga teachers, staff members, and volunteers.
Join us for a workshop or yoga class this week! Learn more at allthatmatters.com.
I am pleased to introduce you to Nicole Noren, our December 2013 Student of the Month. Nicole is vibrant member of our community who is positively brimming with positive energy. She is a talented practitioner of yoga who is enrolled in the current 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training right here at All That Matters. Nicole is poised to become a fantastic yoga instructor after her class graduates this spring. Nicole practices yoga to create peace and balance of body and mind (because and in spite of the demands of her busy life!) Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your inspirations, your motivations, and your loves, Nicole!
What attracted you to yoga? Why did you start?
I started practicing about 17 years ago after seeing a class in my gym and wondering, ‘why are those people Om’ing in there?’
What is your favorite type or style and why?
Am digging Prana Flow lately, and I also love hot classes where the heat isn’t too oppressive. I like any class that mixes it up and gives you the freedom to practice at your level - nothing too rigid.
What is your favorite yoga pose and why?
Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose). I love the opening it creates, and how you have to trust your own balance and strength in order to lean back and open your heart upward.
What other activities do you enjoy?
Trail running, travel, photography, hiking, eating, fishing, seeing live music, spending time with friends
An inspiring book or movie you recommend?
I LOVE documentaries, and one of my all-time favorites is Heima. It’s about the Icelandic band Sigur Ros, and how they held a series of free concerts in unique venues in Iceland over the course of one summer. It’s a hauntingly beautiful film. Chasing Ice was my favorite doc last year.
That’s an impossible question to answer- I LOVE all types of food. If you twisted my arm and forced me to pick one – I’d say Asian food because that encompasses Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian.
Favorite place to be and why?
On a deserted beach on the north shore of Kauai. I used to live there, so maybe I’m partial, but it’s the most beautiful and otherworldly spot I’ve ever been.
What keeps you doing yoga?
It helps me stay balanced in both body and mind. I have a fairly intense job, so yoga and running are my escapes. They are much cheaper than therapy!
Any advice to beginners?
Look past the ‘workout’ of yoga, and let the mindfulness in your practice grow.
What do you like most about All That Matters?
The community and positive energy. Many yoga studios nowadays are focused on the physical aspect of yoga, but I love how ATM has a more holistic approach to wellbeing. Plus, it’s not pretentious - the teachers are well-trained and knowledgeable, but they don’t take themselves too seriously. :)