Willingness to change: the path to perfect health.

Maui 2015I saw this quote the other day and it struck me in its simplicity and good sense:

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

How often do we try a new diet or exercise plan and really commit to it for a while, but go back to the same old habits? I used to do that with nutrition and exercise.  Not eat a piece of cake or ice cream for a week, increase cardio activity – and then eventually either because of fatigue, stress or wanting a little emotional comfort, go back to my old habits.

Since attending the Perfect Health program three years ago, I’ve undergone many changes. As life unfolds, the changes continue. Robert and I were at La Costa Spa for a belated 10 year anniversary celebration and enrolled in a program which I thought was a Meditation retreat- it’s a long story.:)  It turns out it was a weekend intensive on mind-body medicine based in Ayurveda called “Journey into healing.”  It was an amazing, inspiring experience!!

We learned about our mind-body constitutions, how to choose the foods for healing and nutrition, the right way to detox – food, substances and emotions, and the transformative power of meditation.

Although Robert and I have both meditated for many years, my practice became much deeper and more consistent as I incorporated breathing techniques (pranayama), a mantra and sutra meditation and committed to a daily practice. And, in addition to our individual practices, we now meet in our living room almost every morning to meditate together.

Perfect Health 5 day program

Perfect Health Program week .

Robert and I came away from “Journey into Healing” determined to make changes that would last. Truly, that anniversary week away was the catalyst for transforming how we start our day, becoming more conscious about the foods we eat, the exercises that work best for our bodies and most importantly, as a long-time married couple, how to communicate more consciously in all areas of our life.

The Perfect Health Ayurvedic program isn’t just another certification for me, it’s a  way of daily living and ongoing healing. It’s a transformational process that deepens as i continue my daily practices: Stretching, Breathing techniques, Meditation, Nutrition, Conscious communication, and spending time in nature on a more regular basis. I’m grateful for the profound changes its made for my husband and me. I believe it in whole heartedly and am very much looking forward to sharing it with you!

With gratitude and love,

genevievenedderwithmandala

 

For more information about the Perfect Health programs, Meditation,  or to enroll in a 2017 program,  call Genevieve at 520-299-6541 or email- change@bodyfundamentals.com. 

Meditation – Overcoming the obstacles. Or, there is no bad meditation practice.

meditation-practice-floatSince I began teaching meditation, I’ve heard a number of different frustrations expressed:

“My mind won’t empty.”

“I can’t find the time to fit this in right now.”

“I always get interrupted.”

These are such common and normal frustrations.  Here are a few tips and reassurances.

Continue to go back to the breath. One of the first things we all learn about meditating is that your brain is very rarely completely quiet. And that’s ok. Just acknowledge the thought or thoughts, “I see you,” then go back to the breath – deep breath in through your nose, then exhale through your nose.  We have many, many breathing techniques. Over time I can teach you how to use pranayama to deepen your meditation, but in the beginning, gently inhale through the nose and exhale quietly through the nose.

Start with 15-20 minutes each day. Kids, work, grandkids, homes, volunteer time – all demand a lot from us. Fitting half an hour into your morning to “just sit still” can seem next to impossible. So start small, with 15 minutes. On a morning or evening you have a little more time, go to 20- 30 minutes. The idea is to create a habit, however that best works for you. I promise you’ll find the benefits so rewarding that you’ll eventually make meditation a personal priority.

Hang a sign on the door and carve out your private space. I’m not kidding! I give my meditation students a Chopra Center “Silence please, I’m meditating” door hanger (come to group meditation and receive one yourself!). Those sacred moments in the morning – and evening – belong to you, no one else. Doesn’t that sound lovely, and aren’t you worth it?

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In addition to small group meditation sessions at the Body Fundamentals studio in Tucson, Geneviève offers private meditation instruction on an ongoing basis. Please contact the studio to schedule your session: 520-299-6541 or change@bodyfundamentals.com.

7 Tools for Cultivating Gratitude

gratitude-giving-thanks-fall leafIn times of loss and grief it can be challenging to feel grateful let alone practice gratitude on a consistent basis. When we feel disappointed, let down, hurt, resentful and angry we are blocking our ability to feel grateful.  Here I share with you a handful of the tools I use to cultivate, deepen and expand my experience of gratitude.

  1. Embrace Beauty. Look for opportunities to appreciate beauty in your life. Learn to marvel in the small things as well as the “Masterpieces.” Soak in all kinds of beauty. For example, I pause and find gratitude in nature by seeing a humming bird or butterfly, or in a beautiful piece of movement executed with precision and grace, in a delicious meal with an inspiring presentation. The possibilities are endless.
  2. Cultivate Grace. Spiritually speaking, grace is a gift. It is not earned. We cannot create, control or will it. One way to practice grace is to practice receiving. Another way to experience grace is to practice forgiveness. Don’t focus on who is wrong or right- in the realm of grace and moving toward gratitude there is no room for blame. Gently practicing grace daily will increase your openness and willingness to experience gratitude.
  3. Be Grateful for the Hard Times. Remember, everything has a beginning and an end. All things will pass, eventually, the good (happy) times as well as the sad.
  4. Practice Humility. Recognize your limitations. As I recognize my limitations without judging myself about them, I open the door a little bit to humility. Humility reminds me that judgement of myself or others serves no purpose and in that moment i am grateful.
  5. Say “Thank you!” Receiving compliments and truly allowing them to sink in is another way to deepen your gratitude practice. When someone gives you a compliment, consider pausing and taking a breath. Receive the gift of a compliment by allowing yourself to feel it. And, say “Thank you!”
  6. Practice Gratitude Journaling. Cultivate a daily or weekly journaling practice – focused on gratitude. Being in a place of gratitude opens us up to acceptance and ultimately, love. We simply cannot be in anger, frustration, irritation or disappointment and simultaneously be in gratitude. Journaling is a wonderful way to change your emotional state and move into joy, appreciation and love. I spend 10-15 minutes daily in gratitude journaling. My writing includes giving thanks for my parents, husband sister, cousins, friends, employees, colleagues, teachers, mentors, my body, my health… you get the idea.
  7. Write Thank You Notes. I gave myself a challenge many years ago to write 3-5 Thank You notes a day. At first, it seemed like a lot. As the years went by, writing Thank You notes made it to the top of my to do list and is something I greatly look forward to. In addition to putting me in the mental and emotional space to be grateful, it has improved all of my relationships.

“If the only prayer you say your entire life is ‘thank you’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart

I encourage you to use whichever tools resonate with you and to choose this profound practice.  Make it a daily and active practice.  In order to see real and lasting change in our lives we must commit to and recommit to active practices.  Watch how gratitude expands in all areas of your life.

In thanks,

Geneviève's signature with nature shot

 

 

On the path to Perfect Health: Meditation

butterfly meditation genevievenedder.comAs we enter a new year, it’s the perfect time for new, healthful practices. One of my renewed intentions is to expand my personal practice of daily meditation. To be honest, I’m re-arranging my schedule to include an early evening meditation at least twice a week. My evenings at home are more peaceful and relaxing when I make the time after work to meditate. I’m more centered and present with my husband. It’s one of my most fruitful intentions from the past year and a half and a direct outcome of my experiences at the Chopra Center and my Perfect Health  instructor program.

You may have seen the eblast or press release about my new offering of Group Meditation Classes beginning in Feb. Although I’ve had a long-time practice of meditation and continue to recognize its benefits, this coming February (February 20th, March 5th, March 12th and March 19thDue to family concerns, the March 19th meditation class will need to be rescheduled. Date TBA.) will be the first time I teach meditation in a group setting. It is a natural complement to Pilates and Movement, and I can personally attest that as my meditation practice deepens, I am able to be more ‘present’ and deepen my own Pilates practice.

There are many forms of meditation, from guided visualizations to yoga nidra to sound meditation, and more. Each brings its own techniques and benefits. In these first Group Meditation Classes, we’ll focus on breathing awareness exercises and a mantra-based meditation.  I’ll also lead you through some intention setting for greater peace, health and vitality.

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet.
It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there” – Deepak Chopra

I hope you’ll join me on the path to Perfect Health. The Meditation Classes are an excellent window into the many benefits of the Perfect Health Program, which includes meditation as part of each lesson.

In health,
Geneviève sign off avatar

Pilates and Perfect Health: The Path to Perfect Health begins April 2016!

Balance-perfecthealth post

As many of you know, last August I became a Chopra Center Instructor. I am very excited to announce that I’ll be teaching the Perfect Health Program at  Body Fundamentals on 5 consecutive Sundays beginning this April 3, 2016. Every Sunday covers a different lesson, each building upon the other.

The Perfect Health program was created by Drs. Deepak Chopra and David Simon.  It represents the integration between the principles of modern science and insights from the world’s timeless wisdom traditions. It’s received worldwide acceptance in both the medical and nonmedical communities and is a comprehensive  movement toward total health.

Spring 2016 Perfect Health program dates:

  • Sunday, April 3rd, 1-3:30pm Lesson I
  • Sunday, April 10th, 1-3:30pm Lesson II
  • Sunday, April 17th, 1-3:00pm Lesson III
  • Sunday, April 24th, 1-4:00pm Lesson IV
  • Sunday, May 1st, 1-3:00pm Lesson V

June and Sept. 2016

I’ll also be offering the Perfect Health program as a mini retreat in June (23rd-26th) and in September (22nd-25th). You can take the full program as often as you like (see 2016 dates here).

Pilates and Perfect Health- a powerful combination.

The Perfect Health program is a natural complement to the Pilates focus that continues to be the foundation of our work at Body Fundamentals. The program will assist you in creating healing and transformation in your life through using the best practices of mind/body medicine from around the world combined with the beautiful wisdom of Ayurveda.

You’ll learn: meditation techniques, how to develop a daily Ayurvedic routine, understanding Ayurvedic herbs and nutrition, cooking and eating for better health, conscious communication techniques to improve your personal and professional relationships and gentle yoga postures. For more information, please visit my blog Page here.

Please call me with questions or to pre-register at 520-299-6541.

With gratitude and love,

Geneviève

Some know it as energy

Sarkice Nedder Tai Chi at Body Fundamentals studio

By Guest Writer Sarkice Nedder

More than any other time in the history of the world this is the time of awareness about the need to condition our bodies. The variety of types of ways to do so abounds, from boot camp to Tai Chi; the craze is on. There are tried and true standbys that have worked for generations:  Martial Arts, Dance, Yoga, and Swimming etc.

Then of course, there are the unending new fads of the week, the month or the year – all of which eventually fade away. There is notably one factor that ensures optimal conditioning of the entire inner and outer body. In fact, it has been said that, when it is used, physical conditioning improves dramatically. Some know it as energy and some with the oriental bent understand it to be “chi” – “the life energy”.

Unfortunately, although today there is scientific affirmation of its use and general public awareness of its need, few understand how to incorporate it for physical training. The most common misconception is that by simply learning to feel the energy the conditioning follows. This of course simply is not true. For benefit one must, among other things, not only learn how to recognize and feel it but rather one must learn how to move it in specific ways throughout the body and apply it internally and externally for general health. The ultimate secret however is to learn how to change the energy into something more, something greater, something profound.

The ultimate secret however is to learn how to change the energy into something more, something greater, something profound.

This is the essence of what I teach at my Energy and Tai/Chi Seminars.

For details contact Body Fundamentals studio:  520-299-6541

 

Tell A Different Story

Diana Bailey Essential Motion Pilates By  Guest Writer, Diana Bailey

Acceptance is the starting place. It has nothing to do with being a “door mat” by allowing others to make decisions that are yours to make. It is not about giving up, giving in, or tolerating particular circumstances and behavior. Acceptance is seeing something for what it objectively is, so you can be free to decide how you want to respond. It is the ability to drop or question your beliefs in order to act wholeheartedly. It does not magically appear or disappear. You choose it.

There’s a joke that makes the rounds in Colorado every winter that is a great example of acceptance:

Know how you can tell you’re driving in the snow with a Colorado native? Because the car’s sliding sideways into oncoming traffic, and they ask you to hold their coffee ‘cause this is gonna get interesting….

Freedom to act comes from the ability to consciously direct the mind to observe and acknowledge what is happening right now. That’s acceptance. No resentment, no why me? No more the entitled approach of I deserve this, but I don’t deserve that. No he should have, or I could have. No leap to the aftermath of mopping up a coffee stain on car upholstery. Just this: Here we are. This is it, and NOW WHAT?

The story becomes entirely different. That’s what.

Acceptance underpins creativity because it is the receiver; the heartfelt seeing of a person, place or thing for what it is without dressing it up or tearing it down. It is the simple realization that there is no real control of any outcome…. especially for anyone or anything else. That understanding alone will make a positive difference in whatever the outcome actually is.

This simple spiritual principle dramatically changes every situation without adding any personal drama. Imagine one guest or family member in the room at a holiday gathering who was truly still inside…no drama. Talk about a social magnet. Acceptance remains clear that there is no reason to make anyone else’s drama yours. What for?

Acceptance abides with the personal responsibility that lies behind a choice to do or not do, think or not think, say or not say.

For me, this simple practice is moving forward at peace with what is here, what was before and what may or may not be. That’s a “now what?” that makes getting up in the morning a great idea, an engaging and expansive look at being here and doing what I’m doing today with all that I am.

 

 

 

The Body as Teacher: What I’ve Learned Beyond the Power of Pilates

The human body is a terrific teacher; a miraculous, complex multi-layered marvel that most of us know very little about. In our Western world that spends so much time focused externally on the material world and identified with the mind, it’s important to consistently stop , find moments of stillness and quiet, and trust the body’s intuition and wisdom. Personally, I do this through daily meditation practice and by consistently moving my body in ways that allow for me to be more fully present with my breath and in my body.

I’m continually reminded that simply “thinking things through” or strong determination can force an outcome; however, it might not be the wisest one.  In fact, from a spiritual perspective, thinking it through and making things happen by sheer will are the least effective ways to encourage healing and nourish transformation.

Although I’m over twenty years into the practice of Pilates, and recognize the numerous benefits of Pilates, I continue to be most inspired by the body’s ability to change and heal, and transform.

My own transformation through movement and passion for mind/body medicine informs my teaching as well as the way I live and move in the world. It gives me great pleasure to share this with hundreds of clients, students and fellow Pilates instructors, whether individually, in small groups or in retreat settings.

It’s inspiring and rewarding to see clients empowered, confident and awakened to the experience of vibrant health  as they experience the external changes of  better posture, flexibility, a strong core, improved balance, defined muscles and increased grace of movement.  On a deeper level, the benefits of relaxation and sound sleep help to decrease anxiety and stress, promoting an overall feeling of ease and calm.

A piece of movement or a moment in time, even, continuous, connected to our breath, centered in our body, is a beautiful thing, and a profound way to experience our natural and creative selves.

Part Five of Five of the article: “An Unexpected Cure: My Journey from Pain to the Transformative Power of Pilates” by Geneviève Nedder.

Leadership – valuing mistakes

 

Diana Bailey Essential Motion Pilates

By Diana Bailey

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes,
smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.”
-John Maxwell

We, as a culture or a corporation, don’t teach people to value their mistakes. The focus is placed on success rather than the learning process that achieves it.

Disdain and criticism are common responses to an error. The overall message is that mistakes are bad, disliked, wrong or stupid, and people who make them are too. That’s not much of a value since it absolutely flies in the face of reliable, objective experience from some of the most accomplished and successful people on this earth.

Hundreds of life stories acknowledge one simple reality:The final outcome in a situation is predicted by the response to the mistake over the mistake itself. Mistakes are a place to begin. Admitting one is a great start. Realizing how to use the lesson is a turning point. Acting on that insight begins with the courage to see rather than look.

“Mistakes are always forgivable,
if one has the courage to admit them.”
– Bruce Lee

Keep in mind that the ability to acknowledge an error by saying, “I was wrong” neither absolves someone else of wrongdoing nor concedes any degree of “rightness” to their actions. To admit that you did something that did not work out the way you thought it would acknowledges your decision about only your personal words and actions. That is the essence of both accountability and responsibility. Conversely, to say “You are right” means you agree with the actions, words, and decisions of another. Be aware of this distinction.
“People may forget what you did,
but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou

Right and wrong are not a teeter totter defining the balance of power or superiority in a situation, although this often appears to occur. People will go through astonishing contortions to claim the supposed righteous moral high ground, and feed the implied message because of the deep seated human desire to be valued and appreciated by others. Watch closely and notice how good and bad get piled on top to question belonging, community, teamwork, or friendship while like and dislike wrap it all up in a box to avoid further review by anyone.

This approach is lacking a critical reality check:
Respect and trust cannot be assigned, only given and earned.
Problems get solved more often when people are safe to express ideas. Being “right” does nothing to inspire learning or build creative problem solving skills because it directs the focus away from ideas. Giving your self permission to play or experiment, without necessarily deciding on the immediate value, builds confidence and invites others to engage their own ideas. The cumulative results of this approach are reflected in progress, potential, and solution.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
– Scott Adams

The person who listens, respects, acknowledges and attends to the issue rather than attempting to categorize anyone,including themselves, attracts solutions like a magnet. Leaving space for a situation to unfold or a direction to be revised is the art of life.

 Mistakes happen even in the best of situations. So expect them, accept them, and do something to fix ’em!

Real leadership knows that setting a course means decisions have to be made according to what works rather than individual likes or personal popularity. There is so much that defines what it is to be human that mistakes must come with the territory. Responsible leaders  admit it, accept it, and move on. No more and no less.

 

 

The Reputation or the Character: What is the Choice to Be?

Diana Bailey Essential Motion Pilates

By Guest Writer Diana Bailey

Your reputation is what people think you are and your character is what you actually are.

Character is revealed in personal choice over personal circumstance. Opportunistic acts that take advantage of another’s innocence or ignorance reveal a level of character. The personal choice to help someone and receive benefit personally displays a level of character as well. We all know the difference. Maybe the scale slides for some people and issues, maybe not. It’s always a choice, and it remains individual. No situation decides for you. Honor your decision, whatever it is, and see what happens. There are very few problems in life that have gone so far that you cannot reassess or choose a different way. No one else has to be wrong or right for you to make a different decision about your own course of action.

“Saving” or worrying about a reputation is the attempt to make a permanent decision about what is likely a very temporary issue. We forget that those who gossip about or entrap others, whether in public or private, are hooked by drama and magically perform their own character assassination with little help from their target. What they do is their business, and it works beautifully to leave it alone.

All things come and go, including what others believe. What people think of you for a moment in time is far less damaging than what you do to yourself by pretending that they have an answer for your actions or ideas. Reputations are forgotten and reinvented all the time. Character is remembered. Keep the character.

There is no reason to defend or explain good character. If there has been harm, make it right. If not, let it go. Within that space is the peace that everyone wishes to have. It is a powerful resource for the faith and belief to step forward. It is magnetic to individuals who live by that code, and no one who does will mistake reputation for real character.

The foundation of great character is built on six simple words: To thine own self be true.

Outstanding character shines while reputation glitters. One screams for you to notice, and the other continues to do what it does whether you seem to notice or not. This difference becomes apparent when you watch how reputation endlessly seeks to shape the opinions of others rather than relying on the ability to bring honesty and kindness together in word and action. This decision harms no one. It also means you may or may not get what you think you want out of a situation, but you will still be exactly who you are no matter what occurs.

Character lives with itself peacefully and leaves others room to do the same.