WellMind: A Natural Way to a Good Night’s Sleep

wellmind natural sleep aidIf you’ve ever taken prescription sleep medication, you’re probably familiar with the “hangover” they can leave. Melatonin works for some, but others experience overly vivid dreams or even nightmares. One homeopathic, natural sleep aid that works gently is WellMind (formerly Neurexan).

WellMind’s ingredients work together to calm the mind, readying it for sleep. There’s not the pre-coma drowsiness some prescription sleeping pills can cause. An overactive mind, or frequent insomnia, can be disruptive to our ability to remain calm in the face of daily life stress. Insomnia in the United States is at  epidemic proportions. A good night’s sleep is key to optimal health.

To give WellMind a chance, adjust your bedtime routine. After you dissolve a tablet under your tongue, consider reading something non-stimulating: i like to spend a half hour ro more with philosophy or spiritual readings. Avoid bright screens and put your technology away-  really, step away from all devices.  In a short time, you’ll begin to feel the effect.

Those clients and friends I know who’ve tried WellMind share that it does calm the overactive mind and really helps them to “wind down” at the end of the day. Used as a natural sleep aid, sleep is generally uninterrupted and best of all, no sleeping pill hangover or grogginess. Several friends and colleagues have replaced their prescription sleep aid with WellMind.

WellMind’s homeopathic active ingredients include:

  • Avena sativa – Relieves simple nervous tension
  • Coffea cruda – Relieves irritability
  • Passiflora incarnata – Relieves simple nervous tension
  • Zincum valerianicum – Relieves occasional nervous sleeplessness

Please ask us if you have any questions about the natural products carried at our Tucson Body Fundamentals Studio, during your next Pilates session or simply give us a ring: 520-299-6541.

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A Natural Approach to Joint & Arthritis Pain Relief

T-Relief homeopathic pain reliefMany of us suffer occasionally, or even chronically, from joint pain, stiffness and osteoarthritis. Aging often brings arthritis pain, as do old injuries and new. Or it may be that you overdid it at the gym or on a hike. Even minor pain can keep us from doing the things we love, with the people we love. As our options for pain relief grow, I find my go-to homeopathic pain relievers remain T-Relief™ Arthritis Tablets and Ointment (formerly known as Zeel).

  • The T-Relief Arthritis pain relief ointment is suitable for relief of osteoarthritis pain, joint pain and stiffness when massaged into the area. It features organic oils as well as homeopathic pain relieving ingredients.
  • The T-Relief Arthritis pain relief tablets dissolve under the tongue, “reducing pain that causes lack of mobility.” It also features all natural active ingredients for relief from joint pain and stiffness.

A bonus: these products are safe for the stomach and our organs. Many of our prescription and over the counter pain relief medications can play havoc on the sensitive stomach. Being able to give our hardworking organs a break and still get pain relief can be a win-win.

As someone who actively seeks out natural pain relief options whenever possible, I can attest to their effectiveness. Ease of movement is essential to being able to demonstrate and spot our Pilates clients, so if I’ve overdone it the day before, I’ll turn to T-Relief.

In fact, I’ve offered the products at Body Fundamentals Tucson studio for over 15 years. Over the years, we’ve found that our clients swear by them, as well. A tip: Using the products in combination can effect even more immediate relief.

As always, it’s recommended that you check to be sure there are no contraindications for either prescription or over the counter medications, or the potential for allergic reaction.

If you have any questions about the retail products carried at Body Fundamentals, please feel free to ask at your next Pilates session, or give us a call at the studio: 520-299-6541.

In health,
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On the path to Perfect Health: What is Ayurveda?

stones in water genevievenedder.comAyurveda: a 5,000 year-old healing system founded in ancient India. Derived from Sanskrit words “ayus” meaning “life,” and “veda” meaning “wisdom.”

The “wisdom of life” that is Ayurveda is the foundation of the Perfect Health program and a way of living about which I’m passionate. Viewing our health as a state of “vibrant balance” instead of separate, disparate pieces has always resonated with me.  Teaching movement (Pilates) as a mind/body/spirit experience is a big piece of my own healthy lifestyle.

The connection of breath, the practice of being present with our bodies— this kind of awareness can allow for a truly integrative movement experience.  The beautiful wisdom of Ayurveda speaks to me in that same way, an opportunity to live with more balance from all levels of our being.

One of the primary reasons I sought the Chopra Certified Instructor path was to expand my tool box and continue my own healing journey. Another is that I want to share the healing benefits of Ayurveda with you. The process of integrating techniques and tools (like meditation) nutrition and movement into your daily life is transformative, as I can personally attest. I practice much of the Perfect Health program each day, from meditation, which has brought and continues to bring pain relief, mental calm and clarity, to successfully choosing the foods that will nurture my body and decrease inflammation.

I invite you to join me in 2016 on the path to Perfect Health. I’ll be teaching the Perfect Health Program, created by Deepak Chopra, MD and David Simon, MD, at Body Fundamentals Studio (Tucson) on 5 consecutive Sundays beginning April 3, 2016  There will also be two multi-day versions of the  program in June and September that I’m designing as mini-retreats with morning movement (Pilates and Yoga), healthy snacks, lunches and more!

Ayurveda offers a proven guide for a life filled with vitality, love, happiness and purpose. Balance of mind and body makes it easier to choose the best for ourselves. I hope you’ll join me this year!

In “Perfect Health,”


Recovering from an Injury #4

bailey_200x200The Lesson in Taking the Time It Takes

“Appearance is absolute, but reality is not that way.
Everything is interdependent, not absolute.” Dalai Lama
Taking Charge: Self-Guided Recovery

To be pain-free is often confused with being ready to pick up right where you left off. The problem is that athletic skills require a commensurate level of strength to execute without injury. Strength builds in increments. Nobody wants to start over when they graduated years ago! What you believe you can do is indeed what causes everything to change—and sometimes not for the better if the reality of an appropriate starting point is ignored.

Say, for example, you could ride a bike for more than an hour before one knee started hurting so badly you could not ride at all. You have no clue what happened or what you did that caused this problem. The first order of business is to review or rule out possible issues including, but not limited to, the following:

• Proper adjustment and fit for all gear
• Dietary cause of inflammation such as allergy or excessive sugar intake
• Joint injury requiring surgical intervention
• Muscular imbalance
• Improper technique
• Genetic predispositions and conformation factors
• Overtraining or inadequate rest
Get the help and advice necessary to make informed decisions. Talk with people who’ve been through something similar as well as professionals. Your network plays a major role in long term fitness and health. If cross training is indicated to build a better foundation, go for it. This is a pay now, or pay dearly later, life moment. Knees and shoulders are missed once they are gone.

Assuming all of the aforementioned have been either ruled out or confirmed and corrective action taken, a great plan for the first solo ride on the bike might be slowly spinning for 5 minutes in front of a mirror to watch alignment, going both forward and backward. Then a wait to see what happens. No news is good news since that means you get to do it again instead of wait even longer for new pain to go away. More is not better. It is just more. The lesson of increments means to work smarter rather than harder.

To keep moving forward is to quit while you are ahead; that means to stop on a good one instead of pushing into fatigue. Hold the belief that smart work will continue the upward trend. Use the rear view in this instance for a quick survey to establish progress and perspective. A relative progress check is a one to two-week previous comparative, and the perspective check is 2-4 months back depending on the nature of the injury. Absent pain, the finding of no progress is a red flag that indicates a consult or program revision is necessary. No more and no less.

Doing just enough is the key. Being willing to discover what just enough means for you as an individual is the tipping point of reclaiming active health.

Pilates 100 on the Foam Roller

Many of you have asked:

Can I practice the 100 on the Foam Roller?                                                                                       Stevie demonstrating a modified Pilates 100 with legs at Table Top

Yes, absolutely. I like to work the 100 on the Foam roller in a progression. This is a fantastic way to challenge your balance while working your core.

Instructions for the 100 on the Foam Roller

  • Lift your arms to the ceiling and curl up.
  • Bring 1 leg to table top.
  • If you can maintain your balance with 1 leg, lift your other leg.
  • Hold this position as you begin pumping your arms
  • Inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts up to 100.
Preparation for the Pilates 100 on the Foam Roller

Stevie preparing for the Pilates 100 on the Foam Roller

Try it!  If you’re incorporating this into your home Foam Roller program from the studio, finish with the 100.

Let me know how it goes.  Love to hear of your progress.

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Previously published on Changing Through Movement in June 2014.

How to approach yourself in movement.

Diana Bailey Essential Motion PilatesLet your Brownies bake!
By Guest Writer Diana Bailey

Approach your work in Pilates with this general frame of awareness:

  • stsack of brownies.First you organize yourself in the movement much
    as you would assemble and mix ingredients to bake.

Second you refine the mix and maybe make a couple
of adjustments.

     The last and most important thing is to let it bake.

                                                   In my experience, I have to train myself to do this. To
accept whatever happens.

                                                           Brownies do not cook if you keep opening the oven and poking them. So cut it out!  Have some fun with it and give yourself permission to be okay with today’s result.   Practice leaving room for more AND being happy with what is.


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


Personalized Pilates on the Wunda

Seated Mermaid on the Wunda ChairI was speaking with a client the other day, who had just finished a Beginning /Continuing Wunda Chair class, complimenting her on excellent form. “Thanks – it helps to have someone correct me with my form. Plus I’m loving the anti-gravity results!” she enthused, patting her glutes. I laughed, but  later I thought, here I am being a little “in my head” about Pilates benefits and what it often comes down to is that most of us, regardless of our age, want results quickly.  We strive to accomplish a lot in our workouts and yet most of us don’t have two or three hours a day to exercise. We are busy! We are likely sitting far too much in front of the computer and we’re trying to perk up suddenly sagging, soft areas!

Now it is also true that when the same client mentioned that she noticed how great her arms looked in a sleeveless dress, she followed it up with, “And I just FEEL stronger. Have never had upper body strength before. That’s what I like about the Wunda Chair work, besides the small class size, I feel stronger and look more defined.”

That was satisfying for me to hear, because when I designed the Chair classes in 2011, no one else in the Tucson area was offering these kind of specific progressive Chair classes. I started out with custom-designed classes based on progressions at four different levels and we’ve stuck with that model. When I talked to long-time clients about what they wanted from an equipment class, I heard two things repeatedly:

  1. We want to see results as quickly as possible and we want to exercise without risk of injury.
  2. We are much more likely to show up regularly to a small class with personal attention than a big class where someone just calls out moves from the front.
As a result, that is the Pilates class I created and this is what we offer:

Multiple Pilates Chair Quartet classes at different levels, incorporating Reformer,  Magic Circle, and Pilates Mat work.

My studio is private and maintains small classes, which appeals to those seeking  such. When our clients walk in, they don’t see rows of Wunda chairs.

My studio, because of the personal attention we’re able to provide, teaches a range of students both in age and fitness level. We have clients who have never taken a Pilates class before. We also have classes where colleagues and fellow Pilates instructors come to challenge themselves and practice advanced techniques. The level of strenuousness for each workout is decided by the client (and of course, by fitness level).

So if you are looking for a private setting, small classes, personal attention and the ability to choose to work at an easy or strenuous level and everywhere in-between, call us (520-299-6541)!

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Taking it to the next level: The Wundas of Pilates Chair

So first things first: I am not an exercise fanatic. You will not find me at the local gym 5x a week, churning out cardio, lifting a multitude of weights or pushing the squats (as much as I fantasize about regaining my 30-year old backside, reality is…). That said, I’m “into” the Pilates Chair; specifically, the Pilates Chair Quartet class I’ve been taking at Body Fundamentals here in Tucson.

It started with exploring an alternative to the monotony of guilting myself into a gym workout a couple of times each week with limited results. I’m a marketing writer, which means a lot of sitting in front of a computer. Not conducive to fitness or flexibility. I’d done some Pilates in Seattle several years before and knew I’d enjoyed the variety and the class camaraderie. Over coffee one day, Geneviève Nedder suggested I try the Beginning class she’d recently developed and launched at the studio.

After only a few sessions, I remembered why I’d enjoyed Pilates so much. I felt so good after each session. Because there are only 4 of us in the class, Stevie (the instructor) could easily correct our form or suggest alternative moves to accommodate a bad knee or ankle, back injury or the like. Within weeks, I could see the definition in my arms, my hips were narrowing (!) and I was feeling more optimistic about anti-gravity effects than I had in years!

I’ve since moved to the Beginning / Continuing class for more challenging, faster paced work on the Wunda Chair (Intermediate is really fast and more suitable for those who are teacher level). I’m challenged in each class because every workout is different. Each movement and progression hits different areas, so you can’t “zone out” but need to remain very “in the moment” to complete successfully. That’s a great benefit of Pilates too, it makes me slow down and focus. I can’t think about what’s next on my to-do list or project deadlines. I have to breathe and pay attention in order to move properly.

I’ve committed to a weekly Beginning / Continuing Pilates Chair Quartet class and recently added a semi-private Pilates session to the mix. The visible results include a narrowing waist, more defined arms, and tighter glutes. Plus, I’m more flexible and have better posture. My most exciting achievement to-date? The Pike! I think of it as kind of an inverted push up. Very challenging, I feel really strong each time the bar rises a little higher.

Yes, I still (try) to work in straight-up cardio a few times a week with either a round on the elliptical, a walk or a bike ride, too, but Pilates has become my gift to myself, my health… and my anti-gravity efforts!

nora haileNora Haile runs her own marketing writing and communications support firm, nhaile communications, providing writing and online marketing support services to small to mid-sized businesses in Arizona and the Pacific Northwest.

Simple progressions from Bruce King.


“This is a health rather than beauty book. Its purpose is to help you improve your movement habits for life. ”  – Bruce King.

Just finished re-reading Bruce King’s powerful gem: Rule Of The Bones. I’ve spent many years with this small treasure and find myself returning to it often. In a world of extremes often intensified during the Holiday season, Bruce’s balanced approach to posture, gait and movement is a gentle and helpful guide. It’s practical and it works. And even though we know more in 2014 about the body then we did when this was written,  these progressions stand the test of time.

Powerful in its simplicity, his movement progressions and postural tips are sound, and effective.  His exercises for the feet in Chapter VI are simple and can be done anywhere. No equipment required.  I give them to many of my older clients who are struggling with neuropathy or foot cramping from tight muscles.  They receive relief quickly and their feedback is consistently positive. I also like the section on sitting and the great reminders on how to sit properly in front of a computer.

I know many of you have incorporated part or all of the exercises into your home routines. Keep it up and continue to improve your movement habits daily. Consistency is key!

And, if you have a moment, let me know how it’s going. . .I love to hear from you!

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