Monday, September 3, 2012

Honeymoon Adventures

Brian and I just got back from our honeymoon. We had a wonderful time! Here's a little inside look into our travels in pictures. 

Bergen, Norway

We arrived on Brian's birthday! The weather is overcast and cool and reminds us a bit of the Pacific Northwest.  A nice change from summer in NYC. 

The new fishmarket

Brian got a couple free samples of these guys and said they were some of the best shrimp he has ever had.  Later he tried reindeer... poor Rudolph :(

Charming Bergen

Stalheim, Norway

 Stalheim lies in the Nærøydalen, which is part of UNESCO’s world heritage list.   

 We stayed in a cabin at Sivle Gard (farm).  This is where one of Norway's most famous poet Per Sivle spent his early years.  This picture is the view from our living room window. 

So happy to be in nature!

Raspberries picked right from outside. They were as delicious as they looked!

Stalheim is very isolated.  There's a hotel (this is the amazing view from the back patio) and a few farms; that's pretty much it.   It is a great starting point for several hikes in the area. 

Brekkedalen hike

 We were greeted by friendly horses along the way...

   and sheep.

 Nali hike.  Not for those who have a fear of heights.  The edge you see goes straight down. 

My great grandfather was born in Stalheim and the farm has been passed down for decades.  These are my relatives and their farm in Stalheim.

Journey from Stalheim to Balestrand.  

 We chose the scenic route to reach Balestrand by taking a ferry through the Nærøyfjord.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 The dramatic scenery is breathtaking.

Balestrand, Norway

Balestrand is a small fjordside town along the Sognefjord.

We enjoyed walking...

and biking...

and eating at this amazing restaurant called Ciderhusset!

Balestrand grows a variety of apples and plums.  Brian couldn't help himself. 

Copenhagen, Denmark 


With all the travel we started to slow down a bit.  Coffee was helpful.

 Everyone bikes in Copenhagen...

 and eats pastries!

Like most of Scandinavia, Copenhagen is very green.   This is one of their organic cafes.

Happy Brian.

 Hans Christian Anderson was from Denmark.  This picture is actually the graveyard where he is buried.

Brian found the horns over my head very amusing. 

There are several different neighborhoods, each with a distinct feel.  We loved the color of this neighborhood.

 Reykjavik, Iceland

Our first stop in Iceland was the Blue Lagoon.  Although it is touristy it is absolutely amazing.

 The pool is formed from volcanic rock and the geothermal seawater is pumped in from about a mile underground!  It was pretty chilly so the warm water (about 98-102 degrees) felt great.

 The mineral rich water is known for its skin healing properties.  Here we are with our silica mud masks. 

Rather than take a tourbus, we decided to rent a car to see some of the nearby sites.
 Brian by the Geyser.

There it goes!   Brian and I nicknamed them earth farts because when they explode they emit more sulfur.

The next stop was Gullfoss, which means "golden waterfall".


Brian doing his modern dance impression.  

Had to take one generic yoga pose shot ;)

We worked up an appetite with all the running around.  Here's our meal before it was cooked...

and after!   Halibut and salmon skewers with potatoes and veggies.  The fish was so fresh!

Can't leave out the picture of Leif Ericson.  He was the first European explorer to reach Iceland and North America (way before Christopher Columbus). 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Fuzz Speech

This video is just so freaking cool. Cool enough to get a repost on my blog. If you're curious at all about how the human body works and the importance of stretching you should definitely watch. Don't get fuzzy! Keep On Moving!

Who Doesn't Love A Cute Baby Video

I love this video. I'm not quite sure why I love it so much, but I've watched it about 10 times. I guess I find the message really beautiful. The video, shot to demonstrate the principles of the Feldenkrais technique, shows a baby moving through it's first year of life. When developing movement patterns, a baby starts small, investigates and explores, takes rests, gradually develops the support, refines the movement, and later moves on to bigger things. I think this is a helpful reminder to adults, no matter what sort of movement practice we have. So often clients expect to start with advanced exercises, but it's so essential to first explore the building blocks that make up that movement or exercise.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nice Article on Alexander Technique

I recently found this interesting article on NPR about the Alexander Technique. My first experience with Alexander Technique was when I was around 15 years old. I was at Interlochen Arts Academy and I heard that some of the music students were taking AT lessons to improve their practice or to get some relief from chronic pain. Intrigued, I signed up for a lesson and I remember how I felt afterwards. I felt a sensation as if I were floating; walking seemed effortless; I felt taller; more relaxed; and amazed that one session could do so much with what seemed like such little physical exertion. I am not an Alexander Technique teacher but it certainly has influenced my teaching and my own movement practice. When working with someone with chronic pain or tension, I think it is important to look at 'why' and 'how' it got there in the process of trying to fix it. For example, if your shoulder is chronically tight you can stretch it as much as you like, but you also need to bring some attention to your usage on a regular basis or your shoulder is going to end up tight again. Awareness behind movement is what creates change as the study in the article shows.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What constitutes an intermediate class?

Today, 10 minutes into my level 2 (intermediate) yoga class, a new student (to my class) popped his head up from uttanasana and asked me, "This isn't the level 2 vinyasa flow is it?"  I responded "yes" and he responded back in a puzzled manner, "but it's so different from the class I took Saturday."  It was easier than he expected.  An employee of the studio explained to me after that the sat. class he was referring to is a strong power vinyasa flow (even though it has the same label as mine).  There are many teachers at this studio and everyone has their own interpretation for what the levels are and unless we were each given a specific syllabus to follow there's always going to be variation.

This really made me wonder what constitutes an intermediate class?   I've always thought that an intermediate class meant you could give the student a bit more freedom (since they have a basic understanding of the asanas and practice) and offer more sophisticated instruction.  For instance, I've gone back to taking very simple classes, and I find that there's so much to understand even in the simplest of movements.  Going back to simpler asanas/movements allows me to go deeper into the postures and still gives me a challenge both mentally and physically.  Can you teach a class of basic asana vocabulary and call it intermediate?   Are some asanas inherently more advanced?

Thoughts anyone??

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What do you enjoy most from a class?

Hi everyone!    I am developing a new class and want to hear from you about what you enjoy most from a class?  This can be certain movement, pacing, structure, atmosphere, or anything else you can think of.  The class is in its infant stage, but will likely combine movement from different modalities, ie. yoga, pilates, modern dance, bartenieff, etc. 

I really appreciate your help!  :)