Showing posts from 2010

Dancing Fools Opens January 7

Medicine Show in
by John Gruen Three rambunctious comedies about relationships, sex, love, infidelities, the Almighty, and the joys of dancing.
starring (l to r above): 
Oliver Conant*
Jason Alan Griffin* Mark J. Dempsey
Stellios Manolakakis
Cassandra Weston
Barbara Vann
Vincent D'Alessio
Alfred Gingold*
John Zurek
Madeline Jaye*

also (not pictured): 
Klemente Espada
Simon Halper
Karyn Shipley*
Catherine Weingarten
Stephanie Zimmerman
*Member AEA
directors: Oliver Conant, Stellios Manolakakis, Barbara Vann
choreographers: Theresa Duhon, Yehuda Hyman, Madeline Jaye
d├ęcor by Knox Martin, costumes by Uta Bekaia

Thursdays – Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, January 7 – 30
549 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

$18, $14 Seniors, TDF accepted, Group rates available
Information and reservations: 212 262-4216
or charge tickets at or 212 868-4444

Happy New Year! Russian style.

I’m an adventurous spirit, so I often find myself in odd situations.  Like now.  I’m in the Catskills, sitting in  my hotel room at Honor’s Haven Spa and Resort in Ellenville New York. I was invited by my mentor, Shmuel Tatz. Our communications are generally terse and we suffer from a language barrier, so I wasn’t exactly clear on the details of the trip before I agreed to go. What I understood was that there was going to be a gathering of mostly Russian people, in the mountains of New York for a New Years Eve celebration and that I was going to be doing some work and hopefully will have a good time, as well. He also said I might teach some yoga or some Nia. It seemed to me that I was coming along as his assistant, which is often how I function in Tatz Studio.  Although I’m there as an apprentice, having me seen as an assistant eases the minds of the clients and gives me an opportunity to practice. So, due to my adventurous spirit and the nature of learning body tuning from Shmuel Tatz…


I recommend that you don’t put too much credence into what you read on packaging and product labels. It is advertising and therefore, will often twist or color the truth in order to make the product seem more attractive. So take everything you read on the package with a grain of salt. The exception being that familiar “Nutrition Information” chart on the back, which is regulated and truthful. But on the front, top and sides, it’s all just whatever the heck they want to say.  And it is very-often intentionally misleading.   One great example is the issue of fluoride. All over the toothpaste box and tube it will say that fluoride is added “to aid in the prevention of tooth decay.” And you may be as shocked as I was to learn that there is no evidence to support this claim that fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. In fact, there is quite a bit of evidence to support the surprising fact that swallowing this substance can be harmful.  You’ll notice that on the toothpaste tube it even cautions …

The Dangers of Yoga

People seem to think yoga is the answer to everything. It isn’t.  In fact, it can be responsible for causing and/or exacerbating a myriad of problems. Unless yoga is practiced with the utmost awareness and clean intention, it is an approximate fit at best and dangerously harmful at worst.  The practice is meant to be personal. It should be slightly different for each person.  Yoga has many great benefits. Among them are an increased self-awareness and a practice that encourages many different types of movements and positions, to keep the body and mind agile. But following the lessons of a teacher, no matter how charismatic or seemingly knowledgeable the teacher may be, can be a bad idea if you’re not aware of what your specific needs are.  Contrary to popular belief, yoga is not perfect and is not universal. Yoga is actually an exploration of yourself.  Being in a room full of students all striving to achieve the same pose is ludicrous.  There are thirty different bodies in thirty diffe…

Be Skeptical

The medical industry has a mysterious strangle hold on the unsuspecting public. I see it come up a lot in the clients I see coming in for Body Tuning at Tatz Studio.  Over and over again, I see people who have options for healing and care but think that they have a hopeless situation or that they are doomed to be operated on if they want any results. They have stopped searching for help because “their doctor told them...” People don’t seem to hold their doctors up to the same scrutiny that they’d hold up any other professional. If you were going to buy a car, for example, you’d probably do a lot of research.  You’d ask your friends for their input, you might read some reviews online or look up statistics on gas mileage, safety ratings, repair costs and insurance costs. You’d be armed with all the knowledge you could find.  And when you finally went into the dealer, you’d view him with a healthy skepticism because you’d know that his main focus is to sell you the car that he’s selling.  …

The Body Shop

You are invited to join me for all or part of a two-month series of classes called The Body Shop. Designed to align your bones, tone your muscles, burn some fat and improve your ability to relax and to recover after hard work, the Body Shop is the culmination of many techniques I have been studying and using for my own ongoing fitness and rehabilitation, as well as some old favorites from classes I’ve taught over the years.  The Body Shop Monday, Wednesday and Friday  6pm - 7pm.  259 W 30th St. Second Floor Monday nights will feature Energy Flow which is dedicated to metabolic conditioning, strength and core stability. We will start by building a great foundation with specific care being given to proper form and knowing how to use proper intensity while building new sophistication into your movement.  This technique will turn you into a master mover. Wednesday is going to be Nia night. Nia uses music and simple movements based on human design and function, which Nia calls The Body’s Way. Nia…

Exercise for Knee Pain

Many people complain of pain in their knees. Very often, this is due to a quadriceps muscular imbalance.  The quadriceps is a group of muscles on the front of your thigh.  There are four of them (hence “quad”) that all have a slightly different lines of pull.  If one muscle in this set is proportionally much stronger or weaker than the rest, it will distort the line of pull.  Sometimes, this distortion is enough to cause the kneecap to track off course, creating discomfort or pain. In many cases, the culprit is a weakness in the most medial muscle of the quadriceps, called the vastus medialis.  I believe that this weakness is caused by our tendency to not squat deeply, and since the Vastus Medialis is responsible for those particular degrees of knee flexion, it gets underutilized and becomes underdeveloped.  Of course, this is just my theory; I may be wrong.  However, what I do know, is how to make that muscle stronger.  And this is an exercise that you can do right now to begin to impr…

Skin Cancer Treatment

I recently found some skin cancer on my neck and face. Read my previous posts to catch up: First the one called Skin Cancer, and then read Skin Cancer Update Some of the patches discovered were actinic keratosis, which is pre-cancerous.  In many cases, the ‘cure’ for skin cancer is to remove it, along with a margin of healthy tissue around it. Because we caught this so early, I had the option of a topical chemotherapy which kills rapidly dividing cells.  I chose to do the chemo rather than have chunks taken out of my face every time we suspected a spot. So I got some Imiquimod and began applying it to three suspicious areas on my face: First, there was the spot on my temple, near the bottom of my sideburn.  This was where I had what looked like an age spot removed and sent to the lab.  It came back as actinic keratosis.  Surprisingly, I’ve been applying Imiquimod to it twice a day and have yet to see any reaction.  Maybe when they removed it to send it into the lab, they removed it all? The …

Wash Your Hands

Did you know that you are at more risk of catching a cold by shaking someone’s hand than you are by kissing?  And, did you know that washing your hands is even more effective than drugs in preventing contraction of the influenza virus?

Obviously it’s important to wash your hands, but there is a right way and a wrong way to perform this important healthy task.

First of all, use plain soap and water.  Avoid using anti-bacterial soaps; they contain a poison called triclosan that doesn’t rinse off.  This poison not only kills ALL of the bacteria on your hands (even the healthy ones) but it also has been shown to cause cell damage in humans.

Also, the use of such strong anti-bacterials help to strengthen the bacteria, which will adopt to the poisons and develop into a ‘superbug’ that is resistant to them.

A recent study showed that people who use anti-bacterial soaps “developed a cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms just as often as people who used…

Dealing with the Common Cold

Do you ever catch colds?  Have you noticed that some people seem to catch a lot of colds and other people don’t seem to get sick much at all?

I’m one of those people who almost never get sick, and yet I live with someone who gets sick maybe three times each year.  We live in a tiny apartment and it is a pretty safe bet that we are exposed to the same germs.  So why don’t I get sick?

The common cold is a virus.  We are exposed to viruses all the time, but our immune system fights them off so they don’t get comfortable inside our bodies and start wreaking havoc.

One of the reasons I don’t get as many colds is that I do many things that gird my immune system.  So even though I may have been exposed to the same cold virus, I wasn’t taken down.

I can’t list all of the factors here, but I will say that some of the biggest factors within our control that help boost and strengthen immune system function are:

1. Getting enough sleep (highly underrated and very powerful)

2. Avoiding excessiv…

Get Produced this Winter

This year, Manhattan Repertory Theatre celebrates its fifth year at our wonderful little space on 42nd St. Believe it or not, since August 2005, they have produced just about 500 plays in their tiny little space.  They are now inviting production submissions for their Winterfest 2011 play festival which is scheduled for this January and will run through the last week in March. The mission of Manhattan Rep is to help playwrights, actors and directors share and explore their craft in a safe, supported, and clean (as in not dusty) theatre environment. Artistic director, Ken Wolf says, “I guess since we have produced so much theatre and we are still surviving even in this economy, at some level we are fulfilling our mission, but honestly, we would like to do more.” So this Winter, they are offering more opportunity for artists to present their work in their space with more performances and more accepted plays than ever. We have all worked in the "theatre festival context" all over …

What is the difference between Coca-Cola and Vitamin Water?

The answer may surprise you: Not much. 
In a class-action lawsuit from 2009, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a California-based, consumer-protection advocacy group, sued the Coca-Cola company for intentionally misleading the public by marketing Vitamin Water as a healthy beverage. In the lawsuit, the names of the different flavors of water were under attack.  They have names like “defense,” “rescue,” “multi-v” and “endurance.”  This is like saying that jelly beans promote health because they contain no cholesterol.  Coca-Cola has tried to get the case dismissed, but in July of 2010, that motion was tossed out and the case will proceed.  In the dismissal, US District Court Judge John Gleeson said that the claims on the labels could possibly be in violation of FDA policy by implying that the drink gets most of its nutritional content through fortification. And the confusion is heightened by statements on the label such as “vitamin enhanced water beverage” and “vitamins + wat…