Friday, August 18, 2017

Billings to Riverton - Nia in Billings

We woke up and went for a morning walk in Billings. In the parking lot across the street, I saw a rabbit bouncing away from us, but River was so preoccupied with whatever he smelled in a bush that he didn't see it. When he was satisfied with the bush exploration, I led him in the direction of the rabbit. I found it crouched down, playing dead. I pointed River at it, but he never even saw it. Kudos, Mr. Rabbit; your camouflage technique really works.

I had to check out of the motel at noon, but class wasn't until 4:30, so I had time to do some food shopping and fill up my water jugs at the local food co-op and get dog food at a boutique pet food store.
Food @ Good Earth Market, Billings
Dog Food @ Lovable Pets Bakery; 1313 Grand Ave.; Billings

Inside the pet store there were at least three off leash dogs that came to greet us at the door. The smallest of the dogs yipped aggressively, which panicked River. I had to pull him away to a corner of the store and appease him, while the clerk picked up the offensive dog and  held it behind the counter. Other big dogs moseyed over but sensed River's tension and didn't stick around. 
As I paid for my purchase a man came in with a small dog on a leash. That dog wasn't in the least concerned with River, which allowed him to calmly sniff her. It warmed my heart to see River actually interacting with another dog in a normal, socially acceptable way. 
We paid and left and I gave him lots of praise for being a good dog. 

We still had lots of time before class, so I stopped at the nearest park and we hung out on the grass under a tree for about three hours. 

At one point, a dog from on the other side of a fence saw us and engaged River in a barking contest. River bolted toward the dog and I reflexively grabbed his leash, which ripped through my hand, giving me open, wet third degree burns on the fingers of my left hand. Luckily, I travel with a small supply of band-aids, so I was able to cover it up while the skin grows back. I"ll spare you the visual. 

Nia @ Sky Studio: Billings
Finally, it was time for class. We had a nice passionate group of dancers and had a great time doing the Amazing routine. It is one of only two times I'm teaching this routine on tour this year. It felt good to bring it out again.
After class we returned to the same park so I could have a meal. I ate some of the salami I got at the store that afternoon, with bread, avocado, and sauerkraut.
It was about 7pm before I got back on the road and a good five hours drive to Riverton. But we puled into the Motel 6 at midnight.
They were all out of downstairs rooms, and the one room they had was on the other side of the property from the spiral staircase. Fortunately, I discovered a back lot with a hidden staircase leading right up to near the door to my room. Score!
Once we were loaded into the room, I ate and showered and fell right to sleep.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Butte to Billings - Nia in Helena

Nia at Gentle Healing 

Butte to Helena is a relatively short drive. I allowed myself two hours and was plenty early. 
We parked nearby and sat in the sun until it was time to head to class.
Kathryn Kelley, who set me up in her space, had a client and couldn't be in my class, but she was there to greet me and introduce me to the class, and I had a designated assistant, so all went smoothly. 
We had a full room and a lot of moving centers. 
No pictures. 

One student was a sister of someone who had taken my class in Hayden the day before. She called her after my class and told her she HAD to come. She did, and she said afterward that she loved it. "It was exercise and it felt good!" I think she might have become a regular at Gentle Healing.

And there was also a guy in class. He was glad to see me, and I was glad that he was a part of the Nia community there, in Helena. And I think they like getting some male energy in there for balance.

The long part of the drive was ahead. From Helena to Billings is a long haul.

I broke it up with stops every two hours or so.

About an hour out, I stopped for lunch in Townsend and River and I ate in the pristine Veterans Memorial Park.

I stopped two more times at rest areas we both walked and stretched and shook and ran and peed (in different places) drank some water and relaxed in the grass under a shady tree.

The smoke-filled air made for a pink-and-orange sunset as we pulled in the familiar Motel 6 in Billings. I'm not sure if River realizes it when we go back to locations we've been at before. And if he does, how it affects him.

I feel it. When we pulled into this one it felt a lot more homey. Of the three Motel 6s we've visited so far on this trip, this is the first one that we've stayed in before.  So I can compare the feeling of driving up and explore a new location, and the feeling of driving up to a place that looks familiar before I even get to the property. I recognize the neighborhood and start to feel all welcome. I'm not saying the exploring feeling is better or worse than the comfortable feeling. But they're different. And I don't really notice any behavior in River that would indicate its a big deal for him either.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Seattle to Moses Lake -- Nia in Leavenworth

I allowed myself three hours to get to the space, when Google said I only needed about 2:20.  All was going smoothly until I was about half an hour away from Leavenworth and saw a sign saying to "Expect 40 Minute Delays".   Some quick math told me I couldn't afford 40 minutes, so it was a been worrisome. I didn't fret too much, as I tend to wait until the last minute before panicking. Before I knew it, I was passing the sign that said to "Follow the Pilot Car".  Without even noticing a break in the flow of traffic, I zoomed back a long line of cars waiting to drive the opposite direction. I guess they'd been there a while because some of them were getting out of their cars and stretching. 

And I made it to the studio in plenty of time.

It was a full weekend of events that Gayle Holeton put together at the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. The center is a campsite, and all of the event halls are like cabins. I really appreciate the cool, crisp, blue sky in Leavenworth, especially after the horrible week Seattle has had. 

I taught a FloorPlay class and didn't really have a plan, but threw together some of my favorite FloorPlay songs and some selections from the event I taught last year in Santa Fe. We played, and made-believe, laughed and sweat. The focus was on comparing the horizontal energy (playful) with the vertical energy (mature). 

River was a little bit antsy in his cage. I don't blame him. It usually takes a day or two of awkwardness before we get into the flow of the road life. I felt it too. Everything just seems a little bit off and difficult. But once everything finds its place again, the flow feeling takes over and we surf on the joy of the vagabond life. 

I stayed after my FloorPlay class for a session on Feldenkrais - Awareness Through Movement. Ava, I think was her name, and she led a beautiful lesson. I always get so much out of doing Feldenkrais work with a skilled facilitator. 

I snuck out in between sessions to grab some food on a picnic table I found in between several of the cabin buildings. River hung out on the grass while I ate some eggs, greens, avocado and bread. I gave him a nice long rest in the grass, and we climbed on a big rock, before we went back into the studio.

The next session was about Ayurveda. since I was letting River decompress in nature, I missed the beginning, but I'm already pretty well versed in the basics and she seemed to still be on the basics when I arrived. We eventually got to play around with the different styles of music and movement according to Ayurveda. 

And after that session was my class. I thought about continuing the Ayurveda thing as a focus in my class, but I decided to let it rest and I focused instead on Moving Slowly During Quick Movements. I explained how if we increase our awareness, moments seem to take longer. And we applied that to what we noticed as we danced. 

Nia at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts

After the big day of events, we all went to Craig and Robin's house where they had a big spread and barbequed burgers in their beautiful garden. I took River for a walk before we went inside, and then we went right through the house to the backyard where I ran around with him on the grass for a while. 

We all ate, River sat at my feet, and had deep conversations until the sun was starting to set. Then I excused myself because I still had another two hours to drive to Moses Lake. 
On the way to Moses Lake, I passed by a big dam. It was dark so I didn't take a picture, but it was cool. I got in late and crashed as soon as we got to the room. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Embracing My Weirdness

J P Sears is a YouTube personality. I consider him a mentor of mine even though we've never met because I faithfully watch his videos and get inspired by his thoughtful insights.

He is a satirist, so he uses humor to make his very powerful points and cultural comments. His messages speak strongly to me. He uses a character that he calls 'His Enlightenedness -The Ultra Spiritual J P Sears'. If you don't think that's funny then maybe you won't appreciate his humor.

But as I said, through the humor Sears makes very deep and thought provoking observations. Today I saw his post of a TedTalk he gave called Embracing Your Inner Weirdness. It was eye-opening to me and gave me a different perspective. He offered a yardstick to measure my own spiritual fortitude, and I'm afraid I came up a little bit shorter than I had hoped and expected....

Let me explain

find and comment on my post on Facebook--click here and let me know how you think I'm weird.

Here is J P Sears' serious website.

And here is a link to his funny YouTube channel.  I hope you enjoy him as I do. Not everyone seems to get it. But that's just because they're not Ultra Spiritual. ;)

What is Online Personal Training?

In the modern age, it is possible for me to work with people from all over the world. Until the advent of the internet, I was limited to those people within my physical vicinity.  But for the past several years, I've been developing my skills as a remote health and fitness coach.

I specialize in helping people understand what choices they should be making in order to get the results that they want. Whether they want to lose weight, gain muscle, do better in golf, sleep better, have more energy or just be in a better mood, I can help.  I have three specific and unique ways to offer my help at varying degrees.

First of all, I have put together a program that I call "Transformation." It is designed to address what I consider all of the aspects of a healthful lifestyle. These are the things that I have seen, in the decades of working as a personal trainer, that get in the way of people getting the results they want. For example, people come to me frustrated that they can't lose weight, but they refuse to have a discussion about changing their diet because they've determined that they want to exercise the fat away. Or someone who wants to have more muscles but refuses to get the proper amount of sleep or drink sufficient amounts of water.  All of these seemingly small things are necessary to get in place before you can reap the benefits of a healthful lifestyle, which is vibrant, glowing health.

So I put together a three-month long, step by step guide to getting ALL of those important and often overlooked factors into place. It seems very simple, but it will actually multiply by manyfold the results that you get from the simple activities that you may already be doing in order to achieve your health and fitness goals.

Each day, you will get a lengthy, informative and inspirational email from me about one topic at a time. Simply by reading and understanding each email, and following the simple advise for making gradual changes to your habits, you will feel your life, health, wellness and attitude improving. And you will find more joy and ease in what you do and will certainly see better results in your training.

The program lasts for three months and costs less than $100 total. In addition to my verbose emails, you also have access to me, personally. You are invited to respond to any of the 90 emails in the program and ask me a question, challenge a concept or ask for help in understanding or applying anything I brought up.

You can sign up for the program and begin taking charge of your health immediately by visiting this link. More info about the Transformation Program.  At the bottom of the page is a PayPal button with some older prices on it. You can use that button, if you want to pay a couple of dollar extra. But if you want to use my updated rate of $97 instead of $99, then after you read all about my program on that page, return to this one where I have installed a PayPal button reflecting my current rate of $97.

Another thing that I'm doing is offering a more personalized one-on-one experience with me. While the Transformation program takes you on a prescribed journey, this one-on-one experience is going to be 100% tailored to you and your needs and individuality.

I will begin by finding out as much as I can about you, including what you want to achieve, what you're willing to do to get that, what you've tried in the past and many of your beliefs about why you haven't been able to achieve it on your own. Once we've determined the best way I can help you, I will make you videos, or write you long descriptive essays that will get you on the right track to getting exactly what you want.

Thanks to modern technology, like YouTube, DropBox, Facebook Live, Skype and the like, I can see what you're doing in order to give you notes, encouragement, challenges and advice. And I can demonstrate to you what I'm asking you to do. I can prescribe exercises and give you nutritional guidelines as well as address the little things that I spoke of in the Transformation program.

Due to the intensely high level of participation in this Online Personal Training program, I limit myself to ten clients active at any given time. And I have room for a few more at this time, so if you're at all interested in this, I encourage you to get started.

Procrastination is our worst enemy. Do NOT wait until you 'are ready'.  The truth is, life will always be a distraction and that fact is built into my style of working. I go into this work knowing that everyone's life feels like it's as full as it can possibly be and there is no room for adding lots more to it. But my speciality is finding ways and getting results.

I literally started studying health and fitness when I was ten years old. I was a young fan of Jack LaLanne and also a follower of Charles Atlas. I have studied from east to west; from Ayurveda and Yoga to the Paleo Diet and HIIT and everything in between. From this vast array of influences and mentors, I am able to customize a program for anyone, as long as they're clear on what they want. And even if they're not clear, I've been trained in methods that will help us get to the bottom of that question, as well.

So if you want to get started, taking charge of your health and fitness but don't know where to start, or simply if you want some guidance, encouragement, accountability and motivation, stop thinking about it and sign up for some Online Personal Training with JAG.  We can get started as soon as today!!

My rates are $197 to start. This covers the first two months of one-on-one training. After that, continuing to work with me only costs $79/month.  My intention is to educate you and get you started and then send you on your way. It is not my goal to find clients for life. I will work with you as long as you want or need, but I"m not one of those that attempts to build dependence on me into my programming.

If you have any questions, fire away.  I'm eager to get working with you.

To sign up now, for the Transformation or to get started with Online Personal Training, click here.


And the final way that some people have enjoyed working with me is by joining JAGs Video Club.
This is for people who don't need a lot of guidance, as there is none in this program. Some people just want some movement ideas and motivation, so they should have access to a program that costs a lot less than it does working one-on-one, or even on a program that I've painstakingly written and organized to produce health-bringing effects. But this program is more self-guided. It is basically me showing you what I do in my studio, for my own workouts. I'm not advising, coaching or recommending, but letting you see behind the curtain.
For $13 per month, I'll send three monthly videos. Each one is between thirty and sixty minutes and is an unedited depiction of exactly what I do to stay in shape. Some videos will be of me dancing, which I use a great deal to promote muscle tone, agility, coordination and cardiovascular health. Some will be of me stretching and / or recovering, which is a crucial aspect of my program. Other videos will show me doing strength exercises or high intensity metabolic types of workouts. I use very little equipment, so most of the time you should be able to emulate what I do on your own.
But let me emphasize once more that in JAGs Video Club you are on your own to use what I send you however you see fit.
Use this button to sign up for that and I'll see to it that you get your first three videos right away.

I hope to work with you. It gives my life purpose when I am helping others find what I've found. Let me show you. Thanks for reading.