Showing posts from March, 2011

Spring Load your Knees this Spring

Nia is an artful combination of three martial arts, three dance arts and three healing arts. Each of these contributing practices offers an important facet to the work of the Nia Technique.   T’ai Chi is one of the martial arts.  We call it the ‘Slow Dance’ and it offers quite a bit to what we know as Nia.  If you’ve been practicing Nia for a while, you may be surprised to learn what aspects of it come from T’ai Chi. In this playshop we’re going to explore the elements that T’ai Chi brings to Nia.  We’ll be mostly focused on the way that the concepts and practices of T’ai Chi helps to strengthen and support the knees and keep them safe from harm while we dance.  Once we embody the concepts of this playshop, our knees will be free to dance without fear.  T’ai Chi teaches us how to “Spring Load” our knees which unleashes all of the ease and power of the legs.  We’ll also take the opportunity to learn and practice some very specific self-massage techniques that will help to release tension a…

April Fools Day Nia Dance Party

We have two different Playshops planned for April.

On Friday night, April first, we’re celebrating April Fools Day with a Nia Dance Party. A Fool is a playful and silly person. So when you’re dancing to celebrate Fools, you really can’t do anything wrong. The same is true when it comes to Free Dance.  So what a perfect opportunity to celebrate the most foolish day of the year by dancing freely!
Come and boogie a little, (or a lot!) We’ll explore more and less and big and small and fast and slow and so many different free dancing techniques that your dancing will expand exponentially. It will be inspired by Nia music and guided (loosely) by Jason, but it will be *your* exploration and totally free and totally foolish and totally fun. No expectations; just shenanigans.  Friday April 1, 6pm - 8pm

Gina Gibney Studios
890 Broadway, 5th Floor (@19th St.)

or attend both Playshops in April for $50. 
with a Play-Pass.
(Spring-Load Your Knees Playshop is April 15.)

Advance Purchase OptionsApril …

Jason Alan Griffin is NOT leaving!

There seems to be a rumor going around that I’m leaving the Big Apple. Turning my back on New York City and returning to the green hills of Seattle. Well let me reassure that this is simply not the case.  I’m currently selling my apartment.  This is a long and drawn out process involving putting it on the market and waiting for offers to come in.  When offers do come in, we may negotiate back and forth a bit and then finally come to an agreement on price and terms, so then we’ll go into ‘escrow.’  Escrow is overseen by a disinterested third party. It’s a process where all the paperwork is put in order and all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed before the exchange of keys and money takes place.  It could take up to two months. So this is all way off in the future.   I mean, it was going to happen eventually. I never intended to settle down in New York. I was happy in Seattle. I really felt like I had found home when I lived there in the 90’s. But the oughts were going to be my New York…

Firedance: The Nia “Riverdance” routine.

This is the first appearance of a concept called Athletic Nia. This is meant to be an offshoot of traditional Nia for those who were athletically inclined or were familiar and confident enough with traditional Nia and wanted something more athletic.

I consider this an advanced routine for many reasons.

One is that the way it was presented shows very few Level 1 options. Many of the movements are plyometric in nature (jumping) and would need some modifying for someone who was less conditioned. That alone is a good reason to avoid the routine until having had some movement experience and are comfortable making your own adaptations without a lot of guidance.

The routine requires a great attention to detail, especially because of the repetition of a very quick movement involving stepping on the back foot on the ball of the foot and on the whole forward foot. This quick shuffling-like motion has a lot of pitfalls that a beginning student/teacher may fall into. I have to consistently ca…

St. Patrick's Day Sunscreen and Yoga Flow

Saint Patrick’s Day 2011 was a gorgeous spring like day in New York City. I love to do my exercises outside when the weather permits, and today was a good day for that. I worked out yesterday, so today I just wanted to flow.  I needed to iron out my body after the abuse I gave it yesterday. I was just making up my flow as I went along.  I was more focused on enjoying the sun today than anything else.  
I am aware that we’re advised to get at least twenty to thirty minutes of unprotected sun rays on our skin each day to maximize the health of our blood and immune system. But if we’re exposed to the suns rays for longer than that, we should protect ourselves with a good sunscreen. Read My Skin Cancer Story to see how well aware I am of this fact  A good sunscreen is harder to find. Read here about my Search for a “Good” Sunscreen But I did find a good one, so I’m going to wear it today. I only put it on my face and head and neck because I went out earlier today and was dressed, so those part…

Meet Shmuel Tatz Event

Dancers!  Athletes! Musicians!
Anyone using their body on a daily basis can benefit from regular body tuning.
BODY TUNING is the technique used by such dance legends as Fernando Bujones,  Alexandra Danilova, Vladimir Vasiliev, Natalia Makarova, Anna Sokolow and Tommy Tune; stars of today like Joaquín De Luz, Savion Glover and Diana Vishneva; and prominent instructors like David Harford, Finis Jhung and Irina  Kolpakova. After Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais’ work, comes Body Tuning.  After  the physical therapist stretches you, your chiropractor adjusts you and Pilates strengthens your core, now is the time to experience the synergy of all of this.  Body Tuning puts everything together and makes sure your body is running smoothly; or “in tune.” I have put together an opportunity for you to meet the amazing Dr. Shmuel Tatz, who has created Body Tuning and has been practicing for 40 years.
In this workshop, you will receive 5-10 minutes of hands-on Body Tuning and learn methods for self-tun…

Workout and Meditation

This is an example of how I use meditation after a workout. Today's workout was about strength and alignment. I gave myself very little rest and moved through some of the most basic human movement exercises. My overall goal was to increase my heart rate in quick bursts of effort with timed rests.  I started with a warm up and ended with a cool down, as always. The workout itself lasted about 27 minutes. Some days I like to meditate after a workout. Especially if the workout has gotten me particularly excited or tense.  Today was one of those days. I was really struggling at the end of my workout, but I put all of my energy into continuing to go through the exercises with strict form. Afterwards, as I was doing my finishing stretches, I noticed that I was a bit more “amped up” than I like to be, so I sat for a few minutes and meditated.

Maybe I should have recorded some voice over on this video describing what I was doing for my meditation, but instead I had music playing.  Had I know…

How To Become a Body Tuner

I recently got an email that I wanted to share with you.  It read: I'm thinking about expanding my field beyond yoga and YTU and going into the physical therapy world, and I was wondering if you had a moment to let me know your experience working with Shmuel. Do you think it's worthwhile/necessary to have any massage background as well? I would love to hear your thoughts and what your plans are with this training - My experience working with Shmuel has been incredible.  Read here about how I first met him. I started my apprenticeship in September of 2010.  I would just go into the office and stand in the corner and watch him work.  It was fascinating.  Everything from the first interview he’d do with a new patient, to the way his work was always different and always seemed to be right on the money.  I had been a massage therapist in a previous life.  I was licensed and practiced in Seattle for about eight years.  I gave up massage because I was frustrated by the way people would c…

Patenting Life

A company once put a patent on a gene responsible for creating breast cancer.  This prevented any scientist who didn’t hold the rights to that patent from legally owning it.  Therefore they were forced to end research on that particular gene.  This is one of the many dangers of allowing U.S. Patents on living things.  Until 1978, It was never legal to get a patent on a living thing in this country.  A scientist had discovered a genetic mutation that caused a certain microbe to eat oil. It was fought all the way to the Supreme Court, until finally the first patent was granted on this microbe and that opened the floodgates. People used to farm a lot more, but now, most people don’t know what it takes to grow food.  And, in fact, what it takes to grow food has been changing in recent times. Around World War Two, we started to experiment with using the same biological technology we were using to create weapons to create new pesticides.  A whole new approach to agriculture was born. A company …

Staying Healthy - the Diabetic Way

Adversity is often the spark for innovation. For example, when I injured my shoulder in 2009, it was my struggle to regain comfort, range of motion and strength that led me to meet Shmuel Tatz and started me on a whole new path of study into Body Tuning.  
You can read some of my blog posts about my adventures with Body Tuning here:
What is Body Tuning? The Knees, She is Yours
The King's Speech is like Body Tuning
There are many more if you want to browse through the blog. I've been studying and writing about it since September 2010. 
Another example of adversity sparking innovation is the way that that same shoulder injury was also the catalyst for my exploration into new forms of exercise and body healing.  Without that injury, I wouldn’t have been inspired to create my Energy Flow class and my Human Movement and Postural Restructuring classes.  But, the main reason for my writing this particular blog post is another example of finding the lesson through adversity. The fact is that …

What is Body Tuning?

The goal of Body Tuning is to return the body to its natural state of well-being. It uses movement as a guide. When the body is moving correctly is it pain-free.  The purpose of Body Tuning is to find that easy place free of pain and restriction. First, we use any of a wide variety of body work practices in order to feel, listen to and assess the way the joints and tendons and ligaments are moving.  How easily and how quietly it is able to move, and how close to normal range of motion it has.  A Body Tuner listens so intently that he can hear where the body is not moving freely.  In this way, the body directs the tuner to what needs to be done. A session of Body Tuning is usually around thirty minutes of hands on manual therapy.  When you go to see doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists or surgeons, who touches you for a full half hour?  If you are complaining of an issue in your body, how can anyone expect to assess or treat the body without touching the body? Only massage therapists r…

Nude Stretching

I never thought I’d do something like this. But over the years many people have suggested that I make a Nude Stretching Video.  I guess the fact that I’m comfortable with nudity and with my body and that I’m a fitness pro with a passion for helping people made it seem like a no-brainer that I create something like this.  But I’ve been resistant to doing it for a long time; for fear (I guess) of what the more conservative people might think.  Now, finally, I’ve succumbed to the requests and put something together.  You conservative people will just have to look the other way. :) Now, I haven’t made an X-rated video here; I'm just nude and I'm stretching.  It's completely natural. This video blends a smart, educational stretching session with  “Warhol-like” video interludes accentuating an eroticized appreciation of the male form.  My intention was that it could be enjoyed on two levels. The free-style, hand-held segments demonstrate the positions from all angles and create an …