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Ok…I get it. It’s hard to make it to the gym, especially when it’s so nice outside. Please enjoy the summer! I understand. Fitness can be taken outdoors and into everyday activities. The warmth and sunshine might be giving you an extra energy boost. Use it!

Instead of taking the subway all the way home or all the way to work, walk one stop instead. This will add about half a mile of walking to your day. Do it at either end of your commute and you have four opportunities for bursts of activity that also give you alone time and head space.

Did you know that there is free kayaking on the Hudson River? Not only is this so much fun you might want to buy your own boat, it is great exercise.

How about biking? I recently joined CitiBike. I am a terrible biker, but it is fun to be riding along in the sun. The nice thing about bike share is not having to worry about your bike when you change your mind and decide you want to follow a distraction…

…like getting on the ferry to Governors Island! Anyway, you can pick up a bike when you get there. Biking along the waterfront you’ll enjoy not only the ride, but the views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Statue of Liberty. There are also big hills to climb for more amazing views and of course for the exercise.

Have you located your swimsuit? Take it out. Put it on—or go shopping for a new one. Chances are it doesn’t fit the same way as before. Don’t beat yourself up. Along with your walking a stop here and there every day, give back a little at each meal. Put one scoop back as you are serving yourself. Chances are you won’t miss these little givebacks, but they will add up. Don’t skip a meal—you need your energy.  Just make sure that what you’re eating counts.

Need a massage after all of your outdoor adventures? I have some dates available.

There have been a few class changes. I’m subbing a few classes here and there. I am teaching yoga in Panama City at the end of August. Stay tuned for schedule of teachers covering my classes August 27th-September 3rd. Check the website for all updates.

Be well and stay active!

Veronica

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The farmer’s market is my most favorite summertime food haunt. I am always excited to see what will appear week by week. We’re in lettuces and strawberries right now, but I know not to get too attached and instead delight in developing my menus right there as the veggies and fruits direct.

That said…it was really cold until late last week and I found myself eating three bean chili. Now here we are in full blown summer, but not quite full blown harvest. So, I’ve taken to reading the Traders Joe’s newsletter. Yes, really. Believe it or not this practice lurches me out of meal ruts and moves me along with the seasons when the farmer’s market is less than bountiful.

In the current TJ’s issue: baby watermelons! I don’t even like watermelon, or thought I didn’t. But watermelon really performs when paired with some mint and oregano from my dad’s garden and some feta crumbled in the mix. This simple summer salad is very cooling. You can save a little of your watermelon and mint to add to your water jug for cooling on the go.

Mangoes are also prominently featured in everything from salsa to salads to ice cream. I like frozen mango for my morning smoothie. Sometimes I’ll mix in half a banana, other times some berries. Rose water and soy yogurt with mango makes for a lassi-like treat that fuels my morning.

Summertime also means play time and rest time. I’ll be here, but with a lighter schedule. Please let me know if you’re journeying so we can plan our time.

Stay cool and be well!
Veronica

Summer Happenings

Three Poses, One Oil
Learn how a home practice as simple as three poses a day can help you relieve movement restrictions and lead to greater flexibility. This yin yoga primer is available as a private session or as a group workshop.
Click here for details.

Myofascial Massage
Slow deep work to increase range of motion in the joints and give the muscles room to unwind. Not for you? Click here for descriptions of all my massage offerings and to browse July and August appointments.

Group Class Updates
Kick Start Flow
Fridays at 7am at Reflections

Candlelight Yin and Slow Flow
Thursdays at 730pm at Waterside

Catch it while you can:
Contour Heavy Weight Training
Mondays at 830am through June at Waterside

 

Have you ever bitten off more than you could chew? Been too eager? Found yourself with way too much to do?

Yeah. I’m in it. But it turns out that that feeling of being overwhelmed is very similar to being energized and poised to act.

It’s been a while since I wrote. The fact is that I had carefully laid out some plans. I was ready to launch when new opportunities presented themselves and I decided to say yes.

Yes to going back to school, to teacher training, to more teaching. I’m completing some programs that I started many years ago, and I am not done yet. Are we ever?

In the meantime I have lots of new offerings for you! Just email to book or with any questions. As always feel free to share this information.

Be well!

face  Veronica

Spring Reset is here! Commit to feeling better. Whether you’re new to exercise or need to refresh your current regimen, the Reset is for you.

Three Poses, One Oil: This Yin Yoga primer is available as a private session or as a group workshop.

Myofascial Massage: Slow deep work to increase range of motion in the joints and give the muscles room to unwind. Click here for May appointments.

Chair Massage: Help your employees unwind with an in-office chair massage event. Easy to schedule, minimal set-up. Email for more info: veronica@sparkyourwellness.com

 

The Fitness Reset is back!

This one-month program will give you the customized tools and guidance you need for big fitness gains.

Who is it for: Anyone!
Want to start exercising? Get moving with a plan built just for you!
Already exercising regularly? Shake up your routine, get educated, and learn new tricks!

Read all about it here or email veronica@sparkyourwellness.com to get started.

Early bird pricing extended to April 15th!

Once upon a time I bought some dry chickpeas and moved them into the bottom shelf of my cupboard, never to be seen again. When I bought the chickpeas I had the intention of cooking them in the pressure cooker, tossing them in some cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and lemon juice, and roasting. Instead those chickpeas just sat.

When I finally did take those chickpeas out it wasn’t because I had any more time than I normally do. What I had was the perception of more time. I got home close to 9pm, same as always, but I wasn’t feeling well. The funny thing is that because I was sick and figured “I can’t do anything” I suddenly had the time to set those chickpeas to cook.

What do my chickpeas and inertia have to do with anything?

First off, chickpeas are delicious and nutritious (recipe here).

Secondly, those chickpeas showed me that I am in a place between living my current life and the life I want to live. I wanted roasted chickpeas, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it happen. Then I just did it and voila-a tasty, take anywhere snack.

I took a step. Then another step. Things shifted.

When you want to change your life, sometimes you just have to lurch forward that one uncomfortable step to get started. That isn’t to say that you can stop there or that it is easy, but making change is possible. You’ve done it before.

What are we changing right now?

Those chickpeas are about habits of mind that limit what we can do and what we think we’re capable of achieving. Start to notice where you might be limiting yourself and flip it around. “I don’t have time to cook these chickpeas” might turn into “It only takes 30 minutes to cook these chickpeas-I can do that.”

There are lots of changes happening in 2016

Quarterly TeleClass lectures will resume in April and we’ll post the whole schedule in March. It’s easy to participate and it’s free!

Our Reboot programs will be starting up again soon – both the three-month and the intensive will be available. Look for more information next month.

Newsletters will be sent through MailChimp starting in May (although I will still write infrequently). I’ll send you a link so that you can subscribe. In the meantime, feel free to share this and know that I never share your info.

FITNESS AND YOGA
My group class schedule for Waterside Swim and Health Club has changed. Please click here for schedule and class descriptions.

I will be away March 20-25. Subs are listed here.

MASSAGE
Need some rest and relaxation? Maybe you need to work out some knots that literally have you bent out of shape. Read about my massage offerings and availability for March here and send me an email to book your therapy.

Be well!

 

It’s been a while since we posted. This site and Spark! Wellness will be undergoing some changes in 2016.

Look forward to the return of our TeleClass series, more opportunities to Reboot, our favorite easy recipes in the What I’m Cooking Today feature, and more!

We can’t wait to share all of these offerings with you beginning in March.

Until then…be well!

 

I took a yoga class with two friends and we had a great practice. Afterwards one friend said that she was surprised that she had benefited from the class as she had not expected much from that particular teacher. The other friend said just the opposite, that she had expected that the class would be great because of that particular teacher. I just complained about the weather.

When we’re attached to our expectations we can miss what is happening. My two friends and I are yoga practitioners, so we were able to experience the class and let the teacher’s offering move us. Even though we came to the mat with bias or preoccupation (and apparently left the mat that way too), for the hour we practiced we were able to let go and be with what is. Then the smokescreen of attachment came back.

Yoga is now. It is being where we are without judgment. It is easy to become attached both to negative and positive feelings, but that distracts us from experiencing the present moment. When we live in our yoga we can blow the smoke away with an exhale and clear space for the next breath in.

Most of our attachments are bigger than whether or not a yoga class will be good or not. Many of my friends are hurting right now from loss of relationships, of jobs, of health, but as hard and real as all that is, it is smoke and will also dissipate. Yoga doesn’t mean being complacent or inactive. It means letting go of what happened (it’s over and can’t be changed) and what you think is going to happen (that is a story) so that you can see clearly and get on with what is at your hand to act upon.

We’re acting with precision and extra kindness this month. So if you’re in class and think you have to use the heaviest or the lightest weights, try to let that go and meet yourself where you really are at that moment. A big exhalation can clear the smoke so you can see.

Be well!

Veronica

PLEASE NOTE: I will be away for Halloween, Saturday October 31st and Sunday, November 1st. I will post subs soon at www.sparkyourwellness.com.

OCTOBER FOCUS
Practicing non attachment and being present. Moving with precision and kindness.

FITNESS AND YOGA
My group class schedule for Waterside Swim and Health Club has changed. Please click here for schedule and class descriptions.

We’ll be continuing our work on the hips, feeling the ground, staying low, and maintaining focus.

Light and medium weights are back this month after the heavy lifting of September. That doesn’t mean we take it easy-we still have work to do-rather that we find the appropriate tool for each movement.

MASSAGE
Need some rest and relaxation? Maybe you need to work out some knots that literally have you bent out of shape. Send me an email to book your therapy: veronica@sparkyourwellness.com

Dear Students:

I love starting new things! The excitement of new knowledge, challenges, and just doing something different fills me with energy. I start running up the hill at full speed with a big smile. Then, you know, I look up the hill and decide to walk down and try something else. I know this is my tendency-to dig little holes and expect to end up with a well.

The yoga sutras instruct us to put our efforts and focus into a challenge and remain with that challenge with enthusiasm for a long period of time. In that way, change will take place.

That’s really the essence of the Wellness Reboot. The program is a three-month transformative journey to establish new lifestyle habits through a combination of body-mind training and self-care. This is for anyone who wants to commit to a wellness focused lifestyle and wants tools that help you to take charge for the long haul. Read more here or email me for more information.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions. You can also forward this message to friends. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Light and laughter,
Veronica

SEPTEMBER FOCUS
Being ready for change. Before we can leap into something new, we prepare …

FITNESS AND YOGA
My group class schedule for Waterside Swim and Health Club has changed. Please click here for schedule and class descriptions.

In the classical Pilates practice we progress from more stable physical foundations (on our backs) to less stable (balanced on the side body, on hands and balls of the feet, and finally on our feet). Earlier movements establish the foundation for later, more challenging movements.

In the yoga practice that informs my teaching, we work through the energetic qualities of the chakras, beginning at the base energy of grounding which gives us roots to twist, lift the heart, express our selves in the postures, and eventually move into a space beyond posture into being (savasana and meditation).

We’ll be feeling the ground, staying low, and working on maintaining focus.

MASSAGE
Need some rest and relaxation? Maybe you need to work out some knots that literally have you bent out of shape. Read about my massage offerings here and send me an email to book your therapy.

Be well!

The Wellness Reboot and Fitness Reset give you all the support you need to get moving and shake up your fitness level!

Wellness Reboot

The Wellness Reboot is a three-month transformative journey that will establish new lifestyle habits through a combination of body-mind training and self-care.

Who it’s for:

Anyone who wants to commit to a wellness focused lifestyle, needs to get their body moving, and wants to learn how to advance their level of fitness. This program is appropriate for those who have not been exercising regularly or who are exercising but need help to stay motivated and get results.

What you get:
*  Individual attention, one-on-one coaching
*  Six hour-long supervised fitness sessions (including a movement screening and assessment) so you know you’re working efficiently and safely
*  A personalized 30-minute workout program that changes as you change
*  A total of 16 half-hour phone calls (one or two per week) covering a variety of fitness and nutrition topics, goal setting and tracking, strategies for success, and troubleshooting any obstacles
*  Core intensive cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance training
*  Development of new skills and interests
*  Learn ways to reduce stress
*  Heart rate monitor
*  Selected equipment to get you started and surprise goodies along the way

Begin between August 15th and September 15th. We’ll set the schedule together and make it happen.

Fitness Reset

Just need some guidance to rev up your fitness regimen? The Fitness Reset is a one-month program that will give you the customized tools and guidance you need for results.

Who it’s for:

Anyone who is already exercising regularly but needs to shake up their routine, get educated, and learn some new tricks.

What you get:
*  Individual attention, one-on-one coaching
*  Four hour-long supervised fitness sessions (including a movement screening and assessment) incorporating cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance training, and skills development
*  A personalized 30-minute workout program
*  A weekly phone tutorial covering nutritional advice to fuel an active lifestyle, tips to avoid plateau, and practices to help you recover like a pro
*  Heart rate monitor
*  Selected equipment to get you started and surprise goodies along the way

Begin anytime between August 15th and October 15th. This is a customized program made to fit your schedule.

Early bird pricing applies if you sign up by September 1st! Email veronica@sparkyourwellness.com to get started.

Wellness Reboot three-month program and all materials: only $1500
Early Bird: $1250
Fitness Reset one-month program and all materials: only $650
Early Bird: $550

*Now a little bit about me…
http://www.sparkyourwellness.com/veronica_farje.php

What happened? I just got into June and here we are at the July 4th weekend! As the long days ran together into what I was initially calling “the great big time fail” something else took over: going step by step. And sometimes that means going back to step one, looking at the road ahead, surrendering to the fact that you got lost, and maybe consulting a map.

Step by step is my yoga practice, and my yoga practice is my life practice. It is my map. It guides and informs everything else. So I know that at any time that I lean or stumble, there is a path-a big wide open generous path-for me to crawl back to and begin on once again.

Step by step is how we’re taking it for the rest of the summer, making space to see what comes up.

Step by step is the theme of two exciting programs launching this fall. Both are roadmaps to better be-ing.

Wellness Reboot is a three-month transformative journey designed to help you re-commit to wellness. The Wellness Reboot will establish new lifestyle habits through a combination of body-mind training and self-care.

Yoga for Absolute Beginners is a three-week exploration focused on the physical (asana) practice. This workshop will also introduce and demystify yogic breathing, mantra, and meditation as tools of awareness.

Stay tuned for more details about these programs!

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions. You can also forward this message to friends. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Light and laughter,
Veronica

REMINDER: Please inform me of upcoming travel.

SUMMER FOCUS
Step by step movement and honoring where we are.

FITNESS
Class Changes: All changes are for classes at Waterside Swim and Health Club

Saturday Cardio Sculpt will be at 930am
Saturday Vinyasa Yoga will be at 1030am

REMINDER- I no longer teach Trampoline Fitness on Tuesdays at 730pm.

YOGA
Let’s Jump: Jumping back and jumping forward in our Sun Salutes is so fiery. Let’s do it! Of course if you’re already too hot you are welcome to take it calmly and step back. We’re in the fire now and harnessing that, but that energy requires wisdom and discernment to be channelled productively. Let’s also steep in the seated sage poses. They require some heat, but also some surrender. Marichiasana series will appear and unfold throughout the month. Backbending will continue to be a focus-we’re warm and open enough.

MASSAGE
I have been loving a calf massage lately. Maybe you’re walking around more (perhaps in the sand). Our legs take a beating and we often neglect them. A really simple and quick treat is a bedtime calf squeezing. Skip this or consult your doctor if you have medical conditions that cause swelling or blood clots.

Nighttime calf squeeze:
Sit comfortably in bed.
Bend your right knee.
Grasp the back of your ankle with your left thumb and index finger. You will be behind the bony area at the Achilles tendon. Gently rock your tendon back and forth while moving up and down the leg. You can only go a couple of inches before getting to the meaty part of the calf.
Go back to the ankle and place your thumb on your shin bone. Let the thumb slide off the shin bone into the groove between bone and muscle. Be firm, but not rough. Work your way up to the top of the calf, below the knee crease.
Go back to the ankle and switch hands. Place your right thumb under the Achilles and roll the flesh towards the shin bone (this is the opposite of the last movement).
Straighten the right leg and place both thumbs on the shins and fingers under the meaty part of the calf. Grab the flesh and gently pull the calf muscle in two directions.
Repeat on the left side.

BE WELL!

Spark! Wellness

Spark! is a NYC-based consortium of practitioners providing holistic services in nutritional counseling, yoga, fitness, and acupuncture to health-conscious New Yorkers (and beyond!) who want to look and feel their best.

This blog provides wellness advice to help guide you, our readers, through your path to wellness. Check out our store for inspiring teleclasses on a variety of subjects.

Spark! Wellness.
Welcome to change.

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