Classes, Clinics, and Events
Standing Successfully on Your Own Two Feet
If you are like most people, standing takes it’s toll. It can be hard on knees, hips and backs and many peoples feet take a beating.
Actively revitalizing your feet can chase away ache and improve your posture so standing becomes pleasant after all. Over this 6 week course we will explore the movement, strength and pliability our feet were designed to have and integrate your new found foot happiness as overall postural support.
- Understand and experience the different arches of your foot and use them for better function
- Experience ankle support that takes the pressure out of knees and heels
- Find the natural pathway of your feet in your gait.
- Create mobility in parts of your feet that have felt “dead” for years
- Lift flat feet and lower arches that are too high
- Relieve pain.
Fridays 10-11:15 am. Begins February 23
Saturdays 10-11:15 am. Begins February 24
Sign up here
Gentle Movement, Dance, and Yoga for Parkinson’s Disease
Based on Mark Morris Dance for Parkinson’s and the Boston University Yoga for Parkinson’s programs, this class offers fun and accessible movements that support dexterity, strength, balance, walking, vocalization, flexibility, motor control, and rapidity. Students report feeling better and calmer, and they enjoy the camaraderie.
Class size limited / $120 / 6 weeks
- Wednesdays 9:30-10:30 am with yoga and floor work emphasis
- Wednesdays 11 am-noon with chair work and sitting emphasis
The lesson on feet was a revelation . . . I had been experiencing a numb, prickly feeling in my foot, with ankle weakness and tremors, and had been finding it difficult to stand for long periods of time. I mentioned this to Donna at the beginning of a class and she tailored that day’s lesson to focus on foot strengthening and alignment. Even before the class was over, my symptoms were practically alleviated. In the following class, Donna reinforced the previous lesson and extended the focus on feet. I am constantly impressed by the depth of her knowledge, and by how she is able to lead a cohesive class while addressing each individual’s needs. I now have greater insight into the mechanics and structure of my feet, and an abundance of strategies to continue improving their function. I am elated! —Judy Bowerman, Northampton, MA
Upcoming courses :
Build Deep Core From Your Pelvic Floor
If you have lower back pain, sore hips or pelvic prolapse you have probably worked on building your core. If abdominal work has not helped as much as you hoped it’s time for you to understand how the muscles of your pelvic floor work with and support other core muscles and organs.
Through gentle, natural, sequential movement coupled with targeted relaxation and strength you will:
- Find the natural movements of pelvis that strengthen and support your lower back.
- Develop pelvic breathing that balances muscle tone throughout your “core.”
- Balance your posture by finding the foundation of your torso.
- Prevent or slow lower organ prolapse.
- Help relieve difficult urination or incontinence.
- Understand why and how the “floor of your container” supports posture and walking
The Art and Science of Sitting and Standing
At their best, sitting and standing can provide rest, stillness and comfortable support. But, like most people, you probably experience them as the opposite.
You can change habits that can chase pain and stiffness away. Over this 6 week course we will bust some myths of what is commonly thought of as good posture and learn to sit and stand well.
- Understand and experience the importance of the center of your pelvic floor in upright posture
- Experience skull support that takes the pressure out of your neck and shoulders
- Find ways of supporting ease and freedom in your hips
- Find extended spinal support that feels like having a third leg
- Discover ways to focus without slumping your body.
All classes are held in Hadley at Wellspring Integrative Neurotherapy, 104 Russell St., Hadley, MA.
The Durable Path to Upper Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief
Harness your entire body to create lasting relief in your upper back, neck and shoulders. You can re- pattern hurtful habits through gentle natural and sequential movements that allow you to:
- Create a strong yet flexible upper body through rib pliability
- Establish lower body leg and pelvis support your upper body can rely on
- Experience the little known secrets of global breathing and learn how belly breathing can contribute to shoulder tension
- Understand the connections between your pelvic floor and neck so you can turn your head easily
- Go beyond relieving pain into feeling satisfaction and enjoyment in daily movement.
This course will give you what you need to know to get strength, flexibility and healthy function in your hips. We will use natural spiral, sequential movements that include, but are independent of, strength and flexibility training. We will also understand the supporting connection of your feet, sacrum, lower back and pelvic floor. Once you understand the principles for feeling free in your body you can apply them to all your movements.
- Relieve hip pain by reducing tension your hips carry because of common postural fallacies.
- Use smart – not harder or more – movement to build strength, flexibility and balance.
- Understand the range of your personal hip joints and how to support their longevity.
- Learn about the lower body suspension system that takes pressure off of your joints.
Happy Hips to Sumptuous Shoulders – an integrated body for pain relief and mobility.
If you have hip or shoulder injury, tension, or pain – maybe despite exercising, doing yoga or getting massages—the solution is not to do more of the same old thing. The answer lies in understanding the subtleties of how your body needs to move. And most importantly, how your hips and shoulders need to move in relationship to each other.
This course will give you what you need to know to get strength, flexibility and healthy function in your hips and shoulders. We will use natural spiral and sequential movements that connect healthy functioning between these two deeply related joints.
- Find smooth and integrated movement that permanently connects the opposite hip and shoulder relieving cross body pain and tension syndromes.
- Develop hip stability to allow healthy shoulder mobility
- Find stress free knee and hip alignment that help raise your arms without pain.
- Take pressure off your hips and the same side shoulder by balancing the two halves of your pelvis
- Understand the importance of the fascia of your latissimus and smooth function of that muscle.
Original Body Wisdom Movement / Freeing Your Natural Breath
If you are prone to injury, tension, or pain—despite working out, doing yoga/Pilates, or getting massages—the solution is not to do more of the same old thing. The answer is understanding the subtleties of how your body needs to move.
By erasing bad habits and common misconceptions about “good” breathing this course can help you:
- Relieve chronic back, neck, shoulder and chest tightness or immobility
- Improve posture
- Reduce feelings of anxiety, panic or depression
- Alleviate allergies and shortness of breath
- Increase stamina and alertness
- Sleep better
Yoga of the Core
Your core is the radial center of your entire body. This means it has a huge effect on the general happiness and well functioning of your spine, hips, knees, shoulders, neck, elbows, ribs and breathing and even ankles, wrists and internal organs.
You can support your whole body from your core by finding your natural, sequential movement. This is the root of what makes movement satisfying, pleasurable, pain-free and protects against injury. It offers:
- Increased energy and relief from low back, sacral and other pain.
- Relief from clumsy or awkward movements.
- Functional strength by integrating small or often unused muscles.
- Balance in the muscles of your pelvic floor giving support to your spine and abdominal.
- Individually targeted yoga postures to build energetic support for lasting improvement.
- Playful, experiential and individualized study of your abdomen, psoas, core bones and supporting Organs.
- Calm presence emanating from this “center of humanity”.
No More Bad Backs!
- Offers you a third leg ( tail) that brings freedom and support to your hips and knees.
- Lets you have a “good head on your shoulders” by finding just the rights skeletal balance so your neck and shoulder muscles can lay off all that extra work.
- Supports your ability to rapidly turn while maintaining balance and a youthful spring.
- Moves with your digestive organs bringing your uprightness a soft, vertical quality.
- Gives you strain-free range of motion in side, forward, back bending and twisting.
Build Strength From Ease
- Are your workouts stressful or confusing?
- Are they reaching all areas of your body?
- Are you afraid of straining or injuring yourself?
- Are they giving you the strength you need for fun activities or just keeping you sore?
You Can Strengthen Safely
- Gain mobility in arthritic joints
- Develop the strength and confidence you need for activity
- Experience strength in day to day activity
This unique approach will focus in individual needs and offer personalized strategies. You will utilize:
- Relaxation as the overlooked basis of strength
- The deeper rhythms of rest and exertion
- Figure 8 movements to mobilize stiff joints
Relief from Stiff and Achy Joints!
Relieving and Managing Pain.
Do you suffer from chronic pain, tension, or soreness ?
Do you want to move more freely and without strain?
You can relieve chronic or acute pain, injury and stiffness by changing the way you approach ordinary movements. Most pain sufferers have nasty habits of movements that are so reflexive they go unnoticed. They seem normal and natural but actually keep you locked into pain and strain.
You can get lasting change in bad habits by learning pleasurable whole body movements that make your body work smarter, not harder. As you unwind, It becomes natural to have more resilience, more options of movement and a reemergence of the natural grace and ease of youth. See Individualized Yoga Therapy and Movement Therapy
Bullwhip Cracking for Power, Exhilaration, and Body-Based Focus: Private Lessons
This energizing practice—a lot like qigong—helps you confront fear and hesitations in life. Using an experiential movement model based on the physics of momentum and figure-eight patterns, you will develop the body integration, core fitness, and coordination required to make a rhythmic and geometrically beautiful crack. Distinct from learning by wrist or shoulder flicking, this approach uses your entire body in a way that rehabilitates old injuries while making overall movement more fluid, powerful, and precise. See bullwhipping in action.
Coaching for yoga teachers, body workers, and others working with Parkinson’s disease or stroke. Available via Skype. See Continuing Education Programs for Yoga Teachers and Others Working with Neurological Issues
Mentoring for Yoga Teachers
- Learn to integrate a somatic approach into your teaching.
- Find the keys to your confidence and presentation.
- Make yoga teaching a more full and creative experience for yourself. Consult Donna