I just attended my niece’s high school graduation, and it was a beautiful event filled with such hope and positivity. The student speakers, the dean, and the guest keynote speaker (Christina Lowery of Girls Rising: http://www.girlsrising.com and for her documentary trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJsvklXhYaE ) spoke to the graduates and their guests about approaching life with gusto and grace, finding happiness along many varied and not necessarily linear life paths, finding one’s unique voice, helping others, the global importance of educating girls, and letting go of perfectionism. Noteworthy to me, was that the speakers emphasized relationship building and developing personal inner qualities rather than traditional academic speeches of past that touted success and achievement more narrowly. The student body at this all-girls school is very diverse, and also very international. It was lovely to see such a melting pot of humanity of the stage, and I was impressed with the messages of empowerment for these young women. I could truly tell that throughout their years at this historic school their voices were being respected and cultivated in a very positive way. The future felt very bright as I watched their ceremony this morning, and wondered what each graduate will become as they grow into adulthood. Although today’s graduation represented saying goodbye to high school, it also represented the beginning of their next chapters of their lives. We are always evolving, saying adieu to something, and bonjour to what is next.
(I add a little French in honor of Emmanuel Macron, the newly elected president of France, who has so far been quite an eloquent international leader. For those of you who may have missed his speech in response to the US withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, please watch: http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/06/01/emmanuel-macron-donald-trump-paris-accord-sot-cnni.cnn ).
Regarding life changes, due to pressing family commitments, I am reducing my teaching schedule a bit. My father has been dealing with serious health challenges, including most recently recovering from surgery for a broken hip. I have been spending much time and energy overseeing his health care, and juggling these new responsibilities with teaching and community work. As anyone who has been a caretaker of a child or elderly parent knows, it is a priority to be there for your family member as navigating the bureaucracy of our health care institutions is complicated, frustrating, and time-consuming. And additionally, there is no substitute for the personal attention, love and care that a family member will give to the parent or child in need. As such, I am making some room in my life, and will no longer be teaching the Gentle Yoga class at Integral Yoga on Mondays at 3:15 pm. I will still teach the ongoing workshop series Chair Chi & Prana there at 2-3 pm most, but not all, Mondays. I will also continue to teach my 11am Chair Yoga class at Dorot for Seniors most Mondays as well.
It has been a true pleasure teaching the IYI gentle class and building it up in popularity, as gentle yoga is what drew me into yoga initially and changed my life for the better (I left the practice of law to teach gentle yoga!). I will still sub gentle yoga; in fact, I am subbing Yoga & Qigong June 15th at 5:15 pm for my friend Nadiya. I hope to see you there and also in my 2 pm chair yoga and qigong/tai chi walking class as mentioned above. I have loved our Monday afternoon gentle practice, and know that my relationship with all of you is what makes teaching and learning (we are all teachers and students) so rewarding. Please email me any questions you may have. I have appreciated all your support throughout the years and know you will be just as supportive now as I reorient some of my life priorities.
My Father On His 85th Birthday Last Week!
Speaking of health, one of my lovely and brilliant body workers, Sara Vogeler, will be speaking at an NYU health expo this Wednesday. I signed up and thought you would be interested as well. The expo will address the connection between stress and overall mental and physical health; how to minimize stress through mindfulness, exercise, and nutrition; discover ways to use emotional and physiological responses to stress to your advantage; and develop practical next steps at regulating and reducing stress in your everyday life.
The expo starts at 11:00 am: get tested for blood pressure and blood glucose, learn hands-on CPR, receive a massage, and receive important information about a variety of topics that matter to older adults and the people who care for them. Attendees will also enjoy a light lunch buffet.
At noon, Dr. Max Gomez (CBS Emmy-Award-winning medical journalist) will moderate a panel of health care experts, who will each provide a 15 minute presentation on a variety of topics. Closed captioning will be provided. Panelists include:
Dr. Tara Cortes, Executive Director, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, and a Professor in Geriatric Nursing;
Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, Director, Women’s Heart Health, Lenox Hill Hospital;
Sara K. Vogeler, BMC, LMT, RMT, Founder and Director of The NeuroMuscular Center, Inc.; and
Dr. Jonathan Whiteson, Vice Chair, Clinical Operations, Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Medicine, and Medical Director, Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation – NYU Rusk Rehabilitation
Guests will need to RSVP for this event :
Maybe I will see you there! (I can only stay until 1 pm as I need to take my father to a doctor appointment, but the expo seems worth attending even if you can only make part of the event).