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Posts from the ‘Yoga’ Category

Limits of Flexiblilty

During a Moving Forward. Being Still workshop the other week in East Greenwich, RI., I was leading a group though a discussion about three elements we find coming up again and again in the things we’re trying to achieve–in our lives and in our bodies. BALANCE. FLEXIBILITY. STRENGTH. Each play a role in getting us where we want to go physically and emotionally. I’ve given a lot of thought to the conversation that came out of Flexibility.

There are ways in which our bodies just are not flexible. No matter how much yoga or stretching you do, a part of your body may always be tighter than others. This may have been caused by an injury, your body structure or a certain amount of holding you’ve done in a particular part of your body over a long period of time. The same goes for in your life. There may be certain areas where you cannot bend. There may be boundaries around the flexibility you allow in. Call them deal breakers if you will. But whatever they are, these inflexibilities are there for a reason and they can be same reasons you’re inflexible in your body. You’re just built a certain way, a past experience has created a pattern in your thinking, you have been hurt. And maybe it’s ok. Pushing our limits of flexibility both in body and mind can be good. But acknowledging our limits and the reason they’re there is perhaps more valuable.

Winter Workshops

Thursday, January 23rd
Desire Collaging at Craftland.
6-8 pm

A hands on workshop creating collages to help visualize goals for the future. The finished product will represent what we most desire for the future. Wine and nibbles provided.

Register Here

Saturday, February 8th
Moving Forward. Being Still. Yoga and Coaching workshop at Focus Yoga in East Greenwich.
4-6 pm

In this afternoon workshop you will move closer to your future goals while exploring the present moment on your mat. You will examine elements of balance, flexibility and strength as they relate to your body and where you can invite these elements into your lives and aspirations.

Bring a journal, pen and yoga mat.

Register Here

Thursday, March 6th
Moving Forward. Being Still. Yoga and Coaching workshop with the PVD Lady Project. Ladies only please.

6:00-8:00 pm

In this workshop you will move closer to your future goals while exploring the present moment on your mat. You will examine elements of balance, flexibility and strength as they relate to your body and where you can invite these elements into your lives and aspirations.

Register Here

Tuesday, March 11th
Balanced Life, Balanced Training. A workshop for dog owners at Solid K9 Training.
6:15-7:15 pm

An evening of wine, cheese and bringing your life and your dog’s training into balance. Bring your dog. Open to current clients of Solid K9 training. 100% of proceeds go to Jeff’s Pack Rescue.

Register Here

And More Workshops Coming……..

Interview with Joan Dwyer, Founder of All That Matters Holistic Center


You’ve had a long career in the healing arts. Can you tell us a little about your background and what led you to create All That Matters?

I was brought up by a very ethnic Syrian family. My dad was in the restaurant business and my mom was a great Syrian cook. I had wanted to go to cooking school, but my dad did not want me to. When I went off to college in North Carolina, my sister dropped off a 25 bag of brown rice. She knew I had no money and was into health food. I started to hang out at the natural food store to learn more and a number of my ailments started to disappear. I quit college and headed to Boston to live in the Ann Wigmore Raw Food Center.  While there, my sister came to Boston to study with Micho Kushi who was the head of the Macrobiotic Movement. I started to study with him too. Later I opened a Macrobiotic center in MO and taught classes for many years while my husband David was in school. I was pretty much a fanatic–5 home births, cooking everything from scratch. I loved that the field of holistic health made some much sense.

At its core, what would you say is the philosophy behind All That Matters?

At ATM we believe that health is possible for all and that it is not that complicated. If you eat well, move your body and find time to be quiet— life works. We often use the byline– “inner peace leads to world peace, and that is all that matters.”

Has this philosophy remained steady over the years or has it evolved as the world, the industry, you, have evolved as well?

It has been steady. The beauty in holistic health is that it is rooted in ancient wisdom that does not change. Most of this stuff is thousands of years old. Yoga, eating close to the earth, mediation etc.

You offer a large range of wellness modalities: everything from yoga, massage, meditation, nutrition, reflexology, Ayurvedic treatments, naturpathic medicine, wellness counseling and more. How do you maintain a consistency of quality and integrity among all your practitioners?

I am not sure there is one answer to this. The folks who apply here know and value ATM. This is a good start. We get recommendations, we meet with folks over and over again before we hire them, and there is a team of us who hire collaboratively. So by time we are all on board, it feels right all around.

What do you feel is your greatest leadership skill that you bring to All That Matters?

I am creative, good at strategy and work with smart people. I also know this field well. I have been a student of the healing arts for 36 years!

What does your business still give to you regularly?

1000 folks a week come through our doors here at ATM. Each are healing, growing, transforming–that is my work. I work with talented folks who inspire me and I am constantly learning new things. I teach throughout the country and am writing a book now too!

What’s the book about?

We have been teaching a 40 day program for 5 years and 1000 people have taken it with grand results. In October we will have the first draft of “The All That Matters 40 day Program: eat well, move well, be well” (working title).
Where do you see the future of All that Matters and the “wellness” industry in general as it has become talked about than ever before?

Like I said before, this stuff is thousands of years old- it is not going anywhere. It brings me great joy that it is becoming mainstream. When everyone is doing yoga, eating well, meditating and feeling great I will be happy to take a long winters nap.

My Pigeon

Pigeon pose is a yoga pose that I always wanted to love but couldn’t. I just couldn’t find a place where I could be comfortable in it. I struggled; I couldn’t breath and therefore, I resist it….for years, even though I looked at it longingly from afar. I wanted so badly to be one of those people that experienced profound moments in pigeon pose.

For those of you who are not familiar, pigeon pose is one relating to the hips and their opening. You sit on the floor and stretch on leg in front of you, bending at the knee and the other straight behind. See photo and instruction.  It is a stretch for your hips, hip flexors, thighs, psoas muscle, as well as a chest and shoulder opener. They, the experts, also say that we hold much of our emotion in our hips and that this pose in particular, can do wonderful things towards release old, negative emotions and cell memories that are stored there. Cool. I’d like that. But first, I’d need to learn to actually do the pose and feel at least momentarily at ease with it.

One day last fall I decided that if my hips were tight (my right hip in particular), so tight that I knowingly resisted this pose, then that probably means I should do it…..often. And so that’s what I did. I wouldn’t say I’ve done pigeon everyday since then, but I haven’t missed a whole ton of days either. I worked with the props I needed to be able to breath instead of crumble into a spiral of discomfort and frustration. One pillow on the left, two pillows on the right. Since then I’ve also learned that this is a particular pose that you need to hold for a while in order for any release to happen. So when I wanted to fold it all in and be a pigeon no more, I held on, or rather let go and just stayed with it. Today I’m hip to floor on the left and down to one pillow on the right. Still, no open flood gates of emotional release and it’s honestly hard for me to imagine that happening, but it sure would be neat if it did. Maybe in another 6 months. At least now I love me some pigeon.