So you want to be a "superager"? It all begins with the feet.

Happy Healthy Feet

are the key to a body that feels better and works better.

Did you know that it's possible to move in your 50s, 60s, and 70s as you did in your 20s?...maybe even better! If this appeals to you, then come to my workshop next month, Happy Healthy Feet, co-taught with Catherine Stifter. Your feet are where we begin to set your body on the dynamic aging path.

Don't believe me? Here is your dose of inspiration in less than 2 minutes. Check out my teacher, Katy Bowman on the Today Show talking about dynamic aging with three of her students, in their 70s and 80s, climbing trees and monkeying around.

Why focus on the feet?

The foot is a complex structure of 26 bones and 33 joints, layered with an intertwining web of more than 120 muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Your feet are your foundation, and when your feet hurt, your entire body alignment is affected.

Chances are, you know exactly what I'm talking about because foot pain is so common in the United States that 3 out of 4 of us will experience it at some point in our life. Plantar fasciitis, bunions, heel pain, hammer toes, neuromas, and metatarsalgia are just a few of the common foot ailments that keep you or someone you know from enjoying everyday activities. And, the longer you let the foot pain persist, the more likely the knees, hips, and back will begin to hurt because of compensatory gait patterns. 

This is why our first alignment workshop is all about your feet and foundation.

Happy health feet workshop

Who is this workshop for? Anyone with feet!

If you have foot pain right now, or get foot pain intermittently, signing up for this workshop is a no-brainer. Any pain in the foot at any time is a clear signal from the body that you are not moving enough of yourself in dynamic ways, and that your alignment needs fine tuning.  

What you will learn

In this three hour workshop, you will learn how shoes affect foot function, how to mobilize and strengthen your foot and leg muscles, how to mobilize the joints in your feet and how to evaluate and fine tune your movement habits. You will deepen your understanding of why you may be having foot problems and develop a set of skills that support the healthy function of your feet.

Together we look at your alignment, and you will learn exercises from your hips to your toes to help mobilize and strengthen your foot muscles, and mobilize the joints in your feet and begin the process of bringing your feet back to life.

You will be on your feet for much of this 3 hour workshop, which includes instruction and practice of corrective exercises; discussions of healthy footwear; the barefoot lifestyle and movement habits to maintain foot health; and lots of laughing and fun getting to know your feet (and calf muscles, knees, and hips).

You will also take home a bunch of goodies: a workbook, Katy Bowman’s, Simple Steps To Foot Pain Relief: The New Science of Health Feet, a half round foam roller, and a mobilization ball. 

Workshop Details & Special Offer

 Saturday, October 13, 11-2pm

Center of Movement Studio in Grass Valley

Cost: $125

The first 10 people to register for the workshop, using this link will get $20 off. Enter HAPPYFEET at checkout (under payment information) to activate discount. 

The Simplest Hardest Qigong Exercise That Will Change Everything In Your Life

For Your Body To Heal, Your Mind Must Also Heal

Several years ago I was introduced to the Qigong teachings of Wang Fengyi after a friend travelled to China to study with a disciple of his. There are no books that teach how to do the qigong that he taught; it is all through oral transmission. In fact, my friend and a handful of other Chinese medicine students and practitioners were the first Westerners to ever experience this style of qigong healing. 

Most know Qigong as a movement meditation, but it is also a whole medicine when sound and visualizations are practiced with the movements. It was not long ago that entire hospitals (aka Medicine Free Hospitals) in China used Medical Qigong to heal diseases. 

The foundation of Wang Fengyi's teaching is that the roots of dis-ease begin as emotional seeds planted in our past --particularly emotional wounds that come from family and ancestral history. To heal these wounds (and your dis-ease), Fengyi led people through exercises to cultivate whole-hearted compassion for the person(s) who inflicted the wounds, and taught them how to use qigong movement and sound to heal the roots of the wounds.

The "exercise" I'm sharing with you from Wang Fangyi's teaching, serves two purposes. The first is to recognize how many ways we wound ourselves, and as a result wound others. The second is to rewrite brain patterning that keeps us repeating the same emotional habits that harm ourselves and those around us. In other words, consider it a thorough cleanse for your mind, body, and spirit. 

Here is the exercise: for the next 8 weeks simply "do not blame." Do not blame anyone. Do not blame others. Do not blame yourself. 

I know, it's such a simple thing and yet it will unfold you, layer by layer, peeling away places you have disempowered yourself. As blame leaves--we can return to our center. 

I did this exercise last year, and it is not hyperbole when I tell you, it changed the trajectory of my life. I posted some of my thoughts about it on Instagram (post below) last February, a day after the 8 weeks. If you really commit yourself to the 8 weeks, you will be able to access this powerful medicine anytime to keep you grounded and present. 


Instagram post from February 18, 2017. "I stumbled upon this scrap of fabric today. If you don't read old manual typewriter, it says "since everything is a reflection of our minds, everything can be changed by our minds."

Finding this little treasure was so appropriate because for the last 8 weeks I’ve been doing this exercise which is “to not blame” —anyone, others, myself. The exercise is so simple and yet once I started, I quickly noticed how much language binds my heart. That literally every word I think, say, and see sends a message that burrows into my mind, body, spirit.

In Chinese, the character for Heart (心) is also used as a radical, which is a component of a word to help you identify its meaning. The heart radical is part of words like ethics, morality, virtue, sincerity, charity, endure, kindness, mercy. It’s also the radical for neglect, anger, rage, passion, secret, sorry, grief, worry, mislead. The list is very long, but you get the idea. 

After 8 weeks (which is the minimum time suggested by a teacher) I’ve learned that compassion begins where blaming ends. 

Blame is a tool to push things further from your heart. Blame is a tool of oppression and fuel for ignorance. Blame is a weapon to disempower... Consider all of this next time you read the news, or engage in gossip or turn words on yourself." 

For more information about Wang FangYi, I recommend this post by Sabine Wilms, PhD. She is a translator of Chinese and Classical Chinese, and has translated two books on the teachings of Wang FangYi. 

Gifts That Keep Giving All Year - A Holiday Buying Guide


Here is a list of gift ideas that are affordable, eco-conscious, and good for you! 

Gifts to calm the mind. 

Headspace Meditation App

I've been using this app for over a year and love it. You can try it for free first before giving it as a gift too. Once you subscribe, the app unlocks dozens of meditations sets. If you know someone who would like to begin meditating, this is the perfect nudge gift. 

You can go to this link purchase a month or year gift for someone. 

Lisa Congdon Coloring Books

 I love this series by Lisa Congdon.  Coloring books are a wonderful gift to give to the creatives in your life. 

Gifts for the gut and kitchen.

Kefir Fermenting Kit by Kefirko.

This kit makes it so easy to make one of the most probiotic rich foods you can consume. Kefir contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics. You can purchase one of the kits from Amazon or go directly to the Kefirko website. Right now, its on sale for $32 (includes shipping in this cost) at Kefirko when you use the code nourished3 (from the Nourished Kitchen blog). That code will give you 30% off.  For a delicious seasonal recipe, check out this blog post

Photo credit: Mommypotamus blog

Photo credit: Mommypotamus blog

Reusable Food Wrap - DIY or Purchase

Friends don't let friends invest in plastic. If you want to encourage family members, friends, loved ones to stop buying plastic this is the gift you want to make or buy for them. 

Here is a blog post by Mommypotamus on how to make your own. If you are not feeling craftsy you an go to BeesWrap to purchase a set. 

For The Bookworms You Love

I read Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants earlier this year and enjoyed it so much, I've given it as a gift several times. 

If you want to offer an inspiring gift to your favorite bookworm who also appreciates nature, this is the book to give. 

For the outdoors enthusiast in your life. 

For the last five years I have not gone hiking without one of these products from Shining Mountains Herbs. 

Swig It! Gift Package - 60% off right now.

In the winter, my hiking pack always has Warm Up, and in the summer I always carry the High Altitude Help. 

Alpine Respiration Aromatherapy Inhaler - It is so effective that I never go hiking without it. 



Gifts for the politically engaged.

After this election cycle, I've been thinking non-stop about how I want to spend my days, specifically as a healthcare professional. More broadly, I've been putting my money where my politics are and investing in annual memberships that will fight for protections I care deeply about: a woman's right to make choices about her health; the environment and protecting natural resources; human rights; animal welfare. 

For you or loved ones deeply affected by the presidential election, supporting nonprofit organization that do the really hard work in Washington (and locally) is more important than it ever has been in our lifetime. I have friends who are not giving gifts this year, but money in their friend or partner's name to support a cause.