Nia Training

Nia is a cardiovascular sensory based movement practice that leads to health, wellness and fitness. Nia empowers people of all ages by connecting the body, mind and spirit to increase flexibility, agility, mobility, stability and strength. 


This week I am participating in the Nia White Belt Intensive Training!


My classmates, Pam, Dawn & Irene:


 My trainers, Charlotte & Gail:


The Nia Retreat Center on Anna maria island, FL:


There are more trainings scheduled for February, April & October 2013! Go to NiaNow.com for the details or to find one near you! We are learning the 13 principles of Nia and dancing everyday. Long days, but much learned. I have not done this much creative movement in a long time! I must go to bed now and recover . . . there are 2 more full days and one half day, with graduation on Friday :  )



Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion. 
   ~ Martha Graham 


creative play: it's good for you!

I hosted a prayer flag swap recently, see the results here. It turned out to be a really fun swap, more than I anticipated when organizing it. Many of the participants found they so enjoyed working on these easy to make small flags, creating them with prayers, wishes and good thoughts in mind. There was a huge variety of flags which you can see if you follow the link above. A lot of us said, "I think I am addicted to making  these!"  When Jan Smith added a link to her photos on her blog, she wrote: I'm still addicted to making them...so if anyone out there fancies swapping a shabby style prayer flag (1 to 1 swap) I would love to hear from you.....

So guess who wrote back to her? That's right, me! I figured I would need a break from that tedious job of packing, so I went ahead and agreed to a trade. I knew Jan loved "shabby chic", so I took some fabric I had found and plunged in. These flags are small, around 5" x 8" - so it didn't take long and was a treat for me after a morning of squishing things into boxes and going through oodles of packing tape. While packing up some of my fabric I found a really old piece of cotton print that I made something out of 20 or 25 years ago!!! I also purposely chose one of my grandmother's old linen pieces with cherries on it, very small in size -not sure what it was used for, some type of napkin? I also chose a lace doily & trim for a shabby look. If you click on this first photo, you can view them all in the lightbox . . . . I made 2 layers for this flag, one muslin and one the old cotton print and only sewed them together at the top so they could move freely.


I sewed the doily on only via 1 straight line in the middle so it would flop over.
There is my Nonie's 'cherry' linen piece layered under.


I added a quote printed on fabric (found while packing) for my thoughts 
or wishes . . . and some cotton lace across the bottom



I also cut the floral print so it would be fringed


On the back I sewed a business card


Here it is -Voila! 


I sent this to Jan today . . . it is traveling to the UK so it will take a week or two if we are lucky and she is sending one to me today as well, what fun! My received prayer flags are shown via the link - wow, so many of them! Everyone was so generous and I received many flags as gifts. They stayed up outside for about 2 weeks and are now packed in a box to be brought to our new home.

New home? Yes, our closing is tomorrow morning!!!!!!!! We will move in about 3 weeks to a home on a canal right off the Braden River, and we have decided to rent our current home. I have Nia White Belt Training starting on Saturday that runs long days for a full week. We (mostly Steven!) have some things to do in the new home like painting the kitchen (cabinets too) and all the windows being replaced with Hurricane ones . . . Steven and I have an anniversary (together 8 years) coming up October 25th we'll be celebrating in Casey Key with our boat Chelsea in tow. I still have lots of packing to do here. I really have only just begun! So, that is my story, what about you? I cannot promise to answer but I would so love to hear from you. 

Hope all is well with you & yours. 
xo lenna  

creativity and Nia

Yesterday after Nia class, I was interviewed by international faculty member and trainer Gail Condrick. Gail has already edited this video interview and done a super job - see below. She's putting together a number of videos about the Nia White Belt Training coming up in October and February on beautiful Anna Maria Island in Florida. Gail will be team-training with her friend and Nia instructor/trainer Charlotte Jorgensen, October 13-19, 2012. I will be immersing into this October training! Below are the video clips Gail took of me telling a bit about why I have registered for this training. The video was taken inside Island Yoga Space where we have Nia Classes - I love the prayer flags behind me! I have embedded the video in this blog post, but if for any reason you can't see it please use this direct YouTube Link. To learn more about the White Belt Training and Nia - click here.

Video below: Behind the Scenes Planning a Nia White Belt Intensive with Gail Condrick!



From the Nia Website:

What is Nia?
Nia is a sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts, dance arts and healing arts. It empowers people of all shapes and sizes by connecting the body, mind, emotions and spirit. Classes are taken barefoot to soul-stirring music in more than 45 countries. Trainings are designed for those seeking personal enrichment and professional development. Every experience can be adapted to individual needs and abilities. Step into your own joyful journey with Nia, and positively shape the way you feel, look, think and live.

Additional videos: How close is the beach? Gail shows where you can take some time off during the training!

Gail's interview with Irene Schmoller, another White Belt Trainee -and why she is doing the training.

More videos here on Gail's YouTube Channel!

some art on the island

Here is a bit of some of the art I did while visiting wolfe island . . . a close up of a painting:


The entire painting - you can see it when it's half finished here

I brought the Creative Breakout DVD with me and watched it once again for inspiration. Thanks to my instructor Bill Buchman for all he taught me. I am so glad I got a couple of his DVDs! below is a warm up exercise using his Zen Reed Pens. Just plain fun!


we have fond memories of this trip, even though near the end we wanted to go home and we left a few days early! The long drive (3 days) was tiring too but I still smile at things like Steven and me snuggled on the deck of the cottage to watch the sunset . . . 

That is Tina and my son Decklin over my shoulder. A few days after they left the island, they called with wonderful news. They are engaged to be married! Their date is in October, 2013.

I have more art I did to share with you, so look for more posted here sometime soon. In the meantime I have added some photos of our sweet dogs enjoying island life to my photo blog and I am busily adding lovely, beautiful, thoughtful prayer flags to my swaps blog! I hope you have time to check them out. Take care and I will see you again before long. Oh! i have changed my blog format once again. See what you think! The photo blog remains a "dynamic view" but this main blog is back to the original type of template. Hope it works for you!

colour study : music & dance

This post I wrote has received 5,012 hits!! 

From the video by OK Go: Skyscrapers 

The video below features the song Skyscrapers by OK Goone of my favorite musical bands. It came out about 3 months ago - I immediately fell in love with it and watched it repeatedly. Recently I saw a link to this video again, reminding me of how wonderful it is . . . and here I am once again -- hooked! I think it's a combination of the song, the colours, and the sensuous dancing which draws me in every time and makes me want to share it here with you. The direct link is here in case you can't see the video below.



Earlier today, I sent a link to this video to my dear friend Frieda. Perhaps she had not been able to watch it before? She only recently got broadband where she lives in rural Scotland. I thought she'd enjoy because of the waves of colour that run through this video, considering all the colour themed ATCs we have shared! The colours as they change while they dance are inspirational in and of themselves. She wrote and told me she enjoyed it hugely!

The woman dancing so beautifully in the video is Trish Sie and her dance partner is Moti Buchboot. Trish is also the producer and the director of this video. Her brother is Damian Kulash, who is OK Go’s lead singer. It is his voice we hear on the video. Trish has choreographed five videos for OK Go, and probably the most well known one is their Treadmill video. That's how I was introduced to this band, by my sons! I love OK Go's videos for more than just the sounds I hear and the visuals I see . . . I love them for their sheer creativity. How they got there. Trish Sie gave an interesting talk on Ted Talks about creativity - which you may enjoy watching. There is also a fabulous article to read in the New York Times (July 13, 2012) about how the Skyscrapers video inspired the dance company Pilobolus to choreograph a piece based on it. Wow!

From the New York Times article, Pilobolus' Executive Director Mr. Kubovy said: he was immediately struck by how “the formal treatment of the colors had so much story in it,” he said. “It was mysterious: What was evocative about it? Was it one couple in a million different situations, or over the course of a long time, or different people in different situations? Without even knowing, it just felt kind of emotional.”

That's how I feel when I watch it, emotional. You? please comment if you like.

Love is, above all, a gift of oneself.
~ Jean Anouilh

sorry, i do not know who this is dancing . . .
It was an image I saved some time ago.

creative breakout with Bill Buchman

Bill Buchman - Creative Breakout Class
Longboat Key, FL 2012



Photos from the abstract art class I took with Bill Buchman. His awesome web site is here: http://www.figuredrawing.org. Classes were held at the Longboat Key Center for the Arts in Longboat Key Florida from January - April 2012.
The direct link to view the photos: http://animoto.com/play/TXS26hLUrXyUim1db31DgQ

Sadly, the in person classes are over for now . . . but the inspiration I received will continue!


It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts.
  ~  Albert Einstein

( random, totally random quotes -I swear! )



The Big Gesture and more . . .

It seems to take me a while to catch up with everything these days, but that's okay. From my art class on Monday, the one I have been taking . . . I was late to class because of this:


yes, a peacock. In a driveway!

Amazing! I had to stop and get out of my car, take some photos. 
My teacher Bill said he had never gotten THAT as an excuse for being late before!
* * * 

In class, Bill demonstrated the Big Gesture with Sumi-E brush. 
Here is his demo piece below - it is a Zen idea of spontaneity in painting.
I hope to have a short video of his demo to share with you soon.

After Bill demoed, we all took turns trying this ourselves . . .  
Rebecca

Mimi

Lynn - wow!


Mike


a close up of part of my big gesture . . .
Switching gears . . . .
don't those look delicious?

Bill is continuing to teach us about color and line and water media.


Yum!!

painting by BILL BUCHMAN 


Below is what I painted after listening hard to what Bill had been teaching us about not over-working the water media into the paper -let it flow and react to it instead of trying to fix it.
I am pleased!


It is hard to learn new ways but I feel at least this time I was able to tune in to what Bill has been teaching us about line, color and paint. We have just one more class . . . Bill does not resume teaching at the Longboat Key Center for the arts until next January as the classes are only held during the "season", yikes! At least I have his book and two DVDs!

painting by lenna  : )


The best way out of a problem is through it.
  ~ unknown



Bead swap coming in strong

Over on my creative swaps blog my current swap (art exchange) is a paper and fabric bead exchange. I am so impressed with what the participants have sent in so far, that I want to share it here!

barbara delisle - florida

cat dodt ellis - idaho

Trish Busby - missouri

Pam Gonzalez - illinois

Whitney Nickels - ireland

Becky Sunderman - arkansas


Margriet van Schaik - netherlands

Nancy Roberts - florida

Sabine Schneider - germany

lenna young! -florida

This is about 1/2 of those who have signed up . . . impressive, isn't it? 
To view more photos of the beads, go here. 

Thanks for your creativity and support! 


Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously

Thanks to my friend Ann Medlin Hall for pointing out this really interesting talk on video I hope you'll enjoy too, from TED Talks: "Janet Echelman found her true voice as an artist when her paints went missing -- which forced her to look to an unorthodox new art material. Now she makes billowing, flowing, building-sized sculpture with a surprisingly geeky edge. A transporting 10 minutes of pure creativity." View this talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/janet_echelman.html 

an example of her art:

Tsunami 1.26, 2011 - Sydney, Australia

Go here: http://www.echelman.com/site/portfolio.html to see more of her imaginative work.

creative things


Tomorrow, 2/5 is Conscious Movement here in Sarasota and I am so looking forward to it. This is the closest thing I have found to the modern dance improv I did growing up and for many years after, that I love. The photo above is a Photoshop version of 2 photos I took at the last conscious movement event. I love taking just a few quiet photographs during the hour and a half and then bringing them into Photoshop and seeing how I can tweak them artistically. Tomorrow we may have visitors from St. Pete join us, so I think there will be lots of energy and spirit dancing in the room!

Today, I went to a wonderful Zentangle® class taught by certified Zentagle instructor, Mary Masi. I met Mary through Conscious Movement and Nia classes! Here are the two 3" x 5" tiles I completed in Mary's excellent class today . . .


Zentangle looks like doodling, but is really so much more. From the Zentangle® website, "Our Zentangle method is a way of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is fun and relaxing. Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages." Find out more about Zentangle here on the website. I found it so relaxing. 

I also visited a new studio and Gallery called Artspace on Anna Maria Island this afternoon. My friend Cheryl who hosted my collage class earlier this week, told me about Deborah and her husband who are opening this awesome space. It is bright and beautiful, with a gorgeous view of the Anna Maria Bay.

The view!! It is above the post office, 101 Bayview Plaza, Anna Maria Island, FL

It looks so good! They are going to have their first show to coincide with the Grand Opening on March 23 and I am definitely going to make a "Spring Cleaning" piece and enter! 

Afterwards, a quick trip to the north of the island . . . 
ahhhhhh . . . i love the beach. 


happy weekend! 
lenna 


art, nia, paper beads

It has been busy for me as of late, which is good, especially as I've been busy with creative things. I took some Nia classes over the weekend with 2 wonderful Black Belt Trainers, Winalee Zeeb and Caroline Kohles. On Saturday there was a 2 hour Elegant Elements (earth, air, fire, water) playshop, and on Sunday I took a regular Nia class with both trainers teaching. Winalee and Caroline are awesome and in Sarasota to run a Blue Belt Nia training with classes this whole week hosted by Nia Instructor Kelly Atkins at Sara Dance!

Saturday 01-07-12

Sunday 01-08-12 with Winalee on the far left

It was a great experience and fun to dance with my new friends I have found locally through Nia. This morning I will be back to my Nia classes on the beach with Kathy Oravec. Last week was too windy and cold for me to attend, can you imagine? It was in the 40's!

My husband Steven is making a paddle for stand-up paddle boarding for my friend Cheryl. He's made some lightweight kayak paddles and was inspired to try a stand-up paddle after talking to Cheryl about it. On Saturday after Nia, Cheryl and I stopped at Lucas Boatworks on the way home.

Chreyl LOvEs her lightweight custom made paddle!

We went out in Starfish with the electric motor


Cheryl & Chloe - too cute!

Steven with the electric motor - it's rechargable!

Yesterday was my art class at the Longboat Key center for the Arts. I had been taking photos with my instructors approval . . . and yesterday he asked me if I was filming?? I said, no -just taking pictures so far, but I certainly could!! So, I filmed one of his demos, then shared it with him and he said yes -posting it would be great! I will embed it here, but if you cannot see it below, use this link view it here on You Tube. It is fun and only 3 mins long.



  The new header on my blog came from a creative exercise I did in class with Bill last week, I wrote about it here on this post. Besides taking this class, I am preparing to teach a collage class, Collage for the Soul - locally here on Anna Maria Island! This will be mostly Nia students who found out what I do and requested a class . . . I had forgotten how fun and exciting it can be to prepare for a class like this! It has been a little over 2 years since I've taught class in person (the last time was when we lived in Connecticut!) and I am so looking forward to it on February 1st!

I have been working on creating paper beads and learning more about them . . . I am not ready to announce the swap yet but soon! Some of my beads so far . . . .


This swap will be fun! Stay tuned .  .  . 

Hope you are making time for something creative, yes??