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Grandson on the beach in Delaware

Our Journey to the Center of Our Core


We hear so much about core strength, but what does it mean? And why is it often so difficult for us to connect with our core?


When I work with people one-on-one, some part of their core almost always isn’t very well connected to their brain. Instead, our brains use muscles in our neck, jaw, shoulders, back, and even our toes for power instead of gathering it from our central source.


Yoga is a practice about finding our center: physically in asana, energetically with our breath, mentally by drawing inwards and meeting ourselves, and spiritually by connecting with what is greater than ourselves. This all takes practice and consistent effort on our part. Often, we find ourselves drifting, slipping into distractions that pervade our days if we allow it. We get tangled up in our thoughts. We literally lose ourselves.


How do we remember ourselves so we can find our way back to our core? The root of the word 'remember' comes from the 1500s meaning re (again) and memorari (to be mindful of). So again and again, we remember to be mindful and not distracted from what’s truly central to us.


Another way to think of the word is that we re – member ourselves, as in we connect with our members: our cells, tissues, organs, and body systems. Sometimes when we re – member ourselves, it brings discomfort because we then have to feel ourselves. I often wonder if the vitriolic nature of our national debates could be caused by so many people not wanting to feel what’s going on inside their own bodies. Simply put, it’s easier to be mad at someone else or some group than to feel your own pain and discomfort.


Yoga gives us tools to learn how to re-member ourselves and find our center, our core, so we can feel and therefore heal. Remember the well-known phrase, “ You can’t heal what you don’t feel.” Mindful movement, breathwork, meditation, chanting, and guided relaxation all direct our awareness back to the source that’s not somewhere out there. It’s right inside us, just as it always has been and always will be.

This profound power, at all levels, is just waiting for us to notice that it is available in us.


As Etty Hillesum said in her famous diary, An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941-1943:


“…knowledge must seep into your blood, into your self, not just into your head, that you must live it.”


Live it we must, re-membering ourselves in our core one breath at a time.

2023 Workshops for Continuing Education Credit at Yoga 108 in Independence


Learn more here:


Need to Know Your Neck: Neck Pain, Headaches, Text Neck, and Other Challenges for Our Cervical Spine

May 7 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.


Our cervical spine holds up our weighty head (averaging about 11 pounds). In some cultures, it’s normal to see women carrying 40-pound cans of water for miles on top of their skulls without pain. So what are we doing wrong? In this workshop, we’ll explore the anatomy of the neck and learn how we can both release and strengthen our necks in a society that’s wired to our computers and our phones. This workshop offers 3 Continuing Education credits with Yoga Alliance. Register here.


Helping the Bendy Yogi: The Challenges of Hypermobility and Ways to Promote Stability and Strength in Your Yoga Classes

November 12 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.


The definition of a hypermobile body is one with an excessive range of motion in four or more joints. Current research states that this includes 20 percent of the population. In yoga, we’ve often fetishized the bendy body in classes and social media posts but the damage to tissues is real. In this workshop, we’ll explore the anatomy of hypermobility and provide tools for teachers to assist students to develop their sensory intuition as well as strength to promote wellbeing instead of pain in our yoga practice. This workshop offers 3 Continuing Education credits with Yoga Alliance. Register here.


Monthly Workshops


Free Restorative Yoga Online

3/22 & 4/19 from 7:30 – 8:45 pm

Enjoy 75-minutes of deep relaxation in the comfort of your home. Wear your pjs and practice propping your own body for rest. Come live or request the recording by emailing Anne for the class link.


Move, Sit, Write, Read

3/23 & 4/27 from 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Each month we focus on a theme, starting with gentle movement and meditation and then free writing in response to prompts. Participants are then invited to share their writing or ideas if they choose or to just listen. Cost is $15. Email Anne for class link.


Weekly Classes


In-Person Class

Tuesday Therapeutic Yoga is in-person the first Tuesday of each month from 9–11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church at 515 North St., Chardon. Class is $11 plus a small donation for the use of the space to the church.


Online Classes

Mondays: Functional Movement & Energetic Centering 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Tuesdays: Therapeutic Movement & Energetic Centering 9 – 11 a.m.

Fridays: Chair Yoga 10:30 – 12:00 noon

Email Anne for links.


Private Sessions


By appointment Monday, Tuesday or Fridays at Awareness Massage in Mentor. Email Anne to schedule.

The Big Six


I’ve added a regular feature to most classes called “The Big Six,” a series of movements developed by Dr. Perry Nickleston, creator of Stop Chasing Pain (, to increase lymph flow. Despite the critical functions performed by the lymphatic system of ridding our bodies of waste, it has received very little attention in medical and even movement modalities. Dr. Perry came to focus on lymphatics after becoming critically ill with an autoimmune disorder for which their appeared to be no cure until he met a colleague at a training who asked if he’d like to have his lymph system assessed?


Having no idea what this meant, but desperate for help, Dr. Perry had the assessment and found that every spot assessed was frighteningly tender and that even after just the assessment, which stimulates the lymph nodes, he woke up feeling a bit better the next day.

Dr. Perry uses the metaphor of a dirty aquarium to explain the lymphatic system. He says no fish survives in a dirty aquarium, no matter what medicine or food it receives, because there’s too much waste in the tank. We can change the water in the tank or put medicine and food in the water but the fish will stay ill and finally die. What we need to change is the filter on the aquarium and in our bodies, our lymphatic system is our filter.


So try the Big Six every day for a month and see how you feel.  The process will increase blood flow to and from your tissues and clear toxins from your body – all good things for our wellbeing.

Chappy and Anne at Meditation Point, Holden Arboretum
Tree and mushroom living in symbiosis

Book Recommendations


An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941-1943

If you’ve attended my classes recently, you’ve heard me quote from the diaries of Etty Hillesum, a Jewish woman living in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. Etty is murdered at Auschwitz but her spirit expands to a level of compassion and clarity of a mystic.


“You know, if you don’t have the inner strength while you’re here to understand that all outer appearances are a passing show, as nothing besides the great splendor (I can’t think of a better word right now) inside us – then things can look very black here indeed.” Etty’s description of life at the work camp where she was interned before being transported to her death at Auschwitz


The World We Knew: A Novel by Alice Hoffman

Also set in 1941, this tale of love and suffering begins in Germany and then moves to France following a young girl whose mother finds a way to save her.


The Pentecost & Parker Mysteries by Stephen Spotswood

This series takes place in post-World War II New York City with two female detectives who are both clever and compassionate.


Also Recommended


Highly Recommended for Relaxation, Sleep, & Meditation: IAWAKE sound meditation

Try some of the free meditations, including one that changes weekly, to see if this brain/mind sound technology will help you relax and down regulate your nervous system.


Insight Timer, the #1 App with over 130K free meditations for stress, anxiety, breathing, and sleep

Both of these apps are best used on your phone with ear buds, but you can also just listen to the sound using your phone without ear buds as well.

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