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My granddaughter watching the sunset across Little Assawoman Bay, Delaware.
My granddaughter watching the sunset across Little Assawoman Bay, Delaware.

Bearing Load in a Time of Trouble


The beach is a great place to get a clearer look at human anatomy! While scanning the crowd on Bethany Beach in Delaware, I noticed a man, probably in his 40s, who looked strong, but his gait was discombobulated. His knees were bowed out, and he waddled side-to-side when he walked.


The surf this year was extremely powerful due to the beach being refurbished over the winter. In this process, the sand is pulled into the beach from the ocean to slow erosion, creating larger, faster waves. I was somehow not surprised when the man I’d noticed was fished out of the water by the lifeguards with a knee injury.


Our capacity to bear load is always the issue, whether that load is a wave crashing over us on a beach or the loss of a loved one crushing our heart. Life is difficult, and there are no signs of the pressure letting up anytime soon.


What are the tools we can use to interact with and manage these loads? This fall, we’ll begin working with a new book called Bodyfulness: Somatic Practices for Presence, Empowerment and Waking Up in This Life by Christine Caldwell. I’ve just returned from a week at Chautauqua Institution where I took daily classes from a yoga therapist who is also a psychiatrist. The class was called "Mobility and Meditation." Every class focused on joint mobility through oscillation, one of the most elemental movements in nature.


“Everything that has mass oscillates, from subatomic particles to whole organisms. Oscillation involves going back and forth between two positions or states, back and forth across some point of equilibrium. Think waves on the shore or a pendulum swinging…the body oscillates constantly: our heart expands and contracts (heartbeats) and generates oscillatory waves of electromagnetic pulses, our breath goes in and out (breathing), our brain cells generate their own electromagnetic pulses (brain waves)…these oscillations repeat on the cellular level as well.”

– Christine Caldwell, from Bodyfulness


Our capacity to oscillate with life as opposed to getting stuck in the muck is the magic that leads our way on. Consider the Makhuwa people of northern Mozambique. Chautauqua speaker Dr. Devaka Premawardhana, a cultural anthropologist from Emory University, spends time with the Makhuwa for whom mobility matters more than stability. He says migration is essential to their culture and that the tortoise is their mascot because the animal wears its house on its back.


“The Makhuwa put their faith in flux,” Dr. Premawardhana explained. “The point is to pursue life wherever it takes you.”  Dr. Premawardhana said the concept of tribalism, traditionally ascribed to African people, doesn’t allow for this flowing sense of community on the move, which he feels more accurately represents pre-state Africa than the fixed, tribal notions with which most of us are familiar.


Can we find our rhythm to root down while everything is on the move? Can we find our center even when we’re unsure where we’re heading?


I hope you’ll join me this fall as we oscillate our way in and out of our center.






Fifty percent of GDP growth is now coming from the Global South which is WHERE THE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE. Countries in the Global North are aging quickly while Africa is young. In Africa, 40% of the population is age 15 or younger, double the number in the US.


Internationally renowned African singer, songwriter, actress and activist Angelique Kidjo spoke and performed at Chautauqua last week. She is a riveting presence, winner of five Grammys, speaker of five languages and at 63, dances on stage with strength and power (those glutes!!). See a YouTube video of her and feel her vibrancy:

Case Western Reserve Religious Studies professor Deepak Sarma gave a talk on the “Plants of the Gods” or entheogens, plants used for altered states of spiritual consciousness. You may have read of tourists from the Global North going to the Amazon to try Ayahuasca, a plant brew traditionally used by indigenous folk healers.  Dr. Sarma, who acts as a cultural consultant for Netflix, American Greetings and other companies, questioned who owns native culture and how these drugs might be used for good and ill. For more on this, see the book or the Netflix video, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence with Michael Pollan.

Fall Offerings


Free, Online Restorative Yoga

For information and Zoom link, email Anne @

9/13 7:30 – 8:45 pm

10/25 7:30 – 8:45 pm

11/29 7:30 – 8:45 pm


Move, Sit, Write, Read: A Writing Circle

For information and Zoom link, email Anne

9/28 7:30 – 9:00 pm

10/26 7:30 – 9:00 pm

12/7 7:30 – 9:00 pm


All weekly classes are on Zoom, Monday, Tuesday & Friday, except for a live class the first Tuesday of the month at the United Methodist Church in Chardon from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.


In-Person Sessions with Anne

Anne continues to see clients at Awareness Massage in Mentor. Contact Anne to schedule.


Just a few spots remain in September’s Chair Yoga Teacher Training at Studio 108 in Independence. Visit the studio website for more information and to register:


Helping the Bendy Yogi 11/12/23 12:30 – 3:30, also at Studio 108

3 CE credits for Yoga Instructors, but the workshop is open to all interested practitioners.


In this workshop, we’ll look at hypermobility and how it affects yoga practitioners, especially those with ranges of motion beyond the standard mean. Anne has studied hypermobility with Canadian Yoga Therapist Susi Hately and other experts on this condition, which is more widely experienced and less often discussed than is needed to keep yoga practitioners pain-free. Even if you don’t consider yourself hypermobile, spending time in excessive ranges of motion can train your body into this state, which can be detrimental to your muscular skeletal well-being.

Hakini Mudra

Mudra for Healing: Hakini


Hakini Mudra is a mudra of integration. It facilitates the breath, naturally opening both nostrils. It balances all five elements with the gesture of the five fingers touching. The mudra draws our attention to our third eye, encouraging the unfolding of wisdom within us. This mudra supports healing.

Tree and mushroom living in symbiosis

Book Recommendations


Bodyfulness: Somatic Practices for Presence, Empowerment and Waking Up in This Life by Christine Caldwell

We will use this text for our explorations this fall, focusing on slow, mindful movement that connects us with our bodies in the present moment.


Rethink Your Position: Reshape Your Exercise, Yoga, and Everyday Movement, One Part At A Time by Katy Bowman

We used this text for our summer explorations on how we move and hold our bodies. Highly recommended as a general guide to improved movement patterns.


Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox

The amazing open swimming challenges of Lynne Cox, including setting the record for crossing the English Channel at age 15 and culminating with her swimming a mile in Antarctica.


Forgiving Imelda Marcos by Nathan Go

An interesting reflection on forgiveness and regret told in the voice of a Filipino chauffeur.


The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel by Helene Wecker

This science fiction/fantasy novel is set in the lower East Side of Manhattan in 1899 with a Golem from Jewish mysticism and a Jinni from desert lore.

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