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Installation will take place mid-December with fans on indoor tennis courts and the fitness center. If you haven’t heard, we are doing all that we can to keep you safe!
Recently I taught an Iyengar yoga class and it turned into a workshop. One of the biggest misconceptions of Iyengar yoga is that it is too prescriptive and teachers are unyielding in the repetition of standing poses and our teaching sequences. There is some truth to this statement, but with a few caveats, as many who attend my classes can attest. It may vary depending upon class size, level of yoga experience and /or familiarity with the Iyengar method.
I teach to all ages, levels of experience and every body, regardless of restriction or limitation. Our sequences prepare the mind and body for the needed strength and flexibility to add variations to the 200 plus asanas (poses) in our practice. Yoga among other things, is an invitation to explore and discover where you are and how you are in your practice.
In the Iyengar tradition there is heavy emphasis on observing every action and making needed adjustments or corrections to ensure we cause no harm (ahimsa) to self or others which is one of the most important sutras as a teacher.
My classes have students who range in age from their 20s to their 70s. In in class, we explored halasana (plow pose) and salamba sarvangasana (shoulder stand) with the use of props to ensure proper alignment and support for these weight bearing poses.
Three AHC students-Kalina, Qi and Shirley, with varying levels of experience and ages hit the mat with the curiosity and enthusiasm that makes teaching a true joy. Our class quickly morphed into a workshop for the inquisitive.
I’ve taught at the club for five years and I remain as dedicated and excited to teach yoga every day I’m on the mat….what a JOY, what an HONOR!
Denise Rowe is the best yoga teacher I have ever had. Her knowledge and explanations of the anatomy behind simple yoga poses is amazing. The most important thing she taught me is the awareness of my own body – what I need to feel while doing a particular position. I found this very helpful because I can self-correct while doing yoga on my own. This way I can be sure that I am doing the poses correctly in order to get the benefit of yoga and not get an injury.
She is such a generous person giving her extra time and knowledge and even her own equipment to get the best practice possible. Denise is able to adjust her program depending on the level of the class participants and offers a lot of props and modifications of the poses so everybody can participate and not feel left out.
“Discipline is remembering what you want.“ – David Campbell
A few decades ago I learned the value of endurance workouts when I was regularly running marathons and logging 60-mile weeks. The weekly long (2-3 hour) run of 15-20 miles was magical for both my mental and physical health. Although I have since replaced the running with lower impact activities like spinning, cardio machines, and swimming, the long cardio workout has remained the foundation for my weekly fitness schedule.
The time I spend on these long workouts makes me so much more productive in my regular life that I feel like it gives me additional hours in my day. After I’ve moved long enough and hard enough at a consistent pace for at least 60-90 minutes, I am happy, confident, and almost stress-free. Shorter, less-intense cardio workouts certainly don’t have the same effect for me.
The physical benefits of my endurance training have also been enormous. When I was training for marathons, for instance, I could lower my race times in shorter races simply by running one longer run per week, even if I didn’t train at a faster-than-usual pace. Currently, the long workouts are key for helping me to maintain my weight and fitness level.
Exciting recent research has shown that endurance and high-intensity interval workouts can be anti-aging at a cellular level! Perhaps that explains why I am still about 34 years old! I try to incorporate both endurance and high-intensity intervals into my INTERVAL CYCLE CHALLENGES. The workouts are 60-80 minutes with different music and interval lengths each week. If you don’t have a bike at home, you can use any cardio machine.There are also two spin bikes and cardio machines in the fitness center.
Contact Heather at email@example.com to get the weekly INTERVAL CYCLE CHALLENGES. I encourage you to work up gradually to the 60-80 minutes unless you are currently doing weekly endurance training. As a guideline, increase your total time by no more than 10% per week to avoid injury. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
“. . . unless you learn it with your body you cannot expect to get true understanding” Koichi Tohei
Last month I briefly went over the four principles of Mind and Body Coordination. This month I would like to explore the first principle “Keep One Point”.
“One Point”, is the physical posture that enhances our natural balance. It may seem unusual that we would have to learn or, more accurately relearn, how to balance ourselves naturally. However, in most people’s daily lives proper posture and balance is pretty low on the totem pole of priorities and that is the reason why one would need to “relearn” something that is natural.
To understand how to get one point, I start off by having people get into the football three-point stance. The three-point stance and the standing/neutral wrestling position both have the exaggerated elements of attaining one point. Then, from either of these positions, slowly raise your body to a standing position, stopping short of where your natural upright posture would be. Then slightly turn your torso to the left, so your feet are shoulder width apart, side by side. You will find that your weight is on the balls of your feet. Your knees are loose, not locked, and have a bit of a bend in them. Your hips are back. There is a slight forward bend at your hips. Your back is straight. Your chest is open and your sternum lines up over the balls of your feet. And your arms can just loosely swing in front of your body, with your wrists hanging just in front of your hip line. A tip to make this posture more comfortable and stable is to be as relaxed as you can, without collapsing in on yourself. This is part of the second principle, “relax completely”, which I will be going over next month.
The above explains the physical/balance aspect of “One Point”. The next aspect is where does one put one’s mind? How do you keep your mind centered and in coordination with your body? The simple answer is you put it where your body’s center of gravity is, your lower abdomen. More specifically, it is the center point on the front of your pelvic bone. If you put your index finger on that point, your mind will drop down to your “One Point”, and by doing so you will lower your minds center of gravity. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get out of your head, and rejoin the “now” of whatever situation you may be in. Once your mind has lowered to your “One Point”, there is no need and is counterproductive, to keep concentrating on that point. Just mentally settle to your “One Point” and carry on with whatever your actions may be.
The physical of aspect of getting “One Point” will seem awkward at first. And the mental aspect of “One Point” can be tedious and seemingly impossible to keep your mind lowered at first. However, with playful practice of Keeping “One Point” you will find slow but steady progress in improving your overall balance and awareness.
We returned to the Club as soon as it reopened. The Club was completely sanitized and felt very safe. When we work out in the morning there are 6-10 others and in a space the size of the gym it seems empty. All members are following the rules—using masks, cleaning off machines with a disinfectant before and after use, and being very courteous. The staff regularly sanitizes the machines during the day and the members also clean the machines and are very cautious.
It was great to work out again, using the cardio machines and weight machines and working out with John in personal training sessions. The environment is definitely safe and we feel secure.
As a loyal consumer of AHC, I would like to applaud everyone employed at our great Club for the vigorous methods they are implementing to keep our Club safe. Since the day AHC reopened, I have been attending several times per week, and not once have I seen a lapse in safety practices to keep us all healthy. I am somewhat of a germaphobe and have felt completely protected at all times. I encourage my fellow members to get back out and enjoy our great center.
At this time, I would also like to applaud personal trainer, Beth Konzmann who I have worked with happily for 3 years and counting. Beth is an exceptional “coach”, and because of her skills, I have become a devoted fitness fan.
Especially during the current COVID pandemic, we need to stay fit and I encourage all to avail themselves of all the fine staff and services at AHC.
It makes us incredibly happy to welcome Jeff back to his indoor tennis court! Jeff has been a member of Aspen Hill Club for nearly 40 years. Upon moving to the area, he began playing tennis at the Club with his IBM coworker Earl. These two gentlemen continue playing tennis together weekly for 37 years later—every Sunday morning. It warms our hearts to give our members a place to get their exercise and enjoy their tennis!
Covid-19 brought about a pause to many of our junior players favorite activities including Junior Interclub and USTA tournaments. But our junior players didn’t let that halt their tennis competition! With many schools providing kids a “flex day” on Wednesdays, Aspen Hill Club saw an opportunity to return the kids to safe and fun match play. We’ve been hosting many of our juniors to play several matches and inputting results into the UTR database. These matches are played in a safe environment—kids are socially distanced throughout the event and each have their own set of tennis balls labeled with their initials. This way, players only have to handle their own tennis balls when serving.
Many important life skills are learned through competition including: interacting with others, problem solving, and never giving up! It has been wonderful to see our junior players growing on and off of the court through our match play program.
Jenny’s parents, Cindy and Randy Daly brought her to Aspen Hill Club as a child while they played tennis, so when her husband Kevin expressed an interest in playing tennis himself— Jenny knew where the young family should go!
Jenny and Kevin both grew up in the area and met during college at the University of South Carolina. Living nearby in Kensington, Aspen Hill Club was convenient for the two of them to try something new— TENNIS! Both have busy schedules, Jenny working as a family nurse practitioner and Kevin building homes, but both have been able to dramatically improve their tennis and find a spot for two-year-old Conor to have fun while they play.
Kevin wanted to begin playing tennis as a way to keep active and stay healthy. As a former athlete, Kevin missed the competition— and Kevin could not wait to start competing on the tennis court! Kevin started out by taking private tennis lessons with Elliott— and before long— he was hittin’ the Men’s Singles Ladder! Kevin couldn’t get enough of the competitive match play, but he did discover areas that needed improvement. Kevin kept up with his private lessons and supplemented them by adding the ball machine unlimited package, “I just wanted to play as much as possible” explains Kevin, and that he did! The combination of match play, private instruction, and ball machine play helped Kevin make jumps in his level of tennis, in fact, he was able to get revenge on ladder players that he had previously beaten him!
Kevin wasn’t the only one getting active on the tennis court. Jenny started out by participating in Jeff Klein’s adult beginner drills classes, and soon, supplemented these with private lessons with Elliott. As a former soccer player herself, Jenny found she enjoyed the exercise that tennis provided, and was ready to hit the courts with new players. “After playing with Jeff and Elliott once a week for a while, I knew I was ready for Ilan’s Hit & Run Classes,” Jenny said. “Child Minding was great because it allowed me to play more without finding a sitter for Conor” she added.
Jenny and Kevin started playing tennis just over a year ago. Besides finding a way to stay active, they’ve discovered something else, “It gives us an activity to enjoy together!” says Jenny. Kevin adds, “I’ve now found out that so many more friends and colleagues enjoy tennis, too.”
You can often find Jenny or Kevin at the Club during the week, and usually at different times. The variety of program time options has made it possible for both to make time for their health on their own schedule. Additionally, Jenny adds “We love how friendly and responsive the staff members are to us. It’s a family Club and every member we’ve met is so friendly!”
Jenny and Kevin, THANK YOUfor being such a valuable part of our community at the Aspen Hill Club. It’s been spectacular to be a part of your family’s journey to being active and healthy— and we have been WOWED by the improvement in both of your tennis games along the way!
We are gearing up to phase in additional In-Person indoor classes. Beginning Tuesday, October 13th we will add two additional class formats to our In-Person indoor class schedule:
Tuesday 6:00pm—Body Pump with Allison
Thursday 6:00pm—Vinyasa Yoga with Katie
Saturday 10:00am—Vinyasa Yoga with Katie
We will continue to offer our Virtual Class offerings with the exception of the Tuesday and Thursday Body Pump classes. We ask that you carefully read the information below regarding class partctpation and registration:
For Class Participation:
All participants must register for each class. (See instructions below)
All participants must wear a mask before, during and after the class.
Participants are encouraged to bring the following: a mat, yoga props, towel and water. We are NOT offering these items.
Our vending machines and reception desk will have water for purchase. We also have a few Yoga equipment bundles remaining for purchase.
How To Register:
In order for you to be able to reserve your workout, you must have access to our Member Self Service/Empower M.E. If you do not please contact please contact Tina, Lori or Mindy at email@example.com, lcarter@aspenhillclub, or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. If you do have access, please follow the steps below.
Log Into Empower M.E. (EME)/Member Self Service (MSS). a. https://www.ourclublogin.com/Account/Loginb. You can also access the Member Account Login page from the AHC app or website. You will have to login with your username and password.
Once you are on the home page, select the navigation menu (Three dashed lines surrounded by a blue circle to the left of your screen under the Club’s logo). The menu will pop up, select the down arrow of “My Activities”, then select “Class Schedule”.
Click on the “Select Category” drop down menu on the right side of the page and select “Group Exercise”.
Next, select the calendar icon and search for the day or week you are attempting to choose. Once your date is chosen, available class options will display.
Click on the arrow on the right side of the class you are interested in; once you have expanded the class you will be able to read the long description. Please note that one class is indoor and one is outdoor which is only listed in the description.
Select the “Sign Up” button and follow the prompts; once you have completed your enrollment and payment you will see a “thank you for your order screen” and you will receive an email confirmation.
We will continue to offer our virtual class offerings during this time. We thank you for your continued support of our Club and our programming. We look forward to seeing you virtually and in person.