Harness. The. Light. Your brain will thank you.

Happy summer! I hope you are doing lots of playing in the sun and enjoying some of the longest days of the year.

Here's a practice that may look goofy, but actually lights up and activates your midbrain in one magical minute. (I explain why you should care about your midbrain, below.)

Looks kinda funny (a.k.a. awesome and unusual), but not too complex, right?

This is a new version of "sunning," which until now you may have thought of as laying around like the mammal that you are, enjoying the feel of warm sunlight covering your body. While exposing your skin to the sun helps boost your Vitamin D production and gives you a summer glow, exposing your closed eyes to dappled light can give your midbrain an immediate wake-up call.

Why might you care about that? 

Well, light stimulation and pupil dilation activate your midbrain through a couple of cranial nerves that connect your eyes directly to this part of your brain. While not everyone needs midbrain activation, if yours does need it you may notice that sunning makes automatic movements (like walking) more carefree, sharpens your reflexes, and makes your groovy dance moves more fluid. (To know whether it's doing all that for you, you'll have to assess--a.k.a. "do"--a simple movement before and after sunning. Try squatting, single leg balancing, or a single stiff arm raise.)

If you want to get from point A to B with greater ease, style, and integration as only you can...give it a try, and then get to your workout/hike/dance off. You may even find that sunning helps reduce pain.

You may not have thought it possible to influence all that with one quick minute of sunshine, but that's what this blog is all about: simple feel-good surprises about complex stuff.  

It's Here! A Fall-tastic Anniversary

Welcome! Hot damn, it's a new website look and a brand new blog. Thank you all for your patience while I rebuilt this baby.

This time of year is always particularly special to me. As we leave summer and enter into the coziness of fall, it's a season that smells, feels, and sounds comforting. The school-kid in me associates it with going back to school to see my friends and learn new things, with a steady, predictable pace, with family birthdays (including my own) and holidays. 

It's also my anniversary of setting out on the path to teach movement, starting with Pilates. This fall marks SEVEN years of making and remaking myself into a professional, a teacher, a somatic and anatomical explorer, and above all, a mover and healer. It's not always been easy, but it has been a journey full of the most kind, spirited, and holistically intelligent and insightful human beings that I have ever encountered.

I am deeply grateful to all my students, teachers, and colleagues. Thank you for your constant support, gumption, laughter, and thoughtfulness.

Inspired by this back-to-school/business anniversary vibe that fall gives me, here are seven of my favorite resources that I've discovered over the last seven years, including one badass dissection video series (viewer discretion advised). Enjoy!!

1. "Sensing, Feeling, and Action: The Experiential Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering" by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen

2. "Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga" by Sally Kempton

3. "Therapeutic Neuroscience Education: Teaching Patients About Pain" by Adriaan Louw, Emilio Puentedura

4. "The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature" by Daniel J. Levitin

5. "Advances in Functional Training" by Michael Boyle

6. "Wild Feminine: Finding Power, Spirit & Joy in the Female Body" by Tami Lynn Kent

7. "The Integral Anatomy Series" by Gil Hedly