Friday, October 30, 2015

The Playfullness of Ageless Grace®

By Amy Podolsky

Birthdays can bring up all sorts of feelings, and as I approached my last one, I felt kinda funky. While it wasn't a "milestone"--unless the number 44 has some deeper numerological meaning of which I'm unaware-- it nonetheless felt poignant in that I was approaching the halfway point-- a bridge between early and mid forties. And I realized there is no stopping the clock; ready or not, here it comes.

Enter Ageless Grace®. The day after my 44th birthday, I took a seminar (followed by a two-day Educator Certification) with Ageless Grace® creator, Denise Medved. I'd signed up for the training on somewhat of a whim: I had heard great things about the program, knew of Denise through the Nia world (she's a former Nia trainer and First Degree Nia Black Belt instructor), and had read remarkable things about Neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain and the nervous system to change structurally and functionally through the practice of movement). In hindsight, I see now that "The Universe" was clearly handing me a priceless gift in Ageless Grace®, one that would help me get off the pity pot and accept that aging is a gift in and of itself (even when I'm not thrilled about its "byproducts.").

For those of us lucky enough to celebrate birthdays-- and truly it is a blessing when you consider how often disease point their awful, senseless fingers at those we know and love-- the choices (as I see them) are these: Let go or be dragged. We grow older every day, whether we like it or not. We can choose to let go and play, or we can be dragged, kicking and screaming. Either way, we are heading toward our next birthday in every given moment.

Play wasn't a familiar concept for me before Ageless Grace® came along. The truth is, I was afraid of looking foolish. But, as I sat in my chair and played with Denise and my lovely group of fellow trainees that weekend, I couldn't stop smiling. It was pure joy, and I didn't even care what I looked like. I began practicing and teaching AG almost immediately after completing the training. Having felt so good in my body, all I wanted (and still want) was to pass that same gift on to others (my fear of heights is the only thing holding me back from standing on the rooftops shouting "I've discovered the Fountain of Youth, People!"). When I'm practicing and/or teaching Ageless Grace®, I feel awesome. My core muscles feel tighter (and more fit), my awareness of (and appreciation for) my body increases, and my mind feels much sharper. If this is what "Aging" looks like, then bring it on.

Teaching Ageless Grace® at Lumina Mind Body Studios is a pleasure. What a fabulous community! Class is so much fun ("it's like a party," one student recently remarked), and also deceptively powerful and invigorating. Don't let the chair fool ya, you will get a great workout. Every Body is happy in these classes, without fail. That never gets old for me. When asked what the class is like, I've started to say: "It's like chocolate; you can't describe it, you just have to try it." I hope you'll join me for this delicious Body, Mind and Soul treat. I whole-heartedly believe in Denise Medved's mission, to "help create a new paradigm for aging, one where we all, from childhood on, incorporate daily movement into our lives...that enhances our movements, our ability to function with comfort and ease, our attitudes, our outlooks and intentions and our overall quality of life!" Amen and cheers to Ageless Grace®!

Amy Podolsky is a Nia Brown Belt Instructor and Certified Ageless Grace®  Educator. She loves sharing the Joy of Movement with people of all ages, and with her trademark warmth, humor and attitude of "no judgement," is committed to empowering Every Body to stay fit by choosing pleasure over pain.

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