Introduction by Kim Kraushar, May 2016
ZEN-GA® is a Mindful Movement Branded program created by Merrithew – a company I have learned from and represented as a Master Instructor Trainer for almost 20 years.
After obtaining my STOTT PILATES Certification in 1997, I faced the exciting but daunting challenge of being the first in my neck of the woods to offer Pilates programming. At that time, a handful of people knew of Pilates and its benefits so getting my classes up and running was slow but very rewarding.
Being part of the programming team for ZEN-GA® is such a privilege but I must say, I was quite unprepared for the challenges of introducing a program as unique as ZEN-GA® to the Merrithew community and my local community in my studio.
When people ask “What is ZEN-GA® ”?, it’s not the easiest question to answer as the inspirational platform for the program is so vast – from ancient mind/body disciplines (yoga, dance tai chi, pilates) to current research science on the neuromyofascial web…
Recently, I presented some new ZEN-GA® work at the New York Mindful Movement Symposium along with my mentor and colleague PJ O’Clair. The feedback was wonderful and the excitement around ZEN-GA® and what this program can offer our students was palpable. One student in particular, Lori Naples, posted what I feel is an amazing testament to the power of ZEN-GA® in such a beautiful way that I have asked her permission to share it with you. Thanks Lori, for sharing how you managed to “Zengify” your 25-block journey to your hotel!
For anyone wondering what ZenGa is, I think Lori best explains it below!
Training in NYC which I love to do every year. What I learned yesterday… Taxing back to the hotel apparently wasn’t in my cards last night so walked 25 blocks thru the crowded city streets, schlepping some extremely hefty purchases..manuals, props, yoga bag, etc. The bags were heavy, hard to hold & wouldn’t stay on my shoulders. I always use my breath & back muscles. But as I walked in pain, heart pounded due to my legs working really hard..I thought ‘How can I Zengify my walk home?’ Use what I learned to make my body work better for me. I became aware of my breath – started breathing diaphragmatically which helped my shoulder pain. I became aware of my weak areas (shoulders, hips) & focused on my back muscles for more support. I pushed into my feet for a better stride. And added a softness & bounce to my step – like a pony trotting. It still sucked walking all that way, lol, but instead of focusing on all the negative talk in my head, I changed my experience & alleviated pain.
Thank you, PJ, for becoming the voice in my head –“How can you Zengify it?!” I love Merrithew Health & Fitness for their innovation, energy & staff!! Off to work it – body, mind & spirit!
– Lori Naples