For Dance Tai Chi, Somatics, and QiGong, please scroll down.
Living With Ease, An Alexander Technique Workshop
Taught by Anita Mischuk, Certified teacher of Contemporary Alexander Technique
Wednesday mornings 9-10:30
September 4- October 9
Cost: 145.00. The class is limited to 12 people.
The Alexander Technique provides easily applicable tools for self-development to change long-standing habits that cause unnecessary tension in everything you do. The technique can help you improve your health and well-being by addressing such conditions as repetitive strain injuries, stress, anxiety, back or neck pain caused by poor posture habits and the pressures of modern life. It helps improve your balance and coordination, giving you confidence in carrying out everyday activities.
This class is a gentle introduction where you will be able to pick up skills that you can utilize right away. Each week we will explore different activities such as walking, climbing stairs, chopping vegetables, sitting at a computer, gardening, housework, carrying a heavy purse etc. We will look at the body and study functional anatomy: what joints do we use for any activity and how does our whole body work in relation to what we do.Each week we will also review the progress from the previous week and find out how you’re applying what you’ve learnt to your daily life.
Anita Mischuk's Teaching Bio
Anita grew up in Germany and moved to Iowa City in 2017.She is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and owner of ATMW (Alexander Technique Midwest).She completed her training as an Alexander Technique teacher after four years with the German branch of the Alexander Alliance International. Her most influencing teachers are Bruce Fertman and Robyn Avalon.She teaches the Alexander Technique in individual lessons, small group classes or workshops in Iowa City and the surrounding communities. Anita's passions include singing, playing the recorder, kayaking, dancing and walking. She is also a hypnotherapist practitioner.
Mind Body Skills Course
Taught by Kristi Cooper
October 7 – November 11, 2019
375.00 including all materials
Join a small group for 6 weeks to explore a variety of mind body skills designed to enhance wellbeing for physical, cognitive, emotional, relational and spiritual health. Each week you will be introduced to a new set of skills and each week you will practice these skills with support from a circle of fellow explorers! Make Mondays the best day of the week!
Kristi Cooper's Teaching Bio:
Kristi Cooper, B.S., M.S., CHTSMP, CMBMF
Kristi Cooper, B.S. Family Environment/Family Services, M.S. Education/Adult Learning, is a retired Human Sciences Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Cooper served children, youth and families for 40 years in various settings including non-profit and faith-based organizations. She holds several certifications including Non-Profit Management, Mind Body Medicine, spiritual guidance, Healing Touch Spiritual Ministries, and is a master trainer for several curricula including “ACE Interface” (Adverse Childhood Experiences study) and “Powerful Tools for Caregivers”. She is co-author of ISU’s “What About Me? My Well-being” curriculum. Cooper’s focus in her private practice, Kristi Cooper Consulting, benefits individuals seeking to enhance self-care practices and personal wellbeing on physical, cognitive, emotional, relational, and spiritual levels. She conducts workshops and courses and sees individual clients. She loves to spend time in her orchard, and with her young grandchildren, often at the same time!
Tai Chi and Qigong
Tai Chi and Qigong workshops at Movement for All are always for beginners, and we also offer practice for more advanced students wanting to deepen their practice through repetition. Tai Chi is often recommended by doctors because it is good for balance, leg strength and working memory. It is also recommended by many psychiatrists and psychotherapists as an antidote to anxiety, because it produces calm, which in turn promotes mood regulation. Classes are limited to 9-10 so that teachers can be attentive and inclusive of all ages and capabilities. Teachers endeavor to keep the class moving for the entire hour, with short corrections so that you stay "warmed up," while also introducing fundamental concepts and history necessary for successful experiences. Repetition from class to class is emphasized to allow you to gradually be able to practice at home. Materials to help you practice at home are given, if appropriate. Practice at home is encouraged but of course not required. As a health-enhancing movement studio we believe Tai Chi to be an important offering because of its evidence-based benefits. As always, the most important aspect of any movement practice is that you are moving, and moving consistently for an hour, while increasing working memory, bone and heart health, and having an enjoyable time. Your enjoyment is our primary goal, as that increases your health in manifold ways.
Robin Ungar's Tai Chi Class Description
T’ai chi is a gentle, moving meditation that helps build and maintain strength and flexibility, and improve balance. Through t’ai chi we can learn to move with less effort and with more efficiency. This skill carries over into daily activities. Regular practice improves balance by developing a greater sense of body awareness in space -- a sense that often declines with age. Science-based studies have shown that people who practice t’ai chi are less likely to fall, and more likely to recover themselves should they stumble. T’ai chi ‘players’ often report feeling more relaxed in body and mood after their practice.
This 6-week class series will teach fundamental movements and principles of the t’ai chi form. Each session will begin with warm-up, qigong exercises, which are easy to remember so they can be practiced at home. We will also learn and practice a short sequence of moving postures in terms of t’ai chi principles. Understanding these principles is our main goal, and by repetition of the sequence, it can also become a daily home practice. Adaptions can be made to accommodate injuries or chronic health conditions.
All are welcome – no experience is needed! If you have had prior experience, this will be a great way to come back to a t’ai chi practice.
What to wear: any comfortable, loose clothing. T'ai chi can be done in socks, barefoot, or dedicated indoor shoes.
Robin Ungar's teaching biography:
Robin Ungar began her t’ai chi journey in the mid-90’s under the direction of Daniel Benton. Knowing nothing about t’ai chi, she was intrigued by a small poster announcing a new class. She found classes calming, relaxing, mentally challenging and endlessly interesting. Robin has travelled to Hawaii and California to attend week-long tai chi retreats led by Dan’s master teacher, Martin Inn. When Dan stopped teaching, Robin, and a group of his students decided they had to continue meeting on their own to practicing the t’ai chi form together – which they still do. In 2017 Robin took her t’ai chi to another level by becoming a teacher. Sharing her love and enjoyment of this ancient form of exercise for healthy living has increased her interest and pleasure in t’ai chi.
Before retiring in 2008, Robin was associate director for Center for International Rural and Environmental Health in the UI College of Public Health. She has tutored English language learners and currently teaches ELL classes as a volunteer for the International Women’s Club of Iowa City.
QiGong with Nisha Mittal, TBA -- contact Meg Eginton if interested.
Tai Chi with Lori Enloe, TBA
Somatic Education and Explorations
Somatics is a field of movement and bodywork which involves learning to consistently and simultaneously experience both internal physical sensations, emotions, and the outer environment within which one moves and feels. In somatic movement and dance
classes and groups, movement is generated from awareness of physical sensations from within, awareness of personal anatomy, awareness of present emotion, and freedom of creativity. Often there is a guide, or witness, or facilitator, but there is rarely a teacher who approaches movement in a performative sense. These classes are exploratory and gently disciplined. Somatic movement is often suggested by psychotherapists as a way to become more at home in one's body, and more aware of one's instinctual ability to "know what you want" and to access whole person being and healing.
Somatic Faster Flow with Meg Eginton:
Would you like to use your fitness in a more flowing, inner-to-outer "feeling full" and creative way? As a child did you enjoy spinning, swooshing, going from the floor to standing, falling into the grass and rolling? Do you ever wish you could release every joint and major muscle group? Would you like to do some Animal Moves? Somatic education and flow classes focus on inner-to-outer physical "feeling of what happens" and
release you into creative movement and movement knowledge without force or fear. You can work with your body from your body's knowledge, guided by Meg's expertise and eagle eye for safety. This is a fun class for anyone who can walk 3 miles easily, can get up and down from the floor without stopping, has a basically sound core, and understands that free movement explored for an hour without stopping is healthy and natural to us all. It is also a class useful for dancers who would like to learn release technique. But there is no prior dance technique necessary.
This form of free movement exploration that begins with a prompt. Then, we move freely and by ourselves alongside others, exploring our relationship to an image, quality, tempo, spatial marking, emotion. The group work is always witnessed by a group leader, and sometimes, other members of the group. The witness shares what he/she saw, within strict parameters for responses that do not include psychological interpretation, but stick to movement description and encouragement. Meg Eginton was a member of one of the first Authentic Movement Groups in New York City, from 1984-1987 at PS122.
Dance at Movement for All
Why Dance? Is that for Health? Research says yes. Is it too hard? NO.
Often people who do not like other forms of exercise, balance, or strength work love dancing because it engages the whole self. Mind, Spirit, Body come together in moments of sheer aliveness. The practice of dance increases deep concentration and aids healing from injuries both mental and physical, when taught correctly. Posture and coordination improve. Elegance without artifice becomes natural. Dance can be learned easily and quickly if the teacher is an expert and connects with the individual needs of the student. Teachers of Dance at Movement for All have had top professional and/or extensive teaching careers. They are interested in bringing the joys of dance to everyone, and particularly interested in teaching beginners.
Dance at Movement for All is about the joys of learning to use our bodies with aesthetic pleasure. Dance has been researched and found to be one of the very best, if not the best, way to strengthen working memory. When one dances in a class that is taught from a Somatic perspective the whole person is involved. The feeling of being present becomes an outward expression of emotion and or beauty. To feel oneself beginning to shape and master steps from ballet or classic modern dance is to feel oneself connected to centuries of dance artists who reflected the aesthetic ideals and ideas of their time. Ballet and classical modern dance, African or Latin Dance are cultural languages which increase our poise, feelings of freedom, creative use of space, and LOVE of our bodies. We never teach dance from an athletic point of departure. Dance is an art of the highest order, which strengthens every at part of your soul.
Aesthetic and creative activities bolster against loss of cognitive capabilities, and are used in dementia care extensively and with great success in Europe. Large cohort studies of the use of dance, bicycling, boxing, swimming, Tai Chi, and walking for Parkinson's patients demonstrated dance to be the best for symptom control and particularly useful for gait flow and against freezing, facial movement, and intentional muscular use. Dance for Parkinson's uses all sorts of music and styles of dance to please all sorts of people, symptoms. In using over all body strength, lower body total core and buttock strength building and significant weight bearing for legs, while continuously moving, dance iguards against falling and osteoporosis. It is even appropriate for those with osteoporosis when taught by a teacher who can keep her eye on everyone and make adjustments for people while people keep moving. Dance is a good intergenerational form because young people and grown ups are on an even playing field, due to its challenges to concentration and coordination. It is also a good form for all people because it can be very creative.
Meg Eginton's Dance Classes
Meg's classes are for beginners. They form in six week blocks so you can try dance out without a heavy time or money commitment. They have an atmosphere of non-judgement, non-competition, mirth, community, and support. Having a properly challenging and enjoyable time is always the most important thing. Plenty of repetition and mirroring are used so that steps can be learned and remembered. Her level of expertise in dancing and teaching has developed an eagle eye for avoiding strain and injury. Here training is deeply anatomically correct. She endeavors to be passionate without being precious. 28 years of teaching has helped her become good at folding new people into existing classes, while helping everyone to progress at their own appropriate rate.
Parent-Child Ballet Beginning ballet class for Parents and Youth. Ages 11-15.
No shoes or special equipment necessary. This is ballet for poise, graceful movement, and introduction of easy-to-learn basic phrases of movement, including jumping for the young people. The goal is shared "side by side" physical experience of beauty, prowess, and enjoyable concentration. Limited to 5 parent-child pairs. Inclusive of all children regardless of gender identification.
Ballet for All
An aesthetic experience to build balance, grace, improve posture and elegance.
Do you enjoy music? Perhaps you would like to experience music flowing more fully through your body, and as you are doing that...gain more coordination and feeling full aesthetic pleasure. The class is based on a famous Convent Garden class for mature women, developed by one of Meg's friends form the Royal Ballet. There is no upper or lower age limit for this class. People can hold on to the barre throughout the class if they feel unsteady and as balance improves, move the to center. A true ballet class emphasizing upper body length, moving in sync to classical music, walking and turning, and some gentle lower body strengthening. In addition working memory will be strengthened through repetition. By the end of a few six week sessions you will be ready to progress to Ballet for Beauty, if you want to -- or stay and continue to feel the music flow, and work slowly on your technique and feeling for movement.
Ballet for Beauty
Have you ever wanted to know what it would feel like to do ballet? Would you like a strong foundation for other dance classes? Do you want to get even stronger, have better posture, and beautifully toned muscles that nothing else can give you? A dancer's physique? An aesthetic sense of your physical form? Yes, you can.
Barre and Centre for Strength and Toning. Learn to get strong and lean the way dancers do. Strong emphasis on lower body work from buttocks to toes, augmented by learning arm positions that tone and sculpt upper arms and chest. This is a class taught in six week sessions, which easily folds new people into it. If you would like to begin to learn the basics of ballet, even if you have never danced, this is an excellent place to start. Meg has taught scores of theatre students and others to dance, and deeply understands the principles of classical dance, with an emphasis on the teachings of Maggie Black, who was the preferred teacher of most of the best modern and classical dancers of the 1960s-1990s in NYC. Meg studied for 13 years with Maggie, who became her coach. She's teaches Maggie's American style, and the anatomically correct and beautiful proportions of the Russian Vaganova technique. Sound too difficult and esoteric? No. It's just good practice and beautiful strength taught by a professional dancer, who retired from international performing at 40 and went on to teach non-dancers in universities.
Dance for Parkinson's and Stroke Recovery
Forming now. Six participants needed. We will have a LIVE pianist. Partners welcome. No dance experience necessary. Dance has been found to be the most effective therapy for Parkinson's gait, coordination, and motor difficulties. Meg was training in New York in Dance or PD. Large cohort studies of the use of dance, bicycling, boxing, swimming, Tai Chi, and walking, for Parkinson's patients, demonstrated dance to be the best for symptom control and particularly useful for gait flow and against freezing, increased facial movement, and intentional muscular use. Meg was trained in NYC in Dance for PD®, a project of the Mark Morris Dance Company. Dance for PD® teachers are required to have been professional dancers so that they truly understand how to make a proper dance class progression and make the class enjoyable and artistic. Dance for PD® is the most internationally recognized and used dance class format for Parkinson's. It's a real dance class that is fun and turns out to be highly therapeutic. This dance class can be done standing, holding on to a barre, or seated. To learn more visit: danceforparkinsons.org
Meg Eginton's teaching biography:
Meg danced professionally in NYC and abroad until she was 40, initially in the companies of Douglas Dunn, and Viewpoints creator Mary Overlie, and primarily for Stephen Petronio, and in the Merce Cunningham's company for whom she originated 9 roles. She was awarded the premier US award for dance, the"Bessie." She also directed and choreographed for her own company for nine years, supported by the major "downtown dance" producing organizations, grants from Dance Chance, Harkness Foundation, and New York State Council for the Arts, and Fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts and the American Dance Festival. She then danced and acted on Broadway with Bill Irwin as "The Post-Modern Soloist," and acted in a few films, as well as many commercial TV spots. Meg's primary dance teachers and mentors were: the brilliant Saturday morning teacher of young dancers, Iowa's Marsha Thayer; Bessie Schoenberg, the 20th century's best known dance composition teacher; Merce Cunningham (and John Cage); and the master teacher of ballet, Maggie Black. Maggie Black was a New York Ballet teacher who trained many of the great ballet and modern dancers from the 1960s-1990s, using her unique method of anatomically correct technique and acumen in discovering the artistry within each person, in a supportive atmosphere. Meg studied with Maggie for 13 years and she was also her coach. Meg is also Vaganova trained by a second generation teacher, Gina Wexler, whose parents were founding members of the Mordkin Ballet, the forerunner of American Ballet Theatre. As a university teacher and professor Meg has taught ballet, modern, and period dance to approximately 1000 actors and others who had never danced before. She loves sharing the aesthetic pleasure of moving to the music that is inside of us, as well as the music that comes from the piano. She loves teaching beginners with proper technique for freedom in range of movement and proportional use of strength, dynamic ranges of movement, and the musicality of dancing from the inside- out. She earned her BA in Dance and Philosophy at Sarah Lawrence College, and received her MFA in Theatre (directing) from the University of Iowa. She has been a registered International Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist since 1994.
Upcoming Short and Clinics, Dates TBA
How to get down and up from the floor, improve your gait, improve your balance, use a cane or walker without hurting your upper back and stooping more. (1 afternoon clinic). Taught by Meg Eginton
Classical Alexander Technique for Walking Well and Sitting Well
A six hour introductory immersion into this effective and historically significant technique for addressing posture in movement in order to create more understanding of self-use and ease in living and working. Taught from a classical stance. Meg Eginton
Eginton Alignment Daily Dozen Workshop
A Baker's Dozen of exercises for good alignment, somatic ease, and easy coordination. 3 days. Take it home and use the video.
Eginton Alignment Wednesday Classes. Twice monthly classes.
Mindfulness Meditation: Changing Your Relationship with Stress
Taught by Christine Allen, LISW and MBSR Expert
This course is modeled on a program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) that was started over 35 years ago at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. MBSR is considered the gold standard for mindfulness meditation trainings. MBSR has over 35 years of research behind it and is the foundation of most of the groundbreaking research on mindfulness that you may have read or heard about, including enhanced stress resiliency and positive brain and mood changes.
This course encourages participants to cultivate a personal mindfulness practice in a supportive atmosphere. Research suggests the consistent practice of mindfulness meditation can positively affect the ability to focus, stress resilience, physical and mental health, interpersonal skills, academic skills, and promote overall well-being. Exciting new studies are currently underway by neuroscientists as they discover the positive effects of meditation on the brain.
Mindfulness meditation comes out of a 2,500-year-old Buddhist meditation tradition. In this course, mindfulness will be taught in a non-religious manner that addresses universal human experiences. Similar courses have been taught in medical institutions, universities, schools, businesses, prisons and other settings throughout the United States and the world.
Highly participatory, supportive, and structured, this program provides:
• Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices including body scan, sitting meditation, walking meditation and gentle mindful movement exercises (hatha yoga)
• Group dialogue and mindful exercises to enhance awareness in everyday life and improve ability to handle stressful situations and interactions with greater ease.
• Weekly home practice materials including recordings of guided mindfulness practices
• All classes will include experiential exercises, class discussion and instruction on the theme of the week
Christine's Suggested Books:
No books are required for class. If you are interested in books, many people have found the books listed below to be helpful as they take the class. They can be found at local bookstores and online.
• Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn--This was designed to let people have information so they could practice on their own in a similar fashion to MBSR classes. Many people find that this information supports their daily practice. Readings will be suggested each week but will not be required.
• Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn--A smaller, less comprehensive volume to support mindfulness practice.
• Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn--Short essays on mindfulness meditation. This is a book that you do not need to read in order.
Christine Allen's Biography
I have practiced mindfulness meditation since 1994. I received training in MBSR for health care professionals from Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli, and staff at the Center for Mindfulness in 2002 and additional intensive training from UIHC MBSR staff. I have taught MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) since 2004 through UIHC Department of Psychiatry and a class called Mindfulness 101 through Grant Wood Area Education Agency professional development program. I developed and taught an undergraduate mindfulness through the College of Education at the University of Iowa for several years. I attend extended meditation and yoga retreats on a regular basis. My background also includes being co-owner of The Soap Opera in Iowa City and working as a school social worker for Grant Wood Area Education Agency. I am a Licensed Independent Social Worker. I have a blended family of 5 children and 4 grandsons. I currently engage in volunteer work at CommUnity Food Bank (formerly called Johnson County Food Bank), am a SHIIP counselor (helping explain Medicare options) at the Senior Center, and volunteer at Filmscene in downtown Iowa City. I love reading and have a Free Little Library in my yard.
End of course comments by previous participants
“This course has helped me to listen and communicate with others more effectively. It has also helped me modulate my thinking and emotions to decrease stress. “
“Mindfulness is a very helpful course that helps you step back from the "whirlwind" of your life and appreciate the value of taking time for yourself. It gives you a new and refreshing perspective.”
“Through mindfulness I've learned how to stop in the middle of a stressful day and take a 3-minute mind vacation to quiet my thoughts, calm, and re-energize to take on the rest of the day.”
“Mindfulness has given me the tools to be more present in my life. In times of stress and anxiety, I can connect with my breathing and scan my body to calm and help me focus to continue on in a mindful and nonreactive/emotional manner. I am more aware and appreciative of others’ perspectives, which has helped me in working with colleagues. It is a new way of life for me that I am very thankful for.”
“Mindfulness meditation practice has helped me cope with situations that previously would have caused me to feel stressed and upset. I tend to feel more energized and focused after a 5-minute meditation work break.”
“The class helped me to appreciate individual moments throughout my day. I especially liked one to five minute practices--practicing to be present in the moment ---to stop whatever I am doing, to focus on my breathing only and to stop any outside thoughts from distracting me --- I liked that the class encourages to be non-judgmental---to focus on taking a long breath and not to judge at that particular instant about anyone or anything.....obviously this is an ongoing process and the class taught us that we can repeat mindfulness over and over again----it is life learning.”
“In our society, it’s easy to not take care of oneself. This class affirms that taking care of oneself is a necessity and that practicing mindfulness in a number of ways is a means of doing this.”
“This class gives you ways to deal with stress and makes you aware of what’s going on in your mind and body. I have personally benefitted greatly from the class and think everyone should take it!!”
“Mindfulness is beneficial to your well-being. It can help in your relationships with yourself and others. It can be helpful in the stressful works of teaching. It brought me greater understanding of myself and others.”
“Living in the moment is a lifelong skill. This class helps you take a different perspective, which comes from being aware. It helps you begin to differentiate between what your mind is telling you and what truly is. It provides you with a variety of tools to acknowledge experiences and accept them for what they are which makes those negatives experiences in life a bit more tolerable.”
“This class will increase insight into self. Provides techniques and tools to enrich living and tools to reduce stress.”
“This class can help you in your daily life in ways that you cannot yet know. Mindfulness is so much broader and deeper than the “trendiness” the term has become. You will learn things about yourself and your mind’s relationship to your physical, mental, and psychological wellness that will provide a deeper understanding of what you are able to control and what you can learn to accept.”
“The reasons for taking the class in mind now that it is done is to improve your relationship to stress, to improve connections with yourself and others, to learn to be joyful and content, even during difficult times/situations.”
Video links to talks mindfulness:
Jon Kabat-Zinn What is mindfulness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmEo6RI4Wvs
Andy Puddicombe All it Takes in 10 Mindful Minutes
Coming Short Intensive Workshops
Professional Skills Workshop
Fall or Winter 2018 or 2020
Learn how to your empathy, your body, and your voice to succeed on your terms in your workplace. Co-taught with a to be announced colleague, this work draws from acting techniques proven to increase ability to get the point across, in a convincing way. Physical skills that create confidence in oneself will be taught, as well as how to achieve good posture with ease, and some simple physical and vocal games that increase access to creativity and brainstorming in the moment. Technical Voice work for throat ease, assertiveness, and relatability will be taught. You can expect immediate results and you will be able to immediately apply those results in your workplace and life. This workshop is limited to 12 participants. No acting, movement, or voice experience necessary.
Partners Stretch Workshop
Balance and fun. Learn partnered stretches that equalize your individual force and weight, build trust, and tget you sweaty. Experience Sensory Awareness contemplations together. Gaze like a plantt and take each other in whole. Find out how to help each other age with great posture and full range of movement, develop your gently observational style for helping each other with posture as you age, and noticing changes in gait that lead to falls, or just stifffening. Improvise with the four rivers and the 6 effort actings. Saturday, February 15. 2-5, followed by bubbly with or without alcohol and light snacks.