Two River Times Feb 2014 - Health & Wellness Column

February conjures images of piercing hearts and happy connections so what's your passionate plan this month? Recurrent studies show that humans are social by nature so perhaps this is the month to cast your sights wider to welcome a new circle of friends. Interesting people with large and active social networks are much less likely to suffer cognitive decline than those who are isolated. So here are some ideas on how to ramp up your physical and mental acuity in red hot ways in the chilly months of winter.

Create your own micro adventure and invite a friend to join you. Not sure what a micro adventure is? Neither was I until I had the pleasure of stumbling upon Lauren Rains interesting and thoughtful blog. A masterful micro adventurer is one that makes it his/her mission to create a challenging and creative mini trip when precluded from pursuing true wanderlust. Day job be damned! Check out " A Mad to Live Project" which highlights a variety of 50 mile walks for tomorrow's world changers and learn about the art of possibly crafting your own microadventure this Feb. Don't forget to bring a bonding buddy (if you can find one for a fifty miler..ha!) and if I see the two of you stranded on one of NJ's many highways walking to no where for a great cause, I'll be sure to offer you both a ride...assuming, of course, that you're at the end of your perfectly connecting micro adventure! Read Lauren's blog at MadToLive.com.

DonnaLyn at Pool
So if you're not feeling delightfully daring these days, simply try to change up one of your enjoyable routine activities. If you're a traditional runner, for instance, consider exploring Chi running...Your body and mind will thank you! My friend and colleague Dave Stretanski , certified master instructor of Chi running and walking fame right here in the Two River area, makes movement look easy, graceful and fun. Dave, where have you been all our lives? After earlier years of marathon and half marathon training that nearly made my knees buckle, meeting Dave and learning about "a better way" to improve my groove was a long overdue treat. The benefits to chi running include increased movement efficiency, reduced negative stress on the body, less discomfort and pain, and a much more mindful movement practice. Sounds like yoga in sneakers, Dave!

Too bad my long running days are largely over but thanks Dave for teaching us a better way to run in the spirit of enjoyment, consistency and increased performance with an opportunity to keep our social networks going and growing...Send your queries on groups forming or to learn more at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

If you're a yoga enthusiast or want to be in 2014, try an appropriate style of yoga or a new studio to broaden your healthy living horizons. There are numerous engaging yoga studios in Monmouth county to delight your downdog, so vary your vinyasa or expand your knowledge around the vastly different types of yoga available. Need a place to start learning which yoga form is most suitable or next in line for you? Check out www.yogatrail.com for an informative yoga wheel that covers approximately twenty of the most popular types of yoga according to your body's love for movement. Need a beginner's class? Try a restorative or gentle yoga class. Ready to ramp up your power potential on the mat? Try an ashtanga or hot yoga studio that will turn up the heat...literally and figuratively. The important part of the yoga journey, besides inviting a friend to enhance the socially connecting effect this month, is to ensure that the class is appropriately leveled for your expectations. The goal with yoga is to enjoy the entire mind, body and spirit adventure without landing in a class that's misaligned for your level of practice. It's also important to connect with your instructor so let your yoga guide know if you're new or looking for a challenge to start a dialogue around your needs. All the instructors I know enjoy the process of supporting their students on and often off the mat. That's why we're here to help create an encouraging community of wellness for you! Consider calling the studio before arriving to make sure your yoga drop- in is a blissful experience. Dress comfortably, bring a mat if you've got one (most studios will rent you one!) and have yourself a great experience! Feel free to drop me a line for some recommendations on how to find a class best suited for you. Here are just a few of the reasons passionate people pursue great yoga:

  1. Stress Relief
  2. Pain Relief
  3. Better Breathing
  4. Flexibility
  5. Focus on the Present
  6. Strength
  7. Weight Management

What's not to love, lifeleaders? So, let this February be a month of heart opening adventures for you, your friends and family. Namaste!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated business/wellness spokesleader that's been in the national convention, corporate and consumer space helping others improve their groove in getting results with the intersection of her business, wellness and leadership initiatives. Learn more at www.donnalyn.org for workshops, events and speaking engagements empowering people and teams from California to Cornell. Facebook and Twitter at DonnaLynSpeaks. Locally, you can find DonnaLyn teaching macro economics at Brookdale, coaching entrepreneurs at the Small Business Development Center or providing client care at Couch Braunsdorf Insurance and Heritage Benefits Group LLC, Red Bank.