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

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 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 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.

Two River Times - Health & Wellness Column Jan 2014

Here are some timely tips to keep you powered up for purposeful action in the new year. Researchers at the Loma Linda University in California recently noted that looking forward to an event boosts immunity. Maxed out on obligatory holiday happenings? Well, now its your time in 2014 to reframe your focus on enlarging events. So what's your creative calendar look like this year? Looking to learn something new, experience something different or try a different travel theme? Studies reveal that biological changes like lowering levels of of stress hormones cortisol & epinephrine(adrenaline) accompany the joy of event anticipation. So if you're susceptible to sad affective disorder or the "winter blues" like I am, consider making an active effort to plan something purposeful to keep you focused on fun. We recently attended a international premier medical/research conference to advocate for and educate others but that didn't stop us from planning fun with our friends while visiting New Orleans. By day we dished academic and by night we embraced Bourbon Street after power yoga at Reyn Studios to embrace the notion of integrated wellness. Bottomline, we make it our mission to plan for fun amidst hard work to keep our immunity humming and our memories coming in full color. But please note, you don't have to leave fabulous Red Bank to craft great events ! Simply boost your mood by looking forward to plans with friends in this cool little town or find interesting ways to make new friends in a new forum. Your detrimental stress hormones will decrease as you dial up delightful plans wherever you land. Consider joining us in Red Bank Feb 8 at the Red Bank Women's Club for the beginning of our next Power Panelist event series. Learn what's possible in business and life from our diverse group of lifeleaders that rarely take no for an answer in the arena of enlarging experiences. Not coincidentally, our first 2014 themed event is entitled "New Year, New You." One of our fabulous panelist presenters went back to law school at fifty to exceed the expectations of her clients and family. So, what are you leaning toward learning new this year?

Hammock overlooking Bay

Here are some stretch assignment possibilities to consider. The world of technology has gifted us with a plethora of learning options. Check out website Duolingo to learn a second language, get your healthy on at Nerd Fitness or grab some video learning at Information is Beautiful. If you prefer in person learning to virtual worlds, feel free to join us for our yoga class at The Atlantic Club on Saturday mornings or come join our macro economic instruction at Brookdale to keep your worldview expanding in the land of commerce and connection. Think you're too old or not quite bold enough to learn something new or daring? I challenge you to recall the teachings of psychology pro, Al Bandura that taught us the importance of small, consecutive stages of progress as the keystone to success. So if you want to "touch the snake" to dispel your fear of learning something new or intimidating this year, remember Bandura's cues to create successive building blocks to break through to new levels of achievement in 2014. You'll be going BIG in no time.

As we craft our new year, new you goals in the spirit of adventure and lifelong curiosity, lets not forget the paramount importance of effective stress management. One of the greatest tools that has enlarged the lives of wellness seekers has been the simple gift of stillness. So if you've ever spent time in the professional or personal wilderness trying to figure out how to restore and endure, give silence a whirl. Some find this exercise through meditation, prayer, gardening, dog walking or simply being truly present in their daily lives with others. When work or life gets too frenetic, try what Rick Hanson suggests in his popular book Buddha's Brain. To paraphrase one of his important messages he suggests that when we know stillness and get comfortable with silence, critical insights come forth. When the insights appear, then and only then can we become more clear around what it is that will enrich or improve our lives. Give the gift of goodbye to the energy vampires and start ushering in new insights and a more rewarding life. The end game in clarity is that we are finally able to work, communicate and share our giftedness in the world in the spirit of greater awareness which is what our wellness community knows as yoga in action. So if you're dealing with long lasting life shifting stressors in the new year or need a refresher on how to deal with the invariable insanity of life sometimes, think about bolstering your immune system with a ten minute mindful meditation to refocus your day, week, month or new year. It will yield mind, body, spirit and relationship dividends like no other, no charge. And if you'd like more integrated leadership learning on point, pick up a copy of book, Yoga as Medicine by Dr Tim McCall or join us for Yoga On the Lake this spring. It will give you something to look forward to!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated national business/wellness speaker, business consultant and resilience coach that empower leaders, corporate teams and conference attendees with the intersection of her business, wellness and life experience expertise. Ongoing global advocacy and upcoming events, workshops and speaking engagements are viewable at . She is the President of DLG Consulting, co-owner of Heritage Benefits Grp & producer partner at Couch Braunsdorf Insurance all in Red Bank. She is on staff at Brookdale as an economics professor and business consultant for the Small Business Development Center for entrepreneurs. She teaches yoga here and travels widely sharing yoga in her spare time.

Had the distinct pleasure of speaking at a colleague's book signing this weekend on the merits of food, friends and a good cleanse. It was a day of nutritional empowerment to kick off the New Year...the perfect elixir as we all detox delightful holiday treats! When Scott duPont, author of Do These Things or You Will Die...5 Secrets to a Long, Healthy & Energetic Life, invited me to give testimony on the power of alkalinity, cleansing and intelligent nutrition as a survivor/thriver team, we gladly accepted. What I love about Scott is the way he authentically lives and shares his passion for healthy living. We were instructed on the importance of clean nutrition through his powerful presentation and then invited for a green tea visit with his family after a spin in his new electric car! Our supercharged cells were buzzing with knowledge as we preserved the air in our environmentally clean riding machine!

The community clearly craved this key information on how to improve their groove around health and nutrition by packing this lovely community bookstore that had hosted big names like Garrison Keillor in the recent past. I shared what we knew to be true through nutrition, yoga, meaningful work and a positive attitude to elevate quality of life for all regardless of challenge. Our national health trends are alarming but that didn't stop us from disarming the myths that often hold us back from realizing the secrets of how to live a long, healthy and energetic life! Congratulations Scott on your newest book and thanks Rollins College for bringing frat brothers together for a cool post Christmas connection!

Tom Zapcic, Scott duPont, DonnaLyn Giegerich
Tom Zapcic, Scott duPont, DonnaLyn Giegerich

 Wellness & Wild Possibilities Book Signing @ Mendham Books, NJ

Sometimes serendipity exceeds expectation! Such was the case at the 55th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition where we connected with worldclass science, research and physician talent in early December. These leaders were committed to elevating medical innovation through their cutting edge work on display for four days in the heart of Nola.

Over 18,000 attendees merged their time, tenacity, passion and purposeful work to celebrate possibilties at the premier oncology event of the year. Luckily, we were along for the ride as patient advocates and symbols of what's possible for others thru a tumultuous medical journey. Sure, we enjoyed Tom's birthday on Bourbon St, alongside the arts, culture and fun that the city serves up 24-7 but we also dialed up our learning around esoteric terms like flow cytometry, blackswan research, CRAB criteria and cellular/molecular sensitivity testing. The stadium lectures were like rock concerts for a cure and the posters in the exhibition halls reminded me it was time to learn another foreign language stat. At the end of the day, I found zen at a local yoga studio to download the brain opening experience and eeked out a 3K run to support the International Myeloma Foundation where our running mantra was "no patient left behind". We are surely gunning for more time in our deep community of committed stakeholders and are grateful to our new friends around the world that beaded up with us in the French Quarter.

Bourbon StBourbon St.

UAMS Dr Barlogie & fansUAMS Dr Barlogie & fans

This October we celebrated our final event in our Fall Power Panelist 2013 season featuring Women in Wellness in the medical, business, fitness and lifeleader space. Our second year of sold out programming and meaningful networking at the Red Bank Woman's Club is yielding great dividends for all in a warm and welcoming venue where history is often crafted. New and returning attendees, clients and friends, meet and greet several times a year to learn and share what they know to be true in business and life. One of our passionate panelists was channelling her inner "actress" as she described with humor and authenticity how she became a wellness professional. The other three panelist doctors concurred that today's patient and practicioner have to team up to be well aligned to design and deliver a wellness plan best suited in a world of rich and variant options. One of my longtime business colleagues queried how we launch & sustain such invigorating programming empowering others. Our response was threefold: emotional energy, a daring plan and collaborative confidence...peppered, of course, with some super "channelling" and lots of fun. See you in 2014!

Power Panel Women!

We now live in a "credibility" economy, where who we are matters more than what we produce. So what's your reputation ranking? Do folks view you as a leader, a lurk, a saint or a j*rk? Maybe somewhere in between, depending on the kind of day you're having??

One of the great honors of coaching and consulting with so many diverse leaders around the country has led me to surmise the following:
1.) Leaders master self efficacy. They truly believe that they can effectively redirect their efforts and overcome challenge with inner fortitude and a supportive inner circle of trusted advisors. Call it self confidence, resiliency or an over the top positive attitude but be sure it yields great results. No matter how one frames their challenges, it usually culminates in an overriding sense of "we can figure this out." Researchers Everly & Flynn(2005) coined the phrase "PFA" for psychological first aid. Turns out the most effective leaders are highly proficient at developing a powerful "inner circle" of advisors that help them manage acute stress & the possible need for ongoing mental health support. The best leaders provide encouragement and support for others but are also equally aware of their imperative need to "refill their wells" to continue to lead by example. There is no band aid brand to great leadership. Invest in the best first aid kit that crafts lasting success for you and your teams at home and at work.

Just returned from DC sharing what I know to be true as a presenting speaker for the Yoga Alliance's national business conference entitled Mind.Body.Business. I was invited to present on How to Build an Abundant Business Plan to encourage emerging yoga studio owners, sole practicioners, on-boarding industry newbies and existing veterans how best to transition their plans in the spirit of passion and profit. Not an easy goal for many, but well worth the "lean in" to properly position one's brand in the marketspace. Had the honor to meet and greet so many conference peopleleaders as a speaker, coach, consultant and colleague to inform each other's purposeful work. Met some interesting vendors, as well, like bodyworker Gina Schatz at We mused on getting over "shiny object syndrome" in midlife and compared notes on crafting our best efforts around formulating "meaning over money" to serve our higher purposes. So many folks I coach with share the challenge of vascillating amidst competing interests, shifting priorities and multiple life lessons here in midsteam.... trying to orchestrate that fluid exit/entry, that deeper down dive into a better way of working... or wandering around what might be possible for them in the context of a larger life.

Got a great story? Love to hear it at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Best transition story wins a zen "Yoga On The Lake" hat or a free ticket to our next power panelist event "Leading the Way in Wellness" on Saturday, October 12th at The Womens Club of Red Bank. Either way, no need to wear your shades... no "shiny object syndrome" successes here... Just authentic lifeleaders diving down and serving up from their passion pond what they know to be true in the spirit of integrated leadership wellness. Program details and reserves at

Celebrating Life at the Yoga Alliance Business Conference, Washington, DC Ag 2013

Celebrating Life at the Yoga Alliance Business Conference, Washington, DC Ag 2013

This much I know is true! Three themes keep reappearing through my coaching work empowering coastal businessleaders back to business post Sandy. As a business consultant for the Small Business Development Center (funded by the SBA) at Brookdale, I've had the honor of working with some resilient entrepreneurs lately.

Lesson One: Cream always rises to the top. Through all the chaos and heartbreak, these people keep powering through change. Some call it resilience, others coin it hardiness. At the end of the day, its been amazing to watch focused fighters get back to what they do best... whether its design a dessert, craft a coiffure or retail an outrageous deliverable.

Lesson Two: Good guys DO win. You might not read about it on the front page of the news but it's happening and I'm grateful to see it here for the well deserving.

Lesson Three: Nothing replaces great relationships. John Maxwell will tell you talent is never enough and Malcolm Gladwell will direct you to put in your ten thousand hours of training. Heed both but stay connected. Restricting your reach and curbing your curiosity is always limiting. I've watched businesses blossom and networking groups grow that embrace an abundant mindset instead of shrinking due to territorialism and limited learning. The real changemakers master all three lessons to storm the doors wide open for more success. Thanks Sandy!


A wise sage once said "you dont age until your regrets outnumber your dreams". How's your ratio? One of the great honors in coaching high potential and seasoned leaders is supporting them as they craft and deliver their dreams. Some want to improve their groove in how they show up in the world, others want to lead more effectively and some want to learn how to be more passionate at the podium. Others want to strategically grow their businesses, expand their lives or simply redirect their efforts in the spirit of a life better lived. There's a growing countercultural movement gaining momentum around slowing down. So if being a workaholic is holding you back from being your best in business or life, it may be time to retrain your brain. Maybe its time to craft a calmer way of being by connecting with your inner tortoise. Feel free to join our community of life and businessleaders at every Saturday this summer. You may actually pause long enough to envision those dreams that will keep you unregrettably young!

Kayaking-Thru-Chemo-2008-014-two-turtlesSend us your best Kurmasana photo for a prize!


Sometimes in life, you just get lucky. So very grateful to one of my wonderful yoga students for a serendipitous invitation to her family's lovely home to join them for Wanderlust 2013. Wanderlust is an amazing outdoor yogafestival(the largest of its kind in the US by the way) that's held in several locations around the country to celebrate life, yoga, sustainability and community. We didn't hesitate to say "Yes!" and we're so glad we did as the Stratton mountain backdrop was delightful! We danced, sang, hiked, did yoga, ate great food, sipped organic wine and mingled with wellness seekers along the east coast for a full day. The festival runs four full days and I bet every one of those days is magical..We were jazzed and so very grateful to get one fabulous fourteen hour day to celebrate all the things that matter most: self care, silence, relationships, nature and new places in big, wide open spaces to break from the work we create and share in the world... Namaste!




Excited to be invited to attend the St Jude/Fed Ex PGA tournament this summer by our special friend and trusted tour guide Ethan. St Jude Children's Research Hospital is an amazing place fueled by $1.8 million dollars daily to support children battling catastrophic disease. The facility, off campus housing, gardens and guided day tour really helped us get our minds around this huge paradigm powering positive outcomes for the kids. Managing two adult killer cancers at once was challenging enough, but framed within the context of these kids... well, as I speak about at my engagements, perspective really is pivotal in adjusting our lens around life. Beale St did not disappoint, nor did the duck parade at The Peabody. Fireworks, minor league baseball, ribs at Rendevous and a rockin riverwalk to work it all off topped our daring adventure in Memphis. We loved learning that Elvis was a meditator while touring Graceland. I'll definitely circle back to musical Memphis if I can find a fabulous little yoga studio in this vibrant city with a warm, welcoming heart.




Honored to craft and facilitate two PowerPanelist events in 2013 around women repurposing their work lives and women that work hard, play hard. Our full house programming at the Red Bank Women's Club gathered smart, vibrant women in the spirit of collaboration, connection and commitment to community. March's program supported the Sandy rebuild efforts for Boondocks Fishery in Marine Park, Red Bank and May's event helped another KickCancerOverboard candidate get closer to a tropical island cruise! Our non profit has sent over 80 folks adversely affected by cancer on a funfest to sea for free and there's no stopping us now! Here are some key takeaway comments from our audience and power panelists at our sold out events:
1. Amazing networking! Always meet interesting and generous lifeleaders from around the state!
2. Love the energy in the room, the authentic & diverse power panelist share and professional facilitation! I'm a repeater and look forward to the next event!
3. Sponsors were aligned well with the program topic and I never felt pressured or pitched.
4. Food is fabulous..fresh, healthy, happy juices and an eclectic selection always from the vendors.
5. Love the comfortable, warm and inviting vibe that this historic Victorian provides the attendees..perfect venue in a hip little town!
Fall programming in motion! Don't miss us... Namaste...
Power Panelist May

Excited to share what I know to be true in the spirit of integrated leadership in Scott duPont's newest book Five Secrets to A Long, Healthy and Energetic Life! Thanks for the opportunity to share that yoga has been a big benefit in our wellness, work and life success strategies.

Teaching yoga around the world in the cold months of the year always warms our hearts for several reasons: 1) We get to "leave our heads so we can open our hearts" to the wonder of a foreign destination 2) We get to appreciate the bold old year and plan for the new exciting one and 3) We get to share yoga! with world travelers and weary wellness seekers... This year we met fabulous folks from Russia, Canada, Switzerland and Wisconsin to name a few in the magnificent jungle of Cayo, Belize at The Hidden Valley Inn. Can't quite describe the magnificence of sharing yoga from platforms perched at the edge of water falls in the jungle or at ancient Mayan archeological sites too big for even our best camera lens to capture..Let's just say we've been lucky on so many levels and feel honored to share it! Here's some fun photos, along with our new business page for our Yoga on the Lake Summer Series at . It is, afterall, only a 5 mere months away! Namaste!

Belize 2013 Yoga Poses

Belize 2013

Belize 2013