Lioness Camp – June 2016

Lioness Self Defense
Through the Arts

Summer Camp for Girls 11-14
June 6 – 10th, 9 am – 4 pm

Odyssey Community School
90 Zillicoa Street
Asheville, NC


Join Lioness Camp in Partnership with Odyessy Community School, for an inspiring and dynamic new approach to confidence-building. It is our dream to support young women to develop the confidence to move with pride, grace, and fierceness in the world.  Our vision is to find innovative ways to ensure their safety in the greater world through creative education developing greater confidence, verbal and nonverbal communication, clear boundaries, and trust in their own intuition through the arts.

Each day will feature a different teacher and art form, through which the girls will learn to connect to their movement, posture, breathing, and personal space as well as verbal and nonverbal communication skills.  The arts will include drumming, singing, dance, yoga, theater, martial arts, and visual art.  Each day will be a new art form, taught by local performing artists!



For more information:
Beth Bluth
(828) 273-8448

Heather Cohen
(541) 231-6353

Click here for our website.


Working Out Your “Showing Up” Muscle


The inspiration for this blog post all started a few months ago, at a group exercise class called Tabata.

There was a college student doing a research paper on “Why do people go to group exercise classes?” She needed our help by participating in a survey.

I was happy this was announced at the beginning of class so I could contemplate my feedback while participating in the class. I love processing while moving so I knew this would be effective.

After the class, I was eager to share my insights with the student and fill out the survey. I knew this was big and there was more to the picture. I was thinking about intrinsic happiness and self care.

Months have gone by and I am still pondering why I go to group exercise classes. I especially enjoy TRX and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes.

HIIT is a type of cardiovascular training that combines intervals of MAXIMUM effort followed by a complete recovery. While these classes mix up the timing variations they will ALWAYS take you to your max.

I go to class for several reasons which have evolved over the past few years. I have exercised for many years, I notice how my energy becomes stagnant and my mind is cloudy if I don’t move my body. I started exploring group fitness because I knew there was more to the picture then running on the treadmill, getting on a stationary bike or hopping on the elliptical. I felt like I had plateaued in that arena and I was looking for something new.

A few years later, and I am still hooked on these HIIT classes.

Here Dr. Mercola has a supportive article about why he likes HIIT workouts and there is science to back up the benefits.

So what is it, that I enjoy and why do I encourage you to explore group exercise?

  • SHOWING UP regularly (commitment)
  • the teacher (find one you resonate with) creating the workout and encouragement
  • feeling great (endorphins released after exercise, triggering a positive body feeling)
  • the synergy of being in a group
  • the enjoyment of seeing people doing physical and mental self care
  • efficient and quick ( HIIT classes tend to be an appealing 30 minutes)
  • the after effect (metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete routine)
  • upper body strength (important for healthy aging, we lose muscle mass as we age)
  • exercise settles the body so meditations can be deeper and less agitated

Mostly, I am inspired by what I’ve noticed regarding SHOWING UP and how that is expressed in all realms of a person’s life. I think attending group exercise class and committing to going is huge! It is meaningful because it strengthens our “show up” muscle! Please don’t confuse this with obligation vs. having discernment and healthy boundaries. I am talking about “showing up” in a healthy, loving way.
Based on personal observation, many people are “checking out.” It is so easy to check out because of the addiction to smart phones and other electronic nooses (oops, I mean devices…) make it very easy to stay distracted and fill up the calendar and then become overwhelmed and basically unavailable.

Now, more than ever, we need to show up for ourselves, family, friends, our community and the world. I think that there is a link between committing to showing up for class and getting there without excuses and for fully showing up to your precious life!

I hope this inspires you to try a new group fitness class or go online and look up some information regarding HIIT. Don’t wait until 2016 finish out 2015 feeling your best!

As always, consult your physician before exercising if this is new to you or you have a health concern.

Be Well~

Be Kind to Yourself

photo 1

Seems natural right? It often seems as if self sabotaging comments or being self critical is how many people feed their inner demons (fears, insecurities, frustrations,etc..) This can’t possibly be an effective tool for intrinsically benefiting one self or making any kind of positive contribution to the betterment of the planet.

“If we eavesdropped on the continuous thread of commentary in other’s minds, we’d be surprised at how cruel we are to ourselves. In fact, if self criticism were a disease, it would likely dwarf other epidemics. If, like so many others, you are your own worst critic, you know what psychological distress this relentless mental criticism can cause.” An excerpt from Conversations about Compassion through the Fetzer Institute.

Cultivating a practice in mindfulness, and responding to your own suffering with kindness are two ways that you can develop self compassion. Breaking away from the habit of harboring self-defeating thoughts is a practice that can move a person through this suffering and into a state of peacefulness.

Dr. Kristin Neff has some beautiful guided meditations to assist people in cultivating self compassion click here to explore what may work for you.

I didn’t always view self care as necessary. However, the older and wiser I grow the more I prioritize self care. At the top of the self care list is Self Compassion. Whenever a flight attendant talks about applying the oxygen masks in case of a drop in cabin pressure, they instruct the passengers to first put on your own mask before assisting others.

This analogy remains true in how we take care of ourselves off the plane and in our daily activities. As caretakers, it benefits all people involved.
Taking time to care for our mind, body and soul is crucial during a time when life is moving at a rapid speed. Recognizing that we need to take space from the “to do” list (or add self care to the list) is very important to our sustainability and the quality of life we are living.

Perhaps the term self care is foreign to you and you are wondering what that actually means.
Here are some ideas to stimulate self care practices for you: participating in an appropriate form of exercise, booking a massage, doing a facial at home, hot foot soak with epson salt, a quiet bath with candles and essential oils, tea date with a friend, writing a journal entry, date night with your partner or loved one, making a healthy meal, reading a good book or magazine, having a gratitude practice, meditation or time for peaceful reflection, hiking or a walk around your neighborhood, etc… the list can include anything that contributes to your well being.

The picture featured with this post is one that strikes me as profound. Try it, treat yourself on all levels like it belongs to someone you love. Hope this can make a difference in your life and you can find yourself a little happier, lighter and more loving.

Be Well~

Relax, Go Organic

20130910-205242.jpgMuch to my surprise this picture was on the front page of yesterday’s Asheville Citizens-Times. (Click it to see it full size, in all its glory!) I am taking it as a message that de-stressing and eating more organic foods are becoming more accepted and possible revered. Even with Jaiden at my head I still look blissed out. This has not come easy but after lots of practice, I think I am getting there. I can’t say I have mastered being at peace in the midst of stress or difficult times, however I value its importance and I keep working towards it.

Practicing yoga, meditating, being in a healthy relationship with yourself and others, adequate exercise and of course making choices that support a healthy body & mind are all important when setting goals for health & wellness.

Eating organic is part of the puzzle. Especially at this time when GMO foods are popping up everywhere. You may not mind being part of an experiment but when I have the choice to eat foods that are not being manipulated then I choose organic. The combination of local and organic together is the best. Also, buying foods from the farmer’s market is nothing short of soul-enriching. I love leaving the market with a bag of locally grown and produced foods. It is simply delightful! Try it if you don’t already – you might like it too.

20130910-205830.jpgHere is another picture of the “Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15” with Jaiden pushing a cart in the background.

I saw this sign posted in the produce department of an Ingles grocery store. I was so pleased to see this awareness & education being brought to shoppers in a large grocery store not just health food stores.

Here is a summary from the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

If buying all organic produce is not available to you, then take a look at the dirty dozen list. This list will inform you as to which fruits and vegetables are most saturated with pesticides and herbicides and therefore the ones you want to avoid purchasing. Many of these pesticides are toxic to the nervous system. This list does not reflect GMOs. If you want to avoid GMO produce that you would need to buy organically grown fruits and veggies.

The article also provides you with a list of 15 fruits and veggies that are not as saturated with pesticides due to various reasons & criteria. I am hoping for your health that you are eating lots of fruits and veggies and that is why I think it is important for you to consider this article the next time you grocery shop.

Just another tool in your box for becoming more aware and remember awareness is the key!