As part of Alive Physical Therapy’s collaboration with Food Love Project, we had an opportunity to lead the Farm Summer Camp children and farm workers in functional movements to prepare for a day of farming. We made warm-up exercises more exciting by giving each movement engaging names like “giant walks,” “apple picking,” “acorn to oak tree” and “bird-dogs.” Not only does involving the imagination make movements more fun, it also more fully engages the mind to truly stretch into a full body range of motion. We can make injury prevention, balance and flexibility a more playful way to start the day!
Saturday, July 20th, 2013 hundreds of youth and their families flocked to NEO FEST at 49er park for a celebration of youth and positivity. This raucous event celebrates 5 years of NEO, creating “New Events and Opportunities” for youth in Nevada County to empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices. We were thrilled to join many other performers, bands, and activities by adding our version of fun in a HOOP. Mags performed a quick hoop dance demonstration and lead youth in a hula hooping lesson and jam. Boys and girls of all ages joined in on the fun. Many eyes lit up with delight as they hooped with the candy colored circles of joy. We at Alive Physical Therapy love awakening and encouraging the inner child in all of us, with fun heart pumping activities like hula hooping.
This morning I woke up with a leisurely ride through Nevada City rolling foothills passing small farms, horse stables, and country homes. Today was the first day of Morning Movement for Farmers on the Food Love Farm. It was such a pleasure to spend the morning with this group of strong young passionate women and men. The sun warmed our bodies as we stretched and strengthened our hips, back, shoulder, and necks.
Farming is notorious for being “back breaking” work, and hard on the body. Alive Physical Therapy wants to refute this notion. Though it can be physically challenging, there is no reason why healthy bodies shouldn’t be able to sustain manual work for decades with proper care and training. I am thrilled to partner with Food Love Project and the Living Lands Agrarian Network to educate farmers how to sustain their bodies through a lifetime of farming. For those of you that don’t know, Living Lands provides training and mentorship to aspiring small scale farmers in Nevada County. Food Love Project is one of the Living Lands offshoots, and is an is an educational farm designed to share the love of fresh, local, seasonal, whole foods with the community, partnering with local schools. Alive PT will provide a range of services and classes from morning warm-ups, self-care workshops, and private treatment to prevent and treat injury. By teaching young farmers more efficient and comfortable ways of using their bodies, we are sewing the seeds of prevention and partnering to create a sustainable food economy and healthy bodies. I hope to open the classes to other local farmers and gardeners on a donation basis, allowing access to healthcare eyond rehab into a life lived more fully.
I had the joy of teaching my first group Hoopnotica® Hoop Dance class in Nevada City this weekend, to the 6th Grade Girls Moon Circle Group from Yuba River Charter School. The sun and shady areas under tall pines trees offered choice places to dance, play and socialize. We had a few self-professed children and adults “not able to hula hoop” in the bunch and all were happily hooping through the class. Hoops flew around the grass as we learned from our mistakes, and enjoyed the flight of hoops through the air for the fun of it. We worked on dancing in the hoop, walking and turning in different directions, passing, halos, horizontal hooping, playing at different levels, and seeing how close we could hoop dance to each other and share space. The girls and their moms all had a great time. A big “Thank you!” for inviting me to share the joy of hooping with you Yuba River Charter Moon Circle Group! It is a privilege to bring hooping into the greater community especially for young women learning more about their bodies. I look forward to teaching more Hoop Dance classes in Nevada City!