I hope this post finds you starting 2023 with peace, joy and movement for your body, mind and soul.
I have done a lot of reflecting since the start of this year on what I am doing everyday to my body - what I'm putting in it, how I'm moving it, how I'm taking care of it, what it's absorbing such as stress, anxiety, screen time, social media. There are certainly many, many opinions out there on what you should do and not do to be "healthy." And one thing I really wanted to share in my reflection - I am not an expert on anything. I am a permanent student. I have no room to tell you to eat this or don't eat that, get this many hours of sleep, don't do social media or use screens. And even though I have eleven years of teaching experience in Pilates, I don't want to be another voice in your head standing in your way and building fear or anxiety around movement. I want you to move and figure out your own bodies in a safe, judgment free zone. Because any movement is better than no movement. And it's there in that zone that you find joy in movement because you then have autonomy over your own body and what it can do.
So this month, my focus in all my classes is "better health," which really means we move to feel good, not because we are trying to force our bodies to do something that we feel they should be able to do. Every month, I'm proud of the classes I build, but this month is extra special. All of the classes feel GOOD and will have you learning something new about your body. I hope it brings you joy and leaves you walking away feeling confident in the skin you're in.
As of January 24, 1,230 people in the U.S. have died from gun violence so far in 2023. At least 69 of those deaths were in mass shootings. That's why this month, 20% of our proceeds goes to Sandy Hook Promise Foundation.
Sandy Hook Promise is a national nonprofit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Based in Newtown, Connecticut, their intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning their tragedy into a moment of transformation. By empowering youth to “know the signs” and uniting all people who value the protection of children, we can take meaningful actions in schools, homes, and communities to prevent gun violence and stop the tragic loss of life.
The mission of Sandy Hook Promise is to educate and empower youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities. Through their proven, evidence-informed Know the Signs programs and sensible, bipartisan school and gun safety legislation, they teach young people and adults to recognize, intervene, and get help for individuals who may be socially isolated and/or at risk of hurting themselves or others.
They have had 18 million participants, 23,000+ schools engaged, 150,000+ tips anonymously reported, 397 confirmed lives saved with crisis intervention, 102 acts of violence with a weapon prevented, 12 planned school shootings prevented and passed STOP school violence Act 2018. Their next steps include 1) expanding their proven Know the Signs programs to teach more youth and adults how to prevent violence, shootings, and other harmful acts with age-appropriate, antiracist curriculum that can be delivered online or in-person, 2) Sandy Hook Promise strives to ensure its work environment, programmatic work, and culture reflect the values of race, equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) and 3) through their sister organization, Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund, writing and championing common sense policy to prevent gun violence and support mental wellness.
To learn more and to make the promise, visit their website: https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/