We all welcome a break, time to do 'other things' but it is just as nice to 'get back' to class.
The first week back is always tricky for the teacher, inspired by new music we want to 'get going' with new movements, but I like to keep it simple. It doesn't matter if we have had one week or several weeks away from class, the brain has to 'get back into the groove' and the muscles have to be reminded what to do.
The first week back is generally gentle with familiar exercises and music, easing everyone back into the routine of class and most importantly catching up with gossip. As an EXTEND and Medau teacher, I plan and create exercises for my class members. By watching how everyone is doing I adapt and tweak the class as I go making sure everyone enjoys what we are doing and feels satisfied with what they are doing. Introducing, and adapting, one new thing at a time means everyone is learning something new and new comers feel part of the creative process. If a movement looks uncomfortable or the class isn't smiling then I know to change and re-think. Sometimes I will just play a piece of music and ask of they like it, there is no point creating something if the majority of the class hates the song! Sometimes It takes a week or so for a new piece of music to 'settle', with so much new music on the radio and so many genres to pick from it takes time to understand the lyrics, to feel the musical highs and lows and be in tune with the beats and bars.
There is a lot to think about, attending an exercise class isn't just about the exercise, it is about having fun and stimulating the whole brain!
It is duvet day in our house which means I have the TV control!
While we all need to exercise, keep the muscles working and the heart pumping it is easy to become obsessed and fill the day wth 'steps' and to pretend to like jogging - we should remember that it is just as important to rest. With the media telling us that we need to exercise and keep active we can forget that rest is just as important, athletes have rest days so why do we feel guilty when we indulge in a box set?
Whatever your Bank Holiday indulgence is, a day catching up with a Box Set, a walk in the woods, a sneaky chocolate egg or a glass or two of wine, have a lovely few days with family and friends.
This was the last week of term and what a week. Lots of exercise, lots of singing, new class members and lots of fun.
On Monday and Tuesday the EXTEND classes went all the way back to basics and enjoyed great stretches, shoulder and waist work.
Wednesday Medau class enjoyed a swing with clubs working the upper body as well as the legs.
Have a good Easter break and enjoy the sunshine.
Classes resume as follows:
Monday EXTEND: 24th April (no class on Bank Holiday)
Tuesday EXTEND: 18th April
Wednesday Medau: 19th April
The world seems to be obsessed with 'steps' and 'active minutes'.
Do they really matter?
Did you know that 10 000 steps, is approximately 5 miles. Is that really realistic?
They say you should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week!
The NHS has some sound advice and has suggestions on physical activity for all age groups here.
So why EXTEND or Medau?
One class will not give you everything you need but it will add the your weekly variety. If you are looking for something that accommodates your aches and pains, then pop along to an EXTEND class and sing while you exercise. If you fancy a challenge and something different, then try my Medau class in Potters Bar, every week is something new and the class will add a few thousand steps to your daily total!
You will not know if it is your thing until you give it a try...the first class is free...so you have nothing to lose other than an hour of your time!
Sometimes things just happen and this week was one of those weeks when everything just falls into place. Being a teacher is not just planning the class so every bit of the body is worked, it is being able to read who is in front of you and change and adapt accordingly.
On Monday the class sang along to every single song I played raising everyone’s spirits and painting a huge smile on my face. Tuesday brought another new lady who smiled through the whole hour and we worked the whole body from top to bottom from our finger-tips to our toes and every bit in between. I wished I had (yet again) a video camera as everyone looked so happy.
At Medau we worked with 1m x1m square scarves concentrating on our feet, driving forward and moving backwards with confidence, changing directions...and turning!
It was, as they say, a good week! Everyone rose to the challenge and we ended with smiles, rosy cheeks and a great sense of personal satisfaction.
Today is International Women’s Day and people around the world will be celebrating and championing women’s achievements.
Why celebrate on just one day, try an EXTEND or Medau class and champion your own achievments!
Not everyone can change the world, implement change or run a company but we can all influence our lives and the lives of family and friends. One place to start is by taking care of yourself and an exercise class with the added extra of friendship, fun and personal satisfaction is one way to kick start that intention.
The first class is free and there is no obligation to try a second!
Today was the first rehearsal of the Herts and Diamond's new item for 2017. Hertfordshire Medau members and friends, Led by Frances Judd (who teaches in Chingford, Goffs Oak and Hemel Hempstead) we were encouraged to let our creative juices flow as we began to explore the music and apparatus. Being part of the creative process is very exciting and Frances makes sure we all play a part in the creation of a new item.
We might not be ready for Jane's rally in April but we should be as near to 'perfect' as humanly possible for the AGM later in the year.
Below: Herts and Diamonds rehearsing for the 2016 AGM
It has been a relaxing half term and now begins the preparation for a new term. That means going over the music, catching up on paperwork, creating new routines and listening to 'what is new'.
Inspiration comes from many places, from a new (or old) tune, an original or a new cover. It could be a gesture from a TV programme, a ballet or musical but more often that not we stumble upon it while dancing to a piece of music in the kitchen (all of the best routines are made up in the kitchen). If we do not stumble upon new chorography in the kitchen you can be sure we will find it in middle of the night when we cant sleep as we have ‘that song’ in our head!
BUT, as an EXTEND and Medau teacher, my most important source of inspiration are my class members themselves. Knowing my classes as well as I do I make sure everything in my class is for a purpose from shoulder mobilisation, co ordination and most importantly for fun and enjoyment! If you can't sing along and if the class doesn't leave you smiling then I have not done my preparation properly!
Have a lovely Sunday afternoon, I am heading for the kitchen so I can work out my ‘something new’ and get it straight in my head so I can get to sleep tonight!
Forget the ‘blue rinse brigade’, these ladies destroy all those stereotypes with their fun and effective fitness classes that are guaranteed to get you hot under the collar!