Member Superstars

YOU. FIT. REWARDS

Congratulations to our November 2017 You. Fit. Rewards drawing winner:

CHRISTIAN BINKLEY
$100 FIT ‘N’ FUNDRAISER DONATION

Christian would like her $100 donation to go Polar Bears International—a very worthy cause! Christian has been a member since 2011, enjoys taking Piloxing and sculpting classes, and loves our Junior Club. Congrats to Christian and Polar Bears International!

Do you participate in You. Fit., our workout rewards program? Find out more

THE MEANING OF LIFE

A video presentation called The Meaning of Life, featuring dance therapist and Parkpoint Member Katie Wright Macdonald, will be shown at Vintage House on Friday, January 19, at 2pm. Katie’s work as a dance therapist has been shown on many TV programs including Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, and Real People. Her dance therapy work has also been featured in textbooks which focus on life science and the healing arts science.

The Meaning of Life TV special, produced by Quincy Jones and George Schlatter, features numerous celebrities including Garth Brooks, Natalie Cole, Oprah, Kenny Rogers, Betty White, and John Wayne. It also includes other people who are making a difference in the world to make it a better place.

The famed Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross, author of many books on death and dying, made a video about Katie’s work with seniors and the physically limited. Katie’s work has been shown worldwide in Dr. Ross’s workshops.

There will be a discussion following the presentation.

LAUGHTER YOGA

80% laughter, 20% yogic breathing—all while standing or sitting, no mat required! Parkpoint member Judy Mikeska is a certified leader of a popular form of a healthy exercise called Laughter Yoga. Having spent her career as an interior designer, Judy was introduced to Laughter Yoga while she was taking care of her mother who suffered from dementia. Judy was struggling to maintain her own sense of humor and ability to relax. It was quite by accident that she found this exercise routine. After trying a few classes on her own, she found she could laugh away stress. Judy realized she was feeling so much better both emotionally and physically that she knew she had to share this form of “yoga.”

Judy explains, “Laughter Yoga is a revolutionary idea—simple and profound—an exercise routine that is a complete well-being session for health, stress reduction, creativity, team building, and so much more. It brings in more oxygen to the body and brain, which makes you feel more energetic and healthy. Instead of comedy, laughter is initiated through creative, fun exercises.” Common health benefits include strengthening the immune system through the activation of the lymphatic system, releasing endorphins, reducing pain, lowering stress, and promoting an overall sense of well-being. Laughter Yoga also lowers cortisol and blood pressure levels.

Judy relates, “It’s easy and it’s mainly about having fun! The classes are all about YOU—for you to have fun and laugh. You must experience it to believe it. In Laughter Yoga, there is no such thing as failure. There is no right and no wrong. It’s all about having fun and letting loose while you get a gentle natural workout.” Each session ends with a relaxing mindful body scan and a guided affirming relaxation meditation. A large floor covering is provided or you can use a mat when we lay down on the floor.

Classes are usually about 45 minutes long and there is no embarrassment at all. The goal is to use the imagination and transcend what we have been taught to judge about what is and is not funny. Laughter is a natural human response, and Judy’s class will let you “let it all out” and just PLAY! She calls it “adult recess.”

Laughter Yoga classes are held throughout the Sonoma community including at Santa Rosa Junior College, Spring Lake Village, and Sonoma Brookdale. Classes at Sonoma Valley Hospital are given to hospital staff to help them deal with the daily stresses of working in the medical field and to encourage team building. Drug rehabilitation centers and incarcerated women’s groups also benefit from this type of stress-reducing exercise. Soon, we hope to offer Judy’s classes at Parkpoint—please keep an eye out for more information.

Judy’s local business, Laughter Yoga Health, is found at laughteryogahealth.com. When she is not leading classes, Judy is also a Rodan & Fields© representative. Feeling good on the inside and the outside!