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Relocation

Posted by Jennvp on December 10, 2011 at 12:30 AM

Greetings from Colorado!

After years of visiting the Boulder area of Colorado, I've finally made the move. I'm slowly settling into my new responsibilities and routines, and am enjoying the opportunity to do it all with a view of the Front Range. I miss my MN students and clients, so my excitement is balanced with those feelings as well.

I'm available for workshops, Thai yoga bodywork and yoga instruction by appointment, at your location or through Facilitated Wellness at Flatiron Athletic Club in Boulder (see location page).

And of course, I'm open to scheduling the above services in other locations too, including Minnesota! Contact me with questions and ideas.

I hope you are all remembering to take good care of yourselves as winter settles in, and the holiday season puts extra stress and strain on your systems. As wise Master Pichest teaches, we must be sure to take care of ourselves first, or we won't be effective in caring for others.

Warm regards,

Jenn 

Workshops and Products

Posted by Jennvp on October 24, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Happy autumn!

I hope everyone enjoyed the summer, which seems to have stuck around a little later than usual this year. I'm not complaining.

I've been enjoying teaching an increasing number of workshops on familiar and new topics--related to both yoga and Traditional Thai Medicine. Teaching workshops is incredibly rewarding work.

I also moved forward with my products, and am excited to expand their marketing and sales.

Contact me to learn more about these or anything else you see on the Intent Bodywork website.

Warm regards,

Jenn


What's Jenn been up to?

Posted by Jennvp on July 2, 2011 at 2:49 PM
Sawatdee Kaa, and happy sunshiny summer!

So much has been going on since I last checked in here...

As some of you know, I've enjoyed many learning opportunities over the past few months. In February, I had the honor of studying with Thai acupressure expert Noam Tyroler of Isreal when he offered a workshop in Denver, CO. This kicked off my participation in Thai massage training at the Denver Integrative Massage School, where I was part of a wonderful group of students and instructors. These opportunities had me in Colorado multiple times between February and June, so I've been busy--but I'm certainly not complaining! I am now very much closer to my goal of being an accredited Thai yoga bodywork instructor.

In addition to my Thai bodywork practice and study, I also continue to teach group and private yoga sessions, and am happy to be expanding my practice to work out of the Devanadi Yoga studio and new wellness space in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis. This space is owned and operated by my mentor, Tanya Sowards. When I first began practicing bodywork years back I had the opportunity to work with her, so I am excited to be doing so again, and joining a talented group of dedicated wellness and yoga professionals. Note that with this new opportunity, my teaching and bodywork offerings at the beautiful Sky studio at Synergize Yoga in Anoka will continue the same as usual.

Contact me directly to schedule bodywork or private yoga sessions, or to learn more about having me teach yoga classes or Thai bodywork workshops at your location! My yoga class teaching schedule is on this website or at www.yogainanoka.com.

Namaste,

Jenn

Sangha

Posted by Jennvp on February 27, 2011 at 10:59 PM
As many of you know, since last autumn I have had the opportunity to study the ParaYoga tradition through Devanadi Yoga in Minneapolis.

This 200 hour yoga teacher training program has been a growth experience for me, and upon realizing I have only one weekend left of this section, I wanted to reflect a bit on the experience.

One of the many gifts to come out of this training is the amazing sense of community and shared experience with the diverse group of individuals who have come together in this program. Some are there to deepen their personal practice, others are there to explore the possibility of teaching yoga, others are there to deepen their offerings as teachers.

I have come to deeply value the sense of community that has developed within this group of amazing individuals. The concept of "sangha" dates back centuries to the time of the Buddha, and while it has several meanings, one overarching meaning of the Sanskrit word "sangha" refers to a community with a common goal.

Our sangha has over these months developed into a place of self-expression and self-exploration, of support for each other, and a nurturing environment in which to explore our meditation and yoga practices, and through them grow as people.

The sangha has a sense of community and shared experience that creates an organic link among its members. Facilitated by the teachers who guide our group, we learn and explore the many topics presented in the program. The process is enriched by our diverse backgrounds, and flavored with a common sense of humor. I am grateful for all of it.

My reflections on the idea of sangha remind me that in my life I am fortunate to be part of more than one of these communities of shared purpose. At Synergize Yoga, the community of teachers and students and practitioners and clients is a sangha of which I am also grateful to be a part. People of diverse background and purpose coming together with the simple shared purpose of practicing yoga, and in the process enriching not just their own experience, but also sharing the process with those around them and so contributing to the experience of those other members of the sangha.

Similarly, in my bodywork practice I am part of a sangha of healing and learning. And so on. So while I see this poignant experience of organized meeting of my teaching study group coming to a close for now, I also realize my life is enriched by the fellowship of sangha in more than that single context.

Gratitude. Humility. Inspiration. My experience is enriched by the people I have the pleasure of encountering along the path.

Namaste,

Jenn



Putting It All Together

Posted by Jennvp on January 30, 2011 at 1:57 PM
Photo:  Tuk sen technique


Greetings all,
I've been back in snowy Minnesota now for over a month. During that time I've enjoyed sharing my stories from Thailand and Cambodia. I've also been spending a lot of energy integrating my training into bodywork sessions with my amazing clients.

I'm pleased to report that the tuk sen technique has been popular with many clients--while a teak mallet and chisel looks a bit severe, the therapy is quite gentle, and is effective on the tissue. Further, Pichest's teachings remain compelling and I feel that I returned from Thailand prepa red to offer healing treatments at a whole new level.

Also, I'm looking forward to offering Thai rishi yoga classes at Synergize Yoga Studio in Anoka. This ancient practice is self-healing and gentle, and I'm enthusiastic to share it with anyone interested in learning more about it. Monday evening and Thursday morning classes begin the week of February 14.

On a personal note, my commitment to providing the best care and teaching I can is stronger than ever. And my belief in following a path one believes in remains strong. Finding a place of healing within myself was brought to the fore by Master Pichest and Homprang, and being able to synthesize that experience by traveling with my mentor Tanya deepened the lessons in ways I wouldn't have found on my own.

My experience in Thailand brought me deeper into my practice, showed me a centeredness I hadn't before experienced, and introduced me to amazing people who have become wonderful friends back here in Minnesota--inspiring women who lead inspiring lives!

Gratitude is an understatement when I talk about my attitude toward this adventure. 
It's great to be back. It's great to feel inspired.

And now as I dig into the second half of my Parayoga teacher training at Devanadi Yoga Studio in Minneapolis, I bring that centeredness and sense of personal healing (physical and spiritual) from Thailand into my yoga practice, and it's pretty awesome. So even during some of those two-hour practices at my training weekends when I'm relatively certain my glutes will fail after endless one-legged forward something-or-other yoga poses, I am able to dig just a little deeper, breathe just a little more evenly, and know that if I am open I will find the "there" place somewhere within myself that will center me and allow me to move through those challenges with greater ease and focus...even if my glutes will remind me for a day or two afterward.

Jenn



Minnesota- Finally!

Posted by Webmaster on December 15, 2010 at 12:17 PM

 

I'm back safe and sound...finally!

 

Photo:  On the ferry from Ko Phi Phi to Ko Lanta. Andaman Sea.


My time on the Thai island of Ko Lanta was beautiful and restful. I met interesting new people and very much enjoyed the quiet sandy beach and warm gentle ocean. I acually have a tan, which I now have tucked safely away beneath layers of warm clothes.



 

My trip back stateside was long, even longer than planned, as the big blizzard blew in just about when I was due to board my final connection from Dallas to Minneapolis. But even though I was delayed by a day and change, I seized the opportunity to rest and booked a hotel room and slept a lot, which was a wonderful head start on dealing with jet lag. Which I am still dealing with, so bear with me as I recover...I think I'm a bit thick-headed come late afternoon these days, but it's improving as I adjust after being on opposite time.

 

I am grateful for and humbled by all this trip offered: the opportunity to learn, be healed, meet new people, make new friends, see amazing places, and so much more that I continue to recognize and realize.

 

I am also grateful for all of you, and while having these amazing experiences, believe me, part of me was missing being in Minnesota, teaching yoga and sharing healing bodywork. I look forward to seeing you in class, and sharing new elements of Thai bodywork!

 

Warm regards,

 

Jenn

 


Ko Lante

Posted by Webmaster on December 9, 2010 at 9:02 AM

A quick hello from Ko Lanta...


Photo:  Greeings from the Andaman Sea!

 

After tedious travel via plane, car and ferry and an overnight kn Phuket, we are finally on Ko Lanta, where the weather is lovely, the beach quiet and clean, the food amazing. Chatting with interesting people. Enjoying the caipirinhas and sunshine. Good food, fun cover music at the Why Not bar on the beach.

Will write more at a later time; meaning no disrespect, I'd rather be soaking up a few more rays before bundling up for the Minnesota cold!


Photo:  Longtail boats beachside.


 


Cambodia

Posted by Webmaster on December 8, 2010 at 5:56 PM

These four days in Cambodia have been a whirlwind. A mixture of exhaustion, vulnerability and awe. Now I am sitting once again in the Bangkok airport, this time trying to process the flurry of days in a country I found I didn't know much about before setting foot in it.

 

Saturday I bid fond farewell to Chiang Mai, and with Kelly and Angie flew to Bangkok and on to Siem Reap, Cambodia to see Angkor Wat and other temple ruins.

 

Our seasoned guide Nak met us at the Ei8ht Rooms, our simple but charming guesthouse (a bargain at $8 each for the night) and whisked us on our way to the floating villages on the massive lake Tonle Sep. I was awash with memories of my time in Iquitos, Peru, with its floating neighborhoods of Belen.

 

The villages house a large Vietnamese fishing population. Nak explained the fishing economy to us, and some of the cultural dynamics between Vietnamese and Cambodian locals. While some of what we witnessed appeared impoverished and shocking, Nak insisted that many of the people were considered well-off in the local economy...

 

That evening we had dinner at a quiet and lovely restaurant, where we enjoyed Khmer food and I tried something called Khmer Spirit, a rice alcohol with a golden Listerine kick. After a walk through the night market, we had a great time at a bar called Angkor What!? And no, I am not making that up. Quite a good time, chilling out and meeting new people.

 

After not nearly enough sleep (What!?) we were off to Angkor Wat for sunrise...which the overcast morning sky obscured, but it was still a beautiful experience. We toured the solumn and extensive ruins there, then went to Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm, the latter with its gorgeous ruins tangled with massive banyon and other trees...being there among the poster shots (and yes, Tomb Raider scenes) was amazing.

 

Then the adventure of the bus across Cambodia...while we ended up on a serviceable vehicle and did ultimately arrive each of us in one (stinky, overheates, grumpy, jostled) piece, we did realize at some point bumping amidst rice paddies and crumbling huts that we were not on the $10 express bus we paid for, but rather the $6 ride...and oh, what a difference those four bucks surely made on us...(At one point Angie looked over at me from her cramped, dirt-stained seat and matter-of-factly asked whether "shaken adult syndrome" exists as a diagnosable malady.)

 

You win some, you lose some, and in this case the ticket broker appears to have won.

 

However, upon arriving in Phnom Penh 7 or so hours later, we made it to our digs with relative ease. The Kibiki Hotel, nestled on a secured street behind the Prime Minister's house, was modestly priced but embraced us with quiet charm, attentive staff, gorgeous grounds (a pool that is popular with expats, poolside restaurant and bar, lush foliage separating cabanas perfect for chilling out), and a room that offered quiet comfort.

 

The next day Angie escorted us to the Cambodian Childrens Fund, a great organization that she has supported for a couple of years ongoing. We toured a few of their locations, and were engulfed by the inspiring children there, whose happiness and hopefulness were humbling. It was a beautiful experience that bouyed my time in Cambodia.

 

Later that day we laid low by the pool, and Angie share some of her super interesting experiences as a CCF sponsor. She is an inspiring woman of great compassion and kindness!

 

Then in the evening we ventured out and had pedicures and dinner near the river. While sitting at a sidewalk cafe, with disbelief we witnessed scenes that we might just as easily have witnessed on Dateline.

 

Sex trade is a looming problem in Phnom Penh (a recent episode of America's Most Wanted details it), and we watched as men came out of a club with young women, some men with more than one. We watched one group of men and their selected prostitutes be whisked away en masse by private van. A shopping trip.

 

Then we witnessed a man hustling children of perhaps age 13 or so. Some selling DVDs or books, others being sold. It was paralyzing to watch it; we were barely an hour on one corner in a decent part of town. I can't imagine the depth of the issue.

 

But we were able to contrast that sobering experience with our morning at CCF, an organization that houses and educates and uplifts kids, shielding them from the very injustices we witnessed. So there was that to consider.

 

The next day offered more to process: the Killing Fields and S21 prison. Seeing those places and people, reading with more depth and illustration than I ever have about the Khmer Rouge, was...huhmm. A tree still stands at the Killing Fields museum out in the countryside...soldiers smashed infants and toddlers to death against that tree. Just one example of the visceral reality of Po Pot's campaign of horrors.


Photo:  In the stupa at the Killig Fields.



 

That afternoon we had a few hours to try to understand the poverty around us in what had once clearly been a beautiful, developing place.


Photo:  At the S21 prison, a converted school, some hallways were wrapped in wire to prevent prisoners from commiting suicide by plunging to their death.

 

 



 

Exhausted and with mind churning, feeling at times a bit like I'd been kicked in the chest, I and the ladies flew from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, where I'm writing this. A short connection to Phuket will soon take us to the final portion of our trip: a few days in the islands of southern Thailand.



Photo:Life going on as usual outside the Killing Fields museum.

 



Rest. Sun. Stillness. Maybe a bit of standup paddling or pulling some rock, or perhaps just a motorbike rode along the beach...

 

With much to digest,

 

Jenn

 


Bodywork Tuesday

Posted by Webmaster on December 6, 2010 at 2:01 PM



Photo:Monk on the song tao.


Today I received a lot of bodywork. First Pichest showed us a technique where he slapped our calves with an old horseshoe that had been dipped in tamarind water. It relaxes the calves, and is done while the recipient is standing.


 

Then he continued the healing work on my shoulder, and though the process was intense, afterward I feel better than ever. Later in the day his uncanny intuition showed itself via a conversation about my mom--a woman who is a true gift, and he reminded me to honor and help my parents, and said it is good that I recognize that my mom is an enlightened person and to learn from her. Anyone who knows her certainly recognizes this!


Photo:  Banana spring rolls with thick honey. With due deference to Dr Charlie, who told me that eating bananas would make me more attractive mosquitoes. The spring rolls were wonderful...the mosquitoes were not.


 

His philisophies about being a healer and about caring for the self are clear, and though I have not gotten very into them yet in this blog, they are simple and make sense, even if proper self-attentiveness is difficult in our modern world. My teacher Tanya told me before this trip that she gets what she needs when studying with Pichest, and so it seems this is proving true for me as well.


Photo:  Pichest working with a willing recipient....a recipient whose body certainly felt much more open after this.




 

Here's to the journey,

 

Jenn

 

 


Monday monk chat

Posted by Webmaster on December 6, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Photo:  The road to Pichest's.


It was back to Pichest's for class on Monday. We learned, we talked, we practiced.


 

In the evening we visited the Buddhist temple Wot Suan Dok, where we participated in a monk chat.

 

I went in expecting to see a group of people quietly arranged around a serene monk's bare feet in a temple. Instead I walked in to something far less formal--monks and visitors sitting at tables in a meeting room, with a small altar tucked into a back corner.

Photo:

I had the pleasure of speaking with this young monk from Laos. We discussed snowball fights, gratitude and a lot of ground in between.


 

I chatted with a young monk from Laos. It was so very interesting...for nearly 90 minutes, we discussed everything from mindfulness to snowballs to how to swim in the ocean most safely. I felt close to tears of gratitude for his insights at some parts of our discussion, and close to tears of laughter as we shared amusing stories from our lives.


 

This young monk joined the monastery at 14, and after ten years was considering leaving. In Buddhism, leaving the monastery is normal. Monks may leave and return a total of three times, but they must give strong reasons for each.



 

This man received his BA in English from the university associated with the monastery, and has various ideas about his life...running an organic farm, teaching English combined with spiritual guidance...and his dream to play in the snow. Of this he said, "If I should die and never have played in some snow, I think this would be very sad for me indeed."


 

...and so, for me the lesson in that moment was perhaps to remember to find gratitude when, in a week and a half, I leave tropical paradise and return to the snows of Minnesota. Snowball fight, anyone?


 

Namaste,

 

Jenn

 



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