The fourth annual Grow Your Health Festival of Gardening, Local Food & Wellness will be held on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at Fairfax High School. the event offers classes on gardening, nutrition and wellness. Topics to be covered include how to start gardens, source better quality food, and learn holistic techniques to achieve better health. A family-friendly event, the Grow Your Health Festival offers several hours of supervised, age-appropriate activities for children, including gardening classes, kids’ yoga, indoor recess and quiet floor play. From 10:00 to 4:00, parents can take advantage of up to one hour of free childcare for children ages two to ten provided by Play, Work or Dash, a new mom-owned co-working space with childcare in Vienna.
Sometimes we need to gather all the great health and wellness event information in one place to make sure we keep track of it all! We have lots of great events and classes listed in the Mindful Healthy Life calendar, and we post new things as we learn about them on the Mindful Healthy Life Facebook page and on our Twitter feed @MindfulHealthy. But here is a quick and handy list of some of the bigger not-to-be-missed events coming up this winter and spring.
When I spoke with Nina Elliot about her vision for expanding TRUE Health & Wholeness wellness studio, she was excited to tell me about the new TRUE Gives Back Program to offer fitness and wellness services to moms who otherwise couldn’t afford them.
The long-term vision for the business she co-owns with her husband, Christian, is to change people’s ideas about health. “You don’t transform your world until you transform your city, your block,” Nina said. She and Christian, parents of three with a fourth due in November, wanted to effect change among local Arlington-area residents. They came up with the Give Back Program to invite people in the facility who might not otherwise enter because of the cost of personal or group training and wellness services. Read More
The Grow Your Health gardening, food & wellness festival seemed so important when it first launched in 2013, I left a yoga retreat early to make it back in time! I learned a ton that year and the following and am excited to return for next Saturday, March 28, for a third year. The featured film this year is GMO OMG.
In addition to all the great hour-long classes that parents might enjoy at 11:00 and 1:30, families can enjoy a “Gardening with Kids” class given by national volunteer organization FoodCorps during both sessions.
During this season of hibernation, bulbs are awaiting warm weather to shoot up through the earth and expose their colorful glory. So am I. I’m working on gathering some great material to push out come springtime while I spend these cold months conserving my energy.*
While the air is cold and the predominant colors brown and grey, there is a lot going on under the ground and under protective cover!
We’ve got a lot of great upcoming events listed in the calendar but wanted to compile them into this quick list so you’re sure not to miss them!
Thursday, February 19: Moms Clean Air Force Virginia Mama Summit, Virginia General Assembly, Richmond, VA, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Note: Mindful Healthy Life is a partner in this event
Thursday, February 19: “Raising Non-Toxic Kids in a Toxic World” presentation at Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria chapter, UUCA, 7-9 p.m.
Saturday, February 21: Traditional Foods daylong seminar with Sally Fallon Morell – just a few spots left!
Saturday, February 28: Rooting DC gardening conference, Wilson High School, Washington, DC, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
March 4-7: Green Schools National Conference, Virginia Beach, VA
March 17-29: Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
Thursday, March 19: “Family Biking 101” panel, Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria chapter, UUCA, 7-9 p.m.
Monday, April 6: Growing Green Schools, Fairlington Community Center, Arlington, VA, 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 9: School Environmental Action Showcase, George Mason University Center for the Arts, Fairfax, VA, 9:00 a.m. -2:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 16: “Screen Time” presentation with Lisa Guernsey, sponsored by Holistic Moms Network Arlington/Alexandria Chapter and Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool, UUCA, Arlington, VA, 7-9 p.m.
April 17-19: Mind-Body Week, The Mindfulness Center, Silver Spring, MD
Sunday, April 26: DC Birth and Babies Fair, The Hill Center, Washington, DC, 12:00-5:00 p.m.
Monday, May 11: NoVA Outside Networking meeting, Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale, VA, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 16: Peace Love and Yoga Fest, Washington, DC, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 21: “Real Food with Nina Planck,” Holistic Moms Network Arlington/Alexandria Chapter, UUCA, Arlington, VA, 7-9 p.m.
The local conference phenomenon known as Take Back Your Health is coming back to Arlington on November 1 and 2 before it makes its Los Angeles debut next April. Conference founder and NoVA native Robin Shirley has followed her dream of moving out to Santa Monica but is keeping a foot firmly in the DC health & wellness community.
When I first interviewed Robin back in 2011, I was pretty amazed at how much she’d accomplished at such a young age, just 23 at the time. Creating a widely successful conference just a few years after leaving college to reclaim her own health from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and chronic Lyme disease — and way younger than I did anything noteworthy — seemed pretty impressive.
And all the conferences have been great. I’ve attended each of the TBYH events and have learned, roughly, a ton. Most I’ve attended on my own, but in April 2012, the hotel was a weekend escape for me and my kids from home renovations. My son got his Ayurvedic pulses read (and my kids got their photo taken – scroll down here for the blue eyes and redheaded mullet of my youngest). My whole family then somehow managed to spend three hours at the TBYH holiday market last December (thank you, iSchool for the Future and Kreative Kids for the crafts!)
The speakers Robin has brought through over the years have been pretty amazing, including Dr. John Douillard of LifeSpa on Ayurveda, Sally Fallon Morrell of the Weston A. Price Foundation on traditional diets, Lisa Wilson from the Raw Food Institute on juicing and Ann Marie Michaels from Village Green Network (and formerly of Cheeseslave blog) on healing from food allergies.
This November, the tradition continues. For parents in particular, the talks may be life-changing. Dr. Teresa Fuller, a pediatrician who joined the staff of National Integrated Health Associates earlier this year, will be speaking on the topic of “Raising a Brain-Healthy Child” on Saturday morning at 10:00.
Then, on Sunday morning, two huge names in family-friendly Paleo eating take the stage. Fairfax-based food star Stacy Toth of PaleoParents.com and the Northern Virginia Paleo Parents & Friends Meetup group will talk about “Paleo for Real Life: an Easy 3 Phased Approach for a Lifetime of Health” at 11:00 a.m. (based on The Paleo Parents’ new book Real Life Paleo) and her podcast partner Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of PaleoMom.com and author of The Paleo Approach will address “The Paleo Approach: Using Diet to Manage Immune & Autoimmune Diseases.”
Click here for the full schedule and topic titles. Children 17 and under may attend for free with a parent, but there is no special space or childcare, so parents are asked to keep them seated and quiet. If they need to move, the exhibit hall should provide a welcome distraction. Tickets are available for the weekend and for each day individually.
I’m running a giveaway for one free conference registration, closing at 12 noon on Wednesday, October 29. To get more entries, sign up for the Mindful Healthy Life email list (for blog posts delivered to your in box and a quarterly seasonal newsletter), like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. You can also gain entries by following TBYH on social media and commenting below.
And for anyone who doesn’t win the giveaway, Mindful Healthy Life readers can use the discount code “mindfulhealthy” for 20% off the conference registration through October 31.
Beloved Yoga’s sixth Love Your Body Day on Sunday, June 8, was truly full of love. The outdoor yoga festival kicked off Virginia Yoga Week with several different classes of yoga outside in the main plaza of Reston Town Center complemented by vendor tents from businesses devoted to health and well-being.
The festival makes yoga accessible through its free classes and brings in dozens of vendors to support people in their healing and wellness journeys. Donations made at the free event go to Cornerstones, formerly Reston Interfaith, a nonprofit organization that promotes self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare, and other human services.
When I asked Beloved Yoga owner Maryam Ovissi last year about her reasons for organizing the event, she said: “All Yoga festivals and events usually have one object to bring the commUNITY together to celebrate. However my underlying motivation for creating this event is to allow us (yoga studios/wellness studios) a way to release competition among ourselves. There is enough for everyone in this world and those of us who are committed to bring wellness, healing to the community need to see how we are serving together for the Highest Good. There is not just one way and therefore we have many different lineages and practices in the yoga and wellness community! We celebrate them ALL!”
Last year, I took my then two-year-old daughter to Love Your Body Day where we enjoyed participating in the children’s yoga tent, which offers a full day of classes and activities.
This year, I left both kids at home so I could enjoy a solo yoga practice, but I picked up several brochures about children’s yoga, including the upcoming National Kids Yoga Conference in September co-organized by YoKid and lil omm.
Doing yoga in the open air with more than a hundred other people was a beautiful way to start a Sunday morning. Maryam began a great opening practice accompanied by David Newman’s live music, including the song “Thinking of You” to which we all joined our voices in singing “Be bold, be free, be beautiful, believe, be love, be true to you.” I felt the hum of everyone’s energy when there are literal live vibrations coming from the stage, especially with the song’s message that we are all connected and thinking of one another.
I hope we can go as a family next year so that my children and husband can be part of this group connection. Chanting with live music – in this opening class and also with the kirtan in the bhaki tent — changed my inner vibration and my outlook. I want my kids to see people this blissed out more often. I want to be this blissed out more often! Love Your Body Day reminded me that I have the power to get to a peaceful and connected place whenever I want.
Want a piece of the bliss? There are $5 classes at studios around Northern Virginia through Sunday, June 15 and other related Virginia Yoga Week events. On Saturday, June 14 (rain date June 28) from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. will be the free Yoga in the Fresh Air event in Old Town Alexandria’s Montgomery Park, 2 Montgomery Street. Organized by River’s Edge Yoga and presented in part by Yogis for Positive Change, the event will include outdoor yoga and a wine tasting and will kick off Be Well Virginia June 20-September 20. That solstice-to-equinox program will feature several free events, food drives (for people and for pets), and $5 classes to raise money for four charities: Carpenter’s Shelter, Cornerstones, Smashing Walnuts and Yoga Gives Back.
Note: Due to soggy conditions this week, Yoga In the Fresh Air may be postponed to June 28. Check the Virginia Yoga Week Facebook page or call 571-218-2161 after 12 noon on June 14th for a recorded message about the status of the event.
Also on Saturday the 14th, at Sterling Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will be a free session of yoga, music and meditation as an introduction to the Happiness Program of The Art of Living Foundation. Space is limited for that one, so RSVP here or email kumblepradeep (at) gmail (d0t) com or call 480-332-2297. See the Virginia Yoga Week Facebook page for updates.
Looking ahead to 2015, expect another Love Your Baby Day around Mother’s Day next year at Beloved Yoga. This year’s inaugural event helped connect new and expectant parents with their inner wisdom and to groups and businesses that can support them in their parenting and holistic health journey.
And in the more recent future, if you know of a yoga camp that still has space available this summer, please share it in the comments, email jessica (at) mindfulhealthylife (dot) com, or post it on our Facebook page and I’ll include in a compilation posting next week.