Category Archives: Santa Cruz

Member Spotlight: Massage Client

A massage client who has been with us since we first began offering massage two and a half years ago offered a great glimpse into her experience on both Basic and Premium Massage programs, and our wonderful massage therapists:

“Historically getting a massage was reserved for special occasions for me.  Sometimes I would get a massage on my birthday trip up to wine country or in Santa Cruz on the weekend after we finished our fiscal year.  I enjoyed getting massages but the cost was prohibitive and scheduling was difficult.

When Nourish started the massage program I joined right away.  For about half the cost or less of a typical massage at a resort, I could get a minimum of one massage a month and often more than one a month, for the same low, fixed price.  Scheduling was easy with the friendly and helpful reception staff.  I particularly liked the way they emailed me a calendar invite that automatically blocked out the time on my sometimes crazy busy schedule.  The best part was how much better I felt, mentally and physically, by getting regular massages.

About a year ago I had hip surgery.  At this point I upgraded to the premier massage program so I could get a minimum of two massages a month (for a low fixed price that was lower than the cost of one massage at a resort).  At this point Nourish started making massage schedule changes/openings available on twitter.  Since I was on medical leave from work my schedule was flexible and I was easily able to get one massage a week, sometimes more.  Theses regular massages were instrumental in my healing process.  As I progressed from a walker, to crutches, to a cane, to walking again unaided, I could have the massage focused on whatever part of my body needed it most.  All the massage practitioners were so gentle when I need gentle and more intense when more intense was what my body needed.

Another benefit of the premier program is you can get a 2 hour massage.  There is nothing more relaxing and rejuvenating for me than a 2 hour massage.  I will warn you, after you experience a two hour massage, it’s hard to go back to one hour.  Then my schedule gets crazy again and I’m glad to be able get in a one hour massage on a regular basis.  I’m constantly amazed how much I benefit both mentally and physically from regular massages.  The very reasonable price is also an extremely nice bonus.  Thank you everyone at Nourish for taking such good care of me.”

Try our Basic Massage for only $65 a month or our Premium Massage for only $100 to see what regular massage can do for your health!

Cleansing

Cleansing…Ahhhhhhh…  All right…my cleansing diary begins.  Here we go!

I’m participating in Jocelyn’s spring cleanse.  It’s been over 5 years since I’ve been able to do something like this because I was breastfeeding up until last week!  Ha!  So I jumped on board Jocelyn’s program…knowing that if I let this train go I’d be unlikely to hop on another any time soon.  I am ever curious about nutrition and the workings of the body.  I am also a skeptic around ‘wellness lore’ that hasn’t been adequately studied, because I’m wary of the financial motivations of the wellness industry.  So I probably wouldn’t have done this kind of thing through anybody else.  Thanks Jocelyn!

I’ve made it through the weekend.  I have to say I’m making it sound a little more dramatic than it’s actually been.  My first day I ate too little, and drank too little of the 2 cups of black tea I’m extremely attached to.  I wound up with a throbbing headache and that nauseous feeling I get when I eat too little.  In the middle of the night I woke with the headache, and the realization that despite my careful listening, I had failed to follow Jocelyn’s instructions.

I usually eat 3 square meals and a snack (and sometimes dessert).  So even though I heard Jocelyn say we were to eat 4-5 small meals…she held up her hands in the shape of a small bowl…I somehow decided on that first day that she meant 3 small meals and 1-2 snacks.  So my calorie intake on day 1 must have been about 1/2 what I usually eat.  (And I’m an eater!)  I was expecting to feel bad, and I did. That night I asked myself, “why did I think this was a good idea, again?”

The second day was better.  I was more organized, ate as instructed, and allowed a little more caffeine into my tea cup.  Today (day 4) I am headache free and settling into the new rhythm easily.  I think I’m down to a little less than a full cup of tea, and headache free.  I’ll be done with caffeine by the end of our week.  In terms of food I feel satisfied, but I get hungry more often (because of smaller meal portions)…Then again, I get to eat more often.  So that’s not so bad!  I’m not really missing wheat and dairy.  I like soy milk, and I have a healthy habit of alternative grains to bread and pasta already.  I imagine those things might be harder for people who like sandwiches.

I usually drink about 20 ounces of green ‘smoothy’/ day.  I blend up greens, avacado, a little apple juice, and sometimes some fresh herbs like ginger or cilantro in my Vitamix.  Because I’m not sure where to fit that into a ‘meal’ and still keep it small-bowl-sized, I have not been getting in those extra helpings of veggies.  In that way I’m actually eating less vegetables/day than I usually do.  I’ve been feeling more secure with stick-to-the-ribs choices in my meals like beans and grains.  I’ll probably try to change that ratio some in the next weeks.

I purchased a selection of rice crackers, and gluten free breads…packaged foods I don’t usually like to buy, but going off wheat was feeling scary.  It turns out I eat a lot of grains, veggies, and legumes in my diet anyway, so I haven’t been dipping into that supply as much as I thought I would.

So far the cleanse has been (dare I say it) fun.  I’ve only been mildly uncomfortable a few times.  My energy is good, and it’s nice to focus some attention on  taking care of my body by feeding it consciously.  I mean, we eat every single day.  And though I think I’m pretty good at the internal housekeeping, I reach for food for plenty of reasons other than nutrition —reasons like boredom, addiction (to sugar and caffeine), and the ever popular stuffing of emotions!  It’s nice to give those impulses a rest for a while.

I’m not sure if I’ll keep cruising so comfortably…but I’ll keep you posted.

Please feel free to comment!  I’d love to answer any questions you might have about my experience as the days tick on…

Valerie Moselle

NOURISH Member Spotlight: Mary Hardin

Continued from the NOURISH newsletter:

Mary and Terry HardinNOURISH is proud to have many incredible members.  Mary Hardin is one of them.  Mary and her husband Terry have been working in Santa Cruz to fight cancer with the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group since the mid-1990s. If you have admired the fresh and beautiful flowers here, Mary is probably to thank.  She routinely brings us flowers from her garden.  In January of 1999, on his 24th birthday and first day at UCSC, Mary’s precious son Skye,  a well-known member of the local  surf community, was diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma. In July, six months later, after months of suffering and a valiant fight, he succumbed to this disease.  His courageous battle provided inspiration to many.  As Mary says, “I personally also channeled my grief through planting a Skye Garden at my house on the corner of Bay and Anthony. It helped me to create what I call “flower prayers” directed to Skye in his new world. It literally was a life saver. I hope it reflects Skye’s light from the other side into this world. He is still  very much present in our day to day lives. I really enjoy bringing flowers to Nourish from ‘us’.”
Mary's son Skye“With profound respect for his courage throughout his illness, to further his stated  personal wish throughout his journey for us to help others suffering with cancer, and to channel our unrelenting grief into something positive, we became even more involved with SCCBG. We also wanted to continue to pay back our community for the selfless acts of love and support that we received in our time of crisis,” Mary has said about her work with SCCBG.  One of the organization’s endeavors was to partner with Dr. James Beckett and his team of Santa Cruz County based volunteer dermatologists to provide free skin screenings and treatment information at surf and other outdoor events throughout the county. The pavilion within which the doctors perform the screenings was christened by SCCBG as the “Skye Tent,” to honor Skye’s memory.
Mary, Terry, and their fellows at SCCBG are dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with cancer in the Santa Cruz community by raising money to support our beneficiary organizations, and fund new research that will provide possible cures and better solutions for treating cancer. This non-profit organization accomplishes these activities
by raising community consciousness through events supported by our partners.

This year was the 15th year of SCCBG’s mission to bring relief to those suffering from cancer. The success of 2009’s events (Spring Forward Against Cancer at the Chaminade, and Gourmet Grazing on the Green at Aptos Park) pushed SCCBG over the $1 million mark for total funds raised!  Just last month,  SCCBG  handed out $75,000 worth of funding to our recipients We awarded these funds to our recipients:  Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services, Katz Cancer Resource Center, UCSC Cancer Research, and WomenCARE.

SCCBG’s next event is:Grazing on the  Green

Gourmet Grazing on the Green

Food & Wine Festival
September 25, 2010, 12-5 pm
Aptos Village Park


For more information on how to participate in this worthy event and to help a good cause, please click HERE

Check out SCCBG’s website by clicking HERE, or by visiting SCCBG.org.  The website has information about upcoming events, as well as volunteer and donation information.  The organization can always use donated items to be raffled or auctioned off at their events.  SCCBG’s Event Director Jeni Brill can be reached at (831) 246-2665 or sccbg@baymoon.com.

Sexual Misconduct Among Yoga Teachers

Posted by Valerie Moselle

I was just reading this week’s article in the GoodTimes Santa Cruz titled Yogis Behaving Badly.  The article is written on the subject of yoga teachers and the specter of sexual harassment that has been known to loom in the shadows of the yoga world between teacher and student, guru and disciple.  The article points out the tenderness of the relationship between a student and  his or her teacher, and how that vulnerability can be, and has been, abused.

Certainly, becoming a successful and inspiring yoga teacher should go hand-in-hand with adhering to the moral foundational principals of yoga (the yamas and niyamas).   But it doesn’t always work out that way.  Yoga teachers are human, tempted by all the same urges as everyone else.  Fear of retribution from an almighty and judgmental God did not make Catholic priests impervious to molesting little boys.  There is no reason to think that all yoga teachers would be immune to the same impulses, especially when worshiped themselves by a roomful of women in spandex routinely in the process of opening up –physically, emotionally, and one would hope, spiritually.

It was obvious to me, as I got deeper into the writing, that one of the author’s purposes in broaching the topic of abuse by yoga teachers was to publicly air the events that brought one of our own local teachers under criminal investigation for the alleged rape of one student, and the sexual harassment of two others.  As far as I know, those claims are still being investigated by the Santa Cruz Police Department.

On one hand I appreciated the explicit (and anonymous, as the names of the victims had been changed) descriptions of what actually happened to these women.  These women felt that they had been violated, and they were willing to reveal the actions that made them feel this way.  For a woman who might be feeling weird or unsure about a suspect interaction with a yoga teacher, reading the description of another woman’s experience might help clarify her reaction.  Women, especially with a history of sexual abuse (1 in 3) sometimes get confused.  Some feel they should give the benefit of the doubt to the abuser, and that they must be misinterpreting the event.  A common pattern is to feel they deserved or even invited the abuse.  And then there is just plain old shame and embarrassment.  To read another woman’s account of harassment spelled out for all to see could (and should) give women courage to confront their own experiences, so that they can make appropriate choices around processing and healing the trauma.

On the other hand this article has caused me a fair amount of discomfort since I first read it the other day.  I’ve been chewing on the ‘facts’ I know about our local situation, as they have been revealed to me over time.  I have no personal history with the accused, but am aware of the scandals under which he left my former professional stomping grounds.  I have heard the rumors that have been floating around the yoga community for years, and have internalized the ‘inside scoops’ from people closer to the source of the ‘troubles’ than I am.  None of this is conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, which is why under the umbrella of news organizations, or even the umbrella of Nourish  the dirty laundry cannot be completely hung out to dry.  We won’t name names, we can’t speak openly about what may have happened, to whom, and because of whom.  But by now I am skeptical enough to steer clear of any involvement with the accused.  It’s frustrating that in most cases of this nature the ‘real’ story is never allowed to come out.  These accusations seem to always exist in the realm of rumor and gossip.  I have to say, though it was nice to finally see at least something in print, it’s frustrating that an article inspired by local events had to be so….generalized.

When we are restricted from talking about rape, sexual harassment, or any other kind of violence the offender is protected, not the victim.  I understand that until someone is convicted of a crime that it violates that person’s rights to speak about them as if they were guilty.  The mechanism for protecting the innocent-wrongly-accused has an important role in our justice system, obviously.  I believe in due process, etc… However, in cases like this I find it unfortunate that a potential threat to women is left vague and yet sensationalized.  Without specifics, we keep the issue at arm’s length, as if it has nothing to do with us.   Or worse, the uninformed assume the yoga world is rife with such problems and allow the fear instilled by the media to color their impression of yoga altogether.

As Judith Lasater so profoundly expressed in the GoodTimes article, this problem is not going to get better when someone gets put behind bars.  This issue won’t get better in any facet of our society until women refuse to be victimized, first by the offender and then later by feeling ashamed to raise her voice about it.  That’s a tall order.  (I know the former statement will have a lot of victims of violence perking up, so give me a moment to elaborate).

A quote came to me through one of my own teachers, Colette Crawford.  It is an ‘ancient Chinese saying’, one of those that has no source that I’ve been able to find.  Please correct me if I’ve got it wrong, or if you know something about it’s origins that I don’t.  It goes like this:

“Mountains will move, wars will cease, when women wake up.”

I’m not saying that we can necessarily end rape and sexual harassment.  With things as they are we have no control of what another brings to the relationship we have with them, whether that is the relationship with a friend,  a date, a teacher, a family member, or stranger on a dark street.  What we do have is the ability to overcome shame, heal, refuse silence, and raise awareness with the purpose of creating an environment where inappropriate sexual advances are never tolerated in any way by anybody.  Ms. Lasater’s fantasy about a woman standing up in the middle of class to announce an indiscretion, and then asking for solidarity in a boycott of the class is now my fantasy too.  My greatest disappointment is the gossipy nature of these discussions, when they come up.  Oh, and the fact that this teacher is still teaching.

My first thought was that there should be an organization for yoga teachers through which complaints can be filed and investigated.  That way, even if there are no prosecutions, at least there is a record of complaints.  You see, there very well may not have been a crime committed here.  Making passes at women, after all, is not illegal (except in the workplace).  But I think we can all agree that yoga teachers should not be making passes at students, any more than college professors, police officers, or therapists should be.  If there were some way to log a complaint, Yogis could be left to make their own judgments about teachers.  They would have a place to go to to look for red flags, or to place a warning for future students.

Then I realized that no governing body can protect us from these teachers, both few and far between, by-the-way.   It’s up to us to refuse to be taken advantage of.  Though I understand the purpose of the article, and the assumptions we have been guided to make.  Though I appreciate the interview with Judith Lasater, and the efforts to give voice to this serious issue–we will not see the end of this, as Ms. Lasater points out, until we, as a community start talking out loud.  We know this is happening.  It’s fine to name names and issue warnings.

My own mother was annoyingly over-protective when I was a kid.  She was constantly reminding me of self-defense techniques, talking with me about abuse and what to do if I feel unsafe with someone.  It was one of my least favorite things about being her child.  “Maaaawwwwwwwmmmm.  Cheeeeeeeez.”  But in my early 20s when I found myself suddenly in a violent situation with a boyfriend of two years, I knew what to do.  I got the hell out of there and pressed charges.  Not because I was angry and wanted to get back at him.  But because I didn’t want anyone else to get hurt.  I knew that whatever the outcome of his proceedings that he would have a blemish on his record reflecting what happened to me.  I knew, even then, that that blemish might in some direct or indirect way, protect another woman from escalating harm.

This is one case where I think we should speak up, even if it feels like gossip.  If you are experiencing, or know someone who is experiencing problems with a yoga teacher, (or anyone else for that matter) you owe it to yourself, and all women everywhere to talk about it.  Share it with your friends, a counselor, or a help line.  Share other incidents in your life that have made you uncomfortable.  Heal your own experiences by bringing them into the light and asking those that you love and who love you to take a look at them, even if it’s the last thing you want to do.

As a student of yoga, tell your fellow yoginis when a teacher crosses the line and disappoints your sense of morality, and by all means stop going to see that teacher.   Share with your fellow practitioners the teachers with whom you feel safe and respected.  As well as the names of the studios in which you feel supported.  The word ‘guru’ refers to a teacher that brings a student from the darkness of ignorance into the light of understanding.  In speaking about this problem out loud, we become gurus by bringing this uncomfortable subject out of the dark closet in which it has lurked, and into the light of our collective awareness.

It is unfortunate that we have to keep our wiles about us as we venture into the yoga world and subject ourselves to our teachers.  But we do.   I for one, have felt relieved to have been nowhere near the teacher that shall remain unnamed in this post, or the studio that supported him despite multiple complaints.  Instead I remain grateful that I am in the fold of an organization that puts the health and well-being of it’s clientele at the forefront of it’s mission (thank you Nourish) and to be teaching among teachers I would recommend to absolutely anyone who asked, male or female, regardless of their history.   Finally, I am grateful to be able to sit with my boss and fellow teacher, Victor, and discuss this serious issue together.  He and Jocelyn have brought this issue out into the light of Nourish by discussing it openly in meetings, and have asked us to share our feelings and insights about it with our students, and anyone who will listen.  Their message is clear.  Sexual misconduct among yoga teachers should not, under any circumstances, be tolerated.  “We want people to know that Nourish is a safe place to practice yoga.”

West Cliff Walks

Sometimes I think we forget that we live in Santa Cruz. Not in a medically concerning way, but in a getting caught up with life and bills and work kind of way. We forget that the air we breathe is that little bit cleaner and crisper than most folks. We forget that wildlife still gets to be wild around us. We forget that the epic and enamoring Pacific Ocean is right on our doorstep.

Not today.

This afternoon I felt the walls closing in on me at home and so I stepped out into the lovely warm sun and wandered toward West Cliff. Being a Tuesday it was not jammed with weekend cyclists and tourists, so I strolled peacefully along the coast. I thought about lots of little things and made plans for the rest of the day. It was calm at sea so instead of watching surfers battle it out for the next wave, I watched two guys goof around in kayaks. At the surf museum I sat on a bench and listened to the sea lions honk. A man wearing a shirt that looked like it used to be a curtain in a Hawaiian breakfast diner made me smile. And then I walked home.

All in all I probably spent 40 minutes escaping the same old routine and thinking back over it tonight, it was the best part of my day. I’m promising myself to do it more often. After all it’s the summer. We should all be soaking up Santa Cruz!

Anthony

A Yogi’s Dilema

So Jocelyn and I are at the downtown farmer’s market on Wednesday (which is our regular Wednesday date now for more than 12 years!) a little later than usual because Jocelyn’s 4:00 p.m. client had called to say she couldn’t make it. No sooner had we approached our first stand when Dana calls and tells Jocelyn that her 4:00 p.m. client is there and ready for her appointment!

So, we finished up at Route One (thanks Ora) with carrots for juicing and green plums for devouring and headed back to NOURISH. Jocelyn goes in with her client and I am left to fly solo at the market.

Particularly in the summer having two of us is great. Not just because Jocelyn looks awesome in her summer attire, but also because there is such a bounty to gather and return with. So I gather the bounty myself: two bags full of onions, peppers, tomatoes, avocado, etc. and 1 full flat of Frog Hollow peaches, nectarines (white and yellow) and apricots.

I’ve got the smaller of the 2 bags on top of the 10 lb+ flat of fruit, which I am carrying in both arms like an offering, and the larger of the two bags over my left shoulder. Sure the bags and box are heavy, but that is not my dilemma.

My dilemma is that I am a yogi. So after years of practice my shoulders have a natural inclination to NOT hunch, which means one of the straps of the large bag is falling off my left shoulder and I’ve got all this ridiculously beautiful if not fragile fruit in my arms. Luckily, I’ve seen hunched shoulders, so had some idea how to do it and safely transported all the produce back to NOURISH.

Luckily for me, Jocelyn was the one who had to bring all that stuff home.

Victor

Loving NOURISH

I am so loving being at NOURISH! Our central location in downtown Santa Cruz gives so many more people access to our full schedule of yoga classes. Better yet it’s only $50/month for unlimited classes! Since we’ve opened I’ve seen students who previously practiced yoga only once or twice per month now practicing yoga 3, 4, 5 times a week and some nearly every day!

How awesome is it that Jocelyn and I offer our services in the same place now?! Not only do we get to see a lot more of each other and collaborate professionally, but our clients and students are seeing the powerful combination of yoga and mindful eating.

Additionally, massage is an integral element of our menu of services, with 6 practitioners practicing more than 15 styles, our clients and students are stoked to be able to care for themselves all under one roof!

Victor