I had a dream…

I few nights I awoke from a very vivid dream.  I was on my way to celebrate the birthday of a good friend.  It was to be just the three of us – the birthday boy, his wife who is a long time friend of mine, and myself.   We knew we could only get together in small groups. (Even in this dream there was some sort of pandemic going on but, as dreams go, the details were blurry.) I was excited to celebrate my friend, though I remember feeling reserved on my way to them.  I felt safe but at the same time very cautious.  Then, when I got to the location something glorious occurred.  We were all together.  Everyone was there.  You were there. I was there.  All my friends were there.  Coworkers, past clients, new clients. Neighbors. It was a huge party. I recall pulling my good friend aside, the wife of the birthday boy, to say…‘I had no idea it was so many people.  I wouldn’t have come had I known. But I am so glad I’m here!’  I danced, I ate, I caught up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while.  It was awesome.

I think many of us are having this dream even while we are awake.  We are thinking of a time when quarantine will be over, “safer at home” will be a thing of the past, and once again we can chink glasses with our friends and family at our favorite haunts. We can reschedule our birthday lunches, re-book our celebratory occasions, and catch up in person with our colleagues and coworkers.  I know, it sounds great doesn’t it?

But for now, each day I am finding the awesome in “safer at home.”  Like spending a lot of time in my yard with my son.  FaceTime with my mom to see her content, healthy and happy in her home.  Listening to Storytime with Mrs. Figs from the comfort my couch.  Writing more.  Dabbling in exercise videos.  Eating way too much dark chocolate.

Of course there are challenges.  1300 square foot of space with a husband who is working full time from home including conducting live classes, an energetic four year old, an infant and a small dog who is wondering why she gets less walks.  I always new I was a homebody but a stay at homebody is a whole different thing.  Still, I feel so strongly about doing my part to keep myself and my community safer by staying in that I am 100% up for the challenge.

Today, Monday, my little family will try to get into more of a routine. We will have triumphs and we will have fails. But we will persevere and try again Tuesday.  Then Wednesday, and so on.  And at times I will muse over that dream. That great big party.  But hopefully, much more often I will stay present to my life right now and my resources at hand.  Like the brilliance of the internet, my own computer on which to type these ramblings to you and my smartphone to record videos. We are wired for connection.  And if we can’t connect in person just yet, I am so glad we can do so here.

And on that note. Let’s do some exercise together.

From one stay at homebody to another,

Francine

 

The challenge of sharing prime real estate. Plus, exercises for your core.

(Already read this? Scroll down for the video.)

It can be hard to find a ten minute spot of quiet time in a somewhat small, very busy space.  A space that is both a library and a construction site, an airport and a train station.  An area that is not only used for watching movies but also for putting out fires.  I am speaking of course, about my living room. A.k.a my son’s favorite place to play. When I was getting ready to film the video below, I asked Giove to be SUPER quiet if he wanted to stay with me in the room.

‘OK!‘ he said.  He was on board from the start.
Me: ‘That means no helicopter noises.’ 
‘Right!’  he said agreeably.
Me again: ‘And no jumping up and down.
Giove: ‘OK, Mama.’ 
Me: ‘OK, good. Then you can stay.’
Giove: ‘Mama…Is breathing ok?
Me, holding back both a smile and a tear: ‘Yes, sweetie, breathing is OK. In fact, it is encouraged.’

YES to us all – breathing is OK. With our lives changing by the minute, our jobs on hold and our families at a distance there is very little we have control over right now. So little.  But we do have our breath.  I am not going to naively suggest we are all able to take calming breaths every moment to get us through this.  No, our breath is so much more dynamic and powerful than that.  Yes, of course we have the ability to take a deep breath when we feel safe in the comfort of our own homes.  We also have the choice to hold our breath for an extra second or two as we digest the latest news.  Maybe we take a long exhale when we hear from someone we love via call, text or email.  Perhaps we permit ourselves to sit alone and inhale the aroma of our favorite coffee or tea in silence while we take a break from the latest updates.  In other words, our breath is not only life giving, it is a tool.  It can change with us and for us.

So today at some point remember you still have your breath. Play with it. Draw in an extra long inhale when you step outside.  Let yourself sigh audibly the next time you feel like just can’t hold in silence. Feel your breath in your belly – let it rise and fall – when you wake up in the morning. And lastly, because I am your voice of exercise encouragement, challenge your breath with movement.  Keep moving.  Even if it’s just ten minutes on your mat and a short walk outside.

Now back to the video.  After it was “quiet on the set”, I was able to film a nine minute sequence with a few exercises for your core.  These are a couple of my favorites including one that I feel is the most beneficial to any other core exercise you could do.  Intrigued? Check it out. 🙂 Oh, and in case you are curious, it was the second take.  The first take was interrupted by the aforementioned four year old mimicking police car noises giving me “ticket” for invading the play area past my allotted time…

Oh vey.

In breathing, sharing space and working your core,

Francine

Sitting a lot? Stretches to do at home.

(scroll down to skip the story and get straight to the stretches)

I have to admit I am the person that hems and haws before she has to break down and buy new technology. It’s not exciting to me when new upgraded devices come out. I don’t crave the latest techie thing nor do I want to spend my money on new features of something I already have. I kinda prefer to run things into the ground. No, not from neglect! Instead, the conservative mindset of “well…mine still works.” Even if “working” is just barely and simultaneously giving me a royal headache. Case in point: my last phone. I loved my phone. An Android Nexus. It was great and I saw no reason to change even though it had been out shined by the new Pixels. I thought the camera was great and the phone never did me wrong. Then a few months ago it started loosing the battery charge in just a few hours, than an hour…then only worked when plugged in. Kinda of a pain when you are at the grocery store and you can’t access your grocery list because it’s stored on your phone. Or you want to text a client that you are running a few minutes late and your phone turns off. Yup. It was time. *heavy sigh* I bought a new phone. And you know, these days it is basically the price of a new computer.

Where am I going with this? I’ll cut to the chase. Turns out my new fancy Pixel 4 (you’ll be happy to know I got a great Black Friday deal!!) has awesome video capabilities.

I have always wanted to do a little filming (and actually have done some on YouTube and FB in the past) but now that we are all in and having to be a bit more creative with our movement experiences I want to reach out and help you all remember what you can do at home. And as one of my favorite authors, Brene Brown, suggests, “we are wired for connection.”

And as our community is in a state of crisis, heck our world, I want to keep connection, to help where I can, and to stay relevant in your lives.

I truly do.

So here you go….the first of *hopefully* more videos from my home. I’ll stop writing now so you can start watching and MOVING with this first simple video. Three stretches for your calves and hamstrings. Try it and let know what you think. 🙂

In health and connection

-Francine

In spreading compassion, care and the common good…

Contact Page2

Like most of you, I have been receiving e-newsletters from various businesses – both big and small – in regards to the COVID-19.  Some of these emails have focused on how the business is supporting customers/clients during this time.  Other offer suggestions on how to maximize the time at home both for business and family.  Still others are simply giving information on closures and modified hours.  Many give information on hygiene.  But the most compelling e-blast I received today was from Richard Davidson, the founder of an organization called The Center for Healthy Minds. In the newsletter, Davidson reminded his readers that social distancing not only limits the exposure of the COVID-19 virus to ourselves, but is also an “act of generosity and compassion towards others.”  By limiting interactions, staying home, opting for online or virtual meet ups, we are thinking of the greater good and how these choices can help others stay healthy.  He sums up the letter by saying …”even with the stress and anxiety and unprecedented challenges that we are facing with this pandemic, we can be grateful for the many opportunities to recognize our basic good nature and to extend our self-care to the caring for so many others.”  His words gave me pause, enabled me to re-frame my thinking.  For this I am grateful.

In this same realm, the owners of Camarillo Pilates have chosen to close their doors this week even as other gyms are continuing to stay open. At their request, I have copied their email below.  I know it wasn’t an easy decision by any means, but I applaud Cori and Jimmy for doing their part to help stop the spread of this virus.  As you all know I am on maternity leave, but please keep in contact with your subs and with the studio as the days and weeks unfold. They will be the best ones to let you know of new developments and when the studio will reopen for privates and group classes.

For my part I continue to be home in my little cocoon with my boys.  Besides a mild cold that my 4 year old has, we are all healthy.  Thank you for the texts and emails, I enjoy hearing from you all!

As always – be well, breathe well and stay in touch,

xo
Francine

Dear Camarillo Pilates Community,
After much thoughtful discussion and consideration we have decided to temporarily close the studio effective tomorrow, Monday March 16th through Sunday March 22nd. This includes all group classes and private sessions. With the recent closure of school districts and all park and recreation programs, in addition to other small businesses like our own, we feel the most responsible choice is to take pause and observe how the COVID-19 pandemic effects our community and surrounding communities. We would rather be one step ahead than one step behind.
Several of you have already reached out to let us know that you would like to take some time off. We whole-heartedly understand your concerns. We also know that many of you will be disappointed about this decision. While our group classes are indeed small, it is important to recognize that up to 35 people attend sessions and share pilates equipment each day. We feel an immense responsibility for keeping you safe and healthy within the walls of our studio. We want to have a better understanding of this situation before we move forward.
This is a hard time for our small family run business. We love our work, we love our staff and clients. We appreciate this amazing community of kind, friendly and down to earth individuals that enrich our daily lives. We hope to implement a safe and socially responsible plan to continue to serve you. If you need us to push your membership payment back 7 days to make up for lost time, we are happy to do so. If you can afford to give up a week, we appreciate your generosity and support. We understand that this time will have a financial impact on many of us. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.
We will assess the situation next weekend and update you on our plan for the week of Monday March 22nd. Until then, let’s take good care of ourselves, practice smart social distancing, enjoy time outside in the fresh air, eat healthy foods and drink lots of water. We hope to see you all again soon!
Sincerely,
Cori & Jimmy Riggs

And then there were two. Announcing the birth of our second son!

Eliano León Hernández was born January 25th, 2020 (Chinese New Year!) at 5:45pm weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces, and measuring 21 inches long.

Annoucement

Greetings everyone!

Thank you so much for your good thoughts, prayers, check-in messages, gifts for Giove, and excitement for us these last couple weeks. Eliano came two days early (just like his brother!), and we have been recovering and getting to know our little guy ever since. The team at the hospital was awesome – everyone from our delivery doctor, the nurses, and our super compassionate and caring postnatal nurses. We are grateful for the outstanding care we had. Yesterday afternoon we came home and by some miracle we all got good sleep our first night in!

So far our oldest is a confident, curious, and eager big brother! He couldn’t wait to hold his sibling and check out is tiny tiny toes and hands. (Oh, and his diapers. He is facsinated by his brother’s poop. Must be a boy thing.)

What’s in a name?

Many of you who know us personally know that name choice is a big deal for us! We love unique names that have meaning to us, our personal past, or our adventures together. Eliano is a name that my husband thought of, and I loved it immediately. León is a city in Northern Spain, that we stayed in for a week in 2017 when we completed the Camino de Santiago with our first son, Giove. We loved that city, felt very cared for there, and it left a special place in our hearts. Eliano is derivative of “sun” in ancient Greek (Hugo calls him our little bundle of sunshine), and of course, León, like Leo, means lion. I should mention that our first son named him “Baby Jet” while he was in my belly. When his teachers asked him this morning what we named the baby he reported “Jet”.  🙂 We happily accept Jet as his nickname, but it didn’t quite make the birth certificate.

How am I feeling?

So happy, relieved, and contented that he is here, that I am not pregnant anymore, and that we have a bit of time together as a family!!  Some of you have asked if you can make us a meal, and that is so kind of you. I do not have a meal train set up, as I don’t want to impose, but because some of you have offered, we graciously want to acknowledge and accept. Just send me a text and we can sort out a date. It’s so nice to have a proper appetite again, so thanks a million!

I hope you all are well and in good health and spirits.

I look forward to hearing from you as time permits.  In the mean time, keep up your practice! Keep moving!
xo,
Francine

I’m still here! 39 weeks and counting :-)

I’m still here! 39 weeks and counting 🙂

Almost 39 weeks

I’ve received a lot of questions this week

…asking me if I am “ready.”  It is a fair inquiry, completely appropriate and understandably sincere. Yet it is quite hard to answer! Am I ready to not be pregnant? Yes.  Am I ready for a completely different pace with two children rather than just one? Hmm….I hope so! Am I ready to meet this little human whom I have been growing inside of me and who has dictated what I eat, how I feel and how I look? Um, double yes. Am I ready for inevitable sleepless nights, newborn surprises/concerns and ‘new’ parent worry? Come on, can one ever really be ready for that?  At 39 weeks pregnant, I know this for sure: I am ready embrace whatever this next adventure brings forth for myself, my family and my career.  I am ready to integrate this little being into my life.  And that, my dear family, friends, and clients, feels really good to write down.

What’s going in the Gratitude Journal tonight? Definitely this:

This pregnancy has not been without its ups and downs with how I have felt week to week, but I am beyond grateful I was able be with so many of you in the studio during the past 8 months.  The picture above was taken on my last full day of teaching, last Thursday, a day that felt so satisfying and fulfilling that I can happily say there is no filter on my smiling face.  To teach up the 38th week of my pregnancy, including my Buff Bones mat class, had been a goal of mine all along and I was elated to complete it.  And, I’ll admit, I wanted all your good vibes and well wishes as close to my labor and delivery date as possible! I don’t know who wouldn’t!

Of course I’ll miss you…but I always come back!

So many of us have been together through life’s ages and stages.  Ultimately, that means we support each other even when we have to be out of the studio.  Colleagues and clients alike – THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting me throughout my pregnancy and now during my leave.  Please keep in touch, send me texts and pictures and keep me updated on how you are doing.  I know some of you have some important doctor appointments coming up, family trips, anniversaries, etc. and I want to hear about them as you can.  For my part I will post a bit on Instagram @yourdailypractice, but really the best way to stay in touch is via email or text. I am just a smart phone away. 🙂

Please continue to keep me and my family in your best intentions, prayers and thoughts as we make this transition into a family of five. (We count Lulu, our dog, in case you are wondering where I got that number 🙂 The next newsletter will be a baby announcement so stay tuned!

Till then, in love and life –

xo,
Francine

It’s time (as always) to Give Thanks

Thankful

Happy Fall & Thanksgiving dear friends!
This time of year always has me reflecting on the gratitude I have for every aspect of my work.  The practice of Pilates & Yoga are very satisfying to teach, but moreover, the connection I feel working with people one on one is incredibly fulfilling. Thank you all for showing up, being you, and committing to improving your quality of life through movement.

So, who is excited for turkey and pumpkin pie? I know what I am excited to eat…a fresh green salad with permissions from my tree and my mom’s *famous* cheesecake!  But before I load up on that (as well as turkey & mashed potatoes, of course) I am looking forward to hosting my Second Annual Thanksgiving Pilates Mat Class at Camarillo Pilates. This class will be all level, so that everyone feels welcome to join. A sweaty workout it may not be, but a feel good movement practice with core strengthening, stretching and both challenging poses and modifications it will be.  I’d love to have you join this holiday class. Like last year, this year’s class will be solely donation based to a non-profit who’s dedicated work is needed more and more each year. Please see below for more details.

Thanksgiving Day Mat Class

Where: Camarillo Pilates
Time: 8:30am-9:30am
Suggested Donation: $15
Sign Up: Reply to this email, limited to 12 participants
Thank you Camarillo Pilates for donating the space!

100% of the donations for this class will be sent to the Sandy Hook Promise which “educates and empowers parents, schools and community organizations on how to prevent gun violence BEFORE it happens by providing mental health & wellness early-identification and intervention programs, gun safety storage practices and advocating for sensible state and federal violence prevention policy.”

Thank you again to those who joined me last year.  We donated over $200 dollars to the Martin Richard Foundation which promotes peace, kindness and inclusion through sportsmanship and community service.

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

In gratitude & hope,

Francine

‘Happy Anniversary to me!!’

Celebrating the…

One Year Anniversary of ydp apparel!

This November marks one year since Your Daily Practice launched it’s first design.  In 12 months we have created a number of Pilates Inspired tops that I am so happy to say many of you have enjoyed in and out of the studio or purchased as gifts for your Pilates enthusiast friend or family member. Thank you so much for your patronage and support! What better way to celebrate than a beautiful new logo designed by Carol Gravelle Graphic Design specifically for YDP apparel.  Isn’t it pretty?

YDP Apparel Logo Gold Fill In

Last but not least, since I love birthdays and anniversaries, I have little gift for both my local and online shoppers.

 

MauveMuscleTee

Local shoppers: Enjoy 10% percent off all merchandise! Browse on my Etsy Shop, but message me with your style and size preference and I will send you your adjusted bill.  Pick up at Camarillo Pilates in Camarillo, CA.*

Online Shoppers: Free shipping on all US orders with no minimum.  Because Free Shipping is AWESOME!*

I hope you have fun shopping for yourself or holiday shopping for the person in your life that is obsessed with Pilates.  (Don’t we all know someone?)

Again, thank you for your style choices this past year.  Stay tuned for a new design being released in the coming months!

Cheers!

Francine

*offer through November 25th, 2019

Wunda Chair Shirt Launch!

…because we all really do love the Wunda.

Come Sit Racerback Tank
Racerback Tank

First of all, thank you for your patience!  Carol and I have been SO EXCITED about this shirt for some time but we had a few pauses along the way.  But here it is!!  I have produced it in a breathable 100% cotton racerback tank and (by popular demand) a flowy style made up of polyester and vicose. The cotton tank is a more fitted look, while the super soft scoop neck tee is a more relaxed style. Both would look adorable on their own AND you know I am a big fan of layering.  Throw on a cute jean jacket over that racerback tank on your way to the studio, or slip a fun sports bra or thin shirt under the flowy top.  Wouldn’t that look great?

And here is more good news….unlike previous shirt releases these tops are ready NOW! No pre-order wait necessary! Wahoo! That being said, tops and sizes are limited to current inventory. So how do you order? Visit my website to view the available sizes and sizing chart.  Then fill out the order form and await your email that your order has been processed. Simple enough, eh?

Happy shopping!

Flowy Top Size Small

SO soft and flowy…almost hides my 18 week Baby Bump 😉
I can’t wait to see you in yours!!

In health, fashion, and gratitude,
Francine

It’s a Boy!!!

Hey everyone!!

Yup, yup…it’s been a while since I wrote a newsletter or posted on Instagram.  I guess you can say I have been a bit…preoccupied.  But here I am with a little break from business to announce that I am 18 weeks pregnant with our second baby boy!!
It's A Boy!
Truth be told I have been quite sick for the last three months, so I apologize if you haven’t heard from me. I SO wanted to feel better so I could celebrate properly, and I am happy to say that my energy and appetite improved just in time to host a little “Reveal Party” for my family.  My husband and I didn’t know the gender, so we all found out together with the help of amazing custom cupcakes from Karma Bakery in Westlake.  Vegan and gluten free and a BIG success with our guests.  Thank you to our wonderful friends the Blaggs for picking up the cupcakes and taking such great pictures.
Blue cupcakes
My husband is still getting over his shock that it is not a girl (this will be the eighth boy cousin on his side!!!) but we are both thrilled and Giove was excited to see his favorite color inside his cupcake 🙂
As you can see from the background we are fully equipped with trucks, dirt and climbing walls.  Our first son, Giove, has prepped us well.  (Btw, doesn’t he look adorable in his new little glasses?) All we need now is a name for #2. Suggestions welcome. 🙂

so surprised

 

As always, thanks for taking the time to read and connect, and so much thanks to my clients who have been patient, understanding and down right AWESOME while I wasn’t feeling well the last couple months.

Back to business in the next newsletter…but for now, I am going to see if there are any leftover cupcakes. 🙂

In health, love and growing a human,

Francine