It’s good to be a student again

Hello!

Well, I have been commenting for months that I need an assistant. Maybe I found one?
As cute as he is, I am grateful to have help from my family on my work days and extra help from my husband this weekend as I attended a virtual live course from Movement Science Made Simple presented by physical therapist, Jeremy Laverdure and Pilates instructor, Cara Reeser.  It was a great refresher on anatomy and physiology of the neck and shoulder complex plus some wonderful teaching gems that I am eager to bring to both my private sessions and my mat class this week.  Are you excited? I am!  

As much as I love teaching (and you all know I do) it was a pleasure to be a student for the weekend.   Learning always ignites my love of teaching…it’s truly the most positive cycle I can think of. I am eager to take more courses and continue to bring more knowledge, variations, and functional movement applications to you, my wonderful students! 

Congratulations are in order!

I am thrilled to announce the birth of Peter Zachary Smith to Lauren and Zach Smith.  Lauren has been a long time YDP client and attended mat class with me throughout both of her pregnancies.  Lauren and Zach welcomed their little bundle into this world on Friday, March 19th after a very quick(!) and successful home birth.  And yes, she did mat class the day before! Lauren, we miss you but encourage you to take all the time you need for rest and recovery!!  Keep sending me baby photos!! 

Thank you…

for your recent referrals of friends, family and patients for private sessions with me.  I very much appreciate your confidence in my teaching.  Please feel free to pass on the information about my weekly mat class by sharing this newsletter.  It really is intended to be user friendly for all levels, baring some exceptions of injury or limitation getting up and down off the floor.   Links are below for class this week. 

All you need is love

15 years

This week marks my 15 year wedding anniversary!! It is hard to believe that a decade and a half ago I said “I do”.  I still remember the day vividly.   It was filled with love, laugher and great food.  Of course there were “uh oh” moments, too.  Plenty of them! “We needed a special knife to cut the cake? Oops.  We don’t have a way for the musician to plug in his amp? Shoot.  The goldfish we used for part of the centerpiece are dying? Gross.  Who thought goldfish on the tables was a good idea, anyway????!!!”  

Ha! It’s fun to go back down memory lane.  Thanks for joining me.  I am grateful to say that my spouse is still the love of my life, a wonderful father to my two sons, a helpful son and son-in-law, and a tremendous support to me in my work.  My cup indeed runneth over.

Move with Me

This week we are keeping it simple. All you need for class is a mat and some LOVE…for movement. 🙂 Won’t you join me?

Thank you for listening and connecting. I wish you all a great remainder of the week!

xo
Francine

It’s been a year…

All month long…

I have been trying to find something brilliant to say on the anniversary (or there about) of this year of global pandemic.  A poem of hope, perhaps? A collage of “Twelve Months in Photos”?   Insightful prose or remarkable accomplishments?  But to be honest, all I have for you, dear reader, is me.   And the “me” today hears you, sees you, and feels you.  It’s been a complicated year and, like any other, we all have a unique story. Own it. Be it. Allow it.  Then maybe…little by little…simply move on.

I feel a little more grounded than I did a year ago.  More at peace and armed with more knowledge and new tools to navigate this new world.  A bit more hopeful, and a whole lot better at being empathetic.  I will continue to try to look at each day and opportunity with fresh eyes.  With fresh thoughts. With fresh moves.  🙂

ahhhhhhhh (deep breath)

Now speaking of those fresh moves, I hope you will join me this week.

Move with Me this Thursday

Move with Me is a combination of Pilates, Yoga and Functional Movement. The class is gentle enough for most levels and can also be layered for more challenge. This week we will be using the Theraband for adding stretching, resistance and balance challenge.  Don’t have Therabands? Come anyway and move with us or buy a set here.  Class is $15 payable via PayPal or Venmo @francine-a-hernandez.   Register here or click on the image below.

Don’t forget that if you can’t make class you can still Move with Me throughout the week. Simply register and pay for class and a link will be sent to you Thursday afternoon to use for the following week at your leisure.  And don’t worry, the camera only records me. You don’t have to worry if Fido or Fluffy are hanging around the iPad.

Thanks for listening & connecting.  As always you can find me via Instagram, Vimeo or on my website from the links below.  Be well, stay safe and keep moving!

Best, Francine

 

 

March MATness 2021 and… Zoom classes will now be recorded!

 

Hello!

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. It was windy in Camarillo (what else is new?) but the blue skies were brilliant and the sun was shining nonetheless.

As we roll into March tomorrow, many of my colleagues will start off by celebrating “March MATness” – a month long project started by Benjamin Degenhardt, aimed at celebrating Joe Pilates’ work. For my part, I will be continuing to hold “Move with Me” each Thursday in March at 10am PST and will plan for a few Joseph Pilates’ classical exercises in each class.  Won’t you join me?

Register HERE for this week’s class.  Class is $15 and payment can be made via PayPal or Venmo.

Can’t make class at that time? No problem…

Register ahead of time and receive a recording!

It occurred to me last week how GREAT it would be if those who could not attend mat class at the scheduled time could access class at time that was most convenient for them.  And in our digital Zooming age there is a straightforward solution.  “Move with Me” will now be recorded!  Of course I will cross my fingers that you regulars still come to class (seeing your smiling faces is WAY better than teaching to a mirror image of myself.)  But as long as you register and pay for class, whether you are able to attend live or not, you will be sent a link after class and have access for one week.  You can do the class as many times as you would like in that week, I just ask that you do not share the link with others (Psst…encourage others to sign up, too!! Friends help friends MOVE well!)  

Use the link above or click on the picture below to register for class. Hope to see you soon!

In health and movement,

Francine

PS: For those of you attending live, don’t worry…it’s just me being recorded.  No need to tidy up your living room 🙂

 

Sunday Reflections

It’s Sunday…

and today I had the rare but *awesome* time to reflect on the past few weeks and look towards the week ahead.  So much comes to mind (wow, it’s hard to space clear our head – isn’t it??) but one conversation in particular stands out.  I had the pleasure of seeing a former client this week who dropped in for my weekly Zoom mat class.  I had not seen her in over a year and it was so nice to catch up after class.   We talked about the last several months, how we are faring with pandemic lifestyle and how our families are doing.  And then she made me laugh out loud as she said, “And this…this is my survival room! Thank God for this room!”  What was in her room? A treadmill, a TV, some lovely art, and a place to put her yoga/Pilates mat out.  

I could so relate.  A survival room.  And you know for me, that room changes.  At times it’s this very room where I type.  At other times it’s my cool and airy bedroom.  Still other times it’s the kitchen nook where the sun shines in and I can hide with a cup of tea.  What about you? Do you have a survival room? 

It also got me thinking more.  What if our survival rooms, or nooks if we can’t have the luxury of a whole room, become thriving rooms? In honor of the last few days of Black History Month I leave you with this quote to ponder…

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”  -Maya Angelou

Thank you Maya, thank you.  And thank you dear client for sharing your space (and your humor!) with me.  It was so good to see you.  xo

Move with Me this Thursday

Join me this Thursday at 10am PST for class – a combination of Pilates, Yoga and Functional Movement. The class is gentle enough for most levels and can also be layered for more challenge. I would love to see you!  Register here.  Class is $15 payable via PayPal or Venmo @francine-a-hernandez   

Vimeo channel still (a)live 

A few of you have asked if you can still access the videos I did on Vimeo at the start of the pandemic (nearly a year ago – OMG!!!). YES! I’d love you to visit the channel. It gets lonely. 🙂 Visit the current content HERE

Last but certainly not least…

My dearest friend and client, Lauren is just weeks away from delivery. It has been such a joy to see her each week in my weekly Buff Bones or Move with Me classes throughout her entire pregnancy.   From the comfort of her living room she has joined us during each trimester.  Doesn’t she look AMAZING? 

Thanks for listening & connecting.  As always you can find me via Instagram, Vimeo or on my website from the links below.  Be well, stay safe and keep moving!

Best, Francine

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It’s been a minute! Fall update…

 

It’s been a minute!

Several of you have reached out to say ‘hi’ and touch base and it’s been great to hear from you.  Thank you for keeping in touch. I thought I’d do the same…

My “New Normal”

It’s hard to believe my youngest son will be 9 months next week, and even harder to grasp the realization that we’ve been feeling the affects of this global pandemic for nearly that long. I’m sure many of us couldn’t imagine we’d still be dealing with such abnormal times.  Here in Ventura County, we’ve recently entered the “Red Zone” of our tiered reopening plan.  Along with other businesses, fitness studios have been permitted to reopen at 10% capacity. This is favorable news for studios who have been operating outside dealing with unpleasant weather conditions, road construction, and poor air quality.  I am sure teachers and clients alike were eager to move indoors!

For me, my new normal is working out well and I am content working from home teaching both yoga and Pilates private sessions via Skype and Zoom.  Buff Bones Mat Class via Zoom has also been going great, and each week I look forward to the group dynamic and community feel I love so much leading this class.  It has been very satisfying to connect with clients this way, knowing that I can offer an exercise option that is convenient, safe and rewarding to attendees as close as Camarillo and as far as Colorado!  If you are interested in joining me Thursdays at 10:00am you can find the registration link on my website.  I’d love to see you in class 🙂

Though I miss seeing so many of you who were a part of my weekly routine, working completely online has turned out to be a good match for my family, enabling me to be more present to the kids who are both home this school year. All things considered, I plan to continue teaching this way for the foreseeable future.  And while I realize it is not a match for everyone, I am very grateful it works for some of you.  It has been such a pleasure to continue to work together. There are not enough words to express my gratitude for your support and dedication!!
“The Kids Are Alright”

They truly are.  Like so many, we are doing what feels best for our small family.  We’ve moved from total quarantine, home haircuts and socializing solely on FaceTime to venturing out for Covid-style family visits, outdoor playdates, beach trips, and proper haircuts at the salon! (Wahoo!)  I think both kids are relishing in all the family time. Giove, my oldest, is fascinated by ALL things ocean related.  Days are spent pouring over ocean themed books, watching YouTube clips of marine animals or scuba divers, dressing up as a scuba diver and “diving” off the couch (*eek*), and visiting the local beaches or tide pools.  I am starting to feel like I live with a budding marine biologist.  Eliano, the youngest, delights in his brother, in my attention, and in finger foods.  They are happy, healthy, and LOUD.

As Always, Thank you… 

for taking the time to read and connect with me here.  I hope to hear from many of you to learn how YOU are doing.  Send me an email or text, give me a call.  Whatever works best for you.  I would love it! Till next time, stay safe, stay well, and keep moving,

xo
Francine

 

The brilliance of “Good Enough”

Reading with the kids

At some point in my 20’s…

I worked with a registered dietician. I don’t recall the impetus for seeing her, nor what results I gained from her expertise, but I do recall some sound advice she gave me.  When it came to food choices, and still enjoying indulgences, she suggested to look my food choices over three days versus just one day.  For instance, I might have a celebratory meal on a Saturday evening that included everything from a cheesy appetizer, to a decadent dessert to a night cap. But on Sunday I might start the day with a nourishing bowl of oatmeal, a high protein lunch and homemade soup for dinner.  Then on Monday it might be hot cereal again for breakfast and a salad for lunch but also a couple freshly baked peanut butter chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon and pasta with veggies for dinner.  I think you get the point.  She wanted me to look at my nutrition over a few days rather than try to ‘perfect’ each day of eating. I have been thinking a lot about this perspective during quarantine. Not so much as it relates just to food, but as it relates to, well…everything. 

Take yesterday for example. Did I get in any exercise? Negative. Not so much as a stretch or walk around the cul de sac. But I had other “wins”.  I made homemade yogurt. I cut my 3 month old baby’s tiny fingernails (no easy feat!).  My son and I cleaned our glass slider with him shooting far too much Windex on the glass and me catching it with the shammy.  It was actually quite comical. Later we made homemade vanilla ice cream.  I had a total of five minutes to myself that day. I used it to catch up on a few emails.  Today was different. We spent a lot of time outside, I exercised with my TRX and got in a modest walk.  My oldest honed his scooter skills. Meals were quick because they were based on leftovers. No desserts today, but goodies from my son’s Easter egg basket (did I tell you we used all the leftover candy from Halloween and Valentine’s for his Easter eggs??? SHHHHH!! Don’t tell him!!) I “wore” my tiny human a lot so I could multi task and pick up the house. Tonight I write. Tomorrow I will try to make stew, get in some Pilates and try to encourage my son to play with something other than trucks.  We will likely Facetime with a family member because we haven’t in a couple days. Maybe we will plant more seeds in the backyard in our little raised bed we are nudging along. Maybe Giove and I will give Eliano a bath – an event the oldest enjoys more than the youngest.  Maybe we will watch one too many cartoons and have a melt down when we turn off the TV.  (We hope this doesn’t happen, but come on…we ain’t perfect.) 

All in all, after three days a diversity of things have been experienced. 

I have never been much a hard core schedule person, so perhaps this is why this view of life during “safer at home” works for me.  I guess, in a spiritual sense, I am trying to give myself grace by knowing that I can’t get it all (good exercise, home cooking, cleaning, educational enrichment, virtual socializing, etcetera, etcetera) in one day.  But three days?  Yes, more doable.  Good enough. 

Ahh “good enough.” That phrase makes many of us twinge, no? At least it used to have that affect on me.  But two very different situations led me to be convinced that good enough was not a cop-out, or a fail.  The first was in Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection.  I think the title hints at what I am getting at so I won’t elaborate on her writing but I will say GET THE BOOK.  The second was about two months ago, when we were all living our normalcy and I was just one month postpartum.  I was getting out for regular walks by myself.  In fact, it was the single daily goal of mine (besides keep tiny humans alive). My mom would come, watch the kiddos and I would go out for a breezy walk by myself, solely limited by either my energy levels or when I received a text that the baby was awake and wanted to eat.  But there was always one tricky thing about these walks…Giove always wanted to come.  Often, I would take him willingly.  But that day, about two months ago, I really wanted to get out by myself.  And so, as my mother will tell you, I started to reason with my four and half year old son (for better or for worse) as I tied up my shoes. 

 Me: “Honey, mama needs to go on a walk by herself.  It’s good for mama.  It helps me be a good mama.” 

Giove. With a pouty but sincere face:
“But you already are a good Mama.”

Me…holding back a smile and a tear: 
“Well, I will be a BETTER Mama after a walk.”

Giove (who by the way, continues to play with his front loader through this conversation):
“But Mama, you are a good enough Mama.  You are good enough for me.”

Me…Speechless. Raw. Whole. Loved. 

I gave him a hug.  I looked him in his chocolate brown eyes and I thanked him.  I said I’d be back soon. Yes, I still went on my walk. Yes he was fine and content with Grandma.  But that day I was reminded that good enough is often more than enough.  Not a cop-out. Not what I didn’t accomplish in one day but instead took me three days.  Not an ounce of failure or a measure of inadequacy. Good enough can actually be just what you have the bandwidth for in a given situation. What you can do whole-heartedly.  What others see in you that makes a positive difference to them. 

So my friends, I encourage you to see your efforts during this unstable and unsure time as good enough. That the Zoom call you hosted to wish your family members hello on Easter or Passover wasn’t the same of course as last year, but it was something.  That the homemade gym you have made in your garage or living room by rolling out your mat and grabbing some dusty weights is not your first choice, but you are moving.  That you don’t have a masters in education, but you are doing your best to enrich your children with their homeschooling or well, through…life. 

Do what you can. Do it well. Take pride in yourself and how you are reinventing your work, your home, even your relationships.  One day this will all be over but we will most likely be different because of it.  Amist the sadness, loss and confusion, let’s also remember our resourcefulness, our courage and our resilience.  

Who’s with me?

In being good enough, 

xo
Francine

It’s all how you look at it.

Take a Deep Breath

Happy Easter weekend and Happy Passover friends…

I had a much different newsletter composed to you all earlier this week.  One that talked about trying to order child face masks online that sold out in an hour.  I explained how my frequent walks have changed from constantly getting stopped by neighbors to shoot the breeze to now…well, us talking briefly from door to sidewalk.  I mentioned how strangers used to smile, say hello and comment on the amazing weather.  Now one of us crosses to the other side of the street with just a head nod.  No risk of exchange of airborne anything. I vented about how weird I think Zoom Meet ups are for four year olds (sorry…I said it!) and how awkward social distancing is with kids when they ask if their friend can play in the backyard or come over for this year’s Easter Egg Hunt.

Yikes, I guess I still needed to get that all off my writing desk.

But dear readers, let’s not focus on all that right now.  Let’s again, turn towards the positive.  For my part I am still delighting in some consistent pre-quarantine daily creature comforts – like my delicious aromatic Royal Raspberry Tea from All Things Tea. I was running out last week and rummaged through the cupboard to find something else that would suffice for my morning ritual and nada.  Lucky to find out Donna, one of our very own small business owners here in Camarillo, is still open for business.  Take out “Tea Time in a Box”, sweet treats, savories and best of all her loose tea is available for pick up or tea can be shipped anywhere in the states.  Mmmmm more comforting caffeine is coming to my door in a couple days.  Check it out friends.  I know we all feel passionately about our small businesses surviving this pandemic.

All Things Tea

Ordering groceries online, social distancing with my favorite neighbors, not celebrating Easter with my family…these things leave me feeling a bit, odd. I chose to remind myself that all these efforts are not only for the collective good in my immediate household and neighborhood but for the world.  That each gesture we do – making masks for friends (thank you Judy and Carol!!!), respecting space on much needed outdoor jaunts (thank you conscientious citizens) and checking in on friends, colleagues, and family via whatever virtual media one prefers (let’s hear it for modern technology!) is helping us feel as safe, healthy and connected as is possible right now.

I think my mom summed it up the best.  Yup, I am pretty sure you could have skipped my whole newsletter and just read this…

(I am the blue boxes, she is the grey boxes.)

Convo with mom

It’s all how you look at it.  Thanks mom, for everything. 🙂

And thank you friends, for taking the time to read and connect here. Be safe and well and have a wonderful holiday, however you are able to celebrate.

xo
Francine

PS To end the week, I am throwing a little more yoga your way.  This one is more challenging especially in terms of balance.  Have a soft towel for under your knee and practice near a wall for safety. Good luck and enjoy 🙂  As always, let me know how you like it and what you would like to see next.

Yoga Flow 3 from Francine on Vimeo.

Nap time

Hand picked flowers

Saturday I took a nap.

I know what you are thinking. Quarantine + two month old baby = lots of naps for Mama. Um, not really. Though my second son is proving to be a very good sleeper, I usually use his nap to be with my oldest son or to get outside to clear my head and get much needed exercise. Sometimes I’m able to eat a meal slowly and with two hands (which is not something to take for granted, people!) or I putter around the house picking up cast away socks, piles of books and little tiny cars that I inevitably trip on. But Saturday afternoon the only thing calling my name was a nap. And while I was sleeping, I had another dream.

This time a friend and I were going on a hike. She was to meet at my house and then we would drive to the trail head together. She arrived a bit early, and I was still getting ready. My husband greeted her at the door and welcomed her inside. He offered her some water and she accepted. My oldest son was delighted to see her and talked to her non stop for seven minutes about what his toy helicopter and crane were doing. I was finally ready and I warmly gave my friend a big hug when I saw her. We said our goodbyes to my family and we headed out in my car. It was a beautiful day in Southern California and we were excited to hit the trails.

I think dreams are little peeks into our subconscious. My dreams of late center around connecting with friends together in celebration or in the beauty of the outdoors. Things clearly that I am craving, but are not possible right now.

What is possible in the realm of connection these days? Virtual family to family living rooms chats with our friends. (Just like in person the adults are trying to catch up and the kids are clamoring in the background!) Reading lovely emails from clients past and present that have shared that it’s a treat to “take class from me again” when they stream the exercises at home. Hearing that some of you are doing these videos with your spouse or your kids, adding an element of connection that I hadn’t thought about initially.

And as for beauty? A small bouquet of flowers (pictured above) from our front yard that my son trimmed himself. The apricot tree in our backyard with hundreds of tiny green apricots. The moody sky and blustery winds that we have been soaking in during our afternoons walks. The countless photos I have of my two sons bonding as each day unfolds.

Sometimes you just have to look for it. You just have to find the ways to fill your heart, soul, and dreamy mind with the connection and beauty it’s craving.

I wonder where you are finding connection and beauty. Is it in a phone call to an old friend? A basket of fruit left on your porch from a neighbor? A walk with your spouse outdoors? I’d love to hear.

As Saturday was for napping, Sunday was for moving. We went for a walk and scooter adventure around the block. We cleaned house. Best of all, I got in some yoga and some filming. Another simple yoga flow that you can tag on to the previous one or do on its own. I hope you’ll try it and enjoy. 🙂 Till next time…

In connection, beauty, and occasional napping,
Francine

Yoga Flow 2 from Francine on Vimeo.

Go with the flow…a yoga flow

Me and my boys

This week I…

*went on lovely walks with my son
*cuddled my new baby
*missed my mom like crazy
*moved when I could, but sat quite a bit
*snacked often (maybe too often?)
*spent A LOT of time in my living room
*read from a real book (not just my phone)
*worried. cried a little.
*BREATHED
*laughed, talked to friends, texted oh so many friends
*used Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime more than I did when I traveled
*did some yoga

mmmmm yoga

And since the yoga felt so good, I thought I’d share a little.  A ten minute routine you can do anytime at home. I hope you try it and let me know how it feels. As always, listen to your body, try what feels good and stop if it doesn’t.  (But don’t worry…it’s a user friendly routine!)  Progress over perfection, folks!  Let’s get you moving.

Till next time,
xo
Francine

Yoga Flow 1 from Francine on Vimeo.