A Holistic Heath Center in the Heart of Saratoga

A Holistic Heath Center in the Heart of Saratoga

One Big Roof is a retreat and workshop center in the heart of Saratoga Springs, located at 433 Broadway, on the third floor above Putnam Market. It is an unusually, surprising, attractive, spacious, aesthetically simple 1000 square feet setting with a gorgeous wood floor for movement, bay windows overlooking Broadway and warm colored walls supporting tasteful art. As soon as one steps in, a serene feeling, warmth, spaciousness and stillness welcome any visitor or participant. The view of the city from above is inspiring and so is the vision of the center. The following article from Saratoga Springs Life Magazine, illustrated with gorgeous interior images, describes the space, workshops, and mission of One Big Roof. Click on the following link to read the full article (in PDF): Saratoga Springs Life...

Stress, friend or foe?

We live in times of continuous stress in our personal and professional lives, experience time conflicts, lack of balance between work and rest, business and quiet time, too much information available to us, often multi tasking and seeing ourselves less connected to others than ever before. Why is it that some people are more resistant to stress than others? How can we be resilient and meet our edges without falling apart? The key answer to those questions has to do with our attitude and perceptions as to whether we accept stress or suppress it, see it as a challenge versus a threat. Some amount of stress, in intervals, helps our body and mind. Blood vessels dilate and remain more relaxed, the heart pumps more blood which releases more oxygen to the brain for clarity and processing thoughts, emotions and feelings. Our cells stay active and young and the adrenals and cortisol levels go back to a normal baseline. However, prolonged stressful experiences are dangerous for health and homeostasis. The metaphor of a bow can be helpful to understand. If we pull the bow too taunt and overstrain it, resilience is lost and the bow breaks. So do our bodies and mind and we eventually experience dis-eases or illness. Another example, this time about frogs, is that when we put them in a pot of boiling water, they jump out. If we put them in a pot of water and heat it up slowly they don’t jump out and they will die. Minimal amounts or occasional stressors motivate us, stimulate growth and help us develop balance. Our attitude or relationship...
Practicing Resilience

Practicing Resilience

PRACTICING RESILIENCE Practicing resilience is important for us to function in life with all the changes around us, which in this day and age seem to increase consistently and at a greater rate. Approaching the end of another year, I thought it might be an appropriate time to reflect on this topic. Resilience is the ability to face and handle life’s challenges, small or seemingly overwhelming ones, surprising ones and habitual ones. With it we can experience what we might label victories and when we lack resilience we might end up having meltdowns and setbacks. Some people are recovering fast from adversity, some become crippled by it and some spiral into deep depression. We might ask ourselves the following questions to explore and understand the choices we have: What is the secret to triumph over difficult experiences in life? Why do some people cave in when meeting their edges? Why do some let whatever is thrown at them stick? How long does one have to ruminate about an upsetting experience? How quickly does one recover from an argument?  When do we feel helpless, resigned or give up easily? Can we move beyond surprises, betrayals, disappointments and paradoxes? The capacities to bounce back, resurface, integrate the experiences and then move on are innate and possible, yet difficult. To be resilient requires of us several qualities such as awareness, pausing to reflect, flexibility, stability and adaptability. We can use the five elements that are part of our bodies and the larger universe to illustrate these important themes: The earth element of stability and firmness The water element of fluidity, The fire...

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness teaches us how to be in the present moment. The good news is that this is an innate ability. We have simply learned to override it. Mindfulness practices teach us to slow down inside, shift out of auto-pilot, and step into a more open, relaxed and focused state of attention. With mindfulness we can better see things as they are without judgment, self-criticism and overwhelming emotions. Mindfulness is a discipline that allows us to access greater clarity, insight and compassion. This program teaches participants a structured way to carve out time each day for the cultivation of mindfulness. For many, the biggest challenge is actually making the time to practice, but we have found that the group format of our program really helps with motivation and support. Mindfulness helps unleash the body’s innate capacity to rest and heal, and just a few weeks into the program our students begin to notice significant...