Meet Dancer Annamária Benkó-Fóthy

Name
Annamária Benkó-Fóthy
What City is home?
Budapest, Hungary
What type of dance do you do?
Tribal Fusion Bellydance
Who’s your favorite dancer?
I have a lots of. Some of them are Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, Illan Riviére, Tjarda van Straten and Pinny Orchidaceae.
What’s your dream?
I totally acknowledge who I am now and I enjoy every moment of it. That is why I feel I already live my dream. I love so I am loved. I accept so I am accepted.
What’s your favorite song?
I don't have a favourite song. Usually I try to find beauty in every style.
What’s one wish you hope comes true?
There will be no indifference and lethargy in our world - only sincerity and understanding.
What is your opinion on wellness?
We should listen to our body and this way we will understand what is good to our body and soul. I think in this way we all get closer to our inner peace. Wellness could be a fantastic tool for this.

Datura Bellydance Workshop in Portland

I had the great honor and privilege to attend a Datura bellydance workshop in Portland, Oregon last week. It was such an amazing adventure. It really took me outside of my comfort zone on so many levels.

What was it that took you out of your comfort zone?

Well first of all I had to get myself packed, get my dog packed and get to the airport on time. If you have ever had the pleasure of missing a flight, then you know, that you don’t want to experience that again. So I started out my trip with a ticket from California Highway Patrol. I stayed cool despite this ticket. But it was a little irritating to say the least.

Then I got to the airport past security. My boarding pass was B14. But I got the gate mixed up and was sitting in Gate B14 for at least an hour. Then someone paged Valerie and they said your supposed to be at gate 20!! How the hell that happened I don’t know but I ran down there and made it to the plane.

Sitting at wrong gate

I made it to my hotel and then realized I had left a very critical bag. My bag that had my toothbrush. Luckily my hotel gave me one and I had toothpaste. I remembered my make up so, all in all, it wasn’t bad.

What was the deal with the Datura Workshop?

Datura is a style of bellydance created by Rachel Brice. She has classes online at Datura online and she teaches workshops in Portland at a cool dance studio called Nia. She has her own Datura studio as well but to accommodate more people she had the training at Nia.

The Datura Phase I Initiation of the 8 elements brought together 40 students from all over the world. Represented countries included: Japan, Australia, Mexico, United Kingdom and United States. There were professional dancers as well as students. But everyone was a student this week to learn and absorb as much as they could from Rachel Brice

Rachel shared part of her dance journey as well as the reason for putting together the course so that this dance form can be shared with the world. She had told us at the beginning of the week that we were going to feel like, “She was filling up our mouths with a fire hose.” At first it made me laugh but by the 3rd day, I completed understood the concept. I felt like my brain was being stretched out really far. I didn’t want to stretch it but then she stretched it for me and I was so glad she did.

What was the most awesome experience?

We would learn these dance sequences. First we would learn the feet, then she would add isolations, then Zils and then finally arms. It doesn’t sound that difficult and even when you see it, it doesn’t look terribly difficult. But playing the Zils while dancing and keeping rhythem while your arms, legs and body are doing something different was mind blowing. And then we did it in perfect unison at full speed. It was like, “Hell Yeah!!!” I couldn’t believe we were able to do it all together. If you’ve ever been around dancers there are usually varying levels of dance experience. But in 3 days she had as doing it. I felt like a complete badass!!!

Just for the record, I felt like such a beginner. There were definitely dancers who had such cool moves. Some were awesome with Zils and everyone just brought their own gifts and talents. Truly an amazing group of people.

She shared her costumes in Costume Cafe which was just amazing. In the video above I was able to see her headdress in person. She shared her inspiration for costumes and also so many things. She is a complete badass. Bruce Lee’s baby sister. I bow down to her.

What was the take away from the training?

Whatever it is you do everyday becomes your practice. You simply have to find the time to do whatever it is you love to do. Sometimes we get stuck in bad habits, or get caught in the responsibilities of life. But no matter, practice is the most important. In talking to Rachel, she explained some of the ways she practices and how she just goes over it over and over again until she gets it down to how she likes it. I was also super happy to know that her absolutely favorite type of dance is improvisational dance which is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THING TO DO!!. So it gave me support to know that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH IMPROVISATION!! And she does such an amazing job with it.

You’re Not Music’s Bitch

What does that mean? It means as dancer that you control your movement. YOu can pause and stretch and pose and dance how you want. Music is there to help you express yourself but you and music work together and you do whatever you want. It’s you dancing after all.

What are my plans going forward?

I realized that more than anything I need a good teacher. I plan to continue to study dance. A good teacher will mold me to their vision. I will be like a child coming to my teacher. I will allow them to teach me and that is the best I can do for right now. There’s nothing wrong with being a student. It’s like letting someone else drive you around for a while and I get to just enjoy the ride. I will continue to pursue my dream of dance. As long as I am dancing, EVERYTHING WILL BE OK.

Valeria is a Health and wellness coach who lives in Northern California. She is sharing her passion and journey with the world and encourages everyone to follow their dreams at all costs. This guy was cool. He didn’t talk much and never moved. XOXO

Watch a Scarf Battle

img_8077You know I like to have fun.  So here I am dancing with a scarf.  I also discuss what’s up with wearing scarves over your head and face.  It’s only a scarf but it does bring up a lot of emotions.

Please subscribe to my youtube channel.  Thank you so much!!  I encourage you all to have a beautiful and peaceful weekend.  Remember you are loved.  In case you forgot.  All of your ancestors love you.  Don’t forget that.EVER!!

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and a Yoga Instructor.  As you Heal yourself, you heal the planet.  Thanks for caring.

PS: You Rock And Have a Great Day!!

Tummy Time Helps Strengthen Back

baby yoga

Most mother’s know what tummy time is.  It’s when your child is a baby and you put them on their tummy to strengthen their core.  That’s where they eventually get the strength to roll over and crawl.  It’s a very important part of child development. As you know they have to get used to carrying that really large head.  So they lay on their tummy and lift their chest.  They do many poses that are in yoga and pilates.

I am not shy about my neck and shoulder pain.  It comes and goes.  I started to think about child development and how after years of a sedentary job my back had become weak and no amount of massages was going to help it.  So I started to think maybe it was time for me to try some tummy time.

As a Yoga Instructor there are many poses that focus on strengthening your back. Sphynx, Cobra, Up-Dog, Bow and the list goes on.  Pilates also has many as well.  So I would do the Asanas and hold the poses for a breath or two but then move on.

I googled a YouTube Video about Tummy Time and they said that babies need to work up to 15 minutes per day.  But actually what the lady said was to hold Sphynx pose for 15 minutes.  Now I’m not sure if that’s accurate because that sounds like a long time to me.  But I decided to do Sphinx pose for 5 minutes.

sphynx

This picture can also be modified to where you keep your chin down.  If you feel any pain back off.  You also want to make sure to engage your abdominal muscles and your glutes.  It’s not easy but you can do it.  Consult a yoga instructor or physical therapist if you need help.

I would come out of it if I would feel any pain.  The morning after I did this, I kid you not.  When I woke up in the morning, I did not feel any pain or stiffness.  I felt really strong.  I told a friend about this and he tried it and said he felt better the next day too.  Now keep in mind that you can modify this pose as well.  There’s is also baby cobra which is a great place to start too.

cobramostchallenging-baby-cobra

Could tummy time be the answer to back pain?  I also did rolling from back to tummy, happy baby, just kind of rolling around the floor and it felt amazing.  Aim for two or three times a day, for three to five minutes at a time to start, and progress from there.

If it’s good enough for a baby, it’s good enough for you baby.  Take care of yourself because we need you baby!!

Valerie is a health and wellness Coach and a Yoga Instructor.  She’s healing herself after a 26 year career and sharing her wisdom with the world.  To read about another simple healthy living tip about silence click here.

VAL BELLY DANCING

Top 6 Reasons Plogging is Awesome

What is Plogging?  It is jogging and picking up trash =Plogging.  We’ll get straight to the reasons.  We’ll count down like the Casey Casem Top 40.

6)  You’re outside getting fresh air.  Most people spend too much time inside.  But with Plogging you have to be outside to do it.  Otherwise, you’re just cleaning your house.  We all know being outside has many benefits from getting Vitamin D to Fresh air.  So get outside and Plog away.

photo of person wearing white t shirt holding tree trunk

Photo by Daniel Frank on Pexels.com

5) You find some pretty cool stuff.  I found $20 the other day just laying there waiting for me.  I haven’t checked to see if it’s counterfeit or not.  I also found an I Phone adapter, plastic bottles, cans which I recycle, a shirt that say, “Shut the Fuck Up.”  I mean what else do you need in life after you have this shirt?

achievement-bar-business-chart-40140.jpeg

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

4)  You do get a work out.  When you start picking up trash, you can squat and lunge as you pick up trash.  Pretty soon you will begin to feel your legs getting a little tired.  So you definitely get a leg work out!!  (Make sure you use good form when you pick up trash.  Once you really get into it, you will want to invest in a grabber to give your legs a break.

city exercise fun girl

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

After she ties her shoes she can pick up some trash while she’s down there.

3)  It can be a social event.  I joined a group of Ploggers and met some really cool people.  Everyone is really nice and it’s a great way to meet new people.  There’s actually a group that also kayaks and picks up trash on Rivers and Lakes too.  So if you want to do that, there’s always that too.

2) Because you are doing something good, you suddenly begin to get really good luck.  You generate a lot of good Karma and good things just start coming to you.  This you will have to just try to see if it works.  If you’ve been a jerk lately, go Plogging and then quit being a jerk after that.

shallow focus photography of four leaf clover

Photo by Djalma Paiva Armelin on Pexels.com

1)The most important reason is that you are helping Mother Earth and all of the marine life.  You are also helping our planet to be cleaner and healthier thereby creating a healthy world and you can be the change you want to see in the world.

beach child clouds cold

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

So remember no matter where you are on the Planet.  You can do this and you will be recognized as an Official Earth Angel.  Mother Earth needs you now and all you have to do is commit to picking up 5 pieces of trash per day.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and puppy.  She’s on a mission to share the news of how to be kind to Mother Earth.  The good thing is that as you Heal Yourself, You Heal The Planet.

‘Plogging’ is the Swedish fitness craze for people who want to save the planet. It’s making its way to the U.S.

Originally Published on Washingtonpost.com on February 23, 2018 By Allison Klein

‘Plogging_ is the Swedish fitness craze for people who want to save the planet. It_s making its way to the U.S.
Have you recently spotted people toting trash bags while jogging? Or their hands filled with old plastic bottles? You might soon.

Across Europe, there are plogging groups in Scandinavia, Germany and beyond. In the United States, it’s just starting to catch on among exercisers who are fed up with rubbish along their route.

“I’m not going to just let litter sit there. I’m not going to just walk past that plastic bottle,” said plogger and Alexandria resident Emily Wright. “It’s not that I don’t think it’s gross to pick it up. I do. But I also think it’s gross for a person to not take responsibility for it.”

Wright, 40, has been plogging for several months along the Alexandria waterfront, but just a few weeks ago learned that what she’s been doing has a name.

Her partner used to lovingly tease her about her habit of going out for a run-walk for about an hour with a trash bag and plastic gloves.

“He used to call it my trash runs,” said Wright, a writer and cellist. “A few weeks ago he said, ‘the Swedes have a name for your trash runs!’”

‘Plogging_ is the Swedish fitness craze for people who want to save the planet. It_s making its way to the U.S._2

Emily Wright out on a plog in Alexandria, Va. (Courtesy of Emily Wright/)

She mostly picks up cigarette butts, bits of foam containers, plastic bottles and bottle caps. “There are an alarming number of full diapers,” she said. “They turn my stomach the most.”

Plogging not only helps the environment, it’s quite good for your health. Think squats while jogging.

According to the Swedish-based fitness app Lifesum, which earlier this month made it possible for users to track plogging activity, a half-hour of jogging plus picking up trash will burn 288 calories for the average person, compared with the 235 burned by jogging alone. A brisk walk will expend about 120.

“It makes me feel good for so many reasons,” Wright said. “My pants fit differently. I’m more nipped in at the waist. I think it’s because of balance and flexibility.”

Wright, 40, has been plogging for several months along the Alexandria waterfront, but just a few weeks ago learned that what she’s been doing has a name.

Her partner used to lovingly tease her about her habit of going out for a run-walk for about an hour with a trash bag and plastic gloves.

“He used to call it my trash runs,” said Wright, a writer and cellist. “A few weeks ago he said, ‘the Swedes have a name for your trash runs!’”

In Sweden, plogger Maja Tesch, 28, said she learned about plogging last year, when it became popular in the Scandinavian country. It spread through word-of-mouth, and the hashtag #plogging started popping up on social media. Tesch, a nurse, said she regularly organizes plogging events in which she and friends will pluck litter for a few hours, then spend time hanging outside together around a fire.

“I run a lot and I love to spend time in nature. When I find litter out in the woods or in the archipelago it makes me sad and a bit angry. When I heard about plogging it was a natural way to do something about that agitation,” Tesch said in an email. “It’s so easy to just bring the litter and put it in the nearest bin, and it makes you feel that you’re doing a difference!”

Laura Lindberg, who lives in Hoboken, N.J., said a few weeks ago she learned about plogging and had what she called an “aha moment.”

“It was a no-brainer. I knew I could incorporate it into my runs,” said Lindberg, 36, who runs four or five days a week. “I suddenly felt guilty for not doing it for all these years I’ve been running. All you need is a bag.”

She also takes along a pair of gardening gloves she stuffs into her pocket.

“I try to get in my first mile while I scope out where I see recyclables and garbage,” she said. On her second and third miles, she plucks litter off sidewalks and bushes.

“I’ve yet to look back,” said Lindberg, who works in sales for a health insurance company. “I’ve yet to return without a bag of recyclables and garbage.”

She said seeing litter on the street used to upset her.

Related: [This simple solution to smartphone addiction is now used in over 600 U.S. schools]

“I’d be frustrated by it,” she said. “Then it clicked, duh, I don’t have to be frustrated about it. I can do something about it.”

Lindberg said that while she thoroughly enjoys picking up trash in Hoboken, she wouldn’t attempt it where she works in New York City.

“With the pace on sidewalks, I’d be infuriating people if I started doing that here in Manhattan,” she said.

‘Plogging_ is the Swedish fitness craze for people who want to save the planet. It_s making its way to the U.S._3

In Sweden, some runners have taken up plogging, which is running while picking up trash. The fitness trend is starting to spread outside of the Scandinavian country. (YouTube/Run Fredrik Run!)

The environmental organization Keep America Beautiful recently started promoting plogging as a way to encourage trash-free communities. Spokesman Mike Rosen said when the group put out the #plogging message to its 600 affiliates, it got a surprising response.

“People started saying ‘we do things like this already,’” Rosen said. “In Tennessee they do an event called ‘Trashercize’ that combines exercising with cleaning up community.”

But he said for those people who love to jog, going for a plog in its place might not be realistic every time.

“I don’t think plogging replaces jogging as a daily activity,” Rosen said. “If you turn your jog into a plog once a week or once a month, or turn your walk into a palk or your hike into pike, you’ll get personal satisfaction. You’ll have an endorphin high from running, and you’ll know you’re helping your community.”

10 new ways to overcome workout laziness

10 new ways to overcome workout laziness_11Originally Published on Mensfitness.com By Sara Greenfest

So you skipped a few workouts, and now anything—even shoe shopping with your girlfriend and her mom—sounds more appealing than getting back to the gym. And with the highest-stakes (shirtless-ly speaking) season having just come to a close, what’s the big deal with putting on a little extra pudge, right?

Come on. Snap out of it and get your lazy ass back on track. The longer you avoid the gym, the harder it’ll be to get back into your workout routine, says Mike Gray, General Manager of UFC Gym. And truthfully, sometimes all you need to overcome the workout blues is a little switch-up in your routine. Luckily, Gray helped us put together a list of the best ways to help you start fresh. Read this, and you’ll be back at the gym in no time.

1. Keep your playlist fresh

It’s really that simple. A recent study by the University of Wisconsin La Crosse Exercise and Health Program reported that listening to upbeat music while working out can reduce the perception of effort and increase endurance by 15%. You won’t feel like you’re working as much—meaning you’ll go longer and harder. So, whether you like listening to hip-hop, rap, techno, or pop, keeping your playlists updated is one of the major keys to steady workout motivation.

2. Try a boot camp workout

First off, any new workout is going to reboot your motivation, period. But recent research from the American Council on Exercise found boot camp workouts in particular to be the most effective fitness style. Why? Since they’re team-oriented—boot campers feel united by having to “survive” the workouts together—it pushes participants to exercise even harder.

3. Get a workout partner

Whether it’s a lifelong friend or an office buddy, gym partners give you a real boost. “Partners not only help with the motivational aspect, but they can help in getting you better results, too,” says Gray. “They push you a little harder than you’d normally push yourself, and make sure you actually go to the gym even when you feel like going home.” And to make sure you both keep each other motivated—make a game out of it: First guy to flake on the gym buys the other a beer (a light one, of course) at happy hour. Make sure to hold each other to it.

4. Set realistic goals

In order to stay inspired, you want to feel like you’re getting results—so keep your objectives practical. “Setting goals is extremely important, but setting realistic goals is even more important,” says Gray. So, as much as you may aspire to get Mark Wahlberg’s pecs, just keep in mind that those puppies didn’t grow overnight. “Celebs are great eye candy, but they have loads of time and money to put into working out,” says Gray. “Look at their lifestyles before looking to them for motivation.” How can you stay inspired? Set small, attainable, performance-oriented goals specific to your abilities. Each week, tell yourself you’ll add more reps or weight to your chest press, for example—and you’ll be feeling like Marky Mark in no time.

5. Talk up your workouts to friends

Once you have the reputation of being a badass gym go-er, you can’t flake out because you’re lazy. “Allow your family and friends in on your workout journey so they can help you stay motivated,” says Gray. “After all, they’ll notice your results before you do.” Plus, the positive feedback from them will help you stay on track—as will the sarcastic quips when they see you enter couch potato mode.

6. Think about how good you’ll be in bed

A study conducted at UC San Diego tracked a group of men who were put on a workout regimen of one hour of cardio done three to four times a week. After only nine months of continuous exercise, the subjects reported that their sex lives were way more satisfying—they had better stamina and orgasms. In comparison, a group of men that performed light workout routines, such as walking at a much slower pace, had no major improvement. This reason alone should get you back to the gym…and start working hard.

7. Add some competition

Sometimes all you need to light a fire under your butt is a little bit of trash talk. So sign up for a weekly sports league or join a CrossFit gym. The competitive edge will help you want to push your workout further. Then again, you can always compete with yourself. Apps like Fitocracy, iMapMyFitness, and Gym Buddy let you track your workouts, share your progress with friends, and compare your routine with others. So, next time you finish a six-mile run in less than an hour, post your time and show it off. Who knows, your buddy might beat your time tomorrow. Game on.

8. Take your workout outside

A study carried out by a team at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry found that people who exercise outside feel more energized and rejuvenated after their workout. Outdoor exercisers reported feeling less stressed, depressed, and frustrated with the daily B.S. life brings. Plus, they reported they’d be much more likely to exercise all over again. So, instead of drinking your work frustrations away—go for a run. You can always grab a drink on your way home.

9. Inflict gym-only TV privileges

Trying to lose weight but hate cardio? Try this sneaky tip. Here’s how it works: Allot one TV series as watchable during gym-time only. This way you’ll know you need to make it to the gym to watch your guilty pleasure—whether you’re catching it live or downloading it to your phone or tablet. Plus, when you’re trying to burn a ton of calories, it makes the time pass much faster.

10. Embrace the long-term benefits

We all have our lazy days, but keeping to a consistent workout schedule today is extremely important for staying healthy tomorrow. A study by Northwestern University found that maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout young adulthood and middle age will lower the risk of cardiovascular disease as one gets older, no matter what your DNA says. So before you blame any future bad health on your grandfather—get your butt of the couch and do what you can do to take control of your body.