Sunday, May 5, 2013


Hello, Lovely Readers!  I have two bits of very exciting news to share!  First, my dear friend and colleague, Melissa Lopez, is opening a new studio called "The Hive: Embodiment Education Center."  The studio will offer a wide variety of movement as well as informational classes.  The second bit of good news is, I am going to teach Holistic Vitality Education classes at this new and amazing facility!  

To learn more about Melissa Lopez and "The Hive: Embodiment Education Center," scroll down to read a brief Q&A between her and I.  To learn more about the hands-on, messy, and really fun classes I'll be teaching, click on the "Events" link above!

Q&A With Melissa Lopez

JH) What is The Hive: Embodiment Education Center?

ML) From the outside, it might seem like another yoga studio or fitness center, but The Hive is so much more! To embody something means to give an idea, feeling, or quality a tangible form. Embodiment Education uses the body as the means for developing the tools we need to express our highest potential. The Hive is a community of men, women, and teens who embrace the perception of the body as ally rather than enemy, while creating an environment of compassion, safety and joyful exploration. Utilizing the body as a vehicle for change, students will cultivate an ability to generalize the skills and confidence they gain through participation in The Hive’s programming to every facet of their lives.

JH) What types of classes are going to be available at The Hive?

ML) Yoga, Bellydance, Salsa, Zumba Fitness, Meditative Hoop Dance, Modern/Contemporary Dance, Jazz/Musical Theatre, and a series of classes for Seniors. Our modern/contemporary and jazz/musical theatre instructor is trained in adapting traditional dance technique for folks with special needs.

In addition to our movement based classes, we will also offer discussion based classes and workshops focusing on Holistic Vitality Education and sexuality education.

JH) How long have you been teaching the classes that you are offering?

ML) I’ve been teaching yoga and dance for over 10 years. In 2004 I started teaching sexuality education and have facilitated workshops in faith based organizations and lectured at colleges and universities around the country.

JH) Are you the only Instructor? Do you have a regular Staff/Faculty? Are you seeking to employ more Instructors?

ML) I am the principal instructor and contract with other instructors to provide their instruction at The Hive. While I do not have employees, I am always interested in bringing educators who have a real interest in people and have a passion for what they teach.

JH) When is your grand opening? Can anyone come?

ML)Our Grand Opening Celebration begins May 11. There will be a free yoga class (10am-11:00am) and a Bellydance class (11:30am-12:15pm) in the morning, and a Hafla (Bellydance show/party) at 7:00pm. It is open to the public and tickets are $5 a person. (Instructors of the The Hive receive complimentary admission.)

JH) Is The Hive: Embodiment Education Center a non-profit organization?

ML) We are currently a for profit business but hope to establish a non-profit entity within 5 years. I am developing a movement based curriculum which I will share with service organizations working with marginalized populations, specifically survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual trafficking and the LGBT community.

JH) Can people receive medical treatments at The Hive?

ML) While there will be yoga series that take a therapeutic approach, The Hive does not offer medical treatments.

JH) Will you have set hours of operation or will it be open by appointment only?

ML) The Hive will have regular hours of operation based on the class schedule and calendar.

JH) Would you like to share a personal message with my Readers?

ML) Martha Graham, dancer and choreographer, shared this statement: “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through another medium and it will be lost.”

It sounds easy to say “just get comfortable in your body” but in truth, our society is bombarded with messages that actually cause us to perceive the body as something that is not okay in its natural state and needs to be manipulated, altered, changed, and controlled. I believe that with the support of a compassionate, non-judgmental community it is possible to counter negative cultural messages and habits and create change from the inside by changing the body through movement. When we start to develop new ways of moving, we create new neurological connections. When we start to change our neurology, we change the way we think. When we change our negative thought habits, we provide the unique expression of that “vitality, life force, a quickening” an opportunity to flourish. This can be very difficult work. Why not find a way to get the work done, grow into your full potential and have fun too? Our medicine is the practice, the classes you attend as you gather new tools and begin to generalize those new skills from the studio to the rest of your life. At The Hive, you will get plenty of honey too as we nurture a community that will remind us to smile and enjoy the work. It helps get the medicine down when we add a little sweetness.

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