Heart to Heart – Inspirational Stories from Our Staff

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The true strength of our studio lies with our talented and dedicated staff. The next few weeks will be dedicated to getting to know them. Each of them has a heart-felt message for YOU!

Please let me introduce you to . . .

7304a988-d42e-4063-8e33-283bfdb8b1b4Amy Nadeau
My passion for yoga and mindfulness has always been a part of me, but it wasn’t until an injury, that I was forced to really look at my body as this amazing structure that needed yoga and mindfulness every day, to keep going.  My care for people and their wellbeing led me to the amazing teacher training that I experienced here at the State of Grace, and I am passionate about passing on the gift of yoga to others.  My training was based on alignment, focusing mainly on traditional Hatha yoga and yogic philosophy which I try and bring to my classes.  Other than teaching mixed level here at the State of Grace, I also love teaching children and teach a weekly senior chair yoga class.
Amy teaches Mixed Level Yoga on Wednesdays from 9:30-10:45am.
Click here to check her out!

unnamedSuzanne MacDonald

True Connection
If one were to ask me what I do as a massage therapist, one would expect the standard answer about  how  I use  touch to manipulate the soft tissue muscles of the body; that I relieve pain from sore muscles, help rehabilitate injuries, improve circulation, reduce stress, and promote relaxation, and simply aiding in general wellness. While all this would be true, it isn’t all I do as a massage therapist.  For me it goes much deeper than that. It’s also about supporting one’s journey, not only with the physical body, but the more unseen aspects of the emotional, spiritual and psychological aspects, as well, Whether I see someone for regular visits or just one time, I intuit every client that lies on my massage table as a vessel through which the human experience is manifested. Deep compassion arises within me and is expressed through touch, as I see the commonality we all share as we suffer and rejoice in this miracle called the human condition. I am often asked if I do energy work. I usually say “no” simply because I have never had any formalized training of what would be considered an energy modality. However, in my humble opinion, “it’s all energy work.” And while skill and knowledge is essential, touch without energy is unavoidable. It would be like love without a heart.  So aside from the more concrete hands-on application of massage,  It is just as much about the focused intention and connection that is occurring during a session, for all levels of healing to take place, that really determines what I do as a massage therapist. I feel so honored and privileged to do this sacred work. I can honestly say it never feels like a “job” to me!

Suzanne specialties are Relaxation Massage, Prenatal Massage, Therapeutic Massage, Tai Herbal Therapy and Lymphatic Drainage. She is available for appointments Tuesdays through Fridays.
Click here to check her out or book an appointment!

136Amy Bernier
What Yoga Therapy means to me…
I have been teaching group yoga classes for over 10 years but was looking for an advanced certification that would allow me to deepen my teaching and advance my personal growth.   I stumbled upon the Yoga Life Institute of NH’s Comprehensive Yoga Therapy certification program and it just felt like the perfect fit for what I was looking to offer. The monthly weekend trips to Exeter, NH were a challenge but the sense of community and quality of the program kept me looking forward to my trips up north and at programs end eager to share what I have learned.   I have always taught with a gentle style with connection to spirit and a strong belief that we are our greatest healers but the CYT program took this to a new level with tools and idea’s to bring into my group classes and to offer to individuals that wish to delve deeper into their practice. The Yoga Therapy process is unique in that it uses assessments, inquiry, yoga postures, breathing exercises, relaxation and meditation all geared to the individual’s specific needs and goals. In yoga therapy session’s clients feel truly heard; in sharing sacred space the yoga postures and yoga therapy process invites healing and transformation.   I feel truly blessed to have found right livelihood and to be living my dharma helping clients increase their self-awareness, balance and clarity in body, mind and spirit.   I am currently taking new Yoga Therapy clients at State of Grace and am offering a free phone consultation to answer any preliminary questions and to help determine the focus for therapy sessions.
“Transformation begins with a distinguishing moment in time when we make the first step towards a lifestyle change. The holistic approach to body mind health provides the road map to well-being. Your life is important. Treasure it with implementing positive disciplines” Yogini Kaliji

7f3fd495-4242-48a4-8931-7614a2fe6ad2Jean Gillis
Trigger Your Own Relaxation Response
Studies by Dr. Herbert Benson, cardiologist, and founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, show that each of us has the ability to encourage our body to release chemicals and brain signals that make our muscles and organs slow down, or what he coined “the Relaxation Response.” There are many methods for triggering this response, what is crucial is that the activity helps quiet the mind, such as a breathing meditation, yoga or tai chi. His studies show it’s not important how long you do the activity for, but that it’s done daily. The cumulative effects of invoking the relaxation response include turning on the opposite genes that are activated by the stress response, dulling the physiological effects of stressful events and actually strengthening different parts of our brains. One way to achieve the relaxation response in your own life is to do deep belly breathing, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth, and focusing on the breath or on a word. Do this 5-10 minutes a day when you wake up and again before bed. Dr Benson says that meditative breathing while running and walking, is also a very effective way to trigger the Relaxation Response. To learn more about how to apply this, join me for my Mindful Steps, Meditative Walk/Run Class Thursday mornings July 30th-Aug 13th, 7-8am on the Canal Path in Uxbridge. Pre-registration required, class passes accepted. You’ll not only increase your physical endurance, but your mindfulness endurance as well!

Jean Gillis is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, USAT 1 Triathlon Coach and ACSM Personal Trainer. As an experienced endurance athlete, the hours of training for long distance events lead Jean to want to tap into something deeper…mindfulness in sport. She knows firsthand the benefits of training the mind, as well as the body, and enjoys helping others by teaching them mental tools for sport. Learn more about Jean at jeangilliswellness.com.

Myra (3 of 3) (2)Myra Villasin-Astorga
In all the years I’ve been channeling, the one significant guidance we receive from Spirit is a reminder of who we truly are.  We are reminded during our conversations of what our true essence is.  We are each born with very specific SOUL traits and certain behavioral patterns called archetypes which embodies our true essence. In these bold, no-nonsense and inspirational conversations, we are guided to remembering why we even exist.  I have a better understanding of why I’ve always behaved and expressed myself in certain ways throughout my life from their teachings.  I’ve learned plenty from these conversations and I love to share this experience with others!



111Lisa Semle

“My passion is helping people heal themselves so they can have better lives.”
What I’ve found is that whenever there is a dysfunction, whether it be physical or emotional, there is an underlying cause. I use many methods to discern what this is. Once the reason for the dysfunction is discovered, it is treated and released and often the dysfunction is corrected.
Many people are dissatisfied with traditional medicine. This is because the underlying cause of a condition is not addressed. The symptoms are the body’s way of telling us something is wrong. Eliminating the symptoms will not eliminate the problem. If there is anxiety, the body has trauma that needs to be addressed. With simple painless methods, the underlying cause can be released. I assist with weight issues, pain, arthritis, sleep problems, addictions, panic attacks, test and public speaking anxiety, Lyme disease and many other areas.
I also address nutritional concerns, deficiency, toxicity and nutritional remedies for disease. The body has the ability to heal itself of given what it needs to do that.
My own health issues have brought me to this place. I discovered with the help of a number of gifted teachers, that accumulated trauma in the body can manifest as disease. That is what happened to me. I have been on a mission to prevent this from happening to others ever since. This is my true passion!

Acro Headstand Von Trapp family LodgeNancy Anger
After searching desperately for a way to heal her own chronic neck and back pain, Nancy’s life was changed profoundly through the practice of yoga. She discovered not only the potential for healing herself on a physical level but also started to become aware of the connection and impact of the mental, emotional and spiritual parts of herself and their capacity to impact her health for better or for worse.
In 2002, her excitement and passion moved her to become a yoga teacher to empower others with this healing practice and she began teaching classes in the basement of a local church and renting a small dance space from a local gymnastics studio in Uxbridge which became the roots of State of Grace.
13 years later, she has continued to grow, learn and share her passion to guide and empower others towards their own personal journey of not only healing but also living a life on purpose that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning! She offers Full Spectrum Healing, Reflexology, Reiki and Atlas Balancing on Monday and Fridays at State of Grace and is currently planning some Chakra Workshops for early 2016 with Amy Woodworth.
Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.
Because what the world needs
is people who have come alive.
~Howard Thurman

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