Returning readers will notice that Publisher Audrey Chen has graciously allowed me to guest write this month’s letter before I return to school. Although I began my internship at Natural Awakenings of Bucks and Montgomery counties in May after finishing my first year of college, I have known Audrey for several years from babysitting her children in the playroom at Cornerstone Health and Fitness. Since my major includes components of publishing, I eagerly accepted her offer to serve as her first intern.
Being a part of the team has proved to be an invaluable opportunity to explore and learn about the internal workings of a magazine without the pressures of a full-time job. Audrey has exposed me to every part of the process, from selecting and editing articles to interviewing and writing advertiser spotlights to reviewing final layouts. In just a short time, I’ve acquired and honed several skills that will be of practical use in my career. I’m even considering pursuing future work in the world of publishing.
Serendipitously, much of this month’s issue centers on the roles of coaches, mentors and caregivers. Audrey has been a fantastic mentor and I am grateful that, as with any good coach, she has been both patient and informative while allowing me ample room to grow. Her managing editor, Michelle Bense, has also been instrumental in helping me understand the style and voice of the magazine to increase my effectiveness. Such teachers are a gift.
This month’s theme resonates with me on another level, as well. Having had more than one family member affected by debilitating illness, I’ve seen how other family members have stepped in to the demanding role of caregiver. It all gives poignancy to Deborah Shouse’s feature article, “Conscious Caregiving: Nurturing Yourself While Helping Another.” I’ve seen firsthand how crucial it is that caregivers also allow themselves to be cared for.
During my Natural Awakenings internship, I have been fortunate to have had kind and talented people assisting me in my own life journey. As I continue my studies, I plan to carry forward the knowledge of natural health and wellness to share with those I meet.
In gratitude and good health to you and yours,
In our September 2014 issue, we highlighted some local yoga studios.
THE YOGA STUDIO & INN AT CAMMAL
7697 Route 414, Cammal
The Yoga Studio & Inn provides an intimate space—nestled in the heart of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon—to hold a group wellness retreat, including yoga, fitness, nutritious meals and massage. The studio’s intimate nature and scenic, serene surroundings invite attendees to really dive in, root down and connect.
June Hunt, owner of Moondog Yoga Studio in Quakertown, believes in the transformative power of yoga. Yoga came into her life through a VHS tape handed to her by a co-worker, during a particularly stressful time in the corporate world. Hunt was hooked. “The changes in my life from yoga have been profound, and I want to share it,” Hunt says.
In our September 2014 issue, we highlighted some local yoga studios.
204 N Union St, Lambertville, NJ
410 Monroe St, Philadelphia
Sue Elkind has been practicing yoga since 1990 and teaching since 1996. Now, as the owner of Dig Yoga—with locations in Lambertville, New Jersey and Philadelphia—and the director of its 500-hour teacher trainings, her style reflects the best of her past studies along with her own inspired wisdom.
At Collegeville Yoga Bar, Stefania Davidse, RYT, leads vinyasa yoga classes that focus on preventing injury, strengthening the body, and providing a stress-free environment to combat today’s busy lifestyle. “My vinyasa classes allow clients to move into physical postures synchronized with breath, in a fashion that does not put pressure on the body—especially the hips and shoulders,” she explains. Though initially skeptical of yoga, Davidse tried some classes and has been practicing yoga ever since. “As I became more versed in postures, I was able to focus more on breathing and learned how to let go of all the stressors in my life while I was on the mat.”
Yoga teacher Pooja Erica Andersen seeks to provide relief from pain and stress with Svaroopa Vidya Healing Yoga at Chalfont Yoga and Meditation Center. Andersen opened the studio in Chalfont this year with a desire to share what she had learned over the years with others. “A friend of mine invited me to a Svaroopa yoga class, which changed the course of my entire life. The poses we practiced were supportive and targeted at releasing tension along the spine,” she tells of her first experience with the unique type of yoga.
Susan Duval hosts seminars, private sessions and weekend training programs with experts in the fields of personal growth, holistic health, healing, spirituality, metaphysics and psychic mediumship. In addition, she organizes sacred journeys to power spots around the country and the world, including Sedona, Mount Shasta, New Mexico, Peru, even swimming with the dolphins in Bimini.
Marie Jackson, RMT, became a holistic mentor in 2008 with the aim of guiding others who were seeking answers to life’s deep questions. She began by leading workshops, then started publicly speaking on the subject and providing individual mentoring. “Deepening our spirituality does not necessarily give us more answers, but it can help us get comfortable with the questions,” she explains of her work. Jackson seeks to help others manage stress and realize their personal power.
Coach Lisa Santa Barbara has been a spa and wellness professional since 2001. As a licensed massage therapist and certified professional coach, she is able to help her clients through massage and empowerment coaching that enables them to take control of their own lives. Her specialties include empowerment coaching, transition coaching and spa and wellness business coaching.
For Julie Ann Allender, EdD, a can-do attitude is essential to making the most of her approach to therapy. “I teach that no mountain is too high to climb,” she says. Describing herself as having “fought the systems that didn’t work,” Allender developed her therapy techniques by looking at what everyone else was doing—and doing something different. “I have spent 35 years growing, learning, evolving and creating a business,” she explains. That business includes such unique facets as a “simulated tropical garden in the therapy room” as well as animal-assisted therapy offerings.
Therapist Barbara Gordon, LMFT, uses her skills to holistically heal others. She works from a spiritual perspective, utilizing mindfulness and compassionate listening to unblock what is holding others back in their lives. “I realized that we all want the same thing: to be real, to be connected to others and to be happy,” she says of her background as a hospice volunteer. “I began a private practice after I got licensed in 2006 because I saw how effective therapy can be in helping people who want to drop old beliefs that hold them back from really being alive.”