It’s not quite spring, but the signs have started here in Missouri. The spring peepers are peeping and the bulbs are popping. It’s a time for new beginnings. I’m excited to offer these new classes in March:

Get some spring in your step with these new lunch time classes:

What: An “exercise” class that is fun, creative, no pressure, and accessible to everyBody. An eclectic mix of great music, free-form dance, hula hoops, laughter “exercises”, and a bit of relaxation. Boost your brain, shake off stress, and improve your mood and health, all while having fun.
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays during March. Drop in between 11:45 and 12:50.
Where: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 1021 Northeast Drive in Jefferson City MO.
Cost: Suggested $5 donation.

(We also do a similar fun class every Saturday morning from 10:30 to 11, just before the Gentle Yoga class.)

Visit the Schedule page for the full class schedule and hope to see you soon. Read on for one of my favorite spring poems.

Such Singing in the Wild Branches
by Mary Oliver

It was Spring
and I finally heard him
among the first leaves–
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness–
and that’s when it happened

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree–
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
stopped
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing–
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfect blue sky—all of them

were singing.
And, of course, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

For more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then–open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

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Greetings on the cusp of a new year!

I have not been sharing much here for a long time, instead I’ve been doing most of that on Facebook.  My intention now is to keep this website current as well. So, I’ve made some updates to the schedule page. I recently cut back on the number of classes I’m teaching regularly. You can find me Saturday mornings at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and every first Thursday morning at the Missouri River Regional Library. See Schedule for details. Alberta Mobley and Joan Keenan are teaching some of the classes I used to, plus at other locations around town as well. I recommend them to you!

Wishing you peace, love, and laughter in the new year.  I’ve included below a poem by Rumi that I find beautiful and helpful. I hope you do as well.

Jan

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances. That’s not for human beings.
Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. 

On Sunday, February 21, from 1-3 PM, please join me at an open house at my new office space in Columbia, MO! I’m excited to be sharing Elizabeth Reiman’s beautiful space at Unwind, LLC, at 300 St James St, next to Yoga Sol, in the wonderful North Village Arts District area of Columbia. I will be offering private bodywork and yoga sessions there on Tuesdays and Fridays by appointment for $60 per session.  For more about what a session is like read here.

Please drop by anytime between 1 and 3 for light refreshments, to see the space, and to ask any questions you might have about how a customized bodywork session might benefit you.

A couple weeks ago I announced an experiment.  I invited the Saturday morning Gentle Yoga students to join me 30 minutes early the following week for a fun laughter and movement class.  A large and enthusiastic group showed up and we had a great time, while still getting in a real workout! We created a spontaneous and joyful mix of Laughter Yoga, free-form dancing, hula hooping, and general clowning around. It was a great way to warm up for yoga.  I didn’t get any pictures of the new class, but these taken during relaxation at the end of Gentle Yoga, might give an idea of the fun had by all. The working name for this new class is Wake Up!  Every Saturday 10:30-11:00 am, followed by Gentle Yoga, 11-noon at 1021 Northeast Drive, Jefferson City, MO.  Offered by donation. Mats are provided. Everyone is welcome.

 

tools mickey and hoop

Aftermath of Saturday morning Wake Up! and Gentle Yoga classes.

mickey and rita and chummy

Mickey, Grammie, and Granddaughter all relaxing.

A new Women’s Healing Group series is forming!   We’ll meet on Monday nights for six weeks, from February 1 through March 7, 5:30-6:45 pm at my office in Jefferson City. The group will be limited to a maximum of six women. Classes will include a mix of movement, breath, sound, guided meditation, and hands on bodywork. All the work will be very gentle.  Because of the small number of participants the practices can be customized to fit your individual needs. Benefits can be wide ranging, including improved emotional balance, greater freedom of movement, and reduced pain and experience of stress.

The cost of the series is $60. To register send a check payable to Tools for Stress, LLC to 1009 Laurel Drive, JC, MO 65109. For more information call (573) 338-0104 or email harcourt.jan@gmail.com. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have!

This is a fun, safe, and supportive small group environment in which to experience shifts toward greater health of mind, body, and spirit.  Each time I have had the privilege of facilitating one of these groups I have been impressed by the way everyone’s unique contributions to the group help create a new and wonderful healing experience.  I hope you will join us!

Jan

Introduction to Somatic Experiencing workshop in Columbia, MO.

Saturday, October 17, 2-4 pm

Yoga Sol, 210 St James St, Columbia, MO

$40

Pre-registration required as this is a very small group experience.

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Join Jan Harcourt at Yoga Sol, for lecture, demonstration, and opportunities to explore the principles of this powerful trauma healing work. The focus will be on creating a safe, supportive, small group environment. We will not be sharing trauma histories or stories. SE works instead with body awareness and the natural ability of the nervous system to self-regulate. We will use gentle movement, breath, guided visualizations, and the healing power of laughter to explore this work in a fun and gentle way.

SE combines an understanding of stress physiology, psychology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and more to create an effective treatment for trauma.

Click below to hear SE founder Dr. Peter Levine discuss this ground-breaking work, which is now practiced in 25 some countries, by over 8000 practitioners:

http://www.seaustralia.com.au/somatic-experiencing-australia-resources/

This workshop is beneficial to anyone, but is especially recommended for psychologists, bodyworkers, EMTs, physical therapists, nurses, physicians, and other professionals who are considering pursuing training in SE.

COST: $40
LOCATION: Yoga Sol, 210 St James St, Columbia, MO
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED: Contact Jan at 573-338-0104, email to harcourt.jan@gmail.com, or send a private message.

Class size is limited, so contact me as soon as you can if you are interested! I will be happy to answer any questions. 🙂

Unfolding

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here! Summer has been very full: gardening, photography, teaching yoga, and some great times with friends. I also had a wonderful experience in Colorado, immersing myself in the healing practice of Continuum Movement for two days and then spending healing time in nature for several more. I feel nourished by the summer.

Now kids and teachers are back in school and the fall urge to start something new is in the air. My focus is shifting away from my garden, though it’s still producing!  I’m proud of my little babies: green beans, okra, tomatoes, melons, kale, chard, and a winter squash or two still on the vines.  And the sunflowers are still blooming, like the one in my photo above, showing off their amazing patterns.   (If you’re interested in seeing more of my photography, I would be very happy to have you visit and like my Facebook photo page:  Heart in the Clouds Photos.)

So, here’s what’s new for fall so far:

I have a new day yoga gig: I’m teaching a free Gentle Yoga class at the Missouri River Regional Library. The class is held every Thursday 9-10 am. Alberta Mobley will continue teaching on the first and third Thursdays. I’ll be doing the second and fourth Thursdays. The library is at 209 Adams St, Jefferson City, MO. There are yoga mats if you don’t have one. I’m still doing some of the Wednesday classes, 5:30-6:30 pm, at the library, but new teacher Joan Keenan will be teaching some weeks. Come check out her classes!  All the library classes are gentle and free and everyone is welcome.

Regular Gentle Yoga classes continue every week at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 1021 Northeast Drive. I’m teaching Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 pm and Saturdays, 11 am to noon. Alberta teaches Gentle Yoga every Thursday, 5:30-6:30 and Chair Yoga every Tuesday 9-10 am. Suggested donation is $5. Mats, blankets, and other props provided. Everyone welcome!

I’m very excited to announce that the Women’s Healing Group Series is back on Monday nights starting September 14 and continuing through October 19. This six-week series is a very small group experience, with a maximum of six women. For details visit my Facebook event page or give me a call (573) 338-0104.

The next Laughter Yoga meeting is Sunday, September 20, 4-5 at 1021 Northeast Drive. Free! Laughter exercises, gentle stretching and breathing, LOTS of fun, and relaxation. All ages welcome. We generally meet every third Sunday.

Plans are being finalized for a workshop at the beautiful Yoga Sol studio in Columbia, MO, on Saturday, October 17, 2-4 pm. My favorite topic: Nature’s Lessons in Healing Trauma: An Introduction to Somatic Experiencing.  Details coming soon.

That’s all for now. The seeds of more events are being planted and like the seeds in my (much smaller!) fall garden, we’ll see what develops. I hope your summer has been fruitful in ways important to you.  And I hope to see you soon.

May all beings be filled with loving kindness. May all beings be well. May all beings be peaceful and at ease. May all beings be happy.

Namaste,

Jan