Losing weight (and fat) without "Exercise"? Part 1


Recently, I’ve come across 2 studies which show that people have lost weight without adding vigorous exercise or changing their eating habits.  In this blog post, we will explore what lifestyle change has been proven to bring about this unexpected weight loss. The addition of adding a Restorative Yoga class once or twice a week has a positive impact in many ways, but weight loss (and fat loss) was a surprise to me!   

In Restorative Yoga, participants use props such as blankets, bolsters and blocks to support their bodies in relaxing poses and hold these poses for 5 to 15 minutes. These positions are designed to allow the body to completely relax and rest, while helping people increase flexibility. This deep rest supports a healthy immune function and healing in all systems of the body.


In one study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, 2 groups of people were followed for 48 weeks.  One group performed a simple stretching routine, the other participated in Restorative yoga.  The results showed that both groups lost weight but the Restorative Yoga group lost almost twice as much weight and interestingly, lost 2.5 times the amount of subcutaneous fat (abdominal fat) as the group that did the stretching.  Researchers were not able to explain why but theorize that it could be the reduction in cortisol, the stress hormone.  Higher levels of cortisol contribute to weight gain especially as belly fat. Yoga is known to reduce the stress hormone cortisol.  This study is important too for encouraging those with limited mobility because of weight or other factors who may not be able to participate in more rigorous forms of movement to try Restorative Yoga. 

At Rise, we love pairing our Restorative yoga classes with sound healing or Reiki to amplify the relaxing and healing experience.  Currently, we have several Restorative yoga classes on our schedule each week.  There is Restorative Rest with Sound Balancing, Restorative Flow with Reiki, Deep Release with Healing Sound, and Restorative Rest.   Check out the schedule. Join us for a class!


-Lisa Goodwin

Meet Pamela Warner Rosenthal

Yoga plays to both my loves, community, "sangha," and the love of nature.

Human beings seek the connection with one another. We look for recognition, eye contact, approval and praise.  Yoga teaches us to look within ourselves for these things as well.


My goal for the time spent with my students is that they be present and comfortable in their  physical body. I work to engage and implement their breath in a way that keeps them present in this time we spend together. The yoga mat represents a place where we safely come to unite the body, breath and spirit within each of us. It does not have to be a mat, it can be a chair.  What is important is that it be a place to create a moving meditation of breath, recognition of self and knowledge of what best serves us.

Pamela Warner Rosenthal

RYT 500Prime of Life Yoga (POLY)--Certified Instructor


Dante's Well-Being Tip


“As human beings, we all have a need to connect. Connection is a part of our wellbeing and we all need to manage how we connect with ourselves and others. In my experience, people come into our lives with lessons that we need to learn in order to grow internally. If we do not learn these universal lessons, then we find ourselves connecting with certain types of people that may not meet our needs and can debilitate us from serving from our hearts. Our nature is to give freely but if certain basic human needs are not met then we may find ourselves behaving out of our loving nature. I recommend sitting in a silent room, closing your eyes, take several long deep breathes to relax your mind and imagine people who are close to you in your life right now. Once you have a clear image ask yourself, “Do we both bring the best out of each other?” If the answer is no, then contemplate how you can improve the relationship or if you need to let it go. Imagine the relationship improving in a way that brings you both joy, love and fulfillment.  Cultivating a healthy relationship with the people you are around the most is important to your own wellbeing. Once you practice this simple meditation/contemplation, you will recognize how much joy you will bring into your life.” 


Dante Baker

Meet Marni Sclaroff


After graduating from Art School in 1996, I moved to California and took my first yoga class.  It was love at first breath. 

For most of my childhood and through my teens and twenties, I struggled with severe depression and eating disorders.  As difficult as it was, I never lost hope that there was something that could help me feel more “at home” in my body, and my life.  I was fortunate to have a mother who was wise and open minded, and who brought me to Reiki healers, sound shamans, and other gifted teachers who taught me how to listen to my own intuition.

After finding yoga, I dedicated my life to learning, practicing, and teaching this powerful practice of living well.  Over the years, I have developed a deep sense of reverence for the body’s natural healing capabilities, and for the heart’s wisdom.  I have learned how to manage my own energy in ways that honor my vitality and natural rhythms. This is what I teach, as this is what I know.

In 2000, I received a Master’s Degree in Art Education, which helped me to more fully understand the art of teaching, and soon after I completed a 300 hour yoga teacher training with Sharon Gannon and David Life.  I am also certified in two other schools of yoga, as well as Thai Massage and Ayurveda for Self-Care.


In 2012, I gave birth to my son and daughter-twins.  They have become my greatest teachers, and are my daily reminders of what really matters.

Yoga is the invitation to live awake.  It opens the doors to a more elegant relationship with the Mystery.  It teaches us how to embody our values, and how to make art with our lives.

Learn more at www.marnisclaroff.com

Well-Being Tip: Laughter is good medicine

Did you know laughing is good for your health? Laughing triggers the feel good hormones, endorphins and serotonin, that create feelings of euphoria, love and happiness.  These endorphins can also suppress pain.  So laughter can be great pain killer as well as an antidepressant. The positive effect of laughter can even help prevent serious illness by  improving the immune system.   Laughter increases immune cells and antibodies to strengthen its ability to cope with viruses and disease. There are so many benefits….Laughter is an antidepressant, pain killer, stress reliever and a great way to make friends and strengthen bonds. And best of all, it’s free!  

Drumming for joy and well-being!

The health benefits of drumming are many: reduced stress, tension and anxiety, increased immune function, alleviate chronic pain, help with depression and more.   We tried out some drumming with guided (Nia) dancing on Tuesday evening August 21.  We found it to be exhilarating and fun.  Each drum had its own vibration and association with a different energy center in our bodies.  It was interesting to see which drum we were each drawn to.  We plan to make this a monthly activity and have scheduled another one for September 11.  Mark your calendars!  See for yourself the joy we experienced.

Jorge's Well-Being Tip

weighted 128 fork.jpg

Most mornings, I start my day with a mix of diverse practices to put me in the best possible emotional, spiritual, mental and physical state for the day. One of my practices involves the use of weighted tuning forks on my body. Weighted forks releases Nitric Oxide (NO) which reduces pain and inflammation. Additionally, it helps the body release stuck energy which can be emotional.

The first step is to activate the weighted tuning fork. Activating a tuning fork means to get it vibrating. This involves striking it against a hockey puck, your hand or somewhere else on your body that isn't sensitive. Next, place the tuning fork -or forks- on the knees, hips, chest, back, head and bottoms of your feet. Place them anywhere on your body that you think could benefit from the vibration. Keep activating the fork -or forks- as needed.  It's really that simple. This will help keep you in-tune physically and emotionally.

Tuning forks can be found easily on the internet. I recommend the 128 Hz Otto Tuner from biosonics.com. The 54.81 Hz and 62.64 Hz weighted tuning forks from biofieldtuning.com are great as well when used together.

As an aside, Nitric Oxide is an important molecule to health. If you want to check your NO levels, try a NO test strip from HumanN (humann.com). They also sell NO supplements which I take. Check with your health care professional before taking any supplements.

Jorge Lugo


Katherine's Well-Being tip


I love an abundant life, and I am blessed with one. I am a thinker, and a doer, so my mind and calendar can go on overload.  Work, family, and even friends can sometimes seem demanding. This happens when I say yes to everything, any invitation, any responsibility, even though I actually do have a choice to say no.  I want to enjoy what I do, and I want to enjoy the moments I spend with friends and family. I don’t want to feel like a victim: angry, resentful.  After all, no one forced me to say,“yes.”  So, I have had to learn to say the word,“no.”   I use a pleasure scale to do this.  I step back, take a deep breath, and ask myself……”Will I feel as delighted in agreeing to this event as when I hold a baby, watch a butterfly, or play with a  puppy?” Sometimes the event involves another person, then I ask myself an additional question, “How important is this event to that person?”,  Knowing myself, I delight in making others feel joy, even if the event has little interest to me. I am looking for balance.  I want to make it a win, win situation.  I find that my life is more joyful when I only accept invitations that have meaning to me and to those I love.  Anger and resentment are gone. 

Katherine Greenspun

Rita's Well-Being Tip:


Wellness has been a loaded buzz word the last few years. On the one hand it is a good thing as it is now on everyone's radar. On the other hand though it can be overwhelming as there is so much information out there giving us anxiety as yet another thing we should be doing to be whole and happy. My recommendation is to do some research, talk with wellness practitioners, ask friends what they are doing and then decide what works for you. Choose activities that will nourish your body, your mind and your heart/soul/spirit also. Choose ones that are easy to keep and ones that resonate with you and your lifestyle. Wellness and well-being is a whole person experience and it's best if practiced daily. Always be kind to yourself about these activities, be open minded that they might change as you change or your circumstances change. We learn and evolve every single day of our lives so our wisdom of what we need should do as well time to time. 


All that said, one of my favorite practices the last year or so has been my morning check in. As soon as I wake up, still in bed, I take a few deep belly breaths, place one hand onto my heart the other on my belly and greet my body. I would say to myself: "Good morning belly, good morning heart, good morning legs good morning [FILL IN HERE with any part of you that needs a greeting]. Thank you for carrying me, my insides, my outsides, my thoughts, my feelings. I am grateful for your strength, your unique beauty, your perfection to keep me going. I love you and I appreciate you, lets have an amazing day". I change it up as I feel every single morning. It takes about a minute, while I also use  my deep breathing to scan my body. If you have more time (I have a four year old who now might sleep later than me so this minute has been getting a little longer) enjoy more time checking in. Give gratitude to your body, send love to it, appreciate it no matter what. And with that deep appreciation from the morning on, you can have a good start followed by other mindful practices throughout the day. Good luck! 

Gemstones support our well-being!

gemstones in bowl.jpg

Did you ever wonder why people love gemstones? Well, besides the fact that they are incredibly beautiful….Gemstones have healing properties!  You can add more peace, balance or other qualities to your life by incorporating gemstones. They can enhance your life in many ways. You can add some to your workspace at the office and wear others as colorful jewelry.  For example, here is how Healing Crystals describes Rose Quartz," The soothing energy of Rose Quartz fosters empathy, reconciliation, and forgiveness of others. Lowering stress and tension in the heart, Rose Quartz clears out anger, jealousy, and resentment of others, and allows healing of heart issues and dis-ease associated with holding on to such negative emotions."  At Rise, we have incorporated gemstones throughout our space.  If you haven’t come by yet, please do so.  We’d love to show you how we’ve put them to good use and suggest ways you can too.  We have just added some gemstone jewelry to our retail offerings. Gemstones have become popular and there are many places where you can purchase them. There are also lots of books describing their individual properties and ways in which they are helpful. We have a few in our lending library you can borrow or peruse!  I have found that Healing Crystals in Dulles, VA is an incredible resource for both information and good, quality gemstones at reasonable prices.  

Lisa Goodwin

Elizabeth's Well-Being Tip


I love to learn new things and to study!  One of the ways I connect with other people is by sharing what I’ve learned. The last two years I have been studying the wisdom of Ayurveda.  Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga and is literally translated as the Science or Knowledge of Life.  Ayurveda offers a different perspective on health and well-being.  It offers instruction on how we can keep and care for our physical bodies.  One simple concept in Ayurveda is Dinacharya-following the daily rhythms of life.  We can create optimal health and well-being by following nauture’s cue and getting into the flow and rhythm of our planet and our own natural cellular intelligence.  These rhythms include things such as going to bed early, waking early, elimination, exercise, meditation, eating at the same time each day and body care practices. Our body systems thrive when we are in sync with nature and with the nature of our body systems.  For example, our digestive system has an intelligence to its’ inner workings and when we are tuned into that and honor that, we can extract maximum nutrients from our foods, we have regular elimination, and no digestive issues.



The Dinacharya practice that I have made a consistent habit is drinking hot water with lemon in the morning.  This practice over a period of time has many health benefits.  It helps with hydration, boots your immune system, assists with digestion and peristalsis, flushes the liver, reduces inflammation, and is loaded with nutrients. Since making this a regular morning practice, I have found that I start my day hydrated and clear headed.  I have more energy, improved digestion and my skin looks great too!  Give it a try and see how your body systems respond.  Upon waking in the morning, heat 8 ounces of water and add the juice of half a lemon.  Drink it within 10 to 15 minutes.  Good luck!

For more information on Ayurveda, visit:  www.banyanbotanicals.com

Christina's Well-Being Tip


Wellness is very different from one person to the next. How I practice wellness from day to day is by incorporating ‘Mind, Body, and Soul’ activities! This is something a friend of mine shared with me years ago that just stuck! The best part of this, is that you can personalize it! Mind activities are the ones that are stimulating and challenging your mind. For me, I like to do Soduku puzzles, read, color or journal! Body activities are the ones that have you using your body! It can be anything from practicing yoga to taking a spin class, or maybe just taking a walk! Soul activities area always fun for me, because they are those activities that just make you feel good! You know the ones, the ones that make you smile uncontrollably and just make your heart happy! For me personally, I love to dance, take baths, light candles, make something yummy in the kitchen, call a family member, play with my dog, or watch a really funny movie! The important thing that I have found with this exercise is making sure that I have done a mind, body, and soul activity every day. Sometimes if I’m feeling a little off and I reflect on what I’ve done that day, I usually find that I did way too many body activities and have totally neglected my mind! It’s always encouraged to complete more than one of each category every day, but I have found that each one must be completed to help me feel my very best!

Meet Jackie Tury


Jackie Tury, MSW, CPC is an artist, life coach, workshop leader and the founder of Artful Awakenings.  Her passion is helping others awaken their mind, body, and spirit through art and the creative process.  Jackie creates colorful, inspirational artwork infused with positive energy. Her coaching services, workshops and retreats uniquely blend personal and spiritual growth with expressive arts, guiding others to experience their own “artful awakenings.”

Jackie sees painting as a source of joy, healing and self-discovery. She believes creativity can be used to connect to self, others, the universe and your own unique purpose. Jackie considers art an important part of her self-care practice and wellness routine.   She understands the beauty and power of art to transform, heal and inspire! 


When not in the studio painting, Jackie can be found swimming in the ocean, walking in the woods, and spending time in nature with her family.  She also enjoys yoga, reiki, meditation, travel, and photography.

“Rise is a dream come true for me!  For years I’ve been envisioning a peaceful, nurturing space dedicated to individual and collective well-being.  Lisa and Marcia have created just that! I am so grateful to be part of the Rise community!”

To learn more about Jackie and see more of her art go to: www.jackietury.com or connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

July 2018 Team Member Spotlight - Carolyn Weininger


What are you most passionate about?

I want to empower everyone I meet to live a happy and healthy life. To some of us, self-care may feel selfish - but it is critical to living life at it’s best. I spent a majority of my life self loathing, thinking that I was not good enough. This destructive thinking really takes it’s toll on the psyche. About 5 years ago I heard an interview with Dianne VonFurstenburg and she said -  “The most important relationship you will ever have is then one you have with yourself”. It rocked my world and I remember feeling as if I had been struck by lightening.  This revelation has helped me to find a better way to live. With self-compassion we give ourselves the same kindness and compassion we would give to a loved one.  On an airplane, an oxygen mask drops in front of you. What do you do? As we all know, the first rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. Caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

                                                                      What do you enjoy about Rise?


I love the people at Rise! Lisa, Marcia and the diverse team of healers are amazing. I also love that Rise is a place where there are so many different types of healing modalities and treatments. From Sound Healing to Meditation to Chi Gong it not your typical studio. It is truly can oasis of healing.

Carolyn has over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and certifications including 200 hour E-RYT through YogaFit,  500E-RYT Prana Flow Yoga with Shiva Rea, and training in Restorative and Yin Yoga. She is an AFAA certified Group Exercise Instructor, and is a certified cycle instructor with Schwinn, Keiser and Cycle Reebok. She is proud ambassador for the Athleta Tysons Corner Store. In celebration of Carolyn, we are offering a special 2 for 1 deal; where you can bring a friend and take a class together for the price of 1.

Upscale your holiday menu - Lisa Jackson's Well-Being Tip

Food is emotional and social. It can be life affirming and anti-aging or it can lead to inflammation and dis-ease. It can be challenging to nourish yourself and find optimal health when the SAD (standard American diet) is so inflammatory. How do you upscale next week’s holiday menu so that it is healthy, nourishing and delicious? Here’s my favorite super simple solution:


  • If you choose to have classic barbecue, then choose to have an alkaline and cleansing salad to help with detoxification. You could make this colorful rainbow kale salad (click on image to access recipe):
  • Instead of the chemical laden, nutrient poor, and allergenic nacho cheese dip, make this nacho cheese dip. You can literally make it faster than a trip to the 7-11! Serve with cold jicama slices for extra vitamin C, fiber, and a sweet satisfying crunch. Your gut, your skin, and your libido will thank you!  (click on image to access recipe):
  • If corn is part of your summer tradition, then choose organic heirloom corn that is not genetically engineered and sprayed with Roundup. Roundup (glyphosate) not only damages the gastrointestinal lining, but Roundup is a xenoestrogen and can contribute to breast, ovarian and prostate cancers
  • For dessert, who can resist watermelon on a hot summer day?
  • If you like these recipes and would like to know more about healthful clean eating, then sign up to receive information about upcoming KickStart to Wellness Programs Here.  

    Most of all, breathe, relax and celebrate your freedom to choose healthy options and enjoy being with friends and family. Feeling good is the number one simple solution to well-being!


Meet Dr. Catherine Akbarieh

Throughout her career as a dentist and health practitioner, education and prevention have been the cornerstones of Catherine’s passion and work. It is through her personal health challenges that she has arrived to appreciate the value of supportive, holistic therapies. And that, along with using food as “medicine”, became the starting point of re-directing her mindset. 

Information is so powerful in preventing problems… and prevention is so much more affordable & easier to implement. That is the idea behind Reflective Wellness, LLC:  Reflect on your Choices…They reflect on your Wellness.

Everything she teaches, she practices; every therapy, technique, product that she is passionate about, she has experienced first-hand, and seen the positive results from. So have her family members, as they would rush to tell you: Catherine doesn’t give up on reaching out and educating!  Her niece says: “Aunty finds a way to throw in every conversation a little blip about health, or an essential oil, or the property of a food!”


“I have had wonderful practitioners and therapists, who have not only helped me get healthier, they’ve woken me up to see and think differently.  I am forever grateful to my teachers, who became my guiding lights when no clear solution was apparent to me. They did not just teach me techniques or perform a therapy; they empowered me to heal myself.”

“It is my goal to pay that forward… to educate, to inspire, to empower. It is a most rewarding feeling to touch, in a positive way, the lives of those we come in contact with, and leave a wonderful feeling after we part.”

“In a world where talk is so cheap, and “health”, “wellness” and “natural” have become “buzz” words that are cool to use, surrounding oneself with people of like minds and beautiful differences, is a gift. 

“The authenticity of personality and practice, living the life that models what we teach and preach, is such a valuable part of Rise Well-Being Center’s mission. At Rise, I feel at home, surrounded with love and respect.”

Catherine loves nature, bird watching and salt water marine life. She loves experimenting with fresh foods and culinary traditions. Her inspiring sports are figure skating (she used to coach at amateur levels), and swimming, which she finds very meditative, and table tennis. And she likes spelling her favourite words with a “u”, to stay true to her Canadian upbringing!

She practices yoga and meditation, loves dance and movement, and is a student of spiritual traditions. “I first met Lisa and Marcia last year at Love Your Body day, and I am so thrilled to be a part of their beautiful, calm, collaborative community of practitioners who share at the heart of their practice, the love of others, and the joy of sharing, inspiring each other and their clients.  We are all travel-mates in this journey called Wellness. I am honored to be on board this ship. 


Dancing through Life - Cami's Well-Being Tip:

I love to move and dance, but sometimes it seems this is restricted to the hour long Nia class or the dance floor. Why? It's a true joy to increase my well-being by becoming aware of movement throughout the day.


Getting in and out the car, I sense the opening of my hip joints as I put one leg out and then the other - my femurs move away and then toward each other like reuniting best friends. In the grocery store a reach to the top shelf becomes a full body experience by taking a breath, imagining stretching to the tips of my wings and sensing the push of the ball of my foot. Binge watching Netflix? (Yes, I do that too 😊) Every time the theme song comes on I can use my palms to pat my body to the rhythm.  Pushing the vacuum is a LOT more fun if I imagine it is a sexy dance partner! 

All these moments of movement may not be ready for the dance floor or Broadway stage - but the point  is to be aware of seeking pleasure in the smallest moment. When I slow down during a mundane activity and take time to turn it into a dance, I sense immediate awareness of my body and I stay grounded, relaxed and joyful.

Cami St. Germain teaches Nia and Moving to Heal on Mondays.  Her Dancing through Life tip is a Nia principle too.

Starting a Meditation practice


Meditation is a technique used to rest the mind and bring about a state of consciousness and sense of oneness with all. It is an inward focus which brings our mind beyond the daily mind experience and mental chatter to a higher state of awareness and awakening. This awakening invites us to step into the capacity we have to live fully and to connect to universal wisdom.  Meditation happens when we focus our minds in a chosen direction and we are able to maintain that connection for some period of time. It’s about cultivating the ability to be continuously connected to wherever you put your attention. It is the absorption of the observer and the observed. When this union happens and all else falls away, you are in a meditative state. It doesn’t matter how long this state lasts. It can be a few seconds to minutes at a time. The practice of meditation is about continuously bringing your attention back to your object of focus, i.e. breath, mantra, object, prayer.

Starting a meditation practice can seem intimidating, but let’s take the mystery out of meditation by following these simple steps. Let go of any expectations you might have about what it’s “supposed” to be or look like. Every person is different. Each time you meditate, it will be different. There is no right way to do things. You’re doing just fine.

▪ Set a realistic expectation of yourself for how long and how often you will practice. When creating a new habit, it is important to start small and build up. If you’ve never mediated before, even 5 minutes might seem like a lot. You can try beginning with 1 to 5 minutes of meditation. Do it as many days as you realistically think you can. Do this until it feels like a new habit. Then you can begin to either add time or add a day, but don’t do both at once.  When you are pressed for time, instead of skipping your practice, just shorten it. If you fall off the wagon, try not to judge yourself or beat yourself up. Just recognize it and begin again. Daily practice is the goal and for maximum benefits, work your way up to 20 minutes a day.

▪ Find a space in your home that is quiet and away from distractions. You will need a place to sit comfortably. It’s up to you if you want to make your space pretty. If you like, you can add candles, an altar or  fresh flowers. If you are using your phone as a timer or for guided meditation, make sure it is on “Do Not Disturb.”

▪ Sit upright with a long spine, as this helps keep us alert and aware. If you can’t sit comfortably on the floor with the legs crossed, then see if you can raise your hips by sitting on a pillow or sit in a chair with your spine supported and have your feet flat on the floor.

▪ For beginners, using your breath as your object of focus is easiest. To begin, close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath. Just follow the inhale and exhale and notice the qualities of the breath as you breathe. For example, you can notice the coolness of the air as you inhale and the warmth of the air as you exhale or the rise and fall of the belly as you breathe.

▪ When your focus gets interrupted (as it most definitely will) with thoughts, then acknowledge the thought and let it float by like a cloud in the sky, bringing your attention back to the breath. This may happen many times in the beginning of starting a meditation practice, but it will lessen over time as the mind becomes accustomed to stillness.  

Important Questions to Ask Yourself:

·        Why do you want to meditate?

·        What do you think is in it for you?

·        Where will you meditate?

·        When and how long will you meditate? Day(s), time of day, how long?


Non-judgement is probably the most important thing you can remember when beginning a meditation practice. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t judge your practice. If you fall off the wagon, hop back on. Remember that the point of meditation is not to have a particular experience or outcome, but to become aware of the present moment and Be in that moment, whatever it is. Bring an open heart and open mind to your meditation practice. Fill the spaces within yourself with compassion and love and in return you will find more peace, a greater connection to all and awaken to divine wisdom.

By Elizabeth Finnan of YogE Wisdom