Health & Beauty

Mind Over Matter

I recently had one of those conversations that truly changes your perspective. The kind that changes how you see yourself, how you see others, and how you see the universe in relation to it all.  In continuing to search for the best and the brightest in the Hamptons for my Never Miss a Monday series, I was lucky enough to sit down with Jennifer Brown of Jennifer Ann Healing Fitness.  Jennifer offers a one-on-one training platform rooted in martial arts, in a way you’ve never heard of, until now.

I enrich people’s lives through movements that harmonize their bodies with nature.

A little over three years ago, Jennifer’s father had a stroke, and it was a turning point in her life.  She met a martial arts master of over 40 years, named Calasanz, and began training with him, with the intention of helping to rehabilitate her dad.  But it turned into so much more.  She studied Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong, along with karate and Kung Fu.  Jennifer had been an athlete her whole life.  A competitive swimmer for 20 years, a cyclist and runner, she’s completed many marathons and triathlons, including a half ironman.  But this challenge was different.

Jennifer tells me, “Calasanz developed hundreds of exercises to support not only many martial arts techniques but also fitness and longevity.  Intention is a big part of the system.  We are performing each movement with the intention of precision, elongation, open posture, full body breathing, body harmony, flexibility and self expression.”  She focuses on teaching this Calasanz practice of physical arts as a 360 degree experience for her clients.  She choreographs their workouts so they are able to fully connect their mind, body and spirit, which is the basis of all martial arts.  They use all of their senses, working out on the beach, listening to the sound of the ocean, the wind, the birds.  They feel the sand on their feet, smell the salt water, the flowers.  She brings their bodies into harmony with nature.

Be gentle to yourself.  Be still.

Jennifer’s clients learn to move slowly and with precision.  Her intention is that you walk away feeling better, feeling stronger, with greater self esteem, grace, self empowerment and a sense of calm.  And she is dedicated to this practice.  While we’re having coffee, she ends a call with a client by telling them she loves them.  She builds more than bodies with her clients, she builds relationships.

When Jennifer trains, she focuses on gathering Qi, and bringing that vitality and energy through her body.  She uses a full range of motion, to elongate and expand every muscle, and deep breathing that calms the nervous system and increases neuroplasticity, helping the brain develop new pathways, which is especially important as you age.

Don’t be afraid to let go.  You will discover new things.

Sang Lee Farms heirloom tomatoes

I had to ask about nutrition, of course, as I’m sitting across from a woman with what looks like about 3% body fat (maybe less).  She tells me she and her family are on the ‘no stroke diet.’  Number one rule is no sugar, it causes inflammation.  She gets most of her nourishment from a wide range of vegetables, a small amount of fruits and berries, dairy and occasionally fish.  No beef, no chicken, very little grain.  Her family starts the day with a shake that more than doubles the recommended daily serving of fruits and veggies.  In her vitamix, she blends berries, banana, kale, cucumber, peppers, sprouts, turmeric, ginger, cilantro (and more!)  She makes enough for herself, her 10 year old son, husband and friend with young children, who she clearly derives joy from being able to help.  She also eats fermented veggies every day, telling me it’s great for the gut, and takes MCT oil, a fatty acid that improves cognitive function, and is good for weight management.  She goes to Dale and Bette in Sag Harbor for eggs, and Sang Lee on the North Fork for organic fruits and vegetables.

Courtesy of Jennifer Brown

In Jennifer’s quest to learn more and add more spiritually to the world, she has also painted for many years.  Her art is experienced in real time. Never from a photo, she will stand in the snow, or on a beach in a storm, and tell the story.  She describes it as a perceptual analysis, analyzing forms in space in relation to one another.  A clear parallel in her approach to her clients.

“I’m looking to make people’s lives better, out in nature.  Raise the collective consciousness and raise the vibe.  Make things more beautiful.”

Trust me, you want to meet this woman:; 631-276-3548; @jahealingfitness

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