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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Make your mark! Girls workshops offer mind-body fitness boost

The Write Fit founder, Naomi Panzer
Naomi Panzer is on a mission. The mom of two from Short Hills, New Jersey started her nonprofit, The Write Fit, five years ago to empower girls ages 9 and up to love themselves from the inside out.

Panzer leads empowerment classes at area yoga studios and neutral event spaces, which are designed to foster...
self-respect, create resilience and love themselves, she says.

c/o The Write Fit
"I wanted to create something that would teach girls to tap in to their inner voice and learn how to listen to it," she says. “I saw what was going on with girls – and the emphasis on being perfect. Girls need a place to just be and celebrate themselves."
Finding herself a much calmer mother and person after doing yoga for years, Panzer knew, “Girls needed the same thing,” says Panzer. “They need to get their ya-ya’s or physical energy out, in order to deal with their emotional selves.”
To that end, Panzer divides her workshops in to a part journaling, and part physical exercise format.

“We incorporate one or more movement activities, like jumping, running, dance, obstacle courses and yoga, and then get have them journal about themselves,” says Panzer.

Each class follows a 5-step theme, says Panzer, who provides journals and pencils to participants.
Feel. “I ask them to write words describing their feelings on sticky notes that they then post on their bodies.  They can look around and see who is feeling the same way, whether it’s anxious, happy, sad or nervous.”

Move.  “It’s always a different exercise.”

Write. “It’s the journaling part. I may ask them about a time they were scared to do something, but did it anyway and how it made them feel. The idea is for them to embrace it and learn that they can turn it around in their head.”

Be. “Sitting quietly in a circle or a group yoga pose, they have a chance to pause and do breathing exercises.”

Affirmation. “At the end, I ask each girl to say something positive about herself with her eyes closed. They leave feeling really peaceful, confident and calm.”
With “incredible feedback” from moms whose girls have taken classes, Panzer plans to expand her work.
“I want to find a home, maybe a studio. I'd like to do the workshops on a more regular basis. I have the younger girls covered, but the older teens are on my radar now. They are ridiculously stressed out under academic and other pressures,” says Panzer.

Save the Date:
The Write Fit's Mother/Daughter Workshop
Where: @ KarmaKids Yoga in NYC
When: December 5th, 2015
2:00 - 3: 30 p.m. for moms and girls ages 9-12
4:00 - 5:30 p.m. for moms and girls ages 13+



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