Dog Walk & Pet Fair in Westchester Aids Homeless Animals April 30, 2011

Walkers at last year’s SPCA Dog Walk & Pet Fair

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Westchester will host its annual Dog Walk and Pet Fair on April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at FDR State Park in Yorktown Heights, NY. “It’s our most exciting fundraiser of the year,” says the SPCA’s Lisa Bonanno. “You can help save the life of a homeless animal just by registering and collecting pledges.”

Tara Rosenblum of News12 Westchester will launch the event by cutting the official rawhide ribbon, signaling people and their canine companions to begin the 2.5-mile Dog Walk. The Pet Fair will include live music, food and refreshments, games and crafts for children, and shopping in the Fair’s vendor village.

Homeless cats benefit from the event, too, Bonanno says. “In recognition of the many shelter cats who are waiting for new homes, supporters can walk with an adoptable cat vest,” she says. “We make laminated flyers promoting cats for adoption with their photo and bio, and we pin them onto walkers’ shirts, front or back, to represent the cats.”

No advance sign-up is required; participants can register the day of the event. For further details, visit SPCA914.org, or contact Lisa Bonanno at Lisa@SPCA914.org or 914.941.2896, ext. 22.

Hammond Museum Hosts World Tai Chi Day Festival Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lion Dance Hammond Museum

By Sifu David Cunniff

Tai Chi and Chi Kung (also known as Qigong) are ancient systems of exercise so beneficial to the mind and body that they are considered integral parts of Traditional Chinese Medicine. They feature slow, controlled breathing combined with gentle stretching movements that together harmonize the body, mind and spirit, producing a sense of well-being. Tai Chi has been proven to reduce stress and alleviate many ailments and injuries, while promoting balance and healing.

The public is invited to experience the powerful benefits of both ancient exercises on April 30, when the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden in North Salem, New York hosts the 11th annual World Tai Chi and Qigong Day (WTCQD) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WTCQD, officially recognized by the World Health Organization and The United Nations, is celebrated in 65 nations, educating millions worldwide about the medical, wellness and mental health benefits of practicing Tai Chi and Chi Kung. The event begins at 10 a.m. in the earliest time zones and continues around the world as Tai Chi is performed at 10 a.m. in each time zone throughout the day.

In North Salem, Master Phil Sant and his students from the Hall of the Gathering Dragons will start the WTCQD festival at 9:15 a.m. with a Chi Kung exercise workshop. There will be a performance of the Tai Chi form at 10 a.m., followed by a display of internal and external martial arts forms and weapons demonstrations.

Also appearing at the festival will be the abbot of the Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, New York, discussing the health benefits of meditation. There will also be a number of other special guests and artists, a traditional lion dance and Chinese ribbon dance, a Chinese musical presentation, and a performance featuring a collection of Tibetan singing bowls. For children, there will be a craft area where visitors can make dragon puppets and learn origami, Kirigami, paper folding, and paper cutting.

Top Five Reasons for Practicing Tai Chi & Chi Kung:

Reason 5: It increases flexibility. By performing the repetitive movements each day, you keep your muscles limber and stretched. One of the keys to staying young is keeping the cells from constricting, and the daily regimen of a Tai Chi workout guards against this.

Reason 4: It boosts lung capacity. The slow, controlled breathing exercises ensure that the lungs get the exercise and stretching they need to continue to work properly.

Reason 3: It enhances circulation of blood and chi. Slow, controlled breathing also produces chi, your energy force, which is essential to increasing oxygen in the blood. The cleaner your blood is, the healthier your entire body will be. Chi Kung is like Roto-Rooter for your bloodstream—it clears the toxins out.

Reason 2: It improves balance. The graceful, flowing movements, combined with the focus of training, promotes a more conscious and attentive mindset, which creates better awareness and improved balance.

Reason 1: It is fun! Tai Chi form is like dancing. It’s fun to do, it can be done anywhere and any time, and it requires only you.

The Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden is located at 28 Deveau Rd., North Salem. Contact the museum at 914.669.5033, or visit it online at HammondMuseum.org. For more information about this event, contact Master Phil Sant of the Hall of the Gathering Dragons, Brewster, NY, at 845.278.6449; contact Sifu David Cunniff of In Balance Tai Chi Studio, Katonah, NY, at DaveCunniff@comcast.net or 914.262.1478; or visit WorldTaiChiDay.org.

New Brewster NY Location for Camilla Landscape Design

Camilla Landscape Design, LLC was born of the merger of Camilla Worden Garden Design of Danbury, CT, and GP Masonry and Landscape of Mt. Kisco, NY. The company, headquartered in Brookfield, CT, now operates out of its new enclosed facility in Brewster, NY. This convenient location, right off of Exit 8 on I-684, allows the company to provide excellent service to its customers in nearby Westchester and Fairfield counties.

“Both John and I have always favored working with indigenous materials – John with stone and I with native plants – so this seemed like a ‘natural’”, says co-owner, Camilla Worden. “Creating beautiful outdoor spaces that fit well into the site and taking care of them in non-toxic ways is what we’re all about.” Camilla Landscape Design will continue to offer ecologically-friendly landscape planning and building and provide environmentally-friendly maintenance services for lawns and landscapes to keep them looking their best.

Visit CamillaLandscapeDesign.com for more information or call 203.790.9809 or 914.666.6500.

Eco-Friendly Shopping for Buildings, Babies, and Beyond in Scarsdale

Green Design Expo in Scarsdale

Just in time for spring and all that’s green, there’s a new space in Scarsdale that’s a one-stop shop for eco-friendly construction, design and lifestyle products, as well as an educational venue for professionals and the community. Green Design Expo (GDE) quietly opened on February 21, but it will hold its grand opening at 4 p.m. April 28, with a colorful rainbow theme and lots of student involvement.

GDE offers a wide variety of green products for home, school and office, like non-toxic, 100-percent recycled toys, BPA-free lunch boxes and water bottles, 100-percent recycled and recyclable folders and binders, biodegradable kitchenware, LED flame-less candles, and energy-efficient light bulbs. Building projects can be “greened” with Solatubes, PV solar systems, cork, Marmoleum, bamboo and responsibly harvested floors, as well as eco-friendly carpets, rugs and furniture, wall coverings, tiles, hardware, ceilings, plumbing and fixtures, and even a green roof or garden.

GDE’s owner and founder, Eva Finkelstein, is promoting community involvement by offering work/study programs with area schools. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will involve students from several school districts in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties, including Scarsdale, Greenburgh, Ardsley, Yonkers, Bronxville, Bedford, Brewster, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Mamaroneck. “It’s a call to action-based, hands-on learning for all ages,” Finkelstein says.

Green Design Expo, located at 640 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale, NY, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Contact the store at 914.902.5305, or visit it online at GreenDesignExpo.net.

New Hypnosis Weight Loss Teleclasses Offered by Melanie Barnum

Hypnotist Offers New Teleclasses

Melanie Barnum

For those looking to blossom on their own schedules this spring, Melanie Barnum, Certified Hypnotist, Intuitive Counselor and Life Coach, is now offering teleclasses. She notes that hypnosis is widely accepted for weight loss, and her new Hypnosis Weight Loss Teleclasses utilize a combination of healing modalities, coaching techniques and intuitive guidance to help transform body, mind and spirit. “These teleclasses offer an embarrassment-free option,” Melanie says of the new weight loss program. “The best part is you can call in on your schedule to retrieve the hypnosis session. There is no obligation to be on the actual phone call at the designated time.”  Other new teleclasses include “Manifest Your True Desires” and “Psychic Symbols-What Do They Mean?”  Both are based on the premise that you have everything you need to propel yourself forward in life.  They will incorporate hypnosis, intuition and exercises from her upcoming The Book of Psychic Symbols:  How to Interpret and Apply Messages From the Other Side.

For more information about her holistic services, teleclasses and new easy pay options, visit MelanieBarnum.com or call 203.451.0914.  Melanie Barnum, CH, is located at 77 Danbury Road, Ridgefield.

Six-week Birthing From Within Course Begins April 27, 2011 in Chappaqua

Victoria Gearity, Birthing From Within Mentor

Birthing From Within classes are rooted in the belief that each woman possesses intuitive knowledge of how to birth her baby. The course teaches mothers to nurture and trust their bodies and their babies during pregnancy and birth. Partners recognize their role as guardians of the birth and learn how to foster a safe environment for the laboring mother. Through breath awareness practice, birth art creations, medical support awareness, and the development of body and baby attunement skills, parents prepare for the transformative journey of birth.

A six-week Birthing From Within course begins April 27 at the Yoga Yurt in Chappaqua. The class meets Wednesdays from 6:45-9 p.m. and the cost per couple is $350. In addition to the class sessions, instructor Victoria Gearity offers 1 postpartum visit to all new parents.

Gearity says that the decision about whether or not to use drugs during birth has nothing to do with a woman’s courage or pain tolerance and everything to do with her faith in her body and her baby. “There may come a time when the compassionate use of drugs or medical support is a mother’s safest and best choice,” says Gearity. “If she is able to approach that decision from a place of awareness rather than fear, she will feel positively about her birth experience.” A woman’s birth experience can profoundly effect how she transitions to motherhood, Gearity adds.

To register, call Victoria Gearity at 917.685.6717 or visit
BirthingFromWithinWestchester.com.

April’s Awaken Wellness Fair Is “Best Yet,” This Saturday in Tarrytown

The Awaken Wellness Fair returns to Tarrytown on April 16, and organizer Paula Caracappa of PPC Group, LLC, says this year’s event promises to be the best yet, with more than 100 exhibitors and speakers on hand to introduce alternative ways to get and stay healthy. “My mission is to educate the public about the many effective and varied wellness practices that are available beyond the old-fashioned attitude of ‘take a pill’ or ‘cut it off,’” Caracappa says.

This is her 10th year organizing educational wellness fairs. This year, PPC Group will also present Mamapalooza at Kensico Dam on May 14 and Awaken at SUNY Purchase as part of the Pilates Conference on June 5.

Among the exhibitors at Awaken Wellness Fair will be Merrill Black, who will discuss the benefits of hypnosis and lead a group hypnosis session with audience members, and certified life coach Diane Ingram, who will explain the concept and practice of living a purposeful life. Other exhibitors will include Bonnie’s Herbals and Chanson Water, with information on how alkaline water hydrates the body, increases energy, eliminates “brain fog,” and boosts overall wellness; painter Linda Richichi, presenting her channeled Soul Portraits, which reveal an image of the subject’s higher self; and Sound Shore Ayurveda, who will share information about the 5,000-year-old system of Indian medicine, determine doshic balance, and answer health-related questions.

The Awaken Wellness Fair will take place 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown, NY. For more information, visit AwakenFair.com.

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