More Tarot from Embodied Home

Welcome to your Tarot Tuesday forecast for the week of 13 March, 2018 by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home (


  • Where are we? The Emperor
  • What is underneath / informing where we are? Seven of Wands
  • What are we learning? Death

It seems we have more work to do with Seven of Wands as it comes through for the third week in a row. This week's iteration is as an undercurrent of The Emperor, also making a repeat appearance.
We find ourselves more capable than perhaps we once believed. We have the opportunity to experience clearer decision making as we allow what is precious and worthy of protection (our power, our soul's purpose, etc) to become our compass. It is evident that this new compass has replaced fear, doubt, old stories / habits, and shame when we find it easy (or at least easier) to take action without apology, as the impulse to apologize withers when we have firm roots to draw instruction from.

When we operate within this framework of clarity + well-informed / balanced action, we are better prepared to process the inevitable mess that comes with liberation. It looks different for each of us, but when we really settle into our balanced, benevolent power as The Emperor, the constructs around us that are lacking integrity will begin to fall away. These can be social norms, relationships, jobs, etc. Whatever may need to leave us to make space for our expansion rarely goes quietly, but when we are clear about staying true to our course, we know we have what we need to withstand any discomfort as we evolve.

Please visit to book a live, personal reading with Megan at The River Guild or online. 

Your weekly tarot from Embodied Home!

Welcome to your Tarot Tuesday forecast for the week of 6 March, 2018 by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home (


0306 tarot.jpg
  • Where are we? Seven of Wands 
  • What is underneath / informing where we are? Daughter of Swords 
  • What are we learning? Eight of Stones

If you recall, Seven of Wands showed up for us last week, but today we have received it directly instead of reversed. This is not evidence of a backslide, dear reader, since it is informed by a most welcome Daughter of Swords. The feeling I get is that of having had an affirming experience, one that has set us up to freely accept the invitation of Seven of Wands: to examine what is true/real vs. what our creative (if not misinformed) minds might imagine is true/real in the absence of concrete proof.

When we examine our circumstances through this lens, it would serve us well to remember that what is true/real reveals itself in a multitude of ways, ranging from tangible to spiritual and any and all combinations thereof. Acknowledging this totality of experience allows us to walk on our current path holistically. It's the key to being able to discern what action would be wisest as we move at an intelligent pace, which of course is different for each of us at any given moment. 

In trusting and taking action in this manner, we are given the opportunity to be affirmed again, this time of something we may only be aware of intellectually at this time: that our own truth can not be given to us or defined by someone else. So, we are invited to get quiet and still enough to Know what is next, and to take the step, no matter how small it may seem. This step, even if imperceptible by others, taken with confidence and self assurance is deeply powerful. It's more powerful than any action motivated by a "should." As we continue on, each step building upon the last, we can be liberated from the adage that slow and steady wins the race, as when we embody our truth we remember that there is no race to win.

Please visit to book a live, personal reading with Megan at The River Guild or online, and enter the code SEEDS-TO-FLOWERS at checkout to receive 20% off. There are only 5 discounted slots available, and once the code has been used 5 times it will no longer be valid. If you feel moved to do so, book your appointment today!

Your Tuesday Tarot from Embodied Home

Welcome to your Tarot Tuesday forecast for the week of 27 February, 2018 as channeled and interpreted by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home (

  • Where are we? Seven of Wands (reversed)
  • What is underneath / informing where we are? Mother of Stones (reversed)
  • What are we learning? The Emperor

After a long journey wandering the outer edges very far away from our core, this is a moment of spiraling back toward our center, where lies our ability to perceive our connection to the vast web of all life.

Walls, bars, and defenses erected against an unseen threat now reveal themselves to be nothing but a cage. That which we built to protect our strength and give space for it to flourish no longer does. We begin to feel how cramped these quarters have become, how they only serve now to stifle our growth. There is an opportunity to let the cage crumble, and experience what it feels like to stand tall and share space in the wider world.

What is available to us to embody beyond our defenses is available to all beings, therefore not something to be guarded. It is the space we require to feel ourselves fully, and the intricate connection between us that allows for free and open exchange.

Please visit to book a live, personal reading with Megan at The River Guild or online.


This week's tarot and a brand new show!

First things first, Megan Alexander (of Embodied Home) has a pull for us this week. Sorry for the 24 hour delay on this:


Welcome to your Tarot Tuesday forecast for the week of 20 February, 2018 as channeled and interpreted by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home (

  • Where are we? Seven of Swords
  • What is underneath / informing where we are? Daughter of Cups
  • What are we learning? Seven of Cups (reversed)

This week will present the opportunity to do some deep internal work that has eluded us for some time now, mainly because we have been operating under the belief that something/someone outside of ourselves is what needs to be reworked.

The core of this internal work is E.M.P.O.W.E.R.M.E.N.T. Upon shifting our attention inward, we can discover the depth of our ability to be resourceful, authentic, resilient, and adaptable. When we apply these abilities practically to solve our own problems, they can feel like superpowers, an in a way they are, especially when they serve not only to enrich our own lives but to inspire those around us to follow suit.

The ripple effect of the work we begin to do this week is capable of fundamentally shifting the way human beings relate to one another, which is a beautiful concept if not potentially overwhelming. Avoid this exhaustion by focusing on your own behavior, thoughts, and actions. Make change as it applies practically to your own life and in your own time.

Please visit to book a live, personal reading with Megan at The River Guild or online.

In other news (drum roll please) ...

We have a show! A TV show! It's called Kinda Sorta Spiritual, hosted by our own Dr. Carlos Perez and Sarah Robinson. A huge thank you goes out to our producer, Joe Chateauneuf, without whom this wouldn't have happened. We'd also like to thank the staff at Concord TV, who has been flexible, supportive and exceedingly helpful during this process. We'll be doing episodes of our show every month, so stay tuned! We'll be posting them here for you to share! Let us know what you would like us to cover in future episodes. 

So many new and wonderful things...

Guilded, it's been a few months, but let us reassure you that it is because we have been growing beyond our wildest dreams! We have welcomed several new practitioners to the family and below is a blog post from one of them. Peggy Petahtegoose is a heart on legs- she brings so much loving energy to every space she inhabits. We are grateful to have her teaching Restorative Yoga every Sunday morning starting in January and Prenatal Yoga on Saturday mornings starting in February. You'll love her classes!

Another reminder that it is indeed the holiday season (as if you didn't know that) and we have wonderful gifts for the whole family! From our Concord Handmade merch' to our gift certificates, we have everyone on your list covered (from babies to grandparents!). Drop in when you can during regular hours, or try out some of our programming. We would love to see you. And now ... take it away, Peggy!


Hello Beloveds.
I am Peggy Petahtegoose, and I am very excited to be teaching at the River Guild! Who am I... Mother to 3 wonderful adult children, Grandmother for 2. This is the most important part of my life. What I do in my life is very fulfilling. I graduated from YOGA NH in 2012 as an RYT200. Since August of 2011 I have taught many varied classes of yoga in the Francestown, Bennington, Dublin, Antrim, New Boston, Goffstown. When I walk into my classroom, any and all troubles float away. I love teaching and sharing my passion for yoga. It truly was the beginning of life changing events and learning for me. I have found my style to be grounded in quiet and gentle yoga which varies class to class. Starting with gentle movements, mudras, occasionally chanting, restorative, chair. I sprinkle a little of all those things I love into my classes including mini yoga nidra for shavasana. Sharing all those elements with my students is my joy.
I have been teaching Prenatal yoga localy for 4 years now and am currently beginning my
training to actually become a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher, a goal for many years.
Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga are one of those truly special gifts you can give to yourself and I
completely enjoy watching my prenatal mamas during this experience.
After I finished my RYT 200 training I went on to take multiple training programs: YOGAED,
Prenatal Yoga, Postnatal Yoga. Along with my Kripalu RPYT training next week, I will also be
taking a Yoga Nidra training in November. Many exciting things happening!.
What else have I got in my bag of tools? I am also an Ordained Interfaith Minister of the Tree of
Life Interfaith Temple in Amherst NH, on the Board of Directors and a Spiritual Mentor. Reiki
Usui Shiki Ryoho Master Teacher/Trainer.
A proud member of the Atikmeksheng Anishnawbek First Nation in Ontario Canada and a
member of the Land Management Committee. Currently I work per diem at Robin Hill Farm in Deering NH, as a Life Skills Facitator for TBI/ABI. One of my favorite jobs. They are like brothers to me.
Previous to all of this I was a child home care provider for 19 years and over 55 children!
Wow, so much to share. I love my wonderful life a gift every day from the Creator who guides
me on my earth journey.
You can find me on the Yoga Alliance website, or contact me at 603-369-8368 or my email
Peace Love Joy

Healing With Sound: One Tone At A Time

Hey hey, family! What a beautiful week we're having as Autumn continues to reveal herself to us. If you aren't familiar with the work that we do here at the Guild, I think this next blog post will be helpful in understanding what our definition of wellness means. Dr. Carlos Perez has been instrumental in helping guide our philosophy as well as our programming here and we're honored to offer you this blog post he provided.

 Dr. Perez sending out healing energies.

Dr. Perez sending out healing energies.

Healing With Sound: One Tone at a Time.

By Carlos A. Perez, DC, RMT
Owner of Back In Motion, PLLC.

The power of sound is everywhere you look, or listen (technically speaking). Whether it’s the sound of a child laughing, or the sound of a bird singing, there are sounds all around us that can immediately shift our internal and external world in one direction or another. Case and point, earlier today, I had the not-so-pleasant experience of setting off the fire alarms at my office space after lighting some Palo Santo incense resin to help create a calming scent around the space before seeing clients. Little did I know that I would be triggering the smoke detectors and setting off the alarms to all of the buildings that are part of the Smokestack Center which sent everyone who was in class or in session out of the building (sorry folks, my bad).

In any event, I was immediately noticing the effects of that high pitched and high amplitude sound had on my heart rate, my breathing patterns, my chaotic thought patterns, and more. Before I knew it, I was walking around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to control the situation and bring peace to an otherwise non-peaceful state. The moment the firefighters left after assessing the situation, I was drawn to go into my space and play my crystal singing bowl. It took less than 10 seconds before I felt a complete 180 degree shift and noticed my body and mind start to relax and feel centered. This was exactly what I needed before seeing my first client so I could start my day feeling grounded, centered, and balanced. Just like that, in a matter of just a few minutes, I was able to experience for myself the healing power of sound, one tone at a time.

Sound healing has been around for tens of thousands of years and in recent years it has been making a comeback and more practitioners are starting to find their sound and bring their form of sound healing into their practice. A few years ago, I started to explore sound therapy and see how I could infuse it into my Holistic Chiropractic practice. Little did I know that 4 years later I would be offering sound therapy healing sessions with my private clients as well as leading group sound meditations twice per month at The River Guild in Concord, NH. Sound healing is a fun and simple way to bring balance into your body and into your life. The first thing I say to everyone when they ask me how sound healing works, is that we are very much like instruments that can go in and out of tune depending on the many circumstances and experiences that shape our life. Within seconds to minutes of listening to certain tones, a person can feel an almost immediate sense of calmness, balance and grounding which then enables us to be more stabile and anchored in a sometimes unstable and turbulent world. In other words, we are all unique instruments that can sometimes go out of tune and we can all bring ourselves back into balance and be in tune with the use of sound healing.

Using tones in the form of singing bowls, drums, tuning forks, didgeridoos, or even chanting can bring a greater sense of wholeness to the individual which then allows them to take the steps needed to bring balance into their world. After all, the world outside of you is in part a reflection of the world within you and rather than going into our headspace, we can go into our hearts and create a heart-centered state of balance and coherence which gives us the freedom of navigating with out world with ease and grace.

Healing tones can be accessed from our phones, tablets, laptops, pc’s or even CD’s which you can find for a variety of conditions and needs like sleep imbalance, chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, depression and more. The intelligence of our body can always configure the way sound travels through our body to correct the imbalances, whether they are physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. My advice to clients and to those that come to my sound healing meditations are to find your sound. Find the tones that speak to you and connect with them as often as you would like and notice what is different afterwards. For some, the effects are more noticeable with one from of tones like those created by didgeridoos. For others, it can be a series of Solfeggio tones. The beauty of sacred sounds is that there are an abundance of tones that will help you and they are waiting to be discovered. So go right ahead and see which tones can help bring balance into your body, mind and spirit.

However, if you would like to experience a first-hand experience with sound healing, you can come to any of my sound meditations or drop by for a one-on-one visit so you can create the healing you need for yourself, one tone at a time.

For more information, you can visit or visit the calendar of sound meditations at Let the sounds set you free!

When Mindfullness Isn't Enough

Hey, fam!! It's about time we got back on the blogging bandwagon. I've put out an all points bulletin to the amazing practitioners we have in our midst and I asked them to give me the run down on the super powers they make available to the community here at The River Guild. There is so much to love and so many ways to find true wellness. Today's installment comes from a new member of our group, April Adams. I'll let her explain everything:

 April Adams is the woman to turn to when you need to get to the root of the issue.

April Adams is the woman to turn to when you need to get to the root of the issue.

When Mindfulness Isn't Enough

By April Adams

At this point, most people have been introduced to the benefits of mindfulness. If you’ve tried it, you’ve likely seen some improvement when you stick with it.

The problem with mindfulness is that it takes massive persistence and force of will, and even then you don’t always see the changes or improvements you were hoping for until much later, if at all.

Don’t get me wrong. There are definite benefits to any mindfulness practice, but they can feel like an endless hamster wheel unless you address the subconscious mind.

The subconscious stores memories, connects events, outcomes and feelings, creates its very own version of the world and tries to keep us safe- emotionally and physically- based on it’s past knowledge of the world.

If we have experienced something, or were convinced of something at a very young age, the subconscious- which is as literal as a four year old- will believe those things above all else.

That means you’re fighting an uphill battle with positive intentions, affirmations, mantras, etc UNLESS you address the subconscious feelings and beliefs around whatever you are working on improving.

Let’s say you’ve decided to exercise and eat right. On a conscious level you understand why that is the best possible thing to do for your health. But if your subconscious believes something else- such as your weight protects you from something- then you will be forever at odds with yourself and you’ll have a belly full of chocolate cake before you know it. You’ll be yo-yoing through every diet you can find unless you convince your subconscious mind that it’s safe to be fit.

This isn’t just about diets- any fears, traumas, emotional wounds, worries, etc… have a major effect on how well and how quickly mindfulness can work.

There are various ways to deal with subconscious emotional wounds and programs: hypnosis, EFT, EMDR, and my tools which combine all of those methods and more to create fast permanent results, which you can then replicate for yourself again and again with anything that hold you back.

Once you have cleared something on a subconscious level, it will be far easier…or perhaps even unnecessary sometimes, to practice mindfulness. Imagine not having to talk yourself down from emotional responses any longer because you’ve healed them at their root.

Regardless of your goals or intentions, healing your subconscious perception of the world is the most effective and efficient way to get there.

About the author:

April Adams specializes in combining the power of the mind with the power of the spirit in order to create the best possible life. April is an Emotional Health Consultant, Author, PSTEC Advanced & Hypnosis Practitioner, Intuitive Life Coach, Meditation Trainer, and Marconic Level III Practitioner. She is the creator of The Essence Healing System and the author of the books “Essence: Ending Emptiness, Finding Fulfillment”,  “Less Logic More Wisdom: Surviving The Shift With Your Sanity Intact”. Her newest release is a workbook entitled “Crack The Longing Code.”

Four Months In...

Here I sit, in the Guild, four months in.  I've got two iPads, three phones, a coffee, 2 checkbooks, and a full page to-do list surrounding me.  It's Friday, the day I dedicate to my newest baby - The River Guild.

For those of you who know me, this will not be shocking: I did not think this project through (not even a little bit) before signing a lease and forming an LLC.  Well, that's not true.  I imagined it—in my mind and heart.  I also had a good feeling about it (which was oh so comforting to my wife). It was so obvious to me that this was going to fill a void in our community.  How could it not succeed?

That is how I felt every day... with an emphasis on the word "day".

When 3 am rolled around, nightly, a switch inside me flipped.  Eyes wide open, heart quickening.  The thoughts.  Oh, the thoughts.  Every possible negative outcome would come to mind, all with a strong undercurrent of financial instability.  

I would fall back asleep within an hour or so. In the morning the dreamer in me, and the doer in me would take over. She would take on the day.

There were a number of events that happened in the renovations that, to me, were signs this project was meant to be. These events would solidify my resolve, elevate my mood, and define my purpose.  The most memorable signal happened after the hardest night I experienced. I had woken up with such doubt in myself, my vision and the Guild that I was unable to fall back asleep. I arrived at the birth center for a full day of prenatal appointments tired and sad.  

That day, mid-morning, I saw Patrick walking toward the birth center with purpose.  Patrick is a property manager at the Smokestack Center as well as a talented musician. "Hey, I heard you got a piano at the Guild!" I told him that yes, I got one free on Craigslist. I asked him if he wanted to check it out.

We walked over to The River Guild and he sat at the piano.  The room is large, and there is a dramatic echo. It is calmly and warmly lit.  I watched Pat play. He played well, and he played beautifully, for about 10 minutes.  As I listened, I could feel the constriction in my chest melt. My tears were close to the surface. I couldn't have imagined a more beautiful sign at a more desperate time. I realized that everything about the Guild is meant to be; that basing a business on health, community, and the recognition of each other's worth and talent cannot fail. Leading from the heart and taking action in my own truth is all that I can and should do. My tired mind and body wanted to collapse to the floor in relief.

4 months in.  I'm digging everything about The River Guild.  My favorite event, our monthly potluck, is next Friday.  The potluck is my favorite event because people show up, eat delicious food, and talk. Kids run around like a pack of wild dogs. Everyone is happy, and everyone is warmly welcomed. I look around at each potluck and feel the tears welling up - because it's what I have worked so hard for.  It is what we have worked so hard for.

See you there.

Kate Hartwell


Plant a Seed

When I was little I never understood why my Mom loved to garden. She spent a good bit of time perfecting her flower patches and watching them grow. We would always have gorgeous bouquets on the dining room table, thanks to her gardens. I never had any interest in passing time with plants, aside from proudly picking all of her tulips one year or beheading dandelions (much to my father’s dismay and his never ending battle with the weeds). My Mom must have planted the seed though, as now that I have my own kids, I get it. Boy, do I get it. I completely understand why she loves gardening so much. What a glorious escape!

All winter long, I plan my vegetable garden and think about new spots in the yard to plant flowers. At the first sign of spring, I become even more excited for the upcoming season. I carefully select vegetable seeds and get them started. I walk my yard daily, searching for the first sprouts and breathing in the crisp spring air. It clicked for me last year, this gardening thing. In that moment, with dirty hands and the sound of my boys playing alongside me, I became very thankful that my Mom shared her love of gardening with me. Though I didn’t appreciate it then, I do now.

The best part of it all is involving my boys. At almost two and four, they are sponges for knowledge. It is now my turn to plant the seed in them. To teach them the ways of the garden and instill in them a love of nature. So far, they love it too. I know there may come a time when they can’t be bothered to help in the garden, but for now it is a new adventure for them. They are just as excited to start the vegetable seeds and look at the dirt each day to see if anything is popping through. They too enjoy walking the yard and learning about the various plants coming up through the Earth.

As a mom, I feel it is so important to share my love of nature and teach my boys where food comes from. As our vegetable plants gift us throughout the summer months, my boys enjoy eating straight from the garden. I don’t care that the majority of our vegetables never make it to our dinner table! Seeing the joy on their faces when they find a new bean on the vine or a ripening tomato is what this is all about. What better way to build healthy habits! We also frequent local farms and pick every berry and fruit as it comes into season.

As a mom, I sometimes need a break from the crazy circus that is raising two amazing yet challenging little boys. This is where gardening comes in. To pull weeds releases frustrations. To cut flowers and put them on the kitchen table reminds me of my childhood and gives me something pretty to look at when one of my boys is having a moment. To spend time in the garden gives me a chance to soak up some sun and dream about having a mini farm someday.

I also feel it important to carry this love of gardening into what I do for work. As a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, I work with children who struggle with eating. I often encourage their families to plant a few vegetables and involve their kids in the process. When this isn’t an option, I suggest bringing the children to farms and picking whatever crop is ready at that time. As parents we need to show our children the process and give them the full sensory experience of food. I have seen many a choosey eater enjoy fruits and vegetables when experiencing them in nature.

I do hope my boys continue to enjoy the garden or at least have memories of our time spent pigging out on delicious veggies while chatting in the yard. I certainly cherish this time and am so thankful my Mom shared her knowledge. Apparently I was listening!

So plant that seed. Whether it is a vegetable garden, a flower garden, or a metaphor for some other garden, plant the seed. Instill in your children the same love you have for your values, hobbies, and passions. Get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and make some memories. Even if your children don’t pick up on these things now, they will someday.

-Barbara Cloutier

Engaging Children Through Movement & Mindfulness

It’s a pretty typical question when you meet someone new for them to ask what you do for work. Sometimes my answer varies. “I work with children” is a pretty straight-forward answer I used to give fairly often to avoid the look from people when I’d tell them, “I teach yoga and mindfulness to children.” Sure, some people would be really interested… but there were many individuals that would ask: “How do you do that?” or “Are there really that many people who want their children to learn yoga and mindfulness for you to run a successful business?”

Fortunately, the yoga and mindfulness movement is beginning to pick up momentum. It has already been well-received in many other countries around the world. It’s not so foreign to people anymore. And what’s really awesome is how schools are beginning to use yoga, movement and mindfulness to break up the school day for children. It’s really a win-win for everyone. Children get breaks that allow them to move and be silly for a few minutes, and teachers see positive results- leading to more peaceful and harmonious classroom environments, not to mention better test scores with their students.

I grew up with a large influence of mindfulness and meditation in my home as a child. While it took me until my college years to finally appreciate the benefits of meditation, I am so grateful for all those “seeds” that were planted when I was a child. I attended a weekend family summer camp each summer, at a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center in Vermont with my family. There were lots of other kids, and we learned about compassion, and ways to show kindness to others (even animals) through all sorts of craft projects and games.

So… fast forward years and years later… and I find myself being drawn to teaching these same principles to children and families. Being a mother myself, I understand the challenges that other families face, and the hectic schedules everyone keeps. It’s A LOT of work! I honestly believe parent’s need as much self-care as they give to their children because a family will thrive when the adults are feeling stable, happy and healthy, both mentally and physically.

My best advice for self-care is to mix things up! Parents, get out of that daily routine for 20 minutes and get silly with your kiddos! Play some upbeat music, and dance around. Pull out the bubbles and make a foot soak for you and your little ones to enjoy. Try some yoga together. Create a peace space in the house with a comfy pillow, special rock or flower in a vase, and a blanket. Be proactive in your need to feel well, and your children will learn from your example over time. Is this always easy? Definitely not. But I’d say it is necessary.

I’ll always be grateful to my son for showing me HOW TO BE PRESENT… he is always in the moment. And if I’m not, well, he will show me that I need to be in order to keep up with him. One of our go-to ways for non-stop laughter is partner yoga… which basically means he climbs on me and tries to balance in bizarre ways while I hold him up. Yoga? Maybe not. Fun? Yes!

So, I want to de-bunk any myths about Children’s Yoga for you… and the best way I can think of to do this is to provide you with a few of the most frequently asked questions I’ve received & to answer them!

Please don’t ever hesitate to contact me about yoga and mindfulness for your child or family. I teach weekly yoga classes for children, as well as host workshops for adults and children. I also lead summer camps focused on yoga, mindfulness and nature; teach yoga and mindfulness 1-on-1 to children; and offer a Personal Peace Plan (a cohesive family mindfulness and yoga plan to help with behavioral challenges with children, and to incorporate social-emotional learning to children and families).



  1. What are the benefits to young children doing yoga?

- Increases concentration and focus

- Increases confidence and self-esteem

- Improves balance and coordination

- Increases strength and flexibility

- Improves sleeping patterns

- Creates a healthy and safe social and emotional outlet with peers

- Lowers levels of stress, anxiety and nervousness

- Promotes positive feelings towards self and others


Engaging the brain through movement is central to learning. Kinesthetic movement engages the cerebellum, the part of the brain that affects movement and timing. And movement activities have an impact on more than just physical learning. Because each development domain-physical, social, emotional, cognitive- is closely related to the others, physical development affects other kinds of learning. Young children have a limited attention span and need more time to connect new information with prior learning. Movement experiences throughout the day give children time to better process what they are learning.” (NAEYC: Young Children, May 2008, Transformers: Movement Experiences for Early Childhood Classrooms, Julia Coleman Vagovic)


  1. How can families incorporate yoga and mindfulness into “home-life”?

Be simple. I am the first to admit that coming up with ideas and actually carrying them out are two totally different things. If you are looking to make a change, then start with something that is doable and enjoyable. If you want to make time for yourself, then think about your daily life and see if there are just 5 minutes you can take for yourself. Then maybe invite you child or spouse to join you for a family yoga pose, or focusing on the breath for 2 minutes before bedtime.  Starting small will lead to consistency, which is the basis for creating a new habit.


  1. My child has too much energy for a yoga class. Will he/she get anything out of it?

Yes! Every child is capable of having loads of energy, almost all the time. I always tell families not to worry if their child seems like they’re not getting much out of a yoga class. You’d be surprised how many of those families with active children go home and witness their child practicing a pose or breathing game we did in class. Every child is equally as capable of tuning-in, slowing down and finding peace within themselves. Classes always include a mix of both energizing poses and games, as well as calming and more focused activities. While there are many learning techniques interwoven throughout each children’ yoga class, these classes are meant to be engaging, silly and playful! All of these yoga classes are also non-religious.


But I Can't Dance...

“But I can't dance.” This is something you have heard other adults say. Maybe you yourself have said it, sitting on sidelines of a dance floor. But have you ever heard a young child say it? No, because she has never gotten such a silly idea! Humans are born to move, to feel a beat, to express ourselves through movement. In my creative dance classes for children, I honor the truth that children love to express themselves through dance, and I create a space and structure for them to do so. There are no “right steps” in creative dance, no patterns to memorize. Rather, children are invited to explore the different elements of dance while delighting in all that their bodies can do.


We begin every class with a warm up, and throughout the class there may be storytelling, rhythm games, free dance, and quiet movement. Children learn to control their bodies and dance around – instead of into!- one another, and how to communicate with another through dance. We explore different steps, directions, tempos, and energy levels.


Some of the most beautiful dances I have seen came from a class where we were playing with space. Children worked in pairs, with one dancer staying in one spot to dance while the other was free to move around, while still interacting with his partner. The structure of having to dance without moving around the room brought out such interesting, creative, and exciting movements from the dancers. One could feel the magic in the room as the children focused fully – mind and body – on the task at hand: the dance.


In my classes for younger children, toddlers who start out running in happy, erratic circles soon discover for themselves all the wonderful things they can do with their bodies. They can glide, they can gallop. They can slide across the floor on their back, on their belly! They can jump sideways slowly, and then fast. They can move slowly to quiet sonatas, and they can dance their own jig to lively Irish fiddle tunes.


We close each class with a cool down that includes thanking each part of our body, and thanking our fellow dancers. Then – the real dancing begins! Parents tell me all the time about the joyous, creative, and passionate dancing their children do at home all week. This is what creative dance is all about.   

- Jenny Foster

Know Better, Do Better

We all have had experiences in our lives that stand out more than others; moments that remain vivid and pronounced within our mind and never fade from our memory. The first poignant childhood memory I have took place when I was in second grade. After what seemed like endless episodes of pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, my Doctor at the time recommended to my parents that my tonsils and adenoids be removed. I also needed my sinus turbines "trimmed down" (as if they are some kind of pesky nose hairs) and 4 baby teeth pulled so I wouldn't accidentally swallow them while being intubated. This was "the" answer to my health challenges as a kid and the solution for me finally being able to stop taking copious amounts of bubble gum pink Amoxicillin.
I woke up under bright fluorescent lights feeling sick to my stomach and trying to desperately lift my head to see if my carnation pink "Cheer" care bear was still laying beside me in my arms. I was somehow able to raise what felt like my 100lb  drugged bobble head high enough to see a multicolored rainbow belly badge in my embrace. Comfort quickly turned to panic as my gaze drifted from my care bear to my arm that had a needle inserted into it. Things got worse for me as I paid more attention to a "pulling" sensation I had on my face. I started touching my nose and could only feel a giant bundle of gauze at the end of it being held in place with an elastic band of some kind and long pieces of tape on my cheeks.
I didn't see my mother anywhere in the room, in fact I didn't see anyone in the room. I just wanted to go home and admittedly, a small part of me wanted to find a mirror to see just how bad things were. It was in that moment that I decided to remove the IV from my arm and get the heck out of there (I blame anesthesia for that poor decision).  I climbed off the gurney, pulled back the hospital drape and decided that I was going to find someone to help me. As soon as my gap toothed - gauzed face peered out from the room I was in, I could see a nurse escorting my mom back to see me. I was instantly relieved and overjoyed to see my moms face, my mom however was too overwhelmed by what she saw on my face and fell to the ground. Apparently I didn't need a mirror after all.  The nurse called for help and soon enough began waving smelling salts under my moms nose. My ticket out of the hospital was down for the count and I knew it was a matter of time before my dad was called for in for back up.
Fast forward twenty plus years from that day: I'm now in my early thirties with two healthy and beautiful kids of my own. I've spent the past six weeks at home on maternity leave. I'm completely sleep deprived and like all new moms, lucky to get a shower in most days. Trying to maintain some standard level of personal hygiene and savoring our little girl's "newbornness" has become my new full-time job and the second best one I've ever had. In six more weeks I'll return to my other "best job" (outside of being a mother) and that's being a chiropractor.
I love, I mean LOVE, what I do! The hardest part of being a chiropractor isn't trying to "crack" (I cringe when I hear that word) really big or strong people, it's  getting them to understand what I do. Many people have a misconception about chiropractic and the critical role it plays in health and well-being. That misconception is that chiropractic care is limited to treating back and neck pain. Although many people have experienced relief from back and neck pain through chiropractic services, the foundation, intent, and vision of chiropractic I have is one that is far beyond simply helping to reduce symptoms. Thank God because getting up for work almost every day would not be as fun or exciting if this were simply the case!
There are basically 2 styles of chiropractic practice. One type of chiropractor is what I'll refer to as limited scope practitioner. These chiropractors choose to limit their practice to dealing with back and neck pain only. Such doctors provide specialized care to patients with musculoskeletal injuries and disorders.
The other type of chiropractic doctor (such as myself) is a wellness chiropractor. A wellness chiropractor focuses on your general health and well-being, and that of your family. The objective of the wellness chiropractor is to work with you in maximizing your life potential.
Think of your life potential as how you function day in and out as a human being, there's a lot to it. (Healing, growing, moving, and adapting to our ever changing environment are some easy examples.)
It's easy for me to see now as an educated health care provider and adult, that my life potential was having some challenges back when I was a kid. As a parent I can sympathize with how hard it must have been for my mother and father to decide for me to have surgery. I know like any good parent they were doing the best they could for me with the information they had at the time. I wish now that my mom and dad had taken me to a chiropractor when I was a baby, perhaps my outcomes would have been different. We can also argue that maybe I would have still been sick and needed surgery anyway; no one will know.
What I can tell you with certainty and conviction is that I've seen significant improved outcomes happen during my almost six years of clinical practice. Asthmatics not needing inhalers, kids not needing tubes inserted into their ears, daily migraines ceasing, and the list goes on. I attribute it to people's life forces working more efficiently while under regular chiropractic care. This fuels my passion for what I do and makes me hopeful that the people I'm blessed to take care of can avoid an experience like I had as a kid. After all, the groundwork of all happiness is good health.
-Dr. Alissa Dimos

The Afterbirth


Five years ago, I gave birth to our first daughter.  The world shifted, and the harsh realities of this planet that I had become accustomed to had not yet entered her young mind.  This troubled me. I wondered if it was a responsible decision to bring new life into an unstable, violent world. I worried about the future of our planet and what it would be like in 20, 40, or 60 years.

I had just finished my midwifery apprenticeship and was months away from licensure.  I started to think about cultivating a safe space for families in midwifery care.  The phrase, "peace on earth begins with birth," ran through my head.  I became convinced that pursuing this career would be one small part - MY small part - in helping make the world a better place to live. The ripple effect. 

This idea helps me when I hear the countless, devastating stories of injustice, war, and destruction that we are exposed to on a daily basis.  We can all have "that one thing" that we bring to our community which benefits all of us, making the world softer.  More beautiful, more forgiving, more loving. 

Fast forward 5 years.  I am sitting in my newly established, still-in-renovation business, The River Guild, watching my dear friend paint beautiful birch trees on the wall of the lobby.  We are trying to come up with a concise statement, a description of what we truly believe The River Guild is.  I am planning to stencil it on the wall of the lobby before the grand opening.  I am googling inspirational quotes and laughing at some of the hokey ones.  She is telling me to get a thesaurus.  We are both laughing, and happy, and excited.  

After some discussion, it became clear that this "statement" is best straight from the heart.  I truly believe that all of us in the Concord community and surrounding areas will benefit from lifting each other up, taking care of each other, and cultivating relationships with each other. 


The River Guild is a community where everyone is warmly welcomed. 

We firmly believe that everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to teach.  

- Kate Hartwell