Self-love & Self-care

Self-love and self-care intertwine. If you desire to be healthier and happier, beginning from a place of self-loathing and punishment usually ends in failure and pain. That’s why so many pieces of home exercise equipment gather dust. That’s why thousands if not millions of dollars are spent in the U.S. on gym memberships but it only looks like that from January 1 to about February 14. That’s why so few pairs of yoga pants ever encounter vinyasa, so few expensive pairs of running shoes ever run. That’s why diet foods and diet books are fab profit centers, perpetual motion machines that never run short of an eager audience.

Yes, self-hatred and self-neglect and outright self-abuse contribute to the obesity epidemic that curses the U.S. and many parts of the industrially developed world. Processed foods in volume have come to spell “comfort” and “ease.” Numbed out on sugar, salt and fat — with maybe nicotine, alcohol and recreational drugs added to the witch’s brew– people dwell in a deep, dark cave that feels too hard to leave. We sit and sit and sit until our muscles weaken, our spines ache and our will to try languishes. Going out hurts. Being seen hurts. “Failing” aches. The problem with numbing out is that pain eventually comes through.

Why not try to begin from a place of love? Just as you are. Move the body that you have. Feel alive in the moment. Listen in on the response. Maybe there will be some discomfort, self-consciousness and trepidation. Keep moving. Inside there, beyond the adult ego, is a child who found it wondrous to toddle across a room. To roll in the grass. To bounce on a bed. To move and groove whenever music came on. That child cried when aching. Howled when ignored. Laughed when delighted. Sighed when content. Slept when tired. Stopped eating when full.

It has been said that love is natural and hate is taught. The same is true of self-love and self-hatred. We all have it in us to return to our essential selves and treat ourselves with the same compassion and care we would someone else whom we cherish and protect. Movement is probably the most direct way to get there. And, given the long history of communal dance in human history, it is also one of the easiest ways to make the journey together.

Right now, today: Try it. Put on music, a favorite song that reaches into your bones and let yourself follow it. Alone in your living room or behind the closed door of your office. With friends or family, in the kitchen or out on the lawn. Amongst strangers in a dance class or club. If you turn off the negative brain chatter for the length of the song, genuine feeling will rise up to meet you. A moment of ease. Comfort. Even joy.

I am delighted to offer LUVMVMT® group and private sessions to assist you in this journey toward improved health and well-being.

Supple & Strong

Westerners think of belly dance as a performance art, something to please or titillate an audience. Its origins, however, are rooted in the essence of femininity. Belly dance was handed down and taught by mothers and grandmothers to young women to prepare the body for possible motherhood and the rigors of childbirth. Creative movement for the creation center! It was done in a community of women and not in mixed company.

Today, whether or not we plan on having children, whether or not we hope to perform for an audience, belly dance is a fabulous way to treat your body to the movement it loves.

Enter the Judgment Free Zone: shimmy, roll, wiggle, jiggle and shake and be proud of it. I teach an introduction to belly dance that breaks down the movements to make them accessible to women of all ages, shapes and sizes.

Elements of belly dance are also incorporated into the LUVMVMT® LUV-IN classes and private sessions. Women and men can benefit from a strong core and supple spine.

NEXT belly dance class launches October 13, 2016, in a 5:30-6:30 pm weekly Thursday slot at the Weinstein JCC in its Fall specialty classes. It is an All Women class. Here’s the link to register:

Supple & Strong


We are born to move. The first sound we ever hear, the first vibration we ever sense is a heartbeat. The beat is our source. Music, propelled by beats, propels us. Our bright and beautiful spirits burst with energy. We are born to dance. Born to merge our heartbeat with song. Forgetting this, sitting too much, separating from the beat in sterile silence or  in the cacophanous noise of data and more data, we can lose touch with our energy. Begin to loathe rather than love our miraculous bodies. It’s time to feel the love again. Self-love. Love of the beat and the pulse of life.

LUVMVMT® was born to teach the fine art of self-love through movement. Born to restore harmony and build balance. Centered strength and fluid expression are your birthright. Love your body. Express your spirit.

LUVMVMT® merges principles from yoga, dance and strength training. Founder Annette McGrath is a competitive dancer and a registered yoga teacher (RYT 200).

SEE LUV OPTIONS, A Menu of Services for pricing.