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The Sequoia Advisor

IN THIS ISSUE                                                       January 15th 2012

  • Sit-Up Straight or Else
  • Resolution Revolution
  • NEW Workshops at Dream Yoga Studio
  • 7 Tips For Pets and Their People
  • Osteoporosis Support News
  • The RestonPatch Hosts My NEW Blog

Feel Better... Live Better

Sit-Up Straight or Else
By Woody McMahon

"Sit-Up Straight"
Even today, just the thought of hearing those words strikes terror in the
hearts and minds of most adults. Growing up, your mother or father would
say over and over again "Can't you sit or stand up straight?" You probably
tried to heed your parents requests but after a few minutes, go right back
to our old, slumpy self. Do you know why it was so hard to keep that
upright posture? Beyond the obvious cosmetic reasons, why is good posture
so valuable for your health?
Posture Basics
Good posture can be defined in many ways. Physical therapists say good
posture is "the state of muscular and skeletal balance which protects the
supporting structures of the body against injury or progressive deformity."
Well, that is quiet a mouthful. More simply, when viewed from the side,
good standing posture allows a vertical line to be drawn through your ear,
shoulder, hip, back of the knee and ankle to the floor. Good posture
sitting would allow a partial vertical line through your ear, shoulder and
hip with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor.
Why Good Posture is So Important
There is an old saying "form follows function." The architecture of the
body has bones connected to each other through joints with muscles and
other tissues acting as movers and supporters. If the muscles that support
the bones are kept strong and flexible, your body works the way it was
designed. If not then the first physical sign that your critical body
alignments have started to change is poor posture. The first physical
symptom is pain. So the body gives you two warning signals that your
building is beginning to crumble. Posture you see and pain you can feel.

The Health Benefits of Better Posture
Good posture provides improvements in three health areas: circulation,
breathing and digestion. The greatest single benefit of good posture is
more oxygen to the body with less effort by your lungs and ribs. Some
studies say as much as 20% more oxygen is taken in with every breath
when you are sitting or standing erect. Your brain is the single biggest user
of oxygen so increasing those levels improves concentration and memory
abilities. Good posture makes it easier to breathe and benefits health
problems like asthma, COPD and allergies. Your heart can beat slower and
not work as hard when more oxygen is available in the blood. This is
helpful in cases of heart disease, arteriosclerosis, and high blood

A Posture Test
The easiest example of how poor posture negatively affects your health is
through the simple act of breathing. As you read this article, take a
moment and try this experiment on yourself. Sit in a chair and slump down
like you might at the office or in front of the television. Now try and
take a really deep breath and notice how much effort it takes to move your
ribs. It requires more energy to inflate your lungs with poor posture.
This time, sit on the edge of the same chair with your knees bent, feet
flat on the floor and your back straight and head up. Now take the same
deep breath and see how much easier it feels.

Evaluating Your Own Posture
There are several ways to evaluate your own posture. Take a moment and
stand in front of the mirror observing your body from the front and side.
See if you can draw the vertical line that was mentioned earlier on your
own body.Better yet, ask a family member or friend to take three pictures
of you; one from the front, side and back. Now you can easily see if a
vertical line will hit all the right spots.

Correcting Poor Posture

Going from poor to good posture is easier than you might imagine. The
typical exercise program at the gym will not do much for improving your
posture. Special exercises that work the back extensors and middle and
lower trapezius muscles are the best for postural correction. Feel free to
email me for more information on postural exercises and developing a
balanced postural program.

The RestonPatch Writes About Posture Perfect!TM

Robin Lundgren of the RestonPatch wrote a terrific article on our
Posture Perfect!TM classes. If you have not read it and looked at the

pictures go to

Come join us for the ever popular Posture Perfect!TM classes
How about an exercise program that alleviates pain and strengthens your
bones? What if you had 7 powerful exercises that would just take 10 minutes
a day to improve your posture, strength and balance? Posture Perfect!TM
does all of that and more. Please call Woody McMahon for a no cost
at 703-628-2880 or email to
to see if Posture Perfect!TM is right for you.

Resolution Revolution
by Woody McMahon 

It is That Time Again
January is the time to make your New Year's resolutions for the coming
year. Most of these resolutions never make it off the launching pad because
of a few basic design flaws. You, like many others, may have just given up
making resolutions all together because your best laid plans always seem to
Don't get me wrong; resolutions are a good thing. This is not
supposed to be a stressful process. Just like anything else, there is an
easy way and a hard way to get the job done. Here are three helpful
suggestions that can literally "revolutionize" your resolution making
process and have your friends thinking "how did you do that" next January. 

Start With Three: Pick One
In the past, with all good intentions, you tried to make too many
resolutions which can place you in a no-win situation. Too many resolutions
dilute your energies and add confusion and stress to the whole process.
Adding stress to resolution making is counterproductive to the whole
"improve your health" intent in the first place. Start with three
resolutions (less than three is OK too) and then pick just one to get

Write Them Down
"The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step," says Lau
Tzu, Chinese philosopher. So for your first step write down the three
resolutions you would like to accomplish for 2011. Then write each one
on a large piece of paper. Don't just think about them like you did in
the past. Actually take the time to write them down this time. Make sure
to write each resolution large enough so you can easily see it from across
the room. When you are finished, take the papers and hang them somewhere
they can be viewed conveniently every day. The act of writing them down
tells your subconscious that you are really serious about working on these
resolutions. The ability to see and review them regularly reinforces your
intent to succeed.

Bringing Out the Big Guns
Properly directed, the subconscious is a powerful ally and can make your
resolution process much easier. To get it revved-up, take a few minutes
every day to review your resolutions. This is best accomplished by sitting
for several minutes and reviewing your list. Once you can repeat each
resolution by heart, close your eyes and use your imagination to accomplish
your first resolution. Forget about the other two, just focus on the first
one at this time. 

A Simple Example
So let's say the first resolution was to increase your activity level by
exercising more regularly. Close your eyes and image yourself getting
dressed and going for a walk, lifting some weights or doing some
stretching. Take another moment and see yourself going through your
workout. The clearer your visualization, the stronger the effect is on your
subconscious. It takes just a couple of minutes a day and you are finished. 

Acting on Your Impulses
The subconscious works in strange and mysterious ways. Well, not really.
People just like to think it does and make more of it than necessary. Your
subconscious is actually very predictable. Each time you sit and imagine
accomplishing your first resolution, you are refreshing your intent with
the subconscious. This focused concentration actively stimulates the
subconscious in helping you accomplish your first resolution. The
subconscious in turn will send you subtle signals, nudges if you will, in
the right direction. You will find yourself thinking, "I would like to take
a walk" or "I will be right by the club tomorrow; it is not my scheduled
workout day but I can stop in anyway." 

Do not ignore these messages. Act on them immediately because your
subconscious is subtly helping you to succeed. Pay attention and follow
through on these little motivations because they are designed to help make
it easier to accomplish the first resolution. 

The Second Will Follow
Once you feel like your first resolution is heading in the right direction
or completed, use the same techniques for the second and third. Putting the
subconscious to work can help you successfully accomplish your resolutions
just that much faster.      

Try these healthy lifestyle changes for 30 days. Feel what it is like to be
a part of the health care solution rather than a health burden. If you need
additional suggestions and advice on living a healthier lifestyle, email or
call me for a no cost consultation, at 703-628-2880 or email to

NEW Workshops at Dream Yoga Studio

Announcing an exciting new health partnership for 2012.
Luann Fulbright, the owner of Dream Yoga Studio asked me to offer
three of my signature Fresh Start!TM programs in workshop format.
The workshops bring you practical and valuable information to help
kick-start your health and fitness program for the New Year.
Each workshop is followed by an 8 week series of continuation
classes. These classes help
you learn new skills and get the support
need to more easily accomplish your health and fitness goals
for 2012.

Dream Yoga Studio and Wellness Center is located in McLean, VA.
Luann and I thought that my Be Bone Strong!TM, Healthy Weight!TM
and Posture Perfect!TM programs would fit nicely with her ever
expanding wellness vision and class offerings. You can learn
more about the interesting and diverse offerings at Dream Yoga

and Wellness Studio at

Here is the workshop schedule starting in January of 2012.

Healthy Weight!TM Workshop Jan 21st from 2 to 5 pm
This workshop is a great way to kick-start your weight loss program for
the New Year.
The insights you gain in Healthy Weight!TM will make this
your final weight loss effort. Period! 
Losing weight is much easier when you
recognize and eliminate the real cause of weight gain... stress overeating.
Learning to work with your body yields faster and longer lasting results
eliminating diet frustration and stress. Healthy Weight!TM Workshop
teaches you a simple, easy to follow system that eliminates the need for
calorie counting, special diets, extreme Boot Camp workouts and unhealthy
supplements. It also designed to compliment your existing yoga practice
if you have one. Handouts Provided.

Posture Perfect!TM Workshop February 18th from 2 to 4 pm
The New Year is a great time to start looking and feeling your best.
Posture Perfect!TM is a safe and effective program based on clinically
proven exercises that will have you standing taller, sitting straighter and
sleeping sounder. Woody's program offers you a simple, easy-to-follow
system that improves posture, balance, strength while reducing stress in
as little as 10 minutes a day. It's also designed to compliment an existing
yoga practice, if you have one; boost your energy; and improve self-
confidence and body image. Posture Perfect!TM provides the tools and
support you need to successfully change how you look and feel.
Handouts Provided.

Be Bone Strong!TM Osteoporosis Workshop March 17th from 2 to 5 pm
This 3-hour workshop offers a complete, personalized bone and joint
health program that nicely compliments your yoga practice, if you have
one. Be Bone Strong! goes beyond just increasing bone density, and clearly
and easily teaches you a step-by- step process to improve bone health.
Some of the topics that will be covered are eating for a stronger body,
stress and bone health, vitamin D essentials, reducing inflammation for
healthier bones, and bone health exercise strategies. Based on the
principals and teaching of the Meeks MethodTM; this is the only program of
it's kind in the Northern, VA area. This workshop is a good introduction
to Woody's 8-Week "Be Bone Strong" Mini-Course that starts at
Dream Yoga on Mar 22.

If you have questions or need more information please contact
me at or call 703.628.2880. 

Pets and People

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy New Year
for Pets and Their People
By Ingrid King

The seven tips listed below will get 2012 off to a good start and help
make this your best year yet, for you and your pets.

1. Feed a species appropriate diet. Nutrition is the foundation for good

health. Cats are obligate carnivores and they need meat to thrive. If
you're not already feeding a raw or grain-free canned diet, consider
making this the year you make the switch. Your pets will thank you for it.
You'll find a wealth of information on feline nutrition, and on how to
switch your cat to a healthier diet, on The Conscious Cat. Even though
dogs are omnivores, they, too, will thrive on a diet high in meat and low
in grains. Also known as the BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw
Food), this wholesome and natural way of feeding is always an improvement
over most commercially available pet foods.

2. Regular veterinary check ups. For cats, the American Association of

Feline Practitioners recommends a minimum of annual wellness examinations
for all cats in its Feline Life Stage Guidelines. According to the
guidelines, "semi-annual wellness exams are often recommended for all
feline life stages by veterinarians and veterinary organizations. Their
reasoning includes the fact that changes in health status may occur in a
short period of time; that ill cats often show no signs of disease; and
that earlier detection of ill health, body weight changes, dental disease,
and so on, allows for earlier intervention." For dogs, annual check ups
should be a minimum, with bi-annual check ups for dogs seven and older.

3. Keep your cat's teeth healthy. Dental disease is the most frequently

diagnosed health problem for pets, and, if left untreated, can lead to
serious health problems including heart, kidney and liver disease. For
more on why good dental health is so important for your pet, click here.

4. Regular playtime and exercise. Make time to play with your pets.

Regular playtime will not only keep your pets happy, it's also a wonderful
time for you to bond with your pets, and it helps you relieve your stress.
Additionally, it provides exercise for your pet.

5. Meditate with your pet. The benefits of meditation for humans have

been scientifically proven. It just so happens that cats make the ideal
meditation companion. I don't have any experience with meditating with
dogs, but would love to hear about yours if you have. For more on how to
meditate with your cat, click here.

6. Educate yourself about pet health. You are your pet's guardian when it

comes to health issues, and the more you know, the better off your pet
will be. The internet can be a great resource, but be sure that the sites
you visit provide factual and reliable information.

7. Do something for less fortunate pets. Helping others is an integral

part of a life well lived, and it's good for your health. Even though we'd
like to be able to, we can't save every pet in need of a home, but there
are things you can do to help, from donating money to your favorite
shelter, to fostering pets for a local rescue, to volunteering time at a
shelter to give the cats and dogs some love and attention.

(c) Ingrid King 2012

Ingrid King is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer. She is

the author of Buckley's Story - Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. Her
online magazine News for You and Your Pet goes out to subscribers around
the world. Her blog, The Conscious Cat, has been called "educational cat
nip for the cat lover" and is a comprehensive resource for conscious
living, health and happiness for pets and their people. For more
information about Ingrid, please visit

Osteoporosis Support News

2012 Osteoporosis Resource Center's (ORC) Classes

The ORC is unique in the Northern Virginia area offering safe and effective
exercise classes including Personal Training, Yoga, Tai Chi and
Posture Perfect!TM We also offer classes and consultations for people with
osteoporosis, osteopenia, back, hip and neck pain as well as other
bone and joint health problems.

"What makes the ORC unique is that it offers safe and effective exercise
programs that can help improve posture, balance and strength for bone
and joint health problems" says Woody McMahon one of the center's
co-directors. "For the first time people that come to the center can feel
comfortable that the exercises they are performing will only do good and
not cause any harm. "

Who Benefits From Our Classes
Beginners: Our unique classes are great for a beginner who wants to
start exercising but does not know where to start.
Post Rehabilitation: Our classes offer a safe and effective transition from
physical therapy to more general exercise helping to safely strengthen
important stability muscles.
Advanced: The classes are perfect for tennis players, golfers or runners
who want to enhance their bodies to improve their sport.

Current Class Schedule

Tai Chi for Osteoporosis
When: Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30-2:30 PM
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway, Suite 215, Herndon, VA
Tuition: $105 for one class a week, $190 for both classes
Email or call Roger 703 435-4400 for more

NEW Yoga for Boomers & Beyond
When: Mondays 6:45PM to 8PM
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway, Suite 215, Herndon, VA
Tuition: $154 for one class a week for 7 weeks
Email or call Bonnie at
703-407-2065 for more information.

Posture Perfect!TM Level 1 Class
When: Mondays 7:00PM to 8PM for 7 Weeks
Where: Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc. 483 Carlisle Drive, Herndon, VA
Tuition: $140 for one class a week for 7 weeks
Email or call Woody at
703-628-2880 for more information.

Newsletter Sign-Up
Sign-up for our FREE newsletter The Sequoia Advisor to stay informed
about all of our future class offerings, workshops and seminars. It is
easy... just go to and enter your
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We look forward to seeing you soon at one of our classes.
Please call Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or email to for more information.

People in The News

RestonPatch Hosts My NEW Blog

My new health and fitness blog is being hosted by The RestonPatch.
This is another excellent way for me to get valuable health and fitness
information out to you. To read my new blog go to

Posture Perfect!TM Classes
Posture Perfect!TM classes are a great way to improve posture,
balance and strength especially if you have a health problem
requiring special attention.
Each one hour class is designed to help
improve your posture, balance and strength. The exercises are
based on the The Meeks MethodTM, created by Sara Meeks, PT
to safely build bone and muscle, improve posture and balance
and relieve back pain.

According to Sara Meeks "Abdominal crunches, sit-ups, and other
common exercises that bend the spine can cause back pain and even
spinal fractures. It's frightening that most people with low bone mass
are not aware of it," Meeks says. "They think osteoporosis is a disease
that only affects older Caucasian women."

Please contact us to find out when the next Posture Perfect!TM class starts.
If you would like to host a
Posture Perfect!TM  class at your church,
synagogue or office please contact Woody McMahon
at or by phone at 703.628.2880.

Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon
The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Drive
Herndon, VA

Required Disclaimer: The material provided herein should not be construed
as a health-care diagnosis, treatment regimen or any other prescribed
health-care advice or instruction. The material is provided with the
understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine
or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care
practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not
advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to
matters relating to their health or well-being other than suggesting that
readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No
action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The
material and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound
at the time of publication, based on the best judgment available to the
authors. However, readers who rely on material in this publication to
replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult
with health-care professionals, assume all risks of such conduct. The
publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

Copyright (c) 2006-2012 by Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.


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