Transitioning into Fall

Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends
into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing, as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?
So let us go on

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.


Transitioning to Fall with Open Door

As the sunbeams begin to hit the Upper Valley at an angle announcing the coming of fall sentiments can be mixed. Lazy summer days are slipping into the rearview and a sense of gearing up is in the air- for school, for work, for settling in for the coming cold month. And while this is not a bad thing it is something to watch. To make sure that we don't get swept away in the business of life and hold on to a thread of the ease and restfulness of summer. This fall, Open Door offers a multitude of ways to slow down and maintain a connection with the leisurely and nurturing qualities of summer.

Experiential Learning Lab for Stress Reduction
Open Door has created a simple 6-week curriculum to examine the nature of stress and to learn strategies to minimize its impact. Our team has targeted three primary areas: mindfulness, physical activity, and nutrition. We believe fostering these skills will increase your capacity to manage stress. Our guided curriculum includes discussion, practice, and independent work between classes. Your progress will be measurable using the provided workbook and through a follow up session one month.

And please, take a look at the website to check out our other fall offerings including:

Tai Chi 
Movement classes for kids and adults

Cultivating Happiness through Mindfulness Practice and Play
Black Collective Action (Project X)
Nutritional Workshops
Feldenkrais Method 
Playback Theater
Death Cafe

We look forward to seeing you at the studio!

To your good health,

Open Door 

Baguazhang is one of the three major branches of the Chinese internal martial arts. Like its sister arts taijiquan and xingyiquan, bagua trains the practitioner to move in a relaxed and fluid way, coordinating movement with breath. Training this art over an extended period of time can cultivate whole-body power that is effective as both a fighting art and general health maintenance. Bagua was created in the second half of the 19th century in northern China, as a synthesis of a variety of fighting styles with Daoist meditative circle-walking exercises. As a fighting art, bagua emphasizes circling and flanking your opponent to catch them off-guard with a variety of strikes and throws; as internal cultivation and health maintenance, bagua emphasizes dexterity, coordination, and fluidity of motion. The bagua class currently offered at Open Door focuses on the neigong, or internal cultivation, aspects of bagua. The class starts with a series of warm-ups designed to recondition the body's movement patterns, gently opening the joints while teaching the practitioner to coordinate movement with breath. These exercises will test your mental and physical capacities, challenging your body to move in new ways that will ultimately improve your balance, coordination, flexibility, and ability to think quickly on your feet. After warming up, the class trains the signature circle-walking exercises that have made bagua famous. These exercises involve walking slowly and meditatively in a circle, while holding the upper body in a series of fixed postures. These circle-walking exercises can be considered a type of qigong. In the words of the late baguazhang master Li Ziming: “In baguazhang, the feet walk and turn continuously like a swimming dragon, the postures change quickly like a nimble eagle, the strokes and gestures change swiftly and the palms strike like an active ape. The result is a visually impressive form; light but not floating, deep but not stagnant, and an excellent physical culture. It is little wonder it has spread around the world and been accepted by so many.”
For more information visit Open Door's website!
Open Door Welcomes Alison Hunt

Hi my name is Alison Hunt, LCMHC, ATR and I am new to Open Door!  I recently moved myself, and my mental health practice from Middlebury to the Upper Valley and am now accepting new clients.  I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor as well as a Registered Art Therapist.  I work with individuals and families of all ages on issues including but not limited to: anxiety, depression, transitions, communication and behavioral challenges, parenting, nutritional support, spirituality, and developing healthy coping strategies for stress management.   I grew up in Vermont and did my undergraduate studies in Studio Art at Skidmore College.  I received my Masters Degree in Counseling and Art Therapy from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2010 and have been practicing in Vermont since then. I believe in a holistic approach to counseling which incorporates the mental, physical and spiritual parts of a person.  I am excited to be a new part of the Open Door and greater Upper Valley community!
Please check out my profile on the Open Door’s website To learn more about art therapy check out the American Art Therapy Association website at  
Small Group Somatic Movement Classes 

The intent of the class is to explore moving from within. Through a gentle exploration of our habits, nervous system and bio mechanics, we will gain insight and ease with our body's potential to guide us toward healing and listening deeply.
For more info contact Kate at
The Nutrition Corner
by Holly Westling

A common question I hear these days is, “How can I improve my energy?”  There are many lifestyle choices we can make that will help increase our energy.  One is to make sure we are drinking enough fluids to keep us well hydrated - especially in the summer heat.  I recommend hydrating with water or cool, herbal tea.  Limiting caffeinated beverages to only one or two a day is helpful as they contain a diuretic that does not help with hydration. After exercising when we are particularly dehydrated, some coconut water is also excellent for rehydration and replenishing electrolytes.  I like to avoid sports drinks as they often contain added chemicals that can cause inflammation and deplete nutrients.  Ideally, we would take in about half our body’s ideal weight in ounces of water.  It is helpful to keep a water bottle handy to sip and refill throughout the day to help get into a habit of good hydration. Another tip to improving energy is to make sure you are eating regularly throughout the day.  I usually recommend having something to eat every 2 to 3 hours.  This will help stabilize blood sugar and metabolism providing more consistent energy throughout the day.  What we are choosing to eat is also very important.  We want to avoid foods that will spike our blood sugar such as sweets and refined grains.  While these foods will provide us with an initial boost of energy as the sugar from them enters our system, they will always lead to a significant drop in energy afterwards.  Eating whole foods such as fruits and vegetables along with lean protein and healthy fats is an excellent way to help maintain energy throughout the day. In order to have enough energy to do everything we want to do, it is also important to make sure we are getting enough protein (not too much) each day.  It is a good idea to check with your nutritionist to see what amount of protein and what source of protein is best for you.  
Here are some examples of healthy snacks to keep on hand to ensure that you have a good source of nutrients readily available: a variety of nuts and seeds including nut butters with sliced apples, pears, or celery; hard boiled eggs, avocados or guacamole with endive, sugar snap peas and sliced cucumber; humus or healthy dips (see recipe) with vegetable sticks.

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

10 oz. organic, frozen spinach, thawed and drained
14 oz. can organic artichokes hearts, rinsed and drained 1 roasted red bell pepper, peeled and chopped
1/2 ripe avocado
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped red onion

Drain the artichokes and spinach well, then add them to the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an S-shaped blade. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and use the “pulse” button to combine into a chunky dip.
Open Door Integrative Wellness
18 North Main St.
White River Junction, VT 05001

At Open Door, we offer clients the tools to achieve vibrant health and well-being and to be self reliant and resilient. We take a fresh approach to healthcare that encourages the use of preventative practices and collaboration between client and providers. We work with clients in private sessions and group classes in our studio. We also bring our wellness services to the workplace and out to the community. Learn more>

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Host an Event at Open Door>
Open Door offers an elegant and versatile space to hold a celebration, board meeting, or workshop. Contact Miriah at for more information.

Hannah Lyons