It comes as no surprise that a great many of the resolutions being considered, committed to and, in some cases, just as quickly forgotten, this time of year are health related.
But if goals like “lose 20 pounds” or “work out more” ring hollow, consider making a single step in a positive direction rather than a giant, ill-prepared leap. To get you started, here are a few easy, affordable workshops that, in just an hour or two in most cases, could inform your outlook going forward and lead to more positive changes down the road.
Meditation for Relaxation Workshop
Curious about meditation — a practice for discharging the stress that builds up in your life? Test drive the practice in this workshop, led by Kadam Michelle Gauthier, teacher at the nonprofit Clear Light Buddhist Center in Phoenix. She introduces meditation techniques in a class based on readily available “Meditation for Relaxation” audio CDs, which you can use to guide your own meditation at home. Gauthier will explain why meditation is beneficial and guide a meditation experience for participants. DETAILS >> 7 p.m. Jan. 7. Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe. Free. (480) 730-0205 or www.changinghands.com.
Eight-week Meditation Class
Prefer to dive right in? Mesa’s Arizona International Buddhist Meditation Centre kicks off an eight-week course in meditation Jan. 14. The 4-year-old non-sectarian facility, housed in a suburban ranch home and led by Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist monk Bhante Ananda Siyabalagoda, offers instruction in meditation, regularly scheduled talks and programs by visiting monks. The class focuses on teaching pupils about meditation and practicing it, so, says Siyabalagoda, you can continue to do it on your own at home, or join the center’s weekly Wednesday-night meditation sessions. DETAILS >> Saturdays, beginning Jan. 14. Arizona International Buddhist Meditation Centre, 432 S. Temple Street, Mesa. A $50 donation is requested to help cover the cost of books and materials. (480) 626-4153 or www.meditationforyou.org.
Healthy Eating Tour & Tips
Learn the basics of eating a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods and get tips on how to transition to better eating at this session inside a grocery store. If you really get into it, a Jan. 25 “Juicing 101” class covers selecting and storing fresh produce and turning it into drinkable liquid. DETAILS >> 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11. Whole Foods Market, 2955 W. Ray Road, Chandler. Free, but register in advance by calling (480) 821-9447 or emailing email@example.com.
Get Healthy after the Holidays 60+ Fitness Hike
Avoid the New Year’s resolution crowd at the gym with this 3-mile hike along Pass Mountain Trail. It includes a slight gain in elevation and a focus on elevating heart rates and working muscle groups. Bring water and closed-toe shoes. DETAILS >> 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6. Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa. $6 per vehicle park entry fee. (480) 984-0032 or www.maricopa.gov/parks/usery.
“Get Healthy” herb seminar
Herbalist Kathleen Gould gives an introduction to herbs and their healing properties at this seminar that covers herbal treatments for allergies, fibromyalgia, menopause, digestive issues, stress and other common maladies. Her aim is to take the mystery out of using herbs and teach you how to incorporate them into your busy life. DETAILS >> 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 26, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 29 and 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 7. Southwest Herb Shop & Gathering Place, 148 N. Center St., Mesa. Free, but register at (480) 694-9931 or www.swherb.com.
ChiWalking and ChiRunning
Lisa Pozzoni, owner of Easy Fitness Solutions, teaches how to use the principles of T’ai Chi — namely, working with core muscles, body alignment and body/mind integration — to practice an injury-free, energy efficient form of walking or running. DETAILS >> 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 11. REI, 1405 W. Southern Ave., Tempe. Free, but space is limited and you must register in advance. (480) 967-5494 or www.rei.com/stores/25. See a schedule of additional sessions at www.easyfitnesssolutions.com/freeclinic.html.