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Last Saturday, National Integrative Wellness and Resource Centerheld a jewelry making workshop for individuals of all ages. Everyone who joined us had the chance to relax, eat pizza, make new friends, work on their hand eye coordination, and create some beautiful pieces of jewelry.

At the workshop, there were crystals and natural stone beads provided to create unique pieces of jewelry. It was amazing to see everyone having fun while focusing on the pieces they were making. We hope everyone had a great time at our workshop!

Shown above are some moments shared with all the wonderful people at Saturday’s jewelry making workshop.

2017 was a successful and positive year here at National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center. Through all of our events and activities this year, our goal has stayed the same – to enrich the lives of children and youth with special needs.

National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center, based in Alexandria, VA , is a nonprofit organization offering programs aimed at instructing special needs individuals in order to empower them and unlock their unique skills and potential.

This summer, National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center hosted multiple events and activities.

To kick off the summer season, we hosted a strawberry picking day with a pot luck meal. We came together and car pooled to Hollins Farm where we picked strawberries and had a picnic.

In June of 2017, we held our big talent show event. Hidden Talents Shine up was a talent show put on by individuals with special needs. There were 18 performers and over 200 people that came to support the show. All of the participants impressed the audience with their amazing performances and proved that everyone has a talent inside. There were piano players, singers, and dancers who all worked hard
while also having fun and feeling comfortable in their skin.

Our next adventure this summer was a trip to the Shenandoah Waterfall. We came together and hiked to the waterfall at Shenandoah National Park. At the top of the mountain, we learned breathing techniques to find our inner peace. It was a great day to take memorable pictures, make new friends, and relax/meditate.

In July, National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center hosted a “zoofari adventure.” A group of us headed to Roer’s Zoofari on July 1 st where we got to pet the animals, make new friends, and celebrate all June birthdays with pizza. It was amazing to see the smiles and joy on the children’s faces that joined.

Throughout the summer, National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center offered multiple classes and activities – hula hoop anddancing, soap making, necklace making, planting, drumming, lavender picking, and more!

This fall, National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center gained a new program called “Adapted Sunshine Yoga andMindfulness.” The sessions were adapted for students with special needs and were taught by Your Sunshine’s president and co-founder, Anastasia Martynova. As a certified yoga instructor, Martynova is committed to guiding students through experiencing the deep meaning behind yoga practices. The adapted yoga and mindfulness sessions includes a sequence of yoga poses (all of which modifications are offered for), breathing techniques, positive self-talk therapy, and mindful relaxation techniques. The aim of these techniques is for all students to achieve the benefits, such as mind-body alignment and improved stamina and balance, that these practices cultivate.

2017 was a busy but successful year for National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center. As we are growing and evolving, we look forward to the new year to show the community all of the other activities and gifts we have to offer. Thanks to everyone who joined us to make this year as special as it was!

On January 6, National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center hosted a successful community event – the Zumba GoGo in Falls Church, Virginia. Even with the low temperature of 15 degrees, we had an amazing turn out of over 400 people! We danced, ate, caught up with old friends, made new friends, and most importantly… had fun! The goal of this event was to promote the importance of being active and healthy while having fun. At the event, there was group Zumba, which is an aerobic workout that includes dancing and moving to music. (Zumba feels more like a dance party than a workout.)

We think dance is important because it is a way to get exercise, boost your immune system, and enhance your mood. When we dance, our bodies release endorphins which produce a soothing and calming effect that can help relieve stress and anxiety. The community’s health and wellness is very important to us which is why we hold events like the Zumba GoGo. We truly want to bring joy to our community while being active and meeting new people. Also at the event, we had line dancing, arts and crafts, food, a live DJ, and games with prizes! It was truly a success and that is because of our community’s involvement.

From here at National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center, we would like to give a special thanks to all of our volunteers, board members, sponsors, and instructors for making the incredible event happen. Thank you to everyone who joined us for showing support on raising awareness about health and wellness with no judgment. I hope everyone had as much fun dancing and getting active as we did. We feel proud to be a part of this loving community! Keep checking the website for more upcoming events.

On January 6, National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center hosted a successful community event – the Zumba GoGo in Falls Church, Virginia. Even with the low temperature of 15 degrees, we had an amazing turn out of over 400 people! We danced, ate, caught up with old friends, made new friends, and most importantly… had fun! The goal of this event was to promote the importance of being active and healthy while having fun. At the event, there was group Zumba, which is an aerobic workout that includes dancing and moving to music. (Zumba feels more like a dance party than a workout.)

We think dance is important because it is a way to get exercise, boost your immune system, and enhance your mood. When we dance, our bodies release endorphins which produce a soothing and calming effect that can help relieve stress and anxiety. The community’s health and wellness is very important to us which is why we hold events like the Zumba GoGo. We truly want to bring joy to our community while being active and meeting new people. Also at the event, we had line dancing, arts and crafts, food, a live DJ, and games with prizes! It was truly a success and that is because of our community’s involvement.

From here at National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center, we would like to give a special thanks to all of our volunteers, board members, sponsors, and instructors for making the incredible event happen. Thank you to everyone who joined us for showing support on raising awareness about health and wellness with no judgment. I hope everyone had as much fun dancing and getting active as we did. We feel proud to be a part of this loving community! Keep checking the website for more upcoming events.

When I was young and growing up with disabilities, I wanted to be treated the same as everyone else. I felt like people perceived me as a weak, helpless and misfortunate person. Because of this, I felt discouraged, downsized and sad but I always kept these feelings to myself. I tried not to engage in any conversations, I avoided crowded places, and I hid my sadness by smiling at everyone I came across. When I would get home, that big smile turned into deep sadness and tears. I had to deal with classmates constantly saying inappropriate and hurtful comments and I started to feel scared and unsafe growing up in a society that judges and disrespects others for being different.

As I was growing up, I couldn’t participate in certain sports because I was different and they thought that I was not good enough. They never even took the time to give me a chance. My early childhood and teenage years left a big scar on my heart and truly changed my perception about life. It had a huge impact on my personality, character, and even affected my nervous system causing stress and depression. Sometimes, I would think about how I didn’t want to live in such a mean and cold world. I completely lost my self-esteem and motivation to explore the world because everywhere I went, people stared at me or called me names. I wanted to run away and be invisible so no one could see me.

Through all of this, life situations taught me to be strong and stand up for myself. Eventually I became tired of the sorrow and sadness; I wanted to be happy like everyone else seemed to be. Eventually, I decided to be a hero of my own life and not a victim. I accepted myself and others, and every day I practiced gratitude in every moment of my life. I went above and beyond by participating in competitive sports, dance, yoga, and got accepted into the George Washington University at the age of 16 with two majors and a minor. Now I am the founder and President of National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center. The goal of this organization is to help improve the lives of others, especially children and youth with special needs. I dedicated my heart to pursue my dreams and passion despite all my past experiences. I was inspired to create this charitable organization devoted to the dreams of children, youth and adults with special needs through unfolding their talents, creativity, gifts, and amazing abilities so that they can grow.

The goal of the organization is to educate people about disabilities, create positive attitudes at a young age, facilitate more interaction between children with and without disabilities, create opportunities for disabled people, and offer all possible tools for individuals with special needs to be successful and enjoy life. I want to encourage disabled people to find and express their talents. I believe that every person was born with unique gifts. I have tried to create a nourishing and safe environment for others to shine and open up. I want National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center to be a dreamland for all individuals to discover their dreams, gifts, and talents.

Here are some examples of programs we have offered:

The shine up dance and movement program- this program was focused on social engagement, sharing, relationship forming, and improvement of motor ability. Children showed progress in self-awareness, engagement with others, coping skills, and movement improvement.
Sunshine yoga and mindfulness- These sessions included a sequence of yoga poses, breathing techniques, positive self-therapy, and mindful relaxation techniques designed to inspire mind and body alignment while increasing stamina and balance.
A jewelry-making class
A talent show (our second one is coming up in May)
Field trips to a beautiful waterfall, the zoo, movie theater, and hikes in the mountains
A drumming class
Birthday celebration packages
We offer monthly meetings for children, youth, and adults with special needs.
We offer these and more camps and programs but overall, our goal is to develop heart-centered programs that are practical and designed to awaken an individual’s mind, and support the entire developmental process. Our teaching approach is to always create a criticism-free environment that allows everyone to express themselves while inspiring their imagination and resourcefulness. We are constantly looking out for the interests, talents, and gifts of every person. It cannot be overstated: based on our philosophy, each and every individual is truly unique—a frontier of the mind and heart that deserves dedicated care and education.

During one of National Integrative Wellness and Resource Center’s kindergarten movement classes, Gene Martynova, who is a sound therapist, taught students about different types of sound and crystal bowls. Gene asked students if they know what it means to take a sound bath and if they had ever experienced it. Kids had many unique answers but all of them had sparked imaginations as to what it could possibly mean starting from music to cleansing, washing, and sleeping. Gene explained that singing bowls could be made of either precious metals or crystals and she demonstrated different bowls to students. Specifically, she focused on the Rose Quartz Singing Bowl. The rose quartz crystal represents self-love, self-acceptance, and love for others. First, all students passed around a breathing heart by holding a special heart, deeply inhaling, and exhaling and then sharing with the entire class who they love the most. Gene was so amazed to hear all answers like family, teachers, schools, friend, all planets, universe, and the entire galaxy and infinity.

By the end of the class, all children demonstrated immense interest to learn and they developed a deep connection to the Rose Quartz Singing bowl that they all played and listened to its special sound. They explored how to Use Sound and vibrational tools for their emotional wellbeing. The singing bowl is a highly effective tool to help children with focusing, relaxation, and concentration.

Based on Gene’s immense experience working with families, children, and individuals with special needs, she has witnessed the benefits of singing crystal bowls, such as relaxation, stress relief, reduction of anxiety, feelings of well-being and a greater sense of self-awareness.

Gemstones and crystals are a natural way to monitor our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Children in particular have a profound connection with these natural crystals and gemstones and their healing properties, and these gemstones and crystals have been used in various cultures from China to India for thousands of years for their medicinal and healing properties. Each stone is known for it’s own unique healing property, and their various shapes, colors and textures all hold special meanings and powers that allow the gemstone or crystal to do their work.

SHARE YOUR STORY OF HOW NATIONAL INTEGRATIVE WELLNESS AND RESOURCE CENTER HAS CHANGED YOUR LIFE!