Thursday, February 23, 2023

Nia, Pilates, Movement with MaryLee

 Movement Classes


 Movement Class throughout the Year

MaryLee reaching out

Moving of all sorts whether it's dancing, walking, biking, strolling--I love it all.  And two of my favorite movement practices, Nia and Pilates, I teach throughout the Winona Community.  The photo above was taken at the Winona Friendship Center where I've been teaching Nia for over 10 years.

Classic Nia

Nia is a class, practice and lifestyle that bring awareness to the body, mindfulness to the spirit, and connection to joy in the whole being.  Classes are 40 – 60 minutes and often done bare foot.  (If a person has foot tenderness, wearing soft shoes works well.)  Nia is for everybody at any age, fitness level, size, shape and ability.   

In Nia class, we begin with warming up the body. All types of music are found in Nia from around the world.  There’s a get moving part of the class and a cooling down at the end where everyone goes down to the floor to move and stretch.  We move the whole body in Nia with 52 moves.  The three main parts of Nia are the dance arts, martial arts and healing arts.  The simple moves are repeated to engage the body and the mind in the movement.  One of the main principles in Nia is to feel good. Wear clothing that’s easy to move in with layers to add or subtract as you warm up and cool down.

Nia Moving to Heal

Moving to Heal Nia is a gentler version of classic Nia.  Similar principles of sensing the body and moving in each person’s individual way are taught with fun music from around the world.  We begin class with sensing how the body feels—checking in if there is sensation of pain in a part of the body and then giving it a number as we walk around the room in warming up.  We move either on our feet or sitting in a chair depending on each movers need. Nia is based on the design of the body and can be modified to accommodate physical disabilities and support self-healing for most injuries and illnesses. At the end of class, we assess again our sensation in the body and then stretch and move into the rest of the day.  The intention is that everyone feels better after doing Nia. 

Through movement we find health. Debbi Rosas Co founder of the Nia Technique

Nia classes in Winona with MaryLee

Classes are year round.

Winona Friendship Center, 251 Main St, Winona, Minnesota, 

507 454-5212

Mondays Moving to Heal 9:15 am – 9:55 am

                Classic Nia        10:15 am – 11:15 am

Tuesdays Classic Nia        11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Thursdays Classic Nia      4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Iron Bluff Fitness, Winona Mall, 1213 Gilmore Ave, Winona, MN 55987, 

 (507) 454-7500

Mondays Classic Nia  or Pilates 8:00 am – 8: 45 am

All abilities are welcome to join class. 

Call 507 429-8357 to check the current class. 



Come Join us!  Your body will say, "Yes!"


 MaryLee Eischen is a trained and licensed Brown-belt Nia,

Nia Moving to Heal, and Pilates instructor.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Palm Book--a Little Book to Hold in Your Hands


This little palm book is made with a brown grocery bag, acrylic paint, posca pens--also acrylic, many many quotes to uplift the spirit.  It measures approximately 3.5" X 3".  All the pages are torn and the nature of it is very organic--not exact or precise--and lovely in it's own way.

I've been letting go of some things--mostly thoughts--that don't serve me in positive ways.  This first poem is by Nakela Homer

Things to be grateful for

What left

What stayed

What's on it's way.

Nakela Homer

The next poem is by Maya Angelou

We need joy

as we need air

We need love 

as we need water

We need each other

as we need the earth

we share

Maya Angelou

Back cover

Most of my art has been created with fabric. You may see my art in the Gallery of Breeze on my Skin.  Playing with paints and repurposed materials is very satisfying.  This little palm book was created with the intention to be loving to myself and to keep myself strong by being good to myself.

Robin McClendon is the artist who taught me this technique at a Woman Unleashed Online Solstice Retreat 2022.




Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Winter Walking and Hiking


The Ice Park in Winona is quite a beautiful thing to see!

Women and men climb these ice waterfalls using pick axes and special footwear with spikes and harnesses and ropes.  It is quite a thing to watch.  The fellow that heads it up tells me that I could do it--it's just like Yoga, he says.  I think I'll keep my Yoga on the earth not climbing a sheet of ice--though it looks amazing!

Last weekend when I went up to see it, they had turned off the water and he said the the falls were the largest that they have been this season.

Close up frozen vegetation.

Follow the signs--easy path to the ice park.

And if we hike to the top of the ice park here are some views:

This is snowy Sugarloaf.  That can be hiked to as well!

This picture is a little clearer--but the day was over cast. Still great to get out and explore and find wonder.













Dawn and MaryLee, adventure buddies






Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Visioning a Fresh 2023

 Vision Boards are a way to play and create some new thoughts to bring into fruition for a new year.  I've created these boards alone and with groups of friends.  And last year I began leading groups of people to create new visions for a fresh year in a new way.  It is relaxing and fun. I have my first workshop on Vision Board 2023 this Sunday, January 8th, Winona Arts Center, 2-4 pm. More details under images.


This is the beginning of some images and words that I've put together for 2023.

I did some quiet reflection time and writing to gather the images.  Lots and lots of gathering to just have fun with colors and words and images that give me a "sparkle."


This cluster of images makes me smile every time.  This mama bird with her little striped baby in her feathers. "Live YOUR best life." A group of friends, some green succulents, and a little red striped tent--artwork by Cindy Wunsch.

This set of images also is fun--in the forefront is a painter with her back to us who looks like she's staring at some green and two stripes of fabric.  I sewed these together from the last baby quilt I made.  More about that later.  A nautilus, and the words, "Strength and toning--tone your body, calm your mind."  Very good for me to remember.

Some images got switched around.  Getting closer to what I want to work in my life.  It's all a journey--I need to be patient. And moving one step in front of the other. "Go Boldly," a yoga image, old fashioned bicycle and woman winner, and some yummy food.

Here are the details of two upcoming Vision Board 2023 coming up this month.  One this Sunday, 1/8, 2-4 pm and the second Creating a Vision Board 2023 through Community Education on Wednesday, January 18, 6:15 pm - 8:15 pm at the Winona Senior High Art Room 158. Click on the link in the title Creating a Vision Board 2023 for the January 18th.

Details for the Sunday, 1/8, 2-4 pm workshop:

Winona Arts Center, 228 East 5th Street, Winona

Sunday, January 8, 2023


In this workshop we will create a collage of our hopes and dreams for this year of 2023.  We’ll begin the workshop with a guided visualization to bring us into relaxation, connect us with our body and stir our imaginations into making.  We’ll have the opportunity to create our own images and designs with paper and with stitching. Images, words and phrases will be available to use for our creating.  The instructor will bring examples and provide a large board to add images along with other materials to guide the making for a fun afternoon of creating our visions for 2023.

Cost: $46.00

Participants are welcome to bring magazines, cards, photos, fabric, newspapers, or other repurposed materials and a favorite scissors.  The instructor will bring all additional materials.

For additional information and to register:


 Come play, relax and create with us!  Everyone welcome.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Mississippi Musing


This art quilt started with the inspiration of a little kit called Minnesota by MAD for Wool.  I changed a couple of things--added some borders and had fun playing with lovely things about Minnesota.  My quilt's finished size is 21.5" x 32". I added fabric of morning glory's with hummingbirds  to the top and bottom borders.









This close up for Minnesota has stitching on it in the shape of a question mark that represents the Mississippi River that starts in Itaska winds to Minneapolis and down the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin and through Winona.

Here are some of the details that I love:

"Sky Blue Waters" is a Minnesota saying.  I painted the sky in the quilt with acrylic paints.

On the left border, "Land of 10,000 Lakes" is one saying about all of the beautiful water in Minnesota.

And on the right border is embroidered "North Star State."

The bottom border reads "All Creatures Growing Harmony," it's a hope for all creatures large and small in this land and on this Earth to live in harmony.

On the back I added a hanging devise to easily hang in on the wall with a small nail.  On the left is a pocket.

Here's close up of the pocket.  In the pocket is a poem, titled the same of the quilt.

Minnesota Musings

Minnesota musings

an art quilt for you

of dreams,

hopes, nature,

hiking, good conversation,

friendship, books, coffee, love

a star marks Winona

a loon, Minnesota’s state bird,

bees, butterflies, nesting birds

dreams for tomorrow

the embroidered borders give voice

Minnesota’s glory

Sky Blue Waters

10,000 Lakes

North Star State

All Creatures Growing Harmony

to give hope, love, peace to you, dear friend.

MaryLee Eischen 2022 


I stitched on some small buttons.













I'm stitching on the blue bird of happiness on her nest.


In the circle above Sugarloaf reads 'joy'.


A star marks Winona, the bird swimming is our state bird, the loon. And the clock above the loon represents that there is always time to hike--"no bad weather, just bad gear." That's what we say to each other all the time, and laugh.

If you'd like to make a Minnesota quilt, get in touch with the creators.  Find them on facebook  MAD for Wool.

You can also get in touch with them via email:







Close up for the machine drawing around the hummingbird.













I signed it. 

And it got delivered to the happy friend on Christmas morning.


Dawn and Billy


Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner