Archive | June, 2014

Form & Function, Josh Sabraw by Robin Will

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Jason

Josh Sabraw, Personal Trainer and Strength Coach, is the proprietor at Form & Function, which just moved to new quarters near OMSI on Portland’s east side.

Form & Function involves more than joining a gym and working up a sweat a couple of times a week. Many of Sabraw’s clients have been that route, and want better results than they can achieve on their own. A surprising number are recovering from injuries, needing to get strong without hurting themselves again. Either way, they identified a need for intervention, and word-of-mouth referral has brought them to Sabraw.
Sabraw looks like a jock and sounds like a psychologist. He talks a lot about trust, and conversation moves seamlessly between the definitions of fitness, the dynamics of motivation, the importance of self-image, and the Zen of self-improvement in every possible way. (If you don’t believe it, read his blog entry on nail-biting, at—he means every possible way.)
Sabraw describes how Form & Function fits in the current marketplace of fitness providers. “Mostly, when people think about gyms and fitness, they flash back to high school,” he says, shaking his head, “remembering coaches who were jerks, and trainers without much background in training.” His first job is to banish those memories.
Today, fitness programs for grownups fall into a handful of categories.
One is a Boot Camp approach, where a program is laid down and clients are expected to follow it. “You adapt to their program; they don’t adapt to you. It’s a good way to hurt yourself,” Sabraw says. He knows that for a fact, because many folks who start on a guts-and-glory program become Form & Function clients as they recover from their injuries!
Another approach to fitness is the big room full of specialized machines. Everything has its place, he notes, while pointing out the cold comfort of interacting with machines. One-on-one work with a personal trainer is an option, he says, although very few folks require that kind of constant attention.
The happy compromise is a semi-private program like the one at Form & Function. “What works best is exactly what I’ve got here—a minimalist gym with dumbbells and ropes,” Sabraw says.
The investment is in personal attention. Form & Function offers unlimited semi-private training visits for a flat fee. Sabraw develops a personal program for each client, and the clients come in on their own schedules, getting as much help as their programs require, and all of the encouragement they need to keep going.
It apparently works for everybody. Sabraw just moved Form & Function into a new Portland location within the confines of Iron Ethos—and 100 percent of his clientele made the transition with him. That kind of loyalty suggests there’s more going on than dumbbells and ropes.
The best guess is that clients are loyal to Sabraw because he is devoted to them. He is careful about limitations, and it’s not unusual for a client to spend a year stabilizing an injury before moving on to bigger challenges. But training is about progress, and when they’re ready for a challenge, he hands them one … “a little sugar in the medicine,” he says … until momentum develops, and clients start feeling their own success.
Sabraw hands out writing exercises for downtime, when routines call for rest, and one of his questions is, “What are you happy about today?” The responses offer a look at the intangibles of training. “I notice my grip feels stronger today,” writes one client. Another client, still ambivalent about training discipline, says, “I’m proud of myself for showing up.” Yet another says, “I feel like I value myself more.”
“Self-image is huge,” reflects Sabraw, and it’s clear that they’re building more than killer abs over at Form & Function.


New location: 210 SE Madison, Portland. For more information, contact Sabraw at 503-593-0179 or visit


Robin Will is a Portland writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.

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Celestial Living Arts Monthly Forecast June 2014

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Jason

 Balancing instincts, thoughts and feelings appears as the theme for June. Mercury and Neptune, both planets of perception, take a retrograde turn this month, heightening our attunement capacity. Awareness allows our consciousness to be open and receptive while mindfulness keeps our attention focused. We can see how aligning all of our sense perceptions will bring us greater harmony. June will test us as we put thoughts into action with attention to feeling.


Mantras and musings for the month of June:

Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19): We drop like pebbles into the ponds of each other’s souls, and the orbit of our ripples continues to expand, intersecting with countless others. ~ Joan Borysenko
Taurus (Apr 20-May 20): All true things must change and only that which changes remains true. ~ C.G. Jung
Gemini (May 21-Jun 20): You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. ~ James Allen
Cancer (Jun 21-Jul 22): All learning is remembering. A good teacher causes students to remember what they already know. ~ Neale Donald Walsch
Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22): When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. ~ Lao Tzu
Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22): Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present. ~ Roger Babson
Libra (Sep 23-Oct 22): Your own heart is your guru. ~ Swami Shivanand
Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21): And remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand. ~ E.K. Brough
Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21): The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions. ~ Leonardo Da Vinci
Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19): The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. ~ R.D. Lang
Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18): What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens. ~Thaddeus Golas
Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20): The art of life lies in a constant re-adjustment to our surroundings. ~ Kakuzo Okakura


Liz Howell is available for personal astrological consultations and can be reached at

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Portland Book Signings by Special Needs Advocate

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Jason

Author and Parent Advocate for Special Needs families, Karen Kain is a beacon of light carrying an inspiring message with purpose. In her memoir, A Unique Life Fully Lived: A Personal Story of Love, Hope and Courage, Kain has written a mother’s loving tribute to her only daughter in her search to create a “full life” for Lorrin, wheelchair bound from 6 months old from a bad vaccination reaction leaving her a quadriplegic with daily seizures, non-verbal, blind and only able to blink. Yet Lorrin lived to 15 “full and unique” years.

Karen shares how she was forced to set goals and made decisions to create a life without boundaries. The book describes the unique and extraordinary life experiences that Karen created for Lorrin and the soul connection between mother and daughter that continues to this day.
Lorrin lived a full life: best friends, slumber parties, horseback riding, overnight camp, Girl Scouts, and attending the school prom resplendent in a pastel pink satin gown complete with tiara. She swam with dolphins, participated in the school play, and she and her canine companion won first place at her middle school Halloween dance contest.
In documenting their victories, challenges and sorrows and sharing the tools and skills she learned to navigate life’s journey, Karen’s story is inspiring and resonates deeply in the hearts of everyone.

Karen will be book signing at New Renaissance Bookstore, June 21 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. and at Barnes and Noble, Beaverton, June 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit Twitter: @Lorrinsworld.

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New Book Answers Questions of Life in the Angelic Realm

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Jason

The desire for information about Angelic guidance and existence has grown in recent years, sparking an entire industry geared to spiritual enlightenment, self-help and development of the mind, body and soul. Yet for many, answers have still eluded them. Enter: Marilyn Lawrence.
In her second book, On An Angel’s Wing: Real-Life Angel Encounters and Divine Lessons, Lawrence introduces the readers to life in the Angelic realm as they follow an Angel-in-training while she learns the purposes for her new life. The lessons and conversations between the Angel-in-training and her teachers are channeled messages from the Angels and Masters themselves and are recorded as delivered to the author. Along with these profound, and in some cases life changing, lessons and messages, read real-life accounts of Angelic encounters, in the words of the people that experienced them, as well as from the Angels that were involved in delivering the interventions.
Following her lifelong interest in understanding more about the body, mind and spirit, Lawrence developed her knowledge through workshops, classes, retreats and studies. Moving from the attendee to the instructor, she has immersed herself in her path of being open to Divine messages and providing enlightenment to as many people as possible through her books, classes, retreats, personal readings and healings.
Knowing that Angels are just a conversation away, Lawrence urges everyone to ask for help and give gratitude every day.

For more information and book signing events in our area, see Calendar of Events or visit

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What Is HIIT?

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Jason

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), also known as Tabata, was ranked as one of the top fitness trends of 2014. Its benefits are numerous and include improving fitness levels and cardiorespiratory capacity, decreasing fasting insulin, reducing body fat, improving resting metabolic rate and increasing overall strength and muscle size. In addition to all of these health benefits, perhaps the best thing about this workout is that it’s less than twenty minutes long! Results of a study of Japanese Olympians showed that exercising in quick bursts of intensity was more beneficial in terms of improving fitness than a whole hour of running at a moderate intensity. And since time is a major exercise barrier for many people, this is a really important discovery.
So what does a HITT class look like? Each workout involves exercises designed to increase heart rate, tone the arms, legs and core. Burpees, push-ups and lunges are examples of exercises that may be incorporated into a HIIT session. Each exercise is done for six intervals of a brief 20 second work period followed by a 10 second recovery period. It’s a pretty simple concept, but a killer workout. The workout is over before you know it and you notice changes in your body composition and fitness performance within weeks.


HIIT is offered on Mondays and Tuesdays at 5:45 p.m. at Nourish Northwest, 4418 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland. Visit for more details.

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Local Counselor Introduces New Book on Constructive Wallowing

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Jason

Local Counselor Introduces New Book on Constructive Wallowing
Portland-local Tina Gilbertson offers a practical and effective alternative to kicking yourself when you’re down. Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them will not only help you reach your potential but also heal from past hurts and feel better about yourself. It is tempting to turn away from menacing, uncomfortable feelings like anger, grief or regret and treat them like unwanted guests. By learning to accept, rather than suppress, difficult feelings, you’ll gain self-understanding for lifelong emotional health.

Three myths about feelings Gilbertson is busting:
1. Feelings go away faster if you don’t dwell on them. (Actually they just get stuffed until later and who knows when or how they will come out!)
2. You can control your feelings by choosing your thoughts. (If you’re living on planet Vulcan!)
3. Anger is a toxic emotion. (Emotions do not cause trouble—it’s what we do with them that does!)
“The only pain that can potentially last forever is the painful struggle not to feel your real emotions,” writes Gilbertson. She also practices individual and career counseling and teaches classes in Portland.
See for yourself the benefits of an “emotional detox” during Gilbertson’s book tour, with stops in Portland at St. Johns Booksellers on June 11 at 7:30 p.m. and at New Renaissance Bookshop on June 13 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

St. Johns Booksellers, 8622 N. Lombard St, Portland.; New Renaissance Bookshop, 1338 NW 23rd Ave., Portland. For more information and class schedule, visit

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Upcoming Events

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