HEALTH

Annual tree lighting ceremony and auction.

Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Requesting basket donations for auction.

Westford Commons and United Church of Westford. 878-4587.

Holiday Jubilee Concert.

Dec. 11 from 7-8:30 p.m. Free.

Essex High School. 879-7121.

Holiday Bonfire.

Dec. 12 from 7-8 p.m.

Bring a non-perishable food item for the food pantry.

Maple Street Park (behind the tennis courts), Essex Junction.

VERY MERRY THEATRE PRODUCTION

“The Marvelous Land of Oz.”

Dec. 18 from 6-8 p.m. Free.

Potluck dinner preceding.

Westford Elementary School gym. 878-5932.

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What Warrior II does for you

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By Lillian Kolbenson
For The Essex Reporter

Warrior II BW 1_cas WEBStill an RN after 44 years, Colchester resident Betty Molnar has also taken up yoga. After earning a degree in education from St. Michael’s College, Molnar attended Holy Cross School of Nursing in Notre Dame, Ind., where she became a Registered Nurse.

Molnar is a recreational runner and says she “isn’t flexible by nature,” but wanted to improve her running performance through yoga. After more than seven years of practicing, she finds that yoga works her whole body and is meditative.

“(Yoga) is unifying for your whole body and it’s good for kinesthetic people who want to meditate,” she said.

She enrolled in a yoga instructor class in New Hampshire with Peggy Cappy, the creator of the PBS “Yoga for the Rest of Us DVD series and the founder of Gentle Stretch Yoga – whose maxim is: “Yoga for the rest of us.” Molnar likes to apply this saying to not only to her own practice, but also to the yoga classes she teaches.

She began teaching a drop-in yoga class on Tuesday afternoons at Burnham Library four years ago.

Different yoga poses help to reduce pain on different organs, explained Molnar during a phone interview in November, and pose repetition helps to increase awareness of the body. She continued on to explain the specific effects of Warrior II.

  • Head and neck. In the pose, your neck is aligned with your spine while you rotate your head to look over your outstretched arms. During the pose all concentration is on bringing the body into alignment. In yoga, alignment comes before flexibility.
  • Arms. When you are holding your arms out, you’re building the muscles in both your shoulders and arms. Unlike the first warrior pose, this one offers external rotation and will further build those muscles.
  • Core. During the bodies stability while in the pose, the girdle pelvic muscles are being strengthened and are helping to reduce the stress placed on abdominal organs.
  • Legs. In this pose, one of your legs is lunged forward and the other is extending behind you. Since holding this position is strenuous and requires balance, the quadriceps and hamstrings are strongly used.
  • Ankles and knees. Warrior II requires your body to rotate in different directions in order to give both legs equal exercise; this movement works on both the ankles and knees too.

 

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Vermont Health Connect kicks off Open Enrollment

Vermont Health Connect, Vermont’s health insurance marketplace, kicked off the Open Enrollment period at 5 a.m. on Nov. 15.  The marketplace allows Vermonters to compare options, see if they qualify for free or reduced-cost health plans, and enroll in the plans that meet their needs and budget. Open Enrollment, a three-month period that began Nov. 15, is the time when Vermonters can change health plans – if they want to.

“If you are currently a Vermont Health Connect customer and are happy with your current plan, you don’t have to do anything,” said Lawrence Miller, Chief of Health Care Reform. “If you do not report a change, your plan will automatically renew. If you later decide to change it, you have until Feb. 15 to do so.”

If customers have a change to report – such as a change in income, job or desired health plan – they can visit VermontHealthConnect.gov and click on the Report a Change button. They can then fill out a simple Change Report Form, print, and mail it in. All Vermont Health Connect customers also received this form in the mail.

Also, starting Nov. 15, new customers can sign up for 2015 health insurance plans online through VermontHealthConnect.gov, by calling the Customer Support Center toll-free at 1-855-899-9600, or in-person with the help of a local Assister.

Vermonters who don’t have insurance because they are concerned by the cost are encouraged to try out the website’s Subsidy Estimator. Most current Vermont Health Connect customers have qualified for financial help to lower their monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

The deadline is Dec. 15, 2014 for coverage that starts on Jan. 1, 2015. Vermonters who sign up by Jan. 15 will have a start date or Feb. 1, and those who sign up by Feb. 15 will have a start date of March 1.

Vermont Health Connect’s call center is open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-855-899-9600 (toll-free).