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F^M


 

"Words are easy, like the wind; 

friend[ly mountain]s are hard to find." 

- Shakespeare

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F^M


 

"Words are easy, like the wind; 

friend[ly mountain]s are hard to find." 

- Shakespeare

Friendly Mountain LLC provides a variety of body and energy wellness services:

Owned and operated by Michael Dennis, a Yoga Alliance-certified teacher and member of the International Association of Reiki Professionals

Friendly Mountain typically services clients across the NC Triangle, NC Triad, and Greater Charlotte metropolitan areas--typically frequenting the Triad and Charlotte twice a month.

However, through Spring 2017, Michael has temporary returned to their former life of politics, moved to Brooklyn, and is working for the presidential campaign & campaign-to-party transition efforts of Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein.

Michael is accepting a couple clients a week in New York City--for Thai Yoga Relaxation, yoga, Reiki, or meditation guidance. During his time in the Northeast is frequenting visiting family in the Baltimore, MD & Harrisburg, PA areas and serving clients there as well. 

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Foundations


"Sometimes me think, what is friend[ly mountain]?"

-Cookie Monster

Foundations


"Sometimes me think, what is friend[ly mountain]?"

-Cookie Monster

Photographer: Eilee Fahnstock

Friendly Mountain, noun

1. Something or someone both foundational and challenging; often has a quality or demeanor of being present with you. 

2. Someone or something that assists in navigating alongside of you; often helps with bridging between what's right here and what's on the horizon.

Historical use of "friendly mountain" in English seems to have risen in the 19th century with romanticism--including several instances in poem, prose, and cultural analysis through the 1800s lasting into the early 1900s. Some modern uses are found in the works of a Bing Crosby yodeling song and the poetic works of contemplative monk Thomas Merton.

Michael especially strives to evoke three aspects of "friendly mountain:"

SAFETY

Michael is committed to holding and nurturing space that is friendly and affirming to all people, their bodies, and their authentic expressions-- including persons of color,  different abilities and body types, varying ages and backgrounds, and of LGBTQIA+ identities. You should have a yoga and restoration space where you are comfortable and empowered to explore and make the choices best for you. Michael identifies as gender-queer, as a gay, male-bodied person, and as someone still working on that beautiful alignment of courage and vulnerability.

COMMUNITY

For all classes and sessions, Michael holds an intention of well-being for community.  In addition to the many people and pets in our lives, community also includes who we have been, who we are, and who we will be. It entails caring for all aspects of our present experience-- perceptions, thoughts, and feelings. Even our different bodily systems need to function well together in a sort of community. Michael believes a broad awareness of all the people, things, and aspects of ourselves that we are in relation with allows holistic growth with ourselves and communally. 

ADVENTURE

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered," says theologian and mystery-writer G.K. Chesterton. In 2017, we are often stuck looking at the world with "inconvenience" glasses-- unable even to pause to consider other attitudes. This limits us from finding fresh tools of understanding. Michael embraces a mindset of turning towards adventure; finding new ways of exploration contributes to overall mental, emotional, and physical health. Frankly, it's a lot more fun as well. 

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My Journey


With deepest gratitude to my teachers and friends.


"Oh, I get by with a little help from my friend[ly mountain]s"

- The Beatles

My Journey


With deepest gratitude to my teachers and friends.


"Oh, I get by with a little help from my friend[ly mountain]s"

- The Beatles

REIKI

When I was young, I would lie in bed at night and think "What the fuck is happening?" Yes, I was very proficient in profanity back then. It felt like my hands and feet were going to burst with energy. Waves would go up and down my spine. It was both wonderous, and as a young child, totally frightening.

Now I'm 29 and have gone through all three levels of Reiki training with Diana Henderson as well as other energy work trainings. It wasn't until the third level, where the energy flows the quickest, that I felt confident that this was the same energy I felt as a child.

Between those two points, I studied philosophy and religious studies and did a lot of doubting. I was still skeptical even as I took the Level 3 Reiki class. 

Yet my friends, and then my clients, keep telling me that it helps: they've never felt so relaxed; their aches went away; they felt all warm or cold or tingly.  I like helping people, so I keep doing it and continually trying to understand it better.

Even in the 21st century, I certainly believe that there are more things in the world we don't understand than things that we do.

 

YOGA:

I grew up doing Richard Simmons's Sweatin' to the Oldies in the living room. I was also a gymnast and cheerleader, so it was not surprising that I started going to yoga in 2006 while studying in Montreal.

2009 was the year I truly became a yogi and, in retrospect, moved towards becoming a teacher. I had a cliché "yoga tears" moment: My boyfriend had just broken up with me, and a song came on that was too much. My teacher, Shani Elyse, simply came over and started doing the sequence right beside me.  By helping to hold that space for me, I was able to keep flowing. It was radically simple and caring, and it opened the door for me to hold yogic space for others so they can flow courageously into new moments, in new ways.

My teacher training, led by Sage Rountree (the nation's expert in yoga for athletes), took the approach of exposing us to a variety of styles while giving us the tools to determine our own paths. It's a down-to-earth mentality that does not shy away the complexities and disagreements of this ever-expanding thing called "yoga." I continue to ground myself in this approach: drawing from many styles while providing my students tools to make sound judgments about their own bodies, expression, and practice.