Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Tonight I went to heated vinyasa at The Funky Om. The theme of our class was "You are not your mind. You are not your body. You are the Divine." Throughout the class, I tried my best to really understand this idea. And I got it. But it wasn't until I got in my car to drive home that it really permeated my mind.

As a trainer, I find that the majority of my clients seek professional help from me for one common reason. A reason that is so sad. So unfortunate. So normal. Because they hate their bodies.

Whether it's a specific part of their body or everything in general, it's heartbreaking. I have had clients request to face away from the mirror during our sessions because the mere sight of themselves makes them upset. The sad truth is that nearly everybody can look at themselves in a mirror and point out something they wish they could change. Myself included. But not anymore.

It's time that we start appreciating our bodies for what they really are. We are not our bodies. Our bodies are the amazing temples in which our divine selves and our minds reside. Do you ever stop and think about all of the hard work your body does just for you? How your heart automatically beats to keep you alive? How you unconsciously breathe to let air in and out? How if you fall and scrape your knee, your body naturally heals itself? What about how your body silently produces white blood cells to fight off infections? Or how the muscles around your hair follicles contract when you're cold to create goosebumps in hopes of keeping you warm? It's time that we start noticing what's really important. Did you wake up today? Appreciate that rather than dwell on the pimple that developed overnight (most likely as a response to stress or greasy food, both of which harm the body).

I recently read somewhere that you should treat your body as if it is a baby. Fuel it with nutritious food. Hydrate it often. Ensure it gets enough sleep. Make sure it's happy. Teach it things. Challenge its strength gently and appropriately. Most importantly, love it unconditionally.Your body is your baby. It can't talk. It can only give you clues as to what it wants. What it needs. Notice those clues. Listen to those clues. Your body needs you, but you need it even more.

So next time you find yourself looking in the mirror and pointing out your flaws. Take a step back. Change those negative thoughts to positive ones. Every body, every mind, and every divine self is beautiful and deserves to be recognized as such. Next time you notice yourself breaking out, think about your body trying to communicate to you that it can't handle the amount of stress you're putting on it. Next time you have a stomach ache, think about your body trying to communicate that it doesn't agree with what you fed it (or the amount you fed it). Open your eyes. Open your heart. Love and appreciate your body for what it is and how much it does for you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


I've been in this whole gym-scene for quite some time now. I've taught many classes -- hip hop, sculpt, cardio, spin, hiit, circuit, triple challenge, & muscleworks -- and I've taken even more. There is a clear distinction between a successful class and a class that everyone can't wait to get out of. Although each instructor is different, there are a few things that I know we wish you knew.

Are you having fun? Do you want to be here with me? Am I doing a good job at keeping this class positive? These are questions that we all think, and when we can't read your facial expressions, we don't know what (if anything) to do differently. Don't just stare blankly ahead! Smile at me. Flail your arms. Woo for me. Count with me.  Energy is contagious, and showing me that getting out of bed at 7 a.m. was worth it makes me work even harder. 

A lot of people tip-toe into class and stand in the back of the room, scared to approach me as if I'm some kind of alien. I'm not. I'm just the instructor. I'm here to lead you through an effective workout and make you laugh by muttering some fitness puns into my mic. I want to learn your name. I want you to stand up front. I want you to sing along to the music with me. Group fitness classes flourish when everyone in the room is united and working together. Let's all be friends.

I can't stress this enough. The majority of classes that I teach are high intensity and require the body to work extra hard. After pushing your muscles to their limits, you need to cool down properly. This helps your body recover and reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) that we all love to hate. I understand that some people have obligations that may make them cut out of class early, and I get that, but I also know that some people think that as soon as we put the weights down, class is over. Give your body that extra 5 minutes to decompress. Focus on your breathing and feel your muscles stretch. You deserve it. 

Did you like the music I used? Was the workout too easy for you? Do you want to focus on any particular part of your body next week? Tell me. The classes I teach are for you. They are your classes. I love when my clients come up to me after class is over and give me suggestions for next time. Don't be afraid to give criticism (but please do so politely); it only helps me do my job better. 

Did you like my class? Bring your friend next time! Many gyms offer free guest passes so your friends and family can try out the various classes. The more people working out together, the merrier. A full room of sweaty people is one of the most satisfying things to be a part of. 

Don't be afraid to get loud in class. Smile. Say hi. Make friends. Bring friends. Give feedback. Stretch. You are doing so much good to your body by attending a group fitness class, why not make the most out of it?

Interested in taking one of my classes? Shoot me an email for my schedule! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


If there's one thing I've learned in my three years of fitness instructing, it's that anything can happen. And everything will. 
I forgot my sneakers. I forgot my water. I forgot my headband. I forgot my music. My hair tie broke.  My pants were inside-out. My microphone ran out of batteries. My microphone got sweat-logged. My microphone wasn't compatible with the gym's speaker system. My workout plan wasn't intense enough for my class. My workout plan was too intense for my class. Sweat got in my eyes. I lost my voice. I ran out of energy. And much, much more.

The truth is, when it comes to teaching fitness classes, everything doesn't always go as you planned. That's life. You just have to go with the flow, and be as prepared as you can be.My advice for anyone thinking of becoming a fitness instructor is simple. Preparation. Is. Key. What's in my gym bag?

1. Electronics.

What's a fitness class without music? I always make sure to bring my iPod, and a backup iPod, with prepared playlists that are specific to my classes. I switch up my playlists every month or so to keep my classes up-to-date with the hottest hits. My microphone headset and base come next. I always make sure to have a back-up pair of batteries, screaming to a class of 20 is no fun. Not to mention it's an automatic headache. Lastly, a bag of rice. After I teach, I submerge my headset in rice to soak up any sweat that may cause water damage (gross, right?). Wireless microphones are expensive, so it's important to take good care of them to keep 'em working right!

2. Class Essentials.

First off are sneakers that provide enough support for the type of class I am teaching that day. Nike Frees work great for a low-impact sculpt class. I always walk into the gym or studio with outside shoes so I don't get my sneakers wet or dirty, and I've forgotten to grab my sneakers on multiple occasions. For this reason, I keep two extra pairs in my car. Next, my workout plan. I keep a workout notebook where all my plans are written out, so if I see that one is not fit for my clients' ability levels, I can always flip back a few pages instead of having to come up with a new plan on the spot. Although, I often come up with new plans on the spot anyway. Teaching is fun. Lastly, I always keep a pen with my notebook to jot down any notes I have about my classes -- names, requests, etc. 

3. Personal Essentials. 

These are absolutely necessary. My classes are intense. We sweat A LOT, which is why a towel is key. I keep organic lavender yoga mat spray with me to wipe down the mats after a tough ab or floor series. My hair goes everywhere during burpees, so I keep headbands with me (colors to match my outfit, of course). The headbands also keep my microphone in place. And you can't forget about the hair ties. SNAP. I go through these things like chocolate-covered almonds, so I always keep a couple in my gym bag for when I or one of my clients needs one. 

4. Energy & Hydration.

With a quick 10-minute break between classes, I need to make sure I have enough energy. If I'm feeling depleted, I'll whip out an apple and have a quick bite. The natural sugar picks me right up. And, water. Water, water, water. Because I teach a lot of hiit (high intensity interval training), hydrating is ESSENTIAL. It's so easy for me to go through a full water bottle within two rounds of tabata, so I always make sure to have an extra water bottle in my bag. 

Are you thinking about becoming a fitness instructor? DO IT. It is the most gratifying and uplifting job I have ever had. I plan to keep teaching classes for as long as my body can physically handle it. Just remember -- prepare. Because anything can, and will happen. 

Do you have any gym essentials that you bring with you every time you work out? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

Sunday, January 25, 2015


What defines you? What makes you you? What inspires you to be exactly as you are?

Here I am, almost 22 years old, figuring out who I really am. I have discovered what I am passionate about in life -- health, fitness, and loving and helping others. This revelation did not happen overnight, no. It did not happen entirely internally, either. I found out who I am, who I will be, and why I'm here with the help of every little person and experience that has been placed in my path thus far.

I've been studying psychology for four years now. In my developmental, adolescent and educational psychology classes, we focused on the development of babies, children and teenagers. Never on adults.

We never stop developing. We never stop learning. We are products of everyone and everything we encounter, and that is just amazing. I've learned, and continue to learn, such useful and interesting things from those around me. Some are intentional lessons, some go unsaid. I am so grateful for every interaction I have and every lesson I learn from all of you. Here are some that come to mind.

I've learned from my Mom that happiness is a choice. That saving your money is extremely important. That a smile can solve all problems. That it's not the amount of time you have here in the physical world, but how you spend that time.
I've learned from my Dad the importance of living in the present, and keeping the good times as memories to think back to when necessary.
I've learned from my sister, Gretchen, that nourishing your body with the right foods will enhance and prolong your life.
I've learned from my sister, Brigette, that if you're not completely satisfied with something, you change it.
From my cats, the feeling of over-protectiveness.
From my boyfriend, Russ, everything about the human body and working out. And love.
From my two best friends, Shannon & Taylor, that it doesn't matter how long you go without seeing each other, your bond will never be broken.
From my future mother-in-law, that a mother can never be replaced, but opening up to unconditional love can heal all heartache.
From my Dad's fiance, Patty, that the mood of any room can be changed with a little paint.
From my friend, Susanne, that lavender essential oil is just that -- essential. Especially in the shower right before bed time.
From my clients, that with dedication and positivity, you can change lives.
From my yoga teacher, that if something doesn't feel right for you at that very moment, you return to child's pose.
From three of my bosses, that if you are not completely appreciated, respected, and your potential goes unnoticed, it's time to move on.
And from myself, that you have a purpose in life. You are here for a reason. You must figure out your reason, and soar. You must enjoy every step of the way, too. Life is a journey.

So, put down your iPhone. Observe those around you. Learn something new, something that you can teach to your friends and family, and keep this cycle alive.

Friday, January 2, 2015


Here we are. 2015. A clean slate for the eager mind.

All over social media lately I've seen posts belittling New Years resolutions. It seems as if many are against the idea of others hoping to better themselves. Why people would choose to voice these opinions is beyond my understanding. Resolutions are opportunities to grow. To decide what may be hindering you from living the way you wish to live. To act. To change.  

I encourage you to make at least one resolution. It doesn't have to be massive or even noticeable to others. Maybe you want to take more time for yourself, or start living in the present rather than worrying about the future. Maybe you want to eat more vegetables, or do your laundry every Tuesday. Maybe you want to exercise more, or tell those special people that you love them every day. Whether your resolutions are big or small, I hope you accomplish them. I hope you actively think about how you wish to better yourself, and you do it.

Me? My resolutions are to drink more water and to practice more yoga. I want to be hydrated all the time. I want to further connect my mind and body. I want to work on my flexibility and my breathing. Sticking to these goals will be easy with my new, colossal water bottle from my sister, Gretchen, and two gorgeous new yoga mats from my Russ, and my dad & his fiance, Patty. It's as if they knew what my resolutions were before I even made them. ;) 

I'd love for you to share your resolutions for 2015!