Helping Women Achieve their Fitness Goals without Restrictive Diets, or Advanced Athletic Feats.
Author: Kayla Goldwag
Kayla Goldwag is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer who loves helping women move better, gain confidence, have more energy, lose weight, work around injuries, regain range of motion after mastectomies, gain muscle tone & feel good in their bodies. She has also taught Kickbox-cardio, Bootcamp, TRX, Pre & Post-natal, and a variety of Toning and Stretching classes in Los Angeles. When not training or writing about training, she keeps busy wrangling her headscarf collection, talking back to her teenagers, and performing courageous acts of laundry origami. She can also be reached via Facebook/getfitwithkayla and on GetFitWithKayla.com
Its a little known secret that my Passover/spring cleaning begins in January. I was inspired by a class I attended nearly 20 years ago on Passover preparations made easy led by professional organizer Esther Simon. Easy? Starting in January?
I know that sounds a little crazy but hear me out.
Esther explained that once we already start cleaning the cheerios out of the bedrooms and under the couch cushions, and goop from inside the fridge, its so easy to get sidetracked and start sorting old books and figuring out what clothes need to be replaced, which chair legs need tightening and re-upholstery, and, basically, it snowballs into a full-on de-clutter and deep-clean. However, Passover cleaning is supposed to be just the search for leavened products. I find that once I finally get into motion prepping with the goal of Passover in mind, I can feel dejected, not uplifted when I realize I don’t really have time to do the much-needed deep clean and de-clutter…or I go full-hog, do it all, and wind up rushed, uninspired, and exhausted by the time the holiday arrives.
I learned at the seminar that having systems in place makes the process less painful and less overwhelming. In 21 years, I have made 20 Passovers and it only really works because I have a system. Part of my system is beginning in January.
Now, that doesn’t mean I am kashering my countertops and eating only matzo right now but what it means is that I start with the end in mind. The end goal is to arrive at the seder feeling like a queen and not a rag. That the week before should be spent cooking in my kashered kitchen and that I have finished my cleaning well in advance. Furthermore, knowing that once I get going I will discover shiny distractions of other things that need to be repaired, replaced and more…that I will have the time to do that only if I do it well in advance. Having done it before, I know that there will inevitably be bumps in the road- catching a cold or needing to replace or repair or declutter things. Also, having done this a few times, I know there’s a sort of recipe of what to clean first, and second so that its do-able and less overwhelming.
Similarly, when we think about beginning an exercise program we sometimes envision ourselves at the final stretch, with our new fitness buddies, in our well-fitting leggings and workout top, with the energy to climb Mt Everest…but if we start a week out and notice we’re overwhelmed or sidetracked with other exciting tasks, at the end of the week, or in the spring or whatever our imagined deadline is we’ll just feel exhausted and dejected and maybe not have anything at all to show for it. We need to start well in advance and have a plan- a road map and maybe even the help of someone who has done it before- many many times. Preferably with the guidance of someone who has overcome some of the common obstacles to help guide us and cheer us on.
That is one of the reasons its so important to yes, have a trainer, a workout buddy or a whole tribe of fit-minded folks to help you clear the clutter and get you to your goal.
If you work best one-on-one and have a springtime fitness goal, or you just want someone to help you make self-care a priority you can book a series of personal training sessions or join a community of women in the double-chai fitness challenge. Whatever you choose know that I support you and applaud your decision to not leave it all to chance and instead plan for success. To your health.
A body in motion tends to stay in motion! So much fun you won’t want to stop. This is THE challenge to finally turn you from couch potato to joyful regular exerciser. 18 workouts, each only 18 minutes long + accountability + group support only $36. BUY NOW
The February 2021 Challenge has an OPTIONAL companion E-journal (purchased separately for $5) with motivational quotes, tips, space for logging nutrition and exercise, and journal prompts for reflection.
Video vault access begins on Feb 3 and concludes feb 23rd at midnight PST.
IF I’M DOING ONLY THE RECORDINGS, WHAT DO I DO ON DAY 1?
The video vault comes pre-loaded with at least 18 recordings available 24/7!
CAN YOU USE ONLY JEWISH MUSIC?
NO. There’s a plethora of licensing issues related to music usage in the virtual space. I pay for rights to the specially licensed music I use because that’s required or YouTube will silence it, block me, or force me to take it down. Jewish music is not designed on the 32 count phrase (which helps u follow and helps me teach) and I can’t buy it by beats per minute (technical aspects of teaching- I need 128 bpm for strength, 140ish for kickin’abs etc). Also “Jewish” music isn’t preferred by the majority in this challenge. We are a mixed group-not all local and not all Jewish. You can hear the instrumental music that comprises most of what’s used in the challenger workouts in the video sample before you purchase the challenge. Some recordings (maybe 4) do contain lyrics.
CAN I DO MULTIPLE WORKOUTS IN A DAY.
You can do as many as you like. Recreational activities such as hiking, biking outside of the challenge class offerings can also count toward your daily accountability. Each participant is allowed Only one check-in per day , regardless of how many more minutes of exercise you performed. The purpose of this challenge is to build consistency, not duration or intensity.
IS THERE A SPECIFIC ORDER I HAVE TO COMPLETE THE WORKOUTS IN?
A good formula for healthy lifestyle of optimal fitness generally is 2-4 days of cardio + 2-3 of resistance training + 1 mind-body/ stretch day. The live schedule has a mix but you don’t have to follow it, nor do you need to do the workouts in a particular order. The goal of the challenge is consistent habit forming joyful movement just about every day (hopefully 18x). In fact you can do all yoga (or whatever format(s) you like the most) the whole challenge!
I DON’T WANT TO BE RECORDED OR HAVE OTHERS SEE ME WORKING OUT. HOW CAN I TAKE THIS CHALLENGE?
The Double Chai Fitness Challenge Class Instruction takes place over live ZOOM which is recorded. Speaker view is used so the instructor is the focus and each video is edited before posting. However, your image may be seen/recorded during the live session. The these recordings will be available on a private You tube or similar for this challenge or for future programming and retained by Kayla/Get Fit with Kayla. You could choose to leave your camera off. You could choose to use only the recordings. You are also able to opt-out of having your image used for marketing.
WHAT PAYMENT METHODS DO YOU ACCEPT?
My site is integrated with PayPal processing whereby you can use a credit card, or your PayPal balance.BUY NOW
IS THERE A FAMILY RATE?
Registration fee is per person. (These classes come out to less than $2 each!) All minors will need an adult to register them for the challenge. You do not need to pay for a minor who takes an occasional class, but you should pay for and register any minor who is partaking of the challenge classes regularly.
CAN I PARTICIPATE IF I DON’T USE WHAT’S APP?
Yes! You will miss out on the group support of seeing and contributing to the check-in process and my cheerleader messages, though. The science of behavior change has proven that visual tracking helps assist in becoming a regular exerciser. You can duplicate some of the effect for yourself by placing marbles in a jar and moving them to another jar for every workout completed or marking workouts completed on a calendar and celebrating the achievement. Purchasing the optional companion e-journal is highly recommended for everyone but even more so if you are not doing the what’s app accountability group.
There are both pros and cons, gains and losses when going from in-person classes to virtual and they are different. Some of it has to do with the technology, and some of it also has to do with who the instructor is and how they teach.
I was once that person in class who felt new, nervous, shy and intimidated so I get it. Sometimes students want to be guided to do the moves correctly and sometimes they want to be invisible to others and when I am a participant now in other instructor’s classes I still feel that way.
The complexity of novel technology adds yet another layer of barrier to fitness that now must be overcome for those already intimidated by fitness. So I try to be the kind of instructor who never loses sight of that because there will always be someone in class who is new or feels insecure about their body or their coordination or the setting.
There are a few things I do right at the start to make things easy:
I have taken the guess work out of registration with my automated signup and zoom link process; You will have your zoom link immediately after registration and you’ll get an email reminder automagically with that link again 15 minutes before class.
When you arrive in the zoom class, I welcome you by name.
I announce what the format of the class will be (and if you’re in the wrong class you can just bail right there and then).
I let you know about how I will accommodate different bodies and different abilities in the course of the class: usually offering a variety of options or expressions of a yoga pose all of which are equally acceptable nurturing you to find which expression feels best within your own body. In trauma-informed yoga for resilience the concern is less about the ideal posture and more about finding your own expression and presence and breath in the posture in that day and that moment- which in many cases IS the most advanced posture regardless of what it may look like in the variety of shapes the body makes. If it is a cardio or strength class, you will be told that there are level 1, 2 and 3 options given. You are told how to measure your intensity to stay within a safe zone.
If at any time anyone needs assistance, during the course of the class they can un-mute themselves and say that they need help or another option.
I wear a headset with an ear piece so it is like you are speaking right into my ear (something you probably couldn’t do in a in-person class in the middle of class). Other ways to get my attention include putting a note in the chat or physically waiving your hands.
You will know that I come close to the screen a few times during class to observe even if I spend a lot of it demonstrating.
We go over the basic orientation of camera positioning if you wish for me to comment on your form or you do not want me to comment. Some folks choose to turn their camera off once class begins for privacy.
We leave some time at the end for people to schmooze too or ask questions. We also have a what’s app and/or a Facebook group for schmoozing so nobody feels held up for leaving as soon as class ends.
There are other things I do when teaching online to help students which are slightly different than in-person; I try using more verbal imagery to help participants feel in their bodies the particular muscles we’re working. I try and change the angle I’m demonstrating from as well as demonstrating something other than the most complicated version of a move.
As for hands-on assistance: its always been my last resort even in person and I’m not a toucher in my yoga classes. I never used scented oils or massage in class for a variety of reasons (allergies/boundaries etc) either. The lack of hands-on to some degree is just me and my personal preference and my teaching style and that’s not new. Many scandals involving inappropriate touch that have become exposed by the media. It’s generally not used as much as it once was and we want students to learn what it is to find those positions in their own bodies and feel it themselves not be pushed into it- which can also cause potential injury.
So that’s how I do my part..and then there’s the technology:
Here are some PROs:
#1 pro of virtual= convenience/ time savings
No parking, no gas, no getting a babysitter. Big time saver. Practice any time, any where, on vacation, in the yard, at the park, in your pjs or even naked (hopefully with camera OFF),
#2 pro of virtual= access
If price was a factor before, virtual has made things far more accessible. High priced and exclusive teachers limited to one city -no longer an obstacle. Train with the best in any city or anyplace in the world. You’re not limited to your local studio or gym. You may have access to formats that weren’t available near where you live or work that you can discover. Maybe your favorite teacher moved out of the country and now you can take her class in your own bedroom
#3 pro= more control over the experience
Thought the class could use a better soundtrack? Mute the zoom volume and jack up the home stereo. Make it hotter or cooler in the room. Add candles. Dim the lights or jack up the brights. You can choose to look at others in class or not. Choose to have your image to be displayed to others or not. Use speaker view.
To cut down on comparisons and help you have your own personalized experience. Privacy might allow you to experiment with something more daring. If the instructors drives you nuts 20 minutes in, its easy to leave or turn the camera off, make some tea and wait till the end to exit- something I wouldn’t have done in a live class without being really rude.
Then there are the Cons:
#1 drawback of virtual= option overwhelm leads to commitment issues.
Too many choices can lead to overwhelm and inaction. For some of us, knowing we’ve got just one shot to take that class because that’s the only day and time that instructor is teaching it mean’s we’ll definitely be there. If that’s you, then sign up in advance for your classes and pay up front so you’ll be more committed.
#2 con of virtual= lack of quality control
Internet outages can affect service, wifi service can fail, some instructors simply hang a virtual shingle without the credentials and experience to back it up. You can develop bad form habits because it went un-noticed because you’re the size of a thumbprint on the screen. You might be more shy to try new things knowing someone isn’t there to reach out and catch you or you might go so crazy trying new things because nobody is watching that you push too far. You are in charge of your environment and if you’re in a small cluttered space it can be dangerous or impossible to do certain workouts. The options might make for a lack of continuity and lack of consistency can mean a lack of progress. (VIP membership includes coaching and program design to solve this issue.) You may not see the instructor as well or in 3D like you could in person (A solution may be to hook up to a computer or tv screen and not a mobile device for class so the teacher is bigger than a thumbprint)
#3 con- distractions
It can be challenging to plug into class mentally when there are doorbells ringing, phones and paperwork, or household pets or kids demanding attention or interrupting so make sure to pre-arrange your situation for minimal interruption or distraction.
There are differences from in-person but I think there’s more social contact in a zoom live than in a Facebook live or a IG live or in a recorded YouTube class or video. We need the social aspect as much for our emotional and mental well being as we need the physical exercise. You may prefer in-person classes to virtual but even if we go back to in-person, due to some of the benefits listed above I believe virtual fitness is here to stay.
Speaking of staying connected, why not book a class right now with a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while and set up a time after to chat? When life is more unpredictable or stressful is when we need the mood boosting benefits of exercise most.
This is my list of favorite fitness related self-care items. I am not paid in any way to recommend these. They answer the “which is the best..” question I’m asked about in each category. Prices range from $8-$800. [There are 3 pages of recommendations]
Flipping through my own Facebook feed, I saw many fellow colleagues demonstrating what they thought was going to be uplifting and inspiring images of themselves flipping tires, doing single leg deadlifts on the wrong side of a Bosu ball with heavy weight, pull up challenges, or setting a timer for like as many reps as possible in a minute of Burpee’s– things like that. I’m sure that spoke to their folks but I’m not their folks. That stuff doesn’t speak to me and I’m a Personal Trainer. That stuff makes me just want to hang out on the couch eating a bunch of chips. Iif I had to do that stuff for an hour a day, that would not be a life with living. I want to fill you in on a little secret… you don’t have to do that kind of workout to get fit! You don’t have to be miserable. You don’t have to go on a restrictive diet, and you don’t have to do a bunch of really boring routines, or dangerously strenuous athletic feats to get fit.
I have 10 years of experience as a personal trainer and have a different kind of solution for you. You have already heard about my fun safe and effective workout classes that help women go from being the kind a lady who doesn’t like to work out to someone who doesn’t want to miss a workout because its fun and they feel stronger and energized, but I have something new that I’m excited to tell you about.More than a workout class, it is actually a total body transformation. It’s the whole deal.
This VIP Signature Membership is for you if you can’t get yourself to work out, you can’t work out regularly, you don’t stick to a program, or you tried joining a gym and working out with some trainer who yelled at you and made you feel bad and you are ready for something different.
This VIP Signature Membership includes a program design specific to your needs goals and to work around your injuries. You are going to finally going to learn how much cardio, how often, and how intense to get you results without being miserable, You’re going to finally learn how much resistance training, what type of resistance training, how often, and how intense, what modalities are going to work for you. Actually enjoying it means you will actually stick with it and you’re going to get those results without restrictive dieting, boring workouts or super athletic feats. Besides, how many times do we see that the exercises given by some trainers might be right for the trainer who offered it but not right for you and your goals and your body and your history and your likes and dislikes?!? Enough.
Fact is most folks quit a new exercise routine in three weeks because there’s no real accountability. In this program you get access to me, your Trainer. You can call me, text me and ask me your questions and get encouragement and guidance. Also you have group support of other committed ladies who are there to cheer you on.
You also get the Atomic Habits seminar included (a $100 value) which teaches you the mindset and skills to make healthy habits that stick. You are going to learn good form that you will take with you for life in any class anywhere that you ever take and you’re going to get a natural high. When that natural high kicks in, it’s going to keep you craving those results and those feelings are gonna keep you committed.
So if you have a looked in the mirror and you’ve been disappointed. If you feel sluggish. If you started and stopped exercise programs before or never really started– this programs is for you. if you have negative tapes playing in your brain, we can change those tapes one work out at a time. Did you try diets and gym memberships and the frustration of trying to figure it out on your own? Were you overwhelmed with so many options that three months ago you thought you would make a change but you’re in the same place right now as three months ago and nothing has changed?
You are worth it and I will help you. I’m going to give you the skills, the coaching, the community, the accountabilty, and the mindset with the one on ones and the atomic habits seminar and the tools all the classes both live and recorded that you already paid for so you know you have to show up. Show up, do the work, get results.
With the coaching, you’re gonna find your WHY. Maybe your why is to look better, to feel stronger. Maybe there’s another why that you don’t even want to admit to yourself because you’re ashamed of it but it’s meaningful to you? We’re gonna find out. Maybe it’s to be able to chase your kids or your grandkids without being so breathless. To kick cancer’s butt? Maybe its just to feel better and accomplish something you set your mind to. Maybe you want to have a better mood so you can get along better with the people at home that love you. It’s really time for measurable transformation.
Look at what some of my clients have said after training with me. (You’ll see their complete testimonials on getfitwithKayla.com)
Sarah Barrett says, “I’ve gotten stronger in the time that I’ve worked out with her and I’ve noticed a difference in the shape of my body. Kayla always challenges me to push harder but knows my limits as well. Kayla sometimes acts a little goofy and that allows me to feel more free, less worried about anything.”
Bracha Magid says, “ I never thought I could get this far and it’s all thanks to you! ..You’ve not only helped me feel good about myself but you’ve given me skills to keep going on my own.”
Runya wagner says, “She creates a warm atmosphere snd makes you feel comfortable any level that you’re on. Kayla personalizes your program to fit each person‘s individual needs. Just after a few weeks I feel stronger and healthier.”
Elizabeth Gottlieb says, “Thank you for helping me get to a place of I can do this.”
So what is it going to cost you to not join the VIP signature membership? Will you be in the same place three months from now? Will you still be contemplating maybe taking up a fitness class but not hitting play because that class doesn’t feel like playing? Fitness is play time for grown-ups! Are you going to be three months closer to your goals of feeling better, stronger, more confident, having more energy, maybe moving away from health risks. Maybe not taking medication?
This is an investment is a commitment. It is not just a bunch of fun classes. It is a total body transformation and that doesn’t happen after a one hour class. And it doesn’t happen after just 10 sessions. This membership program is for a select group of ladies who are ready to get signature classes, signature coaching, and have a signature personalized result of that is measurable at the end of our hopefully at least three months of working together.
Whether you want to have more energy and finally break through and become a regular exerciser we’re going to measure your energy level your stamina your strength your flexibility and get tangible results. That’s my commitment to you. But I cannot do the work for you. You have to show up do the work.
You know why am so sure that I can get you results? Because I did it. So I can show you how. I was skinny fat. I was 33% body fat and my cholesterol was so high that the Doctor wanted to put me on a statin drug. He asked me what I did for exercise and I told him the truth.. ( this was many years ago, before I became a trainer) and I told him I had two kids 14 1/2 months apart. I chase toddlers. All day, every day. He said it wasn’t enough. It was activity and it was exhausting but it wasn’t exercise that was getting me results in terms of a lower cholesterol level and lower body fat that was going to stop putting me at risk. Even though I was wearing a size 12 and I don’t think anybody knew that I wasn’t healthy but I wasn’t. I did what any responsible new Mommy would do and I walked over to the gym I put down my credit card and I joined and I showed up. I showed up four or five days a week for an hour each time and worked my butt off. I went back to the doctor and, you know what? No. Nothing. I hadn’t changed size there was a little movement in the numbers but it just wasn’t enough. So I hired a trainer. After six weeks following the simple tweaks she gave me to work out smarter not harder, I lost 10 pounds and I dropped my cholesterol by 13 points. Then I realized I could do her job and I can do her job better.
See, she gave me the point in the right direction- how much and how intense but I felt like I wanted to know more and asking her questions might be a bother. A sense of humor helps. Maybe even a decent soundtrack. A trainer should show you that special personal trainer love that pushes you just the right amount (not like a drill sergeant) but also teaches you to learn to love yourself in the right way. I also think women don’t necessarily need their trainer to be their best bud but they should get you, and you should feel comfortable with the trainer.
I got you. I am not sending you work outs in a tank top and short shorts where you’re embarrassed to have tour husband or sons come in the room. I get your holidays and all the messages out food and mixed messages about working out that we get in our community and our culture. The other ladies in the group also will get you and you will not be alone on your journey.
If you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and if you are ready to decrease the risk of diseases like stroke and heart disease and diabetes, its time to make this investment in yourself. Can you envision what your quality of life would be if you would have the energy, good mood, strength, flexibility and stamina and know deep inside that you deserve to feel good in your body? I’m going to leave a link so you can join this special signature VIP membership program http://www.getfitwithkayla.as.me
At the end of June, I found myself like many of you, questioning what the social unrest and the pandemic and the political upheaval and the economic downturn and the change in our lifestyle meant for what was truly meaningful and sustainable given our new reality? Where did my business and my future fit into all of this? What was my purpose..And…where was my unemployment check?
The bucket list… Whenever I have an existential crisis, I turn to my “bucket list” – that list of things I revisit usually on or before High Holidays of things that I would regret not having accomplished if, heaven forbid, I were to kick the bucket and die. As morbid as that sounds, I think having and maintaining a bucket list is something that can provide uplifting motivation to keep on living when things get rough or help you reassess where you are spending your efforts when it seems you may have gone off track and need to reset your inner compass. On that list for over 10 years has been my dream to complete a 200 hour yoga teacher training at YogaWorks.
But don’t you already teach yoga?… Since I already teach yoga and have been certified to teach yoga for a while now, you may be wondering why I still had this on my list. Let me explain in terms my Jewish orthodox sisters may understand. Not everyone who attends seminary wants to be a teacher or Rebbetzin, but some do and for those that do, it can be a very important step. Everyone who attends wants to grow socially, spiritually, textually, or develop a comfort level with themselves and with the material so that their lifelong experience is forever enriched. They want to be among those who know rather than those who do not know, and have the ability to use the skills obtained to enable themselves learn whatever they do not yet know. Similarly, many people take a yoga teacher training in order to grow in their own practice, to become independent learners and to bring a higher level of knowledge to inform everything they do going forward. In addition, the 200 hour yoga teacher training has become a standard like a bachelor’s degree of sorts in the yoga world and different schools teach the curriculum with their own flavor to people who want to become yoga teachers.
What difference does it make where you train?… Yogaworks has been offering teacher training for over 30 years and has produced some of the worlds most loved and renowned instructors of our time. They have a system that works like a formula; and gosh, I love the reliability of a formula. Yogaworks is a blend of the athletic fast paced Ashtanga vinyasa-flow style and the precision-alignment centered Iyengar style. It is known for having a thorough anatomy based approach to sequencing a class in a safe and effective manner (which makes so much sense coming from a personal training background that focuses upon alignment and working around injuries). It also touches upon the spiritual basis for yoga without being particularly “woo-woo” (some other programs put more emphasis on certain Hindu texts or history or Ayurveda or other spiritual practices outside of the Asana/physical practices). The trauma-informed yoga teacher training (which I completed in summer of 2019) focused on interoception- feelings inside the body -moreso than alignment of the outer body. The Yogaworks training is the perfect yang to that yin – a counterbalance to round out my approach.
What also was important to me about getting the 200 hour certification besides enriching my own understanding of the practice, recharging my own batteries, and being able to confidently reach more advanced yoga students with trauma-informed practices (beginners is my comfort zone) is that it is also a prerequisite for many of the advanced trauma-informed continuing education courses that interest me. Bringing my own flavor of trauma-informed yoga to women is something that I feel called to do.
So why didn’t you do this a long time ago?…. There have been some significant barriers to obtaining this 200 hour training which is why I have not done it until now. Some of these Barriers included: Time. 200 hours is a lot of time- away from work and away from my family, and Cost. Typically these trainings occur over 6 months or a year or in an exotic location and almost always include weekends-which does not work for my own religious practice and it doesn’t work for my family. Seriously, it is a miracle to find any type of yoga alliance (An independent agency for keeping some sort of standards on yoga teacher trainings and certifications world-wide) compliant training that does not interfere with Shabbat. I was only able to find a couple in the last 10 years that might have worked. Furthermore these trainings cost $3,000+ not including travel, food, books etc. Finally, 200 hours is a lot of time to spend learning with a particular teacher/s so finding someone’s whose voice and style doesn’t become irritating and whose philosophy and teaching style is one you would emulate is really important because at least initially, after all that time training with them, students tend to come out of the program sounding a lot like that teacher/s.
#SaferAtHome…. Then along came #SaferAtHome.Yogaworks offered an online 200 hour intensive format where you could complete the 200 hours in 6 weeks and the teachers were fabulous and also some were trauma-informed and the timing was perfect. Furthermore, being online live and interactive it was geared toward the kind of training I see myself doing. (Physical assists generally are not used in trauama-informed yoga and virtual training involves a set of skills verbal etc. which is different than in-person.) Summer is usually slower for me and it was a good time to take a step away and it worked for my family… and I was offered a partial scholarship which made it affordable. Two days before the program began, I signed up. I took the advice of those who had taken the intensive format before me and canceled all of my classes and groups. (This training pushed me to my mental, physical and emotional limits and despite my initial thinking that I would continue classes it just wasn’t possible. It was a very demanding and comprehensive program- as demanding as any of my graduate school courses.)
More Bendy Isn’t More Better?…. In addition to some very useful instruction for ideal alignment in yoga poses and how to progress them effectively and safely, I learned some surprising things which will benefit all of my clients, not just the yogis. One is that more bendy isn’t necessarily better. Some very flexible clients are more prone to hyperextension injuries and need to learn more strength and stabilization. I have already begun using those tools with some clients. We also learned about how yoga can be used to relieve back pain and headaches- two complaints I hear about frequently among clients. Most surprisingly the “woo-woo” aspects of Yoga- AKA the philosophical aspects of yoga do not contradict my religious practices and actually enhanced the tools I have to help clients with anxiety and depression or simply getting off the couch.
The timing could not be more serendipitous. This pandemic has at some point exceeded nearly everyone’s ability to cope. Maybe it left you feeling hopeless or helpless. If so, yoga and specifically the tools and techniques I hope to share are something you need now and can benefit from. The skills I learned this past summer will infuse all of my training in every format and help all of my clients gain more peace, stability, flexibility, support and more emotional equilibrium. I cannot wait to share what I have learned with you.
Sounds good but..Does this mean prices are going up? Right now, no. I am leaving my prices as they have been. On average in Los Angeles, instructors who have only their 200 hour Yoga teacher certification (without any other credentials like personal training, group fitness, TRX, pre/postnatal, women’s fitness specializations etc.) charge $100/hour for private yoga sessions. I charge $70 for an hour private whether its yoga, personal training, kickboxing, TRX or otherwise and even less if you purchase a block or package of private sessions. Considering that I have not increased my fees in a very long time and there are additional expenses required to maintain this new certification and there are only so many sessions possible in a day, it is very likely my prices will increase in the near future. If you are considering purchasing a package of private sessions, do not wait! Yes you can stock up before the increase.
Thank you for your loyalty, friendship and patiently waiting for me to come back from this extended unexpected but very meaningful time off.
Has the stress of life right now made you turn to food to self-soothe? Maybe, you just find the lack of movement, because you are home more, is making your clothes fit a bit more snug?… And why are some fitness trainers telling you “hit the pause button” and NOT work out right now? Maybe you know you should work out but lack the energy.
Those are some of the things that this David-Covid meme bring up for me.
Have you seen that provocative David- Covid meme below? If you identify with it, you will want to pay close attention, because I’m going to give you 5 steps to break this pattern right now!
When I have asked people what they are doing to cope with the stress that this virus has brought with it and the anxiety of not knowing if you will catch it or if your business will be ok or if or if.. people have said they are coping by moving less and eating more which is supposedly the recipe for a larger waistline..and obesity is one of the largest risk factors for a poor outcome if one does contract COVID-19. So why then is it not obvious and EASY for us to do the things which are healthy… Or is it? Maybe you are ALREADY doing just that.
Why is it hardly anyone is saying man I am so stressed out that I am totally over-training. I run around the block so much Im gonna give myself an over-use injury?
Let’s be honest, when the stuff hits the fan, so can a lot of our habits./
And that is… OKAY! Seriously. I still like you. You still got this!
Coping mechanisms like overeating, bringing, drinking, smoking, staying up all night playing video games, over-sleeping, have a purpose. They offer comfort, distraction and emotional anesthesia.
Whatever crazy lazy or seemingly dysfunctional thing you are doing is a sign that your body is trying to help you feel better. How awesome and brilliant is THAT! Our brain has a way built in to help us relieve pain.
Long term, it is not ideal, but short term, hey, it works on some level. It serves a function. So treat yourself with the compassion that your body is saying it needs.
Consider for a moment (despite every fitness challenge you see on social media) your body is likely in a state of fight or flight- especially if you have been listening to the news too much. Extreme stress causes inflammation and oxidative stress. High intensity exercise also creates oxidative stress.
Know what’s also stressful?
When the body is stressed out, it then over indulges in coping behaviors to self soothe.. and THEN we beat ourselves up emotionally for having tried to soothe ourselves. That’s more stress. Which then begins the whole cycle yet again…
So what’s the answer?
When you see yourself going for the fridge.. Ask:
Am I Hungry or am I thirsty- maybe you’re just dehydrated?
Am I Angry?
Am I Lonely?
And I Tired?
And then treat your body with compassion. Honor what it is asking of you.
Speaking of compassion…
Well I have seen a lot of fit pros say that its time to “HIT the Pause button on exercise”.
I’m like WHAT? No.
When I hear the word pause. I hear Pregnant pause. I hear stop. Like I’ll come back to this when the world is less crazy.
Does that make sense?
Physical activity has such a broad array of psychological/emotional and physical benefits. Why would I hit the pause button on that when self-care is what I need most right now -when I’m in an elevated state of anxiety?
Doesn’t make sense to me.
Okay, this may not be the best time to have a transformational body.. to go hard and stay home.. to go hard at home. Something like that. But I digress
What this is, …is time to cultivate resilience. This is the time to show your body Love, not to beat it into submission.
This may not be a time to make major life changes: ie. change my eating habbits, throw out all the junk, go under the knife, cold turkey on sweets and get totally jacked in the gym. This is the time to acknowledge and validate: “I’m eating because..” Reflect here…..WITHOUT JUDGEMENT.
Maybe its because I’m stressed, so I’m clenching my jaw, so I’m getting headaches, so I’m not sleeping well, so then I’m eating. It’s a fact, not a judgement about what kind of person you are. Once you know the facts, see if you can figure out what the underlying feeling is: anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness?
Then recognize this is normal
Take ONE small step… Very Small…Almost imperceptible. Fly under the radar.
Because its like this: The Yetzer Hara…the evil inclination that lives within each person, is gonna rise up and try to derail you if the goal gets too big n’ lofty. You will find the challenges it presents are overwhelming. Like the minute you say I’m not eating sugar, your temptation for sugar will go through the roof.
Can you think of something small right now that would move you in the right direction?
For instance, Walk out the door for 10 minutes and come back?
Once you find that small thing,
Ask yourself: Is it self care or self harm?
Eating Cheetos can be self care but it could also be self- harm! How would we know the difference? What would self-harm with Cheetos look like?
“I’m a fat pig I’ll never get a date. I look like crap. I deserve to eat Cheetos. These things have MSG and will probably kill me and who wants to live if I have to live my life?”
Or, “I’m amazing. I feel good. I like Cheetos. They taste nice and salty, and I’m craving salt. I can have Cheetos. How do I feel now that I ate the Cheetos? Am I enjoying it? Is it satisfying me? Can I eat the Cheetos and savor them, or am I eating them and pushing them into my mouth as I do 20 other things? I can enjoy them!” Sounds like self-care.
Exercise also can be self-care or self-harm.
Make it something joyful…That’s self-care. Something that makes you feel good that is good for you. That’s self care.
Then celebrate it! Do it again… something small
I don’t want anyone hitting the pause button on exercise unless they are bed-ridden and even then maybe just some small movements or breathing.
Start with something small like joyful movement whatever that is to you. Start with celery this time not forever and a day from now. Avoid deprivation. Deprivation can easily slide into self- harm.
There’s a reason why we are doing unhealthy behaviors: we are trying to self-soothe. Validate yourself and show yourself compassion Trace it and face it- know what you are feeling. Figure out that underlying emotion. Use HALT method..(hungry or thirsty/ angry/ lonely or tired)
Don’t go whole hog… Take a small step in the direction you mean to go.
Celebrate that small step and make it one of self care.
Bonus: Celebration not deprivation. If you are feeling deprived maybe its time to re-examine.. Or not. You are in the driver’s seat just know if you are flying above or below the radar of the Yetzer Hara.
Here is one small step. This week, consider for yourself if it is self care or self harm to take a workout class. Some folks’ self care is to work out alone. For me, self-care is to treat myself to a class.
I may not want to go initially but once I hear the music and someone is there watching me/ yelling at me/ interacting with me and I see other people I know doing it and I feel less alone. I’m less likely to quit in a class and by the end of it, I’m in a better mood.