Gym Goals on the Real

If you are thinking about joining a gym to motivate you to lose weight and be healthier in 2018 (and want some insight into this decision from yours truly), read this awesome article written by Whitney Akers. 

Hint: Internal motivators are more powerful than external motivators. Get real with yourself about what you want, why and how much you want it, and what you are and are not willing to do to achieve it.  Don't judge your answers.  Instead, use them to create a realistic and attainable action plan to tackle those goals.  Boom.  Mic drop.  



4 Pilates Exercises for Postpartum Mothers to Rebalance Posture and Restore Core Strength

In collaboration with Yuka, the passionate creator of Mama on the Mend, a women's health and postpartum care website and resource for new mothers, we have generated a two-part blog series breaking down the importance of restoring posture and core strength after pregnancy and how they can shift your body, mind, and spirit.  We share with you why Pilates can help with achieving these goals as well as how to perform four basic exercises to start your journey!  

Find Your Postpartum Inner Unit: Q&A With Janna Young

4 Postpartum Poses to Ease Back into Exercise

**Medical disclaimer. The information provided in these posts are intended for those who have been cleared for exercise by her doctor, usually at 4-6 week postpartum. Please check with your health provider before engaging in any of these activities.

**You’ll also want to have a professional check to see if you have separation in your abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) prior to engaging in physical activities.




Suffering from Sitting

Work work work work work. Yup, that's Rihanna singing to you.  Chances are, you spend hours sitting for work. Even when you leave the office you can't wait to sit on your comfortable couch to relax. Did you know that long periods of sitting is associated with decreased brain function and increased anxietyobesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess belly fat, and risk of death from heart disease and cancer?  While these health factors are associated with prolonged sitting, a causal relationship has not been proven and as a result, nor has a statistically significant solution for prevention and maintenance.  WebMD and the Mayo Clinic have posted articles stating that while regular exercise has many benefits, it has not been proven to undo the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Prolonged sitting and standing are both harmful to one's health, creating a need to find a balance between the two.  For people who spend more time sitting, experts suggest standing more often and increasing overall movement throughout the day as a helpful tip to combat mental and physiological health problems associated with sitting.

When we sit, not only are we physiologically and mentally affected, but we also create muscular imbalances that affect our posture.  Good posture is a function of proper alignment and balanced musculature. When we have good posture, we can move more efficiently, less painfully, and reduce our risk for movement-related injuries.  In my work as a Pilates-based personal trainer, I have witnessed clients experience and exude more confidence, capability, and stability as a result of shifting into good posture.  Our minds and bodies work together to create our future.

Common postural effects from prolonged sitting and computer work are: shortened hamstrings, hip flexors, abdominals, pectorals (chest), and cervical (neck) extensors.  Additionally, lengthened muscles are the gluteals, low back, upper back, and front of the neck.  This produces a slouched and hunched posture (think Gollum from Lord of the Rings) that I have witnessed accompanies a mindset of submission, apathy, resignation, and powerlessness.  When our muscles are not at their optimal lengths (shortened or lengthened), they are weak and cannot be used to their full potential to support our bones in a balanced manner.

So while exercise may not be scientifically associated with reducing the negative physiological and mental health impacts of sitting, at the very least, it can alleviate physical postural imbalances that will make it easier for us to achieve increased pain-free standing and movement.

Here are several simple solutions to combat the effects of sitting:

  1. Stand up!  Yes, it's as simple as that. Set an alarm every half-hour or hour to remind you to stand up and walk a lap around the office before returning to sitting desk work.  

  2. Practice good posture while sitting to burn more calories and improve muscular balance. Place each foot flat and firmly on the floor, keep the weight even on both of your "sits" bones (ischial tuberosities), keep your pelvic bowl directly upright (don't spill the soup out of the bowl), pull your navel to your spine, float your ribs vertically upward (not anteriorly), drop your shoulder blades down to your hips and stack your head over your shoulders so the bottom tips of your earlobes are directly over the center of your shoulders from the side view.  Set your computer screen at eye level and your keyboard at a level where your elbows are bent at 90 degree angles. 

  3. Roll, stretch, and strengthen your entire body. Rolling is a method of myofascial release that relaxes tension, improves flexibility, and promotes movement fluidity.  Stretching and rolling open up pathways of movement through which we can strengthen from head to toe in a balanced manner. Work with a fitness professional to help you to create balanced workouts for a holistic approach to alignment and movement.

Experience movement with me in a feel good, posture-improving stretch and release class for the desk worker called Sit to Stretch on Wednesdays in June from 5:15 to 6:00pm in the BoxJelly White Box.  $15 per class.  Bring your own mat and foam roller or rent them for $1 each per class.





Awareness Galvanizes Change

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  H. Jackson Brown’s Mother

When was the last time you found yourself on the verge of some desired change with the unknown ahead?  Did you take that courageous step forward?  Did the weight of fear, doubt, or comfort pull you back to the safe harbor? 

As a Seek to Find life coach and Pilates-based personal trainer, I am here to help you navigate this transition from the present to your desired future.  Through conversations of discovery and movement, together, we can equip you to navigate away from safe harbors and into the life your dreams.

So what is it that you seek?  Is it the development of your new business?  Improved communication with your family or team?  The courage to pursue your dreams?  Building community?  Enhancing friendships?  Balance?  Fulfillment?  Joy?   

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?”  Mary Oliver

The declaration of one’s goal is the first step.  Only when we identify what is not working in our lives, can we then start to envision new ways of making it work.  Let’s get really clear on this.  This requires you to feel.  Yes, feel.  

Along with emotions and thoughts, we also feel through our bodies.  As a fitness professional who has worked with movement for over ten years, I teach clients how to honor and explore their bodies through movement.  When we discover the intelligence and wisdom that live in our body as well our emotions and thoughts, we connect to self and become attuned to our goals.  

Awareness galvanizes change, but in order to create one’s desired changes, we must dare to step into uncertainty.  We seek and with courage, we find.



MOTR’n in Honolulu

My līfMOTR program at the Honolulu Club is featured in the Balanced Body, Inc. Annual Catalog 2016 – a publication that is distributed globally to fitness and Pilates enthusiasts!

link to article or read below.

The Honolulu Club is the premier health and fitness club in the state of Hawaii. The 35-year-old company recently decided to evolve its brand, aiming to reestablish its expertise as innovative leaders in the state. One of the initiatives of this brand evolution is the launching of a sub brand, LīF (Lab for Innovative Fitness). LīF’s mission is to develop cutting edge programming by combining ground-breaking products and technology to inspire health, fitness, wellness and growth.

Enter MOTR® .

MOTR combines the comfort of a foam roller with the challenge of three weight level resistances, giving clubs a challenging and diverse workout tool. Exercise categories include cardio, balance, functional training, mind-body, agility, strength training and more – all in an economic 43” cylinder.

“The versatility of MOTR, as well as the portability of the unit makes this a great option for a market like Hawaii,” says Janna Young, the director of LīF and the club’s Pilates program. “We see the limitless ways to work with MOTR to condition the body as a huge benefit. And in a place like Honolulu, where space is at a premium, the compact nature of the MOTR is key for both storage and usage. It also nicely lends to future formats where we can take the MOTRs offsite and potentially do scenic outdoor classes.“

The Honolulu Club purchased 18 MOTRs for the program. Since MOTR is relatively new, building awareness within the club was key. This began by having the team experience the product. “We opened up a series of classes for a three-week period to all our staff members. Additionally, the club members who we identified as our highly engaged ‘fitness ambassadors’ were also invited into these sneak preview sessions,” she said. ”Everyone just loved it.”

From there, organic buzz took off within the club community, supported by its usual channels of club communication: in club screens, the monthly email newsletter, social media, and promotional cards circulated by the management team offering a free trial class, among other things.

Janna assembled and trained a staff of current teachers to become her līfMOTR Master Trainers who then began working with members.

“Our members are revved about feeling both stronger and elongated in their bodies after training on the MOTR with our master trainers,” she said. “Your instructors are so important to any program’s success. And these līfMOTR Master Trainers were hand-picked because of their exemplary verve, proven track records, and commitment to fitness.”

As mentioned, LīF also brings an integration of technology in the class. In the current līfMOTR sessions each participant wears a heart rate monitor with their stats displayed on a large flat screen. Janna says this addition creates a high level of engagement, competitiveness and fun.

The formal launching of the brand evolution will take place in various stages starting in September 2015. Honolulu Club plans to promote the brand both internally and externally and it will be reflected in all of the company’s advertising and marketing.

The club already has seven līfMOTR classes offered during the week at various times. As the demand grows it plans to scale the classes accordingly, something which Janna sees happening quickly: “We foresee līfMOTR as being a powerful magnet for the Gen Y and Z populations, as we continue to infuse new energy into the club through the growth of the young professional segment.”

Learn more about Honolulu Club and their MOTR program at