Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It doesn't matter what you look like; it matters how you feel.

Senior year of high school I started working out for a boy. Into the summer, I listened to Jimmy Eat World on my Walkman and ran my heart out. I hoped that if I could look a certain why, that boy would like me.

Continuing into my Freshman year of college, I kept working out for that boy. I hated running. Hated it. But I still did it to change my body.

For the record, that boy never professed his undying love. Ever. He never even took me on a date.

I kept working out, though. And instead of working out for that boy, I started working out for the numbers on the scale. At one point, my boyfriend in Freshman year actually told me I should gain weight. Bless his heart.

Eventually my obsession with working out dwindled. Honestly, I was so poor in college I couldn't afford to eat much, and in turn couldn't afford to burn extra calories at the gym. I didn't have a car so walking to/from and around campus was sufficient exercise.

Then I found Yoga. Or did Yoga find me? I can't be sure. All I remember is starting my practice twice a week at the University drop-in classes and finding myself in love. Yoga gave me cardio, strength training, and peace of mind. Then I added two academic classes to my regime so I could practice four times a week.

FOUR TIMES A WEEK! I can't imagine having that kind of time again for Yoga.

The point, though, is that once I found Yoga I started working out for me. Not for a boy. Not for a certain number on the scale. For me. So I could feel good about myself.

To this day, I still work out for me. Not for a pair of pants to fit. Not for a curve in my hips to disappear. For me. Too many people I know are stressing about losing the "last few pounds" until they reach a target weight. Then there's frustration when those pounds hang on. Did you ever stop to think that maybe your body is trying to tell you something? Maybe those "last few pounds" actually belong to your body. Instead of trying to lose them to achieve a certain weight, it might be time to embrace them. Tone them. Put them into a pair of pants that fit, regardless of their size.

The journey to accepting my body has been a tough one, especially after having a baby and then finding my flabby self teaching Pilates classes a mere 6 weeks post-partum. It's intimidating to feel so exposed. But here's the thing- if you're not truly working out for yourself then you're never, ever going to be satisfied.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Schedule

Currenly, I am only available to instruct private/group Yoga or Pilates sessions in one studio space:

Farr West Tumblers
3677 N Highway 126 Suite S
Farr West UT 84404

Times are subject to studio availability and can be provided upon request.

I currently teach scheduled, Yoga & Pilates drop-in classes at the same location:
Drop-in at Farr West Tumblers
Monday 10am
Tuesdays 8pm
Pre-pay (24 hrs in advance) = $5
At the door = $10
Childcare = FREE (offered Monday morning ONLY)

Drop-in Yoga classes at Weber State University
Tuesday 6:00am 
Wednesday 8pm
Thursday 8pm (at University Village)
Saturdays 9am Students/Faculty = FREE
Community = $6

Monday, May 16, 2011

We go together like a wink and a smile

I've been loving my 6:30am Pilates class more than I can believe! Attendance is fabulous and early summer mornings are gorgeous.

If you're looking for some great options for working out this summer, check out the WSU schedule, or the Borrowed Earth Emporium, Wasatch Therapy, Yoga Jo's and Farr West Tumblers!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

South Ogden Pilates, Yoga and Zumba

Wasatch Therapy in South Ogden is updating its pricing and class availability this spring!

I promise it's really good news, and here's why.

In the past, you bought a 12-punch pass for $100. That let you attend Pilates 12 times, whether you chose to go twice a week, or to stretch out the pass FOREVER. It wasn't a very good system because it didn't motivate participants to work out on a regular schedule, nor did it let them attend other classes like Zumba or Yoga without buying separate passes for another $100.

Starting in May, Wasatch will be offering a flat, monthly rate for attendance in Pilates, Yoga and Zumba classes. That means for $45 per month, you can attend up to 6 classes each week; 2 Pilates, 2 Yoga and 2 Zumba classes. For your $45 monthly payment (no membership required) you can get more bang for your buck!

I'm excited about this change because it'll increase the effectiveness of your workout. Cross-training is key to weight loss, so now having the option of three different types of classes will help you get swimsuit-ready that much faster.

And with no contract required, having a $45 month-to-month fee is a sweet deal. If you know you'll be out of town for most of one month, then you can still attend classes for the $5 or $10 drop-in fee if you'd rather not pay $45 up front.

I don't know what more motivation you need, so I'll see you at Wasatch Therapy soon!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weber State University Fitness

Ready for summer? Me too.

I'm going to dive right in with parent/child swim classes at Weber State (thanks to Aspen's grandparents!) and if you want to join me with your kids, let me know.

I'm also still teaching Pilates for WSU, and you'll find me there every Wednesday at 6:30am. Pilates will only be offered at Promontory Tower in that time slot, so make sure you get to bed early on Tuesdays!

It'll be a real change for me, getting out of the house by 6am, but it'll be worth it when I'm not embarrassed to be seen in my swim suit at Aspen's swim lessons!

Classes will still be free for participants with active Wildcards, and only $6 for community drop in. See you bright and early starting May 4th!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pilates at Borrowed Earth Emporium

I'm thrilled to be joining Borrowed Earth Emporium in their quest to satisfy Ogden's need for Yoga, Pilates, Crepes, local music and so much more.

Starting May 10, I'll be offering a Pilates class at 9am Tuesday at BEE, so come on by and kick-start your summer by getting into this habit now!

BEE also offers massage, a co-op, a cafe and just a cool place to hang out and enjoy what local Ogden has to offer. I love the feel in Borrowed Earth and I'm grateful I'm now a part of it.

See you Tuesdays at 9am!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yoga Jo's Studio in North Ogden

I attended one of Jo's classes last week and loved the atmosphere. Her studio is hidden away on the top floor of a business building in North Ogden (2120 Washington Blvd). You'd never know it was there if it wasn't for the big sign in front of the complex.

Once you get up the stairs and into the space, the bells tinkle on the door and you're welcomed with a hug. Jo had never met me before, but she greeted me like an old friend.

The practice space is vibrant and warm, with prayer flags strung the length of the room. Jo's signature geckos make an appearance in the decor as well. Kids and adults alike, novices and seasoned Yogis practice together at Yoga Jo's.

The music is casual and fun. There's a mix of contemporary and more traditional tunes to get you going in your practice. Jo learns your name and isn't afraid to call you out when you need an adjustment on your posture or when she wants your opinion on what move should come next.

Jo has extended an offer for me to substitute one of her classes this week, and I hope you'll join me. Every class is FREE (but since teachers volunteer their time, even just $1 tips are encouraged) and you can rent a mat for only $1.

If you'd like to join me at Yoga Jo's, stop by on Friday at 5:45 for practice. It'll run just over an hour, and you'll feel great afterward. You can reserve your free spot by going online to Yoga Jo's website and registering.

See you Friday!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pilates and Yoga Certifications in Utah

If you're interested in Stott Pilates certification in Utah, then visit Intermountain Pilates Training Center in Salt Lake City. They have trainings scheduled for April of this year and they not only offer extensive mat training, but they delve into Pilates for injuries and prenatal participants.

FiTour is another organization offering Pilates certifications (which is where I received my Mat training) for very reasonable prices. The textbook is a great resource to have and I refer to mine often for my classes. FiTour also does Yoga certs so be sure to check them out for that as well.

Powder Blue Productions is another great organization (where I received my PiYo training) and they have a lot of certs available in Utah. Certifications are held in Tremonton, Taylorsville and St. George, so it's a pretty good spread. I loved training with Michelle and still use cues that she taught us during that workshop.

I trained for Yoga via YogaFit, which has an aerobic approach to Yoga instruction. It was a two-day cert when I participated and even 4 months pregnant I had a great time. They have a lot of trainings scheduled for 2011 that you should definitely consider. Like Stott Pilates, YogaFit offers certs with specific concentrations, such as for seniors or those with back concerns.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What is Savasana?

In Yoga, Savasana can be one of the hardest postures to perform. It's a posture for our minds rather than our bodies. While it's refreshing to physically rest after a hard practice, it can be just as rewarding to mentally rest as well. A lot of peace can be found if Savasana if you choose to use it as a time for meditation.

To prepare for Savasana, allow yourself to relax on the mat, feeling heavy and comfortable in any position you can enjoy for a few minutes. You're welcome to focus on your breathing in order to keep your mind present, or you can repeat a mantra. It's completely up to you how you spend your final relaxation posture.

The point is to relax. It may be helpful to first purposefully tense your entire body and then exhale to release. Let your eyes feel heavy, let your jaw feel heavy, let your shoulders relax and continue down your entire body until you feel your feet naturally splaying open.

Stay focused on your breath or mantra for as long as you need to feel refreshed. Once you're ready to release Savasana, begin organically moving the body, starting with whatever feels natural. It can be slight movement in the fingers and toes, or a slow nod with the head from side to side.

When you're ready, help yourself onto one side into the fetal position. This signifies a willingness to start anew, and prepares you to come to a seated posture on your mat. After a few deep breaths on your side, allow yourself to find a comfortable posture, sitting tall.

Once seated, you're welcome to rest your hands wherever comfortable- at heart center, on the knees, or at your sides. Recognize your divine worth. Appreciate the practice you completed.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Ten minute tone-up

Work your buns with Bonnie!

Child's Pose to Rabbit Pose

Child's Pose is a resting posture in both Yoga and Pilates. It gives the participant an opportunity to refocus on proper breathing techniques as well as any intention that was set for the practice.

To perform, you can keep the knees together or spread while folding the torso over the thighs. It's meant to be a comfortable resting posture, so let those hips sink as low as you'd like, and extend your arms either overhead or along-side the body.

From Child's Pose you can easily stretch the neck in Rabbit Pose. Placing the crown of the head on the mat, roll the hips skyward and interlace the fingers behind the back. You can stretch the arms skyward as well or let them rest along the torso wherever comfortable. Although Rabbit is a semi-resting posture, it is important to keep the core engaged to protect the neck.

Another pose to which you can easily transition is downward dog. Honor your body and let your practice flow.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Baby - Ananda Balasana

What a wonderful stretch this is for the hips, back and hamstrings. I almost always include this as an option when I instruct a Yoga practice because it helps get the body ready for Savasana by relaxing the low back into the mat and allowing the spine to enjoy a little massage.

To perform this posture, lay back on the mat one vertebrae at a time. Feel the spine pressing into the mat as you slowly lower to a supine position on the mat.

To prepare, gently pull the knees up over the belly and roll on the back if it's comfortable. You can stir the knees around in small circles as well, loosening the hips. When you feel ready, open the legs, keeping knees bent and showing your footprints to the sky.

Depending on your flexibility, you can reach for the feet and hold them while rocking on your back. You can also hold the calves, or the backs of your thighs in Happy Baby. It may be helpful to imagine a child whose just discovered her feet. What does she do? She hold onto her toes and rocks in glee!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Free Yoga and Pilates

Don't miss out on a chance for free Yoga and Pilates classes at Farr West Tumblers for the month of March!

If you refer a friend (by passing along a voucher) you'll stock up on a free class for each one who comes. Share the love and invite as many friends as you'd like. We've been having great classes at Tumblers and I love meeting new people.

The kids are welcome if you'd like to bring them; Annette will keep them busy with books, puzzles, movies and all sorts of toys. I bring Aspen and she has a blast. It's a great way for her to get used to making new friends, even at only 7 months old.

Classes are 8pm Tuesdays and 10am Fridays. Take advantage of a free class and while you're at Tumblers you can pay in advance for future classes, making them only $5 each.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten minute tone-up

I like Bonnie's brief but effective routines that can be found on YouTube. Try doing some of these exercises today at your own level- she includes modifications. They're a lot of fun and they make you feel great!

Downward Facing Dog

I have seen a lot of bad Down Dogs in my day. Although it seems simple to plant hands and feet on the mat and stick the butt in the air, it's tough to do it correctly!

A strong base is important; if you feel off balance, or fatigued in the wrists, you're going to compromise your form. Additionally, the core needs to be tucked in to eliminate a back bend, which is a common problem in Down Dog.

Imagine you are trying to get your entire hand print on the mat. Not just the heels of your hands (by your wrists). You need each fingertip to leave an impression on the mat, so stretch those hands wide and press through all of your fingers while in Down Dog.

Moving up the arms towards the shoulders, envision your biceps rounding in to the ears. Turn those muscles inward as if you were going to touch your ears with them. While doing so, you can feel your shoulder blades getting a little wider across your back, which is a good thing! It's also important to "push" the shoulders down the back away from the ears.

Follow your arms through your shoulders and focus on your back. Find length from the crown of your head (which is dropped loose toward the mat) all the way to your tailbone, which is reaching skyward. Squeeze your gluts together and tuck in that tummy.

The legs can be bent in Down Dog (if your hamstrings are tight like mine) or you can straighten the legs with soft knees. The "goal" is to reach the heels to the floor, even if your body is never able to get to that point. The legs should be about hip width apart, with those toes gripping the mat as your heels stretch toward the mat.

It may also be helpful to imagine that your chest is pressing toward your thighs. Try bending your knees so that you can actually touch the belly to the thighs. Once you find stability there, slowly lengthen the legs and you'll find your posture improved.

Down Dog is technically a resting posture, but if you're not doing it correctly it sure doesn't feel that way. And since this is a posture done frequently in Yoga it's important to do it to the best of your ability.

When all else fails, watch your dog stretch! You'll get a better feel for what your body should like that when you watch the animal for which this posture is named.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bird of Paradise

This is a posture I love. I have a fond memory of performing it poolside at a resort in Zion National Park on a beautiful day in July. Now, even when I'm attempting it in my bedroom in the middle of winter, I can think of that wonderful experience.

Bird of Paradise is set up in a side angle pose. If you cannot bind in side angle, you should not attempt Bird of Paradise just yet. First work on opening up your side angle posture in order to allow your hands to bind, as pictured below.
Once you are able to bind your side angle, you can work on shifting your weight and eventually lifting your bound leg as you stand.

In order to transition from bound side angle, bring your back foot forward to meet the front while holding your bind. From this posture, shift your weight into your unbound leg so you can lift the bound leg as you stand. Take your time and find balance with a strong core. You may keep your bound leg bent or extend it as your hamstrings allow.

When performing Bird of Paradise, be sure that you are working on squaring your shoulders and hips to the front of the room. If you find your posture is compromised, meaning, your spine is curved or your shoulders are hunched, then you are not yet ready for this pose. Staying open is key to success.

Ogden Yoga & Pilates

This week I get to be all over the place in classes at Weber State University. I'm really excited and I hope you'll take advantage of all the classes they offer this semester.

You're welcome to join me at the following times, along with other students, faculty and community members (free with an ID card, $6 to drop in).

Monday YOGA 8:45p Swenson Gym
Tuesday YOGA 4:30p Student Union
Wednesday YOGA 8:45p Swenson Gym
Thursday STRENGTH & TONE 7:30p Swenson Gym
Thursday PILATES 8:45p Swenson Gym

I'm really excited to be doing so much with WSU on top of my usual schedule:

Monday PILATES 4:30p Wasatch Therapy
Tuesday YOGA 8p Farr West Tumblers
Friday YOGA 10a Farr West Tumblers

This is why all my summer clothes fit, people! I got my pre-baby body weight and shape back by doing Pilates and Yoga every week (plus a teeny bit of cardio walking the Ogden River Parkway with a baby and a dog in tow).

Hope to see you at some of the classes before the semester is over. The summer schedule at WSU will offer fewer classes due to budgeting, but I'll let you know what's available as soon as the times are set.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Frog

This exercise may be done with or without an exercise band to increase resistance. It's completely up to you.

The Frog works the core as well as the legs. It encourages you to utilize the major muscle groups in the legs (calves and quads) and to engage the core for stability.

To start, find your neutral spine; your shoulders and tailbone should be connected to the mat. Each vertebrae should be nestled into your mat as you prep. Legs lift with knees bent, whether or not you're placing the band across the balls of your feet. The heels should be touching and the toes should be turned out, NOT touching. Knees should be about shoulder-width apart when they are over the torso.

If you're using the band, keep your elbows planted at your sides while pressing the legs long. These photos depict the model lifting her elbows off the mat; I find this may hinder your ability to maintain proper posture. While extending those legs, be sure your tailbone does NOT come off the mat. You can choose whether or not the head is lifted in this exercise.

Your legs can extend at any degree of difficulty that you'd like depending on the challenge you need. As you extend, the knees come together while you maintain turnout in your feet. Use your exhale to extend and your inhale to pull the legs back into the chest.

Repeat 6-8 times, building up your stamina and challenging yourself to eventually extend the legs closer to the floor in the future.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pilates and Yoga in Ogden this week:

Monday: 4:30p Pilates at Wasatch Therapy
$10 drop in

Tuesday: 8pm Yoga at Farr West Tumblers
$5 pre-pay (24 hours in advance)
$10 drop in
*check out the March special!

Thursday: 5:30p Pilates at Wasatch Therapy
$10 drop in
8:45p Pilates at Weber State University
FREE with active ID card
$6 drop in

Friday: 10a Pilates at Farr West Tumblers
$5 pre-pay (24 hours in advance)
$10 drop in

See-Food diet... see food, eat it!

One of my personal theories is that there is no such thing as "bad" food. There is, however, such as thing as too much food.

I've never dieted because I simply don't have the willpower to deny myself certain foods. So in order to maintain a healthy body weight, I've had to work on portion control. It's a great way to enjoy things I love like ice cream and cookies and carbs and yeah... everything that people claim is "bad."

A friend created a support group on Facebook for those trying to lose weight, and from it I learned about a couple of online programs that can track your calorie intake, helping you stay on track to either lose or maintain your weight. I've signed up for and have successfully logged about a week of meals. Woo! The only problem with the site is that I can't figure out how to factor in the extra calories I burn as a nursing mother. To contemplate, I mentally allot 500 extra calories for my daily intake.

My goal is to maintain my current weight so my summer clothes fit like they did before pregnancy. I have so many great pairs of shorts and summery tops that I'm looking forward to wearing again (since I was pregnant to the max last summer).

Have you used a calorie tracking system? Or do you keep a food diary on paper? What has worked for you as you've tried to get and stay healthy? So far I'm finding it annoying. I knew before signing up that I wasn't consuming enough calories based on how much I exercise, so it's frustrating to see those numbers on "paper." With that in mind, I'm going to go have a snack!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tummy Toners - Scissor Kick

Scissor kicks are a great way to tone not only the core, but the legs. Throughout this movement, you're reaching long through the balls of your feet, keeping length in each leg the entire time.

While on your back, you have the option of lifting the head or keeping it lowered on the mat. Tucking in the abs, extend both legs long to the sky. With the exhale, allow one leg to lower to the mat as much as you'd like while the other is pulled gently to the torso. With each exhale, you switch those legs.

Imagine them moving close together like a pair of scissors, almost touching but not quite. This posture is a great segue to many others- The Bicycle, Single-Leg Extension, Criss Cross, and many others we'll get to.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tummy Toners - The Hundred

Oh how I love the Hundred. Doesn't it sound fun? In Pilates, the Hundred is a posture that requires you to do 100 repetitions of breath- 5 counts in and 5 counts out. Too bad it's not just about the breathing though.

Level 1 is to keep the back on the mat with the legs in the air at any angle you want. The tailbone needs to stay connected to the mat though, so if it lifts, the legs are too low. While in this position with your back on the mat, lift the head and shoulders slightly while the arms are elevated at your sides. The arms will pump with each breath, like you're slapping water.

Level 2 is to lift the torso to a V posture with the legs, balancing on the tailbone. The knees are bent, and the arms are still at your sides, moving with each breath.

Level 3 involves lengthening the legs while the torso is lifted.

Work your way into the posture that works best for you on any given day. Some days your hips might feel too tight to elevate the legs, other days you may just feel too tired to straighten the legs. It's completely up to you. Just remember to breathe in and out for 5 counts each, forcing those abs to MOVE with each breath.

In any of the levels, imagine you have a string connected to the top of your head, allowing you to pull and lengthen the neck. The spine must be straight if your torso is lifted. If you find that your back is curling, you're not yet ready to be in that posture. Take it down a level until you have full control over your posture.

Once you've counted 10 sets of inhales and exhales (100 total beats) you're done! Relax that body back on the mat and stretch.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gym discounts

For the month of March, Farr West Tumblers is offering an awesome incentive- bring a friend to any class and receive a $10 credit on your account.

This can be used any way you'd like. Bring a friend to one of the Yoga classes and get the $10 credit! Bring a friend to your child's tumbling class and get a $10 credit!

$10 will get you TWO free Yoga classes, so it's totally worth talking your friends into coming. There isn't a limit on how many times you can redeem this credit, so get all your friends together and work out! Yoga is Tuesday at 8pm and Friday at 10am.

Included in the Yoga classes is free child care if you need to bring the kids with you.

Health tips for nursing mothers

I've realized there is a lot of confusion regarding good health when nursing a baby. The information I've gathered is based on what I've experienced, and what I've read on websites like,,, and

A common misconception is that you can't exercise while nursing because you'll "lose" your milk, or "dry up." I'm here to tell you from personal experience THAT AIN'T HAPPENIN'.

I found myself teaching fitness classes 6 weeks post-partum after receiving the okay from my doctor. I didn't teach at 100% because, let's be honest, my lady parts still needed some TLC. So I taught classes at my own level, and encouraged participants to do what they needed in order to feel challenged. I also did a lot of walking right after my daughter was born. Now that I'm 7 months post-partum, I'm still nursing, and I'm teaching at least 4 classes each week on top of my own personal exercise. I never once experienced a loss of milk because I ATE AND DRANK TO MY HEART'S CONTENT.

I can't stress that part enough. You must eat and you must drink like it's going out of style when you're nursing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating non-stop, especially if it's good food. Just avoid empty calories; go for filling snacks like apples with nut butter, or tuna fish mixed with tasty mustard on a piece of toast with avocado. Greek yogurt with your favorite fruit and honey. Find what fills you up and enjoy it. And drink water like it's going out of style.

If anything, working out was helpful to my nursing schedule. Since I sometimes missed a feeding, it gave me a chance to pump the milk that was building up so it could be used later. As long as you stay hydrated and well-fed, exercising will not adversely affect your milk supply.

An average nursing woman will burn 500 calories each day. That amount will differ based on your nursing routine. It's safe to say that if your baby nurses for 30 minutes at a time, each time, you're probably burning more than 500 calories per day.

Numbers don't really matter though. If you're hungry, eat. You do the same for your baby, right? I haven't paid attention to calories since my daughter was born. I eat when I'm hungry and I exercise 5 days a week. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight and shape, and I have a lot of energy.

The point is, find what works. Do what feels good for your body and for your baby. If it means you track calories coming in and being burned, so be it. If it means you eat willy-nilly and don't exercise for a while, so be it. If it means you find a happy medium, so be it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tomorrow's the WSU Yogathon!

I'll be helping with check in and the sale of Yoga mats (no free rentals, so bring your own or buy one for $5) tomorrow morning at WSU. The Yogathon will be hosted in the Student Union Bldg ballrooms which are upstairs from the cafeteria and the bookstore.

There will be four hours of Yoga classes, free for anyone with an active WSU ID card. If you're a member of the community and want to join in, just bring a $5 donation and you'll have access to all the great classes.

Some of my favorite instructors will be there, including Kathi, who got me hooked on Yoga years ago when I was a student. I've been privileged to take classes from three of the four instructors and I guarantee you'll love each of them for their differences and strengths.

If you can't make it this week, then come back next Saturday at 9:30 (in the gym) for my class. It's always free with your Wildcard and for the regular Saturday classes, mats are provided.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tummy Toners - Criss Cross

Criss Cross is one of the fundamental exercises I almost always require in my Pilates classes. It's a great way to target the entire core, especially the obliques, which can be a hard muscle group to work.

For criss cross, begin with a neutral spine on the mat. Supporting the head with your hands, lift it off the mat while bringing the knees to a 90 degree angle.

From here, you'll cross the shoulder to the opposite knee while lengthening one leg. One leg comes in, one leg goes out. With each exhale, your legs move and your shoulders cross up and over the torso.

It's important to keep the elbows wide and the neck long. Attempting to bring the shoulder across the body, rather than the elbow, will increase the effect on your core. It will take more abdominal strength than if your elbows just flopped around to touch your knees. Repeat this criss cross exercise at least six times.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tummy Toners - Double leg lift and lower

On Monday, my Pilates class did this leg lift, and my abs are still sore today. I love when that happens!

It's optional to have one's head lifted off the mat while doing this leg lift/lower, so choose what suits your needs today.

To begin, start with some warm up exercises, and ensure that your spine is connected to the mat. Throughout the double leg lift/lower, the tailbone should not lift from the mat. Use that as an indicator you've reached your max if you feel the tailbone lifting.

The starting position is pictured below; sealing the legs together, lift them skyward. Contracting the abs and inhaling, slowly lower those pointed toes to any degree of difficulty, remembering to keep the tailbone connected to the mat.

Your legs may end up at a 45 degree angle, or they may be more parallel to the floor. It's up to you and your abdominal strength. Grow into the pose with practice!

When your legs have reached their target, exhale to lift them back to the starting position. Your spine should be long, your tailbone should stay connected to the mat, and your core should always be engaged.

Repeat the double leg lift/lower at least 6 times.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

BOGO Yoga sale

Don't forget- for the entire month of February you can purchase one Yoga pass at Farr West Tumbers and get one half off. That's awesome savings for the Tuesday night and Friday morning classes. Passes are only $5 if paid 24 hours in advance, so you can get a second class for only $2.50 if you hurry!

In addition to the discounted cost, there's always free childcare if you need to bring the kids. They can read books, do puzzles, watch movies and play with Annette while you get the Yoga fix you need.

Mats are not required, but are helpful to enhance your practice. See you there!

The Pilates Body

Save 50% today only on a month of unlimited access to The Pilates Body in Ogden. Located on North Washington Blvd, this studio is ready to help you use your own body to get fit and have a whole month to fall in love.

For only $40 you can come and go as you please, sampling the Pilates, HOT Pilates or Zumba classes to your heart's content (literally!).

Other Pilates opportunities can be found HERE.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Yoga in Ogden

If you're looking to get some Yoga into your weekend, then look no further! Check out this list to see what venue and time works best for you and grab your mat!

10am at Farr West Tumblers
12pm at Borrowed Earth Emporium
4:30pm at Bikram Yoga Ogden
5:45pm at Yoga Jo's

9:30am at WSU (free with active ID card, $6 without)
11:15am at Borrowed Earth Emporium
4:30pm at Bikram Yoga Ogden

9am & 4:30pm at Bikram Yoga Ogden
10am & 11:15am at Borrowed Earth Emporium


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Adult Dance & Fitness

How I wish I had the ab strength for a class like this- acrobatic, gravity-defying workouts on the poles or silks at Blue. Groupon teamed up with Adult Dance & Fitness to offer 10 classes for the jaw-dropping low price of $29. 10 classes are valued at $179, so if you've ever wanted to start an intense regime of fine tuning your body, now is definitely the time.

I have a friend who recently started these classes for a new and fun workout and it's truly amazing what she has trained her body to do. The strength she's gained is incredible. You can check out her blog for more information and to see how fun it is for anyone who's willing to push their limits.

Photo from Addicted to Pole Dancing.

Balance Posture- Seated Eagle Pose

This is one of my favorite balance postures because it can also stretch tight shoulders and a tight back.

Seated Eagle Pose can be done at varying degrees of intensity depending on how well-balanced you feel on any given day.

Begin by gently bending your left leg, using it as your base. Your right leg will gradually find a comfortably challenging resting place around the left, standing leg. It can rest with just the toes crossed over the left foot, touching the mat, or you can continue to wrap your right leg around the calf of your left.

Adding to the pose, you can incorporate your arms. With the left arm on bottom, place the right on top. The fingertips of both hands will rest at the elbow of the opposite arm. The next step is to slide your elbows together, lifting the hands to the sky, wrapping them if flexibility allows you to do so. The elbows are lifted high, in front of the face for maximum effect. You may feel a comfortable stretch in the back and scapulas (shoulder blades).

Once you have held the posture on your left leg for at least four breaths, unwrap and repeat on the other side. Note that the gluteals are aligned over the heel of your standing foot, and do not stick out behind the body. A strong core is essential to successfully executing Seated Eagle Pose.

Photo from

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pilates Mat Exercises

There are a number of fundamental exercises that make up an effective Pilates routine. Throughout any of the postures, it's always important to use the core and breath to maximize effect.

A good warm up is essential to having a safe practice so try some of these before getting started:

-Imprint your spine on the mat. Lay flat with knees bent, arms at your side. Moving with your breath, gently rolling your tailbone up away from the mat and back into it again. Focus on deep inhalation and exhalation to help warm the body internally. Imagine the mat is cradling each of your vertebrae as you gently roll the tailbone up and down. Repeat at least four times before moving on.

-Roll like a ball on the mat. Using the core as the powerhouse for this exercise, place your hands behind your knees as you lay on your back on the mat. Begin rocking gently with your breath, working toward lifting the shoulders off the mat in a seated position. Continue rocking, rolling back onto the spine, tucking the chin and lifting the glutes off the mat. Repeat at least four times before moving on.

These two exercises help "wake up" the spine and increase awareness of the core.

A third warm up exercise is the swan. It encourages use of the muscles surrounding the spinal cord, and it helps warm the gluteals, hips and core.

-After rolling like a ball, stop in a seated position. Gently move onto all fours and lower your body onto the belly on the mat. It is important to imagine lengthening the body from head to toe in Swan. With this in mind, use the core to lift the shoulders and chest off the mat. The legs may lift as well, as long as length is maintained. The hands hover above the mat and are not used to press the body up off the mat. It may be helpful to imagine that the mat is freezing cold, and you must pull the abs up away from it. There are many variations depending on strength, so work on the fundamentals of Swan before adding a greater back bend to the posture.

These are just a sampling of the warm up exercises found in a Pilates workout. Every body is different, so adjustments can be made to compensate for your needs on any given day. The best part of Pilates is that it uses your own body as resistance, and can be done without any fancy props.

I'll have more workouts later in the week, so stay tuned!

All images from

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Unlimited monthly access!

Living Social is offering a discount for Pure Workout in SLC; for $29 you can have unlimited access for one month to the facility, including classes. The deal will also include body analysis, so let Pure Workout help you shape your fitness goals and your body!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Yogathon at WSU

On February 19, from 9am until 2pm, WSU will be hosting a Yogathon. You'll be able to participate for free with an active Wildcard (University ID) or for only $5 you can join as a member of the community.

$5 for FOUR Yoga classes? Yup.

Bring your mat and be ready to learn fundamentals of Yoga, do Yoga for athletes and more. For details, check out WSU's website and descriptions of the classes offered that Saturday. I'm hoping to see you there!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Where you can find me

Currenly, I am available to instruct private/group Yoga or Pilates sessions in one studio space.

Farr West Tumblers
3677 N Highway 126 Suite S
Farr West UT 84404

Times are subject to studio availability and can be provided upon request.

I currently teach scheduled, Yoga drop-in classes at the same location:

Drop-in Yoga at Farr West Tumblers
Tuesdays 8pm
Fridays 10am
Pre-pay (24 hrs in advance) = $5
At the door = $10
*Bring a new participant and get a FREE class
Childcare = FREE

I teach scheduled, Pilates drop-in classes at two other locations:

Wasatch Therapy
5349 S Adams Ave. Parkway Suite A
Ogden UT 84405
Mondays 4:30pm
Drop-in is $10; a 12-punch pass is $100
*First class is FREE

Drop-in Pilates classes at Weber State University
Thursdays 8:45pm
Students/Faculty = FREE
Community = $6

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Buy one, get one Yoga sale!

For the month of February, Farr West Tumblers has a new discount to offer: BOGO!!

For every full-priced pass you purchase, you get another half off. With three class times to choose from each week, that gives you a lot of options for your passes. Additionally, you can still stock up on free classes by bringing a new friend with you.

Childcare is always free at Tumblers, and all ages are welcome. Please give Annette a call to take advantage of this BOGO Yoga/Pilates sale: 801-731-8011.

See you there!

Pilates pushup

In Yoga and Pilates, there is a pushup posture. I've heard it called many things: high-to-low pushup, chataranga, Pilates pushup, and four-limbed staff pose.

The point to keep in mind is how it's performed, regardless of what you want to call it.

The mistake I often see is when students allow their elbow to bow out away from the body, more like a military pushup. In both Yoga and Pilates, the elbows are encouraged to hug the ribcage while the fingers point forward with the crown of the head.

Making this adjustment may mean that you don't lower down as far as you do in a military pushup. There's no shame in that! I've been practicing Yoga for over 5 years and there are days when I only lower an inch or two in my pushup. Every practice will be different and that's the joy of it.

For more detailed instructions, and to see more photos, visit this demonstration.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pilates breath

Pilates breath, also called Lateral breath, differs from Pranayama slightly. Instead of always breathing in and out through the nose (as is taught with Pranayama) Lateral breath encourages exhaling from the mouth.

In my personal experience, this helps with fluidity in the aerobic Pilates exercises. Breathing in through the nose can also help warm the body faster than if one breathed through the mouth on the inhale. In both Yoga and Pilates, keeping the body warm is key to success- the muscles will feel more relaxed and elongated with warmth.

There is no "wrong" way to breathe when exercising, but there are ways to improve your performance through modified breath. Please note that you won't be singled out if you're breathing differently than your neighbor. When I instruct a class, I just want to hear my students breathing; it's nothing to be shy about! We all have to breathe!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Aspire Pilates

Aspire Pilates in Riverton is offering a 50% discount on a reformer class, and they're throwing in a facial as well!


For only $35 you can get a great workout on the Reformer at Aspire, plus a facial (and $5 off a pedicure when you use this Groupon!!). Use of the Groupon is by appointment only, so once you buy, be sure to either schedule online or call Aspire to book a time slot.

I wish I could have a facial after every class I teach.

Unlimited Yoga

For only $49, you can enjoy one month of unlimited Yoga at Shiva Centre, which is located in Sugar House.

Shiva offers classes throughout the day, starting at 6am and concluding with a 7pm class. Their classes range from beginning to those that focus on mediatation. Even if you only went to one class a week, you'd still only pay about $12 per class, which is an awesome deal (their regular drop in rate is $14)!

Head over to Living Social's deal for today only and pick up your unlimited pass to Shiva for only $49!


Pranayama is the practice of breathing in Yoga. There is a certain breath that is recommended, and it sounds like you're whispering with your mouth closed.

It is helpful to concentrate on pranayama while practicing because it can draw the focus inward. It can be tempting to peek at your neighbor while practicing Yoga, but that contradicts the point of practicing! Yoga is about what is happening with your mind and body on your mat.

I found an article that details the purpose and benefits of pranayama that is helpful for even veteran practitioners of Yoga. It comes from ABCs of Yoga's website.

■Pranayama teaches us the proper way to breathe. We become used to breathing from our chest, using only a fraction of the lungs, not knowing that this unhealthy and unnatural way of inhaling may lead to several complications. With yoga breathing, we increase the capacity of our lungs, bringing more oxygen supply to the body to function well. We learn how to breathe slowly and deeply - the right way.
■Pranayama reduces the toxins and body wastes from within our body. It prevents one from acquiring diseases.
■Pranayama helps in one's digestion. With the proper way of breathing, one's metabolism and health condition will start to improve.
■Pranayama develops our concentration and focus. It fights away stress and relaxes the body. Controlling one's breathing also results in serenity and peace of mind.
■Pranayama offers a better self-control. Through concentration, one can better handle temper and reactions. Mind can function clearly, avoiding arguments and wrong decisions. Moreover, self-control also involves control over one's physical body.
■Pranayama leads to spiritual journey through a relaxed body and mind.

If you'd like to know more, head over to read the full article here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Aaaaaand we're back.

Tomorrow at 9:30a I'll be instructing Yoga at WSU. It's free for those with active wildcards, and only $6 for community drop in. Some mats are provided, but it's best to bring your own so you're not trying to practice on the dance floor (my spine hurts just thinking about it!).

If you'd like to get your Yoga and Pilates classes lined up for the week, check out the sampling of what's available in Ogden and North Ogden for you:

8:45-10:15a Yoga at Yoga Jos
12-12:45p Lunch Express Yoga at Borrowed Earth Emporium
4:30-5:30p Pilates at Wasatch Therapy
8:45-9:45p Yoga at WSU

12-12:45p Lunch Express Yoga at Borrowed Earth Emporium
4:30-5:30p Yoga at WSU
8-9p Yoga at Farr West Tumblers

9:30a Yoga at Borrowed Earth Emporium
5:45-7p Yoga at Yoga Jos
8:45-9:45p Yoga at WSU

9a Bikram Yoga at Bikram Yoga Ogden
12-12:45p Yoga at Borrowed Earth Emporium
5:30-6:30p Pilates at Wasatch Therapy
8:45-9:45p Pilates at WSU

10-11a Yoga at Farr West Tumblers
4:30p Bikram Yoga at Bikram Yoga Ogden

9:30-10:30a Yoga at WSU
11:15a Kids' Yoga at Borrowed Earth Emporium

For information regarding pricing and other available times, be sure to visit the websites for the various studios.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Farr West Yoga

I know I sound like a broken record, but I can't shout it loud enough that Friday Flow Yoga is free this month at Farr West Tumblers.

Class is at 10am, and childcare is still a free bonus! I bring Aspen, and she's not even six months old. Another participant has both a toddler and a four-month old and it works out great. There are movies, books, puzzles and even a window so you can peek in on your wee one while you work out.

Don't let your job as a mama keep you from having some free "me" time! We've got just the thing to give you a break from your responsibilities and help you feel great about yourself. The kids will love Annette, and you'll love the workout.

And you know what else? If you don't have kids, you're still invited! We have a great group of Yogis attending Friday Flow and you'll fit right in.

In February, Friday Flow will resume it's regular rates: $5 if paid 24-hours in advance, or $10 at the door. If you bring a new friend, you're eligible for a FREE class. Yoga is offered Tuesday night at 8p, Thursday night at 8p, and of course, Friday mornings at 10a. Childcare is free for each of the scheduled times, so pick the ones that work best for you and I'll see you there!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Yoga books

The Language of Yoga by Nicolai Bachman

I bought this book when I started getting serious about my Yoga practice. I had one instructor who regularly used both Sanskrit and English names for poses, and I wanted to get better at knowing what she was cueing when she used Sanskrit. It's a very helpful book, with CDS that offer pronunciation guides.

Living Yoga by Christy Turlington

This book was recommended to me by my favorite Yoga instructor as a good read for someone who wants to understand how to make Yoga a daily part of life.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Gilbert's autobiography-ish book is more than just Yoga, but it's a huge part of her self-discovery. She almost makes me want to visit an Ashram and go hardcore... but I don't think I could handle sitting crosslegged for that long.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Free Yoga in Farr West

Fridays are free during January, or you can bring a new friend to class and practice for free whether it's the Tuesday, Thursday or Friday class you attend.

Bring the kids so they can play with Annette while you work out. Give yourself an hour of "me" time- because you're worth it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saturday Yoga

Once again, Weber State is a go-to for your workout needs.

There are FIVE Yoga classes on the schedule for the main campus in Ogden, plus FOUR MORE held at the Davis Campus. You really can't beat that kind of availability.

I'm fortunate enough to be on the rotation for the Saturday morning classes at 9:30 at the Swenson Gym. I'm really excited because I'll be teaching in the mix with the instructors who guided me through my own practice when I was a student. Last year I only got to sub the class once, but this year I'm actually on the schedule. Woo!

To participate, just bring your mat and drop on in! You only need your Wildcard or $6 to attend. Community passes are available as well; just check the website for more info!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Water aerobics for adults and kids

I had a (LONG) informative meeting at Weber State on Saturday that made me aware of more opportunities available to the community and students. So I suppose that makes it worth the sacrifice... giving up sleep when you're up all night with a 5-month-old is definitely a challenge.

But forget about my fatigue. Did you know that swim lessons start up this month? For only $40, you can sign you kid(s) up for an 8-week class. It's a great time to get the kiddos ready for summer swimming, and it's a price you really can't beat. It's only $40 for the entire course! You can even sign up kids under three, provided they wear the appropriate protection in the pool (yes, please!).

The pool at WSU also has a drop-in water aerobics class twice each week. As usual, it's free for anyone with an active Wildcard, and only $6 to drop in. If you want a community pass, it's only $50. Classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm, and no swimming is required.

I'm thisclose to taking Aspen with me and strapping her on my chest for some pool time. She has the cutest swim suits she might not fit into by the time summer comes around!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yoga and Pilates in Ogden

This is going to be a busy week! There are the usual classes at Wasatch Therapy, WSU and Farr West, PLUS the free Health Fair on Saturday at Wasatch Therapy.

Monday 4:30p Wasatch Therapy Pilates
Tuesday 8:00p Farr West Yoga
Thursday 8:45p WSU Pilates
Friday 10:00a Farr West Yoga
Saturday 10-2 Wasatch Therapy Health Fair (all mini classes are free!)

As a reminder, all classes at WSU are free with an active ID card. For the entire month of January, Yoga classes on Friday at Farr West are free, with free childcare.

To drop in at Wasatch, it's only $10, and your first class is free if you haven't yet been to check it out! Classes at Farr West are $5 if paid in advance, and are also only $10 at the door.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

$5 Friday Flow

$5 Friday Yoga is back at Farr West Tumblers! Only, this month it's FREE!! For the entire month of January you can practice Yoga in Farr West for free on Fridays.

I hope you had a great Holiday, but now it's time to get back in gear, say goodbye to 2010 and HELLO to 2011.

I know I'm looking forward to a great workout every Friday morning at Tumblers, and I hope to see you there. If you need to bring the kids, childcare is free and they'll have a great time while you work out.

It's a great way to start the weekend, so I'll see you Friday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Have any weight-loss related resolutions?

If you're hoping to tone up and lose some weight in 2011, then join me tomorrow night at WSU for Pilates. It'll be a blast and since it's super cheap it won't hurt your budget!

Pilates focuses on strengthening the core and lengthening all the muscles throughout your body. It will also give you more energy and improve your posture. You don't need to bring a mat so just slip on your comfy clothes and meet me at WSU!

Students and Faculty may attend for free with an active Wildcard. Members of the community may attend for only $6. Don't miss this awesome opportunity!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Farr West Yoga

Mondays are horrible, aren't they? I always feel like I need an extra boost at the beginning of the week since I'm so bummed the lazy weekend days are gone. That's why I'm thrilled to be able to teach a Yoga class on Tuesday evenings. I need those endorphins to help me keep going for the rest of the week.

Join me for a chance to tone your body, refresh your mind and let the kids play for an hour on Tuesday evenings at Farr West Tumblers. As usual, childcare is free and the practice is only $5 if you pay 24 hours in advance.

See you at 8!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

This week:

Welcome to a new year! I'm so happy to have a couple more classes on my schedule to share with you! These inexpensive classes are a great way to maintain your health and reach your fitness goals.

Monday = Pilates at Wasatch Therapy
Tuesday = Yoga at Farr West Tumblers
Thursday = Pilates at Weber State University
Friday = Yoga at Farr West Tumblers

Check the Schedule page for details regarding times and locations.