Supporting, encouraging & challenging students is what teaching is about

I am currently working at LA Fitness (and soon another gym) as a cycle and yoga teacher. Click for my schedule here.

I have taken indoor cycling classes as a student for seven to eight years.

Indoor cycling is a cardio workout on a stationary bike where the students are guided by an instructor to ride hills, sprints, jumps, etc.

Even though I have started to teach regularly I still try to take a class occasionally from another instructor. I like to just be a student sometimes. And I can also get ideas from other teachers and maybe even hear a new song.

My philosophy as a cycle teacher is very similar to my philosophy as a yoga teacher. I believe you take care of your students in a loving manner. You remind your students to honor their bodies. You encourage, support and challenge but never humiliate or make them feel bad. Things, of course, can be misinterpreted at times. We are human beings. I try to be careful as a teacher to never make my students feel bad when I ask them to make adjustments (whether in yoga or cycle).

Before I moved to Portland I was a fairly … Continue reading

Getting ready to Spring Forward

Twice a year I write about time change. (Read last year’s Spring Forward post here.)

It’s that time again to Spring Forward (Sunday at 2 a.m.). I am not a fan of time change.

I seriously don’t get the point of it. I grew up somewhere (Arizona) where time change doesn’t occur.

So to my Arizona family members who can never quite get the time difference: Starting Sunday we will be on the same time.

This is the advice I like to give on how to deal with time change:

Momentum is not a muscle

This is gonna be a smorgasbord of a post …

First, I am now an LA Fitness employee, a yoga and cycle group fitness instructor. Starting soon I will be teaching three cycle classes and one yoga class with the hopes of adding some more yoga classes.

I’ve been taking yoga classes at the town house community fitness center. And I have had the opportunity to sub three of those classes already. I subbed a yoga class at another gym near me.

I took a body conditioning/body sculpting class on Wednesday. I have the possibility to teach this class as well after some training.

I haven’t taken a class like that in more than a year. Wow, two days later and I am still sore.

As we were working our weights the teacher reminded us that momentum is not a muscle. That really stuck with me.

Sometime back I wrote a post about how it is important to use form and not momentum when weight training.

I just might have to steal that phrase and remind my students one day that momentum is not a muscle.

Continue reading

Review Wednesday: Spotify

A little more than a month ago I took the SPINNING® teacher training. Soon after that I took the test (and passed), which made me a certified SPINNING® teacher.

One of my indoor cycling teachers has been my mentor and personal cheerleader through me becoming a yoga teacher and now an indoor cycling teacher.

One of the things he recommended was Spotify for my music for classes.

I have a good and varied selection of music in my iTunes library. But as a teacher of any sort of exercise class you need to keep it new and fresh. Buying songs regularly can get quite pricey.

I had heard of Spotify but had never used it. (It is now on my iPhone, iPad mini and laptop.)

You can use Spotify for free. But there are ads and you can’t play your music offline (meaning, if you aren’t on wifi you can’t play the music). Neither of those work for teaching an exercise class.

If you want to play your music offline, you have to hit the available offline button on each device for each playlist, including your song library.

Spotify gives you a free week of premium (no ads and you can play … Continue reading

My epic teaching day

Sunday was an epic teaching day for me.

I taught my first official indoor cycling class.

Wikipedia defines indoor cycling as an organized activity, a form of exercise with classes focusing on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity (race days) and recovery, and involves using a special stationary exercise bicycle with a weighted flywheel in a classroom setting.

Wikipedia also mentions that indoor cycling is commonly called spinning. This is true. But SPINNING® is a trademarked term and must be used correctly. I plan to write a post later on explaining this.

I had taught three impromptu classes when there was confusion about the class schedule around Thanksgiving and another time when the regular teacher had to cancel class. I just played my music and we went with it.

Sunday my playlist of music was planned out and how we rode to each song with hills, sprints, endurance, seated, standing, running, etc.

I had a pretty full class with about 12 students. (The most you can have at my gym is 16 if all bikes are in the room and in working order.)

I had many friends there to support me and another cycling teacher who has been my mentor and … Continue reading

Seeing results with healthy choices

I know that there are so many things challenging about the holidays. There is stress, overeating, over drinking … etc.

But we can overcome a lot of that and stay on a healthy track.

When I quit my job a little more than two months ago I thought the weight would fall off and I would easily fall back to my goal weight rather quickly.

Well, that didn’t happen and then I went on vacation.

Once back from vacation I got back on the healthy eating and regular exercise routine with indoor cycling and yoga (both public classes and my own home practice). I was also able to control my stress levels much more at that point.

I have been at it for about six weeks and am pleased with my results.

Yes, it can be difficult to maintain healthy living during the holidays. But it is possible.

When I first started on my weight loss track eight years ago I lost weight over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So far this year I lost weight over Thanksgiving. I made sure to get my exercise in last week while still enjoying food and wine, all in moderation.

I stuck to my plan of … Continue reading

I sweated a lot in a Bikram yoga class

Let me say that I realize this post may cause dislike, disagreement, possibly anger … But this is my opinion and my feelings on hot yoga. And you are allowed to disagree.

I don’t believe Bikram yoga (hot yoga) is real yoga.

After experiencing it I will say it is some form of exercise? … yoga poses where you are in a super hot room and sweat like crazy.

If you like doing it I am not saying you shouldn’t do it. I’m just saying … it ain’t real yoga.

Over the past year or so I believe I have become a self-proclaimed yoga snob. In terms of the type of yoga classes I take, the teachers I study under and even the way I am trying to develop my skills as a teacher.

When I first started taking yoga in 2007 it was solely for exercise. And there is nothing wrong with that.

About four years ago I started taking yoga at a yoga studio. I found different styles of yoga and different teachers I enjoyed studying under. And I found styles of yoga and teachers I didn’t enjoy.

My normal practice consisted of Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga.

Once I … Continue reading

Pursuing happiness

You want to know the real reason I quit my job?

I wasn’t happy.

I was also becoming a person I didn’t like.

And that definitely needed to change.

When I started my yoga teacher training about a year ago (can’t believe that was a year ago) it wasn’t my intention to quit my job and solely be a yoga teacher.

I planned to teach on the side and maybe eventually move more full time into health and wellness, which would include being a yoga teacher and blogger (and maybe a few other things I have up my sleeve), but like everything in life, things changed.

I have many things to do on my to do list. But the No. 1 item is to be happy.

I can’t be the best me if I am not happy and good to myself.

A few friends have asked me: Are you teaching full time? Where are you teaching?

No to the first question. Keep reading for an answer to the second question.

First, yoga teachers can’t possibly work 40 hours a week as a yoga teacher. Most teachers have to travel to multiple studios (or gyms) for classes, teaching can be emotionally and physically … Continue reading

Celebrate Stoptober & be aware this month

I seriously had no ideas for an October Monthly Challenge. I was just not going to do one.

But I decided to post on the Monthly Challenge Facebook page asking friends if they had any suggestions. And I got two almost immediately. Thanks, Rosie and Jen!

My friend Rosie is from the UK and this month is Stoptober, which means being sober and smoke-free for the month. Read more about it here.

If you’re a smoker, this might be a great time to think about quitting. It may not happen this month. But think about how much healthier (and nicer smelling) you will be if you quit.

I told Rosie that this is my birthday month and there is no way I am gonna give up drinking even with the supposed gold pass of one time to cheat this month. I mean, I am going to Tahiti next week and plan on having a lot of fuu-fuu drinks!

But hey, it’s always a good idea to limit alcohol. So maybe keep your drinking to only the weekends. Or cut your usual alcohol intake in half. Or if you really want to get crazy, try not drinking for the whole … Continue reading

Cooking and blending my way to healthy eating

During this time I am taking off from working full time I want to get back to healthy: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and in any other way I can.

I have started eating better, drinking even more water than I was before and I am even cooking a bit. (I’ve also started back with my regular home yoga practice, regularly attending public yoga classes and getting some cardio in at my gym.)

Let’s get back to that cooking thing I mentioned above …

Even though I have two parents who are amazing cooks, I don’t like cooking. When I was a kid and my brother and I were old enough we were given the task to cook one night a week to help our mom, who was a single parent.

I absolutely hated it. I begged my mom for any other chore. So I had to vacuum the house. And to the day I still don’t mind vacuuming.

I have many goals in mind during my break. One of them is not to become a housewife–this is no offense to housewives, it is just not me.

One of my goals (besides tackling that atrocious unorganized pantry, cleaning up my e-mail inbox, … Continue reading