How Much Does Your Fitness Instructor Know?

By: Lizzie Hammerman

As someone who holds several nationally recognized group fitness certifications, I can tell you from experience that not all certifications are equal. Although some of the more comprehensive ones require a basic knowledge of anatomy and a rudimentary demonstration of acquired skills, nothing compares to the rigor of Alkalign Instructor Certification, which each instructor at our studios holds. Here are just a few things that make our program unique:

 

 

Your instructors practice — a lot.
In addition to spending 8 weeks attending workshops to learn how to safely and effectively teach you all of the exercises that make up an Alkalign class, our trainees complete nearly 200 hours of on-the-job training such as observing class and completing self-study modules on topics including using props in class and creating an inspiring playlist. Our Cardio and Recharge instructors commit to even more training.  We believe that the best way to learn is to practice, and our instructors dedicate themselves to their practice.

 

The program is focused on you, our clients.
Learning how to cue the full repertoire of Alkalign exercises is actually a very small part of the training. Our real focus is on how to connect with our clients, how to adjust them into their best position, and how to knowledgeably offer modifications so that everyone who walks through our doors feels successful but challenged in class.

 

Your instructors are dedicated to continuing education.
The Alkalign instructor certification is a “living certification.” Our team members deepen their knowledge and hone their skills at our Immersion weekends and during ad hoc workshops and master classes held throughout the year.  

 

The program is based on science.
Our trainees attend a detailed functional anatomy course as part of their training, and they don’t just learn the names of the bones and muscles. They also learn how these components work together to move your body in a safe, functional and sustainable way. In addition, our training program is ever-evolving, so our instructors learn the latest research in sports science, kinesiology and rehabilitative therapy.    

 

Our instructors embody our brand, and, as you can see, we are committed to quality. We hope you feel that in every class you take!

 

Interested in learning more about becoming an Alkalign instructor? A new round of training begins this fall. Email Lizzie for more information.

Testimonial: Vy Tran — Why I Love Cardio Align

 

I have been a cardio junkie my whole adult life and have tried every trendy group exercise class for the last 25+ years: step, jazzercise, aerobics, kickboxing, zumba, spinning, u-jam. But Alkalign’s cardio class is my all-time favorite. I take it just about whenever it’s offered at either the Los Altos or Menlo Park studio. Why do I love it? I love to sweat. And this class gets me perspiring like crazy.

 

I have found cardio to be the “me time” I need. During those 45 very efficient minutes, I can focus on releasing any stress I have and feel amazing afterward. I am a MUCH happier person after cardio. And, unlike any of the other group exercise classes I have taken in the past, there is no chronic pain associated with cardio at Alkalign. I also love that I continue to get adjustments from the instructors and that they motivate me to work harder each time. The instructors also do a great job at always innovating the format so the class never gets monotonous. I am challenged by every class, and it never seems to get easier! What does get better is my form, which I love.

 

I am so grateful to have Alkalign in my life to provide me with a sanctuary I need while trying to balance working full time, taking care of my kids, trying to be a good partner to my husband, and, finally, taking care of me. I love the supportive environment Erin and her team have created at both studios,  where the clients feel welcomed, encouraged, and truly cared for.

 

Thank you, Alkalign!

Testimonial: Julie Takagi How Alkalign Helped Me Beat Diabetes

Last April, I was diagnosed with adult onset diabetes. I started seeing an endocrinologist, testing my blood two hours after eating, and religiously recording food and blood sugar data in a journal.

 

I cut back on carbs and exercised by walking (I was recovering from back surgery to correct a herniated disk and annular tear). Each morning, I would get a drink at Starbucks and walk in downtown Los Altos. My route always took me past Alkalign. After two weeks of this routine, I went inside. I was scared. I had tried a gym before and hated it.

 

Erin was inside and answered all of my questions. She was so easy to talk to. She said something like: “This is a community. Everyone helps and encourages — like a family.” I really wanted to be a part of something.

 

One of the things Erin mentioned was Nourish. Given my struggle with diabetes, I was very interested. No program was starting soon, so Erin offered to meet with me one on one to talk about my nutrition. I left feeling very excited!

 

My teenage daughter also came to my meetings with Erin, and we followed her suggestions together. As in Nourish, we did an elimination challenge and stopped eating corn, gluten, sugar, dairy and soy for three weeks. The elimination diet seemed challenging, but I was already changing the way I ate and taking charge of my health. I wasn’t hesitant at all. I wanted to jump right in and so did my daughter.

 

Erin supported us every step of the way. She emailed recipes, tips, and foods to try. It really helped having her there to talk to or to ask for suggestions.

 

I loved doing it with my daughter and seeing results. During the elimination challenge, we felt better, had more energy, lost weight, and had fewer headaches and less bloating.

 

We reintroduced sugar first because it was Halloween time. I ate a piece of candy and felt OK. I then ate a couple of candy corns and felt sick. I decided I would eliminate sugar as much as possible but not freak out if I slipped up. I would just begin again. That’s what I’ve done, and my daughter has done the same. She’s maybe even stricter with herself. I’m really proud of her!

 

A few more things I learned:

  •      I don’t need those foods in my diet.
  •      Corn makes me bloated and have headaches.
  •      Soy and dairy just make me sick.
  •      I can have cheese on a pizza, but I have gluten-free pizza.
  •      I don’t have to be embarrassed or scared when I go to an exercise class.

 

Here is something about me I’m not proud of: I start things and don’t finish. But that didn’t happen here. I did the elimination challenge, and I’m still taking class at Alkalign. I also feel so good having done something to address my diabetes instead of feeling sorry for myself.

 

The really big news is that I’m no longer diabetic. My doctor said: “I can’t believe it. You don’t have diabetes anymore. You did it! I wish all my patients would do what you did.”

 

I actually feel blessed that I got diabetes. It gave me a reason to work on myself.

 

My health is pretty good now, but I still have things to work on. I know that diabetes won’t be in my future, but I hope that Erin and the Alkalign family will be. With that support, and my daughter’s, I will keep going for it.

 

Cardio + Recharge Power Hour

Alkalign Cardio + Recharge

Did you know that there are 5 components to fitness? According to the National Association of Sports Medicine, these components are: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility/mobility, and body composition. I know what you are thinking: “I barely have enough time to target one of those! Now you are telling me that I have to make time for five?” Yes, but it’s a lot easier than you might think. For example, in a Cardio + Recharge class, you target all of the components of fitness in one powerful hour.

 

Cardiovascular Endurance:

Your heart is pumping, and your lungs are working in the 45 minutes of interval-based cardiovascular training that you get in the cardio portion of a Cardio + Recharge class. Over time, your cardiovascular system gets stronger, and you’ll feel the progress as you recover faster during the active recoveries and cool down.

 

Muscular Strength:

If you have ever cursed your teacher’s name the day after a class when you get out of a chair or go up the stairs, you’ve felt delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). All those lunges and squats during class create micro tears in your muscles that result in the soreness you feel the next day. The great news is that as those tears heal, you build stronger muscle which supports your bones and joints, as well as raise your resting metabolic rate.

 

Muscular Endurance:

Hello superset! Not only are you getting an amazing cardiovascular challenge during these 4 minutes of non-stop action, but you are also challenging your muscles by asking them to work continuously without rest. If you‘ve tried this class format, you’ve experienced the endurance challenge as well. Your lean, endurance muscle keeps you going through the superset and all day outside of class.

 

Alkalign Cardio + Recharge

Flexibility/mobility:

Stretching helps restore your muscles to their original length, and it feels great. That’s why we always encourage you to stay for the final stretch. But if you really want to take your functional mobility to the next level, the 15 minutes of self-care that is the Recharge portion of the class is what you really need. Our massage-therapy-ball techniques will help you find all of your tight spots that have lost mobility and function due to injury, tension, or poor body mechanics and alignment. We will help you nestle a ball right into those spots to restore the normal slide and glide of your tissues.

 

Body composition:

Properly addressing the other four fitness components and focusing on proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep (all part of our Nourish program), will help this part of your fitness fall into place.

 

Join us for a Cardio + Recharge class and feel the benefits of this incredibly efficient hour!

 

Resolve to Find Purpose

Alkalign Studios Los Altos Instructor PaulineAs 2017 begins, it’s good to reflect on the previous year’s accomplishments, failures and what you’ve learned from both along the way. There are moments in everyone’s life when you need to take a step back, revisit your path, maybe change course or find another route. I realized that the route I was following was not serving me or my clients well. I wasn’t considering WHY I teach and WHAT I wanted to offer or deliver to our community and clients. I had lost my purpose.

 

Shannon Kaiser of the Huffington Post has a great article, 3 Unexpected Ways to Find Your Life Purpose, and suggests the following ways to find your purpose:

 

+ “Get more action”, which I interpret as get more involved. How do you find your purpose or your passions? You have to put in the effort. You have to throw yourself out there, like testing spaghetti to see if it’s fully cooked (throw it on the wall, see if it sticks).

 

+ “Drop from your head to your heart”, listen to your heart. Find your passion by being open to trying new things. When you feel happy about what you are doing, it will show through your actions. You will be able to tap into what makes you happy and share it with others.

 

+ “Break up with one”. You don’t have to stop at having one passion. Find the things that truly make you happy. For me it’s, spending time in in the outdoors; hiking, running, skiing, kayaking, and boating. I also love teaching and taking fitness classes. My passion is being involved in fitness. However, I believe my purpose is to share my love of fitness with others. Passions become purpose.

 

Finally, Shannon states: Passion + Daily Action = Purposeful Life

 

“Consider that the real purpose of anyone’s life is to be fully involved in living. Try to be present for the journey and fully embrace it. Soon you will be oozing with passion, and you will feel so purposeful and fulfilled you will wonder how you lived life without it. Enjoy the journey into your own awesome life”.

 

I became a fitness instructor when I was working as a Buyer for Sony Music Canada. I had the opportunity to enter the Fitness Ontario Leadership Program and became an instructor at the Sony Fitness Studio in 1993. Yes, I am that young. I taught Step, Aerobics and Strengthening classes. The reason I started teaching fitness classes was I wanted to share my passion for health, fitness and overall well being with my co-workers. In 2010, I started as a barre client and soon fell in love with the method, studio and community. I also acquired the benefit of improved posture, increased muscle mass and core strength. A year later, I decided to train to become a barre instructor. As a part of our nature we continue to strive for perfection—in our jobs, family life, exercise/practice, and as an instructor. Seeking to increase and improve both my teaching and instructional skills to take my classes to the next level ,I lost my passion and purpose. Why do people strive to attain perfection when it is so elusive? People should always be willing to continuously improve. There is a saying: ”Perfection is not found in results. Perfection is found in your effort.” Continue to perfect your practice; work to achieve your goals, know what you want to offer your clients each class and do the best you can to deliver.

 

One of my favorite mottos at the moment is: PRESENT over PERFECT. I was trying to meet expectations that I had imposed on myself that didn’t allow me to be ME. I took some time to reflect on my PURPOSE. Why did I decide to become an instructor, what made teaching fitness enjoyable and fulfilling for me? Then I realized it was making a positive difference in one person’s day. Clients come to work out, walk into the studio with stress of their morning, day or evening with them. It is up to us as instructors to gift them with one hour of fitness and fun in a safe and supportive environment so they can return to their daily routine feeling strong and healthy; physically, mentally and emotionally.

 

“You don’t need to be great to start, but you do need to start to be great.” states Colin Robertson of WillPowered

 

We Are All Connected

 

Alkalign Studios Barre Class We Are All Connected

“I think connection is why we’re here. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and belonging is in our DNA.”—Brené Brown in ORIGIN Magazine via The Huffington Post.

 

When I reflect on 2016, honestly, it was pretty rough. While it was one of the most fulfilling years of my life with the growth of Alkalign and the completion of my holistic health coaching certification, much of what else went on this year in the world just felt, for lack of a better term, icky. Thinking about the illnesses of friends and family and the nastiness of the election really made me pause and reflect on why we are here and how we all relate to each other. It also resulted in increased gratitude for all the good I have in my life.

 

I’m grateful for my health and my family. I’m also thankful for Alkalign and the opportunity it gives me to connect with real people experiencing real life on a daily basis. Alkalign has brought amazing people into my life, including an awesome team that is an extension of my family and a supportive community of friends and clients who look out for each other in a genuine way. For me, the in-person human connections are so much more meaningful than the virtual connections of social media.

 

It’s the connection that really inspires me to do what I do every day. Living in Silicon Valley, I sometimes take heat from techy types who are my amused by my ambition to open brick-and-mortar locations across the globe. Sure, it’s not as scalable or as fast as selling a million online memberships, but it’s meaningful. As long as we are human beings, we need human connection, and Alkalign is a place to connect, whether it’s through a smile when you walk in the front door, a shout-out from an instructor or a workout shared with a friend.

 

In 2017, we will really focus on connections at Alkalign. We hope you’ll join us as we host events and outings so you can connect with one another and us. We can’t promise a year without challenges, but we can assure you that we’ll get through them together.

 

Pros of Probiotics

House Kombucha | Alkalign Studios Nourish Probiotics

Did you know that the majority of your immune system is located in your digestive tract? Improving the type and quality of food you ingest is the first step toward improving overall health. In addition to eliminating foods that cause inflammation in the body, try adding probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria) that enhance gut health.

 

You can consume probiotics two ways: eating certain foods or taking probiotic supplements.

 

Fermented foods contain probiotics, so try fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi or fermented dairy such as kefir and Greek yogurt. Kombucha (fermented tea) is also a good option, but watch the sugar content (≤ 4 grams per serving).

 

There are a lot of options when it comes to supplements. For a probiotic to be effective, it has to be live bacteria. Many of the brands on the market are dead by the time they hit the shelves. Go for refrigerated products so that you know you are getting live bacteria.

 

Experiment with different brands to see which is right for you. Each brand features different bacteria strains or combinations of strains. Take note of the way a brand affects your digestion, mood and energy (allow for 30 days with one brand to assess the impact). You may find the best results by rotating different brands to get different strains into your system.

 

In addition to improving gut health and digestion, probiotics can help with thyroid imbalances, chronic fatigue, joint pain, psoriasis, autism and many other conditions. Moreover, they can prevent urinary tract infections, heal inflammatory bowel conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and fight food-borne illnesses.

 

Try some and see. You might be surprised by the results!

 

Editor’s Note: This post features content from Alkalign’s Nourish program. Ready to learn more? Join our Holiday Mini Challenge or email nourish@alkalignstudios.com for info on our full session starting January 2017.

 

Testimonial: Monica Knoblaugh Self-Healing + Autoimmune

My Journey of Self-Healing + Health Awareness

 

You might know me from how I spend my Saturday mornings: sitting behind the Alkalign front desk in Menlo Park. But you probably wouldn’t recognize the person I was when I came to Alkalign as a new client about two years ago. I had been a gym member, sweating my heart out on the treadmill, and I had deprived myself on every fad diet. Nothing worked. This time, I was determined to lose weight and finally feel better about myself. Within a month, I was hooked. I was seeing results, feeling more energy and thriving on the positive vibes and encouragement I got from instructors.

 

After a few months of taking class three to five times per week, I decided to put even more focus on my health. I was feeling better, but something still wasn’t right. On my 28th birthday, I made a wish, a promise to myself, to get control of my health. My insurance had lapsed, and I hadn’t been to the doctor in years. So I enrolled in a health plan and started on a  six-month journey of specialists and tests. The end result? I have an autoimmune disease. My doctor consoled me and painted a bleak picture of my future. Rather than accept this fate, I turned to Alkalign and its holistic approach to health.

 

I began taking two classes per day and using the time to focus inward. I did what felt right in the moment for each muscle of my body. Inspired by the Nourish program, I looked at how I feed my body as well as my soul. I learned to appreciate myself, and with that, better choices and healthy switches started to become second nature. After class, I reached for a protein-packed salad for lunch, rather than a low calorie “diet bar” laden with unnatural ingredients that I can’t pronounce.

 

This year, I celebrated my 29th birthday—42 pounds slimmer and six dress sizes smaller (from size 10 to 0) than the year before. But what I wish I could show is the new lease on life and stamina I have found. This past summer, I wore a bikini for the first time in a decade. Closing in on the Big 3-0, I feel healthier now than I did in high school. I know I have a long road ahead, and I am handling the side effects of my disease with an optimistic and open-minded attitude. I am working to adapt to a gluten-free pseudo-vegan lifestyle (which is no easy task when you have an affinity for fresh donuts!).

 

I am grateful for my Alkalign family—a group of loving, kind hearted and genuine beings that I can honestly say have helped to rescue me. I am learning that life is a journey, and I now look forward to each moment. I am not defined by my disease. I am defined by the attitude and actions I choose. And I choose to embrace positivity and change so that I can live present and be forward.

Guest Post: Juice Co. LG Co-Founder Katelin Slifer

Juice Co. LG via Alkalign Studios

Convenient health. That’s what we’re striving for, right? Making a kale smoothie as we run out the door each morning + squeezing in our favorite barre class before the first meeting of the day. Making healthy choices can be time consuming and inconvenient. We live in Silicon Valley, one of the most successful communities in the world and there are still never enough hours in a day.

 

Research now shows that we need nine servings of fruits + vegetables daily. We believe in a truly healthy lifestyle but also prioritize life balance and this number can feel overwhelming. Meet juice co. LG. We’re a boutique cold-pressed juicery, making handcrafted, small batches. Our ingredients are 100% organic, locally sourced and raw. By choosing the cold-pressed method, you’re selecting the most nutrient dense juice on the market.

 

Different from masticating or centrifugal juicers, the cold-pressed method maintains the max amount of vitamins + minerals while also maintaining freshness. The term “cold” refers to the lack of heat applied to the produce when it’s ground, therefore maintaining all of those vital nutrients. We then press each recipe individually, very slowly, through a hydraulic press, adding nine tons of pressure. This extracts every last drop of juice out of the pulp. (People always ask me what we do with our left-over pulp. It is donated to the San Martin Milk Company, where they feed the pulp to livestock and use it as compost on the farm.)

 

The more fiber you consume, the fuller you feel. This does not always mean you are getting more nutrients. You get 2-4 pounds of produce in each of our juices. I recently posted a picture on our Instagram that shows just how much produce truly goes into one bottle of juice:

 

 

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-2-05-37-pm

By drinking your fruits + vegetables, you’re maximizing your produce intake while maintaining nutrients. You’re also consuming a massive amount of produce without any additives (think dressing on salads). It would actually take quite a bit of energy to eat that much produce. When you’re able to consume nutrients in liquid form, your body naturally absorbs those nutrients quickly. This is why the cold-pressed method is crucial. It is proven to maintain the highest amount of nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, etc.

 

Over the past two years we have worked to create a product packed full of healthy produce—two to four pounds of organic produce per bottle to be exact. This alone is more than four servings of your RDI of fruits + vegetables, in one 16oz glass bottle! This development process created a product that not only tastes good, but is actually good for you. The final result? Convenient health!

 

You can now purchase our juices at both the Los Altos and Menlo Park Alkalign studios. Purchase directly from the Alkalign Nourish fridge or place a specific order to be delivered to the studio, with no delivery fee. Visit our website at juicecolg.com or follow us on social media @juicecolg to learn more.

Testimonial: Kristy Taves Alkalign Experience

Alkalign Testimonial

I discovered Alkalign at age 17. After my first Barre 101 class, I was immediately captivated. It only took a few more classes for me to fall in love with a workout unlike anything I had ever known as a high school athlete. Alkalign is so much more than a fitness studio. It is a lifestyle driven by an inspiring community of kind, dedicated people who strive to support each other. Alkalign had a larger impact on my life than I ever thought it would.

 

I began working in the Playroom and as a Client Relations Specialist at the front desk. Working at the studio strengthened my relationship with the amazing clients and instructors. As a Client Relations Specialist, I was accountable for a large part of the client experience. I maintained the member database through MindBody software and recorded member attendance. This responsibility demonstrates a comprehension of computer skills and data entry, as well as an expertise in customer service. Working behind-the-scenes also includes cleaning and upkeep in every part of the studio. I managed the cash drawer, payments, membership sales and retail transactions. Handling finances and working with merchandise are two excellent skills to posses. Lastly, I often held the responsibility of closing and locking the studio, which exhibits trust from management and the instructors.

 

As I went off to college at New York University, I began thinking about applying for internships. My work experience at Alkalign was one of the only things listed on my resume, besides a bit of babysitting and volunteer work. I utilized my involvement with Alkalign on every cover letter and in every single interview. I was successful gaining my first internship with Louis Vuitton in New York, thanks to my wonderful experience working at the Alkalign front desk.

 

 

With this remarkable array of skills under my belt, I was able to enter the corporate world confidently. Since my first internship, I have interned for Harper’s Bazaar magazine in Manhattan and Adobe here in the Bay Area. As I head back to NYU this fall, I look forward to interning for NBCUniversal. Alkalign has not only propelled me forward professionally, but it has also helped me grow mentally, physically, and emotionally stronger.

Testimonial: Kim Johnson + Alkaligned

Alkalign Studios Review 

It’s amazing how quickly we get absorbed in our busy lives and often forget to really take care of ourselves. Are we eating well, exercising, sleeping well, drinking enough water, doing something quiet or peaceful for ourselves? I realized I wasn’t, and I was paying for it. My energy was low, I became a restless sleeper, was gaining weight, and catching more colds throughout the year. I got caught up in this whirlwind blaming my new career as a nurse as the source to how I was feeling. Though I’m sure my new schedule and balancing a new career played a hand in how I felt, I sure wasn’t doing anything to change or help myself.

 

Finally, in April 2016, tired of feeling like crap and putting things off, I decided to get a body fat scan done. Wow, did the results shock me. I was off the charts and not in a good way.  I knew I lost touch with myself, but I didn’t realize how far down I fell. This was the start to regaining control of myself! I set three goals:

 

+ This had to be a lifestyle change, not a fad or a diet

+ It needed to be practical and efficient to fit my ever-changing schedule

+ Maximize change by burning fat and building lean muscle

 

Already being a member of Alkalign Studios, I figured I would start here, attending classes 2-3 times per week, incorporating at least one Barre Align and one Cardio Align class each week. Luckily, at this time, Alkalign Anywhere rolled out, and I could add in doing the videos in my own home or when I was out of town. The online workout videos were a game changer for me because of my inconsistent schedule. I got the same great muscle burning workout that allowed me to increase my workouts from 2-3 times per week to 4-5 times per week. I quickly developed a practical routine that was both efficient and enjoyable.

 

Now that I began tackling my exercise routine, it was time to make adjustments to my diet. I am firm believer of “everything in moderation.” And though I still don’t believe in completely cutting anything out of my diet, I instead learned what works for me and my body. I had already started making small changes when Alkalign Nourish 1.0 started, but I decided to join and embrace it and see what else I could learn. Nourish seemed to hold the same values I did about learning what works for you and making changes that fit your lifestyle. I learned so much about how food affects my mood, my energy, my sleep patterns, and even my skin.

 

Three months later, July 2016, I already felt a difference in my energy level, sleep patterns, and weight but I wanted a repeat body scan to see if my changes were making the difference I was looking for. Answer: yes they were! I was down 5lbs in body weight, my body fat percent was down 4%, and I was up 1.5lbs in lean muscle. Wow! I couldn’t have been happier. Four months later, I was even down a full size in pants. Even though I love these numbers, and I can’t wait to see the progression, I truly just love how I feel. I look forward to the mornings, I love crawling into bed at night knowing I’m going to sleep peacefully, and I have the motivation and energy to workout and prepare healthy meals. I set out to find a routine that fit my busy life schedule and instead I have adopted a routine that is just apart of my daily life.

 

Testimonial: Erin Moritz + Post-Pregnancy Workout

Alkalign Studios Post Pregnancy Workout

I am a first-time mom to an adorable baby girl, Sloane. I have been petite with an athletic build my entire life and assumed that I would gain the “suggested” 25 pounds (which is nearly impossible) and bounce right back after baby. While attempting to eat healthy and maintain some sort of physical exercise during my pregnancy I was astounded to find that I had gained over 50 pounds! After a rather traumatic birth story, I left the hospital weighing 10 pounds more than when I had gone in. I had over 60 pounds to shed. I was able to lose most of the water weight within a week or so but the other pounds were going to take work. Given that I had a cesarean section, I knew that I was going to need to find a workout that would help me not only get back into shape but also help me to heal my body and retrain my muscles.

 

Before being cleared to work out, I would walk two miles to Woodbury Town Center each day to pick up my Starbucks with my daughter. While walking, I came across Alkalign Irvine and stopped in to see what it was all about. I got a chance to meet Kate and ask some questions. Having never taken a barre class or a Pilates class and not being a fan of yoga, I assumed I would (like most classes) hate it. I ended up joining a class and LOVED it. The class was amazing!  Many of the positions and movements did not look challenging but my muscles ached in a good way the next day. The instructors were able to modify movements to help with my recovery after having a cesarean section, while still ensuring I was building muscle and making the most out of my workout.

 

I ended up purchasing a monthly membership to attend class at least five times a week. My goal was to heal my body and become comfortable enough to sport a bikini this summer. I knew that I would quit and not be able to stick to my goals if I did not see progress so I decided to start taking a picture every 30 days.  Each month I would compare my picture to the month prior and was surprised that I was noticing results. I could visibly see the progress and wanted nothing more than to push myself further.

 

After only two months, I felt like myself again. I had rebuilt core strength that I honestly never thought I would feel again. I am stronger and more physically fit than I was going into my pregnancy. I love Alkalign because you get what you put into it. I am able to push myself past where I felt possible on some days while scaling it back on other days. I have not only been able to help myself physically but I have built confidence that helps my mental state. I hope to continue my practice for years to come.

Say Goodbye to Monday Blues

 

Erin Alkalign Studios Founder | Fitness Barre Studio FranchiseDo you live for the weekends and dread Mondays? Do you start getting bummed on Sunday evening thinking about Monday? It may be time to consider a career or lifestyle change.

 

I spent several of my nine years in corporate America feeling sad on Sundays. For awhile I thought it was just the foggy weather in San Francisco bringing me down. I worked hard. I gave my company my all. I had some great opportunities over the years. But no matter how many times I received a promotion or a raise, at the end of the day, I was just a cog in the corporate wheel. I wanted more. I wanted to get out of my career as much as I put into it. If I was going to spend more than half of my waking hours working, I wanted to do something that I was passionate about.

 

For me, health and wellness combined with business was the perfect combination. In January 2009, I resigned from my product development job at a Fortune 500 healthcare company and opened my first barre fitness studio in March 2009. I haven’t had a case of the Sunday or Monday blues since. Honestly. I love what I do. How could I not? I get to be the best part of clients’ days. I have an opportunity to truly impact the communities we serve for the better. Sure, there are tough days. There are stressful moments. But it’s surmounting the obstacles that make it all worthwhile. Even on the most challenging days I have never once regretted the leap I took eight years ago or wished I was anywhere other than where I am right now.

 

Not sure if your current career is forever? Do some soul searching and really evaluate what makes you happy.

 

+ What lights you up?

 

+ If you could do anything as a career, what would it be?

 

+ What are your strengths?

 

+ What is stopping you from making a change?

 

They say if you do something you truly love, it doesn’t feel like work. It is true. Find something you love. Life is too short…

 

Erin Paruszewski is a balance evangelist. As the Founder and CEO of Alkalign Studios she is passionate about alignment and functional movement. Alkalign is more than a challenging and effective workout, it’s training for life. Learn more  about Alkalign and how to live your dream and open an alignment based holistic barre studio in your community.

 

Prevent Pokemon Go Injuries

Prevent Text Neck + Pokemon Go Injuries at Alkalign Studios

 

Spending your days walking around catching Pokemon? While you are logging steps on your pedometer, you may be doing serious damage to your neck. An adult head weighs somewhere between 10-11 lbs. For each degree your head is out of alignment as you look down at your phone, it adds an additional 10 lbs of load to your cervical spine. And when your neck is out of alignment, your shoulders round forward, then your low back rounds and before you know it, you have all sorts of injuries due to poor posture and alignment.

 

A few things we do at Alkalign to promote great posture:

+  Align the spine, including neutral cervical spine. Chin parallel to the floor, ears back in line with the shoulders.

+  Strengthen the upper back, including the rhomboids which help to hold up your heavy head.

+  Open the chest by externally rotating the upper arm and shoulders, preventing the forward slumping posture.  

 

Save yourself some serious issues later on and hold the phone up in front of you! Plus you may even prevent the embarrassment of running into that flagpole, tree or Pikachu.

 

Erin Paruszewski is a balance evangelist. As the Founder and CEO of Alkalign Studios she is passionate about alignment and functional movement. Alkalign is more than a challenging and effective workout, it’s training for life. Learn more  about Alkalign and how to open a alignment based holistic barre studio in your community.

Instructor Spotlight: Seychelle Hicks

Alkalign Studios Instructor Spotlight Seychelle10 Things you may not know about Instructor Seychelle

 

+  I’m a fifth-generation Coloradoan (before it was even a state). Grew up in Evergreen, in the foothills above Denver.

 

+ Kayaked with whales and penguins in Antarctica—it’s an unworldly place of ice, snow and jagged mountains.

 

+ Lived in NYC for nearly five years on the Upper West Side. My favorite NY activity is to run in Central Park at daybreak and see the midtown buildings glimmer in pink hues as the sun comes up.

 

+ Herniated two discs when I was 15 years old from years of competitive tennis. Rolfing (deep fascial massage therapy) and strengthening my core prevented surgery.

 

+ Climbed + trekked in Nepal and India for nearly four months, including living on glacier for 30 days. Toughest full body sport—ice climbing…

 

+ While it is not news that I am 6 feet tall, I also have a 6 foot wing span and size 11 feet. These metrics helped me land a large single room at college. Yep, I wrote an essay about being tall and needing space, which the housing dean found to be quite amusing. Bring on the double blocks…

 

+ Worked on a natural skincare beauty start-up. If you want to know about beauty products, just ask.

 

+ Gluten-free (for 8 years) and dairy-free (for 6 years).

 

+ Graduated from The Wharton School in Finance and Management, but also minored in English Literature proving that math vs. verbal or right brain vs. left brain are not mutually exclusive.

 

+ I love the ocean, but will always be a mountain girl. Climbed in the Himalayas, Patagonia, Swiss Alps, Grand Tetons, Yosemite and Appalachian Trail. Top of the bucket list: Denali (Mt. McKinley)