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Happy 2019 everyone!

Has it really been 7 years since I've posted on my blog?! Wow! Well, considering my kids were 1 & 2 back then, I can see why I wasn't very active at they keyboard. I'll be posting more this year. Just a quick note as to what I've been up to the since my last post 7 years ago!

Life happens:

After having my son in 2010, I decided the best way to get my pre-baby body back was to do a bikini competition. I enjoyed the training and the structure of the diet so much I did 3 of them. Being over 40, the training was hard on my body. I ended up with shoulder and hip issues which led me to leave heavy weight training and HIIT workouts and opt for a gentler form of exercise.

Barre - why I LOVE it!

My body loves barre workouts. About 4 years ago, I became certified by Barre Above with Leslie Bender in Boston, MA. Everything about Leslie's approach to fitness was directly in line with my philosophy and I just took my certificate and ran with it. You can make any class into a barre class. For me, barre is gentle on the joints yet a very hard workout. A great barre class depends on how experienced a teacher you have. With on-line certifications so easily attainable, it's hard to come across a really good instructor who has a solid foundation of body mechanics and modifications and isn't afraid to be hands on. Another thing I love about barre is anybody can do it. To me, the MOST important part of any class is to pay attention to your FORM. It's not about doing a zillion of one thing, it's about doing it correct. I walk around my class with a yardstick to make sure everyone has correct posture.

We all hold stress in our shoulders so it's particularly important that before you execute ANY move in barre you relax your shoulders. I always start from the top of the head down and make sure my students have their eyes forward, their chin parallel to the floor, their shoulders retracted and relaxed. I know that sounds a bit contradictory but it makes sense when demonstrated. If you think about your posture and standing up straight you never want your shoulders slouched forward, so you need to exaggerate opening your chest by sliding your shoulders back and pinching them together. When you do this you must really focus on keeping your shoulders away from your ears, ALWAYS! Your belly button should always be reaching for the spine. Your hips should be below your shoulders - in line with your shoulders - and all 10 toes should be facing forward. Now of course this will change depending on what move you are doing, but that is how I start. Having that mental image of the placement of every part of your body. It's easier to remember if you visualize your posture this way. Another thing I do is put a yoga block on everyones head. This keeps people from rushing through a move and forces them to pay attention to their form. Below is a picture of my home barre studio where I teach most of my classes.

Another thing I'm obsessed with is MEDITATION!

I started practicing meditation one year ago and it has truly changed my life. I work with an amazing women named Kristal Fiorentino https://kristalfiorentino.com/. Meditation has helped me sleep, given me a sense of calm, made me more aware of my body and given me a sense of gratitude. I feel like everybody needs to meditate for mental health! I'm in the process of getting certified to teach mediation. One of my very favorite apps is Headspace. I literally can't say enough about it! They have something for everyone and the first 10 are FREE! I'm hooked!

Healthy Eating:

Below is a picture of my new FAVORITE cookbook! Each amazing recipe is paired with an equally amazing mediation, how cool is that?! I'm pretty much obsessed with it.

This year:

I am looking forward to posting videos on my YouTube channel for barre, kickboxing, pilates reformer and function fitness training. I'm also playing around with different recipes and have some ideas. We'll see...