Scary Group Fitness Classes

Scary Group Fitness Classes

The thought of going to a group fitness class can be scary and is not appealing to most people. Visions of fit young people who all know what they’re doing…. except you! You can’t move and bend like that. You feel fat and maybe older than everyone else. You have no idea what to do. And it all seems silly…. this couldn’t be serious exercise!

Maybe you’re remembering exercise videos you’ve seen or maybe you’ve had an actual experience. If you’ve had that experience or think it will be like that, I empathize! No one should go through that as it can be humiliating! I’ve felt it myself… and I’m an experienced teacher!

If you haven’t been to a club or studio lately, you might not know that much has changed in group classes. Many instructors have been trained to teach to all levels and to give options in class for people with back trouble, knee pain, shoulder trouble or other problems which are very common these days. Gone are the days of high impact jumping with leg warmers and fancy choreography. You’ll find a more health oriented approach in group exercise classes than in the past (but still fun!!)

Here is what you should expect if you attend a well run group fitness class:

  1. The instructor should ask your name and welcome you to the class. Maybe even introduce you to another class member. The instructor should ask if you have any physical difficulties that the class would impact… then give you brief directions for how to handle that.
  2. The other class members should appear friendly and welcoming. This is a direct result from how the club or studio is run. The studio management should be fostering an inclusive environment and you’ll pick up on that right away. If it’s there, it will feel good to you. If you feel left out and lonely, something is not right. It’s not you.
  3. Once the class starts, you should feel like you can follow what’s happening. The instructor’s voice should be pleasing and easy to hear and understand what they are saying. If you are completely confused through the whole class, it’s not you. It’s the instructor.
  4. You should feel like the intensity and difficulty of the exercises is just right for you, whether you are very fit or a beginner. It’s the instructor’s job to assure that beginner to advanced people are doing the right options for their abilities.
  5. You should feel challenged physically, but also feel some fun and excitement. It should feel like the time goes by quickly and you never get bored.
  6. As you leave, you should feel a sense of success…”I did it!”

I often hear people say that they need to get in better shape before they show up at a class. Realize that the reason for the class is to get into shape. Don’t wait. If you don’t want to see yourself in the mirror, choose a spot where you can’t see yourself. People are much more supportive than you may think. People get inspired to see a new person in class. They remember their own first class and remember how hard it was for them to walk into that room.

A group fitness class may seem like a big social event, but it’s really a time for you. No need to be all social and extraverted… most people are not. They’re normal, regular people with the same issues you have. During class, you can go internal and challenge yourself. The instructor’s voice is just there to guide. But it’s really about you and your own awareness of your body and what it can do.

The beauty about being in a group is the motivation. The group format gives you a structure and you’ll do far more in a group than on your own…. you simply feel more motivated.

The key is to find the right gym, fitness center or studio that offers classes with the above points. If you land at one that doesn’t work, try another.

Barre Exercise Classes for a Sculpted Lean Body

Barre Exercise Classes for a Sculpted Lean Body

Everywhere you look you see barre classes… at studios, barre fitness centers, gyms and videos! They’re popular because you get results. If you haven’t tried barre yet, we encourage you to find a class and get started.

Barre classes tone like nothing else. You’ll see a visible difference in your body very quickly. Your clothes, especially your pants, will fit differently almost immediately. How can that be?

Barre is designed to quickly transform and shape your body using isometrics and tiny pulsing actions. Moving tiny like this, your muscles start to burn and even shake! You’ll feel it right away. But this is why it changes your shape so rapidly. Large movements are great when you’re looking for cardio or generalized movement…. but nothing will change your shape faster than almost isometric-like movements.

After you’ve worked a muscle, say, your thighs, you’ll do a quick but very deep stretch… then quickly move on to the next exercise.

Your barre class should target all the “trouble spots”….. abdominals, hips, thighs and upper arms. You’ll see more tone in your arms, a flattening of your belly, narrowing of your thighs and your seat will mysteriously “lift” and reshape. Improved posture and a stronger back are 2 huge benefits of doing barre classes. However, if you have back trouble, let your instructor know. You’ll be given modifications until your back becomes stronger.

Be aware that with the popularity of barre classes, you’ll see quite a variety of styles. If you’re looking for rapid bodyshaping, avoid classes that

  1. Move slowly and have long breaks between the exercises
  2. Substitute yoga or Pilates exercises for the intense barre work. Though we all love Pilates and yoga, it’s the barre exercises that rapidly change shapes
  3. Have mostly all big, or full range of motion movements. Though large movements are great for overall health, they are not the most effective for changing shapes.
  4. Are taught by instructors that don’t offer help with technique. In barre, technique is critical to be sure you get results (and don’t get hurt).

Barre classes appeal to a variety of people. It’s ideal for pregnancy and post partum. If you have a knee or hip replacement or a newcomer to health and fitness, barre fitness classes could be very appealing to you. It’s no impact and doesn’t have tricky choreography or jumping around. You won’t be lifting heavy weights or feeling like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Beginners who are interested in Barre can feel confident knowing that it’s easy to pick up when trained instructors are guiding the class. Results will come quickly from doing Barre about three times a week. It’s also a great workout for those involved heavily in sports. It’s so important that physically strong people receive deep stretching of the muscles while maintaining strength at the same time.

A Strong Powerful Body Equals a Strong Powerful Mind

Becoming physically strong is the first step but maintaining healthy energy levels from the Barre workout will also help you feel and look your best.

Bloating and Salt

Most know that a high salt diet is not good for you. But that does not distinguish between processed “table salt” composed of sodium, chloride and other added agents (bleach, anti-caking agents, etc).

Consider eating a salt containing over 84 minerals in a crystalline structure. Your body sees that type of salt as a nourishing and life generating food.

Table salt, however, is seen by your body as a toxin, and you quickly dilute it…. resulting in puffiness, cellulite, low energy and maybe increased blood pressure (the solution to pollution is dilution).

People find that switching to Himalayan crystal salt helps them quickly lose that extra bloat (about 3 pounds for most people) and improve their energy level because of the increased hydration inside the cell.

The “bloat” is water in extracellular space (outside the cell). It’s preferable to get more water inside your cells helping you feel more energy and stamina, while assisting your body processes to work more efficiently and effectively. As we age, we get more and more dehydrated… it becomes more difficult to keep water inside the cells. Even if you drink 8-10 glasses of water of day, you could still be dehydrated if the water goes right through you.

Consider eliminating all table salt from your diet. If you’re out, ask for food to be prepared with no salt, then add your own (you carry it in your purse!). Don’t buy packaged and processed food with added salt.

Why not use sea salt? Isn’t that the same?himalayan salt

We have chosen to use Himalayan Crystal Salt with our clients because of the consistent quality of the salt and the care the company takes in mining the salt. It’s all hand mined, with no explosives. This is salt from the ancient Himalayan Sea. It’s been there, compressed, for many, many years. Not touched by modern toxins. It’s crystalline structure is superior to other salts we’ve worked with. People notice the difference.


Common Table Salt

Stripped of all its natural elements through industrial processing. The result is sodium chloride only. The unnatural crystals are isolated from each other and dead. For the body to metabolize these crystals, it must sacrifice tremendous amounts of its own energy reserves. This results in a damaging loss and zero gain. The salt deposits in our bodies look similar to the ones in this photo, isolated and dead.

Sea Salt

A great percentage of sea salt today is processed. With the ocean becoming increasingly polluted, this salt is far from ideal. It is composed of irregular and isolated crystalline structures, disconnected from the natural elements surrounding them. Consequently the vital minerals, however many it may contain, cannot be absorbed by the body unless the body expends tremendous energy to vitalize them. The net gain is small with an even greater loss of energy.

Original Himalayan Crystal Salt

The balanced crystalline structure reveals the fine branching with no shadows or rough edges. The crystal is not isolated from the inherent mineral elements (84) but is connected to them in a harmonious state. This tells us that the energy content, in the form of minerals, is balanced and can be easily metabolized by the body. This crystal is full of life. When taken into the body, it will have a vital energetic effect on the body. The result is a net gain for the body and zero energy loss.

Crystal Salt

Pure, natural crystal salt has been subjected to enormous pressure over millions of years,  responsible for creating the salt crystals. The higher the amount of pressure the more superior or excellent the state of order within the crystalline structure. Salt is foremost an information carrier and not a spice. For information to be absorbed into our cells, a crystalline structure is necessary. The elements trapped within the crystal salt are in particles small enough to be able to penetrate the human cells and be metabolized.

In summary

Using Himalayan Crystal Salt and avoiding all table salt can help you:

  • Normalize blood pressure
  • Eliminate bloating and puffiness
  • Increase energy due to better hydration
  • Add minerals to your body
  • Help detoxify
  • Decrease acidity
  • Help hormones and enzymes work better due to decreased acidity
  • Maybe reduce or eliminate cellulite
  • …and it tastes great!

Find the Himalayan Crystal Salt in our retail area.

Stay tuned to learn how to make and use “sole”….. a supersaturated salt solution you take every morning.

Sole for Health, Energy and Hydration

Sole for Health, Energy and Hydration

Sole is a supersaturated solution of Himalayan Crystal salt. It’s easy to make and can make a dramatic difference in your energy level, health and hydration level.

Benefits of daily sole:

  • Can help you feel more healthy, energized and thinking clearly
  • Increases intracellular water, helping you to truly hydrate your body
  • Brings over 84 minerals into your body
  • Can help stabilize irregular heartbeats
  • Sole regulates blood pressure (it doesn’t cause high blood pressure)
  • Can help reduce excess cellular acidity, helping your entire body to work better and more efficiently (hormones and enzymes all work better without excess acidity).
  • Sole works by increasing the cellular hydroelectric energy (again, helping all body processes work better and more efficiently)
  • Sole helps the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract
  • Helps the lungs clear mucous plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis
  • Can help clear sinus congestion and can act as a natural antihistamine.
  • Helps prevent muscle cramping
  • Can help build strong bones (not brittle and weak)
  • Sole is vital to the communication and information processing between nerve cells.

Making Sole

Step 1: Place a handful of Himalayan Crystal Salt stones in a glass jar that has a lid (not metal).sole

Fill the container with good quality, filtered, clean water, completely covering the crystals with water. Let sit overnight.

Step 2: If all the salt crystals have dissolved, add a few more salt crystals to the water. Your Original Himalayan Crystal Salt® Sole is ready when the water becomes fully saturated with salt and cannot hold any more.

The salt will no longer dissolve at this stage. There should always be salt crystals in the jar. As the sole gets used up, dump out the sole and rinse off the stones. Start over with a new batch. Remember, there should always be undissolved salt crystals on the bottom of the jar. This is your proof that the water is totally saturated with salt.

Step 3: Each morning, before eating or drinking anything, add one teaspoon of the Sole to a glass of clean, filtered water and drink. Your body will receive the energetic vibration pattern of the salt and hold it for 24 hours. Keep the container covered to prevent the water from evaporating. Salt is a natural anti-bacterial and natural fungicide. It simply cannot spoil or go bad.

Magnesium 101

Magnesium 101

Magnesium is a mineral involved in more than 300 reactions in your body (so it’s very important!). Most everyone is deficient in magnesium (Mg). The following are 3 major causes:

  • Stress causes Mg depletion
  • Sugar intake depletes Mg
  • The soil is depleted of Mg (so our food is low in Mg)

What symptoms do you get with low Mg?

  • Low energy
  • Cramping muscles
  • Stiffness
  • Headaches (including migraine)
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart arythmias
  • Restless legs
  • Menstrual cramps
  • PMS
  • ….and many more

The odd thing is, stress depletes Mg >> Low Mg limits your ability to handle stress >> The stressstress further depletes your Mg….. and it become a viscous cycle.

It sounds like Mg is a cure-all for everything, doesn’t it? It’s not. But since Mg is involved in so many chemical reactions in your body, a lack of Mg affects your whole body….so it does seem like a miracle!


How do you get more Mg?

  • Diet (eat more kelp, green veggies, brazil nuts, almonds, millet, etc). Diet should be #1, however, you’ll need more than food to replenish your Mg)
  • Diet (sugar and caffeine depletes Mg)veggies
  • Take epsom salt baths (2 cups in the bath and soak)
  • Use Mg Gel or Oil (put all over body, shower off after 20 minutes)
  • Oral supplement Mg Glycinate (better absorption than other Mg salts)
  • People with kidney disease avoid Mg oral supplements unless ok by MD.
  • Using all the above methods is more effective than only using one

Can I get too much Mg?

You’ll get diarrhea if you get too much Mg. It’s self limiting.

Take 25 minutes to listen to the podcast below by Carrolyn Dean, MD, ND. It will be well worth your time.

Cleanse Day 8

Cleanse Day 8

Friday morning, day 8, the last day….I’m amazed I made it, AND I’m amazed at how good I feel when fasting (now, not earlier!). David’s pants are falling down from his weight loss….we better get home!

This fast is a deprivation of calories, but really loaded with other nutrients. I’m getting so many nutrients from the green powders and drinks that my body craves. My cells are hydrated…finally getting the water they crave. My digestive system has had a wonderful break from solid food, allowing energy to be used to detoxify, instead of work at digestion. As fat and other materialis broken down from calorie deprivation, toxins are released, and my 5 organs of elimination are available to get rid of it.

We have our last colonic. They tell us it takes about 30 days of colonics to fully clear the colon of old matter and “sludge”. At that point, if you get a colonoscopy, your colon will be pink, instead of encrusted in thick layers of material that’s been there for years and years. Toxins love this stuff and live in there. People have pounds of old fecal material (wonder why your belly pooches out???) that never leaves. They’ve found it on autopsy. One man had 50 pounds in there! More common is 15-20 pounds.

What we do for 8 days here is beneficial, but continuing at home is even more beneficial. I feel I put in a lot of effort this week, I don’t want to throw it away by returning to bad habits at home. All we’ve learned is a bit overwhelming. I’ve decided to choose certain things I’ll do. Dry brushing my skin, fiber drink, green juice, drink WAY more water, one liquid meal/day (and 2 solid), liver cleanse once/month, many many more vegetable into my diet. I’m going to try to make kefir with coconut milk, I’ll make my own nut milks, and I’m considering getting the alkalizing water machine.

Here’s are 2 soups we’ve been having here:

soupYam Puree Soup

2 yams
32-64 oz vegetable broth or water

Boil yams til tender. Put yams and cooking water in vitamix, blender or food processor and run til smooth. Add salt, cayenne pepper, olive oil….watever you like.

Zucchini Soup

3 zuchinnis chopped
1/4 onion chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1/2 bunch spinach
water or vegetable broth

Cover and simmer on low heat 10-12 minutes. Cool slightly. Puree in blender. Add salt, cayenne, olive oil.


We stayed at We Care Spa through 4pm soup then Francesco took us by cab to the Swiss Health Resort. Carl and Ingrid run this place. They have 3 hot spring pools here, each diffrent temperatures. Francesco will take us to the the airport in a few hours. At this point, I’m glad to get home!

Cleanse Day 7

Cleanse Day 7

My energy and ability to focus is high. Just in time to deal with the deluge of things happening back at home and in the studio. David’s got a lot with his business as well… between the water drinking, colonics, treatments, classes, saunas, and sunning at the pool is the phone and computer put to heavy use back in our room. I watch my tension rise as I receive these troubles at home and realize I need to ride those bumps more smoothly.

In about 5 minutes David and I have a couples appointment with a Psych-K practitioner (psychological kinesiology). She’ll help us change some of our limiting belief systems….

Hours later…..our 1 hour apointment turned into two. I guess we really needed work! This method works with the subconscious belief system, which runs our behavior. Kinesiology (muscle testing) is an accurate detector of our subconscious truths and the causes of stress in our bodies. It was a long process and I felt lighter and less stress after, and closer to David. It will be good for our relationship.

greendrinkEarlier today we learned how to transition to solid food. Three days of veggies/fruits only, then slowly adding in beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and finally meat. They don’t encourage meat eating here…however, they don’t seem to distinguish grass fed from feed lot corn fed..two completely different foods. I’m going to continue eating our meat from Anderson Farms. I’m so glad we have the opportunity to get grass fed beef and free range, organic chicken and turkey from a local farm.

I had another System Recovery treatment tonight (90 minutes of heat, infrared, and castor oil). It was extremely relaxing this time and when I left the treatment room, it was dark outside….a warm breeze, people visiting by the pool…absolutely heavenly.

Tonight’s our last night here. I’m already feeling sad about leaving. The fasting has grown on me. One more day of fasting tomorrow, than back to Minneapolis. I’m looking forward to teaching Nia on Sunday….I miss Nia and I miss all my class participants. It’s a very special class for me. In some way I know I will be different on Sunday. From my Nia Black Belt….the River of the Unknown……

Cleanse Day 6

Sleeping last night was a challenge. I felt distractingly hungry and had thoughts racing through my head. At 2 am David got up to do some energy work on me. He felt energy pulsing, almost out of control, ….like a hose hiccuping and spurting water instead of running freely and smooth. He calmed it all down and I slept like a baby the rest of the night.

I’m wondering if it’s my adrenals kicking in. I’ve felt so deeply tired the last few years that maybe this is what it feels like to have those organs start to work properly. That deep tiredness that’s so familier to me is gone….and it’s not because I’ve been sleeping a ton here….I’m sleeping less.

My weight is down 4 pounds and David 10. We’re not here specifically for weight loss but it’s interesting to keep track. My belly feels empty and flat, and I like that! I’m feeling like I’m losing muscle. No vigorous exercise for me this week.

Chris taught us about alkalinity last night. Most of us are acid. Cancer and chronic disease thrive in acid environments. Here we drink water at a pH of 9.5…alkaline water. This particular water has a high antioxidant potential…so helps with the detox. David’s been having some serious detox reactions and drinking loads of this water helps eliminate the toxins.

Chris tested about 10 different drinks…mostly waters. The soda (7 Up) and carbonated water were by far the worst in terms of pH and antioxidant potential. They are highly oxidizing. Vitamin Water, Propel, Smart Water and plain bottled waters were all acidic and also oxidizing to various degrees……but none of them good!

Here’s our drink routine at We Care:

Get up, take enzymes with kidney/liver tea

glass of aloe vera juice

barley green drink

Lots of alkaline lemon/mint water throughout day and night

Detox drink (fiber, olive oil, minerals,2 oz apple juice, water) followed by another glass of water

Afternoon: aloe vera juice

glass of green juice

another detox drink w/enzymes

evening: 1 cup pureed vegetable soup (the best part of my day!)

glass of aloe vera juice

blood purifier tea

Here’s a video of We Care Spa so you can see the area. You’ll see the kitchen area…that’s where we get all our drinks and hang out talking.


Cleanse Day 5

Cleanse Day 5

I finally had my first good colonic. It might sound funny to you…this topic. But here it’s often the topic of conversation around the kitchen table. Everyone gets a daily colonic and people like to talk about it. It’s very frustrating to go through the trouble of a colonic and nothing comes out. When it finally releases, it’s a relief! Much of this material has been in there for many years. Old material looks very different from new. Getting rid of that old stuff helps the colon work better and it returns to its natural pink color and healthy state.

It’s up and down here. One minute you feel great, the next not. We’re instructed to take it very easy and rest when we don’t feel energized. If energized, we’re to get our lymph moving with the rebounder, the slant board, the Vibra Trim (it shakes and vibrates you), or take a walk.

David experienced a huge migraine headache yesterday…to the point of shaking and sweating and nausea. Luckily they have this activated air machine so he got ozone, which helped immensely. They tell us this is all part of the detox process. We’ll see how he feels today. I’m feeling great, very energetic and my talking is back……I was talking so much last night…David said “I love to hear what you have to say, but I have to go to sleep”. I still feel hungry….but it’s ok..not bothersome.

We had 2 talks from Susana yesterday. Susana started We Care Spa about 25 years ago. She’s from Argentina. We learned how health begins and ends with digestion. It’s the first place to start working if you have health problems. It’s one thing to put good food into your mouth. It’s another to have your body digest and absorb that food. For most of us, this is not happening.

Enzymes are necessary for digestion, and that starts in your head. If you eat under stressful situations (like driving the car), your body will not secrete enzymes. So, relax, be thankful for your food, chew it well, and you’ll have a better chance of actually using that food because you can absorb it.

Enzymes are found in all plants, nuts, seeds. Heat destroys the enzymes. Susana suggested that if we could only do ONE broccoliTHING when we get home, we should take in one glass of vegetable juice a day….for the enzymes (and other benefits too). Vegetable juice we make ourselves, out of a variety of greens, maybe a bit of carrot, beet, etc. This is something I plan to do.

Susana also talked about the 5 organs of elimination: lungs, colon, kidneys, skin and lymph. Breathe deeply to help detoxify (lungs). You’ll immediately feel more energy. Take 10 deep breaths… do you feel? Drink lots of water to flush through the kidneys. Get your colon going. You should poop once for every meal. If you eat 3 times a day, that’s 3 poops. Brush your skin once a day to remove the dead stuff so the toxins can get out. Sweat every day to release toxins. For lymph, move your body….a lot! These practices help you release the toxins and take the load off your liver.

You might think….”my body is made perfectly, why should I have to go to these measures when my body is made to take care of itself?”

That’s true….your body should be able to keep itself cleansed. However, the world is now filled with toxins we cannot escape, and our bodies cannot keep up with it… we get sick. And not only sick with a cold or flu, but chronic disease and cancer.

If you want to be healthy, you’ll have to go out of your way to make it happen.

Cleanse Day 4

Cleanse Day 4

Day 4….half way through. I’m actually able and wanting to talk more now and I told David last night that when Friday comes I will feel so incredibly proud to finish this program…and I do see the end in sight! At this point I would consider doing this again.

My body felt almost normal in the morning yoga/Pilates class yesterday…I didn’t feel light headed every time I stood up, it didn’t feel effortful just to sit and my muscles welcomed the work. My afternoon was filled with lazy tv watching (once I could figure out how to use 3 remote controls). I laid around through the afternoon. It was Sunday, no special classes that day, not like today…a day full of classes…back in the saddle!

As it’s day four I’m seeing the real possibility of actually finishing this fast successfully. Before arrival I had a lot of doubts…..”what if I’ll need to get a cab to get something to eat?” I’ve heard people have done that with horrifying consequences….such as beer and pizza and ending up in the hospital. Not me. I’m going to stick it out. And actually, I feel good and don’t feel the need to eat other food. My hunger still comes and goes, but my energy is so much better and my mind is clearer.

I have to tell you…last night I had a tai massage….SO amazing. Therapist Martha pulled, pushed, kneeded and twisted me in every direction possible for 90 minutes. It felt like a combination of stretching, massage and rolfing. It seems to work on connective tissue release. After, my body felt looser, much more space in my joints, especially my neck, shoulders and hips. I signed up for more of those and when I return home, I’m going to look up a good tai massage therapist and continue this work.

Soup last night was yellow squash. We’ve had zucchini and yam previous nights. These are cooked, one vegetable soups. The one vegetable is lightly cooked, mixed with water or broth, and pureed…a bit of salt added. On my first spoonful of that soup, my body says “thank you!” The nourishment goes right to the core. Instantly satisfying. I’ll continue the soup at home. Actually, I had a fantasy of having a pot of this soup available in our new kitchen space at the studio.

Speaking of the new kitchen/nutrition space, that new division of the studio is a big reason I’m here….to learn more and to come home with more we can do to help our clients. I’m here to experience it personally so I know first hand. The new space  is intended to add the nutrition/food aspect of becoming a healthier, more alive person.

I see I’m already thinking of home….of the work I love so much. It’s a good sign.