Take care of yourself between tough workouts by getting in some mindful mobility and releasing all your built up physical tension.
This post is sponsored by Ketanga Fitness.
Welcome to another great Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up where Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and I bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us each week by reading along, linking up and grab the button to proudly display on your blog/in your posts!
All last week, I was on a workout break due to some health issues that I have yet to get to the bottom of. I have a test scheduled for Monday, so hopefully that will give me more details and next steps. In the meantime, I spent all last week on a forced workout hiatus, which was incredibly tough for me. Every now and then, I like to take a little time off from working out to refresh and remotivate, but when I’m forced to not workout? That’s a whole other beast.
I look to fitness to as a way to kick start my day, to give me a boost of energy and to elevate my mood. When I’m in a really bad mood or when I’m really stressed, a good workout can do wonders. So when I’m stressed out and worried about what the heck is going on with my health, all I want to do was sweat out my frustrations. Not being able to do that was not fun.
While I’m still waiting and I’m still frustrated (mostly with how my doctors have been handling this whole thing – but that’s a rant for another day), I was given the ok to workout! Hallelujah!
Fortunately, I had a Mindful Mobility class scheduled with Ketanga Fitness, and figured the low impact, foam-rolling focused class would be the perfect way to ease back into working out.
I took a class with Ketanga back in February and loved it, so I was really looking forward to take two. You can learn more about them from that post but the gist of it is that they work with different coaches and studios around NYC to offer a range of fitness events for great prices. Their events are a great way to try new workouts. They also offer some pretty baller fitness retreats, like the one coming up in Tulum Mexico! More on that below.
Anywho, the Mindful Mobility class I attended over the weekend was coached by Chelsea Aguiar, a dancer turned personal trainer who now runs Athaya Fitness. Her experience with dance, Pilates, yoga, kettlebells, Olympic weightlifting, injury rehabilitation and bodybuilding has inspired her to develop a unique method of training that works for all levels of fitness and is applicable to any goal.
Over the course of an hour, Chelsea took us through a series of low-impact, mobility-focused moves designed to improve joint function and overall wellbeing. Not gunna lie, some of them were pretty painful. In the best way, of course.
We learned new mobility drills, stretches and massage techniques using two tennis balls in a sock (many a laugh was shared each time Chelsea told us to grab our balls). Those balls were killer and just go to show that you don’t need fancy gear to get in a good workout!
After the workout, I got a little one-on-one time with Chelsea, so of course I asked her all the questions! Check out little interview below:
How did you get started with fitness? Where you always in the fitness world?
I started as a dancer. I danced my whole life, and then my first year of college I had to have a full hip reconstruction. That changed a lot for me because I could no longer do thing I thought my whole life I was going to do. After my surgery, I ended up gaining 30 pounds and was really unhappy and kind of depressed. So my aunt one day just grabbed me and said, “That’s it! We’re going to go and workout and you’re going to train. One of her good friends actually owned a kettlebell studio, so I started doing that. I had never really strength trained before and I fell in love with it.
Then I moved to New York for acting school, I went to an Equinox with a friend of mine. I was showing them kettlebell swings. At first the manager came over to me and almost kicked me out because he thought I was training, but long story short, he ended up offering me a job as a trainer.
I said no. I was already working two jobs and was going to school, but he sent me an email every two weeks for two months. So finally I was like, “Ok, I’ll do it!” I got my personal training certification and started at Equinox.
That’s amazing! So is your main focus training with kettlebells?
The majority of my business now is one-on-one training, but I do use a lot of kettlebells – they’re sort of my meat and potatoes. But I’m also a USA Weight Lifting Coach and a USA Track & Field Coach, I’ve done kettlebells, bodybuilding, powerlifting – kind of just a little bit of everything.
How do you incorporate mobility, like we just did, into your training?
I think people are so focused on go-go-go that they don’t realize there is this whole other side to training: recovery. If you aren’t recovering and resting and allowing your body to rebuild, you’re just going to stay the same. You won’t be able to progress as you’d like. So with my clients, the first 15 minutes of every session is doing trigger point work where they need it. All of them have seen a world of a difference.
What is your #1 fitness tip for getting in a good workout when you’re short on time?
If you only have 20 minutes, I’d say do something that challenges you. But it also depends on the day. If you’re having a horrible day and you just want to refresh, do something you’re comfortable with. If you’re a runner – go for a 20 minute run. But if you want to challenge yourself, I suggest that. If you don’t challenge yourself, you won’t change. If squats are hard for you, do squat variations for 20 minutes. If you’re struggling with pushups, use that time to work on your pushups. Find a weakness and improve upon it.
What is your nutrition philosophy?
My rule with eating is that I like to be greedy with my food. Meaning, the less people who have touched it before it got to me, the better. I try to buy things that are local or organic. I try to go to the farmers market, and I try to keep it simple. Stick to veggies, lean proteins, nuts. I eat tons of nuts – but I do allow myself to enjoy myself a little bit. It’s different for me because I eat so well on a regular basis (and that’s how I prefer to eat), so if I eat a donut hole on a Saturday morning it isn’t going to bother me. If I know I’m going to go out with friends and have a big meal and a few glasses of wine that’s fine because on a regular basis, I prefer to eat in a very clean, simple way.
Do you have a favorite healthy food spot in NYC?
I love Hu Kitchen (girl after my own heart). Le Pain Quotedien is a great spot, and they’re everywhere. Siggis Good Food. We’re spoiled in New York. There are so many different options, and I want to try them all.
So one last question: what makes your training style unique?
I think one thing that makes me different is that I’m really good at identifying people’s own levels of exertion. Some people think they know what their perceived exertion is, but they are capable of so much more. So I think I am able to identify and in a positive and safe way, push people beyond their perceived levels of exertion. I work in many different modalities, so I try to make things really personalized for the individual, but I’m always demanding that people rise to the occasion. That’s when you grow and that’s when you change.
So… yea… Chelsea is pretty awesome, huh? Totally stealing her “greedy with food” mindset.
Chelsea also told me about the upcoming Ketanga Fitness Retreat in Tulum, Mexico that she’ll be hosting.
The trip will take place from June 9-13th on the Yucatan Peninsula. It will include 5 days and 4 nights at a luxurious and peaceful adults-only resort (all meals included). Each day, there will be mobility, strength and movement classes as well as mindful meditation and yoga. You’ll also go on a biking excursion to the ancient Mayan ruins and explore underwater caves, snorkeling and more.
Right now, Ketanga is running an early bird special (hurry! Ends 4/15): the whole trip for $1700 (excluding airfare).
Check out more info on the retreat here. I so so so wish I could go. Chelsea is super awesome and will make the trip incredible. Hopefully some of you can take advantage of the early bird special and meet Chelsea in Mexico!
Ok, Fit & Focused friends – it’s Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up time. Let’s see those posts!
Have you ever taken a mindful mobility class?
Are you going to go to Tulum?!