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Instructor Spotlight: Katelyn Page

We are thrilled to have Katelyn Page back with us,  teaching Barre and Yoga. We asked her a few questions about her motivations as a teacher, her teaching style, and the importance of community.

FHC: You teach different types of classes, such as Barre and Yoga. What are the benefits of practicing a variation of classes?

KP: I love Yoga and I love Barre and they each give different challenges physically and mentally, and I think that’s important.  A well-rounded approach works best in the fitness world. Each class has a different intention. With Barre, there’s a big emphasis on muscle endurance. With yoga, there’s more emphasis on stretching and growing flexibility. It’s important to find different ways to gain muscle strength, cardio-respiratory endurance, flexibility, muscular endurance, and of course intentional nutrition. When the goal is optimal results, it’s important to find the well rounded cross-training experience.

FHC: How did you start teaching yoga?
KP: I fell in love with yoga when I was young. My mom has scoliosis and so we would do some yoga together in our living room. I was drawn to how powerful I felt breathing with intention, and to how strong I felt holding postures. Armed with this appreciation, my relationship with yoga grew the more I practiced. Once I decided to take the leap and take teacher training, I haven’t really looked back since.

FHC: What inspires you most about teaching?

KP: My students. Seeing their progress each week inspires me to be better. There’s such an incredible feeling when a student gets crow pose after weeks of practicing. Or seeing a student nail a V-Sit Ball Exchange. Experiencing that communion together feels spiritual. A lot of my students have become my closet friends, and it’s just because we both show up each week. I am genuinely honored to be teaching and it’s been so humbling to meet so many amazing individuals.

FHC: Why do you emphasize community in your classes?

KP: I have never tried to incorporate community, inclusion has always come naturally for me. Many students come to the same classes each week, and we see the same faces each time. We experience a class together, and if you’ve taken my classes then you know it’s a challenge, and we are all struggling together. To me, it feels natural to show encouragement to each other, or interact and acknowledge that we are all experiencing something together. At the beginning of each Barre class, I have my students introduce themselves to their neighbors and instantly the mood in the classroom shifts from a very intense and solemn vibe to a more playful, friendly, and inclusive experience. It’s hard to make friends as an adult, and I understand that for many, life is really freaking hard, and sometimes lonely. Taking the time to create a sense of community, to know that we’re not alone, it’s important.

FHC: For those that haven’t taken your classes yet, what do you want them to know?

KP: In my classes, you can expect a playful and challenging class, where you can come as you are. I try to let loose, have fun, and will probably dance during class. Oh, and I play fun music that you’ll want to dance to too. Life is way too short not to celebrate! I want my students, new and old, to know that I think they are important, that they matter a great deal, and that showing up is enough. My only expectation for you is to be kind. To those around you, but also to yourself.

GOTTA HAVE A LITTLE LOVIN’

So, it’s March and that means it’s the time when our hopes & goals from the new year start to maybe wane a bit and the day-to-day world kicks in. The endless rainy days, the not quite warm enough temps… Before we know it, the daily grind of getting through the last of Winter and into Spring leaves all those wakeup.kickass.repeat goals in the dust. But here is why this year is going to be different:

-Because you aren’t working out because you hate something about yourself.

-Because it’s not about the jiggle or the “extra” that you’ve convinced yourself you need to get rid of in order to be “happy”.

-Because this year, you are going to “Wakeup. Sweat. Run. Bike. Lift. Flex. Stretch. Dance. Move. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.” because, wait for it… … …

 

Because YOU LOVE YOUR BODY.

 

We will do all of those things for our healthy, strong selves that can take-on anything.

We will do them in order to wake up the next morning ready to tackle yet another day of life hitting at us.

The stronger our bodies, the stronger ourselves!

If you have taken a class with me, you probably can repeat my mind-body blah blah blah by heart as I talk a lot about connecting breath to movement, creating resistance in your body using your brain, using visuals to connect posture and form to an exercise, etc. But there is a reason I say it over & over!

This year, I’m challenging myself to use this same technique outside of the gym/studio. To connect breath to movement when my brain starts to slam my body. And resist the habit to use words of weakness and failure when talking about myself – refusing to let my mind bully my body. I will stand tall and graceful when I get stuck on a “flaw” in the mirror and instead I will recognize the power my body provides me.

So many of my students are working out with specific goals in mind: weddings, bikinis, lift goals, summer activities, etc. — just remember to respect and revere the body that allows you to work so hard. Do not slam it or talk down to it. Love it! Love it so much that you feel weak in the knees just thinking about it.

Then maybe, just maybe, those goals won’t be quite so difficult. Eating smart energy-fueled foods will be easier because you are loving & respecting your body by providing it nutrients. Stretching and foam rolling won’t be a chore you forget to add to your workout because you revere your body and support its need to recover. And the dreaded bursts of cardio in Tabata or HIIT will become your way of giving oxygen and power to your body, to tests it limits and challenge your body in a way that it deserves and desires. I (and YOU!) will embody our goals as a show of respect and not because of insecurity or hate.

In class, when I repeat cues and modifications, it is often because I need to hear them as a reminder as much as some students do. This lesson is no different. Repeat after me: “I am here sweating and working hard because I freaking love myself.”

As a burlesque performer, I am ridiculously proud of the community of different bodies that create art on a stage where you get to embrace every “flaw” as a perfection and treat the audience to that all-too-rare display of body/self-love. But as a fitness instructor, am I discouraging acceptance and instead helping my students to “change” or “correct” something about themselves they see as a weakness? And is this wrong?

For a long time these two worlds have always felt disconnected. But lately I have realized I am not helping you correct anything. I am helping you love and respect your body through safe and strengthening movement. Exactly the same thing I do as a performer and choreographer.

My work is to help myself and my students connect their brain and their bodies. To understand that accepting and loving your body doesn’t mean not wanting to challenge and change it in a healthy way that makes you happy. To discern that your definition of radiance isn’t necessarily mine nor the person next to you and that is awesome because then we all get to be unique and amazingly different. And my work is to support your decisions and determinations while driving you to see graceful strength in the mirror instead of the warped image society has dictated you to see.

I’ve been teaching for over five years now and in the past, I worked at several studios under the name “The Gracious Body”. It is time to reconnect to that brand by showing kindness to my body and being grateful for my strength. (And maybe even remembering to use this blog as a tool of connectivity.)

So there it is. Our goal together. This day and everyday after…

Get to the gym because our bodies deserve a reward for all the good they do.

Work hard when it feels right. Be kind when you need it most.

Say thank you with sweat.

I promise, it will thank you back.

Love,

-Kris

Barre None

Every month we take a closer look at a friend or a team member. This month, we get a little closer to the lovable, affable, self-deprecating and supremely talented Kris Walters. She teaches several classes and takes care of all of the scheduling here at FHC. We truly couldn’t do what we do without her. In addition to teaching Barre, HIIT and others, she has one of the most inclusive styles and always makes her students feel welcome. She is truly one of the best Barre instructors in Seattle.

For our questions with her, please follow the link below and keep an eye for a blog post from her in the near future.

 

 

What would you consider to be your biggest contribution to the ‘team’ at FHC?

Oh man, um… this one is tough. I am very proud of my work on the group fitness class schedule and miss Zina’s collaboration on it! (Zina is a former instructor who is still a friend of FHC) We created a community for sure. After she left, I just took it & ran with it. I think it is important to be creative with types of classes – not just having a regular class schedule but also adding series, workshops and special fundraiser events (like the one we are doing this Saturday that you should come to our ‘Give what you can’ circuit classto keep motivated.

 

 I am enthusiastic about fitness for every person and every level and that you should ENJOY something about the process. I try to keep that point of view fresh and in the forefront of all our marketing efforts. If that is my biggest contribution, the idea that fitness isn’t selective, I would be very happy.

 

 

 

What is the most important quality in a leader?

Flexibility. Humility. Motivational qualities that make people want to follow you out of respect and excitement versus fear and bullying. I think people are drawn to my class because I work hard to include all people – all levels of fitness, all body types, all injury modification needs, etc.

 

In fact, at times I wonder if I give too many options NOT to do something, if students use those options as an “out” — but in the end, I want people to be inspired to move and workout to the extent they are comfortable. Some days it will be Rocky-level badassness, other days perhaps the energy-level will be slightly less and that’s ok. I believe that my balance of acceptance and challenge is what makes me a strong leader. I will push you, but I will also look out for you.

 

What do you do or say to inspire your classes?

I read the class. If the class needs jokes, I will make really bad ones (seriously, really bad!). If they need a drill sergeant, I’ll bring out my inner GI Jane and let it rip. If they need self-care, I’ll talk about the breath and connecting the mind to the body. And oftentimes a class will need a balance of all three. To me, a class isn’t just a workout – it is an opportunity for me to connect to each person in the room to the degree that they want. I share personal triumphs and struggles in a quick little aside while they are doing burpees and I give them permission to bust ass or take it easy. I also make sure to have time before and after class for anyone who needs it.

 

As a class-goer, I personally have a lot of anxiety and insecurity — not knowing if I will be able to do everything or if my back is going to tighten up or my knees feel stressed. I wonder if I will feel inspired by the instructor or if it’s going to be a headspace game of me comparing myself to everyone in the room instead of focusing on the workout. So, as an instructor, I try to take that guessing game away from my students. It’s about YOU, your space, your work, today only… not yesterday or tomorrow. And if I see a student’s focus start to wane, that’s when the jokester, drill sergeant or therapist comes into play. If I can keep you focused on YOU, I’ve done my job.

To sign-up for one of Kris’s classes, follow this link.

Rooftop Classes, Barre, Yoga, and Bodyweight with a View of Lake Union!

We now offer some of our Barre, Yoga, and Bodyweight classes on the roof overlooking an amazing view of Lake Union. Shade and sun can be found up there, and we always provide sunscreen! This is a unique experience to the Fremont Health Club, and an excellent treat for our members. For any rooftop class meet in the lobby by the front desk and walk up as a class.

 

Rooftop Schedule: (when weather permits)

Tuesday Vinyasa Yoga with Katelyn 5:30-6:30pm

Wednesday Yoga Sculpt with Cassie 5:45-6:45pm

And classes with Kris often end up heading up there! 🙂

Sports Barre this Thursday with Kris and Zina

Sports Barre,Thurs March 26th 7-8:15pm. Email zina@fremonthc.com to reserve, $15 pay at the door.

Feeling the madness of March? Wear your favorite team’s colors (from any sport/school) and join us for a gut busting class called “Barre Bracket.” This special Barre event is taking place Thursday March 26th from 7-8:15pm. You will be given a red and blue wrist sweat band to wear on each wrist.We will complete the exercises in order of the numbers below,  and vote on which exercise moves on to the next round and which will be permanently eliminated by holding up the wristband of the corresponding color. This fun fast paced class will be constructed by you as we go, and like all Barre, it will be a full body workout! Register ASAP TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT. Then fill out a bracket with your guesses and bring it with you to class. Prizes to anyone who guesses the final exercise! $10 for members, $15 for non-members, reserve your spot at the Front Desk, we can charge the card you have on file or you can pay cash, or register online!

Upcoming Intro Classes, and other Events

Upcoming Events:

  • Monday Feb 1st: Introduction to MixxedFit with DBT (Free)  5:30-6:00pm
    • MixxedFit® is a people-inspired dance fitness program that is a mix of explosive dancing and bootcamp toning. Everything about our dance fitness program can be described as explosive – all of our movements are always big, exaggerated, full-out, and our very best. (Gym shoes required, all materials/props provided)
    • Intro Classes are between 30-45min in length. They are a great way to try a new class or improve upon your technique in a class that you have already tried. They offer a chance to meet Instructors and ask questions  in a relaxed environment. Come ready for a workout!
  • Friday Feb 12th: Hip Hop Yoga with Katelyn ($10 event) 5:30-6:30pm
    • This special class event, led by one of our Vinyasa instructors Katelynn Page, is inspired by Valentine’s Day with a class of Heart-opening yoga poses set to a contemporary hip hop playlist sure to get your heart racing! Katelynn’s infectious, playful energy & “make yoga fun” approach will make you feel loved and challenged this Valentine’s Weekend!
  • Saturday Feb 13th: Burlesque Barre with Kris ($10 event) 1:30-2:30pm
    • Get into the Valentine’s mood with this flirty take on a popular workout –  all the intense work of a regular barre class with the added waistline-shaping benefit of body rolls & hip isolations! Think bumps & grinds… shimmies & shakes! No experience required. Wear comfortable dance/yoga wear, no gym shoes required.
  • Saturday Feb 13th: Burlesque Dance Fit with Kris ($10 event) 3:30-5:00pm
    • Burlesque meets cardio meets choreography! We will sweat & strut, shimmy & shake… while learning an easy-to-follow Burlesque-dance routine with some great fitness benefits. Feel confident, sexy and totally in love with all your body has to offer! No dance experience required. Wear comfortable dance/yoga wear, gym shoes optional.
  • Friday March 4th: MixxedFit!Madness with DBT ($10 event) 5:30-6:30pm
    • Don’t miss this special “MixxedFit! Madness”with our most energetic instructor, DBT! This event is inspired by March Madness so expect to hustle up & down the “court” just like your favorite college team!  Mixxedfit is a people inspired dance fitness class that will blast away calories and keep you moving & laughing. No dance experience required!
  • Monday March 7th: Intro to Yoga with Katelyn (Free) 5:30-6:00pm
    • Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement,” and Vinyasa yoga is a series of poses that will move you through the power of inhaling and exhaling. Vinyasa yoga is smooth flowing and combines exercises and stretches that focus on nurturing strength & flexibility in the spine as well as the supportive muscle groups. (Barefoot class, bring your own mat or borrow one of ours)
    • Intro Classes are between 30-45min in length. They are a great way to try a new class or improve upon your technique in a class that you have already tried. They offer a chance to meet Instructors and ask questions  in a relaxed environment. Come ready for a workout!
  • Saturday March 12th: Mini Health Fair 10am-2pm
    • Meet local health partners from the Fremont Neighborhood. Participate in free introductory class demos, meet trainers, instructors, and other members!
  • Monday April 4th: Intro to Barre with Kris 5:30-6:15pm
    • A full body workout that focuses on proper form, alignment and posture while increasing strength, muscle tone and stamina. Each class is formatted in a specific sequence incorporating hand weights, soft exercise balls, and tube bands as props to take the workout to the next level. (Barefoot class, gym shoes are optional, all materials/props provided)
    • Intro Classes are between 30-45min in length. They are a great way to try a new class or improve upon your technique in a class that you have already tried. They offer a chance to meet Instructors and ask questions  in a relaxed environment. Come ready for a workout!
  • Early Morning Bootcamp in March – details to come soon!
  • April Yoga Series: More details to come soon!