Intuitive training—What?!

Intuitive training—What?!

Hi, Wobble Tribe.

Intuitive training.  Yep, it’s a thing.  (Mostly because I just made it a thing.)  

After so many years of waiting to have a personal and small group training space all my own, I’ve finally got the perfect space in our new Embrace The Wobble Yoga location.   CKK_4570-(ZF-7719-52573-1-020) I absolutely ADORE this space.  So far, it’s been a dream as a trainer to work with individuals and small groups in this space.  I got to choose all the equipment, layout the design, and take complete ownership of the vision of this space for efficient, effective training sessions.  Now, I just need to fill it with more clients.  Will you be one of them?

So, I’m trying to figure out how to explain what I do, which is NOT your typical scream-and-grunt-fest in a regular gym.

Enter Intuitive Training.  Some people think it means I’m a mind reader, like, “let me look into my crystal medicine ball and I can see in your future 25 squats and lunges.”  Not even.

Intuitive Training means:

  • Asking a ton of questions about you, the client, or taking several “discovery” sessions to learn about your body and your mindset, and what you want to do with your body (lose weight?  Recover/adapt to injury or pain? Gain strength?  Improve balance?  Avoid a heart attack? You name it.)
  • Finding out through a few movement assessments what your body’s “default” positions are with various joint actions, and where there might be areas of muscular imbalance or ingrained not-so-productive movement patterns
  • Checking out what is making you “tick” on any given day—what kind of energy do you have?  What other stuff have you been doing this week?  What aches and pains are you bringing to the table? Where is your head coming into the workout?  What emotional things are going on right now?
  • Coming in with a plan, but then chucking or tweaking the plan if it is not “vibing” like it should.
  • Being in FLOW with your movement—finding a movement zone that feels JOYFUL for you—JOYFUL could mean very challenging or gentle, intense or mellow, a personal best or active recovery, a focus on strength or a focus on balance, or, or, or……..and we don’t know until we are in the MOMENT.  It’s a delicious surprise, always.
  • Equipping YOU the client with knowledge and practice of key movements so that YOU can take what you have learned and create that same productive flow on your own—and love it, crave it, miss it when you don’t do it because it feels so good.
  • Intuitive training is turning the corner on exercise-as-a-chore to movement-as-JOY.

So, I’ve got several (FREE) consultation openings in the next few weeks as I build my private and small group clientele.  If you are intrigued by this content, reach out and schedule a time to talk.  I’d love to answer some of your questions about figuring out your own body.  Plus, the new space is SO COOL, and I’m psyched to show it off and let you play a little with all our new toys.

Find me Wobbling online, by phone, or in person.  See you soon on the mat!  Need more incentive?  Click on this link for a few testimonial clips.  And then call!  My openings will fill up fast.  

Wobble On, Wobblers.

Embracing the Journey

Embracing the Journey

I can’t help it, I have to spout off.  Today begins the two year anniversary week of Embrace The Wobble Yoga.  In MY facebook feed, I was reminded of that by a picture that popped up as a memory… dining room table in my basement stacked with a new laptop, printer, and a shoe-box for keeping receipts.  (See below)  I captioned the pic with “Embrace The Wobble World Headquarters, our basement, Robbinsdale, MN.”  

I am now typing this post from a brand-new street-level studio with a team of 6 instructors and one administrator.

Holy Sh*t.

I am here today to profess that even in the face of political upheaval, despotism abroad, and several global humanitarian calamities, many things about this Universe remain generous, benevolent, and synergistic if not always easy and simple.

Not that I am comparing my level of good fortune with the scale of tragedy in the world, but I find myself TRYING to see the good in the world, and because of that intention, I’m actually SEEING it.  We all have to start somewhere!

I know a husband and wife who are starting year #2 of a world-wide bicycle tour.  So far, they have found only kindness and generosity from all the folks they have met along the way–all of them starting as total strangers (with NO shared English language) willing to share their homes and hospitality for varying lengths of time.

Another friend of mine recently pulled off a trip to Africa and a new home (not in Africa) without exactly knowing where the money was coming from until it showed up (And, to the best of my knowledge, she has no Mafia ties or winning lottery tickets.  *wink.)

One of my yoga students just landed a part-time job with FULL benefits—something she never thought existed before and which will allow her to be a both a competent nurse as well as the mom she wants and needs to be for her kids.

I could list another twenty cool things like this without batting an eye, and that makes me feel hopeful and trusting of the Universe.

I guess my message today is this:  PUT WHAT YOU WANT OUT THERE.  Be clear about it.  See and feel yourself doing it.  Give yourself permission to want it.  Speak it to others.  Refine your wishes and refine them again.  Write about them.  Fantasize about them.  Take baby steps toward them.  Listen to the whispers around you in all forms giving you guidance.  Facebook just may contain some pretty relevant nudges with a chance phrase or meme–if you are tuned in.

My journey to this place of trust and hope has had many ups and downs (like turning my marriage inside out, taxing my time with children, offering up big and small “growth” challenges”– psycho babble for really hard, emotional, gut-wrenching, mistake-ridden, regretful, fear-based, panic-stricken, irritated, cliff-jumping moments).   However, I have never not LOVED it.  I mean all of it.  Even when I have hated it.

Now, two years into this adventure, the one constant about the whole thing is that I. LOVE. HELPING. PEOPLE.  Specifically, I love helping people feel better in, around, and with their bodies.  And, I’m getting pretty good at it.  I love helping other instructors fill their classes.  I love figuring out all of the puzzles that go along with running a small business.  I  love (bird’s-eye view here) the partnership richness that has occurred with my husband from walking this very hard path.  I love the gratitude I feel by being constantly reminded that this whole thing is a group effort—that I am so lucky to have competent professionals who have chosen to work with me and a family and friends who support and champion this project.

Do you know that you can have that too? I mean, you can have your thing.  Even if it feels like you can’t.  Or it’s impossible.  The key is to begin by pretending it’s true.  And, observe how you feel when you pretend—-like, it should feel amazing.  You can see the details fleshing themselves out.  It should feel……RESONANT.  It should feel maybe a little scary as well, but not too much…..just enough to give you the chills and start some butterflies in your stomach—-the good feeling kind. Like the kind you get when you flirt with someone cute and they flirt back.  That is you nudging up against your power.  If you are not feeling that resonance, than maybe it’s not your thing, or maybe you are close, but not quite there in your clarity or curiosity.

Then, what happens is, you spend more time thinking about what you want and how good it feels to see yourself there. And you notice more contrast between where you are and where you would like to go. And, then it may seem even more impossible to get there, but KEEP GOING. Keep pretending.  Keep feeling and observing. Keep resonating.

And then stuff starts happening.  Little chance encounters, tiny “yesses” from the Universe, new people and new experiences in your life that all fit together to magnetize your thing a little closer to you.  Keep going.  Keep refining.  Keep talking about it.  Keep asking for help getting there.   Pretty soon you are living into your desire.  You wake up one morning and You. Are. Doing. It.

You don’t have to believe me.  But what if?  What if you tried the pretending thing and it made you feel a little bit better?  We could all use a little bit more “better” in the increasing chaos of our times.  I’m serious about changing the world.  This is certainly no time to just throw our hands up (whatever side of the political table you sit on) and say “oh, well!”  So come along with me for the ride.  We will be doing more of this in the coming weeks.

Take care, Wobblers.


Sam in the Spotlight

Sam in the Spotlight

Our Student Spotlight this month is Sam Handler! Sam has been an inspiration on the mat since joining our studio. He is a constant in class and his friendly demeanor helps everyone feel welcome. We are proud to have him as a part of our community! 

When did you start coming to Embrace the Wobble?

I started in August of 2014. Since then, my attendance has steadily increased, and now I’m taking 4-5 classes a week.

What changes have you seen in yourself since attending classes?

I’ve seen notable increases in my strength, balance, and flexibility, as well as a general improvement in my overall health and well-being.

What are you favorite classes to attend (and why)?

Wobble Strength, because I enjoy a challenging workout, and Progressing Wobble, because I enjoy learning new things and deepening my practice. I like being able to attend classes in the evening, because I am most definitely NOT a morning person.

What is/are your favorite poses or exercises?

Any type of inversion or arm balance. I love to challenge myself and explore what is possible.

What do you like most about Embrace the Wobble?

I find myself continuously amazed by the level of enthusiasm and engagement that both teachers and students bring to the studio. The teachers make an conscious effort to get to know their students, both on and off the mat, and are always open to having a discussion or receiving feedback about their classes. This level of commitment, and the positive environment it creates, assures me that I will remain well-supported as my practice continues to grow.

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

At a time of the year when it’s so cold that leaving the house is a chore, we would like to introduce you to Sandy . Sandy is one of those students who never gives up, who pushes herself every class. We love Sandy’s responses to our Student Spotlight questions especially because she started her journey with Wobble during one of our 8 week challenges. Read Sandy’s story below, it’s sure to motivate you to get out of the house and into the studio!

When did you start coming to Embrace the Wobble?
– I had a slow start – I went a couple of times with my friend, Jessica, then really starting going consistently, I think in January 2015 during one of the challenges.
What changes have I seen in myself since attending classes?
– I’m stronger and more toned, I went down a size in pants – actually texted Leah from the dressing room when I discovered that!  I feel really good about myself – I’m proud of the shape I’m in at 44.
What do you like most about Embrace the Wobble?
– I love that Leah and the other instructors really know the students and really seem to care about us.  I was out of town and missed a couple of classes and Leah checked in with me to make sure everything was ok.  That has never happened to me at other fitness studios.
What classes are your favorite to attend?
– Well, I love Wobble Strength – that is hands down my favorite with the combination of working super hard and then finishing up the hour with yoga – in my mind it is the ideal class because I work hard, but then still get time to stretch out those muscles I just pushed.  I run and bike a lot and am never good about taking a few minutes at the end of that workout to stretch, I really need to follow the Wobble Strength model outside of class!  I also love Restorative Yoga, though I haven’t made it to class for way too long!

Meet Martha

Meet Martha

For our December newsletter we featured Martha Hoffman in our Student Spotlight section. Martha has been a loyal student and a bright spot in each class she attends. After reading her responses to our questions we were so appreciative and impressed with what she had to share. Martha was kind enough to allow us to feature her on our blog as well so we can share her story even further. Below is Martha’s Student Spotlight 

What changes have you seen in yourself since attending classes?

  • I feel better in many aspects! My right knee has had meniscus repair surgery and is very arthritic. I am also overweight. Leah has taught me how to accommodate my knee during class and has also given me extra knee stretches to do at home. I literally feel like my knee has improved at least 90% and I have lost a good 10 pounds! In addition, when I leave class I feel very proud of myself for going out of my comfort zone and attending classes regularly – and that is just a great feeling!

What classes are your favorite to attend?

  • I have been attending class Monday (Wobble Mix), Wednesday (Wobble-lates) and Friday (Wobble Strength) all at 5:30 a.m. – I picked the classes at first based on the early morning time as I am an early riser and start work at 7 a.m. The early classes work out perfectly with my schedule and I am so grateful for that! These classes also offer me the perfect combination of yoga technique and strength training! There is also a wonderful community of early birds in these classes!!

What do you like most about Embrace the Wobble?

  • I like SO MANY things about Embrace the Wobble! I love the welcoming community at Embrace the Wobble! I never felt judged when I came as an older and not so fit student! Leah and Autumn always take the time in class to help me modify things and are more than willing to offer suggestions and support after class. I also love that the instructors at Embrace the Wobble are professionals and experts – I know  that they are teaching me proper technique. I love the early morning class offerings and the close proximity to my home in Robbinsdale. But most of all I am just all around happier and more fit because of attending Embrace the Wobble!!

Do you have a goal (yoga or fitness) you can share?

  • My goal is to just keep attending classes at Embrace the Wobble and to continue to reap the benefits the classes are providing me! I have seen such improvement in my knee health and overall health that I am just so excited to keep going and perfect my technique and enhance my fitness to the max!

Embracing a 3rd Place

Embracing a 3rd Place

By guest blogger: Terese Lynch

Home & Work– the two places most Americans spend the majority of their time. I don’t know about you, but when I realize how much time I actually spend at work it makes me a little sad. By the time I get home from work I am tired and hungry, and with two small children I find my “free time” to be very limited.

When I first heard of the notion a “Third Place” I thought “Who has time for a third place?!” Then as I looked deeper I was surprised to realize that not only does everyone have a third place whether they realize it or not, but my third place made me even sadder than the amount of time I spend working.

The unfortunate reality is if you don’t have an intentional “Third Place” you are probably like me, spending it in front of a screen. The t.v., computer, phone, tablet….these are the most common default Third Places. This is where I was (and still am sometimes) spending my free time. And why not? Afterall, it fits most of the Third Place criteria:  accessible, convenient, and comfortable. Another component I found appealing about this “online” Third Place is that it is non-judgemental. I don’t have to explain myself or my choices– great, right?

Then I took a more insightful approach. Am I being intentional about my Third Place? I was choosing without choosing, defaulting to the easiest choice. Have you ever been in an interview and been asked “What do you do in your free time?” or “What are some of your hobbies?” I found myself struggling to come up with a response that wasn’t “ I watch Netflix.”

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the occasional Netflix movie or episode binge, but I could not let this be the only activity outside of home and work. I knew I wanted to get back into my pre-baby shape, and desperately wanted to get back into group fitness classes, but felt so many options were either out of my price range, time range, or driving range. I also felt guilty for not being in shape. “What will the others in these classes think of me?”, I worried.

I spent a lot of time looking at fitness classes or gyms weighing the pro’s and con’s, thinking of how I could make it work with my work and family life. The options were not appealing to me. I spent months talking, thinking, and planning…how could I make this work. If you are like me, I often get an idea get really excited about it and then I lose steam. I did NOT want this to happen again.

Then through good ole Facebook I started hearing about a yoga studio in the town where I live. It was SO close to home I could easily get there, and the schedule had classes I could go to…I didn’t know if I would fit in but a special came up and I couldn’t refuse, so I thought “I will try this.”

I started with an 8 week challenge. That was last December. It’s almost been a year, and although I don’t always make it as much as I would like, I still go. If I have missed class for a couple weeks, there is no guilt, I walk into class and am greeted by friendly faces who are happy I am there– a great Third Place quality. Not only did I start to notice a difference physically, I also noticed a difference socially. I had a community of people now, a place where I belonged. To me that is priceless.
A Third Place is relative. Maybe mine isn’t always the same, or maybe it doesn’t always fit the true criteria of my ideal Third Place all of the time, but I have something. I have something other than a screen now. My Third Place is always there, accepts me, fits my lifestyle, and helps me be the best version of myself, and that’s what I need in my Third Place. Think of your places. Even if your place isn’t the same as mine, I sincerely hope this challenges you to be thoughtful. Time is precious and life is short, be intentional and deliberate about your choices. If you are looking for a Third Place, and are hesitant to jump in, come and join me at mine, you are always welcome!

The 10 (or so) things I learned when I was a friend of Joanna Stanfield Montgomery

The 10 (or so) things I learned when I was a friend of Joanna Stanfield Montgomery

The world lost Joanna Stanfield Montgomery this past Tuesday.  Most of you probably don’t know her, although if you live in Nashville or are a part of the cancer community, or have read Huff post or watched the Katie Couric show, maybe you have also heard the news about her remarkable story.  

I’m not sure I ever knew her completely, yet even though it’s been 3 years since we’ve spoken, I took in the news of her crossing over Tuesday after a long dance with cancer with as much grief as the passing of a family member.  There is an emptiness in the world today—a palpable void, and I find myself wondering how long this vacuum will linger.  

The good part is that Joanna got to choose to leave with family and loved ones holding her up until the end.  She got to spend 3 and a half years with the daughter who, by simply coming into the world, alerted Joanna that she had cancer and needed treatment.  In those 3 and a half years, I watched her morph from afar into a public figure sharing her experience of hope, strength,and grace with so many who benefitted from her amazing voice and vulnerability.

Today, selfishly, in an attempt to come to terms with the depth of my feelings of loss and to try to put some closure on anything unfinished between me and her, I wanted to share my experience of Joanna and the things I learned from being her friend for 4 years.  

Joanna and I were thrown together in a group of people trying to figure out our shit.  In our “real” lives, our circles never touched and we never associated much at large gatherings or events.   From that small group and those shared experiences, we seemed to form a bond of friendship that transcended the normal getting-to-know-you trajectory–there was never any small talk or awkwardness, we always got right to talking about the heart of the matter, whatever it was at the time.  Because of that, I got to experience real, true, equitable adult friendship for the first time in my life.  Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to see her go—-SHE was the one who really taught me how to be a friend.  Here’s how:

  1.  Joanna had magnetism.   She had these arched dark eyebrows, pale skin, and dramatic lips.  Most of the time that I saw her, she looked aloof, cool, regal, and serene all at the same time.  She appeared to have had her shit together, even though I knew we were both in a place where we were supposed to allow all our shit to fall apart.  I don’t know if she practiced appearing this way or if it came naturally, but it was something I really wanted to be around—hoping maybe some of that “togetherness” of self would rub off on me!
  2. Joanna was generous—with all kinds of things.  As a paralegal, she gave me all kinds of advice for free as I was going through my divorce and dealing with single parenthood.  She was my maid of honor when I finally found my forever husband. She threw me a great wedding/baby shower.  She watched my kid from time to time, and always made HER feel special as well–including that one time when we were pregnant together and when I went into labor Joanna came to the hospital to pick up my older daughter and make sure she got safely to a friend’s house for a few days while my husband and I navigated the whole newborn thing.  She bought my Embrace The Wobble stuff when I was just ramping up my business.  She followed my blog.  She traded cars with me when I moved so I could haul more stuff in her SUV.  
  3. She never judged.  And this woman was privy to pretty much everything in my past—all the stuff I have been ashamed of, all the mistakes I’ve made, everything crazy or messy or funny or painful—she knew it all and still wanted to have lunch with me now and then.
  4. She was honest–with herself and with me.   
  5. In her honesty, she was always kind.  Holding up mirrors for me gently, but truthfully, saying what she observed and allowing me to see things I sometimes did not want to see.
  6. She had boundaries.  She pretty much never answered the phone when I called her.  I think this was something she did with more than just me.  She would call me back or email when she was ready to respond, and then would truly be present and available.
  7. She was human.  She usually changed our lunch plans a lot before they happened.  It seemed like she was more comfortable as the helper than the helpee in a relationship, and then would feel irritated about being around “black hole” people.  She had a talent for isolating herself sometimes.
  8. She wore short hair like a boss.  Every woman should do this at least once in their lives.
  9. She had a definitive deliberate style for work and for play.  Another thing every woman should explore.
  10.  She chose herself.  We parted ways three years ago because of two things:  I and my family were trying to “blend” with a newborn, a stepchild, and a new marriage.  This was not always a pretty process, and it took me awhile to find my voice and redefine myself in that role.  I think Joanna felt the changes in me were too much to be comfortable around during that time, AND she had a new baby and a cancer diagnosis to deal with.  She pulled in to her inner circle of family and friends as well as finding her voice in the cancer community.  She and I just couldn’t make our friendship feel comfortable again, especially not having the benefit of a ton of history to fall back on. She did not need or want the stress of trying to hold a challenging friendship together. I get it and applaud her for it.  At the same time, I will always feel sad about this.

In the end, the loss I feel is far outweighed by the gifts I got from having someone like Joanna in my life.   In the last 24 hours, I’ve read a lot of posts online from people who gave condolences, announced her death, and expressed their sadness at her passing—people who never even knew her personally.   How lucky am I to have had 4 years of close, profound friendship with this amazing woman?!  The friendship example she gave me lives on because now I know what to cultivate in myself and look for in others, and have found so many of the same gifts in my own inner circle of friends.  And, having come through a parting of ways with someone so special, it teaches me how to better value and hang onto my current besties—-and how to let them go with honesty and grace if the time ever comes.  

So, thank you, lovely Joanna for existing and sharing some amazing time with me while you were here.  I will never, ever forget it.  Go with God and live on in peace.  Maybe if you think about it, let me know you’re around and remind me how cool you still are.