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Build THIS kind of Strength

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Build THIS kind of Strength

I agreed to teach for a week on an island off of New Hampshire without knowing exaaaactly what I was getting myself into. 

I had been warned: 

  • only 3 (luke warm if you're lucky) showers per week
  • it will be 'campy' - in all senses of the word
  • wifi is iffy at best 9 miles off shore

Turns out that it was a family conference called Life on a Star, on one of the picturesque islands of the Isles of Shoals

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(Rocky coast, seagulls, lighthouses, crashing waves... the epitome of New England-ness).

Non-showering aside, it was extremely magical.

I got to... 

  • teach daily yoga + swing dancing to energized and engaged students, 
  • watch dozens of dolphins come into the harbor
  • join in the Starlettes' synchronized swimming performance (in 60 degree ocean water, no less!),
  • disconnect from the internet (except for a few instagrams about aforementioned magical-ness)
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But what I really got was an immersion into the sense of STRONG COMMUNITY.

I met sisters, brothers, parents, grandparents, cousins, in-laws, kiddos... who had all been coming year after year to enjoy this sacred time together.

Yes, they come together on the island for fun and relaxation (family summer camp, if you will), but they also told me stories of coming together back at home when they need it most.

They help support each other when someone is sick, when someone else is in job transition, or when someone passes away. 

By sharing this precious week together year after year, they create a strong, loving, welcoming, and supportive community.

Since I've gotten back to the "real" world, this sense of community feels imperative. 

Among the hurricanes, wild fires, nuclear threats, white supremacy riots, and many other horrifying things happening all over the world, we need STRONG COMMUNITIES where we can get support, compassion, give + receive help, and come together to take inspired action individually and globally.  

I want more STRONG COMMUNITIES in my life and I want to invite you to join in!

That's why I've designed this brand new in-person event series, Sculpt Your Future, where it's all about building strength in MOVEMENT, CREATIVITY, + CONNECTION. 

Within each event, we'll build: 

  • physical strength with a movement class,
  • internal strength through intentional journaling exercises, and
  • strength within community by connecting deeply with the other passionate people in each workshop.

The first 6 week series starts here in NYC on Thursday, September 28th at Doing/Living Marketplace!

ALL DETAILS + SIGN UP HERE!

We'll dive into themes like:

  • CONNECTION - tuning in to listen to your body's unique wisdom + get clear on what you want.
  • HEART - defining what fulfillment means to you + determining your values.
  • CHALLENGE - identifying your obstacles + learning the 'martial arts' way to handle them.
  • PERSEVERANCE - "nevertheless she persisted", aka how consistency, grit, + going after it lead to MASSIVE change.
  • ALIGNMENT - practicing coming back to center + how to be grounded amongst chaos.
  • EXPANSION - finding strong stability in order to lengthen, grow, take action and move forward.

 

Join us to sweat out stress, spark creativity, and step into your best self for the rest of the year! 

 

With love + building STRONG COMMUNITY, 

xoxo elyse

 

PS - Not in the New York area?

Send this to someone who might like to join OR become part of our online membership community from anywhere in the world!

 

PPS - Banner photo by Robert Levine! 

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Want to be more kind to yourself as you get fit?

Enter your name + email to get this 14 page printable Self-Kindness journal delivered to your inbox!

Download your free Self-Kindness journal!

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Download your free Self-Kindness journal!

Have you ever felt frustrated or confused when you want to lose weight, gain muscle, get more toned, or really… make any kind of body change?

I don’t blame you!

There’s a lot of confusing information out there.

Here's a video with 7 different mental shifts + practical approaches that you can use to practice kindness while you’re focusing on a body change. 

PLUS below there's a printable Sparkes Wellness Self-Kindness Journalette with questions for YOU to answer for each step!

Watch...

Read + Write...

This section is designed to act as journaling prompts for you!

I recommend writing in a stream-of-consciousness fashion - write as much as you can without picking up your pen and let whatever comes up for you come onto the page.

Click here to get your 14 page journal delivered to your inbox! 

After you answer these journaling questions, I'd love to hear from you! 

Send me a message or leave a comment below to tell me what you discovered. 

With love and body kindness, 

xoxo elyse

 

PS - Know someone who might need to hear this today? Send them this page! 


                              Hiya, I'm elyse!

I'm a personal trainer, fitness coach, and yoga teacher who gets people moving with in-person training and my signature online 21 day + Sparkes Wellness Library program. I want to help people drop the guilt/shame game around exercise and start working out with ease and kindness. When I'm not doing squats and sun salutations, I'm dressed up in vintage lindy hop dancing or gathering other Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs to talk about their careers and living their most passionate lives. Start moving with me today with these FREE stretch breaks you can do to feel more energized and aligned during your day! - stretchbreak.elysesparkes.com


 

 

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Want to be more kind to yourself as you get fit?

Enter your name + email to get this 14 page printable Self-Kindness journal delivered to your inbox!

If you're exhausted by writing 'lose 5lbs' on your to-do list, read this

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If you're exhausted by writing 'lose 5lbs' on your to-do list, read this

There is SO MUCH more to life than weight loss. 

And yet... 

I spent many many New Year's Days writing out my target weight goals and devising complex systems for my exercise and meal plan in order to lose that 'final 5lbs'.

Finally, THIS will be it!

Then throughout the year I would stare at the scale every morning (sometimes noon and night too) to loose that weight OR to make sure I wasn't gaining.

Ironically, those years were the most UN-healthy times of my life.

I felt like there was always weight I couldn't shed, I had anxiety attacks, loss of my period, had severe skin and digestive problems, and so much mental stress that I could never relax at a meal with friends. I always had to be moving to 'burn calories' (I even took up knitting so I could move my hands while I watched a movie)!

Studying mindfulness flipped that lifestyle on it's head and now I feel connected with my body (how it is, right here, today) and exercise and eat for altogether different reasons.

If you're exhausted by writing LOSE 5 POUNDS on your resolution list (yet again), follow these steps for a new approach. 

*Pssst... You can write your own answers in (click here), with this interactive worksheet!

Find your WHY

One thing that helped me was shifting my focus from "Skinny=Happy" to "Healthy=Happy". Instead of my one and only goal being to maintain a certain weight, I concentrated on using food and exercise to heal my health. 

I see huge shifts in my clients and program participants when I encourage them to dig deep and discover the true WHY behind their health and wellness goals.

What is it for you?

  • increased energy,
  • more sound sleep,
  • building flexibility/stability/mobility,
  • practicing balance,
  • being able to lift your kids/grandkids,
  • improving your posture,
  • reducing stiffness, aches and pains,
  • preventing diabetes and high blood pressure,
  • preventing frail bones,
  • improving your digestion, 
  • decreasing mental stress, 
  • feeling confident in your clothes?

1. Write out ALL of the reasons being fit is important to you.

2. Keep it somewhere you can see it everyday and look it over when you need a friendly reminder. :)

Take an action towards how you want to FEEL

If the number goals (lose 5 pounds, have a 29 inch waist, etc.) ARE really important to you, go deeper into the WHY behind that as well.

Ask yourself:

  • WHY is this important to me?
  • What will be available to me when I reach this goal?
  • What will I do differently when I've gotten there? 

3. Write out the answers to the questions above. 

  • Will you buy yourself a new outfit? 
  • Go to a group yoga class?
  • Start dating again? 
  • Apply for a new job? 
  • Finally think you look good? 
  • Make a YouTube video for your business? 
  • Take a selfie? 

4. Choose something you can do TODAY to treat yourself like you're ALREADY there.

  • Buy yourself an outfit you like!
  • Go to a class!
  • Set up a date!
  • Compliment your body (to yourself or to a friend!). 

I know, I know!

This might feel uncomfortable.

You might want to deprive yourself from the get-go and say, 'but I'm NOT there yet!'

So I'm going to step up on my soap box for this one.

Listen up:

You've got ONE life to live and the living starts NOW.

From my personal experience and from working with hundreds of people over the past 12+ years, those magical five pounds are NOT the catalyst for change. 

The catalyst for change starts in shifting your thoughts and your actions.

By,

A) Talking to yourself and about yourself with respect and honor.

B) Moving from product based goals (ie: lose 10 lbs by May) to PROCESS based goals ("I move my body - in a way that's exciting to me - for 30 minutes 3x a week. I text a friend when I need support").

C) Recognizing that,

  • your body is with you for the long run, so this whole health/fitness/wellness stuff is an ongoing, continual process, and
  • gifting your body exercise and nutritious food is something that's important to do at ANY + ALL body sizes, shapes, and ages.

D) Treating yourself like your most precious possession.

 

Ready to really take action on this?

Click HERE for an interactive worksheet to record your answers and go deeper into this process!

 

After you go through the worksheet, I'd love to hear about your answer to #3!  

Comment below and let me know what is the thing you're going to commit to do TODAY?

With love and shifting thoughts and actions, 

xoxo elyse

 

PS - After last week's post, many people expressed interest in starting one of my programs and we've had great new members joining in!

If you're interested in getting fit and healthy in a way that's holistic, body positive, and achievable, you can start the 21 Day program with us this coming Monday! 

Click here to sign up! 


Hiya, I'm elyse!

I'm a personal trainer, fitness coach, and yoga teacher who gets people moving with in-person training and my signature online 21 day workout program. I want to help people drop the guilt/shame game around exercise and start working out with ease and kindness. When I'm not doing squats and sun salutations, I'm dressed up in vintage lindy hop dancing or gathering other Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs to talk about their careers and living their most passionate lives. Start moving with me today with these FREE stretch breaks you can do to feel more energized and aligned during your day! - stretchbreak.elysesparkes.com


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Want to be more kind to yourself as you get fit?

Enter your name + email to get this 14 page printable Self-Kindness journal delivered to your inbox!

On Being fit + Erin Stutland

On Being fit + Erin Stutland

If you are feeling stuck mentally, emotionally or physically, head straight to Erin Stutland! 

She's been a personal mentor, colleague and friend to me, and I can tell you she will teach you how to get unstuck, and FAST. As a former professional dancer and actress, she's the creator of workout programs Shrink Session: Sweat Therapy and Soul Stroll, which combine everything from dance, kickboxing, toning, yoga, meditation and life coaching. She blends mantras into all her workouts in a unique way so that not only get you more present and focused while working out, but you walk away feeling uplifted and inspired, ready to take on whatever you set your mind to.

Plus, she's appeared in Glamour Magazine, Fox News, KTLA, Shape, Yoga Journal, Mind Body Green, Well + Good and more!!! Erin doesn’t believe it takes going to extremes to get a body and a life you love and will help MOVE you- physically, mentally and spiritually.

Want a glimpse into how she keeps herself fit? Read on! 

Meet Erin Stutland:

How Do You Help People Stay Healthy?

I help them create movement in their bodies which creates movement in their lives.

 

What Is The #1 Thing Someone Could Do TODAY To Feel Better In Their Body?

Move their body for even 5 min. Put on some great music and dance around.

 

What's Your Advice To Someone Who's Having Trouble Getting Started With That?

Nike was on to something with their 'Just do it' slogan. :) I know it's not profound, but sometimes doing the thing that you don't want to do IS the very thing that WILL make you feel better.

 

What Does A Typical Day Look Like For You And How Do You Fit Movement Into It?

I wake up around 8am, drink 2 big glasses of warm lemon water, make a smoothie, take my vitamins, jump in the shower, do a little work, then I squeeze in a workout late morning usually. (Yes, I still need to shower first thing in am to wake me up). Then I do a little more work for a few more hours and some nights I head out to teach Shrink Session in NYC. If I am not teaching, I usually cook dinner for my husband and I to enjoy together. Maybe a little Netflix. Then bed.

 

What Other Practices Keep You Healthy? In Body And/Or In Mind?

I am really in love with the Headspace meditation app. This has really transformed things for me. 10 minutes a day of meditation. I don't get it in every single day and sometimes I simply use it to help me fall asleep, but it has been wonderful. I also try to drink A LOT of water throughout the day. Being dehydrated makes you grumpy, hungry, constipated and more. So drink your water!

 

What is your JOY workout?

*Elyse calls a "JOYworkout" a form of movement that is something more than a workout for workout's sake. It's exercise and it's ALSO something that: a) you just plain LOVE to do, b) builds your community, c) teaches you a new skill, d) enhances your spiritual life, e) helps you give back, f) gets you outdoors + is adventurous.

Shrink Session is my joy workout. The combination of dance, kickboxing, yoga and of course community lifts me up again and again!

 

If you "fall off the wagon" with your health/wellness, how do you get back on track?

I spend a day grocery shopping and organizing my week ahead. This always helps. So does a yoga class as a good reset.

 

Where are you getting motivation from right now?

I went back to acting class this last month. It has been so incredibly inspiring and soul filling.

 

What is a motto or quote that you live by?

"You don't need to see the whole staircase, you just need to take the first step." -MLK

 

Thanks So Much For Sharing With Us Erin!

Want to connect with Erin even more?

Join in erin's free challenge!

This week long challenge is a unique blend of soul-lifting fitness and mind-shifting inspiration.

Think music, movement and mantras to take your thoughts to another level WHILE you blast through calories.

*Warning: after one week, you are bound to feel unstoppable!

I'm doing it! Want to join in with me? 

Sign up HERE!

With love and soul sweat therapy, 

xoxo elyse

PS - Are we meeting for the first time?

hi, i'm elyse!

I'm a personal trainer, fitness coach, and yoga teacher who gets people moving with in-person training and my signature online 21 day workout program. I want to help people drop the guilt/shame game around exercise and start working out with ease and kindness. When I'm not doing squats and sun salutations, I'm dressed up in vintage lindy hop dancing or gathering other Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs to talk about their careers and living their most passionate lives.

Want to be more kind to yourself as you get fit?

Enter your name + email to get this 14 page printable Self-Kindness journal delivered to your inbox!