Meet Your Studio Tone It Up Trainer Heather!
One of the biggest requests we hear from the community is for more yoga, which we absolutely love. Kat completed her yoga teacher training earlier this year and I just started my 200 hour training! I can’t wait to share this exciting journey of energy, movement, and healing with the TIU team!
As Kat and I have deepened our own yoga practice, we’ve learned from some powerful and inspiring instructors. Today we’re introducing you to one of these women, your new Studio Tone It Up Trainer Heather! Heather is a Manhattan Beach babe and teaches at some of our favorite local studios. Her flows and mantras are so beautiful!
Meet us on the mat for Heather’s Sunrise Yoga Flow in the Studio! And read on below to learn more about her!
Read more of Heather’s story!
How did you first get into fitness?
I grew up in Manhattan Beach (local girl!) and fitness was part of my life as far back as I can remember. During summer break when most kids slept in, my siblings and I were junior lifeguards and we were running on the sand or swimming in the ocean. It made me feel connected to myself and nature. I played sports all though high school and I played volleyball competitively in college. Fitness as a spiritual practice was instilled in me as a child and then reignited when I found yoga.
When did you discover yoga?
About 12 years ago. At the time I was a fashion publicist and the lifestyle was crazy and stressful. I needed an outlet and some balance in my life. One of my best friends is a yoga instructor and she invited me to a class. In my very first class I felt something I never felt before. I actually cried in class! I felt open and inspired and I always thank my friend for that.
Yoga actually gave me the courage to quit my job and I traveled around Europe for a few months. When I got back, my friend suggested I try yoga teacher training. I never thought I’d become a yoga teacher. I was shy growing up and speaking in front of large groups was scary for me. But I was looking for my next step and what inspires me and yoga was that. I dove into teacher training to strengthen my own practice and by the end of the first training I had the confidence to start teaching classes here and there. With every class I felt more inspired and supported to keep putting myself out there.
Now it’s been 10 years since I’ve been teaching. I have over 600 hours in training and certifications. It’s an ever evolving and lifetime love for me. Every day we change and our yoga practice can change.
Did you have an “aha” moment that changed your perspective on fitness?
I’ve had two “aha” moments! My senior year in high school we were training for a national volleyball championship. One of our coaches was a pro and she was training us like we were pros. I thought I was going to die and she looked at me and said, “You are going to dig deep and put your full heart in it.” I knew if I could push through this I would be stronger and ultimately that’s what happened.
My “aha” moment in yoga was actually the total opposite! I had always played such competitive sports and I enjoyed winning. In yoga there’s no combative energy. It made me realize I can get my fitness, strength, and flexibility in a really loving and gentle way.
Tell us about an experience that shaped you.
As a young girl growing up in South Bay in the 80s I was one of the only biracial girls in my school, on the volleyball team, and in the Girls Scouts troop. I’m six feet tall with brown skin and curly hair. Feeling like a bit of an outsider was a challenge. I had to learn to accept myself as unique and beautiful. I realized that I’m not separate from my friends, family, or community. I’m grateful for such a great community who showed me how to love myself and trust that people around me are supporting me.
Three things we don’t know about you – GO!
1) I have to eat my food really hot and fresh. My friends alway laugh because I won’t get anything to-go!
2) I come from a family of powerful women who were breaking barriers. In 1963, my grandmother was the very first female to go through the full 16-week training and become a sheriff in LA County. She’s such an inspiration.
3) I have a clothing line called Mantra Muse. I get to combine my love for fitness and fashion and yoga all in one place!
Favorite yoga affirmation?
“I have everything within me that I need to thrive today.” I say this at the end of almost every class.
What can we expect from your Studio Tone It Up classes?
You can expect a truly connected, soulful, and of course sweaty class! I pride myself on being present and positive and really trying to share what I have learned and loved through yoga with my students.
What would you say to a girl who’s intimidated to try yoga?
I really believe that yoga is for everyone! It’s OK to be scared, but I also urge you to reward yourself through taking a challenge. Take note of how beautiful you are within so you can shine from the inside out. I think fitness starts on the inside. If you can learn to love yourself first, everything falls into place. Yoga is a space where you can connect and have fun and let your spirit shine through. Give yourself a chance to see how amazing and transformative yoga can be. It really has changed my life!
Rapid fire questions!
What’s on your workout playlist?
Anything from Rihanna to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I like it all, if it has a good beat it’s on my playlist
Favorite yoga pose?
Wheel Pose. It’s a full back bend. I love heart opening poses.
If we opened your bag right now, what would we find?
Chapstick, a hair tie, and I always carry an inspiration journal with me. I jot down mantras that come to my mind and quotes that my other yoga teachers say. Sometimes I randomly have yoga sequences come to me and I need to jot them down!
Puppies or kittens?
Puppies!! I have a chihuahua named Bodhi!
Red, white, or rosé?
Rosé for sure
What’s your ideal Saturday?
I teach class every Saturday morning, which is a great way to start the weekend. After I usually take a class and then run down to the beach and jump in the ocean! I also love hanging with my dog, making some yummy food, and going dancing with my girlfriends at night!
Follow Heather on Insta @studiotoneitupheather!
Any questions on the app? Head to THIS post to get all the details!! Xxxo
Join us in Studio Tone It Up…our doors are open 24/7! Download Studio Tone It Up in the app store HERE!