Hello Healthy People!!!

No not Bach the composer, I just wanted you to hear my voice/emotion. Seriously though I am finally back to the blogging world.

I have to say thank you to Lightpaw for emailing me some reassuring words, I haven’t been that into blogging since post college life, but am ready to begin again…

I now am officially moved in to Florida…and working three jobs!!!! I guess I tend to be a go getter after all.

My main job is prettttty freaking awesome. I teach yoga to the public and to elite amateur and professional athletes.  We also used weighted yoga balls between 4 and 5 pounds to increase the intensity to our practice.  Nothing makes me more proud of yoga when a football player who can squat in the 500’s and bench a small elephant comes up the yoga studio and recognizes how difficult and challenging yoga really is.

Sometimes they even look like this:

But in all honestly the coolest thing about it all is seeing the improvements in participants abilities. The East County Observer, a publication in the area, came to interview me about our program…if you would like to check that out click here. It’s great to see the athletes response to their bodies after a class. They are improving each session and it is truly a game of mind over matter.


I also teach group fitness classes at two different gyms, one is associated with Sarasota Memorial Hospital, which I have found is just a wonderful place to be a part of.  After a spin class one day a woman came up to me and said I should consider selling shirts that say “I survived Jess’s SPIN”

…made my day.



So I want to catch you all up on my fitness oriented new world post grad, I also had a few ideas for posts a while back I will write about too.  Videos are soon to come especially because I got a puppy 🙂 Say hello to Mr. Finley Jack



But now I must leave to teach power yoga! Woo, namaste my friends.

Happy eating and exercising!!!






When I’m leading the meditation at the end of yoga…

I feel like I am:

And I imagine my participants are like:

“can we open our eyes yet? yet? now? what about now?”

But I think they are really like:

Why I love what I do.

Hello Healthy People!!

Today it really hit me that I am graduating. Anything that brings change brings with it a sense of nostalgia for the past, an eagerness for the future but yet an appreciation for what is and what was. I am very much looking forward to a bright future and I know I cannot live in the past but these past four years have been the most amazing years of my life so far. I am truly blessed for the REMARKABLE people I have met and the lives that have touched and transformed me.

I taught 7pm Zumba every Tuesday this semester and had a group of participants that would join the party every week. Tonight was my last class and it ended with a big sweaty hug from dedicated partipants and tears in my eyes. If that doesn’t make you love what you do I don’t know what does.

JMU has fostered an environment where you learn to live the life you love, and love the life you live. This is where I have found my deepest passions with health and fitness.

Today I received a text message from a friend who follows my blog. I won’t disclose who this was but it really touched me and makes what I do just for fun (this blog) seem so much more important to me.

“Thought you’d like this. I planned on working out today but woke up thinking nah. then I saw your facebook post and immediately hopped out of bed and went at it. Long story short, you inspired a 2 mile run, biceps/triceps/shoulder lift and 500 crunches. Thank you.”

When I read this text message you couldn’t imagine how I felt. If I can help even just ONE person that makes my life, purpose and passion gain so much meaning. It reifies that what I do means something. And everyone should seek that sense of happiness and fulfillment. So thanks for that text message, it means a lot to know this little blog is doing something right 🙂

I’m currently in tears planning the last cycle class I will ever teach tomorrow


But I know it will be a fun and awesome class and a great start to #workoutwednesday. Have you planned when you are working out tomorrow? Remember even if you ONLY have 20 minutes you can still fit in a great workout. Maybe think about incorporating HIIT!
Keep up with this week’s health challenge too!!!! Take photos/document everything you eat, journal etc. You know how it goes, click here for a refresher.

Happy Eating and Exercising!!


Jess ❤

Namaste Cycle, not as “zen” as usual.

Hey Healthy People!!!


Time to relax:

BUUUUUT if you feel like this:

Don’t listen to your mind. Don’t cave into the little lazy non exercising devil on your shoulder! Get up, go out for a bike ride or a hike or a kayaking trip with your other half ❤

This morning I taught my last Namaste Cycle class at JMU which was a little bittersweet. It is one of my favorite classes to teach encompassing an hour and 15 minutes of cycling and yoga fused together! Best combo in my opinion because you get a great cardio workout and then a nice strength and stretching session.

But unfortunately today reminded me of something I need to let everyone know! You should ALWAYS have some type of food before you work out! I had a participant in this morning’s class that after the 40 minutes of cycling (granted it was a hardddd class…) needed EMS as she was feeling extremely faint.  She did not eat any breakfast and basically rolled out of bed before the class began. So please, be aware of your bodies at all times and never push yourself farther than you need to go! It’s good to push somewhat but be mindful. And remember always to drink lots of water and eat before a class.

Ideas for easy/quick breakfast options in the mornings:

1.) Granola Bar

2.) Yogurt

3.) Toast with peanut or almond butter

4.) Piece of fruit

5.) Handful of nuts.

6.) Trail Mix

7.) Dried fruit

8.) Cottage Cheese with pineapple

9.) quick cup of oatmeal

10.) Chewy Bar (my favorite for long runs)

These are all light options you can eat 15-30 minutes before you work out and not feel sick during your exercising.

SO GET UP AND GET MOVING PEOPLE!!! I hope you have a wonderful Saturday!

Happy Eating and Exercising!!



P.S. ONLY 2 more days left of the FITNESS CHALLENGE!!! You can do it people, jacks and planks…remember form!

PPS LIKE my FITfloridian facebook page!!!

Top 25 healthiest Universities in the United States…JMU??!!!

Good Morning Healthy People!!!!

A recent study came out about the top healthiest universities throughout the United States.  Pretty awesome consideration to evaluate in my opinion.  It seems that for obvious reasons academia is always prominent in the statistic world for colleges…but what about health?

All I can say is JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY made number 10…which I am so proud of! It makes me so happy to go to a school where health and fitness is interwoven into the culture here.

Me when I found this out:

I have attached a preview to the article for you to read written by Kelly Fitzpatrick.  Take a second in analyzing why each school made it onto the list. Definitely something to take into mind when deciding where you or your student attends college.. Although I will always say JMU is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

It’s a place that attracts a student body that will literally give you the shirt off of their back. One of the most welcoming communities I have ever been to…we like to call it “the national door holding campus” …because it truly is.

This place is where I found my family away from my family, and learned who I was and where my passions lie, ultimately in health and fitness. So as you can probably precict this article holds a lot of meaning to me. I am proud to call myself a Duke. A forever Duke!! Way to go University Recreation and especially group fitness. I could not have more pride for this university.

Enjoy the article! and GO DUKES!

Happy Eating and Exercising!



P.S. It is THURSDAY!!!! We are sooooooo close to finishing the challenge of the week: NO SUGAR! Hang in there you are doing a wonderful job!

Don’t forget to like my facebook page 🙂

Here’s a preview of the article click to be directed to the “Greatist” site!

The 25 Healthiest Colleges in the U.S.

by Kelly Fitzpatrick · 3 days ago · Health
Right around this time of year, high school seniors are making some tough decisions — in just a few short weeks, it’ll be time to fill out those enrollment forms. Before picking out dorm décor to suit that new college’s colors, check out our list. We’ve found the 25 schools that create the best environment for leading a fit, healthy, and happy life. For more deets on how we ranked the schools, scroll to the bottom.


Photo: Stephanie Diani/UCLA Newsroom

We can only assume UCLA students never go inside. The school offers an impressive outdoor rec center (in addition to a traditional indoor one) with a team-building ropes course, pools, kayaking, and picnic areas. And if all that relaxing gets too strenuous, students will appreciate the health center (ranked number one by The Princeton Review), which offers acupuncture and massage therapy. There’s also nutrition programming from the health center and the comprehensive FITWELL program with fitness classes, online educational resources, mind and body workshops, and even chair massages.

2. Stanford University

Photo: Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service

Some of the happiest students in the country are at Stanford, according to The Princeton Review, and we can see why. Students give the food here an A+ at College Prowler, and many dining options include late night dining ’til 2 am. Meanwhile, the gym is open until 1 am, so studying will never get in the way of a sweat session. Not to be outdone, the health center is also ranked in the top 25 by The Princeton Review. There are several student athletic groups, and the three-step BeWell program with resources for assessment, planning, and executing health and fitness changes.

3. University of North Dakota

Photo: Chuck Kimmerle/University of North Dakota

Students aiming to eat healthy will love UND’s “guiding stars” rating system, which serves as the yellow brick road to healthy dining options. And for the price of $4,000 per year, students get unlimited access to the dining halls, which support local North Dakota farmers. (For the record, the national average for the cost of dining in 2009-2010 was $4,300, which doesn’t necessarily include unlimited meals.) Recreation facilities are even more highly rated on College Prowler — as well they should be. The $20 million gym, opened in 2006, was a gift from the students, who voted to up tuition for six years to pay for it. The gym offers a huge array of free fitness and health assessments and just about all the equipment we could ever want. Our favorite thing about UND, though, is its 7 Dimensions approach to wellness, which includes often-overlooked factors like emotional, environmental, and spiritual health.

4. Colby College

Photo: Jesse Goldman ’12/Colby College

Tabata training and CrossFit classes at the fitness center are perfect for students who want to work out outside the box (pun intended), and the fitness complex also boasts a pool, indoor track, and ice rink. The health center has convenient hours, including weekends, and an emergency response team of volunteer EMTs that serve the campus community. Colby embraces sustainable dining, harvesting some food straight from its thriving campus garden. And dining services’ hard work is rewarded with an A+ score on College Prowler.

5. University of Georgia

Photo by Dot Paul

UGA gets major points for its highly-rated food, plus the school offers nutrition consultations and smart-eating courses with a dietitian. The University of Georgia was also one of the only schools we found with 24-hour dining during the week, so even after a late-night study session students don’t need to resort to fast food. The school’s gym offers a Biggest Loser program (with prizes!) and several other wellness programs. The health center has dental, dermatology, and vision care, plus cooking classes and wellness workshops.

….. See ALL 25 ranked schools at “GREATIST” 

10. James Madison University

Photo Courtesy of James Madison University

Students who can’t stand an overcrowded Zumba session will love JMU’s approach to fitness classes. Students must register online in advance to secure a spot in class, and the gym offers a huge range of class options (with video clips online for timid first-timers). The rec also offers a huge range of programsfrom outdoor adventures to nutrition classes.

Again to link to their website click here http://www.greatist.com/health/25-healthiest-colleges/

I would like to thank GREATIST for doing a wonderful job with their website, their mission and this article!

Power Yoga Music Playlist and Asanas

Namaste healthy people!

In my power yoga class I incorporated some new music and new asanas that I wanted to share with you!

Three-Legged Dog

One of the poses I’m working on mastering in my own practice is an advanced variation to the three legged dog:

Power yoga is the “cardio” version of yoga and is for the intermediate yogi.  This class incorporates a few intermediate asanas (poses) and a lot of sun salutations.  The sun salutations work to keep your heart rate lifted throughout the class. Note: Scroll down to bottom of post if looking for the music playlist!!!

My Class:

Begin in Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Pranayama, introduce Ujjayi Breath, equalizer breath

Seated spinal twist


Down Dog to Plank, match breath

Three legged dog–> add twist–> advanced, come into roll over dog (inversion)

Repeat other side

Top half of sun salutation (Standing mountain, inhaling arms up slight back bend, swan diving down, fwd fold, inhaling to monkey, exhaling fwd fold, inhaling reverse swan dive slight back bend, end chair–add balance by chair on balls of feet arms extended high) –repeat

Bottom Half, Modified Half Series to begin: Modified plank, Crocodile down into Chataranga, inhaling low cobra, exhaling childs pose

Full series: full plank, exhaling crocodile down into chartaranga, inhaling as you flip toes around push up into up dog, exhaling down dog

Connect top and bottom a few more times.

Mountain two

Warrior 1 right side, warrior 2–> cart wheel hands down into 3 bottom half sun salutations

Warrior 1 right side, warrior 2, victorious warrior –> cart wheel down same thing

Warrior 2 right side, victorious warrior, triangle, revolved triangle which looks like :

Before moving to left warriors, complete sunflowers to build heat back into the legs.

Repeat this on the left side.


Begin in tree on either side, hold for a number of breaths and then without touching the ground transition into dancer! (repeat both sides)

Mountain Three:

Full Plank

Pigeon Pose R and L sides

Thread the needle through the loop (childs pose, send R arm through opening left arm to ground, repeat other side shoulder stretch)

Frog Pose


Staff Pose

Spinal Twist

Dead Bug

Happy Baby

Lying spinal twist

Savasana: Final Relaxation


You can look up the names of these poses on google if you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. This was more-so for an instructor point of view to see how I form my class, which I never prepare for anymore–I like to feel out the participants and if they are new or returnees and go from there.  If they are new I take more time to educate them on the pose, what muscles they should feel working or areas of the body that should be stretching at that point.  Experienced yogis it’s fun to take it up a notch and add some inversions, binds and twists. Remember hands on corrections are CRUCIAL!


THE PLAYLIST!!!!!!!! (Probably what you really cared about in this post…)

Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons

Eyes by Rogue Wave Eyes

Come Away to the Water (feat. Rozzi Crane) by Maroon 5 (The Hunger Games Soundtrack–is amazing!)

Dead Hearts by Stars

Drive by Incubus

Angel by Jack Johnson

Sideways by Citizen Cope

Girlfriend by Phoenix

To Build a Home (Edit) by The Cinematic Orchestra

Take Another Little Piece of me by Janis Joplin

The General by Dispatch

Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton

Hope for the Hopeless by A Fine Frenzy

Making Memories Of Us by Keith Urban

Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) by Billy Joel

The Chain by Ingrid Michaelson

 The Fear You Won’t Fall by Joshua Radin




I hope everyone has a wonderful day today! You are keeping up with the fitness challenge of at least 30 min working out each day!

Happy eating and exercising!



Correcting Sun Salutation in Yoga

This video is meant to be helpful for both participants and instructors. These are just a few of the mistakes with form I notice when I teach…

More videos to come!!!


Have you worked out 30 minutes at least each day so far this week? Keep up with the Fitness Challenge!!!


Happy exercising and eating!



Participants are the beeezkneeez

Seriously. As a fitness instructor there is probably no better feeling than when participants come up to you to tell you they loved your class, ask when you’re teaching…etc etc etc.

It’s probably why we love our jobs so much. Well that and the endorphins aren’t so bad either!

–Also, if you are a participant never hesitate to approach your instructor and give helpful feedback. It can always help the instructors grow and I encourage it at the end of every class. So let them know if they rocked it or some areas you were confused about or didn’t enjoy!–

After this morning’s 11am Yogafit class I had a lot of participants come up to me after to thank me or ask when I’m teaching next and it was a great start of the day. One really sweet girl in particular wanted me to send her the playlist but I decided to post it on here anyways…so if you’re reading this…hope you like it! and thanks for coming to the class 🙂

It’s just a little different than the playlist I posted previously but here it is! Hope you like it.

Just a reminder–when creating your playlist (if you are the instructor) always be mindful of the population you are teaching to! This was something that was actually discussed at a presentation at the fitness conference led by JMU’s graduate assistant Brittany Guerin. Music is a great tool in your classes. Just make educated and logical decisions when utilizing it in creative ways.

Playlist Yogafit February 29th 2012

Question by The Old 97’s

On My Mind by Donavon Frakenreiter

Are You Lonesome Tonight by Elvis Presley

The Fear You Won’t Fall by Joshua Radin

I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz

Moonlight Sonata by Mozart

Stay With You by John Legend

Can’t Help Falling In Love by Ingrid Michaelson

In These Arms by The Swell Season

Skinny Love by Birdy

Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson

When You’re Smiling by Lous Armstrong

To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra

You’ll Be In My Heart by Glenn Close and Phil Collins

Have a Little Faith in Me by John Hiatt

Tears and Rain by James Blunt

Beautiful Day by U2

Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye (this is one of my favorite songs right now)

I’ll Be Seeing You by Billie Holiday

I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab For Cutie