Featured Instructor of the Month

December - Leo Ruiz

Growing up in a Caribbean home, dancing is just a way of life. To this day I wake up on Saturday's morning to clean my house to merengue and salsa. Dancing was such a huge part of my life that I never considered it to be a "workout". I slowly started to realize that a workout could be anything I wanted it to be. Being a happy person and sharing that with others is my number one goal in life! So I approach fitness the same way I approach everything else, does it make me happy? Do I want to do it again? If the answer is yes to both questions I go for it. That’s how I found Zumba. Dancing for an hour and making others happy is a true passion of mine. Teaching Zumba for me is more about providing an environment of positive energy and if we can burn calories while doing it that’s a plus. Fitness is a way of life not a destination, so why not make the journey a dance party. Recently, I just got my certification in Strong by Zumba ®.  Which has awaken my other passion for martial arts. I practice boxing for 3 years, kickboxing and yoga for 2 years.  Both certifications have taught me one thing, fitness can be something you love to do, it does not have to be a chore. 

Outside of the studio, you can find me running mud races (Tough Mudder finisher 2015!), cooking, eating and spending time with my wonderful friends and family and of course  dancing. Even if its your first time, come join me for a dance!

 

‚ÄčNovember - Jacalynn Willett

There are numerous stressors that come along with going to college and work. For Jacalynn, she found balance through maintaining a consistent Yoga practice.

For over a decade she has continued to practice Yoga, growing and developing her own form, technique and spiritual connection. 

As her practice evolved further she decided to take the leap and attend yoga teacher training at the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara in 2012 under the direction of Tracy Rich and Ganga White. It is here Jacalynn achieved her Yoga Teacher Training certification.  

During the last 10+ years Jacalynn has practiced yoga on and off her mat. She finds the connection to breathe keeps us present in our fast paced society. She has also recently been awarded the status of Lululemon Ambassador.

She is so happy she found yoga and shares her joy of the practice with all who attend her class. Her holistic spiritual approach to Yoga encourages everyone feel welcome, whether it is their first time trying yoga or they have been practicing for years. 

 

October - Talene McCarthy

Practicing Vinyasa yoga for over 20 years has been transformational. However, finding the practice that worked best for me and my body was not obvious at first. As a child I was not physically active, I was overweight, lacked energy and had chronic back pain. I also suffered from scoliosis and hip alignment issues.

A little later in life a friend introduced me to yoga. Immediately I was drawn to the physicality of it, improving my core strength, balance and alignment. I also discovered all the benefits of mental wellness it delivered. With these improvements to my body I began to explore other forms of exercise and eventually became an avid snowboarder. Unfortunately, I sustained several injuries in races which never self-corrected. It was all in thanks to my yoga practice that my physical ailments rectified  themselves and I found more energy and strength to do all the activities I loved so much. I became calmer, clearer, and more focused on enjoying life in the moment. It was the mind body connection developed in my practice that kept me coming back for more. For this reason, I pursued teaching and truly enjoy recreating that feeling for my students. 

If you feel stressed, depressed, lethargic, overstimulated, unable to focus, tired-but-wired then yoga may be what you need to bring you back to balance. Yoga classes are modified for all levels. Come join me. Namaste.

 

September - Jessica Edelglass

Jess hasn't always been into fitness. As a child, she would rather be playing the piano or doing arts and crafts than sweating! Her love of fitness and challenging herself to her fullest physical potential started in middle school when she worked with her family towards earning her black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She took a few years' hiatus from fitness, and recommitted herself to running and time at the gym in late high school. It wasn't until she was introduced to group fitness classes and fell in love with Les Mills BODYPUMP that she worked to become the athlete she is today.

A middle school social studies teacher at the time, Jess decided to get certified in Les Mills BODYPUMP, a perfect combination of her passions of fitness and inspiring individuals to expand their horizons and reach new levels. Fast forward to today, Jess has been teaching multiple Les Mills formats as well as spinning for over five years and is an elite level BODYPUMP Instructor. She believes that every individual, no matter their level of physical fitness, ability or age, can get strong and healthy through fitness and carry this feeling of empowerment into the rest of their lives outside the gym. Exercise and health should not feel like a chore, but something we feel good doing. Sharing the joy of physical activity is one of Jess's favorite passions and what keeps her motivated to deliver fun, energetic and challenging classes. 

Outside of the fitness studio, you can find Jess working as a registered dietitian, providing nutrition counseling and health-, nutrition- and fitness-related corporate talks, cooking delicious food in her kitchen, and spending time with her family and friends. Whether you're interested in talking about food, a modification for an exercise in class, or recent travels, or sharing a laugh over cute pictures of children and dogs, Jess loves meeting and chatting with Waverley Oaks members!