Maui is a vortex for yoga, water sports, and other body-first training movements. With our year-round tropical weather, people can take advantage of the outdoors for a healthy lifestyle. Here are four women on the island who are offering Maui their own slice of fitness and health.
Amy Lohr, Soulasana Yoga
Amy Lohr had always wanted to open a yoga studio of her own, having practiced and taught for more than 10 years. She jumped at the chance to open her dream spot at Maui Mall.
“When I turned 40 last April I had an epiphany that I wanted my life to have real meaning and purpose and show my children to always follow their hearts and live life with purpose and altruism,” says Lohr. “So after a lot of hard work and soul searching Soulasana was opened. I see Soulasana as a home and as a school. Everyone is welcome and our intention is to not only nurture the physical aspect of our asana practice but to go deeper and create expansion and lightness in our soul: Soulasana.”
Soulasana is an interesting studio that has a worldly feel and offers a lot of unique classes and therapies not found anywhere else. Lohr offers a class created by a Brazilian chiropractor named Kaiut, and numerous styles of yoga at all levels.
“We do offer a community keiki class for parents and children on Fridays, and a babywearing class every Friday as well,” Lohr says. “My children are two and three-and-a-half, and family-friendly yoga is important me. We have an in-house psychic every Monday and Wednesday who offers Akashic Record and psychic healing readings from 12-3pm for $1 a minute. In addition to over 30 classes a week, we have a very strong workshop program offering sacred ceremonies such as full moon ceremonies, and special masterclasses on Akashic Record workshops, tarot card reading, etc. The last Sunday of every month we offer a yoga and West African dance class with live drumming, and we continually offer sound bath ceremonies and reiki trainings. Upcoming workshops include a five-week Kundalini course by Ruby Wong, a three-week course on how to read and create natal charts using astrology, and weekend workshops on magic of crystals and crystal grids.”
Soulasana is located at Maui Mall. They have an intro special of 30 days for $30, or various monthly and drop in passes. See their schedule at Soulasanayoga.com.
Photo of Soulasana by Caprice Nicole Photography
Alyssa Davis, Fit 4 Maui
Alyssa Davis was thrilled to be surrounded by world class water athletes, holistic healers, and health food stores when she moved to Maui’s North Shore, and decided to make that her professional focus after teaching scuba diving in St. Thomas and on the West Side more than 30 years ago. She has her licenses in stand-up paddling instruction, massage therapy, and health fitness. She developed her own superfood powders for daily health, and her business as a wellness and lifestyle coach along with her online superfood store keeps her busy with clients of all ages that come from all over the world.
“I created Lifeguard Greens and Lifeguard Reds after a long and frustrating search for the perfect superfood powders to add to my own daily regimen,” says Davis. “I had been repping health supplements a long time and learned a lot along the way. There’s a supplement company in San Diego that is family-owned and operated. I worked with them in years past and when I noticed the green drink I was repping was started to go downhill, I approached them to help me formulate my idea of the perfect superfood powder. I wanted something that was more than just greens. I wanted mega-powerful antioxidants, super green vegetables, pre- and probiotics, liver cleansers, blood sugar balancers, fiber and digestion help, anti-inflammatories, and immune boosters – and of course 100 percent organic, vegan, non-GMO, and gluten free. Sounds like a lot to ask but they did it! I know what concentrations of each ingredient goes in and where it comes from. I know I feel the difference when I drink it.”
Her superfood powders come in two versions, Lifeguard Reds and Lifeguard Greens. They each have different superfoods contained within, but both are meant to just simply mix with water or almond milk as a drink.
“There is so much scientific evidence to support the importance of eating seven to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables every single day,” says Davis. “Nearly all modern diseases of aging are diet and lifestyle related. When people change their diet to plant-based and mostly vegan, their health improves. Many Americans are not going to go that route, so Lifeguard Greens fills the gap between eating the standard American diet, and eating a nutrient-dense plant-based diet. Many green drinks taste terrible and that turns people off right away. Lifeguard Greens was created with that criteria in mind. We call it compliance: if it doesn’t taste good, they are not going to stick with it. Lifeguard Greens contains everything you need, nothing you don’t, and tastes amazing mixed with almond milk. I created Lifeguard Reds for those who can’t get past the green color, like kids, or some people like myself, who want even MORE antioxidant power in their bodies.”
With Fit 4 Maui, the key to helping clients is keeping it simple, focusing on self-care, and creating a plan that her clients can be excited about that includes the mental to the physical.
“Many people want to tell me their age and make that an excuse for their poor health,” says Davis. “While it’s great to start taking care of yourself younger, it’s never too late. I think 50 is a real turn around point for a lot of people because they start losing friends to cancer, diabetes, and other modern diseases of aging, and it scares them. They think it’s too late for them and it isn’t at all! A lot of this self-sabotaging stuff is in the mind so it’s important to stop with those thoughts and understand, if you take good care of your body with movement and nutrient dense superfoods, you need not age very quickly physically or mentally. I share with them that I am nearly 50-years-old and a grandma, and most people think I’m in my 30s. That’s not magic. That’s a clean and active lifestyle with self-care at the center and the right powerful superfood supplements. That’s the Fit 4 Maui approach to total wellness. I live and breath it. I believe in it. It works.”
For more information on Fit 4 Maui and Lifeguard Greens go to Fit4Maui.com.
Kalimaya Eva Herrera, Self Love Self Defense
Kalimaya Eva Herrera was born in the Philippines and immigrated to California then to Maui. Her path to health and fitness was unconventional, first working in the banking industry and as a welder, then raising two sons who went into the military. Herrera found her passion when she began taking classes in martial arts earning her first black belt in 1989.
“My martial arts training and my strong discipline, enthusiasm, and motivation to take care of my body have won me dozens of awards and trophies, and a world championship,” says Herrera. “I am a survivor of domestic violence, bullying, and other sexual attacks. I am so grateful of my commitment and passion of my martial arts training. My bottom line passion, however, is helping and teaching keiki to build self-confidence, self-defense, and positive assertiveness – empowering girls and women with attitude, behavior, and character (ABC) foundation.”
Herrera teaches self defense, ribbon dance, creative martial arts, family martial arts, and personal fitness. Her upcoming Self Love Self Defense course teaches practical self defense and tactics using the natural weapons of your body and body mechanics to target areas of your attacker, plus how to use a stick weapon for protection, disarming and releasing locks, and various offense and defense grappling moves.
“For turning 71 this year, I’m more flexible, stronger, weight maintained, motivated, and balanced in body and mind. I workout daily and read empowering books, and practice deep breathing. Spirit, faith, gratitude, and enthusiasm are my first thoughts in the morning. Start slow, it takes six to eight weeks to overcome the challenge of changing a lifestyle.
It takes meditation, stretching, 35-50 minutes of committed cardio daily, sauna, plenty of water, dance, mindfulness, chi balance, and lots of deep breaths. My formula is SSCCPP: sauna, stretch, cardio, computer, pray, and play”
Herrera’s next Self Love Self Defense class will be offered March 9 at the Wailea Healing Center. Her Keiki Kix class is offered on Fridays at 4pm. For more information or to register go to Waileahealingcenter.com/events/.
Image courtesy of Kalimaya
Megan Nolan, Vitality Wellness Maui
Megan Nolan has been a personal trainer and yoga instructor for more than 14 years. She has worked with hundreds of clients and students with a common issue: sitting at a dreaded desk for hours on end. Nolan noticed this created a host of issues like chronic aches and pains. She also noticed the positive effects yoga practice can have on reversing these issues. She put two and two together began offering onsite yoga workshops and trainings called Workplace Wellness, where she travels to enterprise environments to teach people health strategies right in their offices.
“The great thing about yoga is that there are so many stretches and techniques, that I can create sessions to meet all of the needs, goals, and requests of the wide range of teams that I work with,” says Nolan.”Working with a variety of clients such as Maui Electric Company, Sae Design, Maui County Federal Credit Union, Wailea Golf Club, and Ceramic Tile means that we can explore so many of these tools together. The best part of this work is that by taking yoga out of the studio and into the community, so many more people are experiencing yoga that perhaps wouldn’t have before if they were intimidated or felt that they weren’t flexible enough. We all spend so much time at work, often seated and using computers, that it has become absolutely essential that we learn how to care for ourselves and manage the impact that our work can have on our bodies and minds. Every job places unique demands on someone’s body, which over time will impact their mobility, strength, and flexibility.”
She focuses on what the job duties are and then optimizes exercises that will help people keep their bodies in balance by stretching out areas of tension and strengthening muscles that may be weakening from lack of use. Her success with her workplace sessions led to her next project, an online class series called “Yoga at My Desk.”
“I created this online series so that people could take yoga breaks whenever it works best for their schedule,” says Nolan. “With our busy lifestyles, it can be hard for people to get time for exercise before or after work, and getting away from the office midday can be challenging for people. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to be doing yoga more often, so the sessions are only 10 minutes long and can be done in work clothes. Each lesson uses different stretches, exercises, and techniques to work on one theme or area of the body such as neck and shoulder release, building core strength, lowering your stress level, and boosting your energy.”
The class is available online through her site Vitality Wellness, and once you have signed up for it you have access for life. Nolan offers the course for $95 and it includes two hours of yoga, three bonus videos, and ongoing live support for the series in her Facebook group. It is accessible via laptop, tablet, and mobile devices.
“In our day-to-day lives we are constantly engaging with the world around us: our work, our phone, our friends, and social media,” says Nolan. “However in yoga we use the breath to focus our mind and draw it inwards. In this way yoga teaches us how to pay attention to ourselves and to learn more about what makes us who we are as well as our unique habits and patterns. As we develop this self awareness on all levels: mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual, we become attuned to what we need to do to feel our best inside and out. I believe that this makes yoga a practice of self-care, self-acceptance, and ultimately self-love.”
To find out more about Workplace Wellness or Yoga at Work video series visit VitalityWellnessMaui.com