Category Archives: Florida

Just Amazing!


I’ve begun my 200 RYT Aerial Yoga certification!!  My trip down to CircuSoul in Florida for the beginning of my training was amazing!


I was in heaven from the time my flight took off!  I had to share this picture with you of the two empty seats next to me on the flight down to Orlando.  That’s right!!  I had the whole row to myself!!  Woo Hoo!!  Never has this happened to me before.  Our flight didn’t have very many passengers, so many of us were spread out and really enjoying our flight!  I even got to finally watch Maleficent during the flight down.  Totally loved that movie too!


Once I arrived I headed over to my favorite mall in Orlando, Mall at Millennia, and did some shopping!  Ya know…a few more workout pants and tops.  A fitness instructor is always in need of these…At least that’s what I tell my husband.  The credit card company just calls him and tells him I’m at it again.


I was up early Saturday morning and ready to begin my Level1 aerial yoga at CircuSoul.  Not to mention I was excited to finally meet Kerry Tice in person.  We have talked on the phone quite a bit over the years, but never talked in person.  In person Kerry is an amazing instructor/teacher/trainer, and is beyond dedicated to aerial yoga as a practice.

The beginning of our training (Level 1) focuses on teaching you a lot about aerial yoga with emphasis on safety and postures.

Level 1 Training includes:

  • Flying Yoga A series
  • Fundamentals of Aerial Yoga
  • Safety
  • Rigging
  • Inversions
  • Spotting
  • Sequencing I
  • Flying Yoga C Series
  • Fundamentals of Flying Yin Yoga
  • Yin
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Tricks & Flips

This YouTube video is a quick snip of Flying Yoga A.

Both days we began our day with an amazing aerial yoga class that both stretched and strengthened my body.


Our beginning warm up flow had us flowing between cat and cow with one leg extended in the hammock.


We did several flows using the hammock.  My favorite being a basic Warrior flow moving you from Warrior II, to Reverse Warrior, back to Warrior II, and then into extended side angle.  This is all done with one leg resting in the hammock.  It felt amazing!  I’m the one on the yellow yoga mat, using the green hammock, and wearing the blue tank top.



Then, it was on to working on inversions!  Sorry there are not more inversion pictures from the training.  We were just so busy the whole time.

IMG954793The best part is when you get to “cocoon” in your hammock at the beginning and end of class in Shavasana.  Sadly I’m always one of “those people” who always get up right at the end of a yoga class and barely spend any time in Shavasana.  Well, with aerial yoga that has changed a ton.  Even in my hammock at home I have a hard time willing myself to come out of Shavasana.  You feel so safe and relaxed in your hammock.

After our morning classes on each day we began to break down the poses we learned and are learning in Flying Yoga A.  Then, we would break for lunch.  After lunch we came back and went over the anatomy and how it applies to aerial yoga with Dr. Britt.  For our first two days of training we went over the structure and make of our bones, the pelvis, psoas, and shoulders.  Dr. Britt was and amazing anatomy teacher, and has us all engaged in the muscle and bone structure.  I’m looking forward to learning from in her in our future trainings!


Here we are discovering our iliopsoas and its length by monitoring our ischial tuberosities for movement as the leg extends! It was such an exciting and informative weekend!

After our anatomy lesson it was on to practice teaching with others in our class.  I’m one of those dorky people who love the practice teaching parts of our certifications.  Since I’m a perfectionist when it comes to instruction, I want to make sure I’m cueing correctly and correctly fixing any form issues that may arise during class.

All in all it was an amazing beginning of our training.  I’m looking forward to our next weekend of training in February!

New Year New Beginnings

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope your new year is starting out with smiles and fun!  My new year has started out with some fun new beginnings!  I’m now teaching spinning at SOS Image in Minot!  What happened at the YMCA got around Minot in less than an hour after it happened.  I had several job offers from other gyms before the day was out.  All of them were amazing offers, and I was beyond flattered to know I was a valued instructor.


Sara, owner, at SOS Image called me and asked if I would like to come to her gym and start a spinning program.  It was like one door closed for me and a whole entire garage door opened!  I couldn’t be more thankful.  Within the week Sara had ordered 11 bikes, and I was back to teaching spin in December!  I have 6 classes each week with 1 Saturday class each month.  We will be adding more spin classes on as we add on more instructors.  For now, check out our monthly schedule here.


We are riding on the Spinner Pro+ bikes.  We are also using the Star Trac group cycle computers.

Holiday Ride

I’m loving my new adventure at SOS Image!  Some of my amazing friends came over to take my classes at SOS and I have a new set of regulars that are already hooked on spinning and the awesome workout you get!


Now for a new spin ride for y’all!

I’m heading to Florida for the weekend to work on more aerial yoga training at CircuSoul!  I already have one certification in aerial yoga, but I want a full 200 RYT Yoga Alliance approved aerial yoga certificate.  Kerry at Circusoul has put an amazing 200 hour aerial program together.  I got to know Kerry over 2 years ago when I first really got into aerial yoga, and I finally have the excuse/chance to train with him!

Aerial Yoga

I will start off this post with a disclaimer…Once you go aerial you can’t go back!

IMG_0157  IMG_0158

Aerial yoga brought a whole new dimension to my workouts, and I honestly cannot imagine my fitness routine without it.  Aerial yoga brings you so much in one class.  You get to stretch, balance, strength train, and more.  I cannot wait to continue my own study of aerial yoga and progress even farther.


I arrived at Yoga Girls Studio in Edgewater, Florida last Friday beyond excited to start learning more from Allison Sipes.  I had my notebook and camera ready to take more step-by-step pictures.

aerial allison

We started with a basic one hour class.  I loved all the different types of stretching and warm-up flows we did in the beginning of class.  It really helped stretch my body out from Thursday’s aerial silks workout.  We worked on transitioning from the silks into a regular yoga flow on the mat along with some amazing balancing moves using the hammock.

Spiderman   IMG_0054  IMG_0053

From there Allison went on to teach me other flows and more intermediate stretching and strength work using the hammock.  The “Spiderman” is a favorite of mine for stretching.  It felt so unbelievably good.

IMG_0123  IMG_0124   IMG_0125

The more interesting flow I did was the “diaper wrap.”  With this flow you get to go up pretty high in the hammock (which I loved!!) and progress through a series of stretching and strengthening poses.  The above pictures are only a few of the moves in the flow we did involving the “diaper wrap.”

IMG_0044  IMG_0045

One of my many favorite things about aerial yoga is the amount of core work you do in class.  The whole time you are using your core to stabilize yourself, and then there are so many different moves and/or flows that you can do that work your core even more.  My favorite was skyward dog and scorpion.  Not to mention the hundreds of other moves we did on Friday that worked my core in such a fantastic way.

IMG_0129  IMG_0128

One of the more challenging moves for me was to go from a pike into the stretch you see above.  It really worked every muscle in my body.

I loved my days with Allison learning silks and all that you can do with them!  I learned so many flows, cuing, finding your center, spotting, and more.  Now to hit my own hammock and continue learning and practicing.

Aerial yoga can be for everyone!  Although it would really help if you had done regular yoga, so that you are accustomed to the moves you will be making.  The best part are the inversions and balancing moves that use the hammock.  So many people have a hard time with handstands and such in yoga classes, and the hammock gives you excellent support while allowing you to still reap the stretching and muscular benefits.

The video above is one that I found on YouTube that is a great example of some of the moves you would do in a aerial yoga class.  I highly recommend that you sign up for a beginner class today and give it a try.  If you are in Central Florida, head over to Yoga Girls Studio and sign up for one of Allison’s classes or a private lesson.  Allison is an amazing instructor and mentor, who will be there to help you with all of your fitness goals.

A Girl’s Dream Comes True

One of the things I love most about fitness is that there are always new goals to be met and new feats to be accomplished.  I met one of my lifetime goals yesterday!  I got to try aerial silks, and I have an all new set of goals now that I’ve tried silks.


Ever since I was a girl I’ve wanted try silks, and I had the time of my life fulfilling that dream.  Allison was such an amazing instructor.  She answered all of the questions I had, and she gave me even more information that I didn’t even think to ask about.  She truly is gifted when it comes to teaching others.


We started off class by learning how to stretch and strength train using the silks.  Then, we moved on to learning basic lifts and how to properly wrap your arms in the silks.  After that came my favorite part…learning how to do a basic inversion (getting upside down)! 


Getting into an inversion requires core and upper body strength.  I had to have a bit of help from Allison getting into some inversions.  Once I was in the inversion I was able to move around with ease.  From there I learned how to properly wrap my foot in the silks, climb, and do more intermediate inversions.

IMG_0037Here I am doing the “Mermaid”.


Allison then taught me how to stand and work in the silks.  It takes a good amount of core strength, and squeezing those butt cheeks together to keep yourself still while in the silks.  I swear I got the best butt and core workout ever today!  Not to mention all the upper body and leg muscles that I used.  If you are looking for a fun way to build and tone those muscles (and burn a ton of calories) this is it!


Later on in my lesson, Allison tied the silks into a slip knot, and I learned how to do inversions and stretching.  The above picture is getting blown up and framed, and I’m sure it will be a picture that I show my grandkids someday!


I truly cannot put into words what an amazing time I had with Allison fulfilling a dream and creating new goals today.  I wish I was a better writer, so that I could better express and explain my day to you.  If you are ever in Orlando, Florida or if you live there or near there sign up for classes or a private lesson with Allison today.  She teaches out of several studios (Vixen Fitness, Allure, and Yoga Girls) and she would love to teach you.  Allison is also adding more instructional videos to her website, and she will be adding more flexibility and strength videos soon!!

When Allison and I finished up for the day, I headed straight to dinner with my parents.  I knew that if I went back to the hotel to clean up and change I would end up laying down and not getting back up, and I was too hungry for that to happen.


We met up at the Cheesecake Factory at the Mall of Millennia

lettuce wraps

I was looking forward to getting my Thai Chicken Linguine with Peanut Sauce, but this dish was no longer on the menu.  Since I was craving chicken and peanut sauce I ordered the Thai Lettuce Wraps from the Appetizer menu.  As you can see it really is more of a full meal in size.  The dish came with satay chicken strips, carrots, bean sprouts, coconut curry noodles and lettuce leaves with three delicious spicy Thai sauces – peanut, sweet red chili and tamarind-cashew.  The chicken was perfectly grilled and the peanut sauce hit the spot.  Plus I had a ton of fun creating my wraps.

salad and pasta

My step-mom ordered the Santa Fe Salad, and my dad ordered the Shrimp with Angel Hair (he always orders this dish).  Sadly, we were all too full to have any cheesecake for desert.

Today I’m headed over to Yoga Girls to work on aerial yoga with Allison.  I’m a bit sore from yesterday, but I know I’ll get in some great stretching today!

It’s Warm Out There!!

I’m here in wonderfully warm Florida!  It is so nice to wear sandals again.  Oh, and shorts too!!

The morning started out early for me.  I had a 5 am flight out of Minot, so that means I had to be up at 2:10 am in order to be ready to head out of the house by 2:45 am.  All went well, and before I knew it, I was in Minneapolis waiting for my flight to Orlando.


I had a 3 hour layover, so I had a bit of time to kill.  I spent my time being massively productive.  NOT!!  I sat down with my latte, book, and magazines and started reading.  I also hit Pinterest pretty hard too, and I had added quite a few more pins before my flight boarded.


When I landed in Florida it was in the upper 70s and it felt great!  I got my luggage and car rental, and headed straight to the hotel.  I’m staying at the Hilton, and I’ll have some great pictures of it for ya later.


Sadly I only had 10 minutes to clean up and get changed before I had to meet my parents for dinner.  I did pretty good for only having a few minutes to get ready.


We had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Orlando, Brio Tuscan Grille, located inside the Mall of Millennia.  I always love everything on their menu.  We started our meal out with the bruschetta quatro, a bruschetta sampler platter.  They offer different bruschetta’s throughout the year, and last night for our 4 different bruschetta samplers we had sliced steak, roasted red pepper, goat cheese with caramelized onions and tomatoes, and antipasti bruschetta.  As for dinner…I always have a hard time deciding since everything is always so flavorful and delicious.  However, I do have a favorite, The Pasta Brio.  It is beyond delicious.  It is a rigatoni with a wonderful roasted red pepper sauce, grilled chicken, and mushrooms.  It is a light cream sauce with so much flavor.  I can tell you that it all tastes as wonderful as it all looks. 


After dinner I had to do a bit of shopping.  I mean, I had to be active and burn some of my dinner off, and what better way than hitting Lululemon and getting some more workout clothing!  I had a wonderful associate help me burn those calories off by trying on a bunch of clothing.  It also turned out that she and I have a common friend!  It is always a small world.  I’ll be wearing my new purchases while working on silks tomorrow at Vixen Studios.

my family

Before I parted ways with my parents for the night we got a few pictures taken.  We will be meeting up tomorrow for dinner and more shopping!!

I’m On My Way!!

As you are sitting there reading this post I’m flying to Florida, and if you are reading this post after 2:30 pm EST I’ll already be in Florida hugging the first palm tree I see!  It should be gorgeous, sunny, and 80 degrees when I land.  Try not to be too jealous.  I’m sending warm thoughts your way. Smile

I’m beyond excited for my next few days in Florida, but the feeling of guilt is starting to creep over me.  I have not gone anywhere on a trip for myself in 9 years.  I have always gone to Florida with my son the past few summers since we moved to North Dakota.  The amazing thing is, my son is totally fine with me going to Florida without him this time.  He is more focused on making his own plans for while I’m gone.  All I can say is that he is a better person than I am, because I would be throwing the mother of all temper tantrums if our rolls were reversed.

Still I feel a bit guilty leaving my husband and son behind while I head off to see friends, family, and learn aerial yoga and silks.  Honestly, it is bugging me that I feel this way.  My husband heads off for hunting trips all the time, and everything is great while he is gone and when he returns we are all happy (he never has an inkling of guilt before leaving).  So why is it I’m starting to feel guilty?  I know a few of my friends feel this way as mothers too.    Do any of you have these feelings when you are about to leave for a trip and leave your husband and/or children behind?

Alright, I’ll stop prattling on about guilt and be thankful that I’m getting to go to Florida, so we can get to Workout Wednesday.

Workout Wednesday 2

Here is a 30 minute elliptical workout I found in one of my old fitness notebooks from 2007!  I love going through my old workouts and reviving them or tweaking them a bit to make them new!  Sorry about all the pink.  I kinda got carried away with the Valentines theme.  Hope you have a great Workout Wednesday, and remember to stretch when you are done!
30 Minute Valentine Elliptical

A Beach Ab Workout for Florida

I am only 8 days away from my trip to Florida!!!  Eight glorious days away from sunshine, warm weather, friends, food, family, and fun!!  Did I mention the warm weather?  I’m staring –18 degrees for a high in the face tomorrow.  If I didn’t have a trip already planned for Florida, I would start walking there if I had to at this point.

Aerial silks collage

My main reason for going to Florida is to train in aerial silks and aerial/hammock yoga.  I’m beyond pumped and ready to finally start working on these two skills.  My main goal is to have aerial yoga classes here in North Dakota before the year is out.  I’ve been working my core and upper body muscles like none other since December, in hopes of having the strength to work for multiple hours in these silks for three days straight, and I’m really starting to see my bicep and tricep muscles pop again!!  I’m beyond excited to work with my trainer, Allison, again.  She really is phenomenal, and if I have enough time, I might just jump on a pole and do a pole fitness workout with her too!

Getting muscles

With just a few days left I’m still working my abs, and here is the workout I came up with for today after teaching my Spinning class! I thought we could all get beach body ready together, even though I won’t have time to go to the beach while I’m in Florida. If you do not have a BOSU just do the exercise on the floor without it.  You will still get a great workout out of it!  I’ve also included links to new exercise moves.  Remember to stretch when you are done!Sun

Beach Abs Pyramid

Aerial Silks Training in Florida!!

Winter has arrived in full force here in North Dakota, so that means that I need to get my southern butt back down to sunny Florida!  I just booked my airline tickets for February, and I’ll be heading down there to soak up some sun and FINALLY learn aerial silks and hammock yoga!
Aerial silks collage

For those of you who do not know what aerial silks are, here is a definition (the pictures say more than the words) of Aerial Silks according to Wikipedia:  Aerial silk (also known as aerial contortion, aerial ribbons, aerial silks, aerial tissues, fabric, ribbon, or tissu, depending on regional preference)[1] is a type of performance in which one or more artists perform aerialbatic acrobatics while hanging from a special fabric. Performers climb the suspended fabric without the use of safety lines, and rely only on their training and skill to ensure safety. They use the fabric to wrap, suspend, fall, swing, and spiral their bodies into and out of various positions. Aerial silks may be used to fly through the air, striking poses and figures while flyingAerial silks are an incredibly demanding art and require a high degree of strength, power, flexibility, courage, and grace to practice.


It all sounds and looks pretty neat huh!?!

Aerial silks is something that I have had my eye on and have wanted to try for a few years now, and this winter I finally have the chance to learn all I can in this neat art!  I am truly just beyond excited to finally learn aerial silks.  As you can see from the pictures above it looks like a ton of fun and amazing experience.  Who doesn’t want to swing around and do fun tricks?  Not to mention that silks are a great form of fitness.

One of the fitness studios I took lessons at, Vixen Fitness in Orlando, Florida, started teaching aerial silks right after we moved to North Dakota, and I’ve been dying to go back and learn silks for a few years now, so I decided there is no time like the present (especially since it is freezing here in the winter).


AllisonVixen Fitness in Orlando, Florida is such a great place to take lessons.  Not only do they have aerial silk classes, but they offer a ton of other classes ranging from Spinning to advanced pole.  I first went to Vixen for pole fitness classes.  I would have to say that pole fitness is the hardest fitness class I have ever done when it comes to using your arms and core strength.  Of course, I was sucked in immediately and wanted to learn as much as I could.  This brought me to private lessons with Allison.

Allison is a professionally trained dancer and was a National Junior Olympic gymnast as a child. In 2005 she discovered “aerial arts” and instantly became addicted when she realized she was able to combine the strength and grace of gymnastics with the expression of dance.

Allison was kind enough to teach me as much as she could as fast as she could.  She is an amazing instructor, and I highly recommend her to anyone.  Plus she is beyond sweet and totally supportive about anything and everything you could ever want to learn.  Therefore, I will be doing my one-on-one aerial silks training with her during my 5 days in Florida.  Allison understands how much I want to learn in those few days, and is ready to teach me all that she can.  She has even suggested that we video tape everything, so that I have something to work from when I return home.  If it is not too embarrassing I might share some videos with y’all.  I cannot wait to get to Florida!

Allison also has her own website with online pole lessons.  Online Pole Lessons is an amazing website with great lessons in which a beginner can learn the art of pole from their own home.


On top of aerial silk training I will be doing hammock yoga training with Allison at Yoga Girls Studio in Orlando, Florida.  Hammock yoga is another class that came to Orlando right after I moved (I have all the luck right!?!).  There are so many benefits to hammock yoga…Many newcomers enjoy working with the sling because with the help of gravity there is very little pressure or stress on the joints, especially the spine. Inversions are accessed easily with no strain on the neck, back, or shoulders.  Gravity eases you into optimal alignment with very little effort, and deep postures can be accessed through relaxation and deep breathing. The relaxation response is heightened by the unique sensations accessed in aerial yoga.


Hanging in the sling makes your core muscles fire. It is so much fun you don’t even realize what a great workout you’re getting. Transitioning in and out of the aerial yoga postures builds upper body strength, and resting in the postures heightens relaxation for a balanced effort overall.

Aerial Yoga was designed for anyone of any age or fitness level. Complete beginners to yoga and/or aerial will be right at home.

Check out the video below to learn and see more about hammock yoga.

My long term goal is to bring hammock yoga back to North Dakota!  I know so many people who would love and benefit from the classes.  You have to admit you want to give it all a try just after looking at the photos and video.

Thankfully, I have a few months before I cram as much training in as I can.  I’m going to need that time to strengthen my core and upper body, since I won’t be able to stay and take classes over an extended period at the studios like the lucky people who live in Orlando.  Instead, I’m going to be learning as much as I can in just a few days.  I already know that I will be using my core and arms to control my movements the most and they will need to be in great working order come February.  So…you will see a lot more core and upper body workouts posted in the Workout page.

And…here is the core workout I did yesterday in between my spinning classes.  I’ve also included links to a couple of the abdominal exercises that you might not have heard of or are unsure of.

Get Those Abs