We can't believe it's already been 1 year that Keri has been teaching classes! Keri is such a positive light every time she is in the studio. She motivates you so gently and then all of a sudden you realize how much you're working. Fun facts about Keri: she has 6 sisters and is originally from Canada! Learn more about this sweet and fabulous gal below! Here's to many years together at Green Bird!more
Lacie has been a Green Bird for over a year now. I first met Lacie when she was pregnant with her little one, Owen. It's been amazing to watch Lacie grow stronger and stronger. We love her happy mood and smile no matter how much she is sweating at the barre. Lacie was an easy choice to highlight this month as our Green Bird of the Month with her can-do attitude and ability to push through a 3 minute plank with no problem!more
Meet Kathy Wittig! She has been a dedicated Green Bird since the very first week we opened our doors back in January. Kathy comes twice a week taking one Barre and one Pilates class per week in addition to her weekly Zumba classes. I've seen nothing but hard work and grit from Kathy in every single class. She perseveres through every plank, push-up, squat, and anything else we throw out at her.
Kathy told me once of the time she really saw how much core strength she had gained and I just have to share the story. Her grandchildren (ranging in age from elementary to middle school) were having a plank contest at her house. Kathy thought, "Hey I can do this." So Kathy got behind the couch and started her own plank out of sight from her grandkids. Then her grandkids found her and started cheering her on. She beat them all with a 2.5 minute plank! Amazing!
Get to know a bit more about Kathy with our interview below!more
Introducing our first Green Bird Instructor Spotlight series! First up is Nina, the first instructor that I hired once the studio was up and running! I have known Nina for a few years now before she became a fitness instructor. The story goes like this: Green Bird Fitness started inside Premiere Dance Center (just across the street from the current studio location). It was just me and I taught 10 classes a week. Nina and I worked together at another studio and we would always chat between classes. I told her about starting Green Bird and she told me her dream of teaching Pilates. Nina would say, "Let me know when you need to hire instructors!" I would tell her, "I hope I get to the point where I need to hire instructors!"
Then a year went by and Green Bird grew into its very own studio space. It was still just me teaching classes. In February, I put out the very first call for hiring instructors and guess who was the very first applicant?! Nina, of course! And the rest is history.
It's been so exciting to see Nina grow as an instructor over the past 7 months. Nina's...more
Karen Bean has been a Green Bird since February attending 3-5 classes consistently. She always brings a positive attitude and gives every move her all. We've seen her improve in leaps and bounds in the past 7 months. Karen is so strong and has beautiful technique. We couldn't be happier that she is the first Green Bird of the Month! Learn more about Karen and how awesome she is below!more
Arm balances can seem scary if you've never done them before or you're just beginning to explore these poses. Well, nerves be gone! Here are a few poses and stretches you can do to prep for an arm balance. It's important to stretch your hips, strengthen your core, and practice practice practice.more
You asked and here they are! Our themed playlists are all collected here in one place for you! Enjoy the tunes this beautiful Friday!more
Many of you have been asking where to find my playlists for classes. Well, here you go! Enjoy 5 awesome playlists that I cannot get enough of! These are great for Pilates, Barre, Running, Cycling..... any activity where you need an injection of energy! You can also find me on Spotify under the username LAMD86.more
Mornings go quick and get quicker as the week progresses. Here is a small yoga flow you can do in the morning to stretch you out, wake you up, and get out the door in 10-15 minutes! You can do these poses in the order laid out here or pick and choose a few poses to hold and breathe through. If you flow through this sequence go for 3-5x to rev your engines and warm your body up. Remember to listen to your body and do what feels good for you.more
Starting Sunday January 3rd you can find Green Bird Fitness across the highway from Premiere Dance Center (where we currently hold classes). We have a full schedule of Pilates, Barre, and Yoga classes! Check out the picture below of the beautiful studio building!
We will NOT be located on the second floor of the Combine Strength and Conditioning Gym until March 2016.
Green Bird Fitness Address:
9120 Highway 290 West
Austin, TX 78736more
We are happy to announce that Green Bird Fitness is growing and moving in 2016! Starting January 3rd we will be offering a FULL SCHEDULE of Pilates, Barre, and Yoga classes 7 days per week!
We appreciate all of your support and energy in classes and events over the past year. We look forward to spending more time with you on the mat and at the barre in January and beyond.
Stay tuned for Grand Opening Specials and a Party date to celebrate the expansion!more
At first glance, it may seem like Lampasas, TX can't be that exotic or interesting to visit. I'll admit that right before I went out there for the first time I was skeptical. Whenever I go out there I spend time alternating between coffee on the porch and walking around the great expanse of land. There's also a strong possibility that some Yoga in the Hill Country takes place as well. Since it's a little colder, rainier, and darker these days I thought it would be fun to dream of sunnier days.
Getting out in the hill country is great way to de-stress and be active. We don't have internet or TV out there and I barely get a phone signal. Just the way the countryside should be.more
Here is a new one-dish, easy, and healthy recipe. This chicken recipe was born from rummaging through the pantry and fridge and coming up with dinner on the fly. I happened to have fresh garlic lying around, which made for an easy decision on what was going to season the chicken. This is super delicious and makes for great leftovers the day after.more
Foam rolling is a wonderful way to stretch your muscles and release muscle tightness. It can feel a lot like you're giving yourself a massage. I use the foam roller every evening as a way to unwind and reset before heading to bed. A couple weeks ago I introduced a personal training client to the foam roller and we have seen physical improvements in her posture. My experience with her inspired me to share why the foam roller is something you should try and give you a few of my favorite stretches with the foam roller.more
Over the past couple weeks I have attempted to integrate some light jogging into my workouts in order to get in more cardio. I used to play soccer and run track, and I loved it. Then over the past several years I was plagued with IT Band Syndrome and a bone spur on the back of my heel from running and other high impact exercises.
Q: Why would I put myself through the pain of running if I received so many intense injuries from it?
A: Pilates exercises have helped to stretch my IT band and build strength in the muscles surrounding my knee. Pilates exercises have also offered me low impact options to build flexibility and strength in my ankle.
My injuries were mostly caused by overuse and muscle imbalances. I was not exercising in a smart way. I was not practicing Pilates regularly. I was doing a lot of kickboxing, bootcamps, and running. There was no balance to my work out and my body suffered the consequences.
Pilates is the perfect complement to running. Let's run through some major benefits of the...more
I am seeing such an increase in strength and flexibility in Pilates classes over the past few weeks. You are getting stronger and that's awesome! Some of you may have noticed some new additions in class: Rollover and Jackknife. These moves can lean towards the intermediate to advanced end of the spectrum of Pilates Mat exercises. These two moves are also a part of the original repertoire performed by Joseph Pilates.
I have gotten several questions about these two exercises, so I decided I would outline it all here, so you could have some written tips and advice. Let's break these moves down and understand the benefits, precautions, and mechanics. Even if you haven't done these moves before this a wonderful introduction. Roll Over and Jack Knife work so many different areas of the body at once and can be a great challenge!more
Yoga in the Park this week was one for the books. It started out like any other yoga class. People started arriving around 6:15pm. Everyone was getting settled in, maybe doing a few stretches or talking with the person beside them. The Sierra Club members were getting back from their hike and in great spirits.
I knew there was a 30-40% chance of rain right smack dab in the middle of our yoga class time. But you know how that goes. In Texas we can have a huge chance of rain and then no rain comes. We can feel cool and need a jacket in the morning. By the afternoon, you're wondering why in the world you wore that jacket.
As everyone was settling in we noticed the huge dark rain clouds when you looked east and then sunny skies when you looked west. Which would ultimately win out?
It was the rain.more
I have been playing this 90s playlist every day for the past week, so I thought I would share it with you! It's got Britney, *NSYNC (can't forget the asterisk), Backstreet Boys, Smash Mouth, Destiny's Child, and more!
This playlist harkens back to a simpler time before BSB lost Kevin...before the advent of Justin's solo career....before Britney's meltdown. Can you believe that we now live in a world where Will Smith puts out movies, but NOT an accompanying theme song?? Well, let this playlist take you back to those great times. These songs will definitely get you through ol' Hump Day!more
So you have never taken a Pilates class in your life, but you’re intrigued and you have decided to take the plunge. This blog post is for you! We’ll cover two pillars of Pilates and what to expect during your first class. Overall, there is nothing to worry or be nervous about. Practicing Pilates has many benefits and is meant for everyone. Joseph Pilates was a circus performer, self-defense instructor, yogi, and gymnast. He loved to move. He used his exercises and breathing technique with injured men in internment camps during World War I before he ever worked with dancers. None of the men who practiced his exercises came down with influenza during the influenza pandemic of 1901. Pilates has helped countless people with neck, back, and knee pain. The exercises have shown benefits for pre-natal and post-natal women, athletes, dancers, the young and old, and the list goes on. Joseph Pilates believed his exercises were for everyone and would help you live a healthy and long life.more
As I mentioned in my last blog post on stretching while on a road trip, I was not able to exercise as much as I liked. There were 4 days of driving for 8+ hours. It was really intense. I did bring a Theraband on our trip and was able to do a little something in the evening. These moves focus on opening your chest and building strength in your postural muscle, the exact muscles that are weakened and become tight while sitting for long periods of time.
Overall, this workout is simple, but not easy. I would go through these upper body exercises when I could during the trip then finish with the stretches from the last blog post. When I did these exercises and the stretches it only took about 20 minutes. After a full day of driving that was definitely plenty!
With a busy travel schedule my advice is to keep it simple. You may already feel overwhelmed and stressed from the day. Be gentle with your body and go easy on yourself. It's been a long day, so just do what you can.more
Green Bird Fitness didn't host classes Thursday June 18th to Tuesday June 23 as I was driving to Kentucky with my husband for a family wedding. We drove for 9 hours and stopped Memphis on Day 1 and then the rest of the way on Day 2. We stayed in Kentucky for two nights and then drove for 8 hours to St. Louis. We stopped in St. Louis to see a friend then drove 14 hours on the last day of our road trip.
I give you all these details to illustrate the sheer amount of time we spent in that car. Out of the 6-day trip we spent 4 days driving for 8+ hours. This long car trips meant tight hip flexors, tight back muscles, and an inactive body. Staying relatively active and getting in some regular exercise was definitely a challenge. I did not work out as much as I planned, but I did stretch a lot more than planned.
Below are a few of my favorite stretches while on this crazy road trip. The stretches ended up being up being way more important for me. I badly needed some way to counteract the inactivity and overall very tight feeling after a long day in the car. Part 2, coming...more
For me, the importance of Pilates is a given. I love Pilates and I do it every day. To someone unfamiliar with Pilates it could sound like any other work out, but it's definitely a special fitness regimen with many unique benefits. One common misconception about Pilates is that Pilates is easy. If it looks easy to you then you are watching a STRONG person. Pilates is tough. Another misconception is that Pilates is just like Yoga. This is not true. There's a long list of many more common Pilates myths, but instead of going through what Pilates isn't I made a list of what Pilates is.more
My favorite food in the world is Crawfish Etoufee. I absolutely love it and simply cannot get enough of it. My family, being from Louisiana, is a treasure trove of delicious Cajun recipes. Today, I am sharing the best one first. Of course, they are all delicious, so by no means is it downhill from here. I am what you may call, a Crawfish Etoufee elitist. I held out for a long time and would not have have Crawfish Etoufee in a restaurant. For some unknown reason I cracked in grad school and I was not impressed. This recipe is the only Crawfish Etoufee I will eat, so I really hope you enjoy it if you happen to try it. Please please let me know if you do!more
It's Monday, but we are going to start the week STRONG! This playlist is designed to put you in the right mood. Play this while you are at work or have a little Monday morning dance party to wake yourself up. When I am having an extra slow Monday I dance to my favorite song at the moment. The dance party + coffee puts me in a super positive mood and I am ready to go! Try it. I promise it's fun.more
I frequently hear how people do not like planks. It's a lot like how people can feel about running. "I only run if someone is chasing me." "I only plank if someone is chasing me." No one says that second quote because if you planked when someone chased you then things would not work out well for you.
Let's talk about why someone can despise a plank and make the case for how that can be a benefit.more
During my undergrad years we would all say, "Oh I can't work out. I don't have time. I need to study." We always needed to study and the study sessions had to be about 7 hours long. There was ABSOLUTELY no time to study in that 7 hour stint. We were studying to get into GRAD SCHOOL. Therefore working out was a waste of time. There were more important things to worry about it. We all thought we would have the time once we were done with undergrad...or maybe we just thought our high school metabolic rate would stay with us forever....or maybe we just thought it just wasn't important full stop.
Then I went to grad school and the excuses changed a little bit, but at the core it was the same story. "I'm too busy to work out I have to write my thesis." Of course, this time to write my thesis came in the form of at least 4 hours of sitting at a desk. I always told myself and others that I didn't have time for exercising my body because I was exercising my mind. My mind was way more important than my body. They were two mutually exclusive things and you had to choose one....more
Summer can get busy with trips, camps, and nights out. There are tons of reminders to work out in preparation for summer. So many people are telling you to get in shape for summer! Get that summer body!
Well, what if it's June, you're on vacation and you need a little pick-me-up? You had plenty of margaritas the night before and you just want to clear your head? You don't want a full one hour work out. You're on vacation! It would be nice though to move a little bit before you headed down to the pool. I have four exercises you can do to reload before you head out to the pool/beach/bar. These exercises require zero equipment and you can do them anywhere! You'll be done in about 10-15 minutes. This workout is also a nice add-on to the end of a run or a walk or you can even add it in to your yoga practice.more
This past weekend I had a craving for chile rellenos. The weather was perfect with the all the sunshine and warmth. When I googled "chile relleno recipes" I just didn't find anything I really wanted to make. I had all the ingredients I wanted....corn, poblano peppers, chicken, tomatillos, onions, garlic, and cilantro...so I was definitely read to make some chile rellenos. I made up my own recipe! No extra seasonings are used in this. It's all whole foods and ingredients. Enjoy!more
This weekend was beautiful. There was so much sunshine that I just had to make some fresh salsa. It turns out corn is on sale for 5 for $1. This sealed the deal and I tried my hand at making some corn salsa. This is a great addition to any taco or just eat with some chips!more
In honor of Earth Day yesterday and our first Pilates in the Park session this Saturday at 9am, so I wanted to put together a list of reasons why working out outdoors can be good for you. As summer approaches and as you plan your trips think about how to integrate some outdoor time. Whether it's going to the pool for the afternoon, going on a day trip to a state park, or going for a week trip to Yosemite it's important to find ways to enjoy our beautiful green spaces.more
I teach anywhere from 2-4 Pilates classes per week which translates to a lot of sweating. My skin takes a beating during the day, so I owe it to my present and future self to take care of my skin. I need gentle, but deep cleaning products to keep my skin fresh and healthy post-workout.
Through a lot of trial and error process I have come upon some really great products by Lush! Lush Cosmetics are environmentally friendly, not animal tested, and made with fresh ingredients.
My skin physically feels lighter and cleaner when I use it and there's no redness after use! Below are my post-workout favorites:
Yesterday was National Beer Day, but let's be honest, we hardly needed an excuse to crack a cold one. In honor of National Beer Day and the upcoming summer season I bring you a short list of low-calorie options. I have come to love all different types of craft beer, but many craft beers are very high in calories (a good number are over 220 calories!). We don't want to break the calorie bank every time we want a delicious beer, so here's a good starting point.
Assumptions Re: The Light Beers- I'm just getting this out of the way before we head down through some craft beer options. We can all assume that the Miller Lites, Coors Lights, Bud Lights, Bud Selects, and the Michelob Lights of the world are all great low-calorie options. They all range from 64-120 calories. So yes, any time you want a beer, but not the calories and a light beer is around...have no fear you made a good choice.
1. Shiner Ruby Redbird: 126 calories. This is a great summer beer and is only a mere 10-20 calories more than a Bud Light or Miller Lite. I love seeing Shiner Ruby Redbird at the store....more
You don't have to wait for next January to set new goals and resolutions. You can make positive changes as we head into spring. Spring is a time of renewal and growth. The wildflowers are blooming. The trees are turning green again, and the weather is beautiful right now. This 80 degree weather won't last long. Before you know it the days will be 90 degrees and hotter until October. Because the weather and our physical environment is in flux, a state of change and transition it's a good time for you to set some new goals too. They don't have to be huge life changing goals or they can be. These new intentions don't have to flip your world upside down or they can. The choice is yours, but whatever your strategy is I have some ideas on how to make those goals, what kinds of goals they can be, and how to get to those goals.more
The latest and greatest playlist made by yours truly is now up and running! It's a fun mix of Jack U, Zedd, deadmau5, and more. I will be playing this list at our usual Sunday Barre class. I also have some new moves for you where we will include the Theraband at the barre! Get excited!more
The sun is out here in Austin, so it's time for some fresh guacamole! This recipe is super easy and made with lots of fresh ingredients. Just like those tomatillo enchiladas there are tons of veggies in this....7 to be exact! The best tip I can impart to you is to just chop up the avocados. No need to mash them into a sauce-like consistency. The chopped avocados brings a nice texture to guacamole.more
You can be brand new to a fitness routine or a fitness veteran and have this ways where it just feels too hard. "Too hard" referring to that feeling of not wanting to get those work out clothes on or just not wanting to do another set of squats or push ups. We all have those moments when you hit the wall and you think you've had enough. Well sometimes or even a lot of the time that voice is wrong. That inner voice that says to you, "Stop" is a liar. Here are some ways to overcome that feeling and climb over that wall.more
Lately, I have been on this kick where I want to find short, but effective work outs I can fit in throughout the day. These work outs come from the thinking that there is no pressure. I think this needs to be said again for emphasis: There Is No Pressure. I am not training for anything, just trying to keep up a healthy lifestyle. If I can't get in my hour long Pilates work out, but I do this work out several times a day then I call it in a win. Try this out and let me know what you think.more
You've probably heard how sitting for long periods of time can be bad for your health. It can adversely affect your posture, metabolism, circulation, muscle tone, and the list goes on. I used to work for state government in a small cubicle. I panicked when I first got there. How was I supposed to stay active throughout the day in such a small environment? How was I supposed to stay motivated if I was the only one in the office who wanted to take walks on my break? Well, I have put together a list of all the crazy and not-so-crazy things I did to stay active throughout the work day. When I first started I had low back pain, my neck was stiff, and my energy decreased. After integrating these exercises into my day my pain went away, and my focus and energy increased. It was a win for my body and my work performance.more
Here is a short Pilates Mat work out you can do throughout the day.
You don't need any equipment. I like to sneak this in in the morning and in the evening when I get home from work. This is a quick way to engage your core and elevate your mood.
Repeat these three movements as many times as you like. I do these three exercises about 4 times each without stopping between exercises. When you are done bring your knees to your chest and rock side to side to massage your backmore
Sometimes breakfast can be tricky. For me, cereal can leave me feeling hungry by 10am. I need something more filling, but still just as easy to make as cereal.
Enter oatmeal! I have been eating oatmeal every day for breakfast for the past 6 months. I started with the instant oatmeal in individual packets, but organic, steel cut oatmeal in the big containers is just more cost efficient. Plain oatmeal is lacking in the flavor department so here is my basic recipe for oatmeal in the morning:
Disclaimer: These measurements are mostly done by eyeballing it and not with a measuring cup. Measuring cups are not in my vocabulary at 5:00am in the morning.
1/2 cup Oatmeal
1/4 cup Milk
Spoonful of Almond Butter
Some sort of a berry
Mix the oatmeal and milk together.
Heat for 1 minute.
Stir in Almond butter and honey. Almond butter will melt into the oatmeal.
Add berries on top.
You're done! I like to cook mine in a coffee mug and then out the door I go with my oatmeal in hand. Delicious! And I'm not hungry until...more
It's that time again. It's Thursday and the weekend is so close. Love is in the air with Valentine's Day on Saturday. Here's a fun playlist to get you through the rest of the week and to the weekend. The playlist is a mix of love, heartache, and just having some fun. Enjoy!more
Introducing an easy and healthy way to incorporate two popular and nutritious foods: Kale and Quinoa. I love mixing a bunch of vegetables into a quick stir fry for lunch, so here's the latest creation. You can eat this recipe as is or add in more protein with some chicken, turkey, or beef. I added in some ground venison and it was delicious!
1 pouch of Central Market's White and Red Quinoa (cooks in 90 seconds, super fast and super delicious)
1 bunch of Kale
1/2 Yellow Onion
1 Red Bell Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Prep work: Chop kale, onion, and bell pepper.
2) Cook the quinoa pouch as directed. In a nutshell: Just pop it in the microwave for 90 seconds.
3) Saute kale, onion, and bell in a sauce pan until onions are translucent and kale has reduced.
4) Put vegetables in a large bowl and toss with the quinoa.
5) Add salt and pepper to taste.
You're done! Again, feel free to cook up some meat of your choice and toss in as well if you want a non-vegetarian...more
So you may have come across this blog by accident or you may love Pilates and fitness or you may already be my friend. I am guessing no matter who you are you’re probably wondering why try out a class with Texas Green Bird Fitness? Why bother? What’s in it for me? What makes this different from anything else? So here goes.
Welcome to Texas Green Bird Fitness! I am so excited/grateful/happy that you have stopped by. My name is Lauren Whitehead and as you may guess: I love fitness. Kickboxing and bootcamps were my first foray into group fitness classes and I loved every minute of it. Then due to some injuries my body started wanting something more sustainable, a work out that was tough, but easy on my joints. I needed a work out that I could do throughout my life and this is where Pilates, barre, and yoga came in. I still sweat, I still work to the point of fatigue, and I still feel challenged. The difference is since I started doing Pilates I haven’t had an injury and it feels so good.
So that’s me, but what it’s in it for you? You’re going to have fun. You’re going...more