movement

Goddess of the Month: Lauren Kleban creator of LEKfit

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know by now that I am in love with LEKFit. LEKfit is a fitness modality created by Lauren Kleban. I came across this movement when I started following Busy Philips on Instagram. Every day she would post her #sweatyselfie and would be dripping sweat and happy as can be. I googled it and saw that they offered streaming and the rest is history.

First off, let me tell you why I love LEKfit. For starters, it is SO fun. Lauren doesn't tell you how many times you should work out a week, for how long or to do this workout on this and day and this one on that day. She just teaches you to move you body and to LISTEN. Listen when you need to rest, listen when to take it easier, listen when to push hard. Her philosophy aligned perfectly with mine. I also love that you feel like you are in the class with them. When you stream the studio classes there are women of all different shapes and sizes bouncing to their hearts content. It's nice to do a workout video that isn't just women and men with perfect bodies. Last, but not least, I LOVE the way it makes me feel. I feel happier, more content in my body and stronger when I do it regularly and that makes me very happy.

This was the first in-person interview I have done. I attended Lauren's class on a very hot Friday morning in LA and after, we chatted. We talked about movement, what bring her bliss, how she achieves her goals and kids. It was a really beautiful experience and I am so grateful that she took the time to sit down and talk to me. Lauren, thank you so much for creating a safe space for women to move their bodies, for making us all feel beautiful and worthy and for kicking my ass!

If you are interested in trying out LEKfit, you can get a free 7 day trial by clicking here.

LEKfit 17.jpg

What inspired you to create your own business?

I was a dancer my whole life and I always knew that fitness would be a natural transition. Even as far back as high school I was teaching some sort of fitness, dance class. Then I taught all over LA. I lived in Vegas prior to LA where I was in a show and taught at UNLV and a studio very similar to S factor, so I did pole stuff also, which was really fun. Now if you told me to go upside down on a pole I would say you are out of your mind, but in my twenties I was like "sure, I'll swing my legs and crawl down." There was an x-stripper who started right around the time Sheila (the creator of S Factor did) and she would take strippers and regular dancers and teach us. So I did that and then taught a Jazz, cardio type thing at UNLV and then I moved to LA and taught at different dance studios, boutique fitness studios and an old school gym where I trained clients, all while dancing professionally. It was always a side thing. I don't think I really knew until I had my son, my first child who is now 5 1/2, that that's what I wanted to do. There are so many avenues now that X-dancers can take, but I knew I didn't want to travel. I didn't want to live out of a suitcase. I knew that someday I wanted to get married and have children and being from the mid-west, that was just not my mindset. I needed something to keep me wherever I was going to settle down, which ended up being LA. From there it organically progressed. I taught a ballet class, very similar to my Sculpt now, but less mat and more barre. I would teach that daily, but still go for a run and that was my best body. That was the body that felt strongest and healthiest, but then with Miles (my oldest) I couldn't just teach an hour and then go for a run. I couldn't do 2 hours plus to workout every day. The rebounder had been in my life before and I just started playing around. I did not start LEKfit with the rebounder. I started without, but I knew that I had to create a less than one hour interval workout that gave me the same results as an hour barre class and running Runyon. After years of trial and error this is where we ended up. 

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why?

Oh my god! I mean there are so many for different reasons. That is a really hard question. It's gonna sound so lame because she's like my number one, but Busy! She is the best. So inspiring! I'm not kidding, when she was filling in for Kelly on "Regis and Kelly Live" I was like "you're the next Kelly Ripa, you are gonna have a talk show." She said she wanted it and she made it happen. That is crazy to me!

What is your current favorite song to move to?

Oh my God! That's like harder than the last question. I'm very into R&B. Gallant, Neo, Leon Bridges, Maxwell the list goes on and on and on.

What is your process in manifesting your dreams and your goals?

I think I just figure out what I want, focus on it and make it happen. I'm not into mood boards, I don't burn things. I just think I am really strategic about it. I'm also very practical, which sometimes I think is to a fault. I also try to stay in my lane, I'm not really phased by anyone else, which I am really happy about because I think that can make you crazy. 

What is your morning ritual?

It changes because I have children, so my mornings are not my own. I used to teach the 7 am class, so it used to be I would see nobody in the morning until I saw my clients. As my kids got older and started going to school, I wanted to be around, so now I teach the 9:30 and I usually get up, check my email, social media. Usually I've cleared everything the night before so I don't have anything important that I need to get to right away. I do breakfast and get my kids ready for school and then I am here for the studio. Sometimes my meditation is going into the studio when nobody is there, lock the door and just dance.

How do you honor your feminine body?

By keeping it healthy! Staying out of the sun. I used to be a sun worshipper. 

Where do you find Bliss in your life?

My kids! Most of the time, not all of the time (laughs).

What does self-care mean to you?

Whatever feels good to you. It's not something you can go outward for because it is a head spin. I can remember days where I would force myself to go to a yoga class or even a dance class that I just didn't want to go to and I would be like "Why am I doing this? Why am I spending the money and wasting my time?" When I would rather be on a hike or in the studio, to me that is the opposite of self care. 

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be?

The first thing that comes to mind is that our moms and grandmothers, for sure, relied on each other, but they relied on who was immediately near them so they all had a similar mindset. In the age of social media there is an ability as moms and as women to rely on each other as well, but in a much bigger way. We are getting so much more info and I think it's too much. We need to find those core people that you really trust. We definitely still need each other, but because of social media and because the world is so big now there is too much and it's so overwhelming. It's all a mind-fuck. Don't limit it, but find your group or community that you can hold on to and trust. 

BIO: 

LEKfit 27.jpg

BIO: 

Lauren Kleban is a celebrity fitness instructor and founder of LEKfit, a dance-inspired fitness method designed to create long and lean muscles by using intervals of low impact, high intensity, fat burning cardio with muscle sculpting techniques created to strengthen and tone.  

LEKfit takes a musically driven approach to fitness with Lauren consistently drawing inspiration from her ballet, jazz, burlesque and yoga training to create fun and effective workouts that empower and promote body love and acceptance. 

LEKfit has developed a constant following of devotees, both in the LA studio and LEKfit on demand online, that come for Lauren and her team’s unique approach to dance inspired fitness.

How I've learned to cope with anxiety

This post has been a long time coming. I often get messages from people via instagram asking me if I deal with anxiety and if so, how do I cope. I thought it would be most beneficial to write it all down in one place. 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am speaking from my own experience and providing tips in hopes that it will help someone. If you deal with severe anxiety and anxiety attacks and feel it is interfering with your life, please reach out to a mental health professional. 

The short answer is, YES! I do have anxiety. Is it all the time? No. Is it more than the average person? Maybe. I remember being a very young child, maybe 2 or 3 and telling my mom I had a "funny feeling in my tummy." Looking back, I realize that was anxiety. The way it manifests may have changed throughout the years, but I have lived with anxiety most of my life. As a result, I have collected different tools and ways to cope that have helped immensely. I still deal with anxiety: Some days are better than others and sometimes I am freaking out inside when I look like I have it together on the outside. It's not about perfection, but progress and helping yourself to feel grounded and safe. 

Anxiety comes in so many forms and with so many different names. It can range from butterflies in your stomach to being doubled over, not being able to breath and feeling like you're having a heart attack and everywhere in between.

Figuring out the why can be helpful, but it can also engage the mind and make things worse. For me, if I can track the trigger, then I immediately know the why. This doesn't come as easy for everyone. If you find your mind racing to find the why, then maybe that doesn't matter in the moment. That is when I will start with my first suggestion...

Meditation and Breathwork:

For me, my anxiety is the worst when I am not in my body. When my mind goes to worst case scenario and I start to future trip like I'm getting paid. This is where I use my yogic training to get back into my body and bring me into the present. The first thing I do is either sit in a chair with my feet flat on the floor or in a crosslegged position on the floor. Place your palms face down on your thighs. I take 5 deep breaths (as deep as I can get). The intention is to make each breath longer then the previous. I then do a body scan from my toes to the top of my head. Checking in with each part of my body and bringing myself fully into the present moment in my body. If I'm still feeling anxious after this, I will do some spine circles or cat cows and I will mentally chant the words "Sat" (pronounced saht) on the inhale and "nam" (pronounced nahm) on the exhale. "Sat" means truth and "nam" means name or identity so you are connecting with your true identity. It is impossible for your mind to focus on more than one thought at a time so focusing on a simple mantra (you could even use "let" on inhale and "go" on exhale) will keep you focused just on that and hopefully help to relieve some of the anxiety

IMG_1857.JPG

Move your body and get outside:

For me, exercise has been one of the biggest components in helping me to cope with my anxiety. Hard cardio works best for me, but sometimes just getting outside for a walk, breathing the fresh air and feeling the circulation moving in my body does the trick as well. When I get a good sweat in 3-5 times a week, overall my anxiety is significantly better the on weeks when I just don't get it in. It really doesn't matter how you move your body, it's just important that you move. On days when I just don't have the time, I will get out for just a 10 minute walk or hop on my rebounder for a few minutes just to move the stuff around. When endorphins are released, it interacts with receptors in your brain that reduce pain and trigger a positive feeling in your body that is similar to morphine. Have you have done a really hard workout and halfway through start crying for no reason? Its because your body is moving emotion that has been stuck. I find that stuck emotion causes anxiety so get your body moving and move it regularly!

Journaling:

D111E021-EE15-4D65-AFA6-F9F49375E569.jpg

Having a place to put your anxious thoughts is powerful. There are three ways we move emotion through out body: breath, sound and movement. Journaling is considered movement as you are moving your hand to get the words out. When our minds get the best of us, sometimes the best thing, for me, is to sit down and let it ALL out on paper. Without judging myself or editing myself. All the dirty, ugly, neurotic, catastrophic thoughts. There is nobody there to judge you or tell you you're wrong. There is nobody there to tell you you are too much or that you need to "calm down." It can all come out on those pieces of paper and when you are done you can close it up, put it somewhere safe and move on. If those thoughts come back, you go back and write some more. You write until you have nothing more to write.

Journaling has always been one of my most powerful tools. One of my favorite exercises to do it to grab 4-5 different colors pens and start writing on one page. I then write horizontally, diagonally, words over other words. When you're done you are left with a beautiful mess of colors and I always feel lighter. 

Products that help:

For me, managing my anxiety has been a lifestyle change. One of self care, checking in with myself, meditating, exercising and listening to what my body needs. I am going to share a few supplement and products that I have found to be very helpful. 

Ashwagandha: 

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic adaptogen (an herb that helps the body adapt to stress) used to strengthen the adrenal and nervous system. It has a wonderful calming effect. In a study, ashwagandha was used in place of lorazepam and found to be just as effective as the prescriptions drug. My favorite brand of ashwagandha is Sun Potion. This company tests three times throughout the process for toxins and heavy metals (which are common in things grown in India and China). They are also certified organic and has been most effective, for me. I simply put it into my morning drink and enjoy. 

Reishi:

Reishi is a functional mushroom and is also an adaptogen. It is known as the Queen of Plants. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. When used regularly, the mushrooms effects build in the body and can be quite effective. My husband says that he feels the effects of reishi immediately and that it works better than anything else he has tried. In studies it has been shown to effectively reduce anxiety with 4 to 6 weeks of regular use. It can also combat depression and fatigue. The only reishi I use is from Root and Bones. Use code "bodyblisslife" for a discount. 

Rescue Remedy:

This is a product I have been using as long as I can remember. My mom always had a vial (or 5) of it. It's a homeopathic remedy and it truly works. If you feel an anxiety attack coming on or just have that low grumble of butterflies in your stomach, you take a few droppers full and within a few minutes start to feel the calming effects. Since then, the company has released several other Rescue Remedy infused products. If you can't do alcohol (as it is alcohol based), the pastilles are a good alternative. They even have a sleep formula. 

Integrative Therapeutics Lavela:

These little lavender pills have changed the game for me. I keep a strip of them in my purse and as soon as i feel anything come on, I pop one in my mouth. Within 20 minutes, I feel a sense of calm wash over me. When I'm having a hard time, I will take one each morning preventatively. I am so grateful I found these and that they have made their way into my life. I have recommended them to several clients and they all report back that they work. They also give you a lovely essence of lavender in your mouth. :)

Plant Therapy "Worry Free":

This lovely essential oil blend has all the properties to relax the body and mind. I love to use it before meditating, before bed, in the morning or whenever I am feeling a little anxious. I place several drops in the palm of my hand, run my hands together to warm it up and then cup my hands around my nose taking several deep inhales. I take the remaining oil and rub it on the back of my neck, my chest and inside my wrists. 

71071F98-5BC4-4C4E-803C-10DF94C6AF44.jpg

Anxiety is different for everybody. Learning to cope with or live with it is a journey and may look different from person to person. These are just a few things I have found to be effective and lasting. I still deal with anxiety, but I have found a good self care system that works for me. Recognizing when it's coming on and knowing what will be best for me to help calm and ground myself. Sometimes I do all of these things and sometimes a simple walk in the fresh air helps. I hope that you find these suggestions helpful and, as always, if you have any questions please leave a comment or email me. 

 

Welcome!

Hello Beauties! Welcome to my Blog: "Living consciously through the feminine!"

I am thrilled to start this journey and to take you along with me. I have had requests for years to start a blog and its finally time for me to take the plunge. Here is a little about me:

  •  I am a feminine movement teacher living in Portland
  • I love to cook and play in the kitchen
  • I love all things feminine
  • I've been practicing Kundalini yoga and meditation most of my life
  • I have a passion for real foods and creating beauty with them
  • I have my degree in voice performance and you can catch me performing from time to time

My goal is to bring you recipes, products, guest bloggers and movement. To inspire you to live a little more in your gorgeous feminine body every day. To create a community that uplifts and supports. When women come together and support one another, amazing things happen!