The depression of winter light is real. Seriously; it’s called Seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.). It’s so important to get out of bed and get moving to keep our bodies and minds healthy and alive. Winter workouts are crucial not only to keep off the fluff of winter weight, but to trigger chemical releases that help with the lows of winter. DEFINE mind + body studio does just that. The workouts at DEFINE keeps everyone on their toes.
DEFINE mind + body is a franchise that opened its doors in Boulder on Dec. 2, just in time for us to feel our absolute best and fill some New Year’s’ resolutions. They’ve had a great first month with interest from CU students and people who just happen to walk by and are intrigued enough to stop in.
DEFINE studio owner and healthy life enthusiast, Ally Robson Romlin, has the passion and skill set to help create a balanced life for those brave enough to walk in.
It’s all about creating balance. Balance in your life and in your workout routine. Their motto is strength, length, and balance, which they incorporate into five different class formats: barre, cycling, yoga, trampoline, and hammock workouts (yes, a nice, flowy hammock serves as a workout – go find out how). They believe these forms of exercise work synergistically and impact both, state of mind and wellbeing. And their workouts aren’t solely focused on looking good – but feeling good and making workouts effective, sustainable, fun, and most importantly, balanced.
The idea behind DEFINE began in Houston, Texas, in 2009. All American diver athlete Henry Richardson was riddled with injuries and couldn’t do the hardcore workouts that he was used to doing. It was when he was involved with Teach for America and living in New York when he started doing a lot of yoga and fell in love with low impact exercise that didn’t threaten chronic discomfort. He made his way back to Houston (where he’s from) for business school and that was when a professor asked what his business concept was. He was inspired by the words “define your life” and walked out of class, got a patent for the name and hit the ground running from there, as told by Romlin. His partner, Erin O’Leary Stewart whose background is in nutrition and culinary arts, came in and introduced natural, antioxidant-rich foods. She brought the food and health and wellness side into the mix. Today, there are about 25 franchises, including one in the Denver area.
Sustainability is the foundation of DEFINE’s holistic approach to working out. Because it is low impact, it is sustainable. It’s not Cross Fit where you’re gonna tear something, or Orange Theory where you’re gonna fall off the treadmill (we’ve all heard the horror stories!). The whole concept is that DEFINE’s workouts are sustainable and possible to do for the rest of your life.
Each class, no matter what type, always has an element of mind and strength. For instance, in the cycling classes, weights and pushups on the bike are involved. It sounds aggressive, but to incorporate upper body work while working out your legs breaks up the monotony of the class and adds even more to the workout. Then, all classes are finished with a breathing exercise.
“Taking a breath is to take a moment to appreciate what you’ve done,” says Romlin. “We rush around in the world and its important to always take that moment to say ‘yes I’ve done something great for myself’ and reconnect mentally back to your body.”
Music is used to bring the workouts to life. The vibrations perk the class up and each song has a specific goal such as a resistance challenge, working on your abdominal or upper body, or a cardio challenge where the pace is faster. Clients are in and out of their sattle every other song. The workouts are structured, yet can also be personalized for every client’s personal goals and achieving their own definition of success.
“I love being a boutique studio and giving more attention to clients,” says Romlin. “In a big box gym, I think you kind of get lost in the group fitness classes. Here, you can spend more one-on-one time with clients and really help them get to their goals and be part of the motivation to get them in here every day. Building that sense of community people enjoy and it helps motivate them to stay in their workout regime.”
The benefits, physically and mentally, translate to everything in life. The cardio allows you to sustain the outdoor activities you enjoy. Strength is wonderful for body alignment; the better body alignment you have means the better you feel and the less issues that can arise. Body alignment also equally creates balance in the front and back side of the body.
In the hammock classes, clients take advantage of stretching, flexibility, and breathing. These acts have circulation benefits such as allowing blood to rush in different directions. The hammock exercises create length in your muscles which let you work out harder and longer. Stretching in the hammock still requires the use of core and balancing. Imagine doing a lunge in the hammock – hammocks aren’t just for sitting back! Then, there is time in the hammock where you melt and calm your mind; intense and calm.
Keeping workouts fresh in the winter changes everything. To motivate clients, DEFINE likes to offer as many challenges, themed events, and additional classes as they can. One class is called a 30-30-30 where there are 30 minutes of rep, body, and mind back to back. This helps people who are intimidated by the other class types get a taste of what each is like. Challenges help because who doesn’t like competition? Competition is just one of those things that kick you in the butt and motivate you to work. DEFINE says it’s a matter of creating a concept or challenge in the harsher winter months to encourage people to continue to come in.
The vision of the brand as a whole is to help people become their absolute best.
“When I taught barre previously, I loved connecting with the clients and seeing someone’s life totally change when they find a fitness or workout routine, especially if they’ve been in a spot where they don’t feel good about themselves or their bodies,” says Romlin. “They just have these aha! moments and it’s so amazing to help someone get there. That’s how I feel about fitness. Being in my 20’s and finding what I love and what works makes me happy. It makes me a better person in my personal life and professional life and I want to share that with other people.”
The current membership specials DEFINE has going on is a $99 special, which is $250 actual value. This gives you the opportunity to come in and try every type of class, unlimited. They are also offering a couple of discounts: 20 percent off retail, 10 percent off foods online, and free shoe rentals.
There’s no reason not to define yourself. If you’re looking for a way to actually implement the whole “New Year, New Me” plan, DEFINE body + mind studio is a great place to start.