Ocean Friendly Restaurants: Eating to Save the Environment

Mantra Fitness is more than just family and Lagree. We are a community of people who are thriving, giving, and becoming a better self in all aspects of life. With Earth Day approaching, Mantra Fitness has partnered with the Surfrider Foundation for the entire month of April to make an impact on a cleaner environment. Each donation given, we will MATCH! 

​But what does it look like giving more than just money to help our environment? It can be as simple as eating out at the right restaurants. Restaurants go through thousands of pieces of plastic each week while preparing, serving, and boxing your food. According to the Surfrider Foundation website: “Researchers estimate there are now over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean with the number continuing to grow every day. This pollution is impacting our marine ecosystems; wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish, and turtles; and plastic fragments are even displacing plankton at the base of the food chain.” 

The more we can learn about these issues, the easier it is to make choices that will make a difference. Here are a few more facts about two products you may use in your day-to-day life. 

Plastic bags. Plastic bags are very buoyant, which causes them to float on top of the water, never fully breaking down. Tiny bits of plastic bags can travel a long way through water and air, reaching places that can’t correctly dispose of them, within reach of animals and plants, causing injury or death.

Water bottles. Water bottles are another scourge of the oceans: Americans buy over 29 billion water bottles a year and less than 17% of these plastic bottles are recycled. Plastics cannot break down in the span of our lifetime. Over the past 10 years, there has been more plastic made than the last century alone. 

With the statistics only rising, the Surfrider Foundation created an Ocean Friendly Restaurant certification program.

What qualifies a restaurant to be considered “Ocean Friendly”?

Restaurants participating must follow the first five criteria:

  • No expanded polystyrene use (aka Styrofoam).
  • Proper recycling practices are followed.
  • Only reusable tableware is used for onsite dining, and disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request.
  • No plastic bags offered for takeout or to-go orders.
  • Straws are provided only upon request.

And choose a minimum of two of these criteria:

  • No beverages sold in plastic bottles.
  • Discount is offered for customers with reusable cup, mug, bag, etc.
  • Vegetarian/vegan food options are offered on a regular basis.
  • All seafood must be a “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” as defined by Seafood Watchor certified as sustainable.
  • Water conservation efforts, such as low-flow faucets and toilets, are implemented.
  • Energy efficiency efforts, such as LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, are in place.

A restaurant that meets all of the criteria is recognized as a Platinum-Level Ocean-Friendly Restaurant.

Getting outside our homes, our offices, and our studios can be a tiny but MIGHTY step to preserving the beautiful Earth we live in. Whether you are a casual diner or eat out every day, here is a list of “ocean friendly” restaurants in Mantra Fitness areas that you can enjoy.

San Juan Capistrano:





  • MEZE 119

By becoming “ocean friendly,” these restaurants stand to make an impact. To compare that to a Lagree workout, you are cutting out the having to be at the gym for hours and instead are choosing a workout that will actually make an impact with your balance, muscles, and mind. You are a powerful person and can make an impact. We invite you to work out, eat well, and help the environment with us to make an impact!

Happy Earth Day month! See you at Mantra!

Spring Has Sprung: 5 Ways to be More Productive This Spring

Spring has sprung! The days are now longer, the nights are shorter, and the warmer weather makes for a burst of energy. The change in the season seems to boost our energy levels and get us off the couch. Productivity spikes and the longer days give us more time to invest in becoming a better self. 

Here are five ways I’m taking advantage of the increased energy levels and making springtime for a goal game-changing season.

1. Choose what is most important to accomplish that day
​A lot of being productive has to do with being confident in yourself. When you don’t feel like you are confident and able, not a lot of work gets done. Get over this thought or lie by setting one goal; one goal that if nothing else gets done that day but this one goal, it will be a productive day. I would start small. It may be making your bed, sitting and enjoying a cup of coffee, or as simple as putting a load of clothes into the washer. They may not seem big, but the more you grow in confidence within yourself, the bigger tasks you can add on. As you feel like you can  handle more, you can add more and more to your list.

 2. Find a Method of Delegating
You may be a very productive person, but don’t seem to be getting a lot done. Small tasks are getting in the way of big ones and by the end of the day the whole list still needs to get done. Learn how to delegate tasks to people who carry those giftings or are available. For example, If your kids don’t already have a chore list, maybe teaching them a few skills can relieve your worry of what is happening in the home base. If it is in a work environment, seek out a coworker that may have a strong suit in what you need done. Don’t hesitate to ask and offer your skills in return. If you can do one of their tasks in half the time, and they can do one of your tasks in half the time, you both have now cut time in half!

3. Find out your 2 Peak Hours
Are you a morning person or a night person? It’s about working smarter not harder. If you know that mornings are when you have the highest amount of energy, set a reminder to do your biggest tasks in the first few hours you are awake. Then as your energy levels fade throughout the day you have already accomplished what needs to be done. If it is reversed and you are a night owl, spend your day doing self-care and smaller tasks. Then when your energy levels peak in the evening dig into the bigger tasks that need to be accomplished. Knowing when you work best will help you accomplished more in your day.

4. Find time to exercise
Exercise switches your body to become alert. When you exercise, blood flow increases to the brain and sharpen your awareness. Exercise can also give you more energy. Having more energy will help you take action to accomplish the tasks that need to be done. Moving your body 45 minutes a day is recommended. Mantra Fitness it the perfect workout to hit cardio and strength all in one place. You are not needing to spend hours at a gym to get your heart rate up or move a bunch of weights around. You can simply show up, enjoy the amazing playlist, move your body and be out within an hour. Leaving, you will feel energized, strong and confident to tackle the rest of the day.

5.Stop and Reflect
Very often we have habits of how to do things. It may be the way your mom or dad taught you, you might have learned it in school, or it was even a way you tried once and it worked. But is it the most efficient way to do it? If a task is taking a long time or seems difficult to accomplish, reflect on how you are completing it. There may be a smarter not harder way to do so. There is all kind of gadgets out on the market that might be a great investment to ease what you need to do. For example, the robot vacuums. They clean your house while you are at work! Brilliant. There are also thousands of videos on Youtube that experts have made to make our lives simpler. Take a moment to search your task and see if there is a different way to complete it that would make your life more productive. 

The reason for being more productive is not to have more busy work to do. It is to free up your valuable time to do the things you love. Spend time with your family and friends, pick up a hobby, dive into the fitness family at Mantra, or even to really enjoy some quiet time. Spring into a season to make more time for you!

How to Get Beauty Sleep

Sleep plays a vital role in your health. Not just getting enough sleep, but truly getting quality sleep at the right time. When this occurs, your physical health, mental health, alertness and quality of life will be aligned and functioning correctly.

Your body’s biological clock, otherwise known as your circadian rhythm, is all dependent on two hormones your body produces: cortisol and melatonin. The daily production of these two hormones will determine if your body is awake and alert or asleep and at rest. 

Cortisol’s job is to peak in the morning to help us wake up and feel alert. It motivates you to get going and start your day. As your day progresses, melatonin levels start to rise which tells your body to slow down and prepare for sleep. If either of these two hormones are not functioning properly, you can feel tired midday or alert late at night. 

If this seems to be something that you struggle with, you are not alone. According to Satchin Panda, Ph.D., author of The Circadian Code: Lose Weight, Supercharge Your Energy, and Transform Your Health From Morning to Midnight, and a leader in the emerging science of the circadian rhythm, “When you don’t honor this daily rhythm or let this cycle get out of whack, it can contribute to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other diseases.”

So how do you know how to keep these hormones balanced and working properly? An article on Mind Body Green states that according to Lynn Laboranti, M.S., R.D., a registered dietitian for Nature Made, one the “major driving factors” of sleep disruption is a symptom of our crazy-busy lives: the blue light from our screens in the evening. “When we’re exposed to the light during the day, it suppresses the production of melatonin to keep us alert. But at nighttime, we might be exposed to light from our phone or computer screens, which can shut melatonin down and when we really need it to work for us to promote restful sleep,” she explains.

How often are you scrolling your phone before falling asleep? Or even watching some show on Netflix that you have become hooked to find out how the season ends? These are small but major factors in the functionality of our hormones. 

Then what is the solution? iPhone has a setting called Bedtime which switches from the harsh blue light to a soften yellow to help promote your natural sleep-wake cycle. There are also multiple companies coming out with blue light glasses to help block the light coming into your eyes and throwing off your daily cycle as well. But each of these are just putting a bandaid on the problem.

The real solution is going outside as well as creating a daily rhythm for your body to follow. The sun is the biggest teller of when our bodies should be awake and when we should be asleep. A weekend without electronics spent out in nature can set your body back to producing healthy hormones and sleep cycle. 
According to Ellen Vora, M.D., a holistic psychiatrist and mbg Collective member and class instructor, this makes a lot of sense: “I recommend that my patients crawl into bed super early—even as early as 9:30 p.m. (although many of my patients are shocked when I first suggest this, thinking, that’s not bedtime, that’s practically dinnertime!). Many of my patients’ insomnia, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD improve significantly with this earlier bedtime. The reasoning is that the human body functions best when it’s in sync with the sun and the moon,” she says.

Many doctors recommend when creating a sleep cycle to even follow it on the weekends. Your body, muscles, brain, etc all has a memory. When it is able to follow what was done the day before, the more consistent your hormones will be produced. They also recommend that within an hour of getting up to go outside and get that morning sun on your skin. This wakes up and tells your body that it is time to move and be active throughout the day. It’s all about communicating with our body. When it feels the warmth of the sun, it knows to be active. When it feels the cool of the moon, it know to be at rest. 

If creating a habit of falling asleep at the same time each night, try creating a night time hygiene routine. This may include brushing your teeth, washing your face, putting on essential oils or even drinking a glass of warm tea ( non caffeinated of course.) This will also tell your body to wind down and prepare for sleep. The same goes for the morning. Creating a morning routine will help your body produce cortisol. Some things to try are drinking a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning, exercising, walking your dog, or even a cup of coffee. Habits create health.

Your sleep cycle is very important and should not be taken lightly. Damage from sleep deficiency can cause harm over time. It increases the risk for some chronic health problems. 

​It’s time for you to start shutting off your electronics at a decent time each night and get your beauty sleep. If you need help with your morning routine, come to Mantra and start your morning with us! We would love to see your face bright and early on the megaformer for a high intensity, low impact workout that will get your day into full swing.

Remember habits create health, so what choices to create healthy sleep habits are you taking?

Whole Health Approach to Mind, Body, & Spirit

Healthy is not just the food on your table or the size of jeans you can fit in. Healthy is mind, body and spirit. When all three are functioning correctly, your body is working at 100% of its design. So how do they go together? How can using one, benefit the other?

The Mind
Here is what happens internally when you start to exercise. The brain will recognize that the body is now under a form of stress. Next, your heart rate will increase and your body goes into fight or flight mode. As a self defense mechanism, your body will release a protein called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor ( BDNF) which protects you and your brain from long term damage. BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. The feeling that this produces is most recognized as the peace or ease you feel after a hard workout. 

At the exact same time as BDNF is released, your brain also releases endorphins. This chemical is also used to fight stress in the body, but produces the sensation to eliminate discomfort. Some scientists have classified this feeling as intense excitement or happiness. 

Now that the brain has released two chemicals that create an upper experience, your mind is now in an increased positive state from the initial state of rest before you began to exercise.

The Body
You would think this would be obvious, but the body is effected in multiple ways when we exercise. 

Muscles: When your muscles are put under stress, tiny tears occur. When the tears heal, the muscles become stronger. 

Lungs:  The more your body is in movement, the more oxygen it needs. Your lungs work to provide the correct amount of oxygen for the muscles to work properly. When the muscles around your lungs cannot move any faster to pump oxygen, you have reached what is called your VO2 max. The higher VO2 max you have, the more in shape you are. 

Heart:The heart is a muscle that is also worked out when you exercise. It’s job is to pump more blood to your muscles when they work hard. When this happens, your heart rate increases. It becomes stronger the more this occurs and your body will be able to recovery faster. This is what is known as recovery heart rate. 

Joints and Bones:Exercise will help maintain bone mass density. As an adult, your bones will have reached peak density and then slowly will decrease as you age. Working out will keep your bones from becoming brittle and you are at less of a cause to a fracture. 

The Spirit
No matter your spiritual practice, there is a connection between your mind, body and spirit. When there is unhealthy stress being placed on your body, your spirit is the driving force to eliminate the issue. Some researcher have shown that positive beliefs have improved the health of human beings. 

When you identify negative or stressful problems in your life and actively seek to change them. The body will function at a greater percentage than when the problem was there before. Exercise can be used as a form of peace, comfort, love or connection to ride of those issues. Whether it be an intense lagree workout or a quiet yoga session, your spirit will move its focus onto the good of improving itself and away from the negative problem. ​

Mind, Body and Spirit
When one of these three elements are not working correctly, the others will be affected. Full body health involves taking care of each aspect. You may need to turn your focus on your mental health for a season, while in the season after you will be working on your physical health. 

Exercise is the common ground between all three elements. It is shown that it will positively increase your health no matter which of the three you are working. The Mantra Family wants you to be a whole healthy human. Come by one of our studios to see if Lagree is the right workout for you. We believe in taking the small steps to a happier healthier future. 

SimplyWellthy and Mantra OC Event

Mantra loves teaming up with other mover and shakers in our community. This last week we teamed up with Orange County, CA local Deanna Skolos, also known as Simply Wellthy,  to host our first ever event at our San Juan Capistrano Location. 

Deanna, started researching how food can help heal you after a visit to dentist and a big bill of $1300. Instead of giving in and having all of the procedures done, she started to look into how to reverse 

what was wrong by simply changing the products she used and the food she ate. The more she discovered, the more she was sold on the lifestyle of ” you are what you eat”. 

She wanted a lifestyle that would help prevent health problems, not cause them. This is where Simply Wellthy became her lifestyle. Eating healthy, made simply. Her site breaks down all the knowledge she has learned and studied, broken down for anyone to understand. The common questions of why eat this and don’t eat that answered for you. She is an example of what is looks like to be a busy mom and wife while still eating clean. ​

The Mantra Family was excited to show the Simply Wellthy crew what we have to offer. Many of the women attending the event had not been introduced to a Lagree workout before. This is where Whitney, Mantra Fitness OC instructor, was able to shine. She walked each girl through the new M3 machines and the basic dynamics of a Lagree workout. Then turned up the music and dove straight in. 

Her playlist kept the girls motivated while challenging any current members at the studio. Whitney, took her expertise and burned out those inner thighs. It was a great class that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Here are a few testimonies from the girls who attended. 

​”  I’m sore everywhere!!!! I really liked the work out. I liked how you did each pose just for a minute bc it didn’t feel hard at the time or repetitive. Kept it interesting. I really liked the machines. It mentally helped me to not feel like the workout was dragging on. It truly was a full body work out. It focused more on legs & butt which I liked. It worked my inner thighs like nothing else. The trainer was awesome. Loved the music. Super nice studio and friendly staff “- Deanna

” The studio was an incredible environment to work out in, great people, great instructors, and it was quite frankly the hardest workout I’ve ever done in my entire life.” – Madisen

“I absolutely loved the workout! The smaller movements really helped to hit the muscles that I don’t usually get. I also liked that is was a  full body workout. And the music and environment was so much fun!! 10/10 recommend and will personally be going back.” – Lindsey 

“Mantra was AMAZING! I had never taken a Pilates class and had no idea what to expect! To be honest, I had no clue that it was such a workout! The class itself was easy to follow along with and I LOVED the fun playlist! The day after going to Mantra I was so sore- EVERYWHERE! I didn’t even realize I was working some of the areas that I was sore in! I love that it’s a solid, FULL body workout, and I’ll definitely be going back.” – Melissa

We closed off the event with amazing Simply Wellthy treats and connections with all the new faces. Here at Mantra Fitness, we love to make our community feel like family. We are excited to be bringing in other health and wellness experts. At Mantra, we desire for you to be healthy in mind, body and soul. Can’t wait to see you at our next event! 

Understanding Intermittent Fasting

The concept of fasting:

Fasting has been around for centuries. Fasting is abstaining from all or some kinds of food or drink for a specific amount of time. First introduced for religious reasons, fasting has many health benefits as well.

The body needs energy to function. The primary source of energy is a sugar called glucose, which comes from carbohydrates. That usually is a trigger word and your mind could goes straight to pasta, bread, and dairy products, but carbs also include fruits, vegetables, and beans. The liver and your muscles will store the glucose and release doses of it into the bloodstream when the body needs it.

However, when you fast, this process changes. During the fasting period, after 8 hours has passed, the liver will have used the last bit of glucose it was able to store. When this occurs, the body reaches a state called gluconeogenesis, which mean the body transitions from releasing glucose that is stored to creating its own. The body will use fat within the body to produce glucose to give energy to the body. 

After about 8 hours of fasting, the liver will use the last of its glucose reserves. At this point, the body enters into a state called gluconeogenesis, marking the body’s transition into fasting mode.

Studies have shown that during the gluconeogenesis period, the body will burn more calories than in its natural state. 

Eventually, the body runs out of sources to make glucose with which in then turns into starvation more. Here, the body will start to use tissue to create energy for the body to use. 

24 hour fasting has a few more benefits than just burning more calories. It can improve your cardiovascular healthy, lower blood pressure and reduced cholesterol.

Concept of Intermitted Fasting:

Intermittent fasting is the process of cycling in and out of periods of eating and not eating. There are a few different forms of intermitted fasting. The two most common are known and the 5/2 method and the second is 16:8.

5/2 is very simply. You eat normally 5 days out of the week and fast the other 2. On the alternative, 16:8 is a daily fast. You restrict from eating 16 hours of the day and consume a day’s worth of food in the other 8. 

The theory behind intermitted fasting comes from the caveman era. It was rare to have access to food like we currently do today. Food was only consumed when it was available. The body was able to thrive during the times when food was not available. 

Intermitted fasting is not a diet, but a lifestyle. Choosing to be selective to when you consume your food rather than when it is convenient. 

This lifestyle has many health benefits, along with the mental discipline of self-control. The list below are a few benefits:

  • Boosts weight loss
  • Increases energy
  • Promotes cellular repair and autophagy (when your body consumes defective tissue in order to produce new parts)
  • Reduces insulin resistance and protects against type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers bad cholesterol
  • Promotes longevity
  • Protects against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Improves memory and boosts brain function
  • Makes cells more resilient

Here at Mantra Fitness, are excited to be connected with some of the best experts in the business. We will be collaborating with Lindsay Huelse bringing to you an intermitted fasting meal plan. Please check back to the blog and our social media pages for the release of the FREE meal plan!

5 Fast Ways to Improve Your Love Life

It’s Valentine’s Month and the perfect time to take true stock of where we are romantically… right? Sure, we all want that amazing intimate relationship–or maybe we’re already in one–but finding and keeping love can feel very different and sometimes downright scary. How do I keep it fresh and exciting? Am I going to mess this up (like I always do??) Is he/she going to cheat on me? Am I too quiet/too loud/too out of shape? Does this dress make me look cheap??!

The real deal about our love lives has little to do with… sex…. and everything to do with how we feel about ourselves. We lead with our confidence. Passion is our fashion. But how do we get from anxious to awesome? How do we improve and move our love life like never before??

Here are 5 Fast Ways to Improve Your Love Life:

1. REAL FEEL DEAL – If you psyche yourself up and get all angsty about your relationship it’s going to show. So stop it. Quit with the negative self-talk. Embrace what’s amazing and own the issues you want to improve. There’s nothing more attractive than confidence–fake it til you make it and in no time it’s real!!

2. KEEP IT PHYSICAL – This goes for a good work out, between the sheets and beyond. When you’re in strong physical shape, your heart is pumping at peak potential– plus you just feel better all the way around. Fitness isn’t an app you can just tap and have it delivered (I wish) so maintaining lean muscle, tone and strength really matters. Moving and maximizing your exercise is key to being ready, willing, and oh so able to improve your love life now!!

3. JUST DUO-IT – There are fabulous perks to coupling and here are some great ideas for play & foreplay:

  • STROLL…beside the beach, around the park, after a romantic dinner, window shopping, getting groceries together, etc. You spark when there’s motion involved, plus it’s time together and moving.
  • HIKE & PICNIC…. nothing better than scaling a mountain together then laying out a picnic to refresh and relax… heaven.
  • SPORTS….sailing, touch-football, skiing– these activities get heart levels up while learning to work as a team. It’s bonding and building, plus it’s fun. (Note: it’s also a great reveal for those early-stage romances. For example, if your dreamboat turns into a savage bully because you didn’t tie the sail in time, game over.)
  • MATCH UPS….golf, tennis, racket sports. All super fun and should be friendly competition, plus it’s that glimpse you get of how your sweetheart behaves with others or under pressure. Again, it’s a win-win– nothing tells you sooner about a person’s character than how they handle stress or failure. Oh, and the same goes for you!

  • SOLO SPORTS….or not? Powerwalk/running, swimming, surfing– solitary-combined sports are okay but not always great for early dates. Unless you want to spend most of the time on your own, don’t duo it– these are ideal for established partners who can parallel play and catch up with each other later.

4.  FUN & FLOWERS – Romance in a rut? Endorphins in need of charging? Anything on this list leads to laughter and love– you just need to remember to have fun and make it happen:

  • movies 
  • concerts
  • dancing
  • sporting events
  • museums, art exhibits, book stores
  • festivals
  • wine tasting, restaurants
  • vacations
  • talk…. connect with your partner!!!

5. PRICELESS – We put a lot of stock (and cash) into things that aren’t nearly as important as our partners. Remember to show gratitude for your special Valentine with an abundance of the little things you do for them–coffee, flowers, special notes, tokens, gestures, etc. Invest in and value your relationship, mark your milestones, create an amazing space for each other in the home of your hearts. Remember… actively love the life you have together…. and your love life will follow!!!

START WITH YOUR HEART: Mantra is showing some kinda love this month with our February is Friends are Free!! Sign up at all three studios– Tampa, Sarasota and OC– for special schedules and events. And don’t miss our annual affirmations from the heart!! This year when you tell us “Why You Love Mantra” we’ll donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation® for every heart put on the wall in each of our studio locations. A Pilates-body and Valentiny tone… what’s not to love?!!

Britta Wilder is a writer based in San Clemente. With a background in film and journalism, she is currently working on a novel. Plus, improving her love life.

Five New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Keep

We do this every year. Make a list of all the things we plan on changing, then a month (okay, a week) rolls by and we’ve forgotten everything. How about making a list with items we’ll actually keep??

​The key to keeping our Resolutions is in making them MORE about what we want and  LESS about what we don’t. If you focus on what’s positive it’s amazing how the negative just….drifts…away. It’s more-or-less perfect.


​A good night’s rest not only keeps you looking your best, but feeling your best, too. After 6-8 hours of quality sleep (optimum time) we feel relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the day. We’re more alert and less-prone to poor decision-making (diet/exercise/work/family/relationships) and empower ourselves to function at our top level.

Recent studies indicate a solid link between lack-of-sleep and mental and physical health: cognitive thinking is impacted, as well as putting us at greater risk for obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. What’s more, bedtime bliss does wonders for those fine lines furrowing your face–just be sure to sleep face up on your pillow, not buried under blankets or squished to the side.

This is an amazingly eazzzzzz’sy resolution to keep… just get enough sleep!!


Yes, you can and will lose weight this year by following one simple plan: Grazing. This means eating smaller mini-meals throughout the day instead of those traditional “three-squares”  that tend to be larger and heavier, leading to weight gain and storing unhealthy fat.

Grazing not only gives your body a chance to burn and refuel regularly throughout the day, but it works perfectly with our metabolism. When we keep our body’s sugar levels stable it naturally leads to less hunger, moodiness, fatigue–all those negative responses we get when we’re “dieting” or trying to cut back on foods.  Health experts also note improved immune systems, lower blood cholesterol and more maneagable hormone stress levels in patients who graze versus gorge.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a real New Year’s Resolution list without a “lose weight” item on it, right? Just think, if you follow this simple Eat More/Store Less plan now, next year you won’t even need it!!


If you think about it, there’s a lot of exercise we could be doing during the course of our day that we don’t even consider– walk to the store, bike to our office, run the dogs– etc.  If we really moved like that everyday, can you imagine the calories we’d burn just doing all the normal things we have to do, anyway??!

A lot. Unfortunately, a time crunch and a schedule and a car are hard to get away from for most of us, so while we can add those walks/runs/dancing moves into our activities, let’s focus on work outs that do more for us in less time:

Cardio – Any time your body’s in high motion (running, extreme training, court sports) and you get your heart rate up, you’re using optimum power for strength and burning calories. Depending on your program, you can achieve an intense work out in little time if you turn up reisistance and keep it challenging. (Example, go from 45 minutes to 60; add weights or distance, etc.) Of course, if adding time to an already packed schedule doesn’t work, try this next one….

Pilates Megaformer – This may sound like a commercial but it’s really an endorsement from someone who’s tried any and everything to burn-and-build my body without spending hours doing it. I can be lazy! The Megaformer works like a charm because it’s super-efficient, focusing on your core and developing strength and lean muscle without the endless repition other work outs demand (that often lead to injury, too). You feel the results and, better yet, you’ get to see them! This really is Mega-more in less time!!!


This should be a no-brainer, but let’s go over it one more time: Hydrate!!! When you keep your body hydrated throughout the day (H20) it will perform at its best and so will your brain. Every hour on the hour, take a sip or a slug of water–keep it going and you’ll be amazed at how refreshed you continue to feel, how your entire digestive and nervous system runs at top level.

When you’re out mixing it up at happy hour with your friends, have a cocktail! Just don’t forget to order a glass of water with every drink– it really aids in not only helping keep pace with your alcohol intake, but wards off dismal after-effects… like those pesky had-one-too-many hangovers we suffer once in a while.

If that doesn’t remind you, your appearance will– more water and less wine keeps you less puffy and more glowing everytime!!


We all have our issues–challenges we find difficult to deal with, deadlines impossible to meet. No one lives a completely stress-free life, no matter how happy they appear. The difference between those people who look burdened and those who don’t has everything to do with… attitude.

Are we grateful for all the amazing things in our lives? Do we feel blessed or do we feel bitter?
There are so many situations we cannot change, but the one thing we can change is how we choose to approach these events. Viewing the world as filled with opportunities for growth and improvement empowers us to live more meaningful lives in connection with our community. We naturally become less-stressed when we reach out to others or reach into ourselves, our hearts, and truly appreciate all the wonderful people and moments we share, every day.

More gratitude and less attitude is a resolution that will enhance every aspect of your life, not to mention your entire list of resolves. It costs nothing, no equipment needed, and will change your life. Always for the better!!

Mantra Fitness is your Resolution Solution!! Come check out our New Year new membership specials, kickin’ class kits and other amazing offers and account upgrades this month. No time like today to get Pilates Reformer, LaGree and Megaformer fit at our Tampa, Sarasota and OC studios. Book it now!

Britta Wilder is a writer based in San Clemente. With a background in film and journalism, she is currently working on a novel. Along with her New Year’s resolutions.

Top Tips to Stress Less This Season

Top Tips to Stress Less This Season

It’s that magical time of year again!! The decorations are out, your kids are in, and everywhere you go there’s holiday cheer… and lines… and food… and traffic… and not enough time to get everything done.

SLOW DOWN… Instead of making yourself Christmas-crazy, here are some sure-fire ways to avoid going all Scrooge and staying the Super Elf you know you are:


  • Keep your workout routine going and you’ll be amazed at how much those sessions keep your mental and physical health on track. Make this a priority– and a much-needed sanctuary– in this busy season. It’s the best gift you can give yourself!
  • Pace yourself, don’t hang every light from the tallest tree in one night, that’s where accidents come from and who wants to spend the holidays in the E.R. It’s easy to over-do without thinking, so stay mindful in your movements and keep your tasks realistic.
  • Diets are a don’t. It’s sugar cookie/cheese ball/eggnog season, so piece-out by having small bites of something delicious without panic. Nothing is a bigger buzz kill than the guest who a) refuses to try something that someone put love and effort into, or b) tries something then complains how many calories are in it. If you absolutely can’t partake, that’s fine– but it’s a festive atmosphere, so keep it fun!
  • Get out and play with your friends and family, nothing like a nice brisk walk through snow or sand, bonding over some flag football or a day on the slopes. Physical activity builds health but it also builds those memories we cherish with the ones we love. No matter what sport you do, you’re doing it together, and that’s what the holidays are about.​​

MENTAL-PEACE (the ultimate mantlepiece!)

  • Make a list, check it off, keep going. This old-school method worked for Santa Claus for centuries, and it hasn’t lost its touch. Something about drawing a line through a task that makes us get to the next one with even MORE excitement!! You feel like you’re accomplishing things– and you are! NEXT…
  • Organize your space– all those boxes filled with decorations, reindeer feet, lights and more lights– sort through what goes where then ‘stage’ areas and remove containers.  It’s amazing how really seeing what you have and where it’s supposed to go makes the task seem easier. Phew. Now it’s time for the tree…
  • Get help! That’s right, sometimes we forget to ASK others to help us when we get overwhelmed– whether it’s shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, decorating, feeding, driving, you get the picture– many hands make light work, so don’t be shy, or worse, get mad. Get help!
  • Breathe and take a bath. No, seriously, know when to call it a day and relax and unwind. With your handy lists, your organization underway and all your helpers ready to go, remember to give yourself a much-needed break and some peaceful rest when you can.​​


  • Nothing is perfect… and even when we plan everything, down to the perfect wrapping on the perfect gift, know that life has a way of surprising us. Better to remember what’s right about the holidays, and not everything that (oooops!) sort of went wrong. That goes along with expectations, too– we may want things to be a certain way, but somehow they never quite happen exactly as we planned. Imperfections are really nature’s reminders of what’s truly important in our lives– the people we love and care about–not how perfect or not we are.
  • Be good to yourself, too. Family reunions can sometimes be tricky for a number of reasons; it’s also a time where you may feel extra pressure or sensitivity due to things going on in your life. Being good to yourself means allowing yourself the space to feel these emotions and honor them. Go for a walk, write in a journal, do some art, yoga, pilates.. know that your feelings are valid and very often make their own adjustments when given positive space. It’s all good so just be good to yourself.​
  • Be good to others… because that’s what this season is really all about. We spread joy when we are joyful, remembering the reason for this amazing time of year, and sharing our lives with each other. And don’t forget those special members of our community– the elderly, those suffering with illness or loss, the less-fortunate, our beautiful children and animals– we enrich our own lives by enriching others; we receive the true gift of Christmas through giving to each other.

Mantra Holiday Cheer: Come check out our specials this month and membership must-haves to start off the New Year right. Tampa, Sarasota and our new OC Studios are offering stocking-stuffer sizzle and go-to gift cards– a Pilates-body is the best gift ever!  Sign up for classes and download our app for holiday schedules. We wish everyone the Happiest of Holidays and Merry Christmas, from Santa Mantra to YOU!!!

Britta Wilder is a writer based in San Clemente. With a background in film and journalism, she is currently working on a novel.  She still believes in Santa.

Planksgiving – Why a Strong Core Rocks

Why a Strong Core Rocks

November is the time of year we are filled with gratitude… that we survived Halloween, another election, and got to set our clocks back for Daylight’s Savings, woo hoo! It’s also about giving thanks around the table for our family, friends and fitness– but in our case, we call it PLANKSGIVING!!

That’s right. This month we celebrate the almighty CORE and give thanks (and plenty of planks) for all the amazing perks a healthy, strong, Pilates-pumped core can bring to our lives everyday. If you haven’t heard, or need a serious Reformer reminder, here it goes:

​Core Definition

Your ‘core’ is your midsection–the powerhouse–the center of your body that houses your deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. When you work out your core and keep it strong, your entire body benefits.

Planks A lot

Plank poses (‘the push up-and-hold’) are perfect core conditioners because they integrate your trunk-pelvis-shoulder girdle areas– the top trio tighteners– for flat and flexible fitness. It’s considered one of the go-to core positions as you’re engaging your abs, back and core, but also enhancing glutes and hamstrings. You can also vary plank poses but the key is always the same–endurance and holding tight. In no time you’ll see and feel incredible results!

Benefits of a Strong Core

When your core is weak your entire body is more likely to experience fatigue, weight gain and injury due to muscle loss and atrophy. Basically a major buzz kill for your bod. When you start strengthening your core, it’s amazing what happens:

  • Six-pack Surprise: Core conditioning paves the way for a flat belly and toned abs. The more you work your core, the tighter this section becomes.
  • Less Pain, More Gain: A stronger core leads to a stronger back–you’re going to start to wonder where all those aches and pains went! Not only will you enhance flexibility, movement, even dance better, but tightening your core helps you maintain body balance essential for optimizing health.
  • Stand Taller: Core training with Pilates is geared for building long, lean muscles; you’ll not only be improving your balance and posture, strength and flexibility, but promoting lengthening, too. Remember, strong abs and back muscles are important for everyday tasks, not just at the studio!​
  • Mind is Matter: When you’re investing your energy into a work out that’s working, you feel great!! Core training can be a butt-buster (it really is) and there’s nothing better than seeing those ripped results. Positive feedback always feeds itself, it’s a cycle of motivation that flows into all areas of your life!

Core training is not about killing your abs the first time out, it’s about leaning in and learning those techniques that will bring you the best results. We’ve all been to the gym pumping weights and pushing reps that focus on building short, bulky muscles–and lots of potential for injury, too.

Pilates focuses on efficient training, quality over quantity, with the hard-core goal of overall body improvement. It’s a mind-body work out, with added benefits of proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and concentrating on smooth and flowing movements. You’ll not only learn how to control and master the movement in your work out, you’ll see optimum results in reduced time and gain the muscle tone and flexbility you’ve always wanted. Keep it up and it’s yours to keep!!


Planksgiving at Mantra: This month we give thanks to strong cores everywhere with our mighty Mantra “Plankathon”!!! Join the ranks with planks at all three studios– Tampa, Sarasota and OC– sign ups ready to roll. Speaking of rolls–we’re your home away from kitchen for some Megaformer pre-holiday classes and studio specials, guaranteed to de-stress and delight. Check out schedules and upcoming festive fit fun… Happy Turkey Day from all of us to all of you!!

Britta Wilder is a writer based in San Clemente. With a background in film and journalism, she is currently working on a novel. She gives planks everyday for Mantra.