Blogs & Blurbs

June 18, 2019

What happens when you decide to just live your life? When you decide to take a few moments (minutes, days.... years? Hey however long it takes)to simply love who you are and present that person to the world?

The other day, someone mentioned to me that they noticed I'm wearing a lot of purple or blue lipstick lately. They crinkled their nose a little when they said this... then they asked why. They, as well as others, have asked with disdain, others with reverence and some with a little bit of awe; a reaction I am actually still a little confused about. My goodness, it's just lipstick! Maybe. My choice to do what I want with clothes, jewelry and makeup, the way I express my individual beauty,  seems to elicit quite the response in people. Well, let me help everyone get a little understanding of me: the response it elicits in me is one of fierce independence and self acceptance. Wearing these shades of lipstick especially purple makes me feel beautiful, regal and is a direct reflection...

May 13, 2019

One of the best parts of my Maldives yoga retreat was Singapore. Wait, what? When I let people know my travel time to the Maldives will be 30 hours, they gasped. When I let them know my return travel time would be a little over 40 hours, I was written off as crazy. Or just not knowledgeable on how to make travel arrangements. Hmmm, the leader of worldwide retreats can't even get her own stuff together...why would I want to trust her with travel stuff, you ask? Trust me, I've got this. 

Travelling to a destination does not have to be all you do or get to enjoy. Definitely do your best to get where you're going as quickly as possible. You don't want to waste time heading to that vacation, adventure or even business meeting. So, about that return flight....

If time just does not permit, then that's okay.... but! What if you could make time permit juuuust a little bit? Get a layover 5 hours or more in a country (or city) and begin the exploration experience (less than 5 may prove to be trick...

December 29, 2018

For so long, for years, maybe even forever, my dream was to own my own Studio, fitness facility. A “space” and place to house this movement and experience called empowerFit Wellness. So many opportunities have presented themselves only to fall completely flat. Really flat like, pancake flat…..dreams crushed, flat..ready to give up…..

While those opportunities have come and gone I held on to what I believed was my dream. Little did I know my dream would be realized while looking out on the Atlantic Ocean while I was in Morocco. I finally knew where my studio will be!

My studio will be the world. My dreams, goals and expectations have no limits and no boundaries. This empowerFit experience has no boundaries. I am not defined by the walls of a space. My studio will be overlooking a cliff in Amorgos, Greece. A park in Hackensack, NJ. Maybe off the coast of Jacmel in Haiti. Another Studio may be deep in the beautiful rainforest of Costa Rica. It will be me teaching a Zumba class in Aruba.  Co...

May 2, 2018

Hot yoga.  It’s hot, sweaty, kinda yucky and…it’s good for you!

About 5 days a week you can find me sweating out my edges in a hot yoga or Bikram class.  Give me a mat, some heat and a couple of towels (to wipe alllll that sweat out of my eyes) and I am in my happy place.  I am challenged, stronger and beyond giddy to take my practice to a heated room. Did you know you can have as much fun as me?  It is fun, believe me.  That feeling of wanting pass out from the heat? Fun! So much sweat in your eyes, you can’t see shit?  Fun!  Seriously, it is a wonderful way to get your mind and body right.

First what is hot yoga? It is different than Bikram, which is what everyone generally has heard of.  Bikram is comprised of a sequence of 26 poses done three times in a 105-degree room.  It is always the same poses and sequence. I love taking this class because it is a great way to gauge your progress in the poses and build an incredible amo...

March 7, 2018

Have you ever thought of taking a bellydance class? Like most people who have contemplated shaking their hips or rolling their belly, you probably talked yourself out of doing it because you thought you could never "move like that" or you have no rhythm or anything else you could possibly say to talk yourself out of getting to a class. Instead of thinking about how you might move think about how the dance might move you.

It's amazing what happens in a bellydance class (I will use the term bellydance throughout this piece, but Oriental Dance is a more proper term). We shimmy, shake and break a sweat. We laugh a lot and are amazed by the things our bodies can do. We're also so enamored by how gorgeous we feel when body parts start shaking. As soon as a bellydance newbie walks in the room, they shed their inhibitions to relax, let go and have a good time. Hey, it’s a celebration! But that's just one small piece of what happens in class. Bonds are formed. Spirits are lifted. People are empo...

February 13, 2018

My love of travel began with road trips to Virginia, Gary, Indiana and Washington D.C. in our orange Cougar XR-7 with my family, the car filled with the music of Gary Byrd, The Brothers Johnson and Parliament Funkadelic, the smell of freshly fried chicken and Wise potato chips and me lying across the Popeye-themed sheet strewn across the backseat so we didn’t make a mess. High class and first class?  Probably not.  An environment that encouraged memories that not only last a lifetime but were so strong, the need to replicate these experiences with my own children is strongly ingrained?  Most definitely.  Vacations, via airplane, to places like Disney-world and Aruba came later (cue “The Jefferson's” theme song, y’all!) and poured huge amounts of lighter fluid on my already smoldering flame of love for travel.

During this same time my love for dance was growing by leaps and bounds with my mom “famously” forcing me to dance every weekend with La Rocque B...

January 29, 2018

Hi, my name is Lateefah and I accept me. Pretty much most of the time. Not an easy thing to say after looking at a picture of myself 6 years ago and crying.  I don’t look like that chick anymore.

But wait.  Now, I accept me so much that when I go through those days like that when I feel like shit / feel like I look like shit / feel like I am not worth shit (you know, I just feel bad.) I still know I am living through a temporary feeling. 

This acceptance comes in handy as I watch my body change and shift while I age.  I am the “Tenderoni” age of 46 but I am peri-menopausal, retain water faster than a speeding bullet, have stage 4 arthritis in my right knee and stage 2 in my left knee (did you even know there were stages like that for arthritis? Oh.  Well, I didn’t) and a left big toe that doesn’t bend because I have a giant screw there.  It sounds like I am broken and jacked up, and I am, but this is where acceptance comes in.  Lifting very heavy weights and putting 400lbs on the l...

July 11, 2017

I hurt myself in yoga class.  Yes, if you do it wrong it hurts.  Really bad.  So bad I did not lift weights for my upper body for about 2 months.  That’s a really big deal for me.  It’s hard when you can’t move like you are used to moving. And, lifting weights is so therapeutic for me.  Weights and yoga…that’s my OM!

Back to my hurt….

The right way to do yoga is to show up on your mat, let go of expectations and release that competitive ego.  You have to let go of that shit.  Or you will hurt yourself.  Back to that again.  I hurt myself in yoga class and that shit hurt.

Back in the beginning of my practice, once I finally decided I wasn’t going to let the extremely skinny bodies around me dictate how I am going to look at myself or approach my practice, I started to focus on how good my body felt.  The more I stayed focused on what was happening on my mat, the more I progressed.  The more I decided it didn’t matter what the person next to me was do...

March 6, 2017

There are quite a few  items – edible and non-edible – that I have started keeping around me as I get deeper and deeper into obtaining a lifestyle of optimal health (I have to mention that optimal health includes  enjoying a high quality tequila or an incredible cut of steak every once in a while! Balance, my people, balance).  The first thing I go to is food when I think of optimal health.  Mainly because I just frickin’ like food.  A lot.  Knowing good and well I have to watch what I eat so I can combat the inflammation in my body and squash these damn peri-menopausal symptoms, I am always on the lookout for stuff that tastes good and satisfies my sugar cravings in a healthy way.

My latest food obsession is Shanti Bars.  These Bars are completely raw, vegan, gluten-free, have no added sugar or preservatives, plant based, organic and contains no added sugar..  Now that I may have made some of you think this is a bar made from tree bark, I will let you know they...

February 7, 2017

I used to get really intimidated by the pictures of all those yoga teachers in superhuman poses. They are floating into handstands, bending into shapes I cannot begin to physically imagine my body getting into.  And they are all so ….thin.  Not unhealthy, mind you.  Just a hell of a lot smaller than me! Well, maybe I still get a little mesmerized by those pics and their abilities.  I guess I cannot say I “used to” get intimidated as I saw some pictures the other day that made me feel quite inadequate.  Again.  Then I snapped out of that.  I had to.  I was on my way to take a yoga class!  My personal practice generally doesn’t  include superhuman poses but it is strong, healing, uplifting and filled with progression. It is my personal practice that leads me to teach the way I do. It’s always very cool that even if my body chooses to not twist into those pretzel poses, I am skilled enough to get you there. My practice, and in turn what I lead my students through, is about my strength, ab...

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© 2019 by Lateefah Fleming for empowerFit Wellness, LLC