Turino Fitness

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C’mon GAP

Dear Art Peck – CEO of Gap & Jeff Kirwan – President of Gap

Awhile back I wrote a blog about Athleta and their non-use of any women of color in their catalogues.

Now same company, different division needs some of our attention.

Gap. C’mon with the emaciated models who have been photoshopped within an inch of their lives. Women don’t have thigh gaps like that unless they’re starving themselves…is that what you want to promote? Seriously??

There was a string of talk by women here in Saint Paul about your ads and how disappointed they are that you market such images. In this Facebook group, there are 400 women. 400 women. That’s a focus group. And all of us are disgusted.

I’m going to give you some feedback – ready? I buy your jeans. And I am a big, strong girl. I lift weights and have a bodacious ass and muscular thighs. I buy your t-shirts. They are long enough for my torso and are fitted beautifully. MOST OF THE CLOTHES IN MY WARDROBE ARE FROM GAP.

So come in real close here, cuz I’m going to whisper something to you…

I’m your customer. I spend some cash at your stores and online. I have a GAP card! AND YOU ARE MISSING THE MARK PROMOTING STARVING WOMEN WITH NO MEAT ON THEIR BONES. It makes no sense!!!!! You sell great products – why do you have to pander to absolutely unrealistic images set forth by whom…??? The market?

YOU. GAP…BE A LEADER IN THE MARKET!!!!!!

Watch the movie “Embrace” and see that there is a rolling thunder of women who are f(*&&king TIRED of this bulls(*&t.

So tired.

Do better.

For the love of women everywhere…do better.

If you want to make your voice heard, contact Mr. Peck or Mr. Kirwan. You can mail or call them at

San Francisco
2 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
650-952-4400

There’s no way to e-mail them, but you can shoot an e-mail to their press department at press@gap.com.

Here’s are more links: http://www.gapinc.com/content/gapinc/html/topnavtoolbar/contactus.html#headquarters

Let’s do this.

Sarah Turino – Turino Fitness – Saint Paul, MN

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The Work

A friend and I were talking yesterday about how DOING THE WORK IS HARD.

It’s no wonder that we get sheepish clients that come back again and again with guilty faces saying, “I didn’t do any of the exercises you asked me to do last week.”

Yep. We get it. It’s hard.

But it’s also where ALL OF THE SUCCESS IS. We show you where the mine is, but you have to get in there with your pick and shovel and headlamp and mine your gems.

You spend one hour a week with us (sometimes less if you’re bi-weekly or monthly) but the rest of the time – you’re on your own.

I want you to know that we (teachers, trainers, body workers, healers) TOTALLY understand. We have to do the work too! We understand that it’s a drag to:

  •                Exercise
  •                Stretch
  •                Meditate
  •                Take care of your sweet self with water, food, care
  •                Do physical therapy exercises
  •                Do the yoga class
  •                Do the little exercises the chiropractor has assigned
  •                Do your SomaYoga practice
  •                Do Core Stabilization exercises
  •                Do ALL of the things that support your body, mind, spirit

THE SECRET: You just have to do the work.

If you think we want to do the LIST OF THINGS that we have to do, you are woefully mistaken. Just like you…we’d rather not. We’d love it if we could just be strong, agile, flexible, uninjured, fast, have endurance without any work…but we can’t. No one can.

Consistency is the key.

Really.

And that consistency comes from within. It comes from within YOU. It’s about saying, “Idontwanna” and doing it anyways or doing something else on the list.

And sadly, unless you have a trainer, physical therapist, massage therapist, SomaYoga teacher, yoga teacher, chiropractor, or coach LIVING WITH YOU 24/7 (wouldn’t that be great?) you simply have to getterdone.

It’s not sexy. But I am telling you the TRUTH. Your success is dependent on you working the program all of the other hours of the day, week, month, year. Another tip? Remembering that wellness never has a arrival point. So that means you’ll be working the program…for life. Embrace it🙂.

We’ll be here – cheering you on so hard.

Peace, Sarah

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Powerlessness

When I was 9, my dad took me on a GRAND adventure…we left our South Dakota home to fly to Bombay, India. From Bombay, we rode an open-air bus 50 miles to Ganeshpuri, India.

We arrived at an ashram where people from all over the world came together in a communal living facility to study meditation, chanting, service and study.

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Photo courtesy of Claus Oronoz

I lived there for four months. 

When we arrived, they separated us for dinner – men on one side, women on the other. Imagine that you’re 9, you’re hungry, you’re jet-lagged and you’re surrounded by strangers. You’d kind of want your parent no? I freaked out.

My dad calmly said, “It’s ok Sarah. You’ll be fine. See? Everyone is smiling at you. I’ll see you after we eat by those doors there.”

I was crying and upset, but off I went with the smiling women. My mind was racing, “What is this food? There aren’t any tables! How do you eat with no silverware? Can I drink the water? How do you sit and eat on the floor? What are they saying?”

I felt POWERLESS.

Ahimsa invites us into those moments of powerlessness to take a step away from our panic. Because powerlessness invariably results in violence towards self and others.

When do you feel powerless? What causes you to feel without any choice or control?

  •                 Losing your wallet, phone, keys
  •                 Being late
  •                 Car breaking down
  •                 Someone steals and uses your credit card
  •                 You get lost
  •                 __(fill in the blank)__

How do you react? Your mind is screaming and racing. Your body is hot, tensed and sweaty. You are most definitely off-your-center. There might even be some yelling and crying. A cat in a corner. Fight or flight.

What Ahimsa invites us to remember even under extreme duress, is that there are always options.

In “The Yamas & Niyamas, ” Deborah Adele writes that she uses these tools to reframe Powerlessness:

  • Have faith that the Universe will care for you and provide what you need.
  • Find simple gratitude within the moment of difficulty.
  • Find a way to connect with and/or serve another human being.

Using these practices can give you a bit of space from what you’re feeling and experiencing and provide a longer view, a different perspective. It can be a roadmap back to your center.

You might even find that you learn some tools and become more capable of dealing with stressors.

“Feelings of powerlessness become opportunities to become competent rather than violent,” Adele writes.

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My dad’s attempt at a passport photo. I was channeling my inner Danny Bonaduce.

Back in India, the women in their beautiful white cotton saris smiled warmly and welcomed me with sweet voices that I heard deeply, but didn’t understand at all. Their soft eyes were so tender and loving that I guess I just got out of my own way; my fears fell away.

I trustingly fell into the arms of the Universe.

Because in the end, aren’t we all meant to be the arms of the Universe for each other??

Namaste, Sarah

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Tell ‘Overwhelm’ to Get Bent

“Ban OVERWHELMED from your vocabulary. Refuse it entry to your psyche.”

This was what I heard in a podcast a couple of years ago by Danielle LaPorte.  Then she said,

“I think when people use the word OVERWHELM, they are hanging out in EGO.”

Wait…WHAT?? My jaw hung open a bit. Here’s the deal…I pretty much used to hang out in Overwhelm. There was a Barcolounger with my name on it at the corner of Stress and Busy-ness.

You too?

Ahimsa invites to explore balance. It invites us to see if we can find that beautiful sweet spot where shit happens and you’re like, “Yup…shit happens” versus running around like your hair is on fire yelling,

“OHMYGODWHATTHEHELLEVERYTHINGISCOMINGAPARTATTHESEAMS!”

Ahimsa asks us to invite steadiness and ease not just into our asana practice, but into our life.

Imbalance and Overwhelm set us up for violence – towards ourselves or others. And EVERY DAY life offers up situations to push us off of our center.

The first thing to really get ahold of is that inviting balance isn’t a head thing. You can’t think, plan, organize, file, highlight or collate your way to balance (believe me I’ve tried <cough, cough Virgo>.)

Balance is a gut thing.

It’s the small voice within that if you push a microphone up to it and really listen says things like,

  • “No thank you! I have too much on my plate.”
  • “I’m tired.”
  • “I need some time to myself.”
  • “Get me out of here.”

And that sweet voice needs to be heard and honored. Because when it’s ignored, it will create the groundwork for disharmony, discord, disconnection, dis-ease…for all of the dis’s.

When you invite balance, you start listening and honoring the needs of your SELF.  Then, the elusive Balance will light on your shoulder like a butterfly. And when it comes, your inner voice will sing.

“Balance creates harmony within us, and harmony within naturally expresses itself in external actions that are harmonious,” writes Yamas & Niyamas author Deborah Adele.

Yes. May we all find our center, our breath, our steady, our ease and allow for Ahimsa.

…Come sweet Balance. Light on my shoulder. I’ll create the space and I will honor you. Through balance, let Ahimsa flourish within me and through me…

Namaste, Sarah

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Being Fearless…or being fearful but saying f(*&k it and doing it anyway…

What scares you?

I used to be AFRAID OF EVERYTHING. The unfamiliar made me want to just hide away.

As I look back, I realize I’ve spent the 2nd half of my life dancing with fear. Trying to get familiar with it and then tell it to “Piss off.”

Once when I decided to audition for a musical (o.m.g. terrifying) I called a friend virtually hyperventilating and she asked me, “WHY? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS IF IT TERRIFIES YOU?”

Because it makes me feel powerful and alive. It makes me feel like I am the boss of me.

Things that have truly REDLIGHTTURNBACKDON’TDOTHIS terrified me:

  • *Leaving the safety and comfort of my first marriage.
  • *Moving to the Twin Cities on my own.
  • *Saying YES to new love.
  • *Marrying my husband after 5 months of dating (welp.)
  • *Taking on new jobs.
  • *Skydiving (every time scared the s(*&t out of me and I made 600+ jumps.)
  • *Going through IVF and not knowing if it would work.
  • *HAVING CHILDREN.
  • *Sometimes pressing PUBLISH when I post a blog.
  • *Taking tests (really…I am phobic.)

What are yours when you look back? What are those pivotal, terrifying things that made you want to wet your pants and run the other way?

Now…when you look back. Can you see in the rear view that those experiences made you and your life:

STRONGER

BIGGER

MORE INTERESTING

RICHER

MORE COLORFUL

This is living. This is living the shit out of your ONE AMAZING LIFE.

And that, my friends, is Ahimsa. That is having the courage to do the hard stuff having faith in yourself and the Universe that your life will be better for it. It’s not letting your FEAR make your life SMALL. It’s telling fear to “Piss Off.”

So last week I wrote a damn book report on this aspect of Ahimsa…and f&*k all if I didn’t have to write it all over again today…because I didn’t write it with heart. I wrote from a clinical and cold and fear-based place. It’s hard to put your shit out there. It’s scary to inject yourself into your work. It’s hard to remember that we’re ALL JUST TRYING TO FIGURE SHIT OUT. We’re all scared and trying to figure out how to deal with it.

Practice courage. Know that you are created to live. Know that the fear that keeps you from living your best life is a LIAR. And have faith in the stuff you are made of…it’s tough, resilient, and powerful.

Peace, Sarah

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Courage – Ahimsa

Background: The Yamas are the first step in the eight-fold path of enlightenment. The Yamas in Sanskrit mean “restraints.” And the first step of the Yamas is Ahimsa.

Ahimsa means Non-Violence.

Ahimsa is the jewel in the crown of yoga. The seat of yoga. The foundation of yoga. It is what all the rest of yogic philosophy stands upon.

I remember when I was first learning about Ahimsa in Yoga North Teacher Training and I was all like, “Check! ONE STEP CLOSER TO ENLIGHTENMENT! I’m not violent. I don’t hit anyone and hurt anyone.” Ummm, not quite. When you unpack the gift that is Ahimsa, you start to really see the subtle ways that we create violence within ourselves and within the world.

And our world, more than ever, needs Ahimsa.

If you haven’t read, “The Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele, get yourself a copy. Deborah breaks down Ahimsa in the loveliest way. Her first exploration is around COURAGE. She explains that there are two kinds of Fear:

  • The good kind of Fear. The Fear that keeps you safe. “Danger! RUN!”
  • The not-so-good kind of Fear. The Fear that keeps you from living.

The world can feel like a scary place. And Fear can make your world become very small if you allow it.

And here’s the deal…Fear = Violence. Adele writes, “If we look closely, we can trace all of these acts of greed, control and insecurity back to their root: fear. Fear creates violence.”

Back in 2000 I moved to the Twin Cities, I didn’t know anyone, where to go, how to get anywhere, what to do. I felt trapped inside my fear. Day after day, I’d go to work and go back to my apartment. Then, I read a book called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. The book challenges you to do ONE NEW THING every day and those experiences will help fill your creative well. I accepted the challenge and made a list I’d always wanted to do and started checking them off of the list. My world expanded.

As Yoga North’s Molly McManus says, “You always want to be pressing your edges outward. That’s growth.”

A few things happened when I pressed outward on my edges:

  • I felt powerful and confident. I had nurtured COURAGE. I was COURAGEOUS.
  • My world got more colorful with experiences and people.
  • Indeed, my creative juices flowed more freely.
  • Fear no longer was the boss of me. I was the boss of me.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” There’s a Minnesota woman named Molly who based an entire blog called “Hey Eleanor” based this quote. She has done some WILD things all in the name of leaning into her fears and expanding her edges and she writes about each experience (watching a surgery, having a baby, skydiving) with humor and delight. Molly discovered what happens when you lean into your fears; she discovered that leaning into your fears is incredibly fertile ground.

And that’s the whole of it isn’t it? Living a life in color. Living a courageous life. Not letting our fears dictate and shrink our world.

Leaning in. It’s fertile ground for self-discovery, self-love, and self-confidence. Every day, lean in in the smallest of ways (it doesn’t have to be skydiving) and press your edges outward. Seek out opportunities that cause you to be a little nervous (saying hello to a stranger, going to a new restaurant, going to a social gathering where you don’t know anyone, taking a road trip, trying a new food etc.) and watch what happens. Fertile ground.

And that’s how Adele ends her chapter, with a week-long exploration in Courage:

“This week practice courage by doing one thing daily that you wouldn’t normally do…See if you can discern between fear and the unfamiliar. Watch what happens to your sense of self and how your relationships with others might be different because you are courageously stepping into unknown territory.”

See what happens. Lean into your fears. Expand your edges. Be courageous. Post below to let me know how it feels and what happens.

Namaste.

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Universal Roadblocks

Have you ever been working toward something that feels important to you, only to have the Universe put stuff in your way that slows you down or even stops you??

Those times piss me off. And they make me wonder what the lesson is and what I’m supposed to be learning from the onslaught of frustration that occurs when I’m getting roadblocks from the Universe.

This go around, after a year of playing it pretty conservatively at Crossfit, I decided to start adding more weight and exploring my own personal edges of strength. So, I started adding weight and making some progress annnnnd…

ROADBLOCK #1 – My back started bothering me again after a couple of years being pain-free.

Crap.

Back on the hamster wheel of trying to figure it out. Then, I start to get it figured out and start feeling better annnnnd….

ROADBLOCK #2 – I sprain my ankle doing burpees to box jumps.

Seriously what the f&*k people?

Now after about 4 weeks off of being able to exercise in a way that makes me feel good, I’M GOING CRAZY. I have begun konmari’ing my house (is that a verb?); I want to clean all of the things; and I don’t feel good because I’m not moving my body in a way that pleases me.

I feel like poop.

I’m standing in the middle of my discomfort. I’m standing in the eye of it.

Ever felt like this? What do you do?

For me, this is where some of the philosophy of yoga really serves – unhooking from discomfort and inviting peace in whatever situation I’m in (even if it doesn’t feel good.)

Back to my mat. Back to my breath. Back to moving mindfully and in a way that doesn’t invite injury. And when it’s time, I’ll go back to burpees to box jumps. But until then…abide.

When the Universe is putting up roadblocks, take a breath. Breathe in the idea that everything is unfolding in its own timing for your highest good. If you’re standing in the middle of a Universal Roadblock, slow down and breathe, release and allow…

Namaste, Sarah