Every year, you make your New Year’s resolution to get in better shape.
By February, it’s likely you’ve already forgotten it.
If this sounds like you, Embody Movement Studio has a new kind of challenge for you — one owner Christina Wolf believes you’re much more likely to keep.
The “joy-based fitness, movement, health and wellness studio” located in downtown Centralia will offer its annual health challenge, kicking off with a party at the first of the year and lasting for a full 90 days. Signing up gives members the opportunity to win more than $1,500 worth of weekly and grand prize giveaways, structured so that the more classes they attend, the more chances they have to win.
Offering the challenge for the third year in a row, this time Wolf will ask participants to set their own goals, according to three levels. The highest level means attending class every day for the full 90 days, but level one ramps participants up slowly, with 30 classes in 90 days. Wolf notes that many participants, especially those who are regular members of Embody, already come to class at the level-one frequency. “I wanted to allow people to challenge themselves instead of me choosing for them,” she says.
Classes offered at Embody include several levels of yoga, a holistic, no-impact dance called Nia, belly dancing, as well as other offerings from a full calendar of visiting teachers and special guests.
Several differences distinguish Embody’s challenge from a simple gym membership, starting with the burden of motivation. When you join a gym, most likely, 100 percent of the motivation for going every day lies with you. But Embody provides goals, incentives, support, structure and community.
“It works,” says Wolf. “Every class is an experience. There’s the sense of welcome and warmth when they walk in the door, teachers who really care, who are well-trained and love what they do. There’s also the small touches, such as heated floors and hot towels, the scented oils, the focus and intent for each class.”
Embody member Marlee Riggin successfully completed last year’s challenge and plans to sign up again this year even though she’s already achieved and has maintained her weight-loss goals. “I’m taking the challenge to be part of the challenge,” she says. “All these new people who join — I want to be part of the community supporting them.”
Riggin has personally witnessed the dramatic transformation that can come with a committed Embody practice. “I’ve seen people shed layers of clothing and layers of insulation,” she says. Besides her own weight loss, her chiropractor noticed her increased strength and fitness. “I have better muscle quality than I’ve ever had working out at the gym,” she says.
Perhaps most important, Riggin says, she gained greater self-acceptance. She can’t do anything about her skin elasticity, which is a natural part of the aging process. But she’s at peace with it. “That’s my biggest takeaway,” she says. “Embracing who you are and where you’re at.”
As an accompaniment to the 90-Day Challenge, Embody is also offering The Whole 30 Challenge this year. Designed as a “nutritional reset,” the Whole 30 promises to help participants tackle cravings, counter unhealthy habits, balance their metabolisms and immune systems, and heal their digestive tracts.
Lucy Page, a regular Embody member who took the challenge last year, recently added the Whole 30 component and has experienced dramatic results. She sleeps better, experiences fewer aches and pains, and has clearer skin. “I am often told I’m glowing,” she says. Page lost 40 pounds and 40 inches, too.
“The best thing I learned by doing the Whole 30 was how to connect with my body and the way food makes me feel,” she says. “I’m an emotional eater, so some discipline around food and why I was eating helped me break my food addictions and make choices that felt good in my body.”
Wolf says that many people feel great just taking the 90-Day Challenge, but it’s not until they add the food component that things really click into place.
The Whole 30 is a trademarked program one can do independently of the Embody challenge. “But it’s more fun and easier with the support and community of the challenge,” Wolf says.
Lisa Brunette is the award-winning author of the Dreamslippers Series and other works. She blogs at www.lisa-brunette.com. Disclosure: Brunette wrote articles for Embody’s 90-Day Challenge weekly newsletter earlier this year.