Get Healthy/ Fitspiration
Kristin Booker • June 17, 2015

Fitspiration: Tammy Rowe of exhale

When I started my fitness journey all those years ago, I returned to exhale and prepared to start the long journey back to health. 70+ pounds ago, I walked into my first Core Fusion Barre class and into the life of the amazing Tammy Rowe, a beautiful Ohio native with a spark plug personality and a beautiful heart. I call her ‘Tammers” for short (I don’t know why,) and she has been there with me every step of this journey. As I prepare to return to the Core Fusion barre and mat after a rather serious injury from late last year,) I will be back in Tammy’s classes. She’s a big part of my life, and inspires me greatly. Please meet one of my favorite instructors:

How I became an instructor…
“I fell into it. I started dancing when I was six in Ohio where I was born, and even though college I never thought I would be a professional dancer, that’s exactly what happened. I danced professionally for eight years and traveled all over the place, including dancing in Chicago of the Bulls. My life took a little detour, and I found myself in Chicago at 30, trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. I was interviewing for jobs when I spotted ‘One Month of Zen for $99’ on a sandwich board outside of a building, which happened to be exhale Chicago. I thought, ‘Oh, cool. I’ll start taking some classes.’ And I was never a big fitness class buff; dance classes were my thing. But after a month of taking yoga and Core Fusion, one of the teachers asked me if I’d ever thought about teaching, and I thought it would be a lot of fun. I trained, Fred came in and approved me, and the next thing you know I’m teaching, and I eventually wound up here in Manhattan. It’s been eight years now. I always tell everyone this is my ‘retired dancer gig.'”

Tammy Rowe Header

By the way, I teach ALL the classes. All of ’em…
“I’m certified to teach all the classes. I kind of do it all. Right now, I’m teaching Core Fusion Barre, Core Fusion Cardio, Power Flow Yoga, Open Flow Yoga, and Core Fusion Yoga. I’m also certified to teach Core Fusion Extreme. They’re all such a great compliment to each other: the strengthening, lengthening and focus of yoga and barre; Extreme is awesome and fun for so many reasons because it’s cardio and strength all rolled into one. The first time I took it, I felt like a kid playing on a jungle gym. I like how efficient it is. I don’t like to run or spin, so Extreme does that cardio thing for me.”


The moves I love that get results…
“If we’re talking TRX, I like to do any plank variation with your feet in the straps. There are so many options! Core Fusion, I love standing glute work standing at the barre. I also love a good flat back chair pose. Yoga, I love any balancing position, like Dancer Pose, Warrior 3, Bird of Paradise, etc.”


So, if you’re coming to exhale for the first time…
“I think it’s fun to come with a buddy. Also, arrive early and chat with the instructor before class. It’s always nice to know who’s new as an instructor so I can start the class off helping everyone get on the same page walking in the door. You have to remember that it doesn’t matter how much experience you have, every day is a different experience depending on how much sleep you got the night before, the day you’ve had, etc. The most important thing is to show up. That alone is worth celebrating. Come for the experience, stay for the results. Be inspired, but not intimidated. Everyone is on a different journey. Stay on your path.”


On what motivates me to motivate you…
“Even on days when I don’t feel that great, I feel better after class, even if I’m just teaching. Getting that person who was scowling to smile, helping someone reach a pinnacle of success; I get fired up watching other people remember that they’re human and they’re doing the right things to take care of themselves. I like the daily challenge of getting women to get out of their heads and get into their bodies.”


You know, I wish women would stop…
“Please stop the ‘compare and despair.’ Whether it’s news media, social media, etc. Love every single part of this body. We’re souls having an experience in bodies with lots of flaws, and that’s perfectly okay. My friend shared a meditation with me that you can say in the shower, putting on lotion or any quiet moment, where you draw attention to all your body parts with love. Feeling like you’re bloated or you don’t love your butt today? Simply saying, “I see you, and I love you,” can be such a powerful experience. Your body got you through another day. Gratitude is a powerful tool. Get out of your brain and notice what’s going on.”

..and I wish they would start….
“Before you get out of bed, reach for the phone or start turning your attention elsewhere, turn it inward. Put your hand on your belly, and be mindful that you’re alive. Be open to possibilities, and get connected with yourself before you start throwing your energy out into the world. Embrace every day knowing how impressive it is to have your health. Not everyone is so fortunate.”


On what I do to relax
“Funny enough, relaxing for me is taking a yoga class, where I can be a student instead of a teacher. It’s relaxing and I don’t get to do it enough for myself because I teach a lot. Also, my favorite thing to do is schedule a full day with nothing on the calendar. Those days are precious. I say no to everyone and everything. I schedule it that way. It’s hard with people with families, but scheduling a block of time that just belongs to just you is vital.”

By the way, I snack, too…
“Of late, I’ve found Dark Chocolate Toffee covered in pistachio nuts. I found it at Trader Joe’s. One chunk should be a serving (they’re big,) but I can eat, like, five. When it comes to healthy snacks, I always have bars – Lara Bars, Kind Bars. I try to eat more greens when I can, like kale chips and edamame hummus with baby carrots.”


If you’re starting your fitness journey or coming back after a long absence…
“First and foremost, notice how you’re speaking to yourself? Are you being kind? Would you say those things to my best friend? Cheer yourself on. When you show up for class, celebrate that! You made it, you’re there and you’re on your journey. Don’t be intimidated by others who look different than you; you never know what someone’s journey may have been. Find what workouts work, know that everyone will have different results, and love yourself through it. Don’t look at the scales, how many classes, or whether or not you nailed every move; put one foot in front of the other, one day you’ll notice the changes you wish to see. Focus on all the things you’re doing right versus all the things you’re doing wrong, and things will change for you.”

Photographed at exhale Flatiron in June, 2015. All photos: Kristin Booker for Fashion.Style.Beauty. All rights reserved.








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