|Lindsay Carson is instructor extraordinaire at Chalk, teaching some of our most popular yoga and Cycle classes. Read on to see how this self-proclaimed yoga addict achieves balance, avoids counting calories and always brings a smile to the mat.CG: What’s your fitness background?
LC: The daughter of a group fitness instructor, I grew up in gyms. My 12th birthday party was a water aerobics class, no joke. A hyperactive overachiever, I spent most of high school and college on the treadmill and elliptical machine. Moving to NYC, I quickly learned that an 80-hour-a-week advertising agency gig kept my anxiety levels at a 12. Ready to try a new approach, an online deal to a yoga studio got me on the mat. Discovering a significant decrease in stress and anxiety, I became a yoga addict. Who knew breathing could fix so many things!? A year later I was enrolled in the teacher training program and, for the last 3 years, I’ve been teaching all over the city, sharing the practice that literally changed my life.
Cycle only came into play in the last year. Seeking a balance in my personal workout plan, I rediscovered my love for high energy classes and decided it was something I wanted to inspire in others.
CG: What’s your exercise philosophy?
LC: My exercise philosophy is a little different than most instructors. Yes, my classes are intense, but you’ll never hear me talk about sweating calories to earn food. I don’t subscribe to fat-shaming, nor do I believe that there is one wellness plan that is effective on all body types.
I believe that we have stopped listening to our bodies and I structure my classes to regain that awareness. Learning to listen to your body – whether it’s knowing where you have some room to challenge your limits or you need to scale it back – changes your entire viewpoint on fitness and diet. If it hurts, don’t do it. If you’re tired, rest. If you dig down deep and find you have more to give, take the opportunity to challenge your mind and your body to reach new limits.
CG: Why should members try your classes? What if they don’t think they are “class people”?
LC: I avoided group fitness for years – now it’s my favorite way to sweat. Taking a class allows you to pull from the energy of the community, finding the motivation to keep going because if the rest of the class hasn’t given up, then neither should you.
Only come take my class if you’re down for some fun. If you come to the gym to punish your body, you’re going to hate how often I remind you to smile…and cheer…and exhale all your negative energy. I always maintain a positive focus, for myself and for my students.
CG: What’s your favorite workout?
LC: I teach a class I’d want to take. An avid yogi, you’ll find me on the mat almost every day and on the bike a few times a week. In my experience, a daily practice of yoga is the best thing for my physical and mental health.
CG: We all know diet and exercise go hand in hand. What’s your top nutrition tip for Chalk members?
LC: Everything in moderation. If you deprive yourself of things you crave, you’ll binge on them later. So keep a balance in your diet, fuel your body (especially when you work out!), listen to your hunger/fullness cues, and check in with your emotions to ensure you’re not using food to replace an emotional need. So many people’s lives are ruled by food, labels, calories, etc. The minute you stop stressing about it and listen to the natural cravings of your body, nutrition becomes a delicious way to fuel your body.
P.S. – if you find portion control difficult, chew more slowly. Enjoy your food rather than inhaling it and it will be exponentially more amazing.