I am a Mind + Body Connector, a Soulful Adventurer, a Constant Learner, an Athlete, Mom, Partner, and Friend

The short story is that since 2010, a few months after my first child was born, I have been teaching strength training. My first 8 years as a fitness professional were focused on prenatal and postpartum women, blending strength training with entertainment for their babies. When I got serious about meditation and got sober, I switched directions and began Stoking Radiance with the understanding that as we train our bodies, we train our whole selves to show up with more power and potential. The physical wasn’t enough, in my opinion, so I included mindfulness, a training of our minds towards awareness, for a “whole person” experience.

Before teaching fitness, I taught adults, middle and high school English to Speakers of Other Languages, coached a high school and age group swim team as well as high school and middle school students to run the LA Marathon through the organization Students Run LA.

With two kids that are growing up, I have seen that kids need ways to build their strength and their fitness literacy that aren’t getting offered as much through their specialized sports experiences. I have expanded my fitness offerings to youth classes as well…all with the idea of strengthening body and mind.

My own fitness journey really began when I decided to make fitness a central element of my life. If you’d like to read about that, keep scrolling.

My Certifications:

  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer
  • TRX Qualified Functional and Suspension Trainer
  • AFPA Certified Youth Strength and Conditioning Specialist
  • SpiderFit Kids Youth Physical Literacy Specialist
  • Sounds True Certified Meditation Teacher
  • Open Heart Project Certified Shambhala Meditation Teacher
Sara in a plank in a studio

I am…

Deeply committed to honoring each person as their unique and beautiful self both in body and mind

Wondrously devoted to the deep and shared connection of the human experience through love, self-compassion and awareness

Passionately dedicated to equipping each one of us with the tools we need to show up shining from the inside out through body and mind

Through fitness and practices of stillness, my work is to fan the flame of radiance so that it shines more fully. When we take care of ourselves, we become more open to seeing the world with new eyes. I provide tools to strengthen your body and your mind: full body strength training tied together with meditation and celebration.

I believe that joy and laughter alongside digging down to challenge yourself yields results that synergize the body and mind. This is a movement: Tapping into your strength and creating the habits of stillness, attention, awareness and wonder will give you eyes to see the world in its infinite possibility.

My Journey

I hit rock bottom when my mom came home from her brain surgery. I was 14. One day my mom was my mom. The next, she was transformed into someone who was forever mentally changed. That was years before I started drinking.

Since that moment, I have used many methods to get through loss and anxiety, towards recovery: religion, therapy, spirituality, exercise, smoking, alcohol. Each tool has served a purpose and has led me to Stoking Radiance.

In my teens and 20s, I found solace in prayer. The stillness of contemplative prayer brought my soul relief while the connection with my church family provided me the community to be safe in the grief I experienced after my mom died.

I left the church in my mid 20s and began honing my fitness, fulfilling the promise I had made to myself when I was 18 that I would stay fit both in mind and body to avoid what had happened to my mom. I swam, rollerbladed, ran, biked to work, salsa danced, found my way into running, then into triathlon, and then into strength training.

I also started drinking wine. A drink a night became 3 glasses or maybe a bottle of wine as I transitioned jobs, got married, moved, had a baby – all without my mom. Wine became my trusty friend and easy, though unsatisfying connecting device.

When I stopped drinking alcohol in 2017, I knew I was not living in alignment with the integrated body and mind, themes I was teaching in my fitness classes. I could see the destructive patterns my old “friend” alcohol had allowed me to perpetuate, and through my still budding meditation practice and therapy, I could see that there was an ocean of emotion I had been covering with a blanket.

Meditation quickly became a central part of my recovery. It has been a salve through the intensity of being with my emotions without my old numbing out tools.

Sara Meditating

I also discovered that meditation and strength training go hand in hand. What we learn as we move and push our bodies translates right into tools we can use for training our minds. At the same time, practicing awareness during our workouts augments how our body responds – your muscles fire when you pay attention to them.

Now, I’m taking the most effective tools I’ve learned and am learning (I’m always growing!) and putting them into Stoking Radiance. Here I’ll be sharing the struggles, the challenges, the failures, the joys, the connections that I make and have made along the way, all through the vehicle of building strength and cultivating stillness.

We are our radiant selves when we tend our bodies and minds. It is by Stoking your Radiance that you fuel your heart and body.

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