I decided to include Dishan in the weekly portrait series, first because she is gorgeous and a real character, but also because she is part of my weekly butt kicking series at her business Human@Ease, where she trains me. I asked Dishan a few questions:
I fell in love with GP about 5 years ago and I knew I wanted to open my business here. There is such an awesome sense of community. You have this amazing blend of people that gives GP that trendy feel but still with some original NY attitude.
Where do you get your daily coffee?
I usually make my own in my french press … but if I don’t, I usually order from 5 Leaves or Lokal. They are the close by.
I am a sucker for anything with almond paste.
What is your favorite exercise?
That would have to be the deadlift using a trap bar. Sometimes my workout consists of just that one exercise and I am fried! I understand many of your readers don’t know what this exercise is, but believe me when I tell you, you can get an amazing full body workout in under 7 minutes with just this ONE exercise!! No joke.
Favorite place in GP?
Hmmm, this is a tough one! There are so many great places in GP and all the local businesses take such pride in their establishments and do their best to make you feel so welcome! I really couldn’t pick just one. But if I was forced to choose, I love being here at my own business in GP because it’s such a stress-free environment and I get to make others feel welcome.
Donation based yoga is still the hottest workout out there. It has morphed into a social phenomenon in which tons of people come together to achieve fitness & well being. Student donations make yoga affordable for all to bring wellness to all.
Human@Ease aims to create a donation based yoga program where people give what they can during class and a percentage of revenue is given to a local charity. TRUE GIVING makes donation based yoga even better, keeping wellness affordable, and giving to local charities to further spread the love.
“We take care of our bodies through fitness, why should we stop there? With this program students not only benefit but we get to help others in the process.” – Alexander Smith (Human@Ease Trainer)
Students will vote at the end of each class for which organization to donate. This way each student will know where their donation is going and how it is helping out the community. What is better than being able to help others as we work to improve ourselves?
Human@Ease would like to welcome you to visit the gym.
Just because you weigh a buck twenty soaking wet doesn’t mean you can’t afford to lose some excess body fat. Yes, even skinny people need to exercise. So if your tone is feeling not so toned, contact Human@Ease and we’ll give you a complimentary body assessment when you mention ‘Greenpointers,’
Stop by Human@Ease and mention ‘Greenpointers’ for 15% OFF!
Apply the discount to any drop-in Class, Personal Training session, or Infrared sauna session*
*Please note that personal training and infrared sauna sessions require an appointment
After several weeks of taking it easy physically—a tumble from my bike during the New York Century left me with a bruised tailbone—I sampled a fitness class at Human at Ease, a whole-body wellness studio that Jen raves about. Knowing little about Intensati except there’s a call-and-response aspect, I brought a water bottle and an open mind.
The instructor, Elina, welcomed me and quickly explained the concept: each move in the aerobic circuit is labeled a principle (like focus or desire), and there’s a mantra associated with each (“My desire is strong”). Imagine Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley set to dance music. She started the class with a “share,” something all Intensati classes begin with, about an aspect in her life that could use some improving and what she’s doing about it. Continue reading →
We’ve all been there, working away for hours, focused on only the task at hand – maybe staring at a computer screen as we write, maybe it’s hours bent over jewelry wire, or time spent standing in front of a canvas. And then we look up and realize it’s 4PM and all we’ve eaten all day was that bagel with our morning coffee. That we’ve been in the same position for hours.
Friends, this is no way for a creative entrepreneur to live!
Whether you freelance, working from home or coffee shops for multiple clients, or are starting your own business, like so many of the members of Work It Brooklyn, you’re spending a lot of time focused on the business you’re trying to grow. But how much time are you spending focused on yourself?
Our next event, April 18th from 7 to 9PM and graciously hosted by our friends at Human At Ease in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is centered on how to stay healthy and well while you are focused on growing your business, and the best way to make all the parts of your life balance while you are doing this.
Whether you’re working on starting your own business, freelancing from the cramped confines of your studio apartment, or a member of our community with a focus on food, health and wellness, this event will provide answers to achieving a better, healthier, life balance.
Don’t worry – we’ll also have our signature speed-networking!
About our Host: Human at Ease is a fitness and wellness studio whose goal and desire in strengthening the “whole” person is to facilitate an overall sense of well-being & fulfillment, and to improve overall quality of life using one or more of our various offerings. Their objective is for the community to recognize Human@Ease’s name for what it is- a haven for strength & serenity. A place where we can all learn to “Love Ourselves”. At Human@Ease we all share in a common vision of positive human change.
I ran into Liz, a fellow Greenpointer yesterday while working out at Human@Ease. She said, “you’re the reason why I came here!” That makes me feel all sweet and mushy inside. You know how I feel about Human@Ease. The place rocks, my workout routine rocks, and I feel great working out for only one half hour per week. Plus I am able to give my boyfriend a piggyback ride, now! Human@Ease has a sweet deal going on now. Like one in which you can save over $100! Choose from Three Options:
$25 for two 30-minute personal-training sessions (a $130 value)
$45 for four 30-minute personal-training sessions (a $260 value)
$65 for six 30-minute personal-training sessions (a $390 value)
Personal trainers acquaint guests with strength-training machines and guide muscles through fluid conditioning exercises during 30-minute sessions.
I can do it! After 12 weeks of training for only a half an hour per week with Dishan, the fitness training guru at Human@Ease, I can do, not only one, but two unassisted chin-ups! That is hanging from a dead weight and pulling myself all the way up.
That and a slew of other improvements in my physical composition and life in general.
You asked for them: the dreaded before and afters photos. As I explained in my original article, we weren’t aiming for anything dramatic in my appearance, but I do look pretty buff if I do say so myself! And I feel great, too. I have more energy, I feel stronger, I get great sleep and after a workout I feel like I can do anything.
The “I can do anything” feeling combined with my general stubbornness made me foolishly lift an 80lb bag of ice up two flights of stairs and I was pretty hurting for a few days in my lower back area, but I survived. I can also squat my boyfriend with no pain and only gain and now carrying my bicycle up to my third floor apartment is a piece of cake.
Aside from chin-up ability and looking like a super hero, the goals were that I maintain my body weight and maintain my body fat but gain lean body mass. So build muscles basically!
My weight stayed the same: 120lbs
I went from 17.4% to 16% body fat.
My lean body mass went from 99lb of my weight to 101lbs. Meaning more of my weight is lean weight. Meaning my metabolism is faster. (In my mind that means I can eat more!)
The change in my measurements is interesting, too and have made me more proportional.
I gained 1/4 inch around my neck, 1/2 inch around my biceps, and 1/2 inch around my chest.
I lost a 1/4 inch around my thighs and 1/2 inch from my hips!
I can now fit into some of those jeans I was hoping to one day fit into again (with a little less agony.) And a funny thing happened when I brought a few dresses into the tailor to get the tops taken in: they fit!
When I started I could do 1 push-up and 10 negatives. (a negative is starting at the top and lowering down). Now I can 13 push-ups. These are not your regular push-ups. Try doing them super slow, not using momentum and lowering down almost to the floor. It sucks and Dishan puts a little pillow you can stuff you face into (or as I like to do, take a nap on.)
With the chin-ups I could do 1 assisted and 6 negatives. Now I can do 3 unassisted, 2 assisted and 6 negatives. They are so hard! But you feel so good afterwards.
Honestly, aside from this workout I have done nothing else. I am usually a jogger, but haven’t been doing that and my diet has not changed at all. I eat pretty healthy but growing up in a Sicilian home, I devour bread and pasta and have a hard time turning down sweets. So, nothing has changed except this 1/2 hour of an intense butt kicking workout.
It has really helped me in other ways as well. I have more energy so I can do more. Being able to get through a work-out and get better inspires me to improve in other areas of my life, like to be more organized and take on challenges that seem impossible. When I started a chin-up was impossible and now it is a reality. These little accomplishments in life are big values that improve self-esteem, motivation and help me believe in myself. It isn’t just a workout.
There is an absurd tradition in my Sicilian American family to precede a giant holiday meal, like Thanksgiving, with a giant pasta dish. This year it was my Nonna’s so called “last lasagna.” A doom and gloom mentality is a typical trait in any old Sicilian woman. So is making a lasagna that somehow bypasses the “brain tells stomach to stop eating” mechanism.
For most of us, Thanksgiving is the first of many upcoming family force feeding sessions and I am already doing the cram dance to get into my jeans. Instead of buying a size up and letting the holiday feeding frenzy rule me, I am taking charge and for the next twelve weeks am getting my butt (literally – it’s huge) into major shape with the help of fitness trainer and life coach Dishan at Human@Ease.
My version of working out is a warm up walk to the cafe, an espresso, run for a couples of miles, then forget to stretch or hydrate. I need professional help!
On my first day Dishan took my weight (120 lbs) and my body fat (17.4% – Can you guess where all the fat is stored?) and these embarrassing BEFORE photos of me, which after 12 weeks will hopefully reveal a toner, stronger and less junk-in-the-trunk Jen.
It will be as much of a challenge for Dishan, who has over 15 years of experience training, as it will be for me, given that I’m not in horrendous shape. It’s much easier to see dramatic results in someone who needs to lose a lot of poundage. Our goal is to keep my body fat stable and increase my lean muscle mass. I don’t want to lose weight but rather build muscle.
Did you see the ladies arm wrestling video? I am a wimp, especially in my upper body, and my goal is to rule bitches and wimpy dudes during the next competition.
Problem: I hate gyms! But Human@Ease is different. It’s a zen gym, no annoying house music and no muscle heads. With no more than four people using the machines at a time and a staff member there help, it’s very peaceful. Plus there are loads of classes like yoga and zumba.
Dishan introduced me to Introversion Strength Training, her own meditative approach. It’s done for 30 minutes once or twice a week. That’s it! It strengthens and tones by doing high intensity weight training on machines with ultra slow repetitions until just before muscle fatigue. And it’s a self-training method, which means you learn how to do it yourself.
But what about the cardio? After each set I was profusely sweating, my heart rate was elevated and I was majorly out of breath. Dishan explained that your heart and lungs support your muscles, so the cardiovascular systems has no choice but to get stronger to accommodate the improvements of the muscular system. And by increasing the intensity of your workout you can decrease the frequency, which is perfect for me because I need time to write for this blog!
My first few workouts have been tough but very energizing and motivating and I hope to be able to do at least one chin up by the end of my twelve weeks.
The whole workout was a mini life coaching session wrapped up in a high intensity workout delivered by the most adorable, lively and fun person, who can do chin ups like a champ!
Lately I have been so busy and overwhelmed and feeling like, “I can’t go on!” That is the same way I felt on my last repetitions.
“Just one more,” Dishan said.
“I can’t!” I said while horribly contorting my face and grunting. (against the rules!)
“Yes you can, Jen. Just try.”
But I could! When I accomplished what seemed to be the last impossible rep, it was like jumping over a mini life hurdle that left me buzzing and inspired to accomplish other things I think I can’t do.
When it was all over I relaxed in the infrared detoxifying sauna. Try it! It improves your complexion, helps fight off colds and is supposedly a good hangover cure. The price is right at $15 for 30 minutes, too.
Check back in 12 weeks for what I hope are not as extremely embarrassing AFTER photos, and I will be wearing neon yellow bike shorts instead.