Quick and candid conversation with fitness expert Judith Flores about the fusion of fitness and yoga, overcoming heartbreak & homelessness and whether or not she'll let me bail on my Ketogenic diet.
By John Holcomb
Who is Judith Flores
Judith is the owner of Emerge Fitness & Yoga Training. She’s a fitness expert for weight management, nutrition, and human performance as well as the dedicated mother of two boys, Ivan and Gael. Like many of the Yogis we've spoke with she's high achieving and remarkably resilient.
According to Larry Thraen, the owner of the Yoga of You, “Judith is 100% unstoppable and unbreakable. Whoever meets her realizes immediately that the concept of "impossible" is not part of her belief system. I’m so impressed as her as a person and a professional. It’s not difficult to see why her clients find her so inspiring."
Over the last 16 years, Judith has serviced more than 25,000 training sessions and holds numerous personal training certifications including from the highly coveted National Academy of Sports Medicine's (NASM) Optimum Performance Training© (OPT) and Professional Fitness Instructor Training (PFIT). She's also certified as a Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Rehabilitative Exercise Specialist and Cancer Exercise Specialist. (She's also a CPR instructor for the AMA and a P90X Live instructor to boot)
Judith & Yoga
Judith is currently blending her extensive background in fitness with her newly acquired 200 RYT Yoga certification through The Yoga of You to launch - Emerge with Judith - Yoga and Fitness Training. Her classes and programs tailor together fitness, yoga, breath work and 'conscious languaging' to help her clients fulfill their overall health, fitness and lifestyle goals.
5 Questions for Judith Flores
JOHN: Before we get going...I'm dying to bail on my Ketogenic diet? Do I have the green light???
JUDITH: I would say… How is that working for you? Ha Ha Ha. I don’t agree with any diet that cannot be realistically upheld for the rest of your life. What are your goals? Are you doing it to lose weight? It’ll come right back as soon as you integrate those carbs again. Are you doing it to feel better? Carbs (whole and slow) make people happy, so I doubt that will work. I am a firm believer of whole food diets. I personally like The Whole30 because we are all different. With this one in particular I got to experience an amazing high from not needing added sugar from my chocolate vices. By going through a 30 day detox of added sugar, all processed foods, beans, grains, dairy and legumes, I was able to realize that my body does not like dairy because It caused stomach issues. It does not like too many grains or gluten because it caused inflammation. Sugar caused fatigue after the high. I recommend you do a detox of some sort and slowly integrate your “favorite” foods and feel what you feel. You may be surprised that you don’t feel so great and then make the wise choice of cutting down on it but not deleting it from your diet forever. Balance is key.
JOHN: Great advice. I'm so bailing on my diet...
JOHN: Ok...first (actual) question. "Can you tell us about a particular “a-ha” yoga moment that led to a major breakthrough in your practice?
JUDITH: My ‘a-ha’ moment was when I realized that yoga was in everything. I thought I had been doing "my yoga" all my life but I didn’t recognize it until I started 200hr yoga teacher training. From the moment I signed up to when the first class started, my life suddenly turned upside down and went sideways! I got dumped, found myself homeless while at the same time running a gym and being a mom to two beautiful boys. It was crazy. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through...
I remember a point, the first week of teacher training when I was so mentally and emotionally exhausted from all the heartbreak and failure when I suddenly felt it (my yoga) shining through me. That was my calm within the chaos. That was my yoga. That was me breathing.
Despite everything around me being ripped apart and torn to pieces, I realized that I could not be broken, would not be broken. I was able to create a calmness within me to shelter the storm. I understood that happiness was an "inside job". I now receive life as a gift. Every single part of it. Even the uncomfortable parts are simply the Lotus emerging...
JOHN: How do you feel your high school experience would have been different had your teachers been yoga-certified?
JUDITH: Teachers?? I was too busy hanging out with my friends and conversing with my mother about metaphysics. I was very blessed in high school and all was chill in McAllen, Texas.
JOHN: My mom and I bonded over metaphysics growing up as well. What kind of stuff did you talk about?
JUDITH: She gifted me “Power Through Metphysics” by Connie Mendez (in spanish, non the less) when I was 13. We talked about the power of our thoughts and words. How we manifest our reality. How we were here now, again, and how we would be here until we mastered our SELF. Yeah, pretty intense for a 13 year old. That’s when I knew that I was an old soul. This book also helped me embrace her physical death. Death is simply a transfer of energy, and even though she no longer lives in her body she lives thru me and my children.
JOHN: Do you have a guilty pleasure you’d like to share with us to prove that Yogis are people too?
Well, I love chocolate, anything chocolate. Cake, cookies, brownies, truffles, pretzels, nuts, shakes, fruit, toffee. My clients know that whenever they go out of town, to bring chocolate. Oh, it has to be dark and dark only.
JOHN: What’s a misconception non-yoga practitioners have about yoga that kinda bugs or entertains you?
JUDITH: When they tell me, “I'm not flexible. I can't sit still. Or it's not challenging.” without ever trying it. My biggest pet peeve is when anyone who knocks anything before trying it or informing themselves about it.
JOHN: Since we’re talking pet peeves & flexibility….Any chance you can put an end to this pesky “strength training reduces flexibility” myth?
JUDITH ANSWER: Yes I can. But... if your program only has strength training, expect to be tight. I incorporate flexibility thru yoga asana and myofascial release for the connective tissue in all my fitness programming.
JOHN: Is there a movie, book or song that has stuck with you recently that you’d like to recommend?
JUDITH: There are two songs that stick with me...
Let it Go by James Bay - When I miss my ex, I just listen to this song and remember that unconditional love is pretty awesome. Loving someone enough to let them go is the truest love of all. I just love him unconditionally...but from a distance.
The other is Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth - This one reminds me of the beauty we all have inside and that it’s ok to be me. That the beauty inside amplifies the outer beauty. So be vulnerable. Love hard. Live fiercely.
JOHN: I bow to the divine in you, Judith.
JUDITH: Namaste, John
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