Malissa has been teaching yoga full time for nearly 18 years, working as a studio manager, educational program director, yoga teacher, mentor, and creator of Warriors in Motion Yoga. She’s certified as E-RYT 200 with Yoga Alliance and has taught more than 12,000 cumulative hours in a variety of forms including: Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Meditation, Restorative, Fit and yoga for kids and teens.
She has served as the Program Director for Yoga Pod Littleton, helping create the opening schedule and class descriptions, hiring and supporting a team of more than 45 teachers, developing the educational programming for the studio, establishing a mentorship program and supporting the owners in various capacities of franchise ownership leading up to and through the grand opening of the studio.
She is also the proud creator and owner of Warriors in Motion Yoga, an organization that supports the nurturing, growth and development of yoga students through community events, experiential retreats, workshops and weekly classes. Their mantra is “finding freedom through movement,” which reflects her belief that the human body, mind and spirit experience the deepest state of living when they unite through exercise and movement.
Malissa’s official start date is July 2 as we continue to grow this amazing yoga program!
Group fitness classes are a great way to get connected with others and become committed to a healthy lifestyle. At Greenwood, we offer classes for people of all levels and abilities, each designed to challenge and inspire you. We’re here to provide motivation, results and experiences for every body.
With so many classes at Greenwood — from yoga to Boot Camp,barre to indoor cycling— it’s easy to find what’s right for you. Don’t get caught up in the perceived difficulty level of the class. Instead, think about the benefits you’re looking for — balance, stability, flexibility, cardio, strength — and the formats you enjoy. Whether you’re a beginner, advanced, or somewhere in between, every class can be modified to meet you right where you are.
It’s always best to speak with your instructor before class about any injuries, limitations or goals you have. Once your instructor is aware of your needs, they will provide options during class that will work for you.
Never feel pressured to do what your neighbor is doing. If you come to an exercise that’s not right for your body on a given day, leave it out and wait for the next one that’s right for you. We want you to love the music, the workout and the coaching that leads you safely through the class at a level that suits you.
As instructors, we want you to choose the option that allows you to maintain great technique and then progress or regress that movement in accordance with the coaching provided. These adjustments might include the amount of resistance, the range of motion, the position, speed or intensity.
Most classes will begin with the simplest version of a movement or exercise and gradually add complexity and intensity as an option. This allows beginners to remain at their comfort level, while advanced participants get the appropriate challenge.
Committing to a healthy lifestyle can be hard to achieve on your own, but as part of a group, motivated both by the instructor and the community in class, you are far more likely to succeed. Whether you’re already involved or new to the club, we look forward to welcoming you into the group fitness community. We’ve got something for every body.
Pilates and yoga have many of the same goals in mind, and many see the value in both. So, what’s the difference?
The purpose of yoga is to unite the mind, body and spirit. Yoga teachers see the mind and body as one. Yoga is considered a therapeutic activity: it can be a way to heal the body and find mental harmony. It gives your body more flexibility and promotes relaxation even in the most stressful of times. Many people start taking yoga to reduce stress.
In yoga, several movements are performed on a yoga mat and the weight of the body is used as resistance. This takes a great amount of focus, and the flow in and out of each position is fluid. There are many types of yoga classes available, from very athletic Power Vinyasa to very gentle Hatha.
In Pilates, the focus is on the core, specifically the spine, so the rest of the body can move freely and grow stronger both inside and out. The work is geared towards balancing flexibility and strength, resulting in a stronger body. The major difference from yoga is, in addition to mat work, Pilates incorporates difference exercise machines.
Using Your Breath
Yoga might be the most effective exercise to combat depression or anxiety because it focuses on the mind as well as the body. In yoga, the breathing exercises help you to achieve relaxation. Throughout a yoga routine, it’s important to continuously concentrate on how the breath is being employed. Sending the breath to areas that may be tight or are holding stress can help relax these specific muscle groups in your body.
In Pilates, the breath is guided by the direction of body movement. For example, you would inhale when the body extends and exhale when the body flexes. The breath is used as a technique to provide muscles with the energy needed to exercise effectively. Concentrating on breathing technique throughout Pilates will help you engage the deeper stabilizing muscles in the body. When doing Pilates, one movement connects to the next with the mantra that movement heals.
Developing Abdominal Muscles
Yoga and Pilates both contain several poses and exercises that are suitable for toning the abdominal muscles. One of the best Pilates exercises for the core is the first exercise in the mat work named the Hundred. The jump-board is another way to target the deeper layer of abdominals. In yoga, every time you do a plank, you are using your abdominals.
Dealing with Back Pain
For individuals with back pain, both yoga and Pilates poses can provide results for stronger and more supportive back muscles. Care has to be taken with some yoga poses and Pilates exercises, as they can actually make the existing problems worse. Be sure to talk with your instructor prior to a session.
Improving Flexibility and Strength
Yoga can be used for improving the flexibility of the body, and it will also gradually increase the flexibility of your joints. Pilates focuses on trying to relax tense muscles and providing strengthening and connecting to the deeper stabilizers in the body.
Yoga and Pilates are both wonderful for toning and strengthening all of the muscles groups in your body. Pilates equipment uses springs, which provide a resistance on the body that will help build muscle and prevent bone loss.
In the end, the easiest way to decide whether Pilates or yoga is best for you is to have a go at both! Try one class of each and see what you think. You may also find you like both, as they pair well with each other. Both Pilates and yoga strengthen your muscles, get your body in better shape, relieve stress and expand flexibility.
Join us for Introduction to Chair Yoga during Yoga Immersion Weekend on Sunday, April 29, 2:15–3:30pm. A six-class series will follow in May.
Chair yoga is often misunderstood to be an age-specific practice. The truth is we would all be better off with a few chair yoga sequences under our belt, especially when back care is a concern. These days, with long hours sitting at the office or while traveling, none of us are exempt from the benefits of chair yoga.
Chair yoga uses modified poses that can be done while seated in a chair, which alleviates the up and down requirements of most yoga classes. It’s a safe and accessible practice for anyone, of any age, particularly for those who are living with physical limitations and have difficulty getting up and down in a typical yoga class.
Conquering the Physical Challenges of Aging
For seniors navigating the physical challenges that come with aging, chair yoga is an ideal practice to reap of the many benefits of yoga with the added support of the chair. Improved body awareness, balance, strength, mobility, circulation, lung capacity, digestion, mental clarity, stress and anxiety relief are a few of the many benefits that keep people coming back to their practice.
Managing Pain and Healing
Chair yoga can be a valuable part of the healing process for those facing the challenges that come with injury, surgery, chronic pain, debilitating illnesses or any condition that causes limited mobility or restricted activity. Chair yoga compliments traditional physical therapy and chemotherapy recovery, soothes and rejuvenates the body that struggles with fatigue, and relieves pain for many who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.
Combating the Effects of Sitting
Learning chair yoga sequences is also valuable for anyone whose lifestyle requires long hours of sitting. We live in an age where long periods of sitting occur whether you want them to or not, and learning some chair yoga sequences will equip you with a number of preventative tools to alleviate back and neck discomfort, keep your joints well-lubricated and your blood circulating properly, and reduce muscle tension and atrophy.
Join us for Introduction to Chair Yoga during Yoga Immersion Weekend on Sunday, April 29, 2:15–3:30pm. A six-class series will follow in May.
Are you suffering from chronic or occasional back pain? Multiple studies have shown that yoga can be the solution to relieving back soreness if particular attention is given to the correct muscular usage and alignment. In fact, several studies have discovered that yoga can be even more beneficial than the usual care for back pain when it comes to improving back function. According to a study published in the journal, Archivesof Internal Medicine, people who took yoga or stretching classes are twice as likely to cut back on pain medications for their back aches as people who managed symptoms on their own.
There are certain yoga postures that can stretch and strengthen your muscles and return your back to its proper alignment.
*It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you are prone to pain. Once you receive the approval of your doctor, try these soothing poses in the sequence below.*
A great way to begin or wind down your day. Start on all fours on your hands and knees. Bring your knees as wide as your mat with your big toes touching. Then, stretch your arms out in front of you, sinking your hips down on your heels and resting your forehead on the mat. Hold for 10 breaths.
Table Top to Cow and Cat pose
Come up from Child’s pose and position knees under hip bones and wrists under shoulders, aligning or stacking your joints into Table Top position. You can start by dropping your head and letting your neck muscles relax. As you inhale, go into Cow pose by lifting your head and tailbone and letting your belly drop toward the floor. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. As you exhale, come into Cat pose by pulling your belly up, rounding your spine toward the ceiling and tucking your chin toward your chest.
Continue to synchronize these movements with your breath or spend a few extra breaths in Cow, as this really helps to open the lower back. Take 5-10 breaths here.
Downward Facing Dog
From Table Top, tuck your toes and begin to straighten your legs and lift your hips, coming into an inverted “V” shape. Move your hands forward slightly if needed and actively push the floor away. If you feel back pain beyond a gentle stretch, or if your spine rounds due to short hamstrings, try bending your knees and pressing your chest towards your thighs. Move gently in the pose for a few breaths, bending and straightening legs and then hold for 5-10 breaths.
Standing forward bend or Rag Doll
From Downward Facing Dog, walk your feet toward your hands, bringing them hip distance apart. Bend your knees slightly and fold your torso over your thighs, touching your belly to your legs if possible. Allow your arms to hang toward the floor or grab your elbows with the opposite hand. Let your head hang freely. Stay here for 10 breaths.
Plank to Cobra or Upward Facing Dog
Cobra pose-from a Plank, lower to your belly and position your hands under your shoulders. As you inhale, press your hands into mat and lift your chest. Keep your core engaged (drawing your belly button to your spine) and point your toes so that your knee caps lift off the mat.
Upward Facing Dog pose-if Cobra feels like it is enough, stay with this pose. If you want to move into Upward Facing Dog, press into the mat, further straightening your arms and keeping your wrists under shoulders. Press the tops of your feet and hands into the flooras they are the only points in contact with the mat. Make sure to keep an engaged core, draw shoulders back and lift sternum forward.
Come back to Downward Facing Dog for a few breaths and then complete this sequence with Child’s pose.
The above series can get you started. If you are newer to yoga, do this sequence once or twice a day, trying to stay in each posture for the recommended breaths. If you have any questions about these poses, please ask any of your GATC Yoga instructors. We would be happy to help!
At Greenwood Yoga Teacher Training we believe that yoga teacher training is about so much more than learning to teach down dog. Greenwood’s well-respected Yoga Alliance registered 200-hour program will empower you to understand the depth of the yoga tradition while learning to apply it to your life.
With a solid foundation in alignment, yogic philosophy, and practical teaching skills, Amy Baker and our experienced teacher trainers will help you find your unique voice and teaching style. Hone your skills of communication and education so you can share this life-changing practice with others in a welcoming and accessible way. Whether you’re looking to become a yoga instructor or simply want a deeper experience in your practice, our curriculum boils down the complexities of the modern yoga tradition to the key fundamentals so you’ll come away with a solid understanding of a safe, inspiring, and authentic approach to practice and teaching. You can expect to be challenged on all levels and create relationships with fellow Trainees, these bonds will last a lifetime.
Here are some additional areas that we will cover during our time together:
In-depth breakdown of asanas
Clear and concise cueing
Verbal/hands on adjustments
Anatomy, Chakras and Koshas
Philosophy and History of Yoga
Extensive emphasis on practice teaching
Find your voice and teach dynamic yoga classes and learn to public speak
We look forward to connecting with you further, answering your questions and getting to know you!
Please join us for an informational Session:
Friday, July 20
4:30pm Vin/Yin class
5:45pm Information session
Once a year, yoga enthusiasts from across the state gather at the annual Yoga Immersion Weekend at Greenwood Athletic Club to celebrate the art of yoga. Open to both members and non-members, our immersion weekend offers an opportunity to experience different types of Yoga than what you might regularly attend during the week. The weekend is also designed for everyone, from beginners to advanced, there are yoga classes for you. While we encourage everyone to take advantage of the entire weekend of classes, you can also register for individual classes. We encourage you to take a few days for yourself, and experience the magic of our Yoga Immersion Weekend. Here are five unique experiences you can look forward to during our third annual Yoga Retreat “Staycation” April 27-April 30, 2017.
1-Ignite Your Yoga Practice During Your “Staycation”
One of the best highlights of our retreat is its proximity. For our Yoga Staycation, you do not have to go anywhere as all of the weekend’s activities will be hosted in our state of the art facility. Our retreat is considerably more affordable than going to a destination yoga retreat, and GATC also offers an opportunity to book a spa or a massage as part of your experience at Ethereal Day Spa. Whether this is your first time doing yoga, or you are a seasoned practitioner, for those who can’t get away for a destination retreat, our yoga weekend offers an extremely manageable time commitment to practice and continue learning and exploring different forms of yoga.
2-Get to Know our GATC Instructors, and Instructors Across the State
Whether you are already a GATC member or a local community member, there’s something for everyone during Yoga Immersion Weekend. This year we are looking forward to having Dana Hanizeski, a Yoga Instructor from Pura Vida, join us for our Iyengar class. Dana will be working with participants to explore Iyengar teachings. In this class, you can expect to use props, straps, holsters, and blocks, which will allow you to practice and work with deeper poses. It is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about standing postures and alignment, as Dana and other instructors work with you to make sure that you are mastering your alignment in those standing postures.
We are also looking forward to hosting Sarita Shrestha, owner of Tibet Imports in Denver, as she hosts a Prayer Mala Bead Workshop. Each participant will have the opportunity to make their own personalized prayer mala, learning about the meaning behind each of the stones, how they are used in meditation, and the significance of the beads. Everyone will also learn how to string and tie your own mala.
3-Try Different Types of Yoga
Yoga goers from all background levels will appreciate the various types of yoga offerings available over our staycation weekend at GATC. Our opening session on Thursday Advanced Silent Thermal Yoga with Jen Ridout explores the power of a non-verbal Thermal Yoga class. As classical music plays in the background, students will cycle through a series of 26 poses. Our Friday evening candle lit class Vin/Yin with Mary France offers 30 minutes of breath connected movement, Vinyasa, and then ends with 30 minutes of Yin Yoga, which includes long holds using props on the mats. All of our classes this weekend will have extra help from our GATC instructors who will be walking around to help participants correctly get into the various yoga positions.
Drew Overholser will guide participants through one of our most popular classes, Meditation Workshop, as he teaches participants about the diverse spectrum of ways in which meditation can be a valuable tool for managing stress, increasing creativity, and releasing muscle tension and tightness. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing, and learn a simple yet effective way to meditate.
We are excited to offer two different workshops that utilize wireless headphone technology to take your Yoga practices to the next level. Sound-Off Vinyasa with Amy Baker uses noise isolating wireless LED headphones to hear the instructor while moving through the motion of yoga with sounds curated by DJ Jilliam Keavney. Our Sunday evening class Sound Off Yoga Nidra with Layne Steege promotes deep healing on all levels, using the headphones to help you enter into an ultimate rest state, allowing you to release tension and anxiety.
4-Combine Yoga and Strength Training and Take Your Fitness to a New Level
Yoga practices can be easily integrated into your daily workout routines, particularly if you are working with weights. Saturday morning Marda Zechiel will be leading everyone though the Introduction to Yoga Sculpt Workshop, which includes a combination of compound exercises and working your full body for over an hour. In addition to teaching you the basics of Vinyasa Yoga, the session will focus on correct alignment and safe movement with weights. Yoga Sculpt provides a foundation for how you can reshape your body using yoga and weights.
Later in the day, join us for Happy Hips and Healthy Back with Elena Haykin which introduces participants to important techniques for how to prevent low back strain and injury, helping you achieve a supple healthy back. The workshop introduces new practice techniques for practicing yoga that you can integrate into your daily activity.
5-Gain Confidence in Yoga Practices
If the thought of Handstanding makes you want to head for the hills, then our Sunday class ABC’s of Inversion: Handstands for Everyone with Amy Baker is for you! Amy will go over the simple basics of handstanding with no fuss, and get you on the road to inverting, leaving you challenged, empowered and ready for the upside-down journey. Afterward, Michelle Marchildon will lead our Backbends That Feel Good workshop, which will be especially beneficial for anyone who is used to sitting at their desk typing all day. This workshop will help you with proper technique and skills to master the backbend, and help you down the path to opening up your shoulders more and an overall healthier spine.
We invite you to join us for this annual event that is sure to change the way that you think about and practice Yoga. Just fifteen minutes South of downtown Denver, you can dive into your yoga practice and experience Greenwood Athletic Club’s Yoga’s Best! Take the weekend off and enjoy your staycation here at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club.
To view the classes visit The Yoga Immersion page where you can register for the entire weekend or one class or call the club to register at 303.770.2582 x274.
Don’t mix it up? Beginners should sample a few yoga classes to find one style that they prefer and that is right for their level of fitness. Trying many various styles can be confusing when you’re starting your journey into yoga.
As a beginner, the disadvantages of practicing more than one style include:
-risking injury in a class that is inappropriate for your fitness level
-not being aware of how to modify poses that are too advanced or inappropriate for certain injuries
Private yoga lessons are a great way to begin your journey, giving you the foundation and confidence to step into any of our complementary yoga classes.
Mix it up? Step out of your comfort zone and avoid complacency. After practicing a specific style of yoga on a regular basis for at least six months, it’s a good idea to branch out into different styles. Challenge yourself or maybe explore more restorative or meditative styles. If you have been practicing only heated Vinyasa classes, give an unheated Vinyasa class a try. Mix it up and you will be rewarded with even greater benefits. Most styles don’t fit nicely into one specific category. Many of the styles have crossover techniques that improve fitness, mental health and spiritual growth. Some styles are slow and meditative with a focus on breathing and mental concentration, while other styles focus on the physical aspects of poses and fast movements which result in better fitness and flexibility. Practicing both styles, it is possible to gain mental concentration, spirituality and physical fitness.
The benefits of using several yoga styles can include:
-maximizing the benefit to both the mind and the body
-achieving fitness goals while maintaining meditative focus
-maximizing the crossover between yoga styles
Ultimately, it’s a personal decision whether to use one style of yoga or many. For beginners, it may be best to commit to try different options and select a specific style until after learning the poses and basic breathing techniques. Advanced practitioners may be able to balance various styles at one time,resulting in tremendous growth.
If you’re not sure what class to try or would like additional information, send me an email with your fitness level, goals and questions and I will give you a list of classes that would be best for you.
At Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club, we offer 136 classes each week taught by experienced fitness professionals. We are always looking for more talented individuals to join our team.
Our instructors have over 900 years of collective teaching experience, hold national certifications like AFAA, ACE and NASM, have earned certifications in licensed Les Mills and Beach Body programs and have not only pursued numerous continuing education credits, but have also completed over 10,000 hours of shared yoga training. This education and experience, combined with a passion for what we do and who we serve, affords us the opportunity to provide each and every member a truly exceptional group fitness experience.
We offer a wide selection of class formats designed to accommodate diverse fitness goals and appeal to a variety of interests. If you’re looking for a total body workout, we offer: Code Green, Breakfast Club, BODYSTEP, SWEAT, Total Body Fit, Cycle & Circuit and willpower & grace.
If you’ve got 30 minutes and want to be better at all that you do from everyday life to your favorite sports, CXWORX is the perfect core workout for you.
For those interested in a total body workout using light to moderate weights with lots of repetition, BODYPUMP delivers.
H.I.I.T. (High Intensity Interval Training) offers seasoned exercisers a new challenge and new exercisers a quick way to see results. We offer: H.I.I.T., INSANITY and CVI.
Yoga provides an opportunity for peace and tranquility achieved through focused training. It can change your physical and mental capacity quickly, while preparing the mind and body for long-term health. We offer: Alignment, Power and Basic Vinyasa classes as well as Classical Hatha, Kundalini, Restorative, Candlelight and Thermal Yoga. We are looking to add Ashtanga as well.
Indoor cycling classes are known for energy-infused music and motivating instructors who guide you through an imaginary course. We’ve added Performance IQ to increase engagement with participants and provide performance metrics. We offer: Shift Up/Speed up, H.I.I.T. the Road, High Gear, Ride & Shine and an Endurance Ride.
If you prefer to “Ditch the Workout and Join the Party!”, then Zumba is the class for you. We are also looking for UJAM instructors.
If you have a passion for fitness, helping others achieve their fitness goals and offering a group fitness experience like no other, we would love the opportunity to see if the GATC Fitness Team is right for you. Please submit your resume to: email@example.com along with any of the aforementioned certifications.
To look for more instructor opportunities at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club visit our employment page.
Our hamstrings do so much and keeping them healthy takes some work. Hamstrings bend and straighten our legs, so if you are sedentary, you may have weak or tight hamstrings from poor posture and suffer lower back pain. If you are active and engage in sports, you need strong and flexible hamstrings for optimal performance. The hamstrings are at high risk for injury because they cover both the knee and the hip joints. If they are weak or tight, they are vulnerable to strains or tears during exercise. Strong, flexible hamstrings help increase speed and range of motion for runners, cyclists, swimmers, basketball players and tennis players. Stretching your hamstrings also increases blood flow to these muscles and improves your flexibility. One of the primary excuses I hear from people about not starting a yoga program is the biggest reason why they should! “I am not flexible so I can’t do yoga. I can’t even touch my toes.” Starting a mindful yoga practice will improve the health of your hamstrings and so much more! A few hamstring exercises will help, but an hour yoga class will warm you up, prepare your body and mindfully stretch and strengthen your hamstrings.
Still skeptical? Send me an email or give me a call. I would be happy to help you start a yoga program that fits your needs from our schedule of more than 30 classes per week.