Mindful Fit Pro Spotlight

January’s Spotlight shines on Angie Reens.

Angie Reens is a Pilates, barre, and mindfulness teacher, specializing in guided meditations, mindset coaching and gentle movement. She’s taught at Village Pilates Studio and managed a corporate Pure Barre studio in Orland Park.  Since launching Rooted Mindful Movement, Angie leads one on one mindfulness + movement sessions and offers workshops on mindfulness.

Angie and I met under the mentorship of Brittany LaBotz. For almost a year we’ve met each month to share goals, bounce ideas off one another, and trouble-shoot challenges in our business with other movement instructors, so I was excited to learn more about how Angie’s mindfulness journey began.

What does mindfulness mean to you?  Mindfulness is a conscious choice made every day to practice self-awareness, curiosity, compassion for self and others, so that you can witness thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and the surrounding environment objectively – through a lens of love.

After I started teaching Pilates in 2009, I made the decision to take a huge leap of faith and leave my corporate job as an account executive at a major advertising agency to pursue my dream of teaching Pilates full time!  I knew Pilates and the connection it provided me to my body was one of the pieces that had been missing – it was a blessing and gift of light which fueled me in a way no other form of movement had – I felt called to share.   

Throughout my years of teaching I felt this desire to keep exploring – I thought to myself there’s still more.. something is missing.  Fast forward to beginning my own meditation and mindfulness journey – which I am proud to say is one of the forms of support which has guided my path from removing alcohol from my life (5 year birthday in January).  As I witnessed the shift in my whole being it occurred to me: Mindfulness is a critical part of the work, how can I include this into my teaching? After lots of trial and error, it all just fell into place. This was another piece to the puzzle! 

Mindfulness is such a beautiful compliment and extension of making sense of it all – learning to accept, explore and adjust.  Living a mindful life is my purpose and sharing the tools for support is my hope for those who are curious about living a life full of peace & joy.  

What does your mindfulness practice look like? My routine starts with morning prayer – asking for guidance and giving thanks, which leads into breath work & meditation.  Making the conscious choice to start my day from a place of love helps set a tone for the day. It allows me to immediately look inward, feel into my body and notice objectively what’s showing up and where I need to focus my energy and attention.  For me, it softens the need to look too far into the future. It guides me moment to moment – which for my brain is calming and grounding. 

Daily movement is a non-negotiable when it comes to my mindfulness practice – it may be getting out in nature and walking my dogs with my husband on the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan, grounding myself with an outdoor run or just turning on my favorite playlist and moving intuitively! Writing and journaling is also extremely beneficial for my nervous system; it provides space and clarity especially on days of feeling unworthy or having extra chatter replay in my mind. 

Why is mindfulness an important part of your teaching? I’ve found it’s the missing piece to any form of movement – being present and self aware supports and guides the process of learning, listening and embodiment. It not only builds resilience, trust and authenticity, but helps to navigate stress, burnout and anxiety. It is FUN, and provides lifelong transformation, opening up space for self compassion and ultimately filters into all areas of my students’ lives.   

How do you incorporate mindfulness in your classes? I start every class with a 15 minute guided meditation, it allows my students to slow down & pause – reflecting as well as reconnecting to their inner knowing.   We practice breath work, nervous system support and mindful movement.  The time we share together is designed to be an immersive exploration – an awakening that can be taken from the studio into their everyday lives.   

Where can we keep up with what you’re up to? You can find me hanging out on social media, I’m @angiereens on Instagram and @angie.reens on Facebook. I also recently launched my website https://rootedmindfulmovement.com – check out the blog!  I’ll continue to add Mindfulness resources, courses, and guided meditations in 2023!  

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