My Health Journey – Part 1

monicazumba1Last Wednesday, I started on a journey by “negotiating” with my Nurse practitioner.  Who “negotiates” with their health care provider?—I do.   If you know me in the least, I “pride” (and this word gets me in trouble) myself in trying to move and consume for health.  I am lucky that I don’t smoke or drink because I have a low tolerance for both these activities.  Never liked them but wanted to imbibe in high school for popularity reasons.  Failed.  Failed in the popularity.  Failed in participating in these “popular” acts.

Since this menopausal pause a couple years ago, my body—my being is different. I feel different. My body is different. My energy is different. Therefore my thoughts have morphed drastically. Fortunately and unfortunately, my speaking filters have become more transparent and thinner (like other tissues in my body!)  thereby rendering a louder cursing factor in my speech.  If you have not experienced this side of my conversation, I am “being good” with tongue bit.

So my nurse practitioner wanted me to have a baseline EKC and coronary calcium scan since I have a paternal genetic propensity toward high cholesterol and arterioscerlosis.  Okay, I finally agreed that my genes went the way of my dad with the findings of my lipid blood panel and the heart tests. She wants me to take statins.  Crap, not statins!  I have been taking triphala guggul, red rice yeast, Ceylon cinnamon… ayurvedic options.  They were great for chewing around the edges of the numbers for the past couple years but it appears that my genes are stronger then my chewing. I now know that I have a 1/3 blockage of my left anterior descending coronary artery and all the rest are clear.  This calcium score falls into the 50-75 percentile for people with the same gender and similar age.  “This represents a mild plaque burden with likely mild or minimal coronary stenosis.”  Stenosis means a narrowing in a blood vessel or other tubular organ or structure.  Dam.   My questions ran like this:

“You just tested my heart, could there be plaque in any other arteries?”

” Yes. Plaque is sticky stuff.”

“Why is it on the descending artery and all the rest of the arteries are clear?”

“Your resting heart rate is low. Your blood pressure is low. The blood flowing in that particular artery is not as forceful in mass and pressure as the others thereby giving the plaque a chance to adhere in this vessel.”

“Will the statins decrease the percentage of plaque in my vessel.”

” Yes, it can reverse it.”

“What number would you be comfortable for me to stop taking the statins? “

“In the 20’s. “

“Okay if I chase this number and I reach it, could I stop taking the statin?”

” Yes.”

A few moments of nodding my head. “ Okay”, I say.  “Let’s biohack my body.”  If I can ingest these lovely little blue pills, one a day, 20mg and tolerate the possible side effects, I will comply.  I adamantly tell this young brilliant nurse practitioner who went to high school with my youngest daughter, ” I will not tolerate any muscle pain—I have too much dancing to do!”   My liver must be able handle the stress of this drug as well.  I will have liver tests at 3 months and 6 months.  I will try this experiement for a year and then take a Calcium lalala test again to measure improvements.  I am expecting a clear free running vessel!   If not, then we will discuss a “bigger statin”…or Not.

I shared this with my dear husband, Bob, who is already on statins. He listened intently and asked, “Do you feel like a failure?” I hit him in the shoulder and laughed out loud…equivalent of taking a bottle of champagne to launch a boat on an important voyage.  I’m on the seas of an unknown journey.  So far the waters are smooth.

Last call for Mat Teacher Training!


Has this program caught your attention but you are really not quite sure if it is the right fit for you?  Here are some Frequently Asked Questions.  Maybe one applies to YOU!

  • I really don’t want to teach but I would love to learn the information as a personal practice.  May I still join?  Yes.  Absolutely.  We would ask that you still do all the homework and class observations so that you stay up with the topics covered. On practice teaching days, you would be there as a participant for the other practicing teachers and give them feedback.  We would love to have you join us.
  • May I just come for just Monica’s Breath presentation or her Anatomy day?
    • For the 2 hour breath workshop on Thursday, April 30th, yes, there will be plenty of room.  Cost is $24.  Click here to register.
    • For the 2 hour 3D Anatomy of the Core on Sunday, May 3rd, we need to get our final count of teacher training attendees to make sure that we have enough mannequins for each student.  Please click here to register as interested.  Click here to learn more about this 3D Anatomy class.
  • May I still get the enCore pricing if I am an enCore member?  Yes!  We have extended our deadline to tomorrow, Friday April 17th.
  • Where do I get the books? is your best bet especially given the time constraints of the program starting next week.
  • Yes!  I want to do it.  How do I register?  Click here to register or call the front desk at 707-526-3100. Our staff will then be in touch with an application to fill out and a link to our special website that we set for this group of students.
  • Now what are the details of the program again?  Click here to check out our website or come by the studio to pick up a brochure.
  • I still have a question.  Who do I talk to?  Please feel free to email Alyson at or call the front desk at 707-526-3100.  We would love to chat with you.

Final deadline to register is Friday, April 17th.  We hope you will join us.

Osteoporosis and Movement


Just back from a brief presentation on Osteoporosis and Movement at the Rancho Cotati Rotary lunch group.  What an amazing eye-opening wonderment to briefly get a glimpse of a business cultural phenomena—a group of business owners whose weekly meetings are based on relationship, community enhancement, and rituals.  All the individuals in that room were positive, different sizes, different shapes and excited to learn more about their bodies.

Osteoporosis facts include 1 in 2 women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.  1 in 4 men over the age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.  25% of those who break a hip die within a year.  These are statistics are sobering.  Then to make matters  more severe, we do not even know if we have “porous bone” (definition of osteoporosis) also know as the silent disease.  It usually happens without us even knowing it!

The name of the game is FRACTURE PREVENTION.  After presenting facts and causes, we talked about some easy take home daily activities to incorporate in our life to prevent fractures.  Here are a few “easies”
1)  improve static balance (brush your teeth standing on one foot)—work up to 3 minutes
2)  move (how about drinking a cup of water every hour so you have to get out of your chair to pee!)
3)  improve your posture

We had a great time coming up with “aha” moments…breathing and moving. An “aha” moment for me was that everyone can benefit from what Tone and its beloved community practice everyday within our walls and beyond.  To care for our beings so we can do the community work, run our businesses, do good works, do great play, takes a mindful effort with such benefits for longevity and quality of life.

Sitting in the parking lot outside of Tone recapping with Alyson about our short couple hours with our new friends–bathing in the sun of gratitude that our business is based on health and awareness,  tears welled in both of our eyes.

February Class Changes


On our February schedule, we changed the names of our class levels to hopefully add clarity when you are making your decisions on which classes to join.  Our “All Level” classes are open to any level of student.  Options will be given for how to advance or simplify the exercises.  Our “Advanced” classes are geared towards our more experienced students.  For equipment groups, we recommend a prerequisite of 10 equipment group classes before joining an advanced group.

Here are the other class changes for February:


  • We moved Intro to Pilates/Beginning to 6:10pm.  This class is taught by Jill Hager.  If you are new to Pilates, this is a great place to start.  Here’s what a client said of Jill’s class: “Jill explained what the names of certain movements actually meant.  She was patient and helpful.” 


  • We have combined the 12:10pm Lunchtime yoga with Pilates to become Pilates Deep Stretch with Loni
  • We have changed the 5:10pm Pilates Mat to Hatha Flow Yoga with Corinna
  • We have changed the 6:10pm Sculpt and Tone to Pilates All Levels with Cari.  We are working on adding back in another evening Sculpt and Tone in March.  Thank you to the folks who gave us feedback.


  • We changed the 10:10am Glider and Small Ball Class to a Pilates-Advanced class – still with Sonya McVay
  • We cancelled the 4:10pm Sculpt and Tone
  • Hatha Flow Yoga with Enrica now starts at 4:10pm


  • We cancelled the 11:10 Pilates Mat
  • Our 4:10 Yoga has moved to 5:10pm – Hatha Flow Yoga with Christie
  • Beginning Zumba has moved to be on the First Friday of every month – with Monica!

That’s all folks!  See you in the studio soon.









Equipment Group Price Increase

Effective March 1, 2015

Price Increase for Equipment Groups

1 time a week from $100/mth to $110/mth (avg. $25 per class)

2 times a week from $190/mth to $209/mth (avg $24 per class)

Stock up now!

You may purchase up to 6 months in advance at current rates. Offer ends February 28, 2015



  • Introductory Offer: $30 for first equipment group (was $25)
  • Folks on the monthly autopay for equipment groups may take additional classes for $30 per class.
  • Folks on the monthly unlimited autopay for classes may take one equipment group a month for $30. They also get their first equipment group class for free! (Prerequisite of 10 mat classes)

November Class Changes


A few additions to spice up your November!

  • Join Clare on Monday’s at 11:10am for Zumba!
  • Join Maggie on Tuesday’s at 5:10pm for Cardio Toning
  • Join Clare on Wednesday’s at 8:10am for Flow Yoga
  • Join our awesome Zumba team on Thursday, October 6th for Beginning Zumba.  Each instructor will go thru a dance and break it down step-by-step.  Learn the dances you love!

Here’s the link to our full class schedule

That’s it!  See you soon!


More 4pm Classes in October!


Class Changes for October 2014 

We are very excited to have Enrica Poore adding more hours in the week and evenings to enrich our already amazing Pilates and Yoga team. Enrica has spent much of the last 25 years learning how to live better through fitness, nutrition and mindfulness. Her passion for learning is rivaled only by a deep desire to teach others. Working in both group and individual settings, Enrica cherishes the opportunity to guide others in their pursuit of healthful body/mind living. We hope you can join her classes or book a private session with her.

BY POPULAR DEMAND, we have added a whole slew of 4:00pm class options as well as equipment groups offered at 5pm and 6pm every night. Check out the new digs!


  • Enrica is now teaching the 8:10am Pilates Mat Level 2, the 9:10am Pilates Mat Level 1 & 2 as well as the Sculpt and Tone at 10:10am. She also has an 11am slot available for a Private Pilates or Yoga session.
  • We are excited to have Brittany Schmitt join us on Monday evenings. She is available for a Private Pilates session at 4pm, teaches a Level 1 & 2 Equipment Group at 5pm and is available again for a Private Pilates session at 5pm
  • Jenn’s PreNatal Yoga has switched to a 4:10pm Sculpt and Tone.


  • Kathy has switched her 10:10am Adult Beginning Ballet to be on Tuesdays so that you could stay after and enjoy Loni’s Ball class if you like.


  • Enrica is now teaching a 4:00pm Hatha Flow Yoga in the big classroom, while Brittany teaches a 4:10pm Sculpt and Tone in the open classroom.
  • Enrica is now teaching a 6:00pm Level 1 & 2 Equipment Group and is available for a Private Pilates or Yoga session at 5pm.


  • You can find Kathy’s 10:10 Retro Cardio on Thursdays now. Calling all Baby Boomers!  Come sing along (you know the words) and shake your bootie to get a fun cardio workout.  Using weights, bands and balls to improve cardio, strength, balance and mobility.
  • Jenn is starting up an 11:10am Pilates Mat Class – Level 2 & 3.
  • Enrica is starting up a 4:10pm Sculpt and Tone and a 5:05pm Level 1 & 2 Equipment Group, leaving room at 6pm for a Private Pilates or Yoga session

FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS remain the same for now. We hope you enjoy all the new offerings and keep the suggestions coming!

September Song


Grapes for October

Welcome to September, a month of new schedules with the kids and just a hint of autumn in the air.  Just a few changes to our class schedule this month.  Here they are:


11:10am Cardio Toning has been cancelled

Intro to Pilates has moved to 5:10pm to be held in the Conference Room

6:10pm **NEW** Power Yoga with Clare

6:10pm Zumba class will have a new instructor as Maitane needs to spend her evenings with her baby boy!  We are still working out who will be teaching, so stay tuned.



12:10pm Heidi changed the name of her yoga class to Lunchtime Hatha Flow.  Suits her and the type of class better.



6:10pm Corinna welcomes Post Natal folks into her newly named Pre & Post Natal Yoga class.


Looking forward to another amazing month of seeing your beautiful faces here in Tone.  We are honored to be a part of your health journey.  Please be in touch with us about any ideas or suggestions.  We review the suggestion box frequently and are always available via email –

August Schedule Changes

Hello Everyone!  July went by fast.  Still some summertime to enjoy.  Here are the August changes:


4:10pm Pilates Mat and 6:10pm Intro/Level 1 Pilates Mat are now being taught by Clare.  She also now has a private session available at 5:05pm if you’d like to work on the equipment with Clare.


5:10pm Ayurveda Level 1 with Deacon is on a break until the Fall.

Enrica is teaching a 5:05pm Level 1 & 2 Equipment Group and a 6:05pm Level 2 & 3 Equipment Group.


Professora Sarara is traveling for the month of August.  When she returns, we will look at a new schedule for Capoeira.  For now it is on hold.

6:10pm PreNatal Yoga + Pilates is now being taught by Corinna with an emphasis on the Yoga.


Christie begins her “Sweet Transitions” Yoga class on Thursdays at 4:00 to 5:00pm.  Take time to reflect and let go,with the focus on “What have I accomplished this week?”  “How do I want to end the week?” “What are my goals (emotional, physical, mental) for ending the week and entering the weekend?”


Professora Sarara is traveling for the month of August.  When she returns, we will look at a new schedule for Capoeira.  For now it is on hold.


9:05am is now a Level 2 & 3 Equipment Group with Sonya McVay


Christie begins her “Sweet Transitions” Yoga class on Sundays at 4:00 to 5:00pm.  Take time to reflect and let go, and then visualize and begin the physical and emotional movement toward the week, to quietly revitalize, set goals, move healthily into the transition, relinquish the stress of the shift from “weekend” to “week day”.

Please find our complete schedule at  See you in the studio soon.

My Yoga Journey – to be continued


I knew I loved yoga (asana–the moving part–warriors, hand balances (not so much), back bends, deep twists and deep flexion poses…extreme, yeah!).  Moving with “spiritual music”,  rock-stars for teachers, “we are all one” philosophy, how could you not get hooked when you are a God-defying dancer who is “looking for more”.  There is a magazine for “us” called Yoga.  I used to read that monthly periodical cover to cover, knowing that I was a better person for reading and believing so much of it.  Yoga as a I knew it was great, until I took a weekend workshop (I spent thousands of dollars on all kinds of yoga workshops).  Half way into the weekend workshop (this was year 3 that we participated in this “prestigious” workshop), I posed in a magazine-cover-version of warrior for what seemed like 15 minutes in a 110 degree room with 40 other sweaty yogis and the teacher yelling at us to take it–to embrace the exorcism of our weaknesses, embrace the inner warrior–then POP, my right knee could no longer hold me upright. 

Today I am grateful for that POP. I am grateful that I can no longer bend my right knee past 90 degrees. I am grateful that my knees bother me on hikes in Yosemite.  I am grateful I cannot wear cute high heels.  That POP represented a transformation that sent me seeking again.  I somehow knew that yoga was inclusive and not exclusive (because I would no longer be able to participate in those physical yoga workshops without hurting myself).  I somehow knew that there were yogis who did not have “perfect skinny bodies”.  I somehow knew that yoga was more.

Time marches on and the yoga seeker again kept spending money on the right yoga for me.  A dear client mentioned that there was a program in LA at LMU to become a yoga therapist.  This was it!  I found the yoga for me!  I was going along blissfully to this 2 year course when one of the teachers in the program challenged all of us yogis in the classroom to give a definition of “yoga”, to define “what do you want from yoga”.  He asked if we knew the history of yoga.  He asked if we had studied Patanjali’s Sutras, the authoritative source of yoga.  “If it’s not in the Sutras, it probably is not yoga”.

What?  What have I been studying all these years?

Long story short, this teacher shed light on my yoga world and has been my teacher for 4+ years.  I am a student–a life long student of Patanjali’s Sutras.  The Sutras is a life long study and I love it.  Come join me in this lovely journey of wisdom.

To be continued