February 24 2019
Meet Caity Smith. This girl seriously inspires us - as she took her passion for fitness and turned it into a full time career. She is a yoga teacher, spin teacher, a personal trainer & a motivator at Orange Theory. Oh yah - she is also the newest addition to the Sweat Society family. So you will likely see her at our pop-up shops around Calgary and Lethbridge. Read her blog below to learn about her transition from competitive horse showing, her challenges with working in fitness full time, and her upcoming goal to compete in a body building competition!Tonic Active Nevah Bra // Leggings: Tonic Active Paris Crop
How did you first get into the fitness industry?
I competed in horse showing growing up as well as an amateur in the adult division. When I moved to Calgary about 6 years ago (is it sad I had to look on LinkedIn to figure that out), I was looking for something else to occupy my time. I had never really spent much time at the gym or going to fitness classes but I knew I loved it. One of my first goals was to gain enough strength to be able to lift my 40lb saddle onto my horse at the time without a struggle. The gym was always so welcoming and I loved the capability the human body had to get stronger. Things just grew from there as did my love for the community.
I started weightlifting first, I did research and used prior experience to continue my growth in the sport. Then came yoga. A few years ago I was in two car accidents - one happened when I was driving out to see my horse and a tire fell off a truck and trailer and hit my car. That first accident really affected my body. But then one month later - almost to the day - I got hit by someone who had missed their turn off and ran into me. That just added to the already residing ailments. I wasn't able to lift weights when I first started my treatment, and when I did, I had to relearn a lot of basic movements as my body wasn't responding the way it used to.
The need to move with less complexity is what lead me to yoga, and I was all in. A year later I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training and I just haven't stopped since.
Tell us a little about YogaAndLift and how that started.
If someone would have told me ten years ago I would be where I am now, I would not have believed them at all. When that recent ten year challenge went on Instagram I saw the person I was back then and who I am now, the change is astounding. I was never really one of those people who knew what they wanted to do when they grow up. I went to school for journalism, I worked for the government for a number of years, I exercised race horses, I worked in oil and gas, I was never really happy where I was. Not only that but I was skinny, had low energy and low self esteem. I experienced eating disorders. I was always focused on what others wanted of me rather than what I wanted for myself.
Fitness helped me discover my voice. I used to instruct riding lessons, so when the opportunity to teach group fitness classes came up, it felt like second nature. When I completed my yoga teacher training I had the idea that maybe I could start something real. I left my corporate job in 2017 and made it my mission to gain as much knowledge as I could in the fitness industry. I did my personal training certification, spin certification and numerous other training's and small courses.
There were ups, but also downs and it was in one of the downs when I was trying to figure out what I had just done lead me to creating my own brand. I need to send a special shout out to my partner who supported me through all these humps. There were a lot of days where I would be second guessing myself and he supported me and encouraged me to take advantage of what I had created and continue to grow it. So that's what I did.
Yoga and Lift is the two loves of my life combined into one. I was looking for something that represented me. Something that I could incorporate into everything I teach. I focus a lot on body awareness and how you can learn to move your body. Combining weight training and yoga into your routine is one of the best things you can do in my opinion. Yoga helps your mind and opens your body. Weightlifting brings the strength. Yoga and Lifting changed my life and I want to be open up that door for others.
What has been the most rewarding part of being a trainer & yoga teacher? Most challenging?
Rewarding has been all the clients and people who have believed in me and that I have worked with. Each and every one of them have helped me grow in one way or another and helped me get to where I am now.
Most challenging is the feeling of sometimes not doing enough. I am my own worst critic. I think as a society we get into this sort of feeling that we always need to be on. It was a big challenge to be able to tell myself that I can do this.
However putting my own teachings to use for myself I have learned to overcome my self doubt. I have learned to continue pushing forward and I am finally doing something that I actually truly enjoy and still cannot get over that I get to do this everyday.
What is your best advice for other women for maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle?
Stop putting everything off for tomorrow. Break down what you want to achieve and start now. Start with a large goal that might seem overwhelming, and break it into smaller goals. Set little challenges and build on that. All too often I see people jumping all in right away thinking that it will be easy and quick. By breaking it down, you accomplish the smaller goals faster which in turn give you the motivation to keep going.
Who inspires you?
This is so hard because so many people inspire me. It's people who are out there grinding for themselves everyday. Building a brand is tough, so I have a great level of admiration for people who build their brands from nothing to something recognizable all over the world. I believe that everyone in life has something to offer another. You can learn from every experience and every person.
Leggings: Teeki Purple Awakening
Favourite - Yoga Pose? Lift?
I love inversions in yoga. My forearm stand is still elusive, but progress happens a little but each day! And hands down deadlifting is my favourite lift. Well a tie with pull ups. I always feel so badass when I do them!
What are your goals this year? Personal, Work, Growth etc.
One of my goals is to compete in a fitness competition in May. It is completely out of my comfort zone, but I have some incredible people coaching me. Although I am feeling incredibly vulnerable but I am also excited to see what happens!
I also want to grow my blog and social media presence. I have so many healthy alternative recipes, helpful hints and just sometimes a few random rants!
Other goals are to continue to learn more and to continue to grow my brand. Putting myself out there and seeing what works and what doesn't. Growing my client base and helping them achieve new goals, help them discover what they can achieve.
How can people find you? (where are you teaching/personal training?)
I am on Instagram as @lifeascaity. I am also on Facebook and I am trying to use that more but I tend to fall behind on that one. There is also my website www.yogaandlift.com where sometimes I put my journalism degree to work and write a blog.
If people want to connect in real life, they can find me all over the city. I usually hit 3/4 quadrants of the city in a day. I teach yoga at Hotshop - all three locations, I am a coach at OrangeTheory and then I also have my own clients and train out of King's Fitness (which is an incredible space that everyone should check out!).