Posted on January 01 2018
Our first instructor feature of the New Year is Laura Berg, a firecracker hippie from LA that has been sharing her contagious spirit with Calgary for the last few years. If you've ever been to her spin or yoga classes, you know Laura is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, grounding yourself and being aware of where your clothes are coming from. You can't help but leave feeling inspired and ready to take on the world.
Laura is relatable and totally understands how it feels to not be "good" at spin and learning to be comfortable in your own skin. We chatted with her about how she fell in love with spin, who inspires her and what her 2018 goals are.
Can you describe your first experience with spin? What was it like?
My first spin class was at Equinox Fitness in LA in 2010, also my first job after my undergrad degree, as a membership advisor. I loved my job because I introduced myself and clients to new types of classes including spin! I remember the instructor had a strong following, it was intense and fun, I tried not to take myself too seriously because it was so new to me. I had no idea what the hell I was doing! Thankfully there wasn't a lot of movements (or choreography) so all I had to focus on was beat and resistance. I didn't love spin at first because I wasn't "good" at it, but I was intrigued by the style of fitness growing in popularity around me.
What made you fall in love with spin?
The more Equinox spin classes I took I liked spin but it was when SoulCycle emerged on the west coast, that I fell in love with riding! The energy at SoulCycle studios is contagious, the music, the intensity, the crazy sweat, the friendly and approachable community, and it was the hardest workout I'd ever done at the time, so I was hungry to work my way up to the front row riding with confidence.
Who inspires you?
Being a hippie at heart and feminist, I look up to powerful women that act and lead for social change, such as Gloria Steinem. I may not be in politics but I also look up to woman like Hilary Clinton. Their determination inspires me and motivates me. I am first and foremost an American woman who is always going to stand up for what I believe and not be afraid to stand up for others.
What can students expect when they come to your classes?
You can expect a killer sweat because I challenge my riders as I push my owns limits, you can expect me to sing to you at random times and crack jokes, you can expect not hear a lot of top 40s music because I love hip hop and R&B, remixes and mash ups. You can expect some passionate profanity because this Italian woman gets amped up with a few F bombs here and there.
What has been the most rewarding part of being an instructor of spin? Most challenging?
The most rewarding parts are uplifting others, sharing my passion for riding, and being able to connect with so many wonderful like-minded people. I get to be the best part of some people's day and that is a seriously rad thing. I am also incredibly inspired by my riders, their hearts, their vulnerability, they are motivating me as much as I am them.
The most challenging part for me has been getting over my own insecurity that I don't fit a stereotype of what a spin or fitness instructor may look like. Although I am comfortable in my own skin most of the time, I am human and am not comfortable 100% of time. At the end of the day I am proud to rock my thick thighs and big booty, and show people when I ride that I mean business! I hope I can inspire other curvy women to own their shape and embrace their personal power.
What is your best advice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
A healthy lifestyle to me is holistic and balanced. I love green juice, plant based eating and sweating, but I also love wine and cinnamon rolls. I believe in being mindful about what I put in and on my body, and surrounding myself with people that lift me up. I love the saying - anything that does not align with you is a distraction. I am also an advocate for being mindful how our choices impact our environment, people and animals.
What are your goals this year? Personal, Work, Growth etc.
My goals this year is to take my company Nourish Sweat Soul to a whole new level, expanding my collections to bring more pieces I love to my communities and growing more awareness about ethical fashion, which to me means being both socially responsible and environmentally friendly. I also have a goal to create more space for being of service, volunteering and public speaking. I am so excited to be apart of Fashion Revolution Week Calgary in April this year where you will find me leading events about ethical fashion, such as the environmental exploitation of the fashion industry. Can you tell why I love Sweat Society so much!? :)
Where and when can we check out your classes?
YYC Cycle Kensington Tuesdays 12pm
YYC Cycle Marda Loop Wednesdays 4:30pm
YYC Cycle Kensington Fridays 5:30pm
Photos by Kolby @ Simply Modern Marketing
Shop Laura's looks here