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Wellness
Published Monday Mar 15, 2021 by Bree Lewis

These Are the Most Inspirational Women of All Time, According to Our Mindbody Employees

Personal Growth

I’m sure, by now, many of us have heard that rather infamous quote that’s been circulating around. Although the author of the quote is not mentioned, it has still wildly resonated within our hearts and sparked inspiration in many of us. It says, “Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” Why do those four short sentences carry such significance to us? I believe it’s because when it comes to knowing strong women, we don’t have to look far to find them.  

Whether it’s the women who’ve raised us, the women before us, or the women around us—we can all find a woman that we admire who has also directly influenced the trajectories of our lives. So, in honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating strong women—throughout history and in the modern-day – who inspire and teach us.  

We asked our employees to tell us about these women. Here’s what they said:  

Regina Wallace-Jones, Senior Vice President, Insight and Innovation - Stacey Abrams 

I take in a book a week, but a book that I have appreciated most recently is “Lead from the Outside” by Stacey Abrams. She has appeared for me as a new model leader that is part public servant, part executive, part philanthropist, part community organizer and part matriarch. 

Most of us try hard to place people in buckets. And what is surprising and refreshing about this book, and her work in general, is that it’s impossible to put it in any existing bucket. By using all her leadership identities, she has been successful in driving toward outcomes that many thought to be impossible. This is inspiring for me because I am certain that my leadership path is divergent and that I often call on a broad range of energies to achieve results. I used to think I was an outlier, and maybe I am. But Stacey affirms that if I am an outlier, I’m not the only one. 

Diane Hahn, Associate User Researcher - Naomi Osaka 

 I’m inspired by Naomi Osaka because of her amazing character and the way she uses her platform to stand up and speak out about what she believes in. She has taught me what it looks like to have physical, mental, and emotional strength both on and off the tennis court. - Diane Dah-Young Hahn 

Nicole Ely, QA Analyst - Surya Bonaly 

My biggest inspiration has always been Surya Bonaly. I was always fascinated by ice skating when I was a child, but seeing a beautiful, graceful, dark-skinned woman pioneering in the space always thrilled me. Her ability to perform elements that no one else could and make them look effortless, whether judges awarded her points for them or not, drove me to do my best, whether I was recognized for my effort or not. Just like Surya, my success is mine and no one can take it from me or dull the shine. 

Hema Prakash, Vice President & Managing Dir., Asia Pacific - Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What Ruth has done to foster and ensure representation, resonated with me at an incredibly early age. I learnt from her that each of us have a role to play in the improvement of our communities and society at large. Her public service is akin to so many, however, her gender allowed her to open dialogue and change laws that will continue to cause positive ripples for decades ahead the world over. I would like to see a world where our children go about their day with equity for all, and without limiting beliefs, to finally be at one with our fellow humans regardless of gender and creed. 

Bridget Finegan, Partner Program Manager – Her grandmother, Eileen Rigby 

There are many women to admire throughout history, and who are making history today. The most directly influential to me was my grandmother. A member of the first nursing class graduating Boston College, an Army Lieutenant during World War 2, and mother of seven; I admire her confidence and tenacious spirit. From the importance of being close to family, to the difference between passing judgement and setting personal boundaries, or how to make chocolate cookies – she taught me almost everything I know about the person I hope to be. 

Judy Tran, Onboarding Specialist – Her mom, Lean Tran 

My mom inspires me daily. She is very caring and so selfless. She raised 5 children on her own while my dad commuted to work in the Silicon Valley. She always chooses her children. She's taught me patience, to always try your hardest, and to pick yourself up and try again if things do not work out. 

Ivonne Smith, Manager, Strategic Accounts Marketing - Maya Angelou 

When I think of all the amazing women throughout history (and there so many!), one who comes to mind is Maya Angelou. Her civil rights activism, along with her overall tenacity for optimism and hope throughout her life continues to inspire me each day. My favorite quote “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  is framed on my office wall as a reminder to see past the surface of what we see, hear and do and look deeper to understand, listen and connect with others both personally and professionally. 

Emily Swall, QA Engineer – Jane Fonda, Laverne Cox, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Maya Angelou 

It’s hard to choose just one. Jane Fonda and her environmental activism is inspiring. Not many celebrities are willing to go to jail for their activism. Laverne Cox has been so strong and vocal in her representation of Black trans women. 

Ruth Bader Ginsberg is also a favorite. I never got to meet her but her strength, and determination to make our nation a more equal one has always been an inspiration. 

I had an opportunity to see Maya Angelou speak during my first year of college, and she really changed my life.  She made me see that there was a lot of injustice in the world that I wasn’t paying attention to, and she was the reason that I decided I wanted to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  

Dani Schenone, Product Marketing Manager - Debora Burgard, PhD, FAED 

Debora Burgard, PhD, FAED (otherwise known as Dr. Deb) inspires me endlessly with her decades of body activism and work as a psychologist + eating disorder specialist. I admire her tenacity and perseverance in fighting for representation of marginalized communities within the movement. Her lessons are infinite! 

Jamaica Wells, Supervisor, Onboarding - Ava Duvernay 

A woman who inspires me is Ava Duvernay. She is a powerhouse in the movie industry as the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe and the first African American woman to win the best director prize at the Sundance Film festival in 2012. As a community leader she uses her talents to tell the stories of the black experience and uplift the voices of black filmmakers. She is also completely unapologetic in her fight for inclusion and diversity for women in the director's seat by allowing up-and-coming female directors to direct episodes of one of my favorite TV shows Queen Sugar. Ava is a living example of how creating an environment for women to work together and be seen with the same equity, can spark a positive change. 

Yuki Daniel, Executive Assistant – Her sister, Maki Daniel  

I was trying to be thoughtful of who I admired (and not too cliche) and it came to me. Of course, it's my younger sister! Her name is Maki and although she isn't as well-known as Michelle Obama or Princess Diana, she's affected my life in ways I can't even name. She's the most thoughtful, resilient, purposeful, and intentional person I know. And whenever I've wavered on anything, all I need is her advice to know I'm headed in the right direction. She's 7 years younger than me but she teaches me so much about the kind of person I hope to be. 

Whitney Lewis, Senior Manager, Workplace Safety & Security - Jacinda Ardern 

I’m inspired by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. I was first so impressed with her when she brought her newborn with her to The UN General Assembly. I used to go with my principal there every year in my past life, and I was so moved by the example she showed for working women, and hoped she opened a lot of men’s eyes. Prime Minister Ardern is proof that in countries where there is a woman leader, the response to Covid has been more effective. She is a genuine leader that stresses solidarity and is a shining example for all leaders everywhere. 

bree lewis headshot
Written by
Bree Lewis
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Born and raised in a small mountain town just south of Yosemite National Park, Bree is an avid lover of health, wellness, and connecting to the outside world around us. As a Cal Poly English major alumn, she has a knack for books, writing, and all things words. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, drinking craft beers, and keeping life jazzy!
Three pictures of a woman on a computer and stretching with the word flex over the pictures
Fitness
Published Wednesday Mar 17, 2021 by Bree Lewis

So, I Tried Mindbody’s Flex—and It Was Not What I Expected

Fitness

Picture this... we’re about a year into a global pandemic, it’s dark by 5 p.m. before you even get off work, and it’s a crisp 40-50 degrees outside at night (a bit chilly for an outdoor spin ride). Not only have you watched every show and movie on Netflix, Hulu, and possibly even Disney Plus—you’ve scrolled through every virtual workout class in your general range of fitness. Put simply, you’re bored and craving something that makes you feel alive—that pre-COVID connection and sweat. Something out-of-the-box that feels like the summer of 2016 when you wore real clothes, and the world was your oyster.

Okay, now that I’ve set the scene—this was exactly where I was at, mentally, when I downloaded Mindbody Flex. A part of me wanted to download it as motivation to exercise more, but I also wanted to experience working out virtually with real people and instructors, from all over the US.

What I got was not what I expected...

So, I’m scrolling through my class options for the day, and I think to myself, “let’s see what’s going on in Miami.” I mean, why not? Miami is the healthiest and happiest city in the US, I was curious. I was immediately blown away by my options. I was expecting yoga, barre, meditation, and sculpt classes, but Tai Chi, sound meditation, self-defense, life coaching, kickboxing—all in one place? All for the same price of one pre-paid pass? I had never seen so many diverse and unique classes in one place. I wanted to take a week's vacation just to try as many as I could. The world, and my choices, felt big for the first time in months.

I wanted to have fun...

After a few moments passed and I was able to process all that was in front of me—I had this epiphany moment. I was going to make it my goal to try the most out-of-the-box, fun, and interesting classes. After almost a year of being in my comfort zone, I desperately craved the feeling of switching it up and learning something new. I made this my mission and got to work signing up for classes.

Since the app lets you see workout classes and their times weeks in advance, I was able to plan my classes out for two weeks. I decided on a Barre class with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, a twerk-aholics class, beginner’s Tai Chi, a sound meditation, and kickboxing to name a few. Even though I wasn’t leaving my house for these workouts, I felt like I was going places. It made me so happy to get that same excited and partially nervous feeling of trying something new, with other people who would also be doing the same thing.

Here’s how it went...

Like a cliché rom-com, the hero of this story fell back in love with her past-love turned enemy. Just like you’d expect. But it reminded me why I loved going to group classes so much in the first place. With livestream real-time workouts I instantly had that feeling of being coached when you go to a new class and step on your mat, bike, or on that machine, you’ve never been on before—whatever that feeling looks like to you. I looked around and saw real people just like me that were about to take that same journey. While I didn’t get to see those people face-to-face, they were there with me. We took those classes together.

I also loved getting to try such a wide variety of classes without signing up for five different memberships or studios. It was a great way to see what clicks for me. I mean, the chances of me getting to fly to Dallas for a single workout with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders? Ambitious, but unlikely. I could start my day and pick a workout that fit my mood. Raining and gloomy? Let’s do a cleansing sound meditation. A case of the Mondays? Time to release some steam with a kickboxing class. The possibilities are endless and personalized to me.

Would I recommend it?

Ab-so-lute-ly, yes. Even if you’re not silently resenting your current virtual workouts and colder weather outdoor classes, I would suggest you try this out. I say this because I believe we could all benefit from that feeling of traveling, getting out of the house, trying something new, and connecting with other people who have the same interests as us. It’s comforting to be reminded that we’re all in this together and the world is still much bigger than the places we’re hunkering down. Workouts can still be riveting, and we can still try new things that get us a bit more out of our comfort zones with each new virtual experience!

I know I’m not the only one who feels like they have fallen into a virtual fitness rut as of late. This is precisely why it’s the perfect time for you to expand your horizons when it comes to your at-home workout routine.

bree lewis headshot
Written by
Bree Lewis
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Born and raised in a small mountain town just south of Yosemite National Park, Bree is an avid lover of health, wellness, and connecting to the outside world around us. As a Cal Poly English major alumn, she has a knack for books, writing, and all things words. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, drinking craft beers, and keeping life jazzy!