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Heather White Trillfit
Wellness
Published Thursday Mar 05, 2020 by Mindbody Team

#WomeninWellness: Heather White, CEO of TRILLFIT

Dance
Fitness

“Wellness to me is feeling good in my body,” says Heather C. White, founder of Boston’s TRILLFIT. “It's feeling connected to those around me. It's feeling seen and feeling supported.” 

It was a lack of that kind of support that led to her starting TRILLFIT in 2005. At the time, she was struck by the lack of diversity in the studios and gyms she’d been trying. She didn’t feel like she belonged and stopped going entirely. 

For many people, that would be the end of the story. But Heather had a feeling other women of color were experiencing something similar. “That's how TRILLFIT was born.” 


You started TRILLFIT in 2005 and is Boston’s original hip-hop workout. What inspired you to start TRILLFIT?  

I started TRILLFIT because I was on my own fitness journey, frequenting boutique fitness studios to big luxury gyms, and was constantly confronted with the same reality: there was an overwhelming lack of diversity, I didn't feel that I belonged, and so I stopped going. I realized there might be other women of color feeling similarly, and I decided to try to create an experience to speak to them. That's how TRILLFIT was born. 

 

TRILLFIT Girls Smiling


What started as a workout has blossomed into a full-blown movement made up of people focused on inclusivity and empowerment. How has TRILLFIT shaped what success in fitness means?    

We've shown that there's a different way to do things. When we talk about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—one of the narratives is that it's expensive, it doesn't make financial sense, and often that's why people disregard those initiatives. For us, we made that our platform, our grounding statement. We drew a line in the sand, and we made a promise that we uphold and continue to reinforce. That's why our business has evolved into a movement. People have a reason to choose TRILLFIT, people have transformed at TRILLFIT, and the spark that they get here—affects them long after they've left. Of course, we're focused on our P&L (and we're crazy up YoY), but we've shown that you don't have to compromise your values or your mission to do that. We've shown that success can look, feel, and be different. I'm a first-time entrepreneur from a family of immigrants, and I turned down an offer for a luxury space (with free rent) to be in a neighborhood that served the community I wanted to focus on. A lot of people thought that was nuts—I credit our location and our commitment to the community as the reason we're successful. 
  

To someone who has never been to a TRILLFIT class, what can they expect? (How can they prepare/what should they bring/what are the classes like?)   

Expect to sweat, to have fun, and to meet people that truly see you. Our classes span from Cardio Dance and Boxing to Sculpt and Restore—and they are meant to complement and build upon each other. 

Woman Hip-Hop Dancing

What’s next for you and TRILLFIT?   

We're expanding our class schedule and staff, and we're launching our new community wellness program in April. You can expect to see our commitment to the community grow in a radical and actionable way. 


You run your company and are continuing to grow it every day. How do you have time to practice self-care and wellness yourself?  What’s your go-to wellness routine?  

It takes a lot of intentionality, and to be honest, I'm not the best at it. But when I do prioritize it, I love massages and spending time with my people. I work out a ton—and because my schedule is so crazy, I really focus on making sure I have time to get in the studio—and that acts as a stress reliever for me.   

 

Heather White Smiling


What does wellness personally mean to you? How can we (the public) start on our own wellness journeys?  

Wellness, to me, is feeling good in my body. It's feeling connected to those around me. It's feeling seen and feeling supported. Start by looking at yourself in the mirror and deciding that you deserve to feel good. Then make a list of the things that serve your mental, physical, and spiritual self—things that will make you feel good—and pick one. Then choose a day a time to do it. See how you feel after and repeat often :)

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About the author
We're here to provide you with the latest and greatest, tried and true wellness experiences and advice to help you live life to the fullest. From nourishing recipes and travel tips to finding the perfect sweat routine or wellness regimen—we cover it all. And if we haven't yet, it's definitely on the way.
shanila sattar
Wellness
Published Wednesday Mar 17, 2021 by Shanila Sattar

Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice

Self-care
Expert Advice
Personal Growth
Wellness

When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do. 

How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?

As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.

 

Step 1: Learn to set boundaries

Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.

When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:

  • How do I feel without having boundaries?
  • What would I like to have boundaries around?
  • Are my boundaries actual boundaries or am I creating walls in my life?
  • How do I plan to uphold my boundaries?
Step 2: Cultivate self-compassion

In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect. 

Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.

When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:

  • How do I respond to stressful situations?
  • How hard am I on myself?
  • How do I celebrate myself?
  • How do I show myself kindness?
Step 3: Nourish yourself

In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.

Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion. 

When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:

  • How do I nourish my emotional well-being?
  • How do I nourish my mental well-being?
  • How do I nourish my physical well-being?
  • How do I nourish my spiritual well-being?
  • How do I nourish my social well-being?
  • How do I nourish my financial well-being?

That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain. 

If you’d like to try breathwork, mindfulness, or play classes with me, check out these workshops and training sessions that work with your schedule. For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody.

 

About the author
Shanila is a 4th generation sound healer, breathwork coach, mentor, women’s researcher, and speaker. She is the Founder of AlwaysPlayStudios where she trains breathwork facilitators and sound healers. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout the US. Shanila mentors healers on their healing and intuitive wellness journeys. Connect: @shanila.sattar