We are excited to welcome Lesa to our Mika family! We recently had the chance to do an exciting photo shoot with her & were wowed by her amazing jumps! Lesa is a certified personal trainer, registered yoga instructor and proud owner/creator of MIX (her yoga, dance and fitness studio in the College area). She is also the artistic director/creator of MIX Dance Project, a dance company training program for aspiring dancers, dance teachers and choreographers.
Learn a little bit more about Lesa & her studio:
Business Name: MIX Years in business: Total years 8 (6 years mobile training, 2 years at our current location). Website:www.TheMIXTechnique.comLocation: 4836 Rolando Blvd. San Diego, CA 92115 Types of classes offered: The MIX Technique™ (a class I created specifically for the studio-blending elements of Ballet, barre, Horton Modern, pilates and yoga), Boot Camps, Dance and Yoga.
How did you get into the fitness world? My mom started me in dance classes when I was two and I never stopped! I always loved performing and choreographing. I loved and appreciated the conditioning that all dancers had to do in order to be strong. My fascination with fitness sparked from my dance training. Yoga soon followed when I suffered an injury that took me out of dance for a year. Bikram’s was one of my first yoga classes (I think I was 19). I remember I showed up in long jazz pants and did not know it was heated! However, it was after that yoga class when I realized, “I must do this forever”.
What made you want to open your own studio? I have always dreamt of having a studio where students of all ages, colors, sizes and skills could come together and train. When I was a child, dance was all I thought about; It still is. I always wanted a studio where people could come dance, do yoga and fitness and find that break from their day or do something healthy for themselves to keep everything else in their lives balanced. I have been fortunate to work with many small business owners and learned a lot from all of them. Mostly, if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. I love what I do. I am positively obsessed with it.
What is the feel of MIX? We have been referred to as, “the ‘Cheers’ of yoga, dance and fitness” by our regulars-‘where everybody knows your name’. Our co-ed, intimate studio will make you feel at home as you work yourself into a stronger body, clearer mind and confident stride. MIX is the College area's studio featuring Yoga, Dance and Personal Training. Located less than 1.5 miles from SDSU, MIX is the place to find the latest in Yoga, Dance and Personal training. MIX describes my eclectic blend of training style and technique. My biracial upbringing has always been a driving energy in my goals. My studio is called MIX because of how passionate I am about coexistence (and the different genres we offer). Admiring different cultures, traveling, and learning about other lifestyles have all molded my view on world unity. At MIX we know our craft, have years of experience, are certified and stay current with fitness. We are focused on intimate, semi-private training experiences. Our classes have a specific capacity to keep it this way (limit 6 for all classes; yoga limit 8). At MIX, you will find many different classes ranging from Yoga, Dance, Boot Camps, The MIX Technique™ (specialty class offered exclusively at MIX), and personal training.
What do you love best about teaching? I love working with individuals who are ready to make a change for themselves. Whether they are trying to loose weight, implement stress-reducing activity into their lives or work towards confidence within-I love the look on someone’s face when they surprise themselves and they can do more push-ups, choreography, or drop body fat. I also love hearing students say they now love their body! What a great accomplishment, to be confident in your own skin! I hope to bring that feeling to everyone I work with. What is the first thing you teach students that are just starting to take class from you? I try to let everyone know that ego goes out the door. It does not matter how long you have been training, we are all here to be a better version of ourselves. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in “I don’t want to take class because I’m going to look or feel silly” or “It’s going to be difficult.” But this is what class is for! We come to improve. Get out of your comfort zone. The fact that you have made a choice to do something healthy for your mind, body and spirit is highly admirable. What are your favorite words of encouragement? My favorites are “You can do it”, “Try-You might surprise yourself”, and my all time favorite, “You guys are rock stars”. Most of the time I am screaming, “YES!” when students go hard and give 150%. If they have blown my mind, they will get my favorite (a cheer) “G-double O-D, J-O-B…Good job, good job!” (It usually makes them laugh after a serious Boot Camp section).
How has being a teacher or a studio owner affected your own dance/yoga practice? Well, I definitely have to take my own advice. When I take classes, I make sure to check ego at the door. I enter as a student and learn as much as I can from whoever will teach me. I love learning. I try not to be too hard on myself and understand that we all have different things we are working on improving. The fact that we had the courage enough to enter a class speaks highly of our own determination. I ask questions. When I was little, I was so shy. I would not ask questions when the instructor asked the class if we had questions, even if I had a million! Now, I remember that younger version of myself and if I have a question, I will ask it. Most of the time, someone else has the same question.
What is your vision for the future of MIX? My vision for the future of MIX is to continue to be one of the best locations in San Diego offering yoga, dance and fitness classes. I want The MIX Technique™ to become the workout that everyone turns to for a strong, graceful physique. I hope to present at the next IDEA Fitness Convention (showcasing The MIX Technique™)! Eventually, I would love to have multiple locations and be able to guide people through their healthy voyages in other cities besides SD. I have dreams where my husband and I are looking at other commercial spaces for MIX in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Japan! Dream big!
Anything else?? I want to thank my husband, parents and family-they have always been my biggest fans! Thank you for your support and love, always. My closest friends who have listened to me talk about dance since the day they met me (and continue to listen) and for their continuous support of MIX. To Mika Yoga Wear: Thank you for the opportunity to model your amazing line and for letting me share my voice. I am extremely thankful.
Oh, 1 last thing!- what do you like about sporting Mika?? There are so many things! I love Mika! When I wear Mika, I feel sexy. I don’t have to adjust and fidget with Mika, which is amazing because it gives me piece of mind while I am teaching or taking class. “Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodhah” (the 2nd yoga sutra of Patanjali) loosely translates to: Yoga limits the oscillations of the mind or the release of metal chatter and surrounding distractions. When I was in graduate school, I had this sutra tattooed on my inner wrist to remind me to release the negative speak (i.e., “you can’t do this”, “you’re going to fail”) and distractions. When I am teaching and taking class, the last thing I want to worry about is what my clothes are doing-This is a distraction and prohibits your yoga focus. Mika allows that mental chatter or distraction of clothing to cease. And as you can see from my photos, Mika stays in place during all types of leaps and balances. I never have to worry when I am in Mika because it hugs nicely. Mika also works as everyday wear. Instead of an uncomfortable bra, I’ll wear a Mika top! The colors are so refreshing too; you don’t have to wear just black. Other workout clothes would sit strangely, chafe and dig. I wear workout clothes every day of life, so I need material that breathes and will not irritate my skin. Mika is always so comfortable, secure and stylish. You can’t beat that!