At Visual Therapy, we’re all about Mind, Body, and Soul. As we work with clients to line up their optimal wardrobes and help them to be the best version of themselves, we’re huge believers that it’s not the dress, but what’s in the dress that matters. And even though clothes can help you feel like a movie star, there’s something that needs to be taken care of first on a deeper level. Welcome to “Wellness Wednesdays”: our weekly feature to bring you tips for a healthy, whole and fulfilled life.
In this week’s feature, we’re excited to introduce you to Erin Stutland, coach and founder of The Shrink Session, one of the hottest workouts in New York. The Shrink Session is a mix of yoga, cardio-dance, kickboxing, life coaching, meditation and inspiring affirmations. After taking Erin’s class at The Movement and feeling strong, empowered and inspired, we met with this wellness expert to talk about enjoying your workouts, turning your passion into a career, and following your intuition.
When did you decide to do what you’re passionate about for a living and share it with the world? It wasn’t that all of the sudden. It was an evolution. I was still acting and auditioning, but I wanted to supplement it with something that I really love, so I started teaching fitness. That’s when I realized how much I enjoy teaching, giving and serving, and that evolved into coaching. Then I really began to run a business. That was 5 years ago. I was a dancer and I always loved yoga, but I never imagined that I would teach fitness.
That’s the thing, Shrink Sessions aren’t just fitness, it’s soul work combined with body work. Coming from a dancing perspective, it’s not really fitness. For me, it’s about the movement and the joy of it. What movement and being in your body can do for you. I love the body and understanding the anatomy and how muscles work, but I’m not so much about “sculpting your bicep”, you know what I mean?
You’re in such amazing shape – that was one of the first things I noticed about you. Do you just do Shrink Sessions? Thank you! Mostly. It depends on my schedule. I really like to do other things because it’s really important for me to stay a student and learn and to have other wonderful leaders and teachers. I love supplementing Shrink Sessions with taking yoga and spin classes to get new ideas. I love walking, too.
How do you discipline yourself – leading classes, running a business, and coaching – that’s a lot! I have a home office and you know what, I was thinking about it today, it’s not easy! It’s helpful when I have a project with a deadline, then I take a list of actions I need to take to get there, and I’m much more disciplined. I struggle sometimes to take actions towards things that are a little further away, but you do need to plant seeds now if you want something to blossom months from now. It’s so important!
You’re now training more people to lead Shrink Sessions. What’s next? I’ve changed the training program to be more of a one-on-one apprentice program that’s based here in NYC for the time being. I want to create a tribe of really powerful teachers who could possibly go on and teach more people. That’s the big goal for the next 6 months. Another thing that’s coming up is more Soul Stroll packages. It’s a new product that gives you a 30-minute playlist with mantras, video and mantra cards. People are really loving it, so I’m definitely seeing making more of these every quarter.
And also, more partnerships with people and creating more content. I’m also working on a project for Spring with Kris Carr. And I’m getting married in January in Miami! And of course, the biggest thing I’m working on now is writing a book.
What’s the main idea of the book? It’s this idea of movement in your body and movement in your life. It might have the angle of weight loss / body confidence, but really, all the deeper stuff that I cover in my sessions.
Tell me more about Say It, Sweat It, Get It, challenge. It’s a week long challenge with really fun workouts and exercises, and people support each other in a Facebook group. It’s really really awesome! I don’t believe it takes going to extremes in order to feel good in your body this time of year. You don’t have to say no to family time OR cut yourself off from all the wonderful foods, drinks and experiences that you love this time of year.
Do you have non-negotiable routines when it comes to your physical and mental wellness? Definitely moving. I’m lucky enough to teach, that keeps me moving. But when I’m not teaching, for example when I’m on vacation, I make sure I go for a walk or a run, or get my heart rate up and sweat. That’s a non-negotiable. Another one is something called “the morning pages” from The Artist’s Way.
[quote type=”center”] Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. [/quote]
It’s writing three pages in my journal, especially when I’m going through trying to figure out what’s next. Even when I do know what’s next, it really helps to dump what’s on my mind before I get started with my work. That always works for me and gets me in the zone. I know if I’m feeling funky, I just sit down and write in my journal.
So you don’t think about it, and just write? I just write. I put on some music, and sometimes I’ll write mantras, sometimes I’ll write what’s bothering me, or a prayer, or brainstorm ideas. Whatever it may be, it just gets things flowing.
Is that how you come up with class mantras? Exactly, that’s the only way I can do it. I just start writing and think about what I need this month [Shrink Session mantras and workouts change every few weeks]. Maybe I’ll even start writing down what my fears are, and then look and see how I can turn this around intro mantras.