Read all about Rhiannon, another incredible new trainer!

We are so lucky to have Rhiannon on our team!!  I knew I wanted to work with her the first time I met her, and she has been such a lovely, caring and conscientious member of our company.
 
Rhiannon’s career reminds me a bit of mine.  She absolutely loves dance in every way, and her passion for helping others has had a big influence on the choices she has made along the way.  This caring quality makes her such an attentive trainer, and anyone lucky enough to work with her will see that right away.  
 
Find out all the fun and quirky details about Rhiannon below, including what most people don’t realize about the way she was raised!  Thank you for everything, Rhiannon — we are excited to work with you!
 
~ Mahri
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Where were you born?  
Queens, NY
 
Where did you grow up?  
Queens, NY
 
What’s your biggest passion?  
My biggest passion is dance!
 
 
Tell me about your career. Have you changed directions? If so, why? 
My career is being a professional dancer and fitness trainer. In college, I always thought I’d be a strictly modern dancer and go on to dance in a small company. After graduating, I began to find a passion for musical theatre and commercial dance and decided to pursue that. Around the same time I began delving into fitness and really found a passion for teaching and helping others. This is where I began my journey as a fitness instructor!
 
What do you wish you knew when you were younger?
What I wish I knew when I was younger is that there’s no single easy journey in life. Things are going to get tough and you might get knocked off of your original “perfect” plan. I think when those things happen, not only does it make you stronger but it creates new paths and new oppurtunities you might have missed originally!
 
What’s your fitness fashion style?  
My fitness fashion style is definitely very simple! I love simple and functional clothes that don’t break the bank! Target is probably my favorite place to shop for fitness apparel. 
 
 
What’s the best piece of health/wellness/dance advice you’ve ever gotten?  
The best piece of health/wellness/dance advice I’ve ever gotten would probably be to always explore new ways of moving. This can apply to dance and fitness! I never like to get stuck in one genre for too long because then I’m not making myself as dynamic as possible. In fitness, I love to try new botique classes and different instructors! There’s so many options in NYC that you can never get bored.
 
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?  
My guiltiest pleasure is definitely binge watching reality tv shows! I’m obsessed with anything Real Housewives or Jersey Shore. Currently re-watching dance moms from the beginning LOL.
 
What quality do you really cherish about yourself?  
A quality I really cherish about myself is always wanting to help other people. I truly find joy in teaching and making sure peoples’ needs are being met. This is why teaching private trainings is perfect for me to ensure what I’m giving a client is tailor made to their wants and needs!
 

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What’s something most people don’t know about you (that’s maybe a little funny or weird)?  
Something a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m a born and raised vegetarian! 
 
Anything else about you that I missed?  
I’m just so grateful to be a part of the BoCo family!!!!!

Meet Demi Remick, one of our newest team members and fabulous tap dancer!

It’s been such a pleasure getting to know Demi since the very first time we met.  She is known as an incredible tap-dancer in NYC dance circles (which definitely impressed me!), but some of the most wonderful qualities about her from my perspective are her deep care for others, her conscientiousness and strong sense of responsibility, and her warmth and connection with others.  These are the qualities I seek in our trainers, and I feel so lucky to have her on the team.

While the COVID pandemic has made it difficult to meet our trainers in person, you have so many opportunities to see Demi online and train with her in virtual sessions.  Contact us to arrange sessions with her, and you will have such a fun experience! 

Read about Demi below to find out more about her background and her secret dream (which I have a feeling will come true!).  

Enjoy, and join me in welcoming Demi to the team!  ~Mahri

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Full name: Demi Remick

Where were you born? New Hampshire!

Where did you grow up?  New Hampshire but I moved to NYC at 15-years-old!

 

What’s your biggest passion?

Tap dancing!

Tell me about your career. Have you changed directions? If so, why? 

I am a professional tap dancer, teacher and performer. I haven’t changed directions, only added fitness into my life! I love taking care of my body because it is my instrument, and sharing that with others is such a special addition to my life as a dancer!

What do you wish you knew when you were younger? 

Not to stress out about so many small things. To enjoy the ride and look forward to the future!

What’s your fitness fashion style?

High waisted leggings and sports bra matching set!

What’s the best piece of health/wellness/dance advice you’ve ever gotten?

The body is capable of so much more than we think. Our bodies are smart, resilient and adaptable!

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups!

What quality do you really cherish about yourself?

My resilience, determination and commitment to everything no matter how small in my life.

What’s something most people don’t know about you (that’s maybe a little funny or weird)? 

I love stand up comedy! Some of my favorite comedians are Steve Martin, Bo Burnham & John Mulaney!

Anything else about you that I missed?

I have a secret dream to be a tap dancing host or guest on Sesame Street! If you know one of the producers, send them my way.

How do I manage this “new normal”?

Anyone who has followed our Body Conceptions events in the last year has gotten to know clinical psychologist, Dr. Rachel Goldman.  “Dr. Rachel” (as she loves to be called) has been a strong force in the wellness scene in NYC, and she has partnered with me several times on panels designed to help postpartum women find balance and feel less stressed.  Her expertise spans a range of topics centered on women’s health and wellness in addition to behavior change and weight management.  She is a true expert on how we can manage our stress in difficult times, and these times definitely count as difficult! 
 
I reached out to Dr. Rachel to ask for her guidance, and I hope her thoughtful and measured answers help you and your family the same way they helped me.  You will find great tips on how to handle new-mom overload and stress-eating, and you will also find some great ideas for how to keep the whole family more balanced and connected right now.  
Please enjoy.  We at Body Conceptions send lots of love!
 
~Mahri
 
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Everything is in a state of flux right now, and lots of mom and families are feeling overwhelmed.  Do you have any tips on how moms can feel more centered?  Maybe a few tips on what they can do for themselves at this time?
 
When we are feeling stressed, or going through a difficult time, the first thing that tends to go out the window is our self-care. My recommendation is to try to maintain some sort of routine, even if it is a new routine for you. Remember to focus on what is IN your control, which includes your health behaviors- specifically including water intake, the food we put in our mouths, movement, sleep, and stress management techniques. 
 
As a relatively new mom yourself, how are you handling working from home and balancing care for your child?
 
This is not easy and it is a daily struggle, but maintaining some sort of routine has been helpful. I also remind myself that I am doing the best that I can, which I am given the current situation. Remembering to use positive self-talk can be very helpful. It is difficult with my husband and I both trying to work from home, and not have childcare, but we make it work (as I often say). We try to take shifts working and spending time with our little guy when we can and we both definitely focus and get work done when he naps.  It’s also important to remind ourselves that many people are experiencing the same (or similar ) thing right now, so people will be understanding. I do virtual sessions and teletherapy from home, and I am honest with my clients that I have a 1 year old and they are all understanding. We need to be more understanding and kind to ourselves as well.  
 
You work with weight management and behavior change, and it can be especially tricky to handle stress eating right now.  Do you have a few tips on how to keep that under control?
 
This is definitely tricky right now and I hear many people struggling with snacking/eating out of boredom or stress during this time.  Something to remember is that when we are at work, we tend to be busy and have distractions, but we also may not have a fully stocked refrigerator or pantry within a few steps of us.  
 
Now, being home and working from home, we have that luxury  – food is always available and accessible to us.  Sticking to a routine definitely helps.  Plan out your meals and snack times just as you would if you were at work.  If you find yourself going to the kitchen at other times, ask yourself what is going on.  Many times we are bored at those times and then we need to come up with an alternative behavior to participate in during those times.  
 
Of course if you are truly hungry and you haven’t eaten in hours, then you need to eat.  But if not, figure out something else to do at that time.  It could be a sign that you need a short break.  Take a walk if you can, do the plank or a short workout, call a friend, etc.
 
And finally, I would love to talk about how the whole family copes with being together and at home right now.  We definitely recommend trying a family workout, which can be a great bonding experience to let off steam and feel better together.  I would love some thoughts from an expert like you on how to help keep families happy and healthy together right now.
 
Doing some sort of fun activity together is definitely a great idea. We have been doing family workouts and family walks together, but I think anything that you do together as a family can be a nice way to bond together.  For many families that perhaps didn’t typically have meals together, this is a great time to start doing that. Everyone is now at home and family mealtimes is a great bonding time, as well as having many other benefits. 
 
I would also suggest that everyone continue to have some sort of “me time.” This is a change- you are not used to all being home together at the same time, and for days at a time. Speak to your family and figure out a schedule that works for everyone. Perhaps take shifts and allow each other the time that they need— even if it is only a few minutes. Additionally, I would ask each other what they need and how they are doing. This daily family check-in could be an activity that you do during a family meal. Ask each other how you are coping and if there is anything the family can do differently to help each other. Communication and support is key right now!  
 
 

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Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS (aka Dr. Rachel) is a clinical psychologist who takes a holistic approach to health. She specializes in the mind-body connection, including stress reduction, the treatment of obesity and weight management, and health behavior change.  She is also Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine and has a private practice in NYC where she utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy to assist in behavioral changes, both with individual clients and corporate wellness. She is a sought after expert who has been featured in media, including The New York Times, TIME magazine, CNN, USA Today, Shape, and Women’s Health. She is on the Wellness Board of VeryWell.com and continues to be an expert guest on Sirius XM Doctor Radio. She continues to live an active lifestyle in NYC with her husband and 1 year old, and is passionate about helping others live healthier and happier lives by promoting positive behavioral changes. She believes everyone CAN live happy and healthy lives! 

Moms out there needing exercise, we’ve got you covered! An Interview with Brooklyn Bump

Below is in interview I had with Amelia Freeman of Brooklyn Bump, a community-driven site for Brooklyn moms to connect, share, and learn from one another during the early stages of motherhood.  Brooklyn Bump is filled with incredible resources for moms, so I felt so grateful to featured on her site and share the virtual resources we have been creating for pregnancy and postnatal recovery.  

To see the interview on their site, go here.  Also check out their fantastic resources and follow Brooklyn Bump on Instagram.  They are a great community!!

~ Mahri

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Mahri Relin, owner of Body Conceptions, talks to us about her personalized workouts designed to support women through all stages of life. They are at-home training sessions designed specifically for expecting and postnatal moms – fun for both you and baby.

Mahri, you are such a positive energy and have created a wonderful at-home fitness option for so many women to get moving on their own time. How did Body Conceptions come to be and why did you decide to provide remote workouts opposed to the traditional class setting?

Thanks so much, Amelia!   I have done lots of thinking about this question.  I originally started Body Conceptionsbecause I felt like so many women were looking for fitness experiences that felt joyful, motivating, and effective but that also worked for them as individuals.  I am very supportive of other fitness businesses out there, but I felt when I started my company that lots of women felt pressured to come into classes with a high level of fitness from the beginning and that there was a lot of pressure to conform and push their bodies to the limit even when it wasn’t right for them.  

I also recognized that there were times in women’s lives – like pregnancy for example – when they needed extra fitness guidance and support, and there were very few fitness experts out there to help them.

For me, helping people individually and discovering how I can work with them and their specific individual needs is one of the most rewarding experiences in the world.  I love finding out what people need and helping them gain strength and confidence in their bodies and their lives over time. I also love going through fitness experiences with them and seeing the joy and energy on their faces afterwards.  There is nothing better than helping someone feel happier and better about themselves, and thus giving them more tools to help fuel the rest of their lives.  

I love that and can imagine it is a very rewarding feeling!

Tell us about your shift in focus to prenatal/postnatal clients and why it was important to offer in addition to the private training sessions that already existed. 

That’s a great question!  I actually had a prenatal focus even from the beginning, but there were lots of people who came to us for other things too — wedding and event preparation, lifestyle fitness, general health improvement, etc.  We actually still see many of those original clients because people tend to stay with us for a long time, but we started becoming hyper-focused on pre and postnatal exercise in the last 3-4 years. Once I saw that women were not getting the fitness information they needed to get through pregnancy and the postnatal healing process properly, I realized more and more that this needed to be a big role of ours.   

Knowing that knowledge was the key to becoming the best pre and postnatal fitness experts possible, we started diving deeper into the information out there as a company, which often meant getting into PT territory since fitness education can often be too general.  We have also had conversations and taken courses with doctors, psychologists, dietitians, coaches, and integrative practitioners, among others, to get as full a picture as possible about what women need at these crucial times of their lives. We want to know as much as we can, but we also acknowledge the limits of our expertise and refer our clients out to our favorite experts when they need extra support.  We have an AMAZING network!

How do your pre/postnatal workouts differ from others and what can a mom-to-be or new mom expect at their first class?

Our workouts are based on the Body Conceptions method, which is a dance-based cardio and sculpting approach.  This doesn’t mean you have to be a dancer or even remotely coordinated, but we use dance-based principles that focus on alignment, strengthening and lengthening your muscles, and supporting your joints properly during these crucial times.  We also focus heavily on incorporating core work, and we do lots of integrative movement that’s excellent for your mind as well. And it’s all set to great music, so you can’t help but have fun in the process!

Although people don’t realize this in the moment, our method has tons of improvisation built into it. This allows our trainers to be able to shift direction rapidly or accommodate anything specific at the drop of a hat.  Our trainers are also heavily trained in pre and postnatal principles, so they can always accommodate those principles within the workouts depending on the needs of the client. And that part is especially important. We understand that each person and each pregnancy and postnatal recovery process is different.  We focus very intensely on understanding your unique needs as a client and accommodating and supporting those needs so that you can get the most healthy and personalized experience possible with us.

In your first session with us, you can expect tons of questions about your background, special conditions, and anything specific you might be experiencing in connection with your current or recent pregnancy (e.g., diastasis, pelvic issues, back or shoulder pain, etc).  We will do some assessments, and we will also start teaching you principles right away so that you have some things to keep in mind both during and after your sessions with us. You will experience our workout the way we feel would work best for you. You will move your whole body, likely do some sweating, and you will probably feel pretty challenged.  You will also have a great time – the most important part!

That’s so true! The workouts I experienced were so fun and such a great mix of cardio and strength but with the ease I needed to feel comfortable being a couple months postpartum. Also, my baby LOVED watching which was a great way for us both to spend the better part of an hour. Do all of your trainers show up with variations of a set workout you’ve created, or are they all unique depending on who teaches? Curious to know what “formula” you use so-to-speak in establishing these mom-targeted routines. 

I’m so glad you had a great time!  Each of our trainers has a unique flavor, so it’s really fun for us to match them with clients depending on how we think personalities will go well together.  And yes, babies love to watch us!! Moms sometimes think they need to put their new babies down for a nap in order to work out with us effectively, but we have lots of success doing the workout in front of their babies who love the music and visual stimulation.  (And we also have exercise you can do WITH your babies too!)

Our workouts generally have a set structure with specific principles and targets for the body, and I spend a lot of time discussing the principles behind why we choose to move certain ways within the method.  Beyond that, there is a lot of room for the trainer to improvise, which is a crucial part of our work. The improvisation allows the trainer to change direction immediately, and often they will need to drop any plan they might have walking into a session with a client who needs something very different in the moment. 

I came to a session once and learned that my client had just fallen down some stairs but still wanted to work out! (I don’t recommend exercising while injured, but she and I were pretty confident that we could work around what had just happened to her.) I took a very different approach in that moment than I intended and somehow managed to give her a tough workout without causing any pain.  Without the freedom of improvisation, I never would have been able to do that – phew!

Oh wow! Yes, I’m glad you both were able to make the session a success under the circumstances!

Speaking of one form of “injury” to another, what types of movements and recovery methods are you and your team focusing on when visiting a mom who has recently given birth? 

That’s a great question!  We are thinking a lot about the trauma our mom has just experienced and the individual needs they have at that time.  In other words, we want to know whether that mom needed a c-section or had a vaginal delivery, and whether there were tears, etc.  We will also check for diastasis (or a split in their abdominals, which is common), and we will assess any pelvic floor issues – plus posture issues, back pain, neck or shoulder issues, the full gamut!  Our approach moving forward will be aimed at how to build up strength the right way while accommodating any of these individual issues (and of course referring them to any specialists if we feel they need that).  

One of the most important needs for a newly postnatal mom is strengthening the connection between the rib cage, diaphragm, pelvic floor, and deep core. We talk a lot about this as a company, and we do lots of education around this with our clients.  Believe it or not, breathing properly after having a baby is the first and most crucial step to recovery. It’s the key to healing and also setting yourself up for everything that comes afterwards, from the first steps to ultimately getting back to the exercise intensity that you had before giving birth!

Here is the question I know everyone reading is thinking. SPACE! Space is an issue for so many of us New Yorker’s and inevitably becomes a question of… “But do I have the room?” What do you tell moms who don’t think their space is conducive to working out in?

Believe it or not, crowded living rooms or bedrooms are some of my favorite spaces for workouts! We honestly don’t need much space at all to give you a workout.  As long as you can put down a mat (and hopefully have at least a little space for us to put one down next to you), then we are usually all set. On top of that, I love using chairs, pillows, countertops, and beds as great ways to support the body at different levels and use different kinds of leverage and challenge. We have also had great sessions in small hotel rooms and kids’ playrooms.  Almost any space is possible!

Amazing!

Now to touch briefly on the global crisis we are facing together as COVID-19 touches our nation. We are living in uncertain times and small businesses of all kinds are trying to navigate ways to accommodate a world of temporary isolation. What are ways moms can keep using your services even when you or one of your awesome trainers can’t be there physically? 

Thank you so much for asking.  We are doing our best and also trying to spread the word about other businesses who can help families remotely too.

We are actually offering FaceTime sessions for both individuals and small groups. It’s becoming a really fun way for groups of friends to connect and sweat together.  And we can also really see and correct clients when we do our one-on-one sessions, even on the screen! We do workouts for whole families because – let’s face it – we all need to let off steam and find ways to have a great time together right now.  I have a family of 5 planning to work out with me later this afternoon!

We also have an On Demand video platform, which you can access from our website (www.bodyconceptions.com).  It has lots of full-length and shorter workouts, and there is a pregnancy section with both prenatal and postnatal information as well.  

Basically, we’ve got you covered right now if you really need to sweat, let off steam, and have a good time.  We all need it!

Those are great options – ones I’m personally very grateful for.

Lastly, aside from offering training sessions you also are a great force in the birthing community bringing moms together through special events and gatherings. What’s next for Body Conceptions and where else can fans (like me!) expect to see you in the near future?! 

One of my biggest passions is bringing moms together for workout and wellness experiences and educational panels.  I have been doing that in both Denver and NYC, and I also do my best to introduce our moms to lots of other great businesses and practitioners who can help them.  

Right now, we have had to delay plans in NYC for an event I am dying to tell you about and had to delay an event we had already scheduled in Denver — so please stay tuned for announcements about both of them once things start to calm down.  I think a great idea now is to recreate these experiences online. I am getting ready for a few of those offerings and will announce them soon. (I’ll make sure that you’re one of the first to hear!)  

I want to send love and good health to your community right now.  You are not alone by any stretch, and my company and I will do our best to help ease your load and feel better.  Thanks, Amelia, for giving me the chance to connect with everyone!!

Thank you, Mahri! I’m a big fan of you and your company. Thanks for supporting our community and all you do to keep moms everywhere healthy and happy!

When Your Family Needs Childcare! Meet Lindsay from Bell Family Company

I have worked with moms and families for over a decade, and without a doubt one of the most stressful experiences for them is finding new childcare.  It’s harrowing to find the right person since there are clearly so many factors involved.  Parents need to feel comfortable with that person spending lots of time with their children, and they also need to get along with them as adults.  Safety is a huge factor, and it can be difficult to get information on their new person’s history or experiences with previous families.

We don’t necessarily connect with childcare companies as a fitness business, but I realized immediately when I found out about Bell Family Company that they provided a service that’s essential to our clients.  They do lots of vetting of their providers, and I found out about them through trusted sources who had great experiences with them.  We can’t guarantee every experience of course, but I love passing on information about great people when they can potentially help (and relieve the stress of) a huge group of our clients.  

Meet Lindsay Bell below, founder of Bell Family Company – and a sweet person as well! Find out more about her company, some fun and interesting details about her personal history, and get some tips on what to look out for in a great childcare provider.  We definitely recommend using her company, and we want to hear about your experiences with childcare in general.  (DM us at @bodyconceptions on Instagram!)

Enjoy!
~Mahri 

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Where did you grow up?
I grew up on a small farm outside of Cleveland, OH. My four sisters and I loved imaginative play; always developing towns down in our basement, making forts in the woods behind our home, setting up stores in our bedrooms selling items we crafted. We helped our mom and dad a lot with the home; picking veggies in the garden, feeding the cattle, mowing the lawn (when we were old enough), helping with laundry, etc. My parents taught us the perfect mix of responsibility and fun.

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into childcare.  
I am the oldest of 5 girls so babysitting and leadership have been with me since I can remember. I am the product of two educators so I also get my love for caring and teaching children from my parents. I remember pitching my parents on allowing me to babysit my little sisters when I was 12 years old, I was very convincing and they let me! While I was in high school, I continued babysitting for local families on the weekends and after school. I got my first full time summer nanny job when I was 16. I worked 8-5pm M-F and cared for 3 girls 5, 6 and 7 years old. I loved it! Since that I babysat all the time, it must have been hundreds of families over the years and all ages newborn to teenagers.

Why did you decide to start your own company?
As a teenager I religiously read Glamour Magazine; that is how I learned and became obsessed with wanting to move to NYC. It wasn’t my grand plan to start a childcare placement agency, but I guess it was always in the cards for me to care for children. In 2005 I moved to NYC without a job and started babysitting for a few families on the UES. I kept at it adding my friends to babysit when I couldn’t and the families started to tell other families about my babysitters club. In 2008, I realized I had something special with my babysitters club and licensed it.

In my experience, finding the right person to watch their children – especially in a very involved way like nanny – can be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences as a mom. What advice would you give moms on what to look for in a childcare provider? What are the qualities they should find?
Connection between child and nanny is important, but even more so the connection between nanny and parents has to be special. I always advise moms to focus on the connection vs other matters that come secondary. Its like when you are dating and want to find a good match for yourself; you want to have that connection because you are going to work alongside this person for a long time, you are going to raise children with this person, you are going to share a home with this person, etc.

Nannies that report having an excellent connection with their employer tend to stay on longer term and become part of the family.

Every family wants the same basic things in a nanny; loving, caring, nurturing, etc. No one really comes to us and says, I really want to have a great connection with my nanny!

What should parents avoid? Are there any red flags you identify when you are hiring childcare professionals?
-Nannies that don’t respond quickly; just move on. If someone is interested they get back right away.

– The families that come to us all want nannies that are legal to work in the USA.  If your family prefers this, be sure to review all documentation carefully.

-If you are a busy working parent and don’t have time to dedicate to a search, go with an agency. It’s so time consuming running a search, so if you have the means outsource it!!

There are other flags, but we have found they are on a case by case basis.  For example you may not want to judge someone that doesn’t smile right away in an interview; maybe she is nervous or maybe in her culture she is not taught to do that. When we send a profile to a family we’ll communicate our experience with her thus far and give notes to prep the family on what to expect and ask about to further get to know her.

Could you tell us a little about Bell Family Company? What can parents expect when they want to work with you? What are the kinds of services that you provide?
I think the most special thing we offer is our on-call 24/7 concierge; during off hours a family can come to us anytime with a request! It’s basically a safety net for parents. So if your nanny gets sick or you have a last minute meeting you have to go to at night, families contact us and we get them booked with a sitter.

Our agency is family owned, and ran by mothers, former nannies/sitters and educators. We provide a white glove experience; so families are not just dealing with technology, they are speaking with a member of our team, talking through questions, getting guidance on situations, etc. Our agency provides all family care services; full and part time, baby nurses/night nurses, on-demand sitters (daytime, evening, weekend), Travel Sitters, Family Helpers, you name it we do it.

What’s one of the best pieces of advice you ever received about starting and running your own company?
“Not everyone is going to like you, and you are not going to like everyone.”

“Don’t worry about being loved by others, you want to be respected by them.”

The first quote is from a friend from college and the second is from my dad. Notice they are both focused on pleasing others😊

Is there anything else I haven’t asked that you would like to share? Anything unexpected or interesting about your background?
My husband was my first investor. He and I worked together for a year to take the business to the next level. My mother was my first employee and she is still with the company. I will forever be thankful to her for all her time and devotion to Bell Family Company.  Oh last, but not least I’m the mother of two young boys!

How can families reach you?
Email me, . I’d love to hear from them! They can also call the office and speak with a member of our team 212-265-3354

 

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More about Lindsay:
Lindsay Bell learned early on about responsibility and leadership as the eldest of five girls she grew up babysitting. After graduating from college in Ohio, Lindsay landed her first job in NYC with the Radio City Rockettes (one BIG family). She most notably executed the production of the 75th Celebration Edition of the Radio City Spectacular Book and coordinated The Rockettes in The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade all while babysitting for a handful of families on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. After three years, the babysitting became more and more demanding, and that is when she saw the opportunity and need for the business. Lindsay officially founded Lucky Lil’ Darlings in 2009, which at the time placed only on-demand evening babysitters, it was later renamed Bell Family Company in 2014 placing all family care needs. In 2013, Lindsay lead the acquisition of NY Nanny Center which merged with Bell Family. Bell Family currently with over 1,000 nannies and sitters, continues to expand and serve as a leader in the family care space. For the last 10 years Lindsay has focused on pursuing her passion for complete, trusted family care, establishing an unmatched network of reliable family care providers, interacting with America’s finest families and aligning herself with the best in family brands.

Meet Denver trainer, Shannon Cave: A true beam of light!

When I met Shannon 10 years ago, what stood out most to me was her boundless energy and joyous smile.  I had no idea that she would eventually work for us, but she was definitely someone I wanted to know and be around all the time. 

As you read her interview below, Shannon spent so many years of her life involved in dance and fitness.  She developed such a keen awareness of her own body and true appreciation for both fun and intelligent movement.  I knew very quickly when we connected again in Denver that she was someone I wanted on my team.  She began working for us as a trainer last year, and I saw such intense enthusiasm from her clients.  I knew without a doubt that I had made the smartest decision to bring her on and that she would be a friend as well for a long time!

You will see below that Shannon lives her life fully, truly appreciates the opportunities that come her way, and takes so much care in her work at all times.  She is the trainer you want by your side, thinking all the time about how to get the best out of you and how to make the experience the best and most fun it can be.  Thank you, Shannon, for coming on board!!

~ Mahri 

 

photography by Chelsea Chorpenning

Full name:  Shannon King Cave

Where were you born?  Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Where did you grow up?  Houston, Texas

What’s your biggest passion?  My passions are spending time with my family and friends. Staying healthy and physically fit.

photography by Chelsea Chorpenning

Tell me about your career. Have you changed directions? If so, why?  As a 40-something mother of two incredible teenagers (the hardest & most rewarding part of my career), my path has definitely meandered. Throughout the years, I have worn many different hats: actress, dancer, singer, event planner, creative director, ballet teacher, buyer, entrepreneur and business owner. The common thread throughout every stage of my life is thirst for movement and wellness. (BoCo Founder) Mahri and I met many years ago in the dance fitness community and I have always admired her passion for bringing fitness to women during all stages of their life. Working with Mahri and training under her to become a part of the Body Conceptions Team is a dream come true.

What do you wish you knew when you were younger?  Not to sweat the small stuff, to laugh at myself, to spend as much time as I could with my grandparents, and finally: to stretch!

photography by Chelsea Chorpenning

What’s your fitness fashion style?  Lululemon Align pants. I have extra long legs and the 28” length fit amazing. I have them in every pattern and color. They are like second skin and super comfortable.

What’s the best piece of health/wellness/dance
advice you’ve ever gotten?  My mom always told me to never leave the house without lipstick on and that has stuck with me my entire life. (My color is Raisin by Bobbie Brown). Along the way others have turned me on to dry brush, salt baths & cryotherapy.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?  There are two…Reposado Tequila (I enjoy it over a big rock with a grapefruit slice) and mint chocolate chip ice cream.

What quality do you really cherish about yourself?  Fierce loyalty.

What’s something most people don’t know about you (that’s maybe a little funny or weird)?  Gum freaks me out; I have never ever chewed a piece. I think I have a phobia.

photography by Chelsea Chorpenning

Meet Ceci Whyel, our extraordinary (and first!) Denver trainer

Expanding my business to Denver from NYC was a daunting process.  I didn’t know how the fitness scene worked yet, and I didn’t have the connection with the dance community I had developed in New York through which to meet and hire trainers.  However, Ceci came highly recommended to me from a trusted source, and I know she needed to be my first trainer the minute I met her!
 
One of the first things you notice about Ceci is her confidence, intelligence, and warm energy.  She is such a grounded and knowledgeable fitness professional, and she is extremely willing to learn and grow in the industry.  Ceci also happens to be an aerialist, a beautiful dancer, a choreographer — and a singer,  I just learned from her interview below!  The list of her talents go on and on!
 
Those who train with Ceci rave about her knowledge and care in her workouts, and she’s also very challenging.  If you have a chance to work with her, you are definitely lucky!  Check out her interview below.  I am truly grateful to have set up my business the right way here in Denver and I thank Ceci for helping make that possible.  
 
~Mahri
 
 
Full name: Cecilia Potter Whyel
 
Where were you born?  Concord, MA
 
Where did you grow up?  Acton, MA
 

photography by Chelsea Chorpenning

 
What’s your biggest passion? DANCE! I am a contemporary/modern dancer and aerialist. I teach, perform, and choreograph in the Greater Denver Area. 
 
Tell me about your career. Have you changed directions? If so, why? I went to Elon University and graduated with a BA in Theatre and a dance minor. I absolutely loved my instructors at Elon and decided to pursue dance as a career. I picked up my life in North Carolina and headed to the University of Oregon to get my MFA. After my first year, I decided that I wanted to jump into professional performance. I felt extremely conflicted on where to head next– I love the outdoors so NYC and LA did not seem to be a good fit. My boyfriend at the time (now my husband) had an internship in Denver and I fell in CO during my first visit. Once more I moved across the country and settled in Boulder. The dance scene in Boulder introduced me to several different performance companies and the world of fitness. The rest is history! 
 
What do you wish you knew when you were younger? Nothing ever goes the way you plan it, so you might as well enjoy the ride. 
 

photography by Chelsea Chorpenning

 
What’s your fitness fashion style?  Capri leggings (I’m insanely short so they fit me about ankle length) and a crop top. I have SO many crop tops! 
 
What’s the best piece of health/wellness/dance advice you’ve ever gotten? Develop anatomical integrity. Every body is unique like a snowflake. When you get to know the intricacies of your physical structure and how fully you can move, the possibilities are endless. 
 
What’s your guiltiest pleasure? I am a secret (or maybe not so secret) nerd. I love fantasy and adventure genres (think LOTR, Star Wars, GOT, anything Marvel–you name it). 
 

photography by Chelsea Chorpenning

 
What quality do you really cherish about yourself? I am very honest (New England girl at heart) and always my most authentic self. 
 
What’s something most people don’t know about you (that’s maybe a little funny or weird)?  I was a classical vocalist for over 15 years. 
 
Anything else about you that I missed?  When I am not dancing, I am most likely hiking, camping, or whitewater rafting in the mountains. 
 

photography by Chelsea Chorpenning

Why are women abandoned after they have babies??

Why are women abandoned after they have babies??

The question we ask every day and the reason we created a special gift for new moms

 

I have been asked many times why I decided to start my own company.  Frankly, I had never considered doing something like that for most of my life.  However, my early experiences in the fitness industry watching women struggle with fitness in the times that mattered the most were incredibly impactful to me.  Pregnant women in fitness classes around me had no idea how to modify their workouts appropriately. And frankly, many of us working in studios had no idea how to really help them.  (Even when we knew general principles, each individual woman was a mystery to us — after all every pregnancy is SO different!)  

And perhaps most mysterious to all of us was the time after birth.  

“You’re cleared!”

After having babies, women around me in my first studios were jumping right into their old fitness routines and experiencing so many problems — Peeing when they jumped for the first time (and for YEARS afterwards!), experiencing deep pelvic pain, developing a “mom pooch” that never went away and accompanied years of back problems and hernias, and even needing pelvic and abdominal surgery.  And so many of them had been told that they were “cleared” for exercise without careful instructions on how to approach fitness in ways that may have mitigated some of these problems.

I watched in these early years with so much frustration and empathy for these women  – and perhaps with worry about my own future journey. There seemed to be so little specific guidance for women at a time that can feel so lonely and scary all the way around.  

I knew at that moment in my fitness career that I needed to take charge and find out how to be a better resource.  Even as I created my own company 8 years ago and put pre- and postnatal fitness at the forefront of our mission, I had no idea how immersed we would become in this world — and how much information over the course of so many years we would need to gather from fitness experts and also from physical therapists, nutritionists, body workers, and psychologists to get the full picture of pregnancy and beyond.  And honestly, we are still learning.

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Postnatal Life

I got a call recently from Jennie Monness — superstar mom, founder of Mo Mommies and co-founder of Union Square Play if you haven’t heard of her already!  Jennie suggested that we consider offering a special session for recently new moms that people can give as a gift. Registries provide great ways to supply moms with the items they need for their babies, but a new mom is also so needy of help.  Why not create something that’s designed specifically to help support her physical recovery and also help her gain confidence and strength as she navigates her new life?

Why exercise?

To be honest, starting an exercise routine might feel like the lowest item on the list for a new mom.  She has so many other things to think about, and seriously — where is the time??

Exercising has proven to offer so many incredible benefits, and it’s one of the primary indicators of happiness according to recent reviews of research on correlations between mood and activity level.  For new moms, these benefits can be especially powerful. Exercise can increase energy levels that otherwise suffer from sleep deprivation. It also helps balance post-pregnancy hormones and can give moms more physical strength to prevent common injuries that occur from picking up, carrying, and feeding a baby for hours on end.  Exercise can help combat anxiety and depression. And even if it’s accomplished in small increments throughout the day, it can give new moms precious moments of time to focus on herself.

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Our New Mom Workout Gift!

Coming out of our conversations with Jennie, we decided to officially launch our New Mom Workout session!  This is a workout experience someone can give to a new mom who lives in NYC or Denver (where we have trainers who can provide in-home sessions).  It only costs $85, and it gives a new mom the chance to experience 45 minutes of our Body Conceptions workout and also learn some of the basic building blocks for proper postnatal recovery.  

Here is what’s included:

• Initial conversation/consultation by phone or email
• Diastasis check
• 45-minute postnatal-safe workout in the Body Conceptions method
• Core and breathwork designed for healing and postnatal conditioning 

If you are interested in buying one of these workouts for a new mom in your life, go to this link.  It will provide you more information as well as a portal to connect with us for next steps:

www.bodyconceptions.com/new-mom-registry-workout/

We are so honored to be involved in the recovery process for new moms, and this offering is a great way to show a new mom how much you understand her need for support.  

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Coming full circle, I look back these days on my early connections to pre- and postnatal fitness.  It feels so heartening to be part of a solution for women that arms them with knowledge and provides a workout experience that is both challenging and profoundly healing.  Accomplishing this has always been a life goal and certainly one of the biggest reasons having this business continues to give me satisfaction every day. I look forward to helping more moms and also giving you the chance to be part of this process as well.

~ Mahri

Welcome to our new instructor, Piera Calabro!

You might think that Piera is fabulous from afar (and she IS), but her extra-special spark is evident the minute she begins speaking. Her energy is full of sunshine and infectious spirit that makes you NEED to stick around for more. She is such special ball of light, and we are incredible lucky to have her on our team.

Piera comes to us with a great background in fitness as well as dance and the performing arts. Her command of a space when she instructs is amazing, and you can’t help but laugh and have the best time with her while working to your limit. She also has a deep interest in women’s health that matches our mission.

Please read more about Piera in her interview below. (I personally share her obsession with ice cream and skincare regimens lol). And let us know if you want to meet and train with her. You will have a blast!

Enjoy!
~Mahri

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Full name:
Piera Calabro

Where were you born?
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia

What’s your biggest passion?
Musical Theatre – whether it be performing in a show or attending one. In what other medium can you break out into song and dance when emotions have reached their pinnacle?

Tell me about your career. Have you changed directions? If so, why?
Initially, New York’s fitness industry intimidated me. I knew that I wanted to teach but didn’t know what studio would suit my personality. Luckily, I found Chaise Fitness and became certified as a group fitness instructor there. Pre and post natal fitness is an area of the industry I had always been interested in. I think it’s an incredibly delicate time for women and that attentive care and consideration should be taken to one’s health and well being. Finding Body Conceptions and hearing about Mahri’s ethos was like a breath of fresh air in the over-saturated machine that is fitness today. Our conscious approach to training clients allows for relationships that are built on longevity, compassion and honesty.  

What do you wish you knew when you were younger?
That being gay is ok!

What’s your fitness fashion style?
Anything Athleta

What’s the best piece of health/wellness/dance advice you’ve ever gotten?
Commit to a skin care regime both day and night from my mum!

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
ICE CREAM

What quality do you really cherish about yourself?
My genuine care for others

What’s something most people don’t know about you (that’s maybe a little funny or weird)?
I am terrified of birds.

New Instructor Spotlight – Welcome Kate Havlicek!

The minute I met Kate Havlicek, I knew we needed to work with her! Kate has a confidence and a sweet and grounded radiance that makes you immediately feel comfortable around her. Already a seasoned instructor, she brings incredible authority to her teaching that’s rare in those who first start working with us. She is simultaneously humble and kind while also inspiring in her training style. In short — FABULOUS!!

I learned a lot of fun and new things about Kate in this interview, and I hope you enjoy getting to know her as well. For those of you who have the pleasure of working with her privately, you are lucky!!

~ Mahri
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Full name: Catherine Ryan Havlicek (but I have always gone by Kate and I spell it with a K and Catherine with a C!)

Where were you born: Huntington, Long Island

Where did you grow up: I grew up in the town of East Hampton on the very east end of Long Island.

Biggest passion: Dance, movement, and fitness have always been some of my biggest passions. Moving my body in any way brings me the most joy, however I also have a deep love for film and am a huge movie buff!

Career: I worked for lululemon for many years, but also taught dance at the studio I went to growing up, while also teaching other fitness classes like barre and Zumba back in the day! My career has definitely become more centered around fitness as the years have gone on, and I am excited to be acquiring more knowledge about all aspects of fitness and personal training.

What do you wish you knew when you were younger: You do not have to live up to anyone’s expectations other than your own. There is no set path in life, or right or wrong way to live your life.

What’s your fashion fitness style: Pretty much always in mostly black, sleek mesh patterns on leggings, and fun crop tops. Love Michi, Alo Yoga, lululemon, and APL for sneakers!

Best health/wellness/dance advice: For wellness, definitely just to take care of yourself and make yourself a priority – love your body and acknowledge it for all that it is capable of. For dance, if you mess up the choreography, make it a solo!

Guiltiest pleasure: Binging 70’s & 80’s horror movies – they don’t even have to be that good. I just love them.

Quality you cherish about yourself: Being someone people often come to to talk to or open up to. I love being someone who can support other people, because I know I am so appreciative of the people in my life who I can turn to when I am in need.

Something people don’t know about you: I have an obsession with Quentin Tarantino and I have seen Inglourious Basterds more times than I could possibly count. I also do a pretty fantastic Velociraptor impression.