Fitness Woman

For many of us, the well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions we made last month to work out more and eat less are starting to wane. That’s because real change doesn’t occur when we just try a fad diet or burn extra calories.

If we instead choose a holistic approach to health — one that involves our mind, body and spirit — it not only helps us feel fit, but it can also inspire and sustain a long-lasting healthy lifestyle. Two Oak Cliff fitness studios will help do just that.

Sync Yoga & Wellbeing owner Jennifer Lawson started practicing yoga in 2006. She says it immediately felt like home.

“I wanted to learn to teach so I could share what I was experiencing with others,” Lawson says.

She began teaching classes at several different studios around Dallas. When Lawson moved to Oak Cliff in 2008, she wanted to contribute to the neighborhood through a yoga-based business. In the fall of 2011, she opened Sync Yoga & Wellbeing.

“The goal is for Sync to be a community-based space offering a variety of classes, workshops and wellness options such as yoga, massage, community outreach, and other experiences to enhance the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and relational well being of its teachers and members,” Lawson says.

Sync offers multiple types of yoga classes, including vinyasa flow, core flow, dynamic whole body movement, meditation and restorative yoga for healing. Students are encouraged to try several classes and find the styles that appeal to them and give them the most fulfilling experience.

“We have highly qualified teachers who support all students to find a safe place to ‘be’ no matter what class they attend,” Lawson says. “We have students of all ages, shapes and sizes, as well as ability level; we also have quite a few men who practice at Sync.”

The community aspect of holistic health is particularly important to Lawson. One of the mantras at Sync is “connection matters.”

Experiencing a moment of calm

“Yoga is often presented as a very individual experience, but we tend to emphasize the ways that the practice reminds us of how much we have in common, how similar we are to each other, and how we can take care of each other in subtle ways just by showing up together,” Lawson says.

Last fall, the studio formed “Team Sync,” an outreach group that does charity work in the community.

This year, Sync opened a second studio at Sylvan Thirty. Lawson says to stay tuned for kids’ classes, programming for specialized populations, and expanded class offerings during prime times such as after work and weekend mornings.

Another neighborhood fitness studio that offers more than just a good workout is Jonathan’s Private Training Studio. Owner Jonathan Sloan played basketball in college for four years on a full scholarship until he blew out his knee his senior year. Doctors told Sloan that he could never play any high-intensity sports again — including basketball.

For the past four years, Sloan has been working on rehabilitation to stay active and injury free. His personal recovery and the knowledge he acquired while earning a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science inspired him to open his own fitness studio in Oak Cliff.

“I became a trainer so that I could learn how to fix myself,” Sloan says. “Now I want to share my knowledge and experience by training others.”

Primarily, Sloan does that through one-on-one private training, although group classes are offered as well.

“My training philosophy varies, but it always focuses 100 percent on the individual. There is no one size fits all when it comes to health,” Sloan says.

“Just like one medication working for someone and being ineffective for another, one training philosophy may work for one individual and not work for another. My training centers around your goals and getting you results.”

Cardio fitness, posture correction and strength training are generally included in the personal workout.

Nutritional counseling is another emphasis at Sloan’s training studio.

“You can’t get healthy if you aren’t eating right. I think nutrition is 80 percent of the equation for achieving results.”

Sloan says he’s a firm believer in the notion that “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”

“I want to encourage people to get moving efficiently again, reduce the risk of injury, and help them to discover a nutrition plan that works for them,” Sloan says.