How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been doing this type of work for 15 years. It started with me being interested in movement and science. I pursued a degree in Dance, and wanted to be a sports therapist at first. After graduating from college I felt inspired to share my newfound knowledge of movement and health with our community in Hawai’i. I moved back home in 2007 to teach dance at Mid Pac. Simultaneously, I was teaching Pilates in Kaimuki and Kailua. After being an independent contractor for 9 years, I decided to step into the roll of being a business owner and Wainani Wellness Center opened on July 1st of 2017.
What is the biggest misconception people usually have when they first visit you?
A lot of people claim to not be flexible, or say that they have a weak core and therefore this Center might not be for them. I respond by saying that those challenges makes Wainani Wellness the perfect place for them! On the other side of the spectrum, we get individuals who think that Pilates, GYROTONIC or yoga are easy and just a good way to stretch, but they soon realize that it takes a lot of control, coordination, endurance and mindfulness to execute the exercises well. These modalities are amazing cross training for life and all the activities we love to do.
What drives you to do what you do?
My goal is to help people understand their bodies and how to age well by focusing on movement therapy and systems. I also believe in helping people become self-sufficient in accessing the (mental or physical) tools they need to lead fulfilling lives. It was very important to choose a name that could incorporate a fluid yet focused definition of what it means to live well and be healthy.
One thing I notice is that when people start to care for their bodies, they eventually want to hike or swim more. Once they are out in nature more, they then want to take better care of the environment. By helping people ground themselves in self-care and self-compassion, our Wellness Center’s positive influence creates a ripple effect that spreads throughout the community, the island and beyond!
What do you love about Kaimuki?
I love that this neighborhood is in town but still manages to not feel super townie. We’re close to Waikiki beaches, Kahala and a lot of ridge hikes. Kaimuki has a ton of amazing eateries, with very few buildings towering over us. Last but not least I love the people that surround me. Now that I’ve gotten to know so many of the businesses in the area, this place really feels like I have everything I need right here.
Where do you see Kaimuki in 5 years?
I’d want to see Queens Theater become a thriving performance space. It would also be interesting to see more parking for the community, but designed in a way that maximized our limitations of space.