In Crown Heights there is a growing interest and awareness in physical health as an increasing number of people in the community begin to appreciate the intimate connection between the health of the body and overall mental and emotional wellbeing.
Catering to the growing demand, the Mayan Center in Crown Heights is now offering exercise classes for women led by fitness entrepreneur Sarede Switzer. Visitors to the center have the opportunity to participate in various exercises taught by an expert.
Bringing nearly a decade of fitness training experience to the Mayan Center, Switzer has attracted a wide following of people who enjoy her personalized and positive approach.
“I’m a very articulate and precise teacher,” explains Switzer with a laugh. “I try to show people through my classes that working out can be fun and should make you feel good. Exercise shouldn’t have to feel like a burden or a chore.”
Chani Goodman says “It’s never boring” at Switzer’s yoga classes, which are focused on psychical stretching for relaxation, rather than the original Hindu spiritual discipline.”
“Incorporating the lessons into my life has been a huge benefit for me. Sometimes hectic days get the better of me, and stopping, doing some of the simple breathing and movements that I learned from Sarede, help me feel refreshed, invigorated, and ready to face the day with a renewed enthusiasm.”
Switzer, CEO and founder of Crown Heights Fitness and Bring the Gym to Me, is something of a unique visionary, blazing a trail for residents in the Crown Heights community who want to work out and maintain an active lifestyle.
Bring the Gym to Me is an exercise matching service that pairs interested individuals and groups with appropriate exercise classes and instructors. With her extensive network of instructors, Sarede offers many classes at her center, Crown Heights Fitness, such as Zumba, hip-hop, men’s yoga, and karate. She also personally instructs the yoga class.
Switzer describes her philosophy as very client-centered and tailored to the particular needs of the people in each class. Rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, every class is different. For example, she never formally prepares for her classes and she refuses to make notes or outlines like most instructors do. Her classes are intuitive and each one is built around what the participants are in the mood to do on that particular day. The objective is to be sensitive to the needs of the clients and to make sure they are happy.
“There is a misconception in Western culture that skinny means healthy,” says Switzer. “I’m against that [way of thinking]. Everyone’s body type is different. The most important thing is to be healthy and what healthy looks like depends on the individual. That is my core belief, which I preach in my classes.”