April 20, 2020

Almost all of my coaching clients workout at home. This is the convenience and delight of at-home workout programs.

Once every month or two, a client will either ask what they should wear on their feet to workout OR report that they have started experiencing calf, foot or heel pain…and then disclose that they have been doing all their workouts barefoot.

There are benefits to being barefoot sometimes! It is good for our ankle and foot health to move all the bones of the foot and spread the toes.

white dog and woman walking barefoot

The question is: Is working out barefoot appropriate for me?


  • Animal Flow
  • Pilates
  • Stretching
  • Yoga
  • You are not doing high impact exercises.
  • You are not lifting or throwing heavy objects that you could drop on your feet.
  • You have healthy feet.


  • It hurts.
  • You are doing high impact exercises and you are not an elite athlete or trained dancer or gymnast.
  • You are jumping and you are not an elite athlete or trained dancer or gymnast.
  • You are lifting heavy weights or other objects you could drop on your feet.
  • You are new to exercise or returning from a long hiatus and your feet have not done this kind of movement for some time.

You have recently experienced a calf injury, acute or chronic plantar fasciitis, or a stress fractures of the foot.


OK, Anne, but I have seen some really sexy ‘yoga models’ doing fancy workouts in their socks on hardwood floors. Should I do that to also be sexy?

The only reason I would ever ask you to workout in socks is if the intention was to use them like blankets or gliders. This can be effective and fun in a supervised class or training setting!

The sliding allows for some challenging and fun core and dancey type stuff. But if you are planning to do pliet jump squats, at home, by yourself, in your cashmere socks, near your cat, on your hardwood floors…please don’t.

October 27, 2019

I would get a lot of other things done if I didn’t workout.

Especially at the times I usually workout – 6 a.m., when my creativity for work and writing are peaked, and 2 p.m., when my energy is up and I feel like “doing.”

If I didn’t workout in the morning, maybe I would be a successful writer, get more sleep, or write more blog posts.

If I didn’t workout on the days I workout in the afternoon, maybe I would bake bread, put away the laundry, or finally assemble that shelf.

But probably not. And even if I did do those things, none of those things are as consistently important to me as my fitness.

But that’s the fight we have in the moment, isn’t it? The overwhelm and the ‘shoulds’ take us away from ourselves and our commitment to ourselves – our commitment to mental and physical health and to a pain-free body.

You may feel a sense of accomplishment from assembling the shelf, cleaning the house, or putting away the laundry. But a sense of accomplishment is different from showing up for yourself.

A sense of accomplishment or productivity comes from a place of fear and feeds your ego; showing up for yourself comes from a place of love, because you value yourself. It is a form of self-care.

As I write these words, I am kneeling on the floor of my home gym. I interrupted my workout to write this because I knew I had to get these words down in this moment. I am not afraid of my workout being cut short or missed because I know there will be another, and another after that, and another after that.

It is like any other relationship – the more you show up for yourself, the more you trust yourself to show up for yourself the next time, and then you don’t have to be afraid.

December 29, 2018


“…Students are not clients. When you are a client, you get what you want. A student needs to arrive to class ready to receive what the teacher is ready to give them, as long as the teacher has the right qualifications.” -Master teacher Maty Ezraty in Andrea Ferretti’s Yoga Journal Q&A.”

I am so glad someone said this because I have felt it for so long. There are 3 titles for ‘my people’ in my career life:

I began in the fitness world, where ‘your people’ are clients and participants (1). When I began teaching yoga, those words didn’t fit. Yoga students are students (2). When I became an RMT, the people I treat are patients (3), not clients. They come to me to decide on a medical treatment plan. My personal training clients are still clients. They pay me to give them what they want.

But I feel this differentiation is the loudest in yoga. I go to a yoga class trusting that that teacher will give me the lesson I need that day. (That doesn’t mean I will not be afraid to question their lesson 🙂 But I trust that they, as the teacher, have a lesson to teach.

Many, many times, I have taught a private student or a yoga class knowing that the student(s) would not expect/want what they were about to receive.

I will have a new private yoga student who “pictures herself flowing strongly from pose to pose,” but we do a restorative practice because I know that is what she needs for hormonal balance and her great stress.

I will have a yoga student who comes expecting to do chair pose, but ends up doing wall squat almost until fatigue because he needs to know that he can.

I would say, more often than not, I teach a public class at a slower pace than expected because the students need to learn shoulder biomechanics more than they need to do 108 chaturangas.

I am not saying that I am doing ‘yoga-teaching’ right, but I have gotten better at listening to my gut.
Sometimes I am still nervous that I won’t give my students what they want. But I am playing the long-game in a “Trust me, I have done this before” kind of way.

I suppose this is a request to yoga students to seek out teachers who they trust to have the qualifications to teach them what they need (and to maybe get their “workouts” from a non-yoga source), and for yoga teachers to be true to their hearts and to teach what they know their students need at a level that is appropriate for the student and the teacher.

I would love to hear what you think. ? xo

January 25, 2018

Core Rehab isn’t all pick-ups, pikes and planks. In fact, it’s mostly not.

TRX Pike

I had a very strong core pre-pregnancy. I didn’t do any core work the first trimester and then did very appropriate, mindful core work for the duration of my pregnancy.

I waited the requisite six weeks post (+ a couple days) before returning (cautiously) to exercise. I began with very gentle bodyweight exercise and yoga without any negative symptoms. I was feeling fine, and went to my first spin class after eight weeks. I had a couple of symptoms standing during the class, but otherwise felt good and strong.

Then I returned to a regular workout – mostly strength (barbell and TRX) with two cardio exercises in between exercises. All was good with the strength, but I had some real pelvic floor symptoms jumping rope, which, admittedly, was stupid that soon post-partum. I backed off, but kept doing strength workouts three times a week.

Today, I finally went to see my physiotherapist, Cathy, who is a pelvic floor specialist. She and I worked on my pelvic floor before and during my entire pregnancy. If you are having a baby, or have had a baby, and have not seen a pelvic floor physiotherapist, you must. I am a huge advocate. You must. You must do it.

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common, but NOT normal part of being a mother. Pelvic Floor fitness is more individual than just attending a post-natal boot camp or fitness class. I wish B.C. medical insurance covered at least one prenatal visit and one post-natal visit. Every woman who has had a baby should be assessed. Anyway…Cathy assessed me today. I have a less than one-finger-width separation between my abdominals, which is great! (No one will have zero separation. If you have less than one finger’s width, there is probably very little cause for concern.)

Cathy used the ultrasound to watch me do kegels and engage my abdominals muscles, which is my favourite! On the ultrasound, you could also see my bladder, and my uterus, which is still bigger than normal at 11 weeks post-partum. It is unknown exactly how long it should take to shrink back down to its regular walnut-size. I meant to take a video today and completely forgot. It’s so cool!

My kegels are very strong – she said I don’t even have to do them. (Many women don’t, but that’s a story for another day.)

My transversus abdominus activation is a bit weak, and unless I really slow down and connect, there is still some invagination (indenting) between my abdominal muscles. = pelvic floor dysfunction.

Me and my friend, Krista Dennett, at canfitpro 2017

Until I can engage a little more automatically without any pressure or symptoms, I am going to back off from any heavy loads or overhead exercise.

That means I am back to gentle core activation, walking, yoga, and maybe some squats for the next 4-5 weeks.

To be honest I am:
a) a little disappointed that, after all my hard work and then what feels like an eternity but has only been 11 weeks, my body didn’t magically bounce back to 100%. Even if it is pretty much almost 90%. (I know. I hear it.)
b) relieved that I have permission to give myself a break and ease back into exercise for the next month. Having a newborn baby is very tiring, so I am happy to allow myself a longer transition.

If you want to learn how to do these four exercises properly, you can book a session with me, or you can see a real expert in the pelvic floor/post partum fitness field, like Kim Vopni (the vagina coach), or my friend Krista Dennett (pictured with me above), who has an online Core Confidence course.

November 5, 2017

By being alive, that’s how.

It’s the end of an active day.

You are sitting on your couch, watching Homeland and enjoying a glass of wine, and your fitness tracker begins vibrating, congratulating you for hitting your calorie-burn goal.

How is this irony possible? After all, in that moment, you are being sedentary, and in fact consuming calories.

Your body burns a certain number of calories every single day, just by living.

This is why we have to eat – to consume calories – to burn and stay alive. The number of calories you would burn daily, just by being alive and sleeping all day, is your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). For example, my BMR when not pregnant is about 1170-1500, depending on the BMR calculator used. I can sleep all day and my body will use 1170-1500 calories to keep me alive.

The scientific formula used to estimate our daily calorie needs is called the Harris Benedict Equation. This equation calculates the number of calories we need to consume every day to maintain our current activity level and weight.

But I don’t want to just be alive, I want to exercise, and walk, and work, and play and have energy. So we need some more calories for that.

If your goal is to maintain your current weight, your daily calorie burn goal could be exactly the same as your BMR. If your goal is to lose weight, your daily calorie burn goal must be greater than your BMR, or you must consume fewer calories than your BMR.

Leaner bodies actually need more calories than less lean bodies.

If you did absolutely nothing and sat on your couch all day, you would still burn your BMR – the number of calories you burn every single day, just by existing. This is why, even if you are not necessarily moving at the moment your fitness tracker reaches its daily calorie goal, you are still burning calories.

Of course, aside from the calorie-burn, there are a million reasons why we should exercise and get up and move – activity is beneficial for our cardiovascular health, cognitive function, fertility, flexibility, mental health, mood, physical strength, and more. So maybe worry a little less about hitting that calorie goal, and focus more on how you feel in your body and moving with activities that bring you joy.