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Meet Desi Bartlett of Mothers Into Living Fit in Marina del Rey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Desi Bartlett.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am originally from Chicago and have 2 degrees in health and fitness, my bachelor’s in kinesiology, and my master’s degree in corporate fitness. Additionally, I have over 10 certifications in Yoga, Group Fitness, Personal Training, Pre and Post Natal Yoga, you name it! I certify other instructors and am especially passionate about helping mothers throughout their pregnancies and beyond by empowering them through the joy of movement.

During my first pregnancy, I found that I could not find a class that felt like the right fit. The first prenatal yoga class that I attended was so gentle that we only practiced 3 poses in 90 minutes. I felt my mind racing and was anything but relaxed. The next class that I attended was more challenging, but the instructor never said the word “baby.” I knew that there was a better way and that with so many years of education in health and fitness, I could design a program for moms. Today, I have 10 DVD’s on the market, with 2 pre and post natal yoga titles, as well as pre and post natal yoga videos on Beachbody on Demand. I am also writing a book on pre and post natal yoga and fitness, so as you can see, this is not just my job, this is my calling.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I learned a long time ago that the path to success is not a straight line. Usually, it looks more like a toddler’s abstract art with circles, lines, and squiggles. Some of the struggles along the way included being critical of my speaking voice. I thought that I spoke a little too high pitched, and an acting teacher friend told me that too. I beat myself up about it and then decided to enroll in vocal training. After a few classes, I was able to drop my voice and use my diaphragm. While this skill is important for DVD’s and TV appearances, the ironic part is that my “old” voice is the one that babies respond to when I teach mommy and me yoga. Looking around at 35 smiling babies in class one day made me realize that sometimes, what we struggle with is actually a gift. Finding the balance between growth and self-acceptance is a delicate dance.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mothers Into Living Fit story. Tell us more about the business.
I teach pre and postnatal yoga. I teach public classes at yoga works at Playa Vista and have programs available on iTunes, Amazon, beachbody.com, and soon on yogaia.com. Additionally, I work with private clients an I am writing a book.

My classes are a combination of yoga, meditation, fitness, and dance. I am known for creating community among women and families and I am proud to say that many moms that have met in my prenatal yoga classes have gone on to become best friends and even plan their second pregnancies around the same time so that they could recreate the joy that they had the first time around. The group classes are far beyond non-judgmental, we create a safe space that celebrates women and all of our differences.

In addition to being very dedicated to this path, I think that the thing that sets me apart from others is that I am comfortable forging my own path and moving from one mode of expression to another. Individual clients, group classes, blogs, books, TV appearances, special events, DVD’s, you name it. I am very happy sharing the message of health and wellness and joyously say yes to all forms of communicating that message.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I am not so keen on the idea of luck. A few years ago, in a job interview, I had someone ask me about what I do. I shared some of my work and accomplishments and he said, “wow, it sounds like you have been really lucky and been in the right places at the right time.” While this is true to some extent, it is also because I worked really hard to be prepared to confidently say yes to opportunities. I believe that we all have our karmic path and we learn from both the good and the bad. While the good is much more pleasant, sometimes it is a bad work relationship that makes you realize it is time to move on and grow. As my friend and teacher Michele Meiche says, “Don’t stay where you are tolerated, go where you are celebrated.”

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Natiya Guin, Anna Kim, Aina Kai

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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