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Meet Natasha Nelson of MADRE Fitness and Wellness in Eagle Rock

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natasha Nelson.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Natasha. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
MADRE is the culmination of a winding career path.

I have been teaching yoga for the last 19 years – some years as a full-time job, but more often as a parallel track to other professional pursuits. I have not had a linear career trajectory, and at this point in my life I am so grateful for that! My experience includes working in television production, owning a restaurant, interior design, general contracting, project management, and most recently, holding an executive position at a film studio.

I had my son while I was working at the film studio; I realized a few years into motherhood that I was ready to make a lifestyle change, and return to my entrepreneurial roots – which run pretty deep. Working for other people has always been challenging for me, but when I have, I’ve been lucky to work with business owners who have given me a tremendous amount of autonomy and creative leeway.

When I left my job, I returned to teaching yoga full-time. At one of the gyms where I taught, the manager asked me to create a “hybrid” yoga class. When I told her that I wasn’t into barre or Pilates, she asked me what else I really liked to do. From that conversation, ELEVATE was born – ELEVATE: HIIT and Flow ® is my integrative fitness method joining yoga with High Intensity Interval Training.

Then, while teaching ELEVATE at a yoga studio, the owner asked me if I could adapt my method to a trampoline. Many years prior, I often took a class called “Urban Rebounding” – I loved it! – so the idea of creating my own workout on a trampoline was exciting. Although I didn’t know it at the time, the methods that are the cornerstones of MADRE’s integrative fitness program, were developed during what was a real incubation period. 

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?
Oh, man, it’s been anything but a smooth road. I have the same struggles as any small business owner – cash flow, self-doubt, staffing, theft, creative blocks, time management, you name it. Being an entrepreneur is not easy; it requires non-negotiable discipline and consistency. I’ve got to show up, whether I feel like it or not. 

During the buildout 2-years ago, I was living in constant stress. I was having ups and downs with the builder, the inspectors were hassling us and delaying the process, we had unexpected plumbing issues come up. All in, though, it took us three months from breaking ground to opening the doors – to turn a garage into the polished space that you see now. In retrospect, I think, that wasn’t so bad, look what I made. The challenges along the way will always feel like that after you’re past them, so I am focusing on enjoying this place no matter how “hard” the work seems at any given time.

After MADRE opened, I was running this place on my own. Not just managing the day-to-day operations, but I felt like I was the only one holding the vision. Now I have some incredibly talented women who are invested in co-creating the vision with me. Finding the right team has taken a while, and there is always refining to do, but having people in my sphere who “get it” makes the hard work so much more fun.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with MADRE Fitness + Wellness – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
MADRE is a boutique yoga and integrative fitness studio with an attached general store, and a café we call the “canteen”. 

We specialize in small class experiences that engage the body, mind and heart.

We’re known for mindful and progressive fitness techniques like BOUNCE and ELEVATE that increase endurance, strength and mobility. We bring an athletic approach to our yoga classes, and carry yogic philosophy into the fitness program. We’re known for kicking asses, with higher intentions and a lot of love.

MADRE is an immersive wellness space that is serene and uniquely beautiful. The general store is highly curated with (mostly) local goods and wares with a focus on clean beauty and wellness products. The majority of our products are also made by female-owned brands. The canteen serves up delicious, nutrient dense food for vibrant living.

There are a lot of aspects that set us apart, but one of the most important things can be summed up in a maxim that I share with instructors upon hiring them – “You’re not walking onto a stage here, you are a part of a play.” In other words: we are here to facilitate self-directed experiences, so take yourself out of the way. Clients who come here and stick, are ready to dig in to some deep work; we create a supportive atmosphere for them to do that effectively.

I am most proud of our growing community. Seeing strangers roll their mats out, and chat with each other before class will never cease to amaze and delight me. MADRE is an environment where people feel comfortable to let their guard down to really connect with others. I watch them change their daily habits and mindsets, and in turn, their lives as a whole – this is the inspiration for what I do every day. I’m not just proud, but honored and humbled by the work and results my clients achieve here.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m looking forward to continuing to grow in this community and to expand our offerings. MADRE is really only just getting started, and we have just begun to dig into the full potential of what can be accomplished here.

We have a big Open House event coming up in November that’s going to be a full day of celebration and festivities open to the community. After that, there’s Shop Small Saturday, which is one of our busiest days of the year – I’m super excited about that.

A little farther into the future…maybe a MADRE 2.0!

Pricing: 

  • 2 Week Introductory Package – Unlimited Classes + Mini Wellness Consult $59
  • Drop in $30
  • Various Membership Options and Class Packages Available

Contact Info: 


Image Credit:

Rachel Banu, Tanya Alexis, Rebecca Fishman, Michael Newstead

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