Category: Fitness


Welcome Back!!!!

Sooooooo….. yea……it’s been a while since I’ve created a post for my blog here and I do apologize for my absence.  Though many of you have continued to follow my thoughts and advice on the Imani Wellness FB page ( and I thank you for that :) many of you have expressed that they haven’t  been as great as getting your regular dose of LiveWell inspiration here.

I thank those of you who encouraged (demanded) that I get back to sharing all that I’m learning, experiencing, growing in and invite you to do the same with me – here in comments and via other media.  So to begin again I simply say “Welcome Back” to you all… and myself !

I will be posting as the mood strikes and revisiting some topics that I neglected to share in the past. If any of you have any topics that you’d like to share for insight or discussion feel free to email me. Looking forward to our collective inspiration!!

Let’s Get It!


Mighty Mouse ... my alter ego :) Mighty Mouse … my alter ego :)



Sharing the Health Pt 2…

Thanks to all our Imani LiveWell Family who came out to The Vitamin Shoppe at Pentagon Row on June 22nd to help us share the love and possibility of optimal health!! This 2nd installment of The Vitamin Shoppe’s effort to continue to inspire and educate the communities that host their retail stores about Vitamin Shoppes products, services and partner services was a rousing success!

Fantastic whole food smoothies and raw food tastings and lectures. Juicing education and tasting from the Vitamin Shoppes own super healthy staff (always a great thing to see staff using their own products!) And of course body composition analysis and health education from yours truly & our Imani Wellness team. It was so wonderful to connect more with our Arlington community and introduce the SandBell and TRX to not just attendees but to our wellness collaborators at LA Fitness (ya’ll need to get these tools in your facility quick). Folks were definitely working for those free sessions and Sports Authority gift cards that we gave away with the Sandbell Slam Challenge and Jump Rope battles!! Too much fun!

We hear tale that the Vitamin Shoppe’s next Share the Health Expo will be in August… make plans to be there and get in on the fun!!

Live Well!!



International Soul Society Festival 2013 Dancers Prep…

For the last 4 years, around mid-Spring the Washington, DC Urban Arts scene has been blessed with the creative genius, overwhelming warrior spirit and all around amazingness of International Pioneers and Achievers in Dance, Graffiti, MC’ing and Dj’ing when they come here to celebrate at the International Soul Society Festival.

Presented by Urban Artistry and a host of wonderful sponsors the festival, now in its 5th glorious year, promises to shatter the awesomeness of previous years with the expansion of it’s unique Cypher battles and International Level Qualifying events.

As a dancer and one of the coordinating directors, it’s always a challenge to manage the energy and creativity levels needed to sustain a 7 day intensive like ISSF.  When & how to prepare, when to rest, when to just get down and let creativity flow – all of these factors are immensely important when preparing to host, run and interact at an international event. While creativity will always be an individual journey, the physical needs are something that can be planned and prepared for.

That said, we’ve created a quick a guide of how to plan your training regimen for the next few weeks in preparation for “The party of the year”.

International Soul Society 2013 Prep

This guide is just meant to be a skeleton to work from, changes necessitated by your body’s needs should be incorporated. Do not make the mistake of ignoring the rest days because you believe you’re the biggest and baddest. Every body needs rest, if you negate this fact, your body will let you know it. Over training can often have a worse effect on the body than inadequate training, so be sure to treat your body well. Engaging in active rest activities like swimming, yoga or massage can be extremely re-energizing and recovery enhancing.

I know, I know … the Prep Plan doesn’t mention anything about Nutrition… that’s coming next :) This fact does create a great soap box opportunity for our Nutrition speech. “Not every meal plan is for every body.” Sure eating only veggies sounds great…unless you have an unknown allergy to mass amounts of them. Same with proteins, supplements and grains. Don’t make the mistake of believing that conditions and ailments like asthma, bloating, or IBS are “normal” or just have to be tolerated. Change what your are putting INto your body and you will see better results and functionality come OUT. We’ll talk more about that in our next entry :)

In the meantime grab your running shoes, jump rope or stability ball and get to work! Come May 6th we’ve got a lot of dancing and celebrating to do… make sure you’re ready to get it in and enjoy every moment!.



TB :)



Let’s Share the Health!!

Of all the tremendously amazing developments that have come about for Imani Wellness in this awesome new year ( and we apologize for not posting all of them yet :), partnering with The Vitamin Shoppe to be an advocate for Total Wellness Living has been one of the most exciting!  After their awesome presence at Imani Wellness’ very first LiveWell Expo this past Jan, I was absolutely over the moon when they asked us to participate in their National Wellness event at our Potomac Yard Vitamin Shoppe location. This promises to be an incredible event!!

Enjoy free samples, education and activities!  The first 50 customers receive a Gift Bag (while supplies last).

Gift bag will include:
– 3rd party product samples
– Amazing Wellness Magazine
– Muscle & Performance Magazine
– Renew You booklet
– Weight Management Support booklet

Product Samples From:
1. Nutrex
2. Nordic Naturals
3. Boiron
4. Aubrey

Now, you all know what a boundless bundle of positivity and fun we are so come on out and add your energy to the fun at the Potomac Yard store between 11a and 2p this Sat, March 2nd.  Tons of fun, games, and wellness education by Yours Truly and many other wonderful wellness providers available to you here in NoVa. And we may even have a foot race or push-up contest – so dress athletically!

Looking forward to seeing you all there!!




Workplace Wellness at its finest…

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  That is the only way to describe the wave of  excitement surrounding us right now.

I recently attended and exhibited at the 2012 Healthiest Employers Expo hosted by The Washington Business Journal at the Grand Hyatt, September 20th here in DC. It was an amazingly successful and informative event attended by over 400 representatives from the DC areas Workplace Wellness champions. Every business from start-ups to the well-seasoned sharing and receiving creativity and motivation to develop bigger and better wellness opportunities for their organizations. While I will certainly be bringing along my new trainers and staff to next year’s event it was a blessing to have moments to myself to take in the awesomeness of the confidence and purposefulness that one year can bring along with growing and empowering your network.

I first attended the Healthiest Expo in 2011 – WBJ’s very first event, and did not use the table I purchased because I didn’t have anything to really exhibit – or so I thought at the time. I was blown away by how many visionaries in the wellness industry were operating here in DC ( and scheduled to be exhibiting or speaking at the event), and by blown away I mean I was intimidated and thought my little personal training business wasn’t something no one wanted to know about 😛

While manning the table for my strategic partner Dr. Jen Faber, President of Kinetic Health Alternatives, I was thrilled to learn that many of our concepts and areas of service (training, assessment, coaching, nutrition education, leadership, team building, etc.) where severely untapped. With this awareness I set out from the expo with a few contacts but more than that a firm mind to clearly define the Imani Wellness niche, our brand and to solidify our corporate offerings so that next year we would not only have information to present, but proven service and obvious passion for the corporate wellness mission. With the awesomeness of the Personality Driven Media team and it’s President Ryan Prucker we  spread our word, chicly and fiercely and one year, numerous speaking engagements, scores of individual clients and a few corporate ventures later it was time for the expo again.

Not only was I so amped that I couldn’t get to sleep the night before. I was so aware of how unique and awesome Imani Wellness is, and can be to any wellness program (individual or corporate), that I didn’t even feel nervous when a representative ( that I was dying to chat with the first year but was too awestruck by, who is a head honcho for ONE of the largest network radio conglomerates in the US – i’ll let you figure out which group :) ), came over to my table. Not me chasing her down after a presentation – she came to me  interested in what Imani Wellness can offer and how we might support their community health awareness events and internal wellness education programs … … … just because I looked excited and passionate about being there.  I am claiming right now that not only will she ask me to spearhead their education and outreach efforts but that Imani Wellness will have to amplify our education accreditation to teach other trainers and coaches our method to fill the need of this one corporate wellness venture alone. The angel investors and other funding to support the needed staff for the 15 other interested firms will come simultaneously as well. We were on fire if I do say so myself… and I do :) What was even more motivating was to look across the next table and see my strategic partners just as engaged and just as excited about growing with their “dream” partners too.

Our first year my smile and this was our presence :








With our uniquely effervescent energy, attentive delivery and full service wellness availability and a year of fantastic growth and success this was Imani Wellness’s presence in 2012:

If you haven’t been able to tell, this was a truly transformative experience for me and several others in attendance this year.  While this expo first and foremost was begun as a way to motivate organizations to go above and beyond to see who could create the best health conscious cultures and workplace wellness programs for their employees, it has served as a platform for the innovative of wellness services and experiences in the industry and affirmed the commitment of program managers and providers alike to give their absolute best to this burgeoning industry …. and this is only its second year!

If my own overflowing joy and excitement weren’t enough, I also had the pleasure of inviting a budding wellness professional I had the pleasure of meeting at a local community fair to come to the expo and luncheon. When first we met, Lauren, who is an aspiring Wellness Coach, immediately expressed her desire to touch more lives, inspire greater change and see people commit to healthier ways of being (sound like anyone else you know :) She had just begun her business and was trying to do as much as she could to get it going. Knowing how motivated I was coming out of the expo last year I knew it would be just as inspirational to her as it was for me, AND BOY WAS IT.

She was talking about her ideas for this company, and that community, for this project and this person she met…she was FULLY locked in to her vision for her business’ role in this areas wellness industry and for it’s future growth. As I already mentioned there were an abundance of great contacts made at this event that I have already begun to follow up with, but all that aside to be able to provide someone with access to the opportunities that inspired me…was priceless.

I cannot thank the folks of WBJ and United Healthcare enough for hosting and sponsoring this keystone DC wellness industry event.  I sincerely look forward to sharing the life changing, awe-inspiring and just downright fantastical (YES- I said fantastical!) partnerships, experiences and growth that result from this event.






No matter how you try…

It’s almost the unofficial start of summer and everyone and their sister are scrambling to make their last minute efforts to get swimsuit ready. Master Cleanse, body wraps, 3 -4 hours of cardio…all in effort to look the way they envision themselves stepping on to the beach or pool side this season.

Many of you have even come to me or other trainers back in Feb all in hopes of having that rock hard body that you dream of every night. You even have pictures of your ideal self posted up around your home and office to encourage you to keep working hard. While reticular activation, good support and an expert trainer are all fantastic steps to take toward getting the body of your dreams there is still one component that many of you neglect.

What you put into your mouth WILL show up on your body. If you are going insanely hard at the gym 3-5 days a week and using that to justify regularly putting the oversized burger, super sized vegetarian casserole, carrot cake, iced coffee drink or other indulgent, fattening, carb overloading, sugar coma inducing, bloat and gas generating food into your system – YOU WILL NOT LOOK DESIRABLE IN A SWIMSUIT! No Matter how hard you try!

Here’s the thing folks. If you already have visible 6 pack abs and live clean and lean most of the time – as in 25 days out of the month, you can feel free to enjoy a cupcake or three at the BBQ or have a second helping of the mac & cheese. You’re in the maintenance stage and have figured out what works best for you in terms of enjoying food and nourishing your self. Way to go! Pass the motivation and encouragement on to someone you know so they can enjoy life with you.

For those of you have identified a goal weight or just simply don’t like the way you look in a swimsuit or au naturel, are engaged in a regular training program to achieve that weight but refuse the meal plan or nutrition guidance – DO NOT be surprised when you don’t look the way you want after 3 months of training. Especially when you’re still eating pots of pasta, buckets of Hagen Daaz and the like every other night.


This fact is not contingent upon alternative eating practices – just because you are vegan or vegetarian, etc. does not mean that unwanted pounds won’t find you. It is imperative to nourish your body in accordance with your level of activity and wellness needs. This is best done by a certified professional, medical or sports related, and can go as far as to include healthier variations of your favorite foods if you communicate these things to them. If you have a trainer or coach that is skilled in meal planning or giving nutrition guidance count yourself lucky – but remember to FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES THAT THEY PRESCRIBE FOR YOU! We don’t’ issue meal plans for our enjoyment or to deprive you of good tasting foods. Your body’s functionality is infinitely more important than how yummy something tastes.

You CAN be your healthiest self and have a physique that gets you noticed if you follow a complete wellness regimen including proper nutrition. There are no shortcuts, magic potions or incantations to achieving your best bod other than hard work, total faith & commitment to the journey and a balanced supportive diet.

Eat smartly to Live Well!! It is just that simple!



Imani Wellness Takes Part In Spa Finders Wellness Week

Imani Wellness takes part in Spa Finders Wellness Week! Guests can discover everything they’ve ever wanted to ask a personal trainer, coach or wellness doctor. Two hours with Imani Wellness Founder & Chief Motivator LaTasha Barnes and special wellness guests. From choosing a personal trainer or wellness program, to the benefits of chiropractic care and massage therapies. See website for details.


Sticky Support…

It has been a hectic and awesome few weeks since our honeymoon. Competition season for the urban dance community is in full swing and so is our training. Despite all our best efforts to stay our healthiest, when you have an increase in dynamic physical activity sometimes our functional compensations get the better of us.

Whether your ailment is the result of overzealous training, chronic or genetic conditions you don’t always have to halt your training when pain weasels it way into your program. Sometimes a little extra support is all you need to make it through the last essential workout or maybe even the event itself.

Having to work daily to overcome the effects of joint degeneration, Piriformis Syndrome, IT Band Syndrome and other complicated and ANNOYING conditions I have turned back to the ever sound and proven method of Athletic Taping.  This practice provides, support and often times great pain relief that allows me to continue training. But traditional tape can often wear off with sweat and in the middle of activity you don’t really have time to completely re-tape your affected area. I thought this was just how it would be until I met my new best training assistant over a year ago…


This stuff rocks!! Not only have Olympic athletes subscribed to the awesomeness of KT Tape but amateur athletes and non-athletes have as well. Having been familiar with the benefits of taping from my high school athletic career, I was overjoyed to read about the innovations and all the functional applications that are possible with KT Tape and similar products.

Just a brief description from their engaging website (, this incredible Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape is an incredibly strong, elastic athletic tape that reduces muscle pain, increases mobility, and enhances athletic performance. KT TAPE provides relief and support for muscles and joints and can be used to prevent or treat hundreds of sports injuries, from finger jams to turf toe and every condition in between.

It is still, and always is, in your best interest to be seen by a medical professional to get an accurate diagnoses of your pain or dysfunction to determine which muscles or joints are the true trouble spot before you go taping yourself. While your there you could also ask your doc for their opinion on any supplementation that might aid in your recovery, that is of course if you’ve found a quality doc that knows the benefit of supplementation. Once you’ve got your diagnoses follow the amazing helpful How To videos showing you how to effectively apply the KT Tape.

In my personal trails I applied the tape to alleviate pain from Turf Toe and Piriformis Syndrome. Being a dancer and trainer I’m on my feet constantly and place my body into some challenging positions so of course was worried that the tape would wear off quickly …boy was I wrong. This tape lasts for DAYYYYYYS, through showers, sweat and dressing, when applied properly.  My first trial of course lasted only 2 days, not the best but it worked well. Second application SUPER success, using alcohol to clean and dry the skin and using the firm rubbing to ensure adhesion. This time the tape lasted for 5 days!  I was beyond excited and pain free for a full week, including the few days after the tape wore off. I purposely did not reapply the tape the 3 days after my successful week being taped to see how long the pain free training would last after the muscle support was removed and it was phenomenal! No crepitus, sharp pains or muscle tension for a full 2 days after. I love love love this stuff!

Now there are many other athletic taping manufacturer’s out there and you should do your due diligence and decide which product works best for you.  For me – I love the pre-cut tape and all the fun colors that KT Tape makes. I’m even more excited to try their Pro tape version which reportedly lasts up to 8 days through showers, training, pool use, EVERYTHING… with all the extra conditioning I’m engaged in to stay healthy and perform my best I know it is really going to help a lot.

Plus like I said …I loooove all the amazing colors :)  besides what better excuse is there to wear neon green and hot pink together…


Welcome …Live Well!

Welcome to the new home of Imani Wellness!

We are tremendously humbled and excited to be able to motivate and inspire the wellness journey of so many. Now with our fantabulous new website and growing community we look forward to sharing what inspires us and what awesome gems our incredible clients have to offer as well.

I hope by this point you’ve browsed through our spectacular site and enjoyed the creative and motivating elements designed by Ryan Prucker & the amazingly talented team at Personality Driven Media. Thanks again guys for the fantastic job!  To all our amazing private and corporate partners thank you for your continued support and hard work, 2012 will absolutely continue our collective success.

The Imani Wellness Twitter and FaceBook pages will continue to provide inspirational stories, articles, fitness tips and motivation, be sure to ‘Follow’ & ‘Like’ us if you haven’t already. You can expect to see the same great content of our social sites along with deeply personal insights and experiences, from family, clients, colleagues and myself!  Training concepts from amazing fitness professionals, wellness docs and world-renowned athletes! Motivation from great leadership experts and coaches, in addition to nutrition information and healthy living tips that you will actually WANT to incorporate into your life!

This blog gives you the real scoop-no fluff. You can get basic fitness information anywhere now, its no secret. We are different in our entire approach, direct and motivating at the same time. From what our clients say, that is why they love us!  Real solutions, for real people that motivate, inspire and deliver life long results. That’s what Imani Wellness was created to provide.

With this, our first blog (so excited!) I just wanted to welcome you to 2012 and wish you all the best in your wellness journey. Whether you choose to begin a program with us, or any other wellness firm, feel free to look to Imani Wellness for information to clarify your Dream of your best life, inspiration to help you Believe and the motivation to Achieve!

Imani Wellness