Feb 152013

‘Tis the Season to Get KaiZen-ed!

BY Mindy Sisco


Dear, sweet, blessed Korea- land of second chances. Apply this sentiment as you will- be that becoming employable after that not-so-lucrative declaration of Fine Arts as your major, or in our line of work, a second chance at new year’s resolutions! That January 1st date is like the trailer to the full feature of Lunar New Year’s. This is great news for anyone who’s been dragging a little ass getting started on rectifying the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” hangover of the year that has just come to a close. Take a hint from 2013’s power animal: time to shed the old and get fitted in a new skin!

Kaizen shows three ways our holistic approach of not only yoga, but calisthenics, kettlebells and nutrition education, will put the turbo boosters on your new year’s goals.



Complete this sentence: 2013 is the year _________________:

  1. I lose weight. Here’s a little insider secret: bodies are made in the kitchen, not in the gym. People’s Sexiest Man Alive, Channing Tatum is gluten and dairy free. These two things are not mutually exclusive. Oprah completed a marathon and that was far from the end of her epic weight battle.

This disclaimer comes with a disclaimer: TRAINING IS IMPORTANT. Doing something is always better than doing nothing. Yoga is way better than nothing. It is something great that stimulates the parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) system. That coupled with twists and turns, yoga actively massages all the vital organs that optimize their ability to do work: your stomach is digesting, your liver is detoxing, your colon is… compacting.


Disclaimer to the disclaimer’s disclaimer: Twists and turns: yes. Acrobatics: no. You don’t need to be a pre-pubescent Chinese gymnast to belong in a yoga class. Saying “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga,” is the same as saying, “I’m not fit enough to go to the gym.” (Yes, both things I’ve heard more than once in my tenure here.)


  1. I save money! This may seem like another stretch, but a body under control = a bank account under control. When I finally got real about dealing with the 20+ pounds that accompanied my coupledom, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of money I saved. Losing weight meant preparing myself to not be hungry and that takes a lot of planning. This saved me from all those 2,000w crap-snacks that were actively petrifying my insides. Win/win: My gut thinned out while my pockets fattened up.
Yoga is for dudes too!

Yoga is for dudes too!

For others, it takes resetting the common denominator. A group together can normalize anything- for better or worse. Take the purple kool-aid cult: if enough people drink it, it must be okay. (It wasn’t.) It’s no secret that nightlife is a black money hole. This is not to say that hole is filled by scurrying in before becoming a pumpkin at midnight- many of you are here for a finite period and it’s important to get as much from your surrounding as possible. That said, there are so many amazing things to be experienced here that don’t involve the collateral damage of a 5am last call.

  1. I slay the GRE! Without getting too “new age-y,” yoga is intended to work out all the garbage- starting with physical ailments and move into filtering negative thoughts and distractions- allowing for the practitioner to put that energy into what s/he truly wants to do and be. That’s not to say there’s some magic that happens between the warm up and final rest; it’s up to you to make of it what you will. However, by putting yourself in a situation focused on mindfulness- on your body, breath, frustrations, breakthroughs- the ongoing changes both psychic and physical are an inevitable byproduct of regular practice. I’ve yet to meet someone who hasn’t gained some sliver of insight from the experience.


Mindy is 200hr registered yoga teacher and co-proprietor of Kaizen. She and partner, Simon Kang, offer yoga and calisthenics classes regularly Monday-Saturday. They hold workshops on clean cooking, training intensives and other special programs at different times throughout the month. For more information, please visit the website



Directions to Mindys Studio:

  1. From Millak Station (next to Centum City): take exit 4. Walk straight out of the exit and past the gas station. We’re next to the Kia dealership on the corner. (2 mins walk.)
  2. From Suyeong Station/bus stops: From exit 3, walk straight (against the flow of traffic) for about 5 minutes. You’ll pass a gamja tang restaurant, gas station and animal hospital (at the corner with a pedestrian crosswalk with lights.) We’re two buildings down from the animal hospital.