Increase Your Productivity with Exercise & Meditation

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If you’re stuck—professionally or personally—the solution is to MOVE. Each time you do, it will be a step towards where you want to go.

When I’m feeling stuck trying to work through a challenge, stressed out from a busy schedule or overwhelmed, this is what I do to fix it quickly. For decades, I resisted exercise, thinking I was not athletic or limited by bad ankles and knees or other excuses. I just had to learn what worked for me.

This gives me mental clarity and the ability to be more productive. Yes, STOPPING WORK to take a break and exercise means I get more done in less time.

Increase Your Productivity with Exercise & Meditation

Having a routine of doing classes has also been a very important part of dealing with grief (numerous family & friends have died) and other stress. It’s truly one of the best things I have ever done. I feel calm and centered emotionally, and also stronger and more flexible physically. If you also want that, give yourself the gift of creating a routine to achieve that!!

Make it part of your routine. If I can do it, you can do it.

Look, I’m not naturally organized and it’s hard for me to develop habits because of my ADHD brain. But I made a decision that this was important, and then took steps to make sure I followed through. I use a Google calendar to list out options for classes. I also put exercise as a TO-DO on my Trello list. This makes it a daily priority to fit them into my changing schedule.

These are the classes & teachers that fit into my schedule.

I also recommend checking out other classes these teachers offer. Ask them for recommendations based on your needs & interests. If you’re not near Towson, look for classes similar to these suggestions.

Julia B. Morrow

NIA, Yoga, Barre & special workshops
The Moving Co. (Studio 5) 9974 A. York Rd. Cockeysville, MD 21030 Drop-in rate: $12.00/per class Class card: $50.00/5 classes

I typically go to NIA classes, but highly recommend everything that Julia does! NIA is absolutely AMAZING. Betsy gives visual cues, and it’s pretty easy to pick up as she is a very good teacher. You can jump in and flow with the music.

I have learned to let go and just feel the music and move my emotions through my body. This can be joy, anger, grief, etc… life is a rollercoaster (as one of the songs says) and we will always have to learn how to navigate the ups and downs. NIA is one of the greatest ways to get in touch with how I am feeling and then let it go to move on.

I know what it’s like to have emotion stuck in my body — many people I love had died in the last few years. In the past, that grief consumed me, and it turned into emotional stress and physical pain. I could not think clearly or concentrate. NIA quickly gives me a way to recognize how I feel and then move on.

It’s also wonderful to celebrate happy times by dancing around, jumping for joy!!

If this is your first time attending one of Julia’s classes, please email Julia  ( 12 hours ahead of time to let her know which class you’ll be coming to. This way she can keep an eye out for you when you arrive, and if anything changes schedule-wise, she’ll be able to keep you in the loop!

Yoga on York

Mix of Vinyasa, Hatha, Gentle, Aerial, Men’s Yoga & NIA
6711 York Rd, Baltimore, MD 21212 (443) 600-1305

I’ve been going to Yoga on York for over 3.5 years at least 2x a week. It is a very important part of my routine. My favorite classes are Tuesdays at 7:30 with Christina D, Fridays at 6pm with Lisa and Saturdays at 5pm with Becky. I have taken many classes, included aerial yoga (TRY IT!!), and with Sylvia and Jayne. Maddie now teaches NIA on Mondays at 7:30!

The space is cozy and peaceful, without mirrors. Tuesday nights there is sometimes noise from the bowling alley under it, but it has taught me how to ignore external sounds, which is what mindfulness is all about. I am able to do this when traveling or in other loud spaces now.

I love my teachers!!!

Christina D is relaxing but also challenging. She’s helped me find the relaxation in poses like Downward Dog with reminders to breathe and encouragement to push right to the edge of my abilities. Always lots of hip openers (great grief release), and other options that you can request.  I have greatly improved over time. She is an amazing teacher and and I am inspired by her loving heart. (Tuesdays at 7:30)

Lisa Warren is funny (yes, we LAUGH during class) and an inspiration to me that she has adjusted to teaching and doing her own yoga to injuries. This reminds me that I can come and do what I am ABLE to do. She’s great at giving options. She also teaches several kids or teen classes. (Sundays at 8am)

Becky (Rebecca Perlmutter) pushes me gently out of my comfort zone, and that’s how I improve and get better. There have been several classes during which I was able to do poses that I never thought I could do, thanks to her instruction. Mentally, this is amazing as it builds my confidence and trust in myself. She also has taught several “yin yoga” classes, very gentle with holding poses for a long time. It was interesting to see Becky teach this style, as it’s the opposite of her normal classes and thus out of HER comfort zone. Everyone is different with yoga and it’s nice to see people exploring what works for them. (Saturdays at 5pm)

Sylvia Levenson has a very gentle style, so if you liked Sarah’s classes at Yoga Gallery and Wellness, try her class. (Fridays 12pm – 1:15pm)

Jayne Bernasconi is amazing! She is also the studio owner. She has multiple classes on the schedule. If you’re looking for gentle, try the Community Yin Yoga where you hold the poses for 2-4 minutes to get a very deep stretch. This is challenging as it gives you a deep stretch and it also helps to clear mental clutter. Go slowly and open yourself up to slower, deeper movement! (Community Yin Yoga – Thursdays 6pm – 7:15pm or other classes)

Maddie Grose teaches NIA. She has a very gentle and fluid style, different (in a good way!) from my other teachers. Try this out along with other NIA, yoga or movement you may do. (Mondays at 7:30pm)

All the teachers are great, so take a look at the calendar for classes that may work for you!

Double check the schedule before coming and for substitute teachers.

I normally park in the Bank of America (never been towed (lot and cross York, or at the coin meters along York and the side streets.

Teachers to Follow

Sarah Eibner

I took a Restorative Yoga class taught by Sarah Eibner, and it helped me physically and mentally! She is really gifted at creating poses with props. This can be “easier” but it’s often DEEPER stretch and learning proper alignment. This has significantly helped my posture and recovery from injury and joint issues. I move with greater ease. Her classes have given me the ability to pause and gain the mental strength to deal with some very stressful personal and professional situations. Give yourself the gift to be as strong as possible to go with life’s flow! The studio she’s currently teaching at does not have as many props, but she will be able to make suggestions and create a wonderful experience for you. (You also can bring your own props!)

Grace Marshall

Other great teachers I’ve done classes with include Tina Crandell and Linda Kohler.

Zumba Gold with Betsy

Lower Impact Zumba

Towson American Legion 125 York Rd.Towson MD, 21204

Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:00 PM  – 7:00 PMClasses are a blast with a fun, friendly, and growing group of all ages and abilities! You’ll love dancing on the Legion’s easy-on-the-knees maple floor in the Big Beautiful Ballroom! Free parking lot and clean, spacious restrooms if you need to change. Drop in for just $10/class OR motivate yourself to Zumba twice a week with a monthly multi-class discount!

First time at the Legion? Please allow a few extra minutes to find the narrow driveway just south of Towsontown Blvd, and adjacent to Papa John’s Pizza/ Dunkin Donuts on York Rd.

PLEASE CHECK THE WEBSITE FOR WEATHER OR SEASONAL SCHEDULE CHANGES! Generally, there are NO CLASSES DURING JULY/EARLY AUGUST for FLOOR REFINISHING, a THANKSGIVING WEEK BREAK, and a MID-DECEMBER to EARLY JANUARY HOLIDAY BREAK.I’ve been doing this class for over 5 years and LOVE IT! Betsy and other people in class are very friendly. It’s low-impact, and you can adjust it up or down. I have knee issues that pop up occasionally, and I’m able to tone it down or even sit on one of the chairs and keep stretching.

We do balances near the end and that helped me realize how much work I had to do in order to stay stable. This is important as we age, or even if you slip and fall (which I have), I was able to catch myself and prevent a worse injury.

The songs are fun to dance to. Betsy gives visual cues, and it’s pretty easy to pick up…although some of the more complicated steps take practice. Don’t get discouraged, just keep moving and let your mind learn them… this is good for memory and letting go of other things in your head as you focus on the steps.

The dance floor is fantastic and no mirror. Just come and dance without worrying what you look like. 🙂

FREE Community Yoga at St. Joseph’s

Events Calendar
University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center
7601 Osler Dr Towson, MD 21204, Irwin Center

These are a great option if you are just getting started or want a gentle class. Free. No registration required. Call Community Health 410-337-1479 with questions. Parking in front of the Irwin Building (map). They block spaces off with orange cones for students, so if you pull up and see one, you can move them so you can park for class.

Monday Yoga Class
Mondays 4:30-5:30pm
Beginner-friendly yoga classes. Equipment available to borrow if you do not have your own.

Chair Yoga
Wednesdays 12-12:30pm
Very light yoga with some meditation and deep breathing exercises. No equipment needed, come as you are.

Baltimore Yoga Village

Yoga, meditation, NIA & workshops
6080 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21209

I’ve taken various classes in this space. They have a variety of types of classes and times, so it’s easy to find something that works for your needs. If you like gentle classes, try

  • Gentle Yoga – 3:15pm-4:30pm on Mondays or other classes with Gretchen van Utt
  • Gentle Yoga – 2:30-3:45pm on Thursdays or other classes with Sylvia Levenson
  • Lots of other gentle classes also offered!

Plenty of parking. Easy to get to with a pretty drive down either Lake Ave. or Falls Rd. They also have a location in Hampden in Baltimore City.

Movement Lab

Amazing blend of classes & workshops to move your body and free your mind
301 W 29th St #2001, Baltimore, MD 21211
(443) 388-9191

Lola, the founder of Movement Lab, is the first teacher I took NIA with. She’s amazing and I love this beautiful space she created in Baltimore. Lots of NIA classes, taught by Lola, Heather and others.

I also highly recommend Hot Hula fitness® with Kirsten – a fun, new and exciting total body dance workout inspired by the dances of the Pacific Islands combined with Reggae and Hip Hop music. This class isolates your larger muscles groups, increasing strength and definition to your core with specific emphasis on the abs, glutes, quads and arms.

Antigravity® classes use hanging silk hammocks for classes ranging from meditation, pilates to aerial yoga.

Lots of other creative classes and workshops to choose from. Get out and MOVE!


If you have pool, use it! Swim laps – it does not need to be intense. I do sidestroke and breaststroke or use a kickboard. Get in the water and MOVE using your own resistance or equipment such as aqua gloves, aqua weights, aerobic belts, noodles. My favorite is these Aqua Cuffs – just put them on and move around while you talk to your friends or do leg and arm exercises with the extra resistance. So easy and it adds a bit extra to your pool time. These have also helped me rehab a knee after a bad injury.

I also have a waterproof iPod that makes it more fun to move to music and/or tune out other people at the pool. My time in the water has given me time to think about my business and get clarity on new ideas. I always bring paper and a pen to jot down notes after I get out of the water.

Small movements multiple times a day will add up!


  • Go for a walk around the block.
  • Go to the store and take extra time to walk around.
  • Go up and down the stairs.
  • Pick up some light weights.
  • Stretch.


Now you have NO excuse for not making it to class!

Contact me for a custom recommendation or to join me for a class.

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