This week, get to know Alana Harris, a Campus Recreation group fitness instructor and Associate Director, Assessment, Wellness, and Adventure Recreation!
Q: What format(s) do you teach?
A: Yoga, Pilates, Spin, Strength, TRX, INSANITY, BARRE
Q: How long have you been teaching?
A: I taught my first class – spin, in 2002 and never looked back :)
Q: How long have you been teaching at Campus Recreation?
A: I started teaching in 2013 as a grad student.
Q: Do you have another role at the University?
A: I am an Associate Director in Campus Recreation and Instructor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health.
Q: What motivated you to become a certified group fitness instructor?
A: I was motivated to help others find their love of movement.
Q: What is your fitness philosophy?
A: I honor and celebrate my body by moving it
Q: When you’re not regularly teaching, what are the other ways you like to stay active?
A: I have two children, Will and Charli, and we love local parks and playgrounds – so many great spots to explore in Central Illinois!
Q: When you’re not teaching your own classes, what type(s) of group fitness classes could we find you in?
A: I love to run and ride my bike – if I take a class I like to take yoga – I typically take things I need motivation, a community, and support to adhere to
Q: What is your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: I love avocado – on toast, in a smoothie, on a salad, on a spoon! Haha
Q: Do you have a favorite source of workouts, fitness blogger, or health-related resource that you’d recommend?
A: I’m always reading peer reviewed literature and doing research related to physical activity and exercise science so I don’t really follow anything in particular. If I’m listening to a podcast it’s usually focused on listening to behavior change related topics or plant based nutrition. I also love Brené Brown! I follow everything she does.
Q: What is your favorite way to practice mindfulness?
A: I’m working on my personal mindfulness practice and have found spending time outdoors and in my gardens allows me to keep my hands busy which facilitates the freeing or quieting of my mind. This is called, “Vipasana Meditation”, where I can improve my feelings of happiness through self-observation, ‘checking in’ with myself and building awareness and connection to the environment around me. I took a 10-day retreat in Vipasana in 2011 and it changed me for the better. I need to do more of this but I encourage others to find things that bring them happiness and feelings of connection to the environment.