A Healthy Transformation…….

July '13 NC web banner-4-1

By: Paula Green

      We first introduced you to 39 year-old, Joe Valenza of Wexford as our Mover & Shaker of the Month in the March issue of Northern Connection.  Joe and his family – wife Christina and their two children Giuseppe and Sienna moved to Pittsburgh from New York in 2011.

      It was during the Memorial Day weekend of May 2012 that the Valenza family had the pleasure of venturing to Kennywood Amusement Park for the first time.  That simple outing was literally a life changing experience for Joe.

      He and Giuseppe decided to ride an old time park favorite – the Kangaroo.  “We sat in the ride.  When it came time to secure the bar across the midsection, ours wouldn’t close.  The ride attendant used extreme force to snap the bar into place.  As the ride began my son looked at me and asked what was wrong?  I lied and said I was nervous about the ride.  I was in pain and embarrassed from the bar closing incident.  It made me realize that I gained weight and that I almost got kicked off the ride for being too fat,” Joe said.

     The incident made Joe take a good hard look at himself and he decided he wanted to change and drop weight.  Boy, did he drop the weight – 112 pounds worth!

      Joe joined Defined Fitness in Wexford, and with the help of the training staff, he lost weight.  He kept tabs on his calorie intake, set goals for himself, and began eating healthier foods.

      We are happy to show you the before and after shots of Joe Valenza at Kennywood Park – Memorial Day 2012 at 312 lbs., and the new Joe – Memorial Day 2013 at a svelte 200 lbs.

      “My transformation has hit full cycle,” Joe said.  It is no wonder his new catch phrase is “you WANT, to want to do it.” 

Be Found: Stray Dog Yoga

Stray DogIt’s easy to get overwhelmed and let stress interfere with your overall health.  Yoga can help you let go of mental clutter and reconnect.  Stray Dog Yoga Studio provides the perfect environment for you to do just that. 

Stray Dog offers heated yoga classes.  Heat is used as a tool to help you focus on your breath while allowing your muscles to safely move deeper into each posture.  In addition, sweat is a powerful means of elimination that helps your body to remove toxins and feel revitalized.  Stray Dog’s state of the art, energy efficient heating system maintains consistent temperature and humidity levels.  Floor level vents, destratification fans and ceiling diffusers keep you comfortable and allow your body to enjoy the benefits of a heated practice.  Unique flooring ensures the health of your joints and spine by easing pressure in the low pack and providing gentle cushioning to lighten your practice.   Plus, breathe easy.  Stray Dog is protected monthly by Pelican Solutions; a revolutionary, eco-friendly disinfection service to sanitize and provide a protective anti-microbial barrier on all surfaces.   

Classes are 60-75 minutes long.  Experienced instructors are committed to growing in both their teaching techniques and in their own personal practice.  Stray Dog’s teachers are encouraged to let their individual personalities and strengths guide their teaching style.  Students in “All Levels” classes are encouraged to listen to their bodies in order to learn how to safely challenge themselves or how to modify poses when their body needs a rest.  If you’re new to yoga, try a “Beginners” class, where the studio is only gently heated and instructors focus on basic alignment.  You will find that each class at Stray Dog is designed to make you feel better from your head to your toes. 

Everyone is welcome at Stray Dog, regardless of fitness level or experience.  This studio prides itself on the friendly and supportive community that has been growing here since its first class.  This summer, commit to a healthy and balanced approach to your wellbeing.  Stray Dog Yoga Studio is here to help you improve your strength and flexibility, decrease stress and tension and, like all stray dogs hope for, find a happy home!

Stray Dog Yoga – 1500 Village Run Road – Wexford, Pa. 15090 – 724-71902055 – Straydogyogastudio.com