Why Attitude is Everything

Let’s face it: life brings challenges. Everybody has them. The secret to overcoming them is how you face them. When you approach life with an attitude of willingness to learn, everything takes on another meaning. Life’s challenges become lessons from which we can grow and expand.

The trick of course, is to apply those lessons to our lives. We all know that doing the same thing produces the same results. If you want to see change and growth in your life, you must be willing to risk trying new things, and actually learning something from the experience if those new things don’t work out.

Our attitude, in large part, comes from our internal programming. What we must realize is that we can actually affect that programming constantly by shifting our thinking patterns and thinking positive thoughts. How you approach life will determine how well you adjust to new habits you want to create in order to improve your life and feel more fulfilled.

If you’re trying to improve your life by adopting a healthier lifestyle, for instance, you can choose to see the process as one of rigorous discipline and deprivation, or you can decide that it’s going to be about enjoying physical activity and fresh, healthy foods.

Even once we do adopt positive thinking patterns and an overall positive attitude toward life, we may need to occasionally recharge those attitude batteries. In those instances, simply take a minute before any challenging activity to prime yourself and decide that things will go smoothly and you will enjoy the time spent. This minor shift in daily thinking habits will go a long way toward helping you become the person you want to be in life and achieve the goals you set for yourself.

Breathe Through It

Proper Breathing Techniques for Optimal Performance

Breathing is the most essential function of our bodies. It’s something we do without ever being conscious of it in; fact we literally do it even in our sleep. But what happens if and when we do apply conscious awareness to the act of breathing?

Proper breathing techniques can be a source of power and strength during any physical activity. Breathing properly ensures that all your organs, cells, and tissues as constantly being re-energized by the delivery of fresh pure oxygen to the entire body. Proper flexing, stretching, holding and resisting must be aided by proper breathing techniques in order to experience the full benefits of physical exercise and exertion. Here are some tips for optimizing your breathing technique during workouts for maximum performance and health benefits.

I recommend inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth for maximum circulation of breath and purest oxygen delivery to the lungs. The nose filters toxins from the air and regulates the temperature of the air we inhale, while also naturally slowing down the act of inhaling, all of which ensure more efficient delivery of purified oxygen to the lungs. According to Roy Sugarman, Ph.D., director of applied neuroscience for Athletes’ Performance and the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, nose breathing also calms the mind and body by increasing the saturation of CO2 in the bloodstream, thus also increasing endurance.

Generally speaking, the inhale should happen during the least strenuous part of any exercise: So for example, if doing squats, inhale as you come up, and exhale on the exertion as you bend into the squat. Similarly, when doing crunches, inhale as you release, and exhale on the exertion as you bend into the crunch, and so on with other resistance exercises.

Inhale slowly by drawing in your breath from the solar plexus. Using the nostrils to draw in the breath, let the muscles of the diaphragm expand to allow for maximum expansion of the lungs, drawing the air in gradually and naturally. You will visibly note the expansion of the lungs dAnna Hartman, director of Performance Physical Therapy at Athletes’ Performance recommends “The rib cage should expand in a 3D pattern, top to bottom, back to front, and to the sides” during the act of inhalation.

During aerobic activity such as jump rope, running and jumping jacks, the trick is to maintain a steady and smooth flow of breath in and out of the body to keep the body oxygenated and assist with endurance. For some, a series of short shallow breaths done to a count of 2:2 works best to cool down the body and maintain endurance. This is done by inhaling two short breaths through the nose and then exhaling two short breaths through the mouth or nose.

During stretching exercises, the length of inhalation should equal the length of the exhalation, or the exhalation should be slightly longer than the inhalation. This technique calms the nervous system, lowers blood pressure, and reduces anxiety and stress, allowing muscles to stretch beyond their comfort zone.

In short: breathing is the key to staying alive. If we train our minds and bodies to do it properly, we really can use this basic automatic function to improve our quality of life.

Blue? Manage Mood-Swings With Exercise

We’ve heard it over and over again about how exercise produces endorphins, those “feel-good” chemicals our body unleashes when we’re working out and releasing stored toxins in our muscles. We know that exercise improves our mood and in some cases even counteracts clinical depression, as well as improving a number of related health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.

But how exactly does exercise help us to feel happier and more alive?

Aside from producing endorphins, neurotransmitters, and endocannabinoids – chemicals known to decrease anxiety, depression, sadness and negative thought patterns – exercise also boosts the immune system, producing a general physical well-being, and raises body temperature which has been known to calm stress.

Other benefits of regular exercise include:

  1. Increased confidence in one’s physical appearance and physical abilities.
  2. Increased range of motion and flexibility, allowing for pain-free enjoyment of a wide range of physical activities.
  3. Increased control over weight-gain and muscle tone, improved appearance and relief from minor aches and pains in the joints.
  4. Increased interest in healthy eating as a natural result of getting more in touch with our bodies, which in turn will decrease the amount of toxins in the system that feed negative emotions
  5. Increased social interaction can have positive effects on one’s mood and disposition if one chooses to work out with a group, take a class, or join a gym

Generally, the more you exercise the more these benefits are pronounced in your body and life, and the less you’ll find yourself combating depressive episodes and negative mood swings in life.

Overall, if you wake up with the Blues, consider going for a brisk walk, or maybe jumping some rope. You will instantly note that your body is helping you improve your mood by producing feel-good substances and reinforcing the spirit of energy over lethargy, health over illness, and cheerful agility over emotional and physical stagnation. That little emotional perk that you need may be as easy as mustering up the willingness to go out for a brief walk, do some stretching in your office chair, or hit the gym after work.

Weak in the Knees? You CAN Fix That!

As we get older, many of us complain of weakness in the knees and chronic knee pain. Many of us see this weakness as part of the normal run-of-the-mill process of aging, and basically an inevitable malady of getting older. But boy is that ever Wrong! Strength and flexibility in the knees and legs are essential to maintaining our balance, coordination and health as we age, and yes, there ARE things you can do to strengthen your knees and legs so that they can carry you solidly and firmly throughout your entire lifetime.

One thing we must remember is that the knees are only one set of joints in a system of joints that support our entire bodies. So, for example, an injury to the hips or ankles will affect the strength and condition of the knees, because the system of joints in the body is all connected. Posture is critical to the health and strength of our knees, hips and ankles, and so is muscle tone around the ligaments that keep our joints functioning optimally. In order to keep our legs and knees healthy and strong, our entire bodies must be strong and tone, and our posture must be optimal.

At Morphe, our regular Gravity Training routine includes plenty of movements and exercises that strengthen the knees, hips and ankles as well as improving overall balance and posture. Here is a list of some of the basic exercises that help to maintain optimal flexibility and strength in the knees and legs:

  1. Squats ~ these strengthen and tone hips, legs, buttocks, knees and ankles and are an essential staple in any fitness routine. Using Morphe’s Gravity Training System to do your squats on the board also allows for variations such as single-leg squats with legs crossed over knees, or ski squats which help to strengthen knees, calves and ankles and encourage improve coordination. Start with sets of 25.
  1. Jump rope: three minutes of jump rope daily not only provides cardio and fat burning but also strengthen the hips, legs, ankles and knees, encouraging flexibility and strength in these joints. Variations on jump-rope techniques strengthen different leg muscles while also aiding balance and posture, all of which help to maintain better leg and knee health throughout life.
  1. Lunges: variations on this exercise help to open the hip flexors which in turn support mobility and flexibility in the knees. Again, doing these using the glide-board that’s part of our Gravity Training System allows for many variations that strengthen and tone the calves and buttocks, supporting the legs and knees. Start with 20 on each side.
  1. Step-ups: this exercise not only builds strength and flexibility in the knees, but also enhances balance and coordination, strengthening our posture and indirectly supporting leg and knee function as we walk and go about daily activities. Using a low surface approximately 2 feet off the ground, start with 15 forward step-ups with each leg. Variations on this exercise might include extending the raised leg either in front, to the rear or to the side while stepping up.
  1. Walking: This should already be a part of everyone’s daily routine, but it won’t hurt to remind you: walk at least 30 minutes daily and if possible 1 hour daily. Try to walk on different types of terrain including concrete, grass, sand and indoor flooring to strengthen your feet, ankles, legs, knees, buttocks and hips. There is no greater exercise for building strength, balance and posture than daily walking, and your knees and legs will thank you as you grow older.

Burn Baby Burn! 7 Tips to Heat up Your Metabolism

Wondering how to get the most out of your workouts – how to get your burning speed from 0 to 100 in a matter of minutes? Here are some general lifestyle tips that will keep your metabolism burning optimally so you’ll really see those results quickly this summer!

  1. Eat Breakfast! This is a simple fact: everything that burns needs fuel. If you want your metabolism to start off the day in Burn-mode, give it something to burn! Be it fresh fruit, whole grains, eggs, bacon or dairy products, breakfast is the meal that clenches your burning agreement at the start of the day.
  1. Stretch! People who stretch in the morning and throughout the day enjoy increased range of motion and always seem to look great. This may be due to the increased supply of oxygen to the brain and other vital organs that is produced by regular stretching of the body, which also coincidentally leads to a faster metabolism.
  1. Hydrate! Most people have no idea how quickly a human body becomes dehydrated. It is said that by the time your mouth feels dry and you feel thirsty, advanced dehydration is already underway at the cellular level. Needless to say, your body cannot efficiently burn calories for fuel under this debilitating condition. The average human body should consume at least 6-8 glasses of water daily for optimum health and function. This will help to maintain a healthy metabolism as well as digestive regularity.
  1. Snack! In order to keep the metabolism burning, the body requires constant supplies of proper fuel. Essentially, some foods truly nourish the body and encourage increased metabolic activity. These foods include all varieties of raw fruits and veggies, particularly berries, lemons, limes, apples, beets, carrots and all green vegetables; nuts such as pecans and almonds, or nuts in the form of nut-butters; and low-fat animal proteins such as yogurt and cheese, fish, chicken or turkey. Avoid refined sugar and wheat products, fried and processed snacks and things filled with chemicals like High Fructose Corn Syrup. By eating several small snacks throughout the day and remaining active, your metabolism maintains optimal burning levels all day long as it receives small offerings of nutrients it can convert into fuel.
  1. Juice! Drinking raw juices containing such fruits and veggies as pineapples, papaya, cucumber, celery, kale, berries, mango, apples, kiwis and bananas—particularly early in the day—kickstart and fuel your metabolism while also providing hydration in the form of liquid nutrients. Although juicing does not take the place of drinking sufficient water, a juicing regimen in addition to regular daily hydration means your body will be functioning at a standard above average, and your metabolism will have the support it needs to burn fat and calories at its maximum capacity.
  1. Exercise! It can’t be said enough times: exercise is essentially what causes your body to burn fat. Without it, there is no burning, there is no conversion of stored nutrients into fuel for energy: In fact, there is No Energy and we become swollen, sloth-like, lethargic and, very often, depressed. A simple routine of 25 jumping jacks, 25 squats, and 25 push-ups daily is enough to heat up your metabolism to ensure a day of healthy metabolic activity and prevent weight-gain while strengthening the body’s muscular system, improving posture and training your body to burn!
  1. Sleep! Not getting enough sleep is one of the chief contributors to a chronically sluggish metabolism and its consequential complications that include inflammation, compromised immunity, and weight gain. A minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep a night is required by most adults to provide sufficient rest for all of the metabolic functions of the body. Like any other organism, a tired metabolism cannot work as hard as it should. Rest your body properly and feel the difference in increased vigor, strength and energy in the morning.

Morphe Morphs!

So by now most of you are aware that Morphe has morphed into a larger, brighter, more versatile, cooler and more fun than ever fitness studio at its new location in Little Havana at 810 SW 22nd Avenue near the corner of 8th Street (Calle Ocho) in Miami.

The new space really does feel different: it’s as though Morphe has grown up and expanded, as though a fantasy has come to life, a dream has come true, and the transformation that all of our clients – the Morphe family – are trying to make in their lives is happening here in the studio right before our very eyes.  It’s as though the space embodies the strength and optimism of the Morphe coaching philosophy!  The new space allows for more versatility, larger groups, more individual attention for each class member, and even more social gathering possibilities with the addition of our fabulous Sushi Express juice & bites bar.

Natural light abounds and the space is easily accessible with comfortable private parking in the rear. The whole look and feel of the new studio is the manifestation of positive thinking, faith, hard work and determination as a physical and visual reminder of what it takes to achieve goals, create change, transform lives, and give wings to our dreams and desires. In the end, the studio itself serves to emphasize and illustrate the Morphe philosophy of integrating mind, body and spirit in the pursuit of success and happiness. The new studio breathes this philosophy while serving as an example to all our clients that success, transformation and growth really are possible.

We urge you to drop in, stop by and talk to Coach Santamarina about a life coaching session and a holistic fitness assessment for a personalized plan of action at Morphe Fitness & Wellness Studio to transform your life and give wings to your dreams and desires.

It’s about you. It’s about change. It’s about achievement, success and satisfaction. Be part of the transformation happening daily at Morphe.

Morphing As a Way of Life

A lot of what motivates clients to return to Morphe again and again and stay committed for years is the transformation that the Morphe philosophy encourages in each participant. Over the years, I’ve watched my clients transform their bodies, lives and outlooks through consistent discipline fueled by positive thinking.

Well guess what? This model of transformation, growth, expansion, satisfaction, and success that the Morphe Method encourages in our clients doesn’t only apply to our bodies, minds, and spirits; it also applies to the business and career sector of life. As a matter of fact, the energy generated by the Morphe Method of transformation is so powerful that even Morphe itself as a business is now undergoing an explosion of growth and transformation!

That’s right: As a consequence of 10 years of dedication, discipline, goal-setting, and positive thoughts, Morphe will be moving in March 2015 to a permanent new location! We will also be expanding our offerings to include special fitness programs for youth and greater visibility and engagement in our community. Our Gravity Training and Combination Rock Climbing and TRX Anti-Gravity Training will be expanded as will our wellness therapies and spa treatments including Massage, Acupuncture, Ultracavitation, Infrared Body Wrap and Therapeutic Ultrasound.

I am extremely optimistic, excited and thrilled to be at the threshold of a change like this with Morphe at this moment, and want to thank all of my dedicated clients for their dedication, discipline and loyalty, and especially for using the Morphe Method of personal transformation to transform your own lives and, by extension, the life of Morphe itself!

With my deepest gratitude,





When we think of morphing, our minds might conjure up a scene with special effects in a movie or perhaps a video game. But in real life, the concept of morphing comes from nature itself. Look at the process of metamorphosis, by which a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. This doesn’t happen in a minute, not even in a day. It’s a part of a process of transformation, and the process, the journey itself, is the longest part.

In human life, as in all of nature, there is no such thing as The End. When we pass on into the next dimension, our spirit and body continue to transform into other forms. There is no end. And so it is in every journey that you embark on as a human being, be it a journey of love, success in a specific field, or general growth and self-improvement.

The process of becoming a cleaner, leaner, stronger and more focused version of yourself is a journey that can – and probably should – last your entire lifetime. According to the Universal Law of Attraction all energy attracts similar energy. So if you get up every day and put your daily plan in motion, everything in your life will be set in motion along with it. As you begin drawing closer to your goals, your goals also draw nearer to you and you begin to see synchronicity in action.

On the path to discovering your higher self, and the unity of Mind, Body and Soul, you will find strength and inspiration every step of the way if you focus on being true to yourself and forging ahead with your transformation.

Things take time. Stay in the Present and enjoy every moment.

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

“Love”… not exactly the word you expect to hear when the subject of the conversation is fitness, strength and personal training. But ironically, at Morphe, it is precisely this word: LOVE – this concept of total wellness, wholeness at the physical, mental, and spiritual level – that drives our training philosophy.

“Love?” you ask.

Many people believe LOVE to be an acronym for “Life Of Vulnerable Emotions” in which we are always the victim.  At Morphe, our aim is to transform that mindset into the philosophy of “Life Of Vowed Empiricism” in which we learn, grown and derive strength and power from every experience.  And the key to this is Love.

Let me explain how this works.  Love is the force that motivates every constructive action in human behavior.  There is no greater joy in life than love. In fact, love is the very thing that brings you here and makes you walk through that door in the first place; and love is what you come for.

The energy that is required of you to work out every muscle in your body is love. Focus is love.  Tough love is love. Pushing yourself one inch further is an act of love: love that you give to your body, love that you give to your goals, and love that you give to yourself.

Caring for yourself is an act of love. And love, my friends, is the source of strength.

In order for you to commit to your workout routine, to the plans you’ve made, to the goals you’ve set for yourself, you must love every one of those things, and above all, you must love yourself.  This is the point of departure that we use at Morphe to guide you through your transformation from where you are at this moment to where you want to be one hour from now, one year from now, ten years from now.

Love is the force that unites mind, body, and soul. Love is the breath that makes every movement heal and strengthen your body, your concentration, your confidence, and your faith in yourself. Love makes you get to your workout, makes you do every rep, makes you give it your best, and fills you with joy and endorphins while doing it.  Love is the reason you set goals and then do everything possible to achieve them.

Love is the reason you’re doing this. Love is the source.  Keep that in mind always.

Slow Down and Get More Done

A famous actor was once known to say: “Dress me slowly, I’m in hurry!” I often heard this phrase around the house growing up, and as a kid, I never understood its logic.  But as I’ve grown and learned a whole lot about life, I realize those are words to live by.

In today’s frantic world of deadlines, appointments and distractions, we seem to be in a constant battle with Time. “I don’t have time to relax and breathe” is a common theme running through our subconscious.

We think we have to be in a continuous state of adrenaline rush to accomplish everything on our to-do list. But the fact is, the more we take time out to breathe, relax, stretch and feel our bodies, the more clear-headed and focused we become, and voilá: the more we get things done!

Relaxation is vital to maintaining a healthy heart rate. When your heart rate is continuously accelerated by the stress of being in a hurry, your ability to think clearly is actually diminished. The rising adrenaline levels launches you into fight-or-flight mode and you feel more nervous and irritable, you make more mistakes, you forget things, and worst of all, you’re rapidly making yourself sick.

Another common mistake is multitasking. We all have to do it, and it seems all of us have our phones by our side constantly, which means constant interruptions from whatever we’re doing.  So it’s a necessary fact of life, but it causes increased stress and increased heart rate.

Make your daily to-do list reasonably short, and create it in order of priority, then actually tackle things in that order. Finish one task and take a quick break: go outside, walk, move, or just stretch and breathe, before getting on to the next task.  Try to limit your use of the phone to these breaks, and silence it while you get important things done.  You’ll find that at the end of the day you’ll be far less tired after having accomplished far more tasks.

Just the awareness that you are in prime condition to get things done will actually help you to get more things done!  When you’re properly rested, de-stressed, and operating from a place of relaxed clarity, you feel far more confident in your ability to accomplish your day’s goals.  This confidence influences everything you do, and amazingly, things begin to go more smoothly, naturally.

This is because your nervous system is responding to the message that your brain is sending which is “everything is ok.” Once your brain is sending out this message, you become a lot less worried about Time.

Stop. Breathe. Relax. Enjoy Life. Now continue with what you were doing.  Everything in life is about finding a healthy balance.

The Morphe Method: Philosophy Coaching

Breakthroughs begin here: This truly unique consulting experience is the starting place for fundamental life transformation. The Morphe Method stresses positive thinking, visualization, and daily discipline as core steps toward the fulfillment of your goals. Aware and empowered as never before, you’ll create a solid platform on which to build your life and your organization.

The Morphe Method: Personal Care Coaching

The ultimate in total wellness: Experience customized personal care with an expert consultation that focuses on one thing: you. Here we discuss your challenges, goals, habits, patterns and physical as well as psychological limitations; the focus is on altering your behavior in small and significant ways on a regular basis to guide you on the path to achieving your goals and feeling more healthy and balanced in mind, body and spirit.