The Morphe Method: Individual Cardio Boxing & Kickboxing

Cardio Boxing or Kickboxing is a style of Martial Art training that emphasizes cardiovascular conditioning and toning thru the practice and application of Martial Arts striking techniques. This practice builds strength, balance, focus, flexibility, and reinforces physical as well as mental agility, without the often harsh discipline and contact common to other forms of Martial Art training.

The Morphe Method for Total Fitness: Happy Mind, Healthy Body & Strong Soul

The Morphe Method incorporates every aspect of wellness into a series of classes and treatment options that address physical, mental, and spiritual conditioning: building strength, balance, endurance, and inner peace.  Let’s select which Method components are right for you and get you on the road to total, holistic self-renewal!

Roberto Santamarina, CSCS, is a Master Trainer dedicated to health, fitness and life coaching. Morphe Studios is Roberto’s Gift to his beloved Miami – a boutique fitness studio devoted to unleashing your hidden potential for growth and life transformation through physical activity, spiritual awareness and positive habits that help you achieve all of your personal goals.

The Morphe Method, rooted in Roberto’s philosophy of unifying mind, body and soul, along with his caring approach of focused personal attention to each client, guarantees that your experience at Morphe will be specifically tailored to satisfy your individual needs. Roberto has assembled a team of masters in health, wellness, fitness and spa treatments to ensure your results will encompass every area of your life to guide you toward the total transformation that you dream of!

“The Key to achieving a true metamorphosis is to think positive, take action and develop a well-balanced you.”
—Roberto Santamarina

Stretch, Breathe & Relax

Beginning in October 2013, Wednesday evenings at Morphe will be the place to be to get your regenerative groove on.  Stretch, Breathe & Relax is the newest of our class offerings, focusing on the regeneration and rejuvenation of the mind, body, and soul by combining total-body stretching with profound breathing techniques, visualization, and deep relaxation.

Rooted in such ancient practices as Yoga, the practice of uniting breath and motion to rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit is not new.  What many don’t realize, however, is that stretching exercises often cause a slew of injuries: in fact, it is in the act of stretching that human muscles are most easily injured.  Stretching exercises must be done in a proper sequence, with the breath used as an instrument to support the intensity and variety of different movements.  This workshop will guide you through a series of physical movements that allow your entire body to stretch and release physical as well as emotional tension by using the breath in harmony with the body to achieve maximum results.

It is important to warm up and cool down the body at the beginning and end of any stretching routine.  It is also extremely important to utilize breathing techniques to allow for greater extension and increased physical flexibility.  The combination of deep breathing, visualization, and physical movement working in deliberate harmony allows for a far deeper experience of stretching, elongating muscles, promoting balance and proper posture, and releasing psychological, emotional and physical stress.

The act of stretching, done properly in conjunction with deep breathing, relieves muscle tension and pain, increases suppleness and elasticity in the joints, and promotes blood circulation to the entire body, including the internal organs. It also strengthens the core, tones the entire body, quiets the mind, and builds physical, emotional, and spiritual strength, endurance, balance and flexibility: the path to holistic rejuvenation.

Play better, Enjoy more: Improve Your Game with Flex Training

As both an avid golf enthusiast and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist working with all sorts of athletes for over 15 years, I can attest to the contribution that flex training can add to your golf game.  In fact, I’d like to share a story with you of one golfer who lowered his handicap from 20 to 10 in less than a years’ time by working to improve his overall balance, strength, and flexibility.

In my work with professional athletes, both targeted at improving general fitness and/or working to rehabilitate injuries, I have learned the benefits that all-around flexibility, balance and strength training can bring to an athlete’s performance. So when Victor came into my studio with the specific goal of lowering his golf handicap, I was prepared to coach him to a whole new level as a golfer.

Initially, we incorporated Ultrasound Therapy and P.N.F. (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) Stretching, a series of specialized stretching techniques commonly used by clinical therapists, to rapidly improve his overall range of motion and bring fast relief from chronic tendonitis, a problem he’d suffered with for years.

We then began working on bio-mechanic strengthening and core conditioning through Gravity Training and Kinesiology, which relieved his chronic lower back pain, a problem he attributed to his long hours of sitting at a desk during his day job.  This system also improves balance and overall flexibility while building strength in the entire body, improving rotation and general mobility, maintaining proper weight, increasing muscle tone and definition, and lengthening the spine, improving overall posture.

To that, we added Swing Fan Drills, Medicine Ball and Plyometric Workouts, a series of specialized exercises targeted specifically to improving his rotation, swing and golf performance, lowering his handicap from 20 to 10 over a period of 11 months.  We also worked to develop a series of appropriate pre and post training exercises to not only improve Victor’s overall performance on the green, but also to decrease his risk of injury and maintain his flexibility, even through his long days at the office.

Today, this enthusiastic golfer has found a renewed interest in his favorite sport. His health is greatly improved, as is his game, and he is able to enjoy playing more often, free of pain. A testament to the holistic principle of overall physical conditioning, his is just one more example of what a focused and balanced training regimen can do to benefit any athlete, from beginner, to pro, to weekend warrior.

Crazy for Kombucha

Hey, have you tried Kombucha yet?

It’s an exotic, ancient effervescent drink that some call “mushroom tea” although there are no mushrooms in it.  Actually, Kombucha is a sparkling tea drink made from tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast.  This mix is then fermented to create a bacterial colony or “mother” and this colony—a slimy, sludgy looking thing—is then brewed with sugar and tea, allowing the mix to ferment. The resulting bubbly beverage tastes a bit vinegary, and contains B vitamins and other nutritional compounds.

Many claim that Kombucha tea promotes an array of amazing health benefits such as strengthening and boosting the immune system, preventing the formation of cancerous tumors, lowering harmful cholesterol, relieving PMS, enhancing overall digestion and liver function, and even promoting hair growth.  In fact, Kombucha’s recent ascent to the heights of health-nut popularity is part of a larger trend in foods that contain live bacteria or probiotics, which are known to benefit digestion and naturally boost the immune system.   Probiotics are those living organisms that feed off the “bad bacteria” in our bodies.  So, yes, this is basically good stuff.

But, as with everything good, some points need to be acknowledged and taken into consideration.  For example, even though Kombucha and/or some variation of fermented tea has been prized as a health tonic in China for over 2,000 years, fermented tea is actually a very acidic drink and should be taken strictly in moderation.  Many well-respected health experts have published warnings regarding the excessive use of Kombucha and the possibility of resulting complications such as hyperacidity and the typical side effects seen during detox or “healing crisis” such as skin rashes, headaches and loose stools.  And honestly, none of us should take lightly the fact that no real scientific studies have been done to establish that Kombucha does indeed live up to all of its health claims, even though it has been respected as a natural remedy for centuries.  So, the best advice is to enjoy the drink in moderation and judge for yourself whether or not it is working for you.  At most, enjoy 4 oz. of Kombucha daily, and increase your intake gradually as your body adjusts to the live probiotics.

Here at Morphe, we do occasionally brew a bit of the sparkling refreshment.  Many of my clients claim that it really does give them increased energy, and more than one has mentioned that the tea has helped tremendously with their digestion.

Today, the hippest of foodies and health enthusiasts are cultivating their own “mothers,” and selling or giving away the “daughters” or “kombucha babies” as starter kits for enthusiastic wannabe Kombucha brewers.  And many of these new starter kits have also added additional healthful ingredients such as Spirulina and Vitamin C.  So if you’re looking to start brewing your own Kombucha, you should have no trouble getting a hold of a good “mother” to help you get started.   Just remember that moderation is key with this wonder drink.

6 Reasons to Love Circuit Training

Circuit training is a form of total body toning and conditioning that consists of a series of sequential short bursts of resistance training exercises where each set of repetitions targets a difference muscle group in the body.  A “circuit” refers to the set of exercises included in the training session. Typically, the switch between exercises (or “stations”) happens quickly to enhance the cardiovascular benefits of the rotation.  By quickly switching from working one group of muscles to another, the body does not require a rest in metabolic rate between exercises; this continuity helps to accelerate and maintain increased heart rate, oxygen consumption and caloric burning.  Resistance training exercises are often combined with aerobics to further increase these benefits.  Many of my clients at Morphe notice that circuit training accelerates their metabolism, gets them to perspire more profusely, and promotes rapid weight loss and body sculpting.

Why We Love Circuits

  1. Circuit training targets different muscle groups individually, providing a focused conditioning and toning workout that sculpts and defines the entire body.
  2. Circuit training increases heart rate, oxygen consumption and combines the benefits of resistance training with the increased caloric burning power of aerobics!
  3. Circuits can consist of any variety of exercises, and may be adapted to any environment, such as an outdoor obstacle course where you do reps at each station.
  4. Circuit training is lively, challenging and FUN! It gets your adrenalin and endorphins flowing and helps your body detox through increased perspiration.
  5. Circuit training accelerates weight loss and body sculpting by increasing metabolic rate and stimulating caloric burning.
    And most importantly: Results! Circuit training delivers fast and dramatic results that mean you’ll look better this evening than you did when you got up this morning!

Maintaining Proper Posture and Balance

Your sense of balance functions through a dynamic process in which your brain and body assimilate and respond to physical information using your eyes, muscles and nervous system as a means of relating physically to the world.

Proper posture is an integral part of human balance. The way in which you hold up your body actually makes a huge difference in your ability to maintain proper balance. By improving your posture and thus your sense of balance, you improve your physical stability and increase your overall mobility, as well as preventing many injuries and pain in the back, neck and joints.  Overall, proper posture and a healthy sense of balance can mean the difference between feeling the years creeping up on you and maintaining your youthful energy and vigor.

Your sense of balance begins to deteriorate at around age 40. Poor posture and lack of balance is often associated with an increase in falls and injuries, such as wrist and hip fractures, even in younger adults.  To prevent this deterioration, it is important to practice proper posture and perform simple balancing exercises every day.

How can you improve your posture?

  1. Book it. Walk around for five minutes each day with a book balanced on your head.
  2. Sit Up. Make sure that your computer monitor and chair are ergonomically arranged so that your back remains straight and relaxed, with elbows comfortably bent at a 45° angle and feet planted firmly on the ground while you are working on your computer.
  3. Stretch.  Remember to take frequent breaks during which you stretch your back and shoulders by gently bending from side to side with one arm extended over your head.
  4. Step in Line.  When walking, always shift your body weight from heel to toe, using the entire foot to support your weight.  Place one foot in front of the other and direct your body weight in a straight line.

How can you maintain your sense of balance?

  1. Stand on one leg.  Try this at first for 10 seconds, then close your eyes and continue for an additional 5 seconds.  Repeat with the alternate leg.  Practice this exercise at least once daily.  You may need to hold on to a table or wall for the first 3-4 seconds before letting go.  As you become accustomed to doing this exercise every day, your balance will improve drastically and you will be able to hold the position for longer periods.
  2. Balance Beam. Try walking on top of a straight and narrow surface, such as the curb of the sidewalk, a wall or a real balance beam.  This exercise strengthens the coordination between your eyes, muscles and nervous system, and will greatly improve your balance when practiced regularly.
  3. Walk backwards. Walk backwards for a stretch of 10-15 feet using a wall to guide yourself. Try not to turn around and look behind you, and maintain an even distance from the wall while walking.
  4. Get out in Nature. Nature is strategically designed to help humans improve all of our physical and psychological capabilities.  While walking along a dirt road or trail, your sense of balance naturally kicks in to keep you from stumbling over obstacles on the uneven ground, and from bumping into trees and branches in your path.  A weekly nature walk goes a long way toward improving your navigation skills in the physical world, and your sense of balance will be among the first to reap the benefits!

Morphe’s Simple Formula for Success

 

The difference between people who are living their dream life and those who are stuck in a rut waiting for change to just happen is very simple:  successful people set goals – and furthermore, they achieve them!

Why does this work out so well for some of us and not for others?  Do successful people know some kind of secret that helps them fulfill their life goals?  How can the rest of us get in on this act?

The secret lies in a simple formula:

PASSION + DISCIPLINE = RESULTS

Let’s look at the first variable in this equation:  Passion.  What exactly is passion?  We usually think of passion as that powerful, mysterious and magnetic force that makes people fall in love with other people.  But isn’t it also true that this same force can make people fall in love with things, places, projects, dreams and goals as well?

Passion is the force that propels everything in life, and that is why it’s so important to recognize your true Passion and use it as the seed from which to grow your dream life.  If you set goals that respond to your personal Passion and desires, your goals will inspire you to move forward.  If you set goals based on what you think others expect of you, it will become very difficult for you to muster up the Discipline required to achieve the goal.

What exactly is Discipline?  Dictionary.com defines Discipline as: activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training. So how do you remain motivated enough to stick to this activity or regimen long enough to successfully achieve your goal?

What’s really going to keep you disciplined is the Passion, or desire, to achieve your goal, but this Passion needs to be rekindled every so often, in order for you to really feel the excitement, energy and motivation to stick to the Discipline.  The secret to keeping this Passion alive is to constantly remind yourself of why you want to achieve this particular goal.

For example, let’s say your goal is to quit smoking.  It’s not enough to want to do it just because it will make you feel healthier.  You can fuel the Passion for quitting by taking the time to write down all the reasons why you want to quit, and posting them around your home or office as gentle reminders.  You may write:  Smoking makes my breath smell bad; I don’t want to support evil Tobacco companies; I don’t want my clothes to smell bad; Smoking makes my skin more wrinkled, etc.

With this kind of daily motivation, it’s much easier for you to stay focused on the Passion and in turn, to muster up daily Discipline.   Also, one slip doesn’t mean that your entire Passion is gone and that the goal is totally out of your reach.  Simple motivational messages will help you get back on track by reconnecting your thoughts with the original Passion that made you set your goal in the first place.

Positive Thinking for Positive Results

I have a sign in my office that says:  “Your thoughts lead to your actions, your actions become your habits, and your habits become your character.”  This is why your thoughts, and the commitment to continuous positive thinking are so important. If you want to change what you’re attracting, change the way you think!  If you focus on what you don’t want, that’s exactly what you will get, because that is how the Law of Attraction works.  Your thoughts are controlling every detail of your life, so use them to get positive results!

Thoughts are kind of like the weather.  They are there whether you pay attention to them or not.  And in fact, the ones that you don’t pay attention to, which are happening on a sub-conscious level, are the ones that are affecting you the most.

Your thoughts attract and create your external reality, so they must always reflect the life you are aiming to have.  Make a commitment to turn every negative thought into a positive one, and remember that everything in life happens for a good reason. Instead of thinking “I am stuck here in this dead-end job forever,” replace the thought with “I am here preparing myself for my dream career.” Focus on what you DO want, and know that it’s coming!

Listen carefully and consciously to your inner thoughts.  Are you putting yourself down, expressing fear or insecurity, harboring resentment, laying blame, or being just plain pessimistic?  The first step to improving your thinking patterns is to listen to your inner thoughts and discover exactly which of your repetitive thought patterns are attracting the negative energy in your life.

Make a list of all of the negative thoughts that plague you on a regular basis (and believe me, unless you are living the life you’ve always dreamed of, you have these!) and write down a positive affirmation to replace each one.  Print the list out and carry it in your wallet.  Whenever a negative thought strikes, use your list of positive affirmations to beat down the negative energy!

After only a few days of practicing this, you will notice that your life is heading in a much more positive direction, that you feel healthier and happier, and that suddenly your goals seem within reach.  The more you practice the Power of Positive Thinking, the more you will see Positive Results!  This is the beginning of getting everything you want in life.

Five Essentials for Transforming Your Mind, Body and Spirit

Welcome to Morphe. I’m Roberto Santamarina, CSCS. Through my rigorous training as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, I am qualified to design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs, and to provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention for my clients who come in all shapes and sizes.

In my current professional practice as a Lifestyle Coach, Strength Coach and Personal Trainer at Morphe, I am passionate about educating my clients on my philosophy of transforming the mind, body and spirit in order to achieve the life they dream of.

My five essential recommendations for people who seek a true metamorphosis in their mind, body and spirit are these:

  1. Positive Thinking: Everything originates in the mind, so this is the first thing you have to work on. Thoughts produce the spiritual energy that manifests everything in your life, so it is important to practice this at all times.
  2. Goals: Don’t be afraid to dream big, and don’t shortchange yourself by settling for less than what you really aspire to. Things may take time, but the clearer your personal goals are, and the more you realize why you want them, the closer you are to achieving them!
  3. Discipline: Discipline is an amazing skill that you acquire by facing your own self-sabotaging resistance and making a firm commitment to conquer it. Discipline means that you honor yourself enough to go after what you really want.
  4. Listen to Your Body: The human body is a perfect instrument, and we are all capable of enjoying absolute fitness and health. All serious exercise training should be supported by the guidance of a well-trained, intuitive professional, but achieving perfect health and fitness requires a total focus on YOU, and your own physical energy.
  5. Meditation and Energy Work: Therapeutic energy practices such as Pranic Healing and Meditation take your health and fitness program, as well as your entire life, to another level. This is where the deepest transformation really takes place. Learn to use breathing techniques as a tool to energize as well as relax and heal your body. At Morphe we are proud to offer Pranic Healing Therapy to support your total life transformation.

In my upcoming posts, I will offer detailed tips to help you strengthen each of these five areas. Keep visiting my blog to learn more about these essential recommendations and how to put them into practice in your life!

Morphe is 4

We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. We are celebrating our 4th year with the introduction of our spa treatments—and by giving you a sneak peak at our new website (still under construction!).

Thank you for your support and let’s make 2011 a great year for all of us.

—Roberto