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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Greening Fitness in Southwest Florida

Apr 03, 2011 08:48PM ● By Linda Sechrist

Karla Nason with Gyrotonics client

Southwest Florida’s fitness trainers and yoga instructors are conscientious green advocates that understand the need to conserve our planet’s limited resources. As role models for their clients, they demonstrate how simple it is to integrate green into regular fitness routines.

Transcendent Fitness

CrossFit Level I Fitness Trainer Micah West is the owner of Transcendent Fitness, home of Naples Beach Body Boot Camp. To keep his facility fresh and clean, West uses natural mineral- and plant-based cleaning products that he buys at Food & Thought Organic Market & Restaurant, in Naples. “I also keep the bathroom stocked with a container of organic hand soap,” says West, who takes the time to read labels and shop for products packaged in 100 percent recycled materials or those that use less plastic in packaging.

West also takes a sustainable approach to his style of core strength conditioning and training that combines gymnastics, weightlifting

Micah West
Micah West
and endurance. For example, he utilizes medicine balls made from recycled materials and six used tires that a local tire shop gave him. “In one of our boot camp workout routines, an individual is required to swing a 16-pound sledge hammer and beat on a tire,” advises West. “In another, they hold on to two straps and drag a weighted tire back and forth across the parking lot.”

Another sustainable aspect of West’s business was provided by his energy-savvy landlord, who painted the roof white so that it would reflect the sun and reduce energy costs.

Fitness Infusion

Gyrotonic instructor Karla Nason, owner of Fitness Infusion, at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, in Fort Myers, uses all-natural products to keep her studio clean and frequently mixes her own recipes. “I buy my ingredients from Whole Foods and use essential oils to scent them,” says the trainer, who is skilled in the Gyrotonic Expansion System, a movement methodology that embraces key principles of yoga, dance, Tai chi, gymnastics and nature. Within her sparkling studio, Nason’s wooden machines are all mechanical, using only human energy to operate.

Karla Nason
Karla Nason
To reduce the use of plastic containers, Nason buys natural soaps, lotions, shampoo and hair conditioner in bulk and fills up small, reusable bottles as the supply diminishes. “I also drink all day long from my reusable Klean Kanteen metal canteen, which I fill up with delicious lemon/lime/mint-infused water,” notes Nason, who adds that many of her clientele walk to the studio from their homes, which surround the resort property. Rather than exercising on an indoor treadmill, individuals enjoy a beautiful walking trail, where they can breathe in fresh air and appreciate the natural environment.

Love Yoga Center

Love Yoga Center (formerly OmVibe Yoga) receives natural tender loving care from owner and yoga instructor Carla Olla, who cleans her studio with water, vinegar, baking soda and some essential oils with antibacterial properties. “Our mat cleaners are also all-natural,” says Olla, who provides students with Jade yoga mats, because the company not only uses recycled rubber, but also plants a tree for every mat purchased.

Olla provides a recycling bin for students who come to class with plastic water bottles. “I encourage people to bring their own reusable

Carla Olla
Carla Olla
water bottle, and I role model this by bringing my own,” enthuses Olla, who serves tea after class in glass cups.

Apparel sold at the center is made from natural materials. “I do my homework and make sure that what I retail is not made in sweatshops,” says Olla, who gave the studio a few touch-ups with fresh, low-VOC paint, but did no retrofits, in order to avoid adding anything to the Collier County landfill.

Transcendent Fitness, 4646 Domestic Ave., #103, Naples 34104. Call 239-293-9984, email [email protected] or visit

Fitness Infusion is open to the public at Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, 17260 Harbour Pointe Dr., Fort Myers 33908. Call 239-398-7292.

Love Yoga Center, 4949 Tamiami Trail N., Ste. 204, Naples 34103. Call 239-692-9747 or visit

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