It is almost impossible to live in Hawaii and not maintain an active lifestyle. Ever stop and really take a look around? It seems like everyone is either running, biking, surfing, swimming, hiking, on their way to or just finishing up some sort of workout. Maybe that's why the people of Hawaii are known for their friendly, easygoing demeanor; we spend a lot of time working out the kinks and increasing our dopamine! When I moved back to the 96815 after a few sluggish years in NYC, I was looking for a new perspective for my mind, body and soul, which led me to the Zimmermanns. I'm not really one for indoor gyms with fancy equipment, so the HI Life Athletics outdoor workouts, led by the fit power couple, Marc and Sara Zimmermann, seemed like my perfect get-in-shape match. On any given day, alternating between Kapiolani Park or Ala Moana Beach Park, in the company of swaying palm trees and ocean views, you can find one of their total body workout classes taking place.
Marc, a former professional soccer player from Germany, has years of educational fitness experience and an extensive list of certifications, from nutrition to sports rehabilitation. Boot camp with Marc can be pretty intense, but, in the end, rewarding. Attend a few classes a week and you'll be looking svelte and feeling strong in no time, not to mention positively improving your mind and body. When he isn't leading a group of sweaty, happy participants, Marc provides private personal training sessions to select clientele in their homes and in the beautiful Hawaiian outdoors.
Between all the burpees, push ups, and squats in boot camp, strengthen your body's foundation, increase flexibility and relieve stress with yoga, core and yogalates with Marc's better half, Sara. Her lifelong passion for health and well being comes through with every movement. Sara recently and officially launched "Kova Yoga," her own brand of Vinyasa-based practice, that uniquely combines a fluid, fast-paced style, while focusing on alignment. Kova Yoga also provides teacher trainings, where aspiring yogis can choose from two different class structures to gain the knowledge, confidence and certification they need to begin leading on their own. Sara describes her practice as being for EVERYBODY and EVERY BODY. According to Sara, "you don't have to be flexible or a Buddhist to practice Kova Yoga, nor do you have to study Sanskrit names for hundreds of poses. Yoga doesn’t have to be a way of life, it can just be something good you do for your mind and body; but if you keep practicing, it WILL change your life."
It is Sara and Marc's shared enthusiasm for healthy living that led them to each other. They were part of the same social circle during a stint in LA. Sara says, "we probably passed each other on runs before and thought, 'hmm that person is cute.'" It wasn't until a year or so down the road, when Marc was working as a National Fitness Manager for SportsFit World by MS Dhoni in India that he offered Sara a teaching opportunity half a world away. She accepted and today they reside together with their beautiful daughter, Zoey, and adorable kitten, Ipo, in the heart of the 96815, a place they previously and presently both hold dear. When they aren't encouraging you to hold that pose for 30 seconds longer or to complete one more set of sit ups, they can be found at home, picking fruits and veggies from the yard, mastering new workouts and being a perfectly fit, healthy family.
The 96815 Tip: Looking to get in shape with Sara and Marc? Visit www.hilifeathletics.com and sign up for their monthly unlimited group class membership for only $39! If you are just visiting the 96815 and want to check it out, drop into a class for $10.
For all the info on Kova Yoga, including teacher training, visit www.kovayoga.com.
Photography of Sara and Marc at home by Jessica Tronoski