All it took was one SoulCycle class for Natasha Whitby to recognize her calling. Through fitness, Whitby wanted to help others going through tough times. We caught up with Whitby for a Quick 10 interview, but you can also follow her on Instagram – @natashawhitby_.
Tell us about yourself – where are you from and how did you find your way to the 305?
I grew up in Connecticut, but I moved to Boston after college and lived there for about six years. It was great, but I knew I needed to be someplace a little more lively. When SoulCycle asked me to move to Miami after training, I couldn’t have been more thrilled.
How did you get your start in fitness and as an instructor?
I got into fitness by simply working out in Boston. I didn’t like working out until after college. One day, I tried a SoulCycle class and the instructor said something that I really needed to hear. I was in a dark place in my life and for a moment I had forgotten the negative thoughts going through my mind. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to make other women feel the same way.
How do you stay full of energy throughout the day?
I used to drink A LOT of coffee, but I recently started a cleanse where I can’t have any coffee at all. Eating right and getting the proper recovery and rest is vital for any fitness professional. Arbonne makes these “fizz sticks” that are supposed to curb sugar cravings and boost your energy, and considering I haven’t had a sip of coffee for 15 days, I’d say they work.
How would you describe your classes?
I’d say my class is demanding, but sexy. I never raise my voice because I don’t think I need to yell to get anyone’s attention. I will say what I want to say and you can listen. I also like to bring out a little emotion from the room because at the end of the day, we’re all human and need to express emotion.
What is one fitness myth you would like to bust?
You can build a Kim K booty with weights. That’s either genetics or surgery. You can attempt to tone and build muscle all you want, but we all are made up of different shapes and sizes.
Tell us a little bit more about your specialty.
I think people enjoy my class at SoulCycle because it’s a brief escape from reality for 45 minutes to an hour, but it’s still a kickass workout. You can work hard but also get a mini therapy session.
Other than where you teach, where is your favorite place in Miami to train?
Cross-training is so important. It just feels good on the body to do something else when you teach so many cycling classes. I love Modo or SOL Yoga for hot yoga, JetSet Pilates or [solidcore] for pilates, and Sweat440 or Barry’s Bootcamp for more weights.
Besides fitness, what’s one thing you’re passionate about?
I’m actually obsessed with self-care and beauty. I have an unhealthy addiction to Sephora. I actually have five different shampoos in my shower right now. Who needs five shampoos for one head of hair? I do.
What is the one thing you do every day to stay fit?
I try and move every single day. Rest days are important, but even if it means walking to Whole Foods versus driving on my day off that makes me feel healthier.
How do you practice mental health in your everyday life?
I only practice mental health through fitness, to be honest. The reason I workout outside of my own class is because I too need my “me” time. When I do yoga or Pilates, I practice patience. When I take a more intense class like Barry’s Bootcamp, I practice drive and willpower. I also do my best to not compare myself to anyone else. I am me and that will never change – why would I let comparison get in my way of self-growth?