Growing up in The Philippines, Australia, and Los Angeles, Rhea was a chubby child who didn’t take the weight off until she set her mind to it as a teenager. She started by joining a gym to learn how to hit the weights. She then succeeded in taking off her “baby fat” by taking on the sport of cross-country running. The confidence that came from not being able to run a mile to being able to race over three mile courses on hills changed her life.
She then continued her fitness journey by studying Shoa-Lin Kung Fu. She learned many styles of fighting, both hard and soft, and learned how to wield a number of weapons. This also opened her mind to the Eastern concept of Chi cultivation, a way to strengthen the energy channels of the body, a subject she enjoyed studying since she was a teenager. Since then she has broadened her martial arts knowledge in her study of kickboxing, Brazilian and Japanese jujitsu and mixed martial arts.
In 1997, Rhea moved to New York to peruse a career in acting and theater. She attended AMDA, a very intense conservatory and was opened to many mind-body, movement practices such as Alexander Technique, Pilates, and Yoga. This gave her a whole new perspective on fitness that included learning to find muscle imbalances and doing specific exercises to prevent injuries, release tension, reduce stress and help improve communication between mind and body. While living in New York, she kept up a consistent yoga practice with Ashtanga and Jivamukti yoga.
After giving birth to her son, she moved back to LA and threw her passions into health and fitness. She became very interested in alternative health practices after she discovered that her son had multiple food allergies that few doctors could help him with. She also became interested in spinal strengthening after struggling with a bad back (now healed). These experiences intensified her passion for healthy lifestyles.
She is now an ACE nationally certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and fitness nutrition specialist. She is a Rishi institute certified Yoga instructor. She is also certified with AARP in training older adults and is certified in Zumba, Therapy Stretching and Schwinn cycling, TRX, and R.I.P.P.E.D. She trains and teaches fitness and yoga classes all over the valley such as interval and total body conditioning, cycling, pilates, abs blast, boot camp, parkinson’s chair classes, muscle pump, cardio sculpt, kicboxing and yoga.
Rhea continues to expand her knowledge of holistic fitness. She has personally trained with martial artists, track coaches, olympic lifters and mind body/Yoga Gurus all over the United States. She continues a steady yoga practice in Ashtanga, Anusara and Kundalini yoga, tai chi, cross country running, mixed martial arts and power lifting. She believes in practicing what she preaches.
Rhea has taught yoga to seniors, working parents, teenagers and children from all walks of life and many different neighborhoods. She started specialty classes such as a family yoga class where she taught yoga and partner yoga to children and parents in her efforts to help them share intimacy, spirituality and activity in this very hectic age. She also started a balance and functional fitness class to help the seniors in her community prevent falls and injuries. She believes that her contribution to her community is a great source of happiness not just for herself but to everyone around her.
Rhea has helped young athletes overcome muscle imbalances and injuries and has aided them in excelling in athletic skill. She has helped numerous people lose weight, tone muscles, heal joint pain and improve athletic performance. Her experiences have led her to take a holistic approach to fitness, drawing on her knowledge in many traditions to look at her clients as whole persons.
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