Lola Manekin is the force of nature behind Movement Lab in Baltimore, Maryland. A native of Brazil, she became a US citizen two weeks ago. We asked about the journey that brought her to Baltimore and to her Remington studio where her movement classes are taught to the beat of drums and eclectic world music. Lola’s TedX Hampden Women talk and the answers to our questions give a glimpse into what drives and motivates this amazing woman. If you live in the Baltimore area, we encourage you to go to Movement Lab and meet her.

When you were a little girl what did you think your life would be like?

I have always been a dreamer and knew that my life was going to be whatever I wanted it to be; that I had the power to create my life one day at the time. I have always been passionate and excited about everything. Variety and new experiences was (and still is) a big thing for me. I never let myself be bored or fall into repetitive routines.

Can you share something about yourself that defines who you are? What advice would you give your young self?

I dance to the drum of my own heart. Stay on the path of your heart and wait until you see how amazing your life will continue to become.

What twists and turns did you encounter that changed your plan?

I can’t say that I had a plan but when it was time to go to College I had to choose between law school, international business, fashion design and Naturologia (natural medicine). Everything was so exciting to me that I didn’t know what to pick. My mom asked if I trusted her and I said yes. She said: “pick Naturologia.” It put me on this path I am now on around holistic health, Chinese medicine and movement.

Taking Movement Beyond | Lola Manekin | TEDxHampdenWomen

What obstacles did you overcome?

Life has been pretty sweet to me. I have had challenging moments such as my parents divorcing and being an immigrant in the USA, but they were minor. My biggest obstacles live in my head. I deal with them on a daily basis.

How do you manage a work / life balance?

I surround myself with very smart and amazing people. My employees, my friends, my husband, my children, my acupuncture patients… they all help me to stay in check.

What quote best describes you?

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do that because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.”

What is the best advice you have ever gotten?

That “the heart wants what the heart wants.” Even if my mind comes up with all the judgments, the shoulds and should nots, it never wins over the deepest desires of the heart.

We love your studio, Movement Lab.

Movement Lab is my baby. The idea behind it was to get people back into playfulness and see fitness more as a consequence of why they are moving their bodies rather than the goal. We offer a variety of innovative forms of mind-body movement modalities that invite people to step out of their comfort zones and have fun! Some of our offerings are: AntiGravity Fitness (hammocks), Jumping Fitness (individual trampolines), Muay Thai Kickboxing, Jazz/Hip-Hop/Nia/Bollywood for Adults, Kids Series, Floating Sound Bath (yes! Gongs while resting on a hammock), and a huge variety of yoga classes including Budokon and Kundalini. We also have endless amounts of super creative and unique workshops being offered every weekend.

Women’s Daily Post goes to Movement Lab

Women’s Daily Post sponsored a Nia Dance class at Movement Lab last fall and we had a blast. It was nothing like any exercise class we had ever attended. We were having FUN and the hour flew by! Nia Dance is a non-impact, cardio-aerobic exercise, combining dance movement, martial arts techniques and mindfulness. It is practiced barefoot in comfortable clothing, and to the beat of sensual music. Every part of your body gets a toning, stretching, limbering workout, but it can be done at your fitness level – Nia Dance is suitable for all ages and abilities.
What we loved about Lola’s class is that it is not competitive – she doesn’t care if you go left when everyone else goes right, or if you slow down a bit, or change the moves to accommodate your ability. The goal of the class is to get you to enjoy moving and connect with your mind and body.

If you are interested in Nia Dance and other classes at Movement Lab, watch the video and see what they are like.

Movement Lab: Fitness as a Consequence

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