We had the good fortune of connecting with DeNae D’Auria and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DeNae, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
How much Fascia and body alignment effect and benefit the mind-body-soul connection, overall heath and wellness, and aging. And, that there are a lot of different types of bodywork out there– not everyone who works with Fascia is a Structural Integration Practitioner “Rolfer.” Myofascial work and Structural Integration can be very different. True Structural Integration is based around Dr. Ida Rolf’s Ten Series; just because someone has taken a workshop in Myofasical work doesn’t mean they are a Structural Integration Practitioner “Rolfer.” If you are looking for true Structural Integration “Rolfing” it is important to inquire about the certification and training of your practitioner– a lot of practitioners misrepresent themselves by calling themselves Structural Integration Practitioners or Rolfers; SI/Rolfing is a very specialized training and body of work. There are a lot of talented practitioners doing Fascial work out there, but if traditional Structural Integration/Rolfing is important to you then don’t be afraid to ask questions about your practitioner’s training! Also, the Lagree Method is not “Pilates.” Pilates is a low impact, low intensity workout whereas the Lagree Method is a low impact, high intensity workout. And, Lagree Fitness uses a Megaformer or Proformer not a Reformer. If you got to Pilates expecting Lagree, it won’t be the same intensity. And if you go to Lagree expecting Pilates, be prepared to have your workout up-leveled! Both workouts can be amazing for the core, alignment and intrinsic strength, but Lagree is more intensive strength training and can even elevate the heart rate to cardio levels.
What should our readers know about your business?
I get to say I love my job every single day and it has taken trusting my path and, even during uncertain times, not settling for less than work I am passionate about. I am a practitioner of Structural Integration “Rolfing” and a Lagree Fitness instructor. When I was in college, I studied Exercise Science and Pre-Med thinking I wanted to go to Med School to become an athletic trainer/MD. Then thru a series of my own health crises I was introduced to the world of “alternative medicine”…which I didn’t even believe in at the time. During this time, it was suggested to me that I should try “Rolfing” and go thru a ten series. But, I was completely resistant to it. By fate, I super “randomly” met a Structural Integration Practitioner I felt instantly connected to. I went thru a ten series and my life was forever changed– the ten series changed my connection with my Self and my body. After my health made huge shifts, after I completed my studies at Bastyr University, and after I immersed myself in knowledge and studies about the mind-body-soul connection, I knew becoming a Structural Integration Practitioner was what I wanted to do. Years into my Structural Integration practice, a friend introduced me to the Lagree Fitness method, and again my health and fitness were forever changed. On a personal level, Lagree Fitness keeps me physically and mentally strong in all the aligned ways I need to practice Structural Integration. I trained directly with Sebastien Lagree to learn the method and then combined the Lagree Method and Structural Integration as my work because as a Structural Integration Practitioner I see so many injuries and body aches and pains that could be prevented if proper body mechanics were used during workouts. And, teaching Lagree provides me an opportunity to put a body positive spin on working out– it’s about looking good and feeling good and connecting with yourself. Being and feeling “tight and right” doesn’t have to come from poor form and negative self messaging– it is possible to use proper form and alignment, practice body positivity, accept and love your self, and be in the best shape of your life! My business: I have a private practice in Santa Monica on Ocean Ave where I practice Structural Integration “Rolfing.” Sometimes I travel to and with clients, and have worked with clients everywhere from their homes to on a private jet to backstage after shows to traveling to a location before a World Championship. I teach Lagree Fitness at Pilates Platinum in Santa Monica, Brentwood, Venice and Hollywood. I also have a Lagree Microformer at my office and offer private sessions. What sets me apart from others: .My intuition. I spent a lot of my life hiding from my intuition, but now I embrace it’s part of who I am as a person and a practitioner. Instead of hiding from it, I have now come to value it as a gift in my work. I am able to sense lots of things about my clients, their heath, and their past. I’m not a “predict the future” psychic; I’m more of a mind-body health intuitive. I’m not a therapist or a doctor, and I refer out, but a lot of clients have commented that working with me can be as beneficial as years of therapy. I also work as hard as possible, and try to stay aware of myself enough, to not be a “wounded healer”– I do my “work” and I’m not afraid to dive deep with myself. I try my best to practice what I preach and I truly value integrity. I work hard to keep myself strong, healthy, resilient and mind-body-soul aligned. For me it’s not about “fixing” people. It’s about continuously doing “my work” and therefore, thru knowledge or example, inspiring and guiding others to empower their self to do the same. What also sets me apart from other bodyworkers and practitioners is that I have trained directly with the “Masters” and at the official training programs for everything I practice (the Guild for Structural Integration, Bastyr University, Lagree Fitness). My certifications and credentials are solid. I am most proud of the peace, ease, acceptance, empowerment and alignment I have found within myself– my inner monologue and personal actions toward myself weren’t always that way. There have been a lot of things that haven’t come easily to me, but I have to say becoming an SI Practitioner, starting my practice(s), being introduced to Lagree Fitness and teaching in LA have completely been in flow. I say my gratitude every day. What led me to finding Structural Integration and Lagree Fitness is where the challenges were (not in actually becoming a professional in both fields, but thru the personal challenges that led me there). Years of autoimmune issues and asthma, eating disorders and body image issues, were the darkness and painful struggles that led me to really knowing myself and finding my professional path. At a few points in my life I have been completely out of alignment with myself and it led to health crises. I have done a lot of self work, and continue to. These days I live a lifestyle that focuses on being strong, resilient, healthy, and body positive. It’s about how I feel in myself and with myself. Lessons I’ve learned along the way: There is no such thing as “perfect.” Trusting and listening to my gut is so damn important. Moderation assists consistency and longevity. Pleasure and play are important. I can’t fix or heal anyone for them– I can only teach, guide and step away and trust their process. What I want the world to know about my brand is that it’s all about mind-body-soul alignment and aligning to the potential of one’s best self. My end goal is to assist people to feel more free, resilient, empowered, and alive regardless of age, size, personal story, past, etc. Ease and joy are possible.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Here’s the thing I love about LA: it fits all sides of my personality and lifestyle– from barefoot at the beach to sticky socks at a fitness studio to stiletto heels exploring restaurants and clubs. I was still newer to LA during pre-pandemic times, so I was enjoying checking out everything LA has to offer. I love hanging at the beach and Standup Paddleboarding. I have a dog (a black lab, named Charlie) and we love Runyon Canyon and Leo Carrillo Dog Beach in Malibu. There are so many good restaurants in LA it’s hard to name a favorite, but I have really enjoyed Cecconi’s, SoHo House, Catch, Sushi Park on Sunset, and the Counter, to name a few. My everyday go to food places are Erewhon, Earthbar, The Hive, and Kreation. I LOVE coffee– Alfred, Primo Passo, Blue Bottle. It’s easier for me to name my favorite fitness studios that anything else: I love Pilates Platinum, Lagree Fitness, Rise Nation, and Cycle House.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Dr. Ida Rolf and the Guild for Structural Integration (my teachers Peter, Emmett, Nilce and David and my mentor, Carol Cobb). I have no idea how Dr. Rolf “channeled” what she did about the body, fascia and alignment, but I have witnessed so many healing “miracles” practicing her ten series. I’m so grateful for her work, and her courage as a woman of her era for doing it/creating it. And, Sebastien Lagree– for creating the Lagree Method that fits so well with Structural Integration and training me to teach, as well as personally opening doors for me within the industry.
Facebook: DeNae D’Auria