Instructor Spotlight: Maria Macsay
What has 28 abs, a kick-ass personality, and more energy than a flock of hummingbirds? It's Maria Macsay! Maria has been with ((305)) for THREE YEARS and we couldn't possibly love her more. She's a modern day Renaissance Woman, skilled in dance, yoga, choreography, and spirituality. Get to know the girl behind the smile.
How did you get to the Big Apple?
I majored in Dance (Performance & Choreography) at Columbia College Chicago. After college, I was still living in Chicago when I decided to do an intensive performance training in NYC. I was talking to one the owner of the company about where I should relocate for my career and what aspects of dance I was interested in, and she was like, "Sounds like you need to be in New York." So I went back to Chicago, talked to two of my best friends, and six weeks later we packed up and drove straight to New York City. It was kind on a whim!
What drew you to ((305))?
I was working at a late-night restaurant, and my hours were crazy. I'd work until 4 a.m., fall asleep for three to five hours, and wake up early for yoga. It wasn't sustainable. Some nights I'd go home and cry from exhaustion while I searched Craigslist postings for dance teaching jobs. One day I saw a post for ((305)) looking for dancers. I wasn't sure I wanted to be part of the fitness world at first, but I felt a strong pull to submit an application. And that's that!
And now you've been there three years!
Yep. I teach the cardio dance class and 305FLOW, our take on a traditional yoga experience.
Do you have advice for someone taking a ((305)) cardio class?
Take it at your own pace. It's an intense class, so listen to your body. That said, you may feel uncomfortable at some points; there's no need to be afraid of a little muscle fatigue—a challenge is a positive thing. It's the precursor to becoming stronger.
Where can we find you when you're not at ((305))?
I teach at SLT, training clients on the megaformer. I am also doing more dancing lately which feels nice, so I'm spending my time at rehearsals and performances. And I do a lot of yoga. Basically, my job is to work out and dance all the time. When I'm not working out, I'm a total sucker for cute cafes. I also like to read up on the brain/ neuroscience and spirituality.
That sounds like an awesome...but exhausting hustle. What is your favorite way to relax and wind down?
Meditation is key for me, even if its just five minutes. It ties into my yoga practice and the mind body connection. I also had to learn how to nap....sometimes I teach at 6 a.m. and have a full day until 11 p.m. I wasn't a napper before, but I definitely am now. I also like to treat my body to acupuncture and massage every few weeks. When I'm not teaching, I'm always tempted to squeeze in another class...I have to remind myself to take a day where I don't do anything too physical.
What's your favorite burnout exercise?
Planks. Planks are just great. They hit every part of your body, and you can do so many variations. Forearms, hands on the ground, one leg up, the other leg up—you could essentially do the same exercise for five minutes...but it's going to burn! Planks ignite your whole body and really get at the core, which is the perfect warm up for a cardio class.
Think fast: what is your stance on white denim?
I think white jeans are okay, but a white denim jacket—I don't think so. I think the right person could pull it off, but lets just say I don't own either...
Alright let's wrap this up. If you could have a lunch date with any famous person, who would it be and where would you go?
Danielle LaPorte. She's a badass human and incredibly fierce. She's one of the teachers and writers in the spiritual world who keeps it real—you won't see her sugar coating anything. I think I would want to go to Avocadoria, a brand new avocado bar that I haven't been to yet!