I met Jonathan over 10 years ago when I sold him an apartment in the Village. Meeting great people is one of the perks of Real Estate. I’ve met a lot of people over the years as you can imagine. But Jonathan really struck me. He is a warrior and a bad ass with one of the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever met. He wears his heart on his sleeve out there for everyone to see. He is one of the most genuine people I have ever met and I am honored to feature him on my blog Adina Admires.
Q & A with John
Where were you born and raised?
Queens, New York!
Where do you live now?
Chelsea, 21st near 8th Ave
The best part of waking up is?
Waking up! What a privilege to be alive 🙂
What is the last thing you do before bed?
I meditate, usually for about 20 minutes.
What would your best friend say is your best quality?
My ability to listen with an open heart 🙂
What sound do you love?
The innocent giggles of my 2 year old daughter, Emma!
If I were to read only one book recommended by you, what would you tell me to read?
The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama
What is your favorite word?
What would you name the autobiography of your life?
This Life Crazy!
What does being a ninja mean to you and can anyone aspire to become a ninja?
To me, a ninja is anyone who is committed to living life with great skill. This takes a lot of awareness and courage!
It is a dedication to manifesting one’s own personal greatness through movement. How we move our body shapes how we move through life and the thoughts that move through our head; it is a deeply holistic path.
The ninja’s of history evolved in a very mountainous landscape and had to develop tremendous spiritual power and survival skills to thrive in such an inhospitable landscape.
Thus, in my humble opinion, anyone can be a ninja if they are willing to embrace obstacles (both internal and external) as opportunities for growth.
I know you get phone calls and emails all the time from people looking for guidance and support. Can you share one inspiring story that made you feel that it’s all worth it?
Actually, sometimes I don’t find out about the client’s issues until afterwards! Once I worked with a client for 2 years, and then right before she stopped training with me to move out of town, she dropped a bombshell. She said, “By the way, I’ve been sober for the last 12 months thanks to your coaching.” I honestly hadn’t even known she was an alcoholic! She’s still sober 8 years later. It’s so hard for people to admit they have a problem in the first place, yet doing just that is profoundly empowering.
Food addiction is also a huge issue with many of my students (and most New Yorkers, frankly). It’s often sugar, sometimes it’s grains and dairy or processed foods, but there are many, many people out there using food to medicate themselves. Food can be wonderful medicine, of course, but not when it’s compulsively used as a quick fix to avoid feeling other negative emotions or to relieve emotional stress from work.
Often, what we’re hungry for has nothing to do with food; we’re starved for meaning in life, deep personal satisfaction, joy, and interpersonal connection. No amount of food can satisfy this hunger. And admitting that we are starved in these other areas is very painful for many people. Yet on the other side of that psychological pain is true food freedom.
I’ve been having outstanding results with food addicts by combining the “Whole 30” food cleanse with primal movement. The food cleanse helps people chemically detox and become aware of their unconscious food habits. And then the primal movement, especially rocking and twisting, help mechanically detox the inflammation in the digestive system, literally wringing out the toxins and releasing endorphins at the same time. They are very “nourishing movements” for body, brain, and mind, and feel great.
What role has spirituality played in your decision to help others heal through fitness your life’s work?
Spirituality has played a huge role in my self-transformation, and meditation in particular was crucial to my self-rescue. I’ve studied many kinds of meditation, and teach all of my students the version that most fits their predisposition because it’s vital to the process.