This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Cassey Ho. In her own words:
“Hello! My name is Cassey Ho and I am a certified fitness instructor, creator of POP Pilates, the designer of oGorgeous Bags, and a lover of all things healthy. I am so happy that I get to spend my time teaching people how to live to their best potential all over the world thanks to YouTube and this blog. Here’s my story :)
I graduated with an honors degree in Biology from Whittier College in 2009 but decided not to pursue my parent’s predestined path for me in medicine. While in school, I started teaching Pilates as a sophomore at a small studio down the street from our campus. Right then and there, instructing became one of the most satisfying parts of my life. (I am certified by NESTA and Balanced Body University for mat and reformer.) Since then I’ve worked at numerous gyms and currently am teaching POP Pilates at Equinox West LA. You should come by and take a class! Here’s the sched.
Senior year, I launched oGorgeous when I couldn’t find a yoga bag that was stylish enough or big enough to fit my mat and gym things in. My first design was the Beverly Bowtie yoga bag, complete with tons of pockets, satin lining, gold chain straps, and a glam bow of course. Super girly, it attracted the attention of my students. Orders started to roll in and the next set of designs were drawn.
After working a bit in corporate America for a fashion retail company in buying, I realized that my passion for design and entrepreneurship could no longer be a “side thing”. It was around this time too that one of my biggest dreams came true…the Pleated Pocket Sparkle yoga bag was featured in SHAPE Magazine and on the Wendy Williams Show!
I remember running to Target after getting a text from my sister saying that her friend thought she saw my bag in the magazine. I can see myself so clearly right now flipping madly through SHAPE. My heart pounding. My fingers shaking. Was it true? When I saw the picture, I melted onto the linoleum floor and cried. It was an amazing feeling.
So I quit my job.
POP Pilates, YOUTUBE & BLOGGING
I first got interested in Pilates when I was 16 and about to enter a pageant. I was looking for a fun way to tone up when I saw an infomercial on TV with Mari Winsor showing the audience some core tightening moves…it was so intriguing. I begged my parents to buy the DVD set for me. When they said yes, I was overjoyed. I started doing Pilates religiously! Not only did I end up winning that pageant, Mari inspired me to get certified sophomore year of college. To this date, I’ve been doing Pilates for 10 years and teaching for 6.5 years.
I came up with the idea for POP Pilates as I was teaching classes at the gym because I loved the music on the radio and I wanted to give Pilates a little boost in energy. The reaction was positive, my students loved it, and I’ve been teaching a more upbeat style of Pilates ever since!!
My first POP Pilates video was made after I graduated college and before I moved out to the East Coast…it was more of a farewell thing for my Pilates students in CA. I didn’t make very many videos back when I was working because I didn’t have time. But after I quit, I started YouTubing and blogging religiously. When things started to pick up, I moved back to CA and focused on running oGorgeous and making more workouts for my POPsters.
And guess what? I eventually got to meet Mari Winsor and thank her for inspiring me to teach Pilates. I sounded like a lunatic when I saw her at the BeFit studios in Hollywood before our taping of “Fit at Any Age.” I just had to let her know how much I appreciated her! .
Let me tell you, it’s hard work but it’s the most satisfying work in the world to me. I don’t care that I don’t sleep until 3am in the morning everyday. My job is my passion and my passion is my job. I feel so lucky to be able to encourage you to eat healthier, train harder, and live happier lives by doing what I enjoy. When I get to do Blogilates meetups in different cities, it warms my heart to know that you all are such good, positive, and inspirational people.
I never expected my blog or videos to be helpful to so many people. So thank you for continually motivating me to be a better instructor. You helped me win the Shorty Award for #SocialFitness this year (see my funny acceptance speech here), I was named the Best Healthy Living Blogger of 2012by FITNESS Magazine and am the #2 most influential online personality by Sharecare…only second to Jillian Michaels.
My life consists of lots of working out, eating clean, cooking clean, teaching fitness classes, designing for my store ShopBlogilates.com, writing, filming, editing, picture-taking, modeling, and producing. Oh and tweeting. Lots of tweeting. (Follow me @Blogilates)
I also competed in a fitness Bikini competition once. You may find that interesting so here’s a link if you wanna see how it went! Here’s basically what my meal plan looked like if you want to get started: 90 Day Challenge.
I love my POPsters and the Blogilates Community!!! Thanks for inspiring me to be the best I can be daily. You make me who I am and I love you for it.