A Magazine about the Hudson Valley’s local economy, published by Hudson Valley Current.

A Different Way to Move: Interview with Anneliese Mordhorst of Life is Motion in New Paltz

Yoga. Pilates. Crossfit. We’ve all heard of these methods of movement, but for those who are just starting out or may want to try something new, the endless options may be overwhelming. And, not to mention, feeling inspired to get moving in the first place can be hard. With years of experience studying the art and craft of movement, fitness instructor Anneliese Mordhorst, of New Paltz, is working to change that.

Opened in 2013, Life is Motion is Mordhorst’s local fitness practice that caters to everyone from seasoned athletes, new mothers and everyone in between. With individually-planned fitness sessions, Mordhorst works to transform the way people think about exercising: more about movement, mobility, and well-being and less about just getting “in shape.”

When did you open your business? Was there anything specific that prompted you to start your business at that moment?

I opened my business three years ago and that was because I had just moved to the area. I had been teaching pilates, fitness, and movement while living in Massachusetts, so when I moved to New Paltz in 2013, I needed to move my business along with me. Once I got here, I immediately started searching for studio space I could use and figure out how I would build my business.

What makes your business unique from competitors?

I have a focus on individualizing my sessions with people. That allows me to work with people at such a range of ages and issues that they may be initially facing. I see people privately, but I also do work in small groups. Even in a small group, I can really individualize a specific exercise or entire lessons to be catered to each person. I help people with all different kinds of pain, from arthritis to lower back pain. I also work with women prenatally, during pregnancy, and postpartum. I’ve worked with the whole spectrum from teens to clients who are in their 80s and 90s.

How would you like to see your business grow?

I would like to find a way to reach people who are not interested in the common ways of exercising that their doctor may encourage them to do. There are a lot of options out there, and I’m one of the people out there offering those options. There are a lot of different ways to move your body that people don’t always see as exercise—and that’s one message I talk to my clients about.

I want to get the message out there that people don’t have to be “in shape” in order to start exercising. If someone has an injury or is in pain, I’m someone that can help them. Even if they need to be sitting down the whole lesson, that’s where they’re starting and they can grow from there.

What is your favorite part about what you do?

My favorite thing is watching my clients over time become more connected to their bodies and feel more empowered in their bodies and also witnessing them make those connections between how their physical body and their mind, how they think, how all those things are connected. That their mental processes have a direct connection to how they move and how they feel and vice versa.

What measures do you and your business take to support local economy?

All of my online presence is locally sourced! I have used two different local businesses for my website and logo design. Additionally, I have started to partner with other local businesses to offer workshops and classes. The series we just completed was at the Gardiner Library, where we partnered with local businesses at a local venue.

How have you been using Currents in your business? And/or how do you plan to use them?

I accept Currents as payment from my clients, and in turn, I’m spending those Currents at local businesses in the area. Even if I’m not using them for business expenses, I use them for personal reasons, such as car repairs or going out to eat. I bring my car to Jenkinstown Motors in New Paltz who accepts Currents, and Chloe Art and Design is my business educator and logo designer, who also accepts Currents. The Big Cheese in Rosendale is another—I can go there for any kind of food. Currents are being accepted at more and more places, and that gives me more options to where I can spend.

For more information about Life is Motion, visit www.lifeismotion.us or call 413-320-9380.