Welcome: Find the JOY of being YOU!

Tanja Djelevic by Tanja Djelevic | February 21st, 2008 | 5 Comments
topic: Fitness

When I started jazz ballet and folk dance at a very young age, it brought me so much joy! It was the catalyst that led me to study many forms of movement including Pilates, kickboxing, body sculpting, yoga, and functional training (training for movements that are part of everyday life and your core sports or favorite physical activities).

In all my studies and work as a personal trainer, a truth I’ve seen again and again is that the connection between mind and body has incredible power, if and when it’s discovered. This is a key to finding joy in your life!

Seeing people discover this early-on is one of the greatest rewards of my work with Loud Teenz, a health education and self-esteem program I created for pre-teens and teens. My Loud Teenz are discovering that strengthening their mind-body connection can truly change their lives and put them in the driver’s seat even when they feel like they have no control over what happens in their world.

The young people I have the privilege of working with through Loud Teenz have shown me that change is possible through raised awareness and the right combination of physical movement. Whether it is dance or just running as fast as you ca, and finishing the race, it gives a sense of completion, accomplishment, and just a joy of being you — doing what you love, for that brief moment. Add these moments up and create a string of positive events that heightens your sense of self!

Welcome to my corner of the Gaiam experts blog, where I hope to inspire you to make this connection that is changing these young people’s lives. I’ll give you tips for training, healthy living and finding balance. And I’ll share my experiences as a trainer that show how these practices are improving people’s lives — and improve yours. Most of all, I hope to inspire you to find the true you inside — the you who can experience and create the joy of living we are all aspiring to reach!

Live Loud!


  1. Hi Tanja,
    I’m a skinny girl in my late 30’s and don’t really exercise, and occasional hike now and then, but that is about it. All day long i’m in front of the computer so I don’t get to move around very much. I don’t like going to the gym but I feel that I need to do something to keep my muscles in shape, especially my upper body. What do you recommend?


    Peggy | February 21st, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  2. Hello Peggy
    Well, if you browse around on this site, you can find tons of short exercises to do, right there at your desk!! I do recommend a short stretch every hour and a combination of 20 pushups/20 situps and 20 squats every 2 hours…(easy to remember: 20-20-20)!! You wont get sweaty, it is absolutely sufficient and by the end of the day you will have done a whole workout:)
    If you get a ball to sit on (which is a great solution for your back sitting at that desk all day long) you can always do my 8 minute workout from exactly where you are!! Hope this answered your questions:)
    Keep Smiling
    Tanja D

    Tanja | February 26th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  3. Hi Tanja !
    I’m very busy and honestly speaking I don’t like to go to the gym to exercise. I’d rather do it at home or outside. I manage to do 5-10 pull-ups a day or about 30-40 pushups depending on the day. 2-3 times a month I will go for a 5k jog and a few times a week I will do some stretches. I play tennis 1-2 times a week and sometimes I will go rollerblading. I’m happy with the way I look, my question is: do you think it’s enough to stay in a healthy long term physical shape? Thank you in advance!

    Tony | February 27th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  4. HI Tony!!
    It sounds like you are self motivated and content with your body shape, strenght and function. Yo seem to view your body as a tool to stay stong, and also to do the FUN things you like: be outside, tennis which is a great way to exercise etc…Your exercising seems sufficient if you are open to changing things up sometimes, so that your body has something to work with. For instance why not challenge yourself with more push ups or pull ups every 3-4 weeks, or try a new outside experience: biking, hiking, climbing…I agree outside is more fun, and the best BI-product of doings sports and fun things is actually that the body stays healthy and gets in the shape it was meant to be in! Keep up the great work Tony and keep smiling!!

    Tanja | February 27th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  5. Hi Tanja. Im a Swedish girl living in Los Angeles. I’d love to do a short interview with you in order to find out more about your job and what it is like to work with fitness here in LA. Im moving back to Sweden on March 4th, this tuesday, and I’ve been searching for your email everywhere I can think of but no luck. If you have time this weekend for a short meeting, please email me. It feels wierd to write here but I don’t know what else to do.=) Thanks for a great site! /Chris

    Chris | February 27th, 2008 | Comment Permalink

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