Jaclyn Taylor: Fitness Guru and POP Pilates Instructor

Meet Jaclyn: a second year at UCSB who’s mastering the art of self-love and fitness one POP Pilates class at a time.

Name: Jaclyn Taylor

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Year: 2nd Year at UCSB

Hometown: Colonia, NJ

Instagram and Twitter: @Jaclyn_Taylor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Jaclyn.Taylor.1995 (message me to add you to the POP Pilates FB group!)

Blog/Youtube ChannelFreelyFitLife.com and FreelyFitLife YouTube Channel

Her Campus (HC): You are a certified POP Pilates instructor, which was started by fitness guru Cassey Ho (@blogilates). What exactly is POP Pilates and how did you discover it?

Jaclyn Taylor (JT): POP Pilates is an incredible fusion of ab chiseling, total body defining moves choreographed to your favorite Top 40 hits. This intense mat-based workout challenges the student to flow from one exercise to the next, developing a rock solid core while leaving no muscle untouched. I discovered POP on Cassey’s YouTube channel – Blogilates. I saw it as suggested video and it’s thumbnail caught my eye. The rest is history!

HC: What inspired you to get into fitness and health? 

JT: Cassey has been my motivator from the start! From basketball-related injuries, I had to have three knee surgeries by the time I was 16 years old, which it kept me sedentary for months at a time.  So when I discovered POP on YouTube, it completely changed my life starting with fitness and leading into healthy diet choices. My love for fitness and health grows each day because I’m constantly learning and constantly improving!

HC: How did you learn to love your body?

JT: This is not an easy question and I still find myself struggling with loving my body from time to time. Truth be told, I found my happiness when I stopped trying to “lose weight.”  When I saw improvements (even tiny improvements) in strength, posture, flexibility, and energy, that’s when I said to myself, “Wow Jac, look what your amazing body has accomplished!” And without even realizing, I slimmed down and indirectly found a love for myself that losing weight could never give me. Instead of focusing on loving my body, it really helped to focus on loving my workout and then loving my body came naturally. 

HC: What motivates you to go to the gym on days you just want to stay in bed and watch Netflix?

JT: Haha! This is a funny question because for me, I normally want to stay in bed and read all day! But to give me that push to get going, I give myself rewards. For instance, if I kill it at the gym, I tell myself that I’ll get in bed by no later than, say, 9 pm so that I can read for however long I want to before I pass out. I also listen to my body and give myself a day off every week to avoid that feeling of being unmotivated.

HC: Any tips for girls who are trying to get fit or lose weight as their New Year's resolution?

JT: I think that, one, you should never want to “lose weight” and, two, you should never want to lose weight because it’s a certain time of year. Our goal is to find our passion in getting stronger and improving our beautiful selves. It’s important to create an exercise plan that works for you, with periodic changes such as the time of day you workout. It can be as simple as stretches at home, or doing videos online. Then just do it and do it with joy! Do exercise you love and the change will follow. I have dedicated my website to helping others "Taylor” their workout.

HC: What's your favorite healthy meal to make and healthy place to grab a bite in Santa Barbara?

JT: My favorite healthy meal is vegan chili! I make it at home in a giant pot and eat it for days. I’ll post the recipe on FreelyFitLife.com in the next couple weeks for those of you who are interested. As for places to eat in SB, I have an addiction to Hana Kitchen. I love getting their vegan bowls!

HC: Do you offer any POP Pilates classes or videos for people who want to try it out?

JT: Yes! If you follow my Instagram, YouTube channel or blog, I constantly post workouts! I also teach POP PilatesSaturday and Sunday at 12pm at Greek Park in Goleta, CA. It’s $5 per class or $4 per class if you pay for the entire month in advance.