Harlem Word: Vivian W. Kurutz talks about how she promotes health in Harlem

Editor June 13th, 2011

Vivian W. Kurutz, the director of wellness at the Harlem Center for Healthy Living (HCHL), has a passion for health and wellness. Her goal is to share that passion with the Harlem community. Learn more about Vivian below! 

Q: How did you get interested in health and wellness?   

A: I have been physically active as a performing artist and athlete my whole life-and I see these as very similar.  While I was growing up, I was involved in theatre and dance classes as well as sports. When I was done with school, I missed the outlet and feel-good hormones that exercise and feeling fit creates.  I had to find ways to incorporate physical activity into my adult lifestyle.

Q: I heard you are a yoga instructor--tell us about that.

A: I was introduced to yoga when I was 10 years old while I was watching public television.  I took my first yoga class in 1991, and the practice transformed my body.  I later earned my yoga instructor certification in 2004.  My passion for more knowledge led me to become a personal trainer and Health Coach.  I teach four classes a week, hold nutrition workshops, have private meetings with people, and direct the Harlem Center for Healthy Living. 

Q: Why have you decided to focus your efforts on improving health, wellness, and the environment in Harlem? 

A: I have been intimately involved in the Harlem community for years. My community and church are here. I want to inspire and work with people here because they remind me of my family.  My dream is for health and wellness in Harlem and teaching yoga is one way to do that.  I taught a yoga class for four years at the New Song Triangle Building.  The class was accessible and affordable to the community, both economically and culturally.  In starting the HCHL, I hope to go deeper (than I could teaching class) in supporting neighbors with lifelong healthy living practices.

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