HO'OLA

FITNESS CENTER

 

Living Fit!  Having Fun!

 

Fitness Center
Hui Ho'ola Maika'i
3-3204 Kuhio Highway
Suite 105/106
Lihue, Hawai'i  96766

(808)  245-8933


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SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Classes may be cancelled due to emergency situations
(i.e., flash flood warning, illness, etc.)


An alternative to the run of the mill health club.  HFC provides fun, fresh classes and activities that strengthen your body, mind and spirit!

Instructors are certified, talented and just great! 
Comfortable, friendly environment!


Meet Our Instructors

Marla Silva


Nickname "Marla Stewart"
Fitness Motto - "Use it or lose it"
Favorite Workout Music - "Anything with a heavy bass beat" Love Lady Gaga, 80's jam and Zumba music!
Favorite Exercise - Pulsing squats and leg lifts!

Aloha!  I consider myself a Reluctant Fitness Instructor!  I began teaching to increase the effectiveness of our wellness program and found that people actually enjoyed my classes!  Who knew!  In my classes I like to work it while having fun.  I currently teach Hi-Lo Aerobics, Sculpt & Toning and Hula!  Someday you may even find me teaching a Zumba class.  I do love what exersice has done for me and all the beautiful people that attend my classes and all the other classes here at the Ho'ola Fitness Center!  What a pleasure to bring this most awesome fitness program to the community!!!
Cindy Rodrigues

Aloha!  I was first introduced to Ho'ola Fitness Center several years ago when I was asked to join the 6 am FYM class with Anna Velasco.  When I first started, it was hard to get up and workout so early in the morning but I soon began to feel the benefits.  I realized just how much my body and mind loved it.  I felt energized, happy and stronger!  Fast forward a few years and here I am as an employee of Ho'ola Lahui Hawai'i.  I've been blessed to work with wonderful women and amazing clients in a healthy and nourishing environment.
Hula has been my passion since I was a little girl and it has taken me to serveral destinations throughout the world including Japan, the Phillipine Islands and many other interesting places.  Today I am able to continue dancing in our Hula Le'a class twice a week and I get to fill in as a substitute instructor when needed.  I also sub in our super fun line dancing class called "Scuff & Stomp"!  I feel so blessed to work in a place where people walk in the door happy!  I am blessed every day!

Ally Pascual

I recently moved back home to Kauai after graduating in June of 2019 from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and Minor in Psychology. I am currently the new Health Promotion Specialist for the Malama I Na Pua Program. I teach nutrition and healthy lifestyles in the Hawaiian Language Immersion Schools. I have a strong passion for health and wellness, and enjoy teaching keiki about the importance of developing healthy habits while they are young! Growing up I was always active, playing various sports including soccer, cross country, softball, and volleyball. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, running, and relaxing at the beach.

Walter Barnes

"Our goals for today are to be safe, to have a good workout and to have fun!"

Walt's fitness journey started with his own personal transformation from fat and inactive to active and healthy.  After years focused on his own transofrmation, Walt took his passion for fitness to the next level.  "I really admire the fitness instructors that helped me so much".  I want to pass that same kind of enthusiasm on to others."  After studying, Walt became certified by the American Council of Exercise (ACE) to lead group fitness classes.  When Jane Fonda's leg warmers and spandex were popular, Walt started leading aerobic dance, high-low impact and lots of step aerobic cleasses.  Walt remembers, "I was a step aerobics fanatic".  I was teaching multiple classes a day, sometimes back-to-back.  It's such a great aerobics workout that I kept teaching step and just doing it for myself even after other workout stuyles became more popular.  Much, much later, to balance out strength and aerobics, Walt started practicing Yoga.  "I ignited my passion for fitness all over again."  Yoga is incredible!  It's appropriate for all fitness levels.  Inactive people can begin a Yoga practice.  Even the fittest athlete can improve balance, strength and coordination with Yoga.  If you work out regularly, Yoga will fill in whatever is missing.  And if Yoga is all you do, it will supply everything you need!

Walt's tradmark exercise is:  Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga, Flow Yoga, pretty much any kind of Yoga!
Rose Ramons-Benzal
Fitness is a way of life for Rose Ramos-Benzel who has been active all of her life.  When she relocated to Kaua'i the first time in 1987, she took Jazzercise classes on the west side taught by a woman whose husband was stationed at PMRF.  Before this woman left the island, she approached Rost about becoming an instructor and taking over her classes.  Rose became a Certified Jazzercise Instructor in 1988, started classes on Kauai at the Lihue Parish Hall and at Coco Palms and taught Jazzercise for 25 years on Kauai., California and in Washington before retiring in 2014 when she was recruited to return to Kauai to work for the University of Hawaii Foundation at Kauai Community College.  She go certified to be a Piyo instructor in 2015, started as an on-call substitute and now teaches on a regular basis.  She loves the low impact workout of Piyo with the strength and flexibility of yoga.  She runs on days when she doesn't teach and attends other Ho'ola fitness classes when her schedule permits.  A passionate foodie who is also gluten-free and lactose intolerant, Rose makes almost everything from scratch.  She loves to travel and always works out regularly while she is away from home, running, practicing Piyo or taking classes at local gyms.
 
Margie Merryman


Margie has a genuine passion and desire to help people get out of pain in their bodies and restoring them back to balance so they can enjoy living.  Her motto, "Everybody deserves to feel good!"  We are not designed to live in pain.  Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR) and stretching are effective for relief from pain.  Trained in a wide variety of Massage Therapy techniques, she found MFR is a modality that gets consistent results with long lasting effects.  Her goal is to restore and return her clientele to a balanced body so they can enjoy ease of movement and be pain free.  She teaches her clients Myofascial Release Stretching techniques for maintenance.

She is an Expert Level Myofascial Release Therapist.  She gained her education in MFR from the John F. Barnes P.T. LMT, MCTMB, Myofascial Release Seminar Series.  (Treatment centers located in Malvern Pennsylvania, Sedona, and Arizona)  She keeps current in this modality by continuing to attend training seminars about MFR.

Margaret (Margie) Merryman is a State Licensed Massage Therapist and owner of Merryman Massage & Myofascial Release located in Kalaheo, Kauai.  She has been and continues to be in private practice for nearly 25 years.
Jennifer Schwartz
I enjoy learning all about dance, movement, anatomy and alignment.  Barre and Yoga is where these converge for me, and every week I look forward to sharing my classes with the community at Ho'ola Lahui Hawai'i.  Hope to see you in class!!
Jody Van Brunt
Jody started teaching & learning yoga in India.  Back in the States, she furthered her teaching & studies in NYC & LA.  She is a certified Yoga Instructor and feels honored & blessed to have studied with amazing and gifted teachers throughout the world!  Yoga is all about the breath.  If you can breathe, you can do yoga!

ANNA VELASCO

Fitness Motto - "Your Body, Your Business"
Favorite Workout Music - Oldies and Latin Pop
Trademark Exercise - Zumba


Before joining the Ho'ola team as an employee, Anna was a Ho'ola client who participated in kaua'is Great Weigh Out in 2002.  During the challenge, she lost 18 pounds and gained an interest in fitness.  That was the beginning of Anna's journey to health and wellness and within the next year, she lost 60 pounds and 43 inches...an accomplishment she has maintained for 17 years now!  In 2004, Anna started working for Ho'ola and in 2005 she became certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a group fitness instructor.  Anna loves to discover new workout methods that prevent exercise from becoming boring.  Her main goal in class is to make exercise fun.  She found the perfect fitness class in 2009 when she was licensed to teach Zumba Fitness.  Today she teaches 4 Zumba classes and one strengthening class called Super Set.  In class, Anna always provides modifications so clients can get the workout they need.  She promises clients that all her classes will be fun and inspiring. 
When she is not working or teaching classes, Anna enjoys spending time with her family, learning hula in her halau, The Ladies of Ke Ala o Ka Laua'e, and going to the beach and sewing.

Kureen Medeiros
I am an instructor as well as an employee of Ho'ola Lahui Hawai'i. I came to the organization 17 years ago as an Alu Like summer hire. I then became a full-time employee as a receptionist/data clerk and had the privilege to work in the accounting department as well as work out in the community with our Medical and Dental services. I then moved to "Hui Ho'ola Maika'i" where I learned to teach fitness classes as well as monitoring chronic disease clients who had hypertension and diabetes. I became a licensed Zumba Instructor in 2010 and then a certified R.I.P.P.E.D instructor in 2015. Teaching fitness at Ho'ola Lahui Hawai'i is enjoyable because it has helped me become more aware of my body and get stronger. I enjoy seeing all the ladies leave with a smile on their face. I currently teach Zumba Gold class designed for seniors, beginners or others needing modifications in their exercise routines. Zumba Gold chelped me while I was pregnant with my last son, not only through delivery but also helped me maintain my weight during pregnancy. I teach two R.I.P.P.E.D classes a week. R.I.P.P.E.D is a "One Stop Body Shock" total body workout which requires the body to respond to the constantly changing format within the session and offers ultimate results in minimal time. I currently teach 6 lasses a week and enjoy doing it. If you ever think you can't, you can because you are stronger than you think!!
Lisa Abell
In 2000, I moved back to Anahola from California.  I would hear music comng from the park.  I walked to the park to see what was going on and saw this amazing group of people "stepping"...working out, sweating, and having fun.  It was a step aerobics class offered by Ho'ola Lahui Hawai'i.  I was a little shy at first however, the class itself was very welcoming.  After my first class I was hooked into exercising.  I couldn't wait till the next week.  
I have been active all my life.  I ran track in high school and enjoy body surfing, running and hiking.  The Hanakapi'ai trail is a favorite of mine.  On my days off you can find me cruising the mountain top of Napali coast.
I currently work in the Malama I Na Pua Program teaching physical activity to students in the Hawaiian language immersion schools.  I became a licensed Zumba Instructor in November of 2011 and in 2012, Zumbatonic (ZA) which is a kids version of Zumba Fitness.  I love it and I teach it at the schools.  They love it too!

Kawehi Anama

"Smile!  Laugh!  Inspire!  Just Move That Body!!"


Life in the fast lane....Vrrrroom!  Fast forward to October 2010 when Kawehi attended her first Zumba class with Anna Velasco.  Having been married for 17 years, blessed with 3 beautiful kids, kawehi was a mom, wife and educator.  In the process of wearing so many hats, the curious, active, fun-loving, happy person she used to be slipped away along with her view of her toes!  Lost in the weight gain, Kawehi also forgot what it felt like to be fit and active.  With a background in secondary education, teaching and real estate, who would have believed Kawehi would end up a Zumba Instructor?  Well.....inspired and encouraged by wonderful mentors, Anna Velasco and Tina Simpson along with a crew of fellow Ho'ola Zumba enthusiasts, Kawehi shed a total of 50+ pounds and re-discovered her HAPPY!
Armed with a smile, a playlist of tunes and a newfound confidence, Kawehi's goal in every class is to share her love of life and movement and to encourage participants to find their confidence while getting fit and having a blast!  First and foremost, Kawehi enjoys learning and sharing.  Asked what her favorite part about class is and she enthusiastically replies, "THE PEOPLE!"
Currently, Kawehi teaches Zumba and Zumba Gold for beginners.  She is licesned to teach Zumba Gold Toning, Zumba Toning, Zumbatomic and Aqua Zumba.  When she's not doing Zumba, Kawehi enjoys outdoor activities with her husband and children, horseback riding, sewing and crafting.

Joanie Morita
"Living healthy while loving lice with Zumba"


I am proud to say I am a Zumba fanatic!!  I had my first Zumba experience at Ho'ola Lahui Hawaii's Kapa'a Neighborhood Center  back in 2010 after a friend of mine begged me to join her at a class.  I hesitantly agreed.  Boy was I glad I did!! Although I couldn't really keep up or breath, I had the time of my life!  That very first class changed my life forever.... after I went home and waited for the room to stop spinning, I decided that I was going to change my lifestyle.  I was going to get healthy!  I finally stopped smoking and started eating healthy.  I purchased my first $30 punch card at Ho'ola and I've been hooked ever since!!  So much so I became licensed to teach Zumba Fitness, and Zumba Toning in 2011.  I am so blessed that I was givin the opportunity to work for the organization that inspired me to get fit in the first place...Ho'ola Lahui Hawai'i.  Now, I get to give back to an amazing community of Zumba fanatics every week!!  It brings me such joy to be able to share my love for Zumba with such wonderful participants!!

Keone Villaflor
"Be a Better Version of Yourself"
Sporadically, through most of his early adult life, Allan "Keone" engaged in various fitness activities including dance aerobics, Jazzercise, running (one of the first members of the Garden Island Road Runners Association), hiking, backpacking, and bicycling.  After being treated for hyperthyroidism in his early 30's and quitting smoking in his mid-30's, his overall health and fitness became inconsistent.  He first became acquainted with Ho'ola Lahui when he and his Kasibulan Filipino Folk Dance Company were asked to provide a fitness station for the Kaua'i Great Weigh-Out field day challenge in 2004.  They continued to provide a Filipino bamboo dance challenge until the program ended.  In December of 2005, at nearly 200 pounds, Allan miraculously survived a sudden cardiac arrest which resulted in a quadruple by-pass.  The near-death experience convinced him that he needed a change in his life and he embraced a healthier lifestyle.  Less than a year later, he had lost nearly 60 pounds and 6 inches off his waist line.  He and his fellow workers at Easter Seals entered a team in the Kaua'i Great Weigh-out challenge in 2006.  From then on, he became a frequent participant at Ho'ola Lahui fitness program, at times attending early morning and lunch time classes daily.  In 2010, he became a devotee of Zumba Fitness attending classes given by Anna Velasco and Donna Olivas-Kaohi.  Later that same year, he helped to organize a fitness program at his church.  With the help of Donna Olivas-Kaohi, Zumba Fitness classes were introduced to the program.  The church's Relay for Life team in 2011 was one of the first groups on Kauai to team with licensed Zumba Fitness instructors to do a fundraising event.  In 2012, he was asked to provide a line dance fitness class at the Ho'ola Fitness Center.  This became the Scuff and Stomp line dance fitness class.  In the spring of 2013, he became a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor and now provides classes at his church as part of its' Fitness for Christ Ministry.  Allan, also known as Keone to some is a firm believer that no matter how old you are, it is never too late to strive for a healthier lifestyle.
Duke Nakamatsu
"Let's Doooo This!!"
Duke has been teaching fitness classes for Ho'ola Lahui since 2006.  In addition to working for Ho'ola, Duke has taught Aqua Aerobics at Kaua'i Athletic Club and is a former substitute Qigong instructor for the World Medicine Institute on Oahu.  As a two year member of the Kaua'i Great Weigh Out, Duke lost a total of 25 pounds.  At present, Duke instructs Awes-OM Yoga-lates on Mondays and subs for Step Aerobics.   
In addition to being a certified fitness instructor, Duke has a Master's degree in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine.  He was an instructor at the World Medinine Institute and was a guest speaker for the University of Hawai'i social work students on treating emotional disorders with acupuncture and herbs.  He has also performed as a D.J. da Klown throughout Hawai'i for over 20 years and has instructed clowning workshops for the Alliance for Drama Education at Punahou School and Iolani School's Summer Magic Class.
Duke's Yoga-lates class is a combination of Vinyasa Yoga, Pilates, and Qigong (Chi Kung).  His class will help participants to balance their mind, body and soul through core conditioning, balancing, sitretching, and meditation. 
Through clowning, Chinese Medicine, and exercise, Duke has realized that we all have the power to affect the world around us through positive actions and reactions and he has used this knowledge to instruct fitness classes that are enjoyable for everyone.