Meet Juanina Kocher, Founder of Flex + Flow Wellness Coaching + Consulting
Wellness is on everyone’s minds these days. When speaking about wellness for women and moms, this can be a whole different beast. Most days we are run ragged, working and/or with the kids, and trying to hold it all together. Juanina Kocher, founder of Flex + Flow Wellness Coaching + Consulting knows that all too well, and pivoted during COVID to start her own business, Flex + Flow Wellness.
Formerly in food PR and marketing, Juanina pivoted to create a brand that offered one-on-one health coaching and membership-based yoga flows and meditations. This has recently expanded to partnerships with local brands, content creation, and yoga flows and mediations on select platforms. Read on to learn more about this Juanina, Flex + Flow Wellness Coaching + Consulting, and life has a new mom of two.
Westchester Family: How did the idea for Flex + Flow Wellness come out?
Juanina Kocher: Flex + Flow Wellness was my little COVID baby. Prior to starting Flex + Flow Wellness, I had a long-running 15+ year career in restaurants and hospitality, 10 of which were in the NYC market. I worked in food PR and marketing before shifting into special events and catering. When COVID hit, restaurants and the event industry shut down. I was fortunate to be working with a larger hospitality group at the time.
There wasn’t an immediate closing or lay off but I knew I needed to make a shift. I had been practicing yoga for about seven years and had always wanted to get certified. I also looked into getting my health coaching certification years back but the timing didn’t fit. As all of this was going down, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and this only increased my interest in wellness and holistic health. I then decided to get certified and start a wellness website offering one-on-one health coaching and membership-based yoga flows and meditations.
Westchester Family: Tell us more about what services you offer.
Juanina Kocher: At first, Flex + Flow Wellness was tailored more or less to the busy mom. I offered three-and-six month health coaching programs, which focused on eating real foods and breaking down tips into digestible little bites.
I always say that baby steps are the big steps into achieving your health and wellness goals. I also have a membership that offers quick yoga flows and mediations to squeeze into your busy day. The membership is included if you were a coaching client, otherwise it was 9.99 a month/$89 for the year. I say it was because I am redoing the structure of the membership a bit.
Westchester Family: How did you come to this work? Were you always into health/wellness?
Juanina Kocher: In my mid-late 20’s I was new to living in the city and working in restaurants. I was not cooking for myself, I was going out a lot, partying, just having a good time. I worked out and would be somewhat cognizant of what I was eating, but my health and the habits I was creating were not top of mind.
Right around the time I turned 30 I started practicing yoga and tuning into how I was feeling in my body. I started making small changes. To this very day I still love food and very much enjoy a glass (or two) of wine but I wanted to create little rituals for myself to balance it all and feel my best. That only magnified after having children. Any parent knows there is no greater hell than trying to parent when you don’t feel well.
Westchester Family: What are some ways you incorporate wellness into your day as a busy mom?
Juanina Kocher: I am very much a creature of habit so I swear by my morning and evening routine. The key here is making it quick and easy, and committing to doing it every day so it becomes second nature. I wake up around 6am with my kids ( I know, prior to having kids the thought of waking up before 8am would have made me physically ill).
I immediately drink water with either lemon or lime. I have a green juice or smoothie and take my supplements. I ice roll my face (I have a five-month old so mama is still very tired), and lastly I try to enjoy my Nespresso before it gets cold. Throughout the day I strive for at least a five-minute meditation, which I really try to get in as early as possible but it just depends on the day, and at least 10 mins (ideally 20) of movement. This is usually a yoga flow or a quick arms/legs focused workout.
I’ve also gotten back into boxing and have been trying to make it a couple times a week. Again, baby steps. An hour long workout at the gym is great but most moms I know do not have the time for that on the regular so I say just get something in. Everyone has time for a 10 minute stretch or walk. I tell clients to try and get in 10 minutes of movement after every meal. This not only aids in digestion but at the end of the day, you’ve gotten in 30 minutes of movement.
Finally, sleep is everything. My littlest guy still wakes me up at night so I try to get to bed early to ensure I get some sleep in. Before bed I try to put screens away which is advice I give but probably the hardest one for me to personally follow. I do like to put my legs up for 10-15 minutes and do a little stretch to loosen up and help me fall asleep quickly.
As a mama, I also just try to be sure I do things that make me happy outside of momming. It can be so easy to lose yourself especially when you have babies and very young children. My husband and I are very good about keeping date nights and letting each other know if we need a night out with friends or time alone. We struggled a lot with this with our first. We learned from it and made changes accordingly this second time around.
I think in recent years (mostly due to social media and the birth of a massive community of young wellness influencers), the word wellness and what we do to achieve it often has a high price tag and can look quite unattainable – red light therapy masks, in home saunas, lymphatic drainage massages at a fancy spa, elaborate yoga retreats, perfectly fit bodies that are often edited.
The actual definition of wellness is very simply the state of being in good health. There is so much free medicine out there. Moving your body more, eating less processed foods, staying hydrated are all simple things anyone can do to feel their best and be in good health. And being in good health can look very different on different people.
Westchester Family: What are some of your favorite things to do in Westchester?
Juanina Kocher: We live in Dobbs Ferry so we often head to the water front when it’s not freezing. My husband and I love movies so when a good one comes out we head to Look Cinemas. Tristan (our oldest) also loves it there. Penny Lick Ice Cream in Hastings is one of our go-to’s.
Whenever I get a chance I try to make the events and markets at HudCo. We love literally all of the Halloween festivities, the Blaze is a yearly tradition. Walking the aqueduct as a family is always a treat. Coffee at the Climbing Wolf (that’s also where I often escape to get work done). I take Tristan on little dates to The Parlor because we love the pizza but also their Everything Caesar Salad is life and he eats it up.
When my husband and I can get away or I head out with girlfriends, we usually head to Goosefeather, The Cookery or Linizios. We’ve recently been obsessed with Half Moons all day oyster happy hour (at the oyster bar only!). Also, the happy hour on the roof at the Red Hat is lovely during the summer months.
When we moved from the city I thought I would miss it more, but there really are so many amazing things to do here. We feel very lucky to be a part of this community.
Westchester Family: What’s next for you and Flex + Flow Wellness?
Juanina Kocher: There are actually a lot of changes! Over the last year or so things have shifted a bit as thankfully restaurants and the world of special events have come back to life! I am currently redoing my website.
I will still offer one-on-one health coaching, but I have been doing a lot more consulting work with both wellness and hospitality brands in the areas of events, customer service, and business development.
I updated my business name to Flex + Flow Wellness Coaching + Consulting to better reflect my recent work. I also partner with brands in the areas of content creation and still plan to teach and contribute yoga flows and mediations to select platforms.
I kept my current Flows membership, but I will no longer be adding new content so the pricing structure will soon change as well. I am very excited for where things are going and looking forward to streamlining my workflow a bit, especially since I’m only five months postpartum.