Name of Company: Mind. Body.Vault
Entrepreneurs to Admire: Mari Inouye and Ali Divita
What inspired you to create your business, Mind. Body. Vault?
Our careers as Equestrian Vaulting Athletes had been a part of both of our entire lives and when we retired from competing we were each searching for what was next. We wanted to create something that we felt could transition each of us from being competitive athletes. while also bringing the extensive experience and skills we had developed as elite athletes and equestrians onward into our careers.
With Ali having a yoga background and Mari being more in the fitness realm, we wanted to bring our respective knowledge from these fields into something we could share with the community. We have such passion for the mind-body connection, living a balanced and vibrant lifestyle, and quite simply making these practices accessible to the average (read: “busy”) client.
After our initial launch of creating a program for equestrian vaulters, we realized it was exactly what was missing within the equestrian community. Vaulters “get” the importance of cross training and we were constantly being told that riders could really benefit from our expertise and passion for providing quality wellness content. That is where Mind.Body.Vault was born.
Both you and Ali competed at the top echelon of international vaulting. Does your program cross over into other equestrian disciplines and if so, how?
It sure does. We wanted to develop programs that people from all equestrian disciplines could benefit from. We understand the main areas of the body that need attention and apply to all equestrians. We focus on the core, which is the foundation of where all strength comes from. We stress the importance of developing strong stabilization muscles and recognize that having heightened body awareness, which includes exceptional balance and coordination, is imperative. Currently, our program is rider focused and it applies to all disciplines.
We are interested in working personally with influencers, including trainers and international athletes, within each discipline to tailor our content even more specifically. We are always seeking collaborations and would love for more people to reach out to us!
You have created a program that each client can access at anytime from anywhere. It currently includes eight video classes and an 85-page eBook. What topics are included and how do you provide support to your clients?
Yes, that is right! It is a massive program that we are super proud of. We have worked very hard to create the content that specifically makes fitness, yoga and meditation easy and accessible for riders to learn.
The video program includes:
* Follow along cardio
* Upper body and lower body strength
* A pre-ride, as well as a post ride yoga class
*A guided meditation aimed at easing anxiety and lowering stress. We feel this is an important part of our curriculum because horses are such sensitive and empathic animals. We are very passionate about providing riders with these tools to find mental stillness and gain some clarity on their emotional state.
The classes are set at the barn because we want to strongly emphasize that we have the equestrian athlete in mind from start to finish.
We envision our clients doing these classes in breeches and boots, in the barn aisle, or in the comfort of their own living room. Our classes are an important part of their equestrian lifestyle.
Both the FEI and US Equestrian feature videos created by the two of you? Can you explain the mission that each organization would like to achieve by featuring Mind.Body. Vault’s expertise?
We have been so fortunate to have worked with and continue to work with these amazing companies and federations.
US Equestrian originally featured us in their Learning Center where their primary objective is to provide engaging and valuable content to their audience of US Equestrian members.
We were told that we stood out from the sea of offers because of our extensive background as equestrian athletes, which includes participating multiple times as WEG athletes and having long and successful careers in the international competition as well as now being professionals in our respective fields.
US Equestrian Video Links
We then piqued the interest of FEI- which has been a really exciting and fun connection for us. The FEI now has a specific section on their website for “Health and Wellness” content, which is where our videos currently are featured.
Coming Soon in FEI Health & Wellness Section
Our brand aligns with the missions of these two amazing companies in serving the equestrian community and we are so excited to be working with and learning with such big names in the Equestrian world, particularly in the early launch of our business.
Mind. Body.Vault was formed two and a half years ago and is now establishing strong roots and growing in popularity. What inspirational advice would you give entrepreneurs that are building new businesses?
We would have to say one of the most impactful things we’ve learned so far is don’t fear failing. That is the wall that blocks many people from persevering and sharing their talents. It definitely hasn’t been an easy road and we are still learning from our mistakes along the way, but that is what truly makes us who we are.
How do you see Mind.Body.Vault evolving in the next 2 years?
We want to impact as many people as possible with both health and fitness, including non-equestrians. Networking with like-minded people and trying and share and attain wellness knowledge across the world is very important to our mission. As we mentioned earlier, we are always so excited to collaborate with others in this field. We intend to grow the number of people we help through our online coaching, one-on-one coaching and traveling the world to give in-person clinics.
Ultimately, our goal is to spread our content to inspire, motivate and change the lives, even if in a small way, for as many people as possible.
We envision Mind Body Vault as a worldwide equestrian fitness brand!
MEET MARI AND ALI
We are Mari and Ali. We are recognized as two of the top vaulting athletes in the United States. We have attended 5 of the most recent World Equestrian Games, competed several times at the prestigious CHIO Aachen and participated as athletes at multiple international (CVI) competitions and World Cup Events. We have lived the lives of successful equestrian athletes... and now we want to share our competitive secrets with you!
Mari’s interest in fitness started as a child on the island of Kauai where she was quite active outside. Her middle and high school years were spent in the San Francisco Bay Area where she was introduced to the sport of equestrian vaulting. Mari’s dedication and discipline catapulted her to the highest echelons of the sport and she ultimately garnered multiple National Championships, two World Championship medals and the gold medal win at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky in 2010.
Currently, Mari lives in Venice, California where she is a training and wellness coach striving to helping others reach their full fitness potential and helping them to feel happy, healthy and fulfilled. Besides her accomplishments as an elite international vaulter, her credentials include over ten years of experience in the fitness field and she holds a BA from UC Davis where she also excelled on the Division I gymnastics team. She truly understands what it takes to accomplish goals.
As a yoga instructor and now an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Ali combines her background in equestrian vaulting with her passion for holistic health. Ali truly learned about leading a balanced lifestyle while attending UC Berkeley and simultaneously competing in the World Equestrian Games and cross training in both dance and gymnastics.
Ali holds several national US woman's vaulting championships in addition to her successful international vaulting career where she won multiple CVIs and placed second in freestyle at the WEG 2010. Ali's skills and experience helped her become a successful international vaulting trainer. She built the Australian national junior team after gaining experience working with the national US team. She enjoys working with vaulters as they pursue their personal journey by ensuring sure each client is happy and supported the whole way!
As a co-founder of Mind Body.Vault, Ali delivers integral skills that are unique to the program. It’s hard to find a picture of Ali not doing a handstand perched upon a monument, in front of a panoramic scene or… on top of a horse. Ali came to yoga as a way to cross train for equestrian vaulting. Ali’s classes are athletic and light hearted. She enjoys exploring poses with precision and mindfulness and then stepping back to laugh, focus, reenergize and feel. Ali believes the world would be a better place if all activities ended in savasana. As a disciplined elite athlete, Ali has a passion for exploring movement, and believes it all starts with a thought. She believes that someday humans will learn to use more than a small percentage of our brains, and she sees yoga and meditation as a tool to explore the frontier of the mind.
"Amateurs—in whatever discipline or level—are the most passionate and devoted riders. Time spent riding provides some of the most joyful, satisfying and therapeutic moments of our lives." - Darby Bonomi
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Private by nature, Susan Friedland-Smith cherishes the unique bond between horses and humans. A teacher by profession, she has pushed out of her comfort zone to learn how to candidly use her voice to connect everyday equestrians and inform the group with relevant issues.
Click below to read more about Susan Friedland-Smith, including important lessons learned from a life of loving of horses as shared in her recently released book, "Horses Adored, Men Endured" and also the unifying posts she creates that resonate with the equestrian community in her popular blog, "Saddle Seeks Horse."
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