Allswell Asks: Olivia Young, Fitness Expert & Founder of box + flow
If you’re searching for a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle, it’ll serve you well to learn more about Olivia “Liv” Young. The Miami native changed the game in the NYC fitness world with her fitness studio called box + flow, which was borne out of her personal passion: She began practicing yoga at age 15, then discovered boxing after college to add a little fight to her flow. It’s that balance of the two — combined with a sharp focus on nutrition (did we mention she attended French Culinary Institute?) — that makes her a natural role model for anyone looking to live well.
Here, we got her thoughts on what inspires her to be so active — and what she does when it’s time to chill:
Describe your perfect Allswell experience.
Feet up. PJs on. Cold beer. Cozy blankets. Quiet – at night.
Early morning: Silence. Darkness. Warm bed. No distractions. Me + my writing. Magic hours before the world rises.
Are you an early bird or night owl?
Early bird! Asleep before 9, up before 5!
Do you have any evening or morning ritual?
My rituals are always in flux. I don’t plan when I go to bed or when I wake. I just listen to my body. If I force sleep, I don’t fall asleep. I like to sleep easy and wake rested so I can hop out of bed and get moving. Morning ritual is always coffee, breakfast (a baby apple or mini sweet potato with coconut oil), magic hours of writing and working, then out of the house before 630 to go sweat, teach, move, work – whatever It is that I need to do before I start my day.
What are 3 words to describe how you feel when you’re at home?
Centered. Peaceful. Connected.
Finish this sentence. The first thing I do as soon as I get home is…
Take my clothes off! Nothing better than feeling comfortable at home.
You truly started a movement with box + flow® — what was your impetus for starting it? What need or lack did you see in the fitness space, and how does it address that need?
Balance is something we all seek – 24/7, between work + play, food + fitness, business + family – spending our time or wasting our time. Box + flow is about resistance and ease, feeling your strength, your power, your potential and also allowing your life to flow: present, connected, not waiting to begin but making the most of the time that you have. When we stop fighting, life begins flowing. It is about connecting to yourself. So the workout is designed to do just that — a warm up to shake it off, 9 rounds on a heavy bag to feel your strength and power, and a 15-minute flow to slow down, reconnect, and celebrate you.
What’s a doable routine for a busy (read: sleep-deprived) person to incorporate box + flow ® — and any other recommended daily exercise — into their life in a manageable way?
Get up and move. Don’t think about it. Sneakers on, then go feel your body, the weight that you’re carrying physically + mentally, and let it go, shake it off. Run, jumping jacks, squat jumps. Warm up. Stretch. Shadowbox. Maybe a quick flow. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Do what feels good – and sometimes feeling good is as extreme as sprinting to take your breath away or slowing down to feel your heartbeat.
Food is another passion of yours — particularly, the role of food, in concert with fitness, in a balanced lifestyle. What’s a food (or dish) you eat regularly?
Everything to me is balance – how you fuel your body, your time, your life. How you move, eat, connect, center. I eat lots of sweet potatoes, apples, sardines, salmon, peanut butter, greens + no-bun burgers. I love a cold beer, glass of wine, or dirty martini. Dessert is dark chocolate, black licorice or a See’s lollipop!
Can you recommend an acceptable (and tasty) bedtime snack?
Dates, slightly warmed, dipped in Dutch processed cocoa powder + sprinkled with honey and toasted coconut flakes.
Where do you find inspiration?
Life – listening, seeing, feeling, touching, connecting. Constantly. Being present provides so much inspiration.
J.G. Melon burger, Jack’s Wife Freda everything, ATLA all the time! Marea for special occasions.
Maine with family on the 4th of July. Aspen in the summer. Maybe an impromptu weekend in Paris.
Morning beverage order:
Nespresso. Black. Hot. Extra Foamy.
Top song on rotation:
Crazy About Honey by 007, Giant by Calvin Harris, and After the Storm by Mumford + Sons.
What you’re reading or listening to right now:
Just finished Open by Andre Agassi + You are the Strongest Woman in the Room by Lydia Fenet.
Follow @livyoung on Instagram for lots more inspiration, and learn more about box + flow at boxandflow.com.