Sedona Sky Academy Launches 6-Week Individualized Fitness and Nutrition Program for Students
While Sedona Sky Academy offers year-round daily fitness opportunities through on and off-campus pursuits, Kyrissa Mattison, Program Director, is offering a more thorough and individualized Fitness and Nutrition program for students.
Since 2017, Kyrissa has organized and offered exciting activities and team-building exercises at SSA for students, families and staff. She is certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) as a Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist and Kickboxing Instructor. Kyrissa’s magnetic personality allows her to form healthy, long lasting relationships with students while educating them on health and nutrition.
Often, girls are confused by the plethora of inaccurate information presented by visual and social media about what is “healthy”. The goal at SSA is to assist students in their empowerment and in a healthy mind-body connection. Everything at SSA is intentional and relates back to students’ growth and development. Because nutrition and exercise are essential elements of mental, emotional and physical health, Sedona Sky want students to recognize the impact that it has on their mind and body. The 6-week Fitness and Nutrition Program consists of an initial assessment and questionnaires, two weekly individualized personal training sessions, one weekly group class focused on nutrition and fitness basics, and one weekly individual 15 minute check-in.
Kyrissa’s enthusiasm is contagious as she expresses, “My goal for our students is to create a healthy relationship with food and exercise. I have them focus on well-balanced portion sizes, exercises and activities that are fun, and on how they feel in their bodies instead of on weight and calorie counting. For example, noticing if they feel stronger, have more energy, or feel less anxious. They might notice certain foods cause increased anxiety, brain fog, fatigue or help them to feel more alert and energized. My passion is in helping them achieve long term success to thrive physically and live a vibrant and healthy life. To me, it’s so incredible to help them gain that knowledge, self-confidence, and find a passion for their physical, mental and emotional health.”
The tools Kyrissa utilizes to help them achieve their goals of mind-body connection include assessments, food and exercise journals, a group class, recipe sharing, varied activities individualized for each student and check-ins. The journals allow each student to reflect on how they feel before, during and after eating or participating in an activity. Kyrissa believes it is essential that the girls begin to see the strength in their bodies and what they are capable of achieving while also removing the negativity they might associate with “working out.” Kyrissa provides various options that consist of kickboxing, cardio (aerobic and anaerobic), strength training, conditioning, and more depending on their needs and energy levels. Every workout is individualized to meet the student where they are in their fitness journey and build from that point. Kyrissa states, “I want the students to pay attention to how their body feels and recognize how fitness benefits them so that when they complete Sedona Sky Academy, they can be successful on their own with the knowledge they’ve gained.”
One student who voluntarily participated in the piloted version of this program relays, “I think everyone should be required to take this class. Before it was complicated, but now I’ve learned a lot about holistically being healthy. There’s so much different information in magazines that just makes it all confusing. I’ve been able to create a strong, healthy body and eat the foods I’ve identified that make me feel my best. I’m also able to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise, even eating comfort food in moderation. It is not about deprivation, it’s about understanding healthy portion sizes and learning to eat the less nutritional foods in moderation. It is easier to do this when you understand how different foods make you feel physically and even emotionally. The recipes we get to try are some of my favorites that I’ll be cooking at home for my family on my next visit.”
This amazing Fitness & Nutrition Program is intentionally designed to provide an individualized, developmentally appropriate experiential learning opportunity in Sedona Sky’s safe and supportive environment. As students begin to relate to themselves in a healthy way, their self-awareness increases ‒ resulting in healthy relationships with peers, family and their sense of identity and resilience in the world. Sedona Sky Academy remains dedicated to empowering students in a variety of pursuits. SSA is fortunate to have such a highly motivated, energetic and compassionate Program Director as Kyrissa to help students meet their needs.
Sedona Sky Academy provides a relational-based model for trauma and attachment issues with the clinical sophistication of a Residential Treatment Center, the feel of a Therapeutic Boarding School and the academic rigor of a Traditional Boarding School, with the ability to also accommodate those with learning challenges.
SSA intentionally provides developmentally appropriate programming with both a Middle School Program for ages 11-14 and High School Program for ages 14-18. This emotionally safe and experiential approach targets the limbic system where trauma is stored and allows for deep healing resulting in positive connections and development of internal sources for resilience. SSA supports and empowers students and the entire family to reconnect and heal in this parallel process. Sedona Sky Academy holds Joint Commission Accreditation and is accredited by NIPSA and Cognia, is licensed by the Arizona Department of Health, is a full NATSAP member and SEVIS approved.