Lizzie DeLacy knows the importance of feeling good. The Delaware native-turned-Houston transplant, a yoga teacher with a nutrition degree, founded DeLacy Wellness in 2016 to merge her passions and offer clients health coaching, meal prep, and private yoga instruction. It was the latter, though, that really took off, and DeLacy noticed a distinct difference in her new clients compared to those who once took her power yoga classes.
"People were really interested in how to feel better," she says. "They were coming to me not necessarily for a hard workout or to get a six-pack or perfect a handstand. A lot of clients were in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, just wanting to relax and open up and stretch after sitting at a desk all day long or running around with their kids."
She developed her own method called the DeLacy Discipline and preached it to people in search of more flexibility and, in some cases, rehabilitation. Clients like Jack Martin—now DeLacy's business partner—were coming to the instructor post-physical therapy to continue recovering from injuries. Many found themselves reenergized to try new forms of working out, at which point "I realized I had to bring this to more people," DeLacy said. "You can only teach so many classes a week."
In April, she developed an app called Bodypeace, a more widely accessible platform to encourage her holistic approach to fitness and wellness with on-demand content ranging from quick desk stretches to full-on movement tutorials to health tips from community contributors. It quietly launched in July, and DeLacy is planning a nationwide campaign this fall. We talked to the wellness expert about the app, the constant search for balance, and why fitness is about more than crunching your way to a six-pack.
On the response to Bodypeace so far:
"A lot of people have been saying, 'this is very functional, it's not just another yoga app.' It's not how to handstand or even how to arm balance—as cool as those things are in yoga, that's not functional for people's bodies. Our users are pleasantly surprised that they can integrate this into their lifestyles. We have sessions as short as five minutes for targeted areas like wrists or neck, and longer sessions up to an hour for other areas like shoulders or hamstrings where people tend to get sore or tighten up. It's about finding that balance and understanding your body. A lot of the cues I give are alignment-based, so we have 50 movement tutorials—the top 50 movements you would see in a session with me. People can get comfortable with those and make sure they really know what they're doing before they jump into it."
On looking good vs. feeling good:
"Some people may look at Bodypeace and say, wait a second, this isn't necessarily a workout. Fitness isn't always just about running your hardest and being your strongest. In the fitness community there's this trend of 'no pain, no gain,' and that's the complete opposite of what I want to help people with. I want them to feel better and not get injured or push themselves to a limit that doesn't feel good. It comes back to the idea of functional movement—because of our technology and our jobs and our lifestyles nowadays, we don't necessarily need to have that perfect aesthetic, but just feel better. You can have a six-pack and look great and still have aches and pains or limited range of motion. It's hard to flip that switch in your brain."
On finding balance in fitness:
"I love HIIT classes; I'm all about getting a workout in 45 minutes and then being done rather than spending three hours in the gym. If I can get the same amount of calories burnt and muscle built in less time, I'm all about it. I found myself not doing as much yoga, so I really turn to the app and use my own sessions to keep me flexible. Even I'm still finding that balance. How do I push myself and expand without going overboard and injuring myself? It's always a work in progress."
On her own fitness routine:
"I've been doing Workout Wednesdays. I get bored of the same routine over and over again. This Wednesday we're going to try Barry's Bootcamp, last week we did Ryde, the week before we tried hot yoga at YogaWorks in Midtown. We're constantly trying to switch it up and find new ways to challenge our bodies and minds and also to support others in the fitness community. When I first moved here, I met my best friends through the yoga studio and through fitness. Everyone is super supportive of each other. It's nice to know that there's community over competition in Houston."
On favorite Houston spots:
"I really love trying new restaurants. Last week I went to Tropicales for the first time, and it's so cute—that little Cuban, Havana feel. That's my new favorite right now. I'm a vegetarian, so I also love Verdine in the Heights, they have really good options. If I want to dress up, it's Potente—that's a hidden gem. I probably visit Tiny Boxwoods once a week for their breakfast. I work out at Equinox in River Oaks District, and I'll hit up Tiny Boxwoods after."
On work-life balance:
"I'm trying to take my own advice. For me, it's being more aware of where my energy and motivation lies. Rather than saying, I need to wake up, I need to work out, I need to do work, and then I need to go to bed, I'm thinking, what am I motivated to do in this moment? Sometimes it's waking up and answering emails at 8 a.m.; sometimes I get a burst of energy at 8 p.m. I think more about being intuitive and really listening to where I'm at and how I'm doing physically. Sometimes I'm signed up for a class and I think, I need to take a break. Other times I'm motivated. Listen to that inner voice—am I hungry, or am I just really thirsty because it's 100 degrees outside?"
On eventual energy:
"Bodypeace is more about feeling better and not necessarily looking better, which I think is a refreshing take on fitness. One thing I've been working on with my clients: I coined the phrase 'eventual energy.' It's a feeling. How can you feel your best? It's not necessarily the hardest workout or eating perfectly all the time, but trying to align the movement that you do and the wellness in your life to create your true self."