July 11, 2016No Comments

Major Lazer – Karate Chop Squat – #MoveMonday

This move on it’s own combines a couple of simple moves that create a full body workout. Imagine a side on squat with strong karate chop arms. That’s the only real way to describe it.

This move works your arms by keeping them strong and your hands pointed to make a karate chop action. It also works your abs by using them to stabilise and move through the movement and takes just a little tensing of the ab muscles to keep your balance. Lastly it works out all of your upper legs and bum depending on how low you take the squat. If you have the capacity you can take the squat very low down but remember that no matter how low you go you have to keep to the beat so make sure you can get back up in time!

Watch the video and give this one a go

Ciao for now x

July 10, 2016No Comments

Lunge it – but keep it low! – #StretchSundays

Low lunge

Low lunge - Anjaneyasana

Another stretch in the category of a hip opener. When you first start there is a good chance you will be pretty high off the floor and feel like your legs will never stretch enough to get as low as you’d like, but bear with it, it does happen.

This is a great pose in itself and a balance can be added to it to turn it into the High Lunge. Both poses are great for your hips again and just remember to try and keep this hips facing forward and not turning out to the side

Ciao for now x

July 5, 2016No Comments

Yoga is only for women – #TalkToMeTuesdays

Anyone who knows me knows I am particularly random. I like doing random activities and I like meeting and talking to random people. I don’t have a problem trying anything out, which is why some of my fitness passions come from activities traditionally linked to female activities, Zumba, Pilates and Yoga just to name a few.

It’s because of this attitude that I have got into yoga. It’s crazy how many times I ask men to come along with me to yoga and how many times they have excuses. Yoga isn’t for me is the most commonly used phrase, but I’ve also had lots of ‘yoga is for women’.

Now, it’s true that I like random things but yoga is not random. If you don’t really understand yoga and understand how good it can be for anyone, regardless of age, sex, conditions or a million other things then you really should educate yourself.

Rather than find yoga emasculating, I actually find yoga maculating. In order to perfect a yoga technique you have to have strength, balance, focus and determination. None of that is attributed to only one type of person. In order to hold a pose I need to focus on me. Yogi’s or just general yoga practitioner can be from every walk of life and the feeling I have after a good yoga session is euphoric at times.

I like all yoga, but I LOVE tough yoga. Tough yoga is yoga that makes me sweat (without the heat needing to be on!). It’s yoga that takes me much longer to hold a pose because I am trying to move my body into exactly the right pose while still being relaxed and still focusing on my breath. Tough yoga needs a strength, not just physically but mentally and that’s why I LOVE it.

So yea, I find it hard to have patience with men who say yoga is only for women. Maybe you should stop making excuses and get to a class? Let’s see if you can hack it 😛

Ciao for now x

July 3, 2016No Comments

Liiiiiiiiiizard – #StretchSundays

Lizard pose - Utthan Pristhasana

Lizard - knee down Lizard - knee raised

Another pose that I absolutely love. The feeling on your hips and inner thigh is just profoundly satisfying.

Be careful with posture here, a lot of people sacrifice proper alignment by trying to get their forearms down to the floor. I have been guilty of that myself and have had to teach myself about how not to be as competitive when it comes to my yoga. Focusing on you, your posture, your breathing and trying to look inwards while still keeping your eyes open is not something that comes naturally to a lot of us but that is one of the things to try and work towards when doing yoga.

Our eyes are sensory objects and we are used to taking in that information and assessing. If you can, practicing yoga with your eyes closed is an amazing experience but there’s no denying the benefits it can give you with your alignment and your practice.

The best way to start this pose is with both hands flat on the floor and both arms slightly inside your forward leg using your elbow to pop your knee out and get a bigger stretch on your hips. If you can you can then work forward to bending the arms slightly and once your flexibility gets better, actually working down to be positioned on your forearms with your gaze forward.

Then if you really want you can lift your back leg but only if your posture won't be compromised. I'm still working on mine but I love the feeling on my hips and thighs!

Ciao for now x

July 1, 2016No Comments

1st of the Month! – All change

all-change

Hello all my lovelies

Today is the first day of July and it signals big changes around the world, in the yea and most importantly on this blog.

Speaking to some of you, it seems a lot of you really enjoy these blog posts but we need a bit more consistency and a bit more planning so....here it comes.

From today I'm going to try and post once a day, every day. I'll be talking about lots of different things but the majority of them will be about your health, happiness and fitness. Not only that but I'll be categorising my posts and each day will be themed around a certain topic which are listed below.

Feel free to read them all, read only the days that you find relevant and more importantly try them out. I want to help you all think more about being healthier, being more aware and trying to make any changes, small or big to work towards your happiness and health.

Posts will start regularly from tomorrow so keep an eye out. If you want to help me spread the word, likes, follows, shares would all be much appreciated!!

Categories:

#StretchSundays - if you like a good stretch, love yoga, have never done yoga but want to try it out in the comfort of your own home or just learn more, this is the day for you! I'll be talking through some of my personal favourites, explaining them and even filming a few demonstrations for you to give a go

#MoveMondays - all my dance moves will be released on Mondays. I'll talk about the benefits of dancing, post some instructional videos and even talk you through a few of them

#TalkToMeTuesdays - I want you to engage, discuss, debate and yes, even disagree. I'll be putting up my opinions on various topics and asking yours

#WellbeingWednesdays OR #WetWednesdays - mid-week will be split and dedicated to two topics, general well-being and getting fitter and enjoying the water. This will be the day we might talk through meditation one week and the week after talk about how to improve your swim stroke

#ThrowbackThursdays - one of my favourites. I've already introduced this into my classes with a throwback tuned introduced on the first Thursday of the month but these posts could be anything. Music, dance, exercise or even old toys! Tying them back into your health

#FeedMeFridays - obviously no week would be complete without some food. These will be my favourite recipes, easy tips on how to stay healthy when out and about or even how to mix up your food prep in ways you might not expect

#SkinliciousSaturdays - completing our week will be our Saturday where we'll be taking a look at what goes on your body. The main focus of this will be  the amazing Tropic products but also we'll start sharing some extra knowledge and getting you to ask questions about your current regime

I hope you like the topics and like what's to come in the near future, I love writing them and sharing my thoughts with you all. If you want to have something specific shown then just drop me a line and I'll do my best to include it!!

Looking forward to what the future brings and remember, life isn't about getting to a destination it's the journey we take to get there.

Ciao for now x

March 20, 2016No Comments

Callanetics

Callanetics

We all know how much I love exercise so this weekend involved me trying out a new class run by a friend of mine. Callanetics with Sarah Coombes.

Initially I thought this would be a bit bored. I mean I did some research and apparently Callanetics was huge in the 80's. A phenomenon that swept across the nation, set up by a dancer to help those with a smaller range of motion.

The reason I went was to help two people in my life. A friend and my mum. Both suffer from medical conditions that although they would love to do intense exercise like I do, the dance fitness, the yoga, they can't. The idea was that Callanetics would help them to build the muscles up, primarily around sore and affected joints, so the pressure on those joints are reduced and it helps to alleviate pain. The exercise program helps to work the deepest muscles with the tiniest of movements.

I went to the class for others but I went with an open mind. As a fitness individual I always love finding out about new things, new ways to help and I was willing to try.

As the class started I looked around the room and realised I was probably the fittest in the room, no one else looked like they did quite as much exercise as me so I thought I would be fine. I was wrong. Yes, I could do most of the exercises and the more difficult adaptations but goodness me they ached and hurt.

As I worked my arms in tiny movements by pulsing my thumbs together behind my back I realised how much my chest was being worked, realised how much my shoulders and arms ached.

Then when we moved down to the floor and my leg was behind me being pulsed while off the floor my rear was was screaming. Muscles I didn't know existed were crying at me.

So in summary, the class was awesome. Yes there was no music. Yes it was slow. Yes it ached. But it was all I could have hoped it would be. It worked muscles that my other various fitness exercises couldn't get to. It worked them deeply and in ways I wasn't sure could be repeated without going back to a Callanetics class. As a new form of therapy it is perfect and anyone and everyone who I know that could benefit from the class I shall be telling about it.

So if you have a spare hour on a Saturday morning from 10am-11am, happy to pop into Danceworks across the road from Selfridges and to join us for a healthy brunch straight after then come along, try Callanetics!

Ciao for now x

February 28, 2016No Comments

Fitness egos!

Fitness Egos!

Anyone who knows me and talks to me on a regular basis knows that I do a lot of exercise. Probably too much but I listen to my body and if it doesn't feel right I'll skip one of my planned activities. By a lot of exercise I mean I currently try and do 5 yoga classes a week, 1 pilates, 2 dance (learning dance!) classes, 3 one mile swims and teaching my own Dance fitness class twice a week (which you know is intense). That's not including any teaching yoga to kids I might do as well, though to be fair that's not as physically demanding as the rest.

Needless to say, I'm good at some things but I have a lot to learn in everything I do. There are people in all my classes or the pool who are better than me and those that are worse. I don't go to compete with them I go for myself. Sometimes I do look at other people's techniques as each of our bodies are unique and so the way someone else does something might help me improve. I use that a lot with my swimming, watching how other people might be smoother in the water or how they pivot their body side to side so I can give it a try and see what impact, if any, it makes on my own swim.

So it drives me crazy when you get to the gym, pool, class or whatever it is your doing and there's the huge screaming ego forcing everyone to focus on them rather than on ourselves. Just a few examples and my pet peeves:

  • Mr 'I am the machine' - ok I understand you have a specific series of things that you want to do and you want to use certain machines for a certain amount of time to achieve that, but please be aware of those around you. No one will come up and ask you if they would like to use a machine that you've been on for over an hour but hey, maybe be considerate and move along. I personally don't do weights, don't like machines but even passing through the weights room or standing outside waiting for a class I can spot someone eyeing up a machine and a guy on there completely oblivious or not caring that anyone wants it. While he spends 15 mins on his phone finding the right song, or posing for the right arm flex. Please be attentive to those around you and move along!
  • The Selfie taker - we get that you're working hard, sweating and want to show the world. Maybe you have abs to die for and feel now is the time to share them but be honest with yourself, you look like a douche. Standing in the middle of the gym, posing in the mirror, making sure it looks just right with the right light so you can post on social media right there and then. Let me be clear, I like a good selfie, I hate a serious one, I always have my tongue out or pulling a funny face. Selfies are fun. They're sharing a moment with people, but do it after you're done. Don't hold up those around you by standing in their way or looking like you'll never move out the way of the mirror while you perfect this selfie. Some of us have hair that takes a long time to tame, I need that mirror space and I'm actually the one feeling self conscious standing next to you while you pout, flex and pose for that shot. Selfies are not good workouts.
  • Ms Yoga 'Pro' - You may be a qualified teacher. You may know the next move in the sequence. Let the teacher tell it. Wait for them to tell us. What's the point in attending a class if you're going to be moving 3 moves ahead of everyone to prove that you can. The teacher then has to focus on moving you through your sequence ahead of the rest of us and when she corrects your posture, take the learning from it. Don't give the teacher a look like she should never have deigned to speak to you. I love yoga as much as the next person and I do a lot of it. I can generally tell what is coming next but the only time I move out of my current position before the teacher tells me is because my legs or arms are shaking like an earthquake has hit that is ridiculously high on the Richter scale. Then the only move I usually do is to get back into my extended childs pose (or crying foetus as I sometimes mentally refer to it) to gather myself before giving it another go. Let's be a class where we move relatively in sync, especially when the teacher tells us.
  • Mr 'I need to be in the fast lane' - this is my absolute biggest issue with people at the pool. I'm a fair swimmer, fast enough when I want to be. When I got in the pool the fast lane had the least people, that's why I got in it and yes I can keep up with everyone else, sometimes the odd overtaking of them but I try to slow down to match the people in the lane I'm in. When you get in the pool, I'm the only person in any lane. There's a slow, a medium and a fast. Why you feel the need to have to be in the fast lane with me is baffling. I mean the lane speeds are dictated by those in the lanes, so if you go in the medium or the slow you're the only one there so what's your issue? It usually means that you go crazy and swim the fastest length you've ever done in your life to prove you are faster than me, get to the other end and need to spend another 5 mins catching your breath, even though it took you 30 seconds to swim the length, before you then repeat. I'm not going to change my speed to accommodate you, it's very simple. I. Will. Change. Lanes. Yes, crazy as it sounds I will continue to swim at my speed, with my current stroke and move to the medium or even, crazy as it sounds to the SLOW lane!!! Then after 15 minutes when you're getting out the pool because you're exhausted and the other lanes are starting to get busy again I'll move back to the empty or quietest lane, whichever that may be. Moral to this story? Read about the Tortoise and the Hare....slow and steady every time!

Anyway, just some pet peeves of mine, told light heartedly. I'm sure you all have dozens more stories so feel free to share them!!

Ciao for now x

February 16, 2016No Comments

The Kick!

It's been a little while coming but here it is, the final move for our routine!!

Next video will be all about the full routine and walking you through it....have fun with this one!

Ciao for now x

January 29, 2016No Comments

Day 29 – Tick Tock version 2!

You've tried version 1, now try version 2. Remember to only take it as far as you need to and don't hurt yourself!

Ciao for now x

January 18, 2016No Comments

Day 18 – Tick Tock Version 1

Today's blog post is another move that will be leading up to our final choreography. This is called the Tick Tock.

It works your abs because it forces you to pull them in and hold your back nice and strong and protected, it works your legs, both front and back depending on how low you go down into the move.

It also helps with balance by forcing most of the moves to be done on one leg and we also do this move pretty fast so make sure you practice lots in slow motion before the big choreography comes up soon.

Ciao for now

  
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