International Yoga Day and what 30 days of yoga did for me

Today is International Yoga Day

Today is International Yoga Day and what better way to honour this day than to share my 30 day yoga journey! I had only ever done two yoga classes in my life, about 5 years ago, so I thought I would challenge myself to doing 30 days of yoga to see how my body responds. I am a weight training junkie. I loved crossfit and running and everything fast, so you must know this was quite a scary idea! I know for a fact that my hamstrings are naturally tight and that downward dog was going to be my nemesis, but I pushed on, literally.

I had heard great things about Tree Natural in Umhlanga and that they had a great unlimited package for a month. That sold me on this idea and I signed up! What really sold me on the idea was Dr Megan Medina. You know those two yoga classes I had been to all those years before? Well this were taught by Megan and I LOVED THEM! I loved them so much that I had never forgotten her name. I only stopped because I switched gyms.

I went bout 4 days per week, sometimes 5 when I could make it. I was challenged mentally as well as physically. The first night I was zonked! I wanted to go to sleep at 6pm! The same the next day, but after the third day I was already sleeping so much better than I was before. My body was clearly in shock, because it was doing things it had never done before. I found it amazing that I could deadlift 105kg’s but doing something as simple as triangle pose had me shaking uncontrollably.

I learnt so much about myself through this challenge. I don’t think we challenge ourselves enough. I think we like comfort, safety and the familiar. We don’t push the boundaries enough. We don’t respect our bodies enough to know that it’s got us, it can handle us, and it will always trust us. We just have to trust it back.

30 days of yoga taught me:

  • Yoga is hard
  • Yoga is not just about flexibility
  • Yoga can get your heart rate right up
  • Yoga works muscles you didn’t know existed
  • Poses look easy on instagram but are really really hard
  • Yoga works the body and the mind
  • I felt more calm and focussed during the day
  • I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much
  • Your body starts craving the movement
  • Your mind is less cluttered
  • Your body responds quicker than you think
  • You sleep so well
  • You are motivated to push a little deeper each time
  • You learn to love the guided mediation of the teacher
  • You start following yogi accounts on instagram
  • You want to be better
  • Your flexibility improves in one month

 

I must say, all in all I was very happy with my progress! I took some before and after pics to note the slight improvements. I was really happy to move from using blocks or a strap, to not. It really is the small improvements that make a difference!

 

 

International Yoga Day

There are those terrible hamstrings!

International Yoga Day

I was happy with my progress! Megan says rather have a bend in your knees to keep your back straight and not rounded.

 

International Yoga Day

Blocks are so useful and versatile! Start off with them until you are more comfortable in the poses.

International Yoga Day

Slow progress is better than no progress!

 

International Yoga Day

I found that my lower back was also tight, not just my hamstrings. When I first started cobra it was actually painful, but it is so much more comfortable after a month of loosening it up!

International Yoga Day

This really isn’t as easy as it looks! My balance was shocking and my lower back was very tight. I am still getting there slowly but I am way better off now.

 

International Yoga Day

Goddess squat is no joke! Blocks definitely help to keep you more upright at the start.

International Yoga Day

So rounded and bad form to start with. Thanks hamstrings! Megan said to bend the knees to get a flat back and what a difference it made!

 

I am so excited to keep going on this journey and get to where I want to be. I know that will take a long time, but I am really happy with the progress so far.

You can find out more about Tree Natural’s yoga classes here and find them on Facebook here.

 

How did you get into yoga? Do you practice at home or a studio? Are you taking part in International Yoga Day in any way?

 

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Forever Fierce with Puma

I recently did a shoot with Mister Smith while I was in Dubai, and the theme was FOREVER FIERCE with Puma.

I was lucky enough to be dressed by PUMA in their incredible new Swan Pack range.

I love the whole message that PUMA is portraying of #DoYou.

It is so important to be you and follow through with whatever that means to you. I think these days we often find ourselves worrying what other people think of us, instead of following our hearts and what makes us happy.

Stop worrying about the person next to you on the treadmill, focus on your own workout.
Stop worrying about how you measure up to them physically.
Stop worrying about how much more money your friend has.
Stop worrying about the Instagram model you follow.

Worry about you.

Do You.

Forever Fierce Forever Fierce Forever Fierce Forever Fierce Forever Fierce Forever Fierce Forever Fierce Forever Fierce Forever Fierce Forever Fierce Forever Fierce Forever Fierce Forever Fierce

If I was worried about what people thought, I wouldn’t have done a shoot. I wouldn’t have dyed my hair purple. I wouldn’t do a lot of things. But, we need to stay true to ourselves in everything that we do. We need to remember that hashtag and take it with us every day!

To follow Mister Smith and his incredible work you should follow him on Instagram and stalk him on Facebook.

Check out his new website as well and be sure to contact him for any work you need done!

 

The PUMA Swan Pack is available in store now! You need to be quick as it is selling out as fast as you can imagine. To find your closest store visit their website.

Follow PUMA on Instagram and visit their Facebook page as well.

 

What do you think of my FIERCE look?

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Mermaids in Dubai

I am currently in Dubai and I’m living my best active life, as usual. What is making it even more active, is this set of the new Mermaids and Unicorns active range!

The lovely Mermicorns gifted me this amazing crop top and legging set and it is SO comfy. I was going to say that it is so cute, but I thought that was shallow and I should lead with something with more substance 😉

But really how well does it match my hair?

This crop top is so comfortable, so cute and it gives you the support you need. It isn’t too low cut (which I have found with so many brands) and it nice having a matching set!

Also this view, can we talk about this view? I am so lucky to be staying at such a beautiful hotel. This is the Sofitel Downtown, and it is exquisite. I plan to lay by the pool for a few hours this week, that is for sure!

Mermaids and Unicorns in Dubai

Mermaids and Unicorns in Dubai

Mermaids and Unicorns in Dubai

Mermaids and Unicorns in Dubai

Mermaids and Unicorns in Dubai

Mermaids and Unicorns in Dubai

Mermaids and Unicorns in Dubai

These haven’t launched yet (lucky me I know), but keep your eyes on their Facebook Page to see when they drop!

If you haven’t visited their website yet, you really should! These will be under MU Active, and the other fun leggings I wear daily are under Leggings.

 

What do you think of the colours I chose?

 

With love from Dubai

xoxo

 

Follow me on Instagram to watch my instagram stories every day in Dubai!

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Planet Fitness Cyclethon

Planet Fitness is hosting a cyclethon tomorrow in aid of The Smile Foundation. We caught up with Denise who is the founder of the charity cyclethon in South Africa.

Spinning

What got you started in spinning?
I was in USA in 1996 at a converence and that’s where I saw Johnny G. He knew spinning wasn’t in South Africa and was keen to introduce it. He eventually worked on it, met people he could do business with and eventually got a few bikes imported to our country. I was one of the first six people who started training and am a Masters Instructor and then started a business with my partner.

 

What was the response when you first started it in SA? Were people skeptical?
People loved it; we started off with two classes, one at night and the other is one in the morning. It became such a hit that we had to increase the classes to six per day.

 

Spinning is now a huge part of the gym environment. Did you expect it to have grown so quickly and to be in so many gyms 20 years later?
Yes I did, I have been in sports all my life and saw the potential of spinning when it started, I knew it would be an instant hit.  It’s great because you can do it indoors and outdoors.

 

What is your favourite thing about spinning? 
I love the vibe and energy around it, the fact that you can’t get injured if your bike is set up correctly and the music. I also like spinning because it works well for heart rate training.

 

How did you come up with the idea for the charity cyclethons?
I have been doing Cyclethons for charities since 1996 every year. I started with Hospice Wits whom I still support and now also the Smile Foundation. I also do Kiddies Cycle races for charity. The Cyclethon has gone National. PE, JHB, Cape Town and Umhlanga, KZN. My dad had cancer so that was enough motivation to get me started to give back.

 

Tell us a little about the cyclethon for The Smile Foundation 
I think combining things you love for a good reason is always a great idea. I have always been active and I fell in love with spinning the minute I tried it and that’s why I took started teaching it. As said my dad had cancer and I guess giving comes naturally to my heart. I started small with Hospice Wits who I still support. I then started with the Smile Foundation and have been working with them ever since. There are a lot of children who get helped by the foundation and I think any little help that is possible.

 

How can people get involved by cycling or donating to the cause?

People can buy tickets on www.webtickets.co.za or just donate and not cycle.

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If you would like to join them tomorrow be sure to book your ticket now!

 

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Getting sporty with Dominique Mann

Dominique Mann is a South African athlete with more talent than should be legal for one person. She’s a South African champion and World Champion in Aerobic Gymnastics. I’ve seen her training and she is not only fit, strong, and flexible but determined as well!

Let’s get sporty with Dominique mann

 

What is your chosen sport?
I do Aerobic Gymnastics and I am part of the National Team.

 

What does eating for your sport look like?
I have to think about everything I put into my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, if I am craving chocolate or a delicious piece of cake, I will enjoy it, but then I have to adjust the rest of my eating plan for the day to account for my lack of self control. I follow a low carb, high protein diet. Aerobic Gymnastics is a high cardio sport, so it’s important for me to eat my daily carbohydrate before my toughest session of the day.

 

What does a typical day look like for you?
Crazy and very active! My day is broken up into three parts. The first part is a typical gymnastics session in a gymnasium with my amazing coach Alta Lategan and my two training partners/brothers Wilson Mafona and Happy Ledebwa. This is where we do all our routine training, fine tuning and reputation. The second part is cross training on an athletics track, this is where I do all my fitness training. The third and final part is done in a gym with my personal trainer, this is where I do all of my weight training.

 

What would you like people to know about you?
I am very serious and proud of my sport that I have worked hard to make my career. I have the most unbelievable team of people behind me to make all the magic happen and I get the most amazing support from my family and Fiancé. I’m also proudly sponsored by the best brand Mr Price Sport. Aerobic Gymnastics has taken me to the most incredible countries to compete against the best of the best.

 

What would you like people to know about your sport and training?
Being a high level Aerobic Gymnast, or any sport for that matter is a full time job. It’s long grueling hours of training and physically and mentally taxing at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s an honor to wear the Green and Gold colors on my back.

 

Are you a full time athlete or part time?
I am a full time athlete.

 

Favourite workout song?
At the moment it’s The Greatest by Sia, I can train like a champion to that song haha, love it.

 

Favourite exercise and why?
My favorite cardio is running, its a great full body cardio workout that leaves me always feeling satisfied. My favorite exercise is squats, every girl loves firm gluteus;)

 

Favourite part of your sport and competing?
I love the preseason training program. It’s high in fitness, and I LOVE fitness, but I have so admit that I am a very competitive person and the feeling of putting on my leotard and taking the floor excites me most. I perform well under pressure.

 

Favourite quote/advice?
Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.

Aerobic gymnastics

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Follow Dom on Instagram and Twitter!

 

 

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