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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How do I stay healthy in Ramadan?

As we head into the beautiful and sacred time that is Ramadan, I wanted to answer a frequent question I get asked by a lot of my muslim clients and friends.

Q: Can I train during Ramadan?

Ramadan

A: Yes you can. Firstly I want to say that if you have any health problems, you should check with your doctor first. Everyone is different and what works for one person might not work for the other. These are guidelines that are general and fine to follow if you have no existing problems that need doctor’s clearance.

Exercising during Ramadan is actually good for you. Your body is storing food at hours that it isn’t used to, so you’re essentially storing the high calorie meals as fat. The best way to counteract this is to train, and use up that fat as energy. Weight loss is the simple equation of calories in versus calories out. So, the calories that you expend by training must equal the calories you consume by eating if you want to maintain your weight. If you want to lose weight then the calories you consume must be LESS than the calories you burn up during exercise. If you are not training during Ramadan, you are not using up those calories, therefore the calories you are eating are essentially not budging.

When you are fasting you will definitely be feeling tired and dehydrated. By fasting all day your muscle and liver glycogen reserves are reduced, causing you to experience low blood sugar. Whilst feeling this way I’m sure the last thing you feel like doing is exercising, but, it will actually help your energy levels as well. You really don’t need to keep your intensity level where it was before fasting, this month is very special and spiritual to you so make it more about reflecting and focusing on the health aspect of it. I would recommend it as a maintenance month and not a weight loss month.

I know many of the traditional foods to break fast are often calorie dense, pastries and sugary treats. These high calorie foods will be stored as fat due to the density of the calories. This is especially true when you aren’t exercising and working off the extra calories. Try enjoy these as treats once or twice a week instead of every night. You need a high intensity training session to work off such high density calories, and without the energy to exercise at such a high intensity you won’t be able to burn the calories off completely. So enjoy them, sparingly.

Muslim

Here are my guidelines and tips:

  • Exercise for maintenance, not weight loss
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week 30-40 minutes
  • Focus on weight training and body weight training instead of cardio
  • Have longer rest between sets
  • Do fewer sets per exercise
  • Reduce your volume of exercise and intensity
  • Strength training prevents muscle loss (so you keep that nice tone)
  • Eat healthy, unprocessed foods
  • Drink water when you break fast and keep drinking it to stay hydrated. The same in the morning
  • Avoid junk food as much as possible and treat it as an actual treat
  • Cardio will make you thirsty and even more dehydrated so stick to weight training rather
  • Eat according to your appetite, don’t overeat. Remember it takes your body 30 minutes to realise how full it is. So eat until you are still comfortable then wait.
  • Eat your protein and veg first so you don’t overload on pastries
  • Dates are really high in sugar, so don’t overdo it every night
  • Exercise 60-90 minutes before Iftar if you can, otherwise after you’ve had some dates is great too
  • If you are working, speak to your boss about the possibility of working through your lunch break since you won’t be eating, and leaving work earlier. Then you could go straight to gym, get in your workout and straight home to break fast
  • A lot of hunger is due to dehydration, so drink a glass of water first when breaking fast
  • You can actually lose body fat during Ramadan if you watch your calories and exercise. You don’t need to go at your usual intensity but look at it as being healthy and happy

 

This is a special month but you also don’t want to undo all of your hard work over the year.

Enjoy your special time

Jane

xxx

 

If you have any other questions please feel free to email jane@gijane.co.za

 

 

@gijane_zn

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Stop the shaming 

Let’s talk about a topic we have been seeing a lot of in the past year, shaming. It has been the year of body shaming, fit shaming, mother shaming and now what a lot of us have been experiencing in various degrees, non mother shaming.

Stop the shaming!

Shaming

Me

 

So something happened this weekend and I gave myself a few days to cool off because I was so enraged I was going to say something that might have been a bit too harsh. People need to stop asking other people when they’re having a baby, or my favourite, why haven’t you had a baby yet? That especially makes it into a negative, as if saying that because you don’t have a baby yet, there is something wrong with you. Because surely that is all a woman is on this earth for? To get married and have a baby? What do you mean women can own a business or have a successful career? Surely not!

Shaming

Also me

An ex client of mine (of roughly 7+ years ago) saw a snapchat of mine holding my friend’s baby. I am pretty sure you know where this is going. She proceeded to say that it is time I had a baby and I must hurry up. My favourite. Hurry up. Well, as a 30-something with no child you must know that I get asked this a lot (by people who clearly don’t know me because those that do know how busy I am) and it basically annoys me to no end. I have been getting asked this question or told that I NEED to hurry up and have one, for the last 5 years now. It’s very old. It’s also VERY annoying. It’s also NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

I wrote something back to her that basically told her to shush and mind her own ovaries. My blood was boiling and I was so pissed off that I honestly wanted to say a whole lot more. This is not a friend, or someone I have even seen in the past 7 years, so to blatantly get involved in someone’s intimate business was highly offensive to me. I deleted what I was going to say and told her that I’m very focused on my career right now, and that I don’t need to “hurry up”. She said that she is 34 with 4 children already. I told her that our backgrounds are very different, and that most of us are starting at 34 these days, whereas I have  friends that started having kids at 18. Both of those are totally fine! No one should be judging either side or even asking or telling them that either way is wrong. I sure haven’t. It is very different and you can never compare the two, nor should you. She then decided to reply this back, which highly offended me, she said that they start out young so they don’t have fertility problems later on, or look like their grandmothers.

WOW. Ok so because we have kids over 30 we look like their grandmothers? Did you hear that guys? Better stock up on botox! I think that is a weak argument. I am very healthy and at a healthy weight. I am not overweight and I lead an active lifestyle. I don’t drink and I don’t smoke. There are no outside factors that I am doing to myself that would cause these problems. If I did have infertility problems, it would literally be out of my control, not because of my age or that I am unhealthy. I don’t tell her she needs to lose weight and should hurry up on that! No one should EVER say that to someone, and even though it is literally my job, I have never told someone to hurry up and lose weight or that they’re losing weight too slowly. Therefore you shouldn’t be telling someone they’re being too slow on having a baby! So I don’t know where these self righteous women get off trying to tell us what we “need” to do. I think its high time that everyone worries about their own ovaries and their own business.

STOP ASKING WHEN PEOPLE ARE HAVING CHILDREN!

What if we don’t want? What if our career is more important? What if we are having fertility problems and you are making it worse? What if we legit don’t care? What if we just had a miscarriage? What if we cannot have? What if we are pregnant right now? What if What if What if.

JUST STOP!

STOP BEING RUDE. STOP BEING NOSEY. STOP BEING A DICK. JUST STOP

Shaming

Definitely me

I sincerely hope you all stop asking us these invasive questions and worry about your own ovaries. When you ask people if they’re trying, you’re basically asking them if they’re having sex, and that’s gross. Stop that.

Think before you speak. Think before you ask questions. Stop asking things just to make conversations. Just stop. We as women are under enough stress as it is. We might be second guessing ourselves and our decisions on a daily basis and it doesn’t help having you and your questions making us stress more. I am perfectly happy with my choices right now and I don’t need your questions and prodding trying to change my mind OR undermining my authority over MY life. Please, concentrate on YOUR life and your dreams. Don’t put pressure on other people because you feel unfulfilled. Find some dreams and goals for yourself. Whether that is a health goal, getting in shape, getting into a sport, finding a hobby, starting a little side business, finding a passion project. Rather start focusing on yourself than looking to make snooping into other people’s lives your hobby. It’s healthier this way!

 

shaming

I hope those that are going through problems are doing ok and not being triggered by people asking these questions all the time. I am thinking of you.

xxx

 

Follow me on Instagram stories for more venting on a daily basis because now I am angry!

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Body Shaming 

Body shaming has become somewhat of an epidemic these last few months. From high profile people to every day girls screen shooting pictures and sharing them, it is getting out of hand. You can’t be yourself anymore without wondering who is going to mock you or ridicule you on social media. It is rather sad, and scary.

I was watching some fashion week snapchats on the Superbalist account and came across something that made me hold my breath. I actually had to watch it again. Then again and screen shot it to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. Look, it wasn’t Superbalist or their fault, it was someone who they afforded the opportunity of taking over their snapchat for the fashion event. Still, I was LIVID! How dare someone comment on anything other than the clothing at a fashion event! You are there to cover the FASHION, so do that! No one asked you for your opinion on the men or women’s bodies. We are watching for the fashion, not the form. We really don’t care for your opinion on either really, we just need you to post photos and video so that we can feel like we are at the event and see the fashion.

So when I saw this snap, and the caption that went with it, I literally wanted to punch him through the phone! How dare you write that on that snap? “Look at her body! Now look at yours!!!” With the laughing emoji added for good measure. So we are meant to compare ourselves with a tall, slender model walking the runway in a bikini? What is your point? That because I’m bigger than her that I’m not beautiful? That I should be ashamed? That I am a joke? That this is a joke to you? So real women with curves are not acceptable? Are we a joke to you? So anything over a size 26 is not ok? That a 34 is not ok? That a 38 is not ok? Who made you, a man, the decider of all that is ok with body sizes?

 

I don’t know how he thought this was funny, at all, but he did. Even though I knew it was a male from watching the snaps, and him introducing himself (and posting his username LOL), I would’ve guessed it anyway. Lately I have seen so many instances where men comment out loud about women’s bodies like we don’t notice it. On the other end of the spectrum, there have been some pretty bitchy women out there body shaming each other publicly. There was that Playboy model Dani Mathers that body shamed a naked woman in the gym changerooms, and caused public outcry. I know for a fact that most gyms have signs up about taking photos and giving people privacy, so why she thought that was ok is beyond me! She was just cruel. People go to the gym to better themselves, and here you are mocking someone and their body because you don’t like looking at it. Well You disgust me!

We just had an incident in South Africa with body shaming in a sense as well. Margaret van Wyk was sending her husband a sneaky sexy picture of her bits via whatsapp since he was out of town. By mistake she sent it to her hockey mothers group instead! Imagine how mortifying that was in itself. She apologised obviously and you could imagine her embarrassment. Someone then took a screen shot, and shared it online! Within hours the picture had gone viral along with her name! The fact that a grown woman, could do this to someone she knows is beyond me! Apparently there can be consequences for the other women as sharing something of this nature is not innocent and it shows intent. I really hope Margaret sues for damages because this is not a silly little prank, her children’s names have been leaked and this is now a safety issue as well. If that whatsapp group only had ten people in it, exclude the victim and it can only be one of 9 people. It won’t be hard to find out who it was. Come on ladies, be better, do better.

Everyone just needs to be nicer! Don’t be a dick.

We are all human. We all have feelings. We all have flaws. The next time you judge someone and think about body shaming them, think about how YOU would feel.

1351023816702_3071072

Once I had tweeted about the Superbalist event, they did respond and apologise online. They also deleted that snap. I think this is a big lesson to all brands that allow people to do takeovers. You need to give them a clear brief and brand guidelines. Do’s and Don’ts. They are representing your brand and they should do so with your voice in mind. The same guy was yawning and saying the show was still going on and how he wanted it to be over. You can’t say that on a brand’s social media because that then makes it look like the brand thinks that as well. I hope he learns a valuable lesson in how to treat women, and how to be professional!

cdb6490961cb4f05fba6126ea2765255

Have you seen body shaming you don’t agree with? What are your thoughts?

 

 

I’m over on Instagram and Twitter and my Facebook page is GiJaneSA.

If you’re on snapchat then add me: @gijane_zn

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Can I train during Ramadan?

I did this post after Ramadan last year, so thought I would repost it before fasting starts this year!

 

 

Q: Can I train during Ramadan?

Exercise

A: Yes you can. Firstly I want to say that if you have any health problems, you should check with your doctor first. Everyone is different and what works for one person might not work for the other. These are guidelines that are general and fine to follow if you have no existing problems that need doctor’s clearance.

Exercising during Ramadan is actually good for you. Your body is storing food at hours that it isn’t used to, so you’re essentially storing the high calorie meals as fat. The best way to counteract this is to train, and use up that fat as energy. Weight loss is the simple equation of calories in versus calories out. So, the calories that you expend by training must equal the calories you consume by eating if you want to maintain your weight. If you want to lose weight then the calories you consume must be LESS than the calories you burn up during exercise. If you are not training during Ramadan, you are not using up those calories, therefore the calories you are eating are essentially not budging.

When you are fasting you will definitely be feeling tired and dehydrated. By fasting all day your muscle and liver glycogen reserves are reduced, causing you to experience low blood sugar. Whilst feeling this way I’m sure the last thing you feel like doing is exercising, but, it will actually help your energy levels as well. You really don’t need to keep your intensity level where it was before fasting, this month is very special and spiritual to you so make it more about reflecting and focusing on the health aspect of it. I would recommend it as a maintenance month and not a weight loss month.

I know many of the traditional foods to break fast are often calorie dense, pastries and sugary treats. These high calorie foods will be stored as fat due to the density of the calories. This is especially true when you aren’t exercising and working off the extra calories. Try enjoy these as treats once or twice a week instead of every night. You need a high intensity training session to work off such high density calories, and without the energy to exercise at such a high intensity you won’t be able to burn the calories off completely. So enjoy them, sparingly.

Muslim

Here are my guidelines and tips:

  • Exercise for maintenance, not weight loss
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week 30-40 minutes
  • Focus on weight training and body weight training instead of cardio
  • Have longer rest between sets
  • Do fewer sets per exercise
  • Reduce your volume of exercise and intensity
  • Strength training prevents muscle loss (so you keep that nice tone)
  • Eat healthy, unprocessed foods
  • Drink water when you break fast and keep drinking it to stay hydrated. The same in the morning
  • Avoid junk food as much as possible and treat it as an actual treat
  • Cardio will make you thirsty and even more dehydrated so stick to weight training rather
  • Eat according to your appetite, don’t overeat. Remember it takes your body 30 minutes to realise how full it is. So eat until you are still comfortable then wait.
  • Eat your protein and veg first so you don’t overload on pastries
  • Dates are really high in sugar, so don’t overdo it every night
  • Exercise 60-90 minutes before Iftar if you can, otherwise after you’ve had some dates is great too
  • If you are working, speak to your boss about the possibility of working through your lunch break since you won’t be eating, and leaving work earlier. Then you could go straight to gym, get in your workout and straight home to break fast
  • A lot of hunger is due to dehydration, so drink a glass of water first when breaking fast
  • You can actually lose body fat during Ramadan if you watch your calories and exercise. You don’t need to go at your usual intensity but look at it as being healthy and happy

 

This is a special month but you also don’t want to undo all of your hard work over the year.

Enjoy your special time

Jane

xxx

 

If you have any other questions please feel free to email jane@gijane.co.za

 

Jane Kilian

Sport Science (Bsc.)

Exercise Science (Hons.)

www.gijane.co.za

@gijane_zn

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