Friday 26 September 2014

flex on the beach!
We all need some time away from our usual routine and this year I chose to return to my favourite island in the sun for a (working) holiday….
My plan for the few weeks I had in Ibiza were to recharge, train as much as possible, research into fitness techniques, learn & practice yoga daily and eat & drink well – all of which I managed to do! (Drinking well sometimes involved alcohol, but I was on holiday afterall ;)

Seeing a different side to the island on this visit I started my yoga training by attending my usual Tuesday evening class at Benimussa Park (where the almighty Zoo Project is held) in the Mandala garden – bliss!
Led by my favourite yoga teacher Arun (who I could listen to all day) and who I chose to give me some 121 lessons so I could come home and teach my clients some aspects of yoga....

Wanting to see as much of the island and different types of training I chose to go back to The Workout Club. They carry out group personal training sessions on the beach or outdoor spaces in different locations on the island. My favourite and local spot was a morning session on Talamanca beach, to which I took my mother one morning (don’t worry shes more of a fitness nut than me!)
These intense sessions are great – they work you hard through functional training methods and fat burning techniques…. Crawling and sprinting barefoot on the sand is tough but worth it! I could feel these workouts making a difference after a few sessions and would recommend anyone in Ibiza to try them!
They also do private 121 or smaller group sessions at a lovely poolside location in St Eulalia, and the 8 week programme you are initially put on will make a real difference in no time! There's such a family feel here which I love and everybody, trainers and fellow workout members, are so motivating :) 

I managed to work at one of The Zoo Project parties fundraising for something I'm very passionate about - stopping the oil exploration off the beautiful coasts of Ibiza & Formentera. We raised money for the Hands Off Ibiza campaign in association Alianza Mar Blava. Good work guys, keep it up and let's hope we can make a difference. I also managed to party at a few of The Zoo Project parties too (followed by my favourite nightspot on the island - Underground!) 

Carrying on my quest for new yoga methods I attended a great class at the gorgeous venue La Galeria Elefante. Arlette led the Ashtanga class which I really enjoyed. My friend who’s a complete beginner found it easy to follow but challenging (in a good way) at some points!

In Ibiza you will find lots of yoga retreats, I stumbled upon the The Feel Good and Clean Food retreat.... Viyan had done her yoga teacher training here last year so I thought this would be a great one to try! And it really was – a lovely private villa location on the coastline, and a perfect light and airy yoga studio in the basement. The Hatha yoga class included use of foam blocks and straps to get us into position, which I feel really helped  

Starting my 121 sessions with Arun really made a difference to my technique at other classes as I was improving my core and flexibility. He taught me a sequence of yoga called 8 Indians, which can be basic but with more advanced moves to add in later. I really looked forward to our 121 sessions twice a week to see my progression and learn new things! He’s a great teacher and I can't wait for the retreat Arun and a colleague planning next summer....

Continuing the yoga sessions at the Zoo we had a surprise one week where an amazing Kundalini teacher one of my yogi friends met in India…. Viriam came to take the class armed with live music from Adam Divine and James Winstanley (of the Hang Drum Project) We chanted the Wahe Guru (meaning an experience of ecstasy beyond description) and I must say I really did feel it!

I had been in contact with the one and only Jo Youle – the crazy cool creator of Joga Beats, a type of yoga and dance to music!! Not realising we were actually at the same Kundalini class until the day after (the joys of social media sites) I made it a must to attend one of her classes before I left the island. And I’m glad I did! 
Arriving at the super plush Destino resort Jo found us a nice area in the lush gardens…. I really enjoyed doing the class to music helping me to focus as I did find it challenging in some parts – especially on an uneven surface and in the midday sun!! Shavasana in the shade was welcomed by all ;)

On the days I didn’t manage to training or practice yoga I made sure I at least swam in the sea, a few lengths (armed with a snorkel or course) to get my heart rate going meant I could treat myself to an ice lolly on the beach ;) 
Leotard worn as a swimming costume was kindly provided by iamvibes, check out their yoga garms

Eating out is always difficult when trying to stick to a healthy diet, but generally avoiding carbs in the evening and anything too fatty (so sin dairy or red meat) and the dreaded desert menu I managed okay. One place I didn’t have time to visit but will be the first place I hit next summer is the Skinny Kitchen who's motto is Eat Clean Rave Dirty.... I like the sound of that
So namaste Ibiza.... I'm now back home to pass on my training and yoga knowledge to all, so watch out! And roll on summer 2015 for more flex on da beach ;)

Saturday 6 September 2014


Bikram yoga is a series of 26 Hatha postures performed in a seriously hot room…. I tried it for 10 days running a my local studio in Manchesters trendy Northern Quarter (when I say local its below the building where my apartment is so handy to run home for a much needed cold shower after!)
Day 1 – funny that someone today asked me if I liked wildlife whilst walking around the Dig the City festival before the class. I did until I came to Bikram and met the camel and rabbit posture – oww! Well they say the first class is the hardest….

Day 2 – And they also say the second day is easier which it was.... I also enjoyed doing the class at midday rather than in the evening as you’re not supposed to eat 2-3 hours before which is a struggle later on in the day! Two of my friends who are regulars were also there so was nice to sweat it out together :)

Day 3 – I found today a little harder for some reason, although yoga is supposed to chill you out and help you sleep etc I think this type of yoga is rather tiring…. I sweat more this time and was slipping all the place! Also not advisable to go wearing any make up, which I’ll blame for a blemish or 2 L

Day 4 – I had great intentions of going to the 6.45am class but when my alarm went of at 6am and I looked in the mirror I refused to do it to myself! I had red eyes and bags from lack of sleep and was attending a friends wedding later that day so I retired back to the bedroom…. Let’s call it a few hours of shavasana ;)

Day 5 – So this class was bound to be harder the day after a wedding i.e all day drinking…. Talk about sweating the toxins out! But I got through it and was starting to really feel I was improving by holding the stretches for longer and trying the more advanced moves. The wooden floor did chip my newly manicured toenails though L
Day 6 – I found todays class the most difficult…. I always seem to get my hangover 2 days after so maybe I’ll blame the newlyweds!! I was feeling super tired but with Bikram it’s a challenge and I pushed myself and did all of the moves (ok some not as long as I maybe could have) but they say staying in the room for 90 minutes is a challenge enough....

Day 7 – Pussycat Doll in the house! Yes Ashley Roberts was in town as decided to plonk her perfectly formed bottom right in front of me, which in all honesty made it impossible to focus. I kept wobbling out of poses as she held each one for longer than anyone, obviously a Bikram frequenter stateside and being a dancer will help 

Day 8 – A celeb free zone meant much better focus for me today and I was feeling the most flexible I’d felt so far! Also having a coffee today helped me mentally and physically where previously it made me feel sick....

Day 9 – Back to feeling tired today but I did train twice in the gym, no pain no gain I say! I wanted to get back to my normal training as although I was seeing benfits from the Bikram in certain areas (toning/flexibility/sleeping) I didn’t feel it was keeping my body fat down on its own!

Day 10 – I really enjoyed this, my last session (well for now anyway!) maybe as I was off to Ibiza for a month to carry out some yoga training for my clients. This was main reason I chose to do the intense burst of Bikram now and I’m glad I did as I feel its helped me massively and at least its prepared me for the 40 degree heat J

I would recommend anyone who hasn’t tried Bikram to try it – it really is like nothing else! There is a 30 day challenge for anyone crazy enough but if you enjoy it you can get hooked and will see the health benefits in no time at all

You can’t rely on this solely to keep you fit. I believe you need to do it alongside a cardio and strength programme and of course a clean and healthy eating plan

Thanks to David the founder at Bikram Manchester for the initial trial class – I told you I’d be back! And all of the instructors, in particular Jo who’s smile would always encourage me on :)And of course all of you fellow sweaty bettys and boys…. NAMASTE

I did the 10 day introductory offer which is a 10 consecutive day pass for £20. You don’t have to do all 10 days but its a worthwile offer.... GO ON challenge yourself and let me know how you get on!