29.11.13

Sport'n Style: Yoga & Cycling Winter Picks

Been meaning to write this post for like, FOREVER! Not done a Sport'n Style post in a while, but it needed to be relevant and authentic which is what I have here! I wanted to share products that I actually own, I actually bought and I actually love.

It got split into two distinct categories: Yoga and Cycling as those are the two predominant areas in my life at the moment (other than training of course).

First Up: Yoga.

top 3 items 

1. No Limits Tank. Amazing in yoga, especially when you get a little warm and sweaty. It wicks away the sweat and dries so quick you never feel uncomfortable. I have it in the colour in the picture above - I had been waiting for it to come in, in a version other than black for weeks so as soon as it landed I had to try it!

The graphic below is from the lululemon blog detailing some of the technical features of the garment.

no limits tank

2. The unmat. The best mat. I usually have issues with sweaty hands and grip but this mat works well for me. It's light too which makes it easy to travel with...even on my bike! And yes, I am now one of those chicks who has my own yoga mat in class. Think about it...I'm hardly a fan of my own sweat never mind the residue of the sweat of the 256 people who have used the studio mat before me...that month. 

Another great graphic from the lululemon blog :) 

unmat 

3. Nike Epic Training Trousers. Super comfy and flattering. I'll mostly wear them over the pants I will do my yoga in after class, and to get to class. I actually think they look better on me, than they do on the doll in the picture. 

The second current major area is cycling for me! These are my top 3 picks for that based on functionality and safety. 


cycling

1. lululemon run swiftly tech long sleeved top. It makes an amazing base layer as well as just a top. I cycle with a top underneath so I can take that off and not have too much sweat on me. It also features silveresent technology meaning it's anti stink - you can go a few days without washing it and not having to worry. I personally haven't tested this theory out yet as I wear the top to work and wouldn't want to find out how which day is THE day that the top needs washing while with guests!

2. Bern Watts (mens) helmet. I loved the colour so went for this one. There is nothing particularly masculine about it and I'll soon be adding a high visibility bow to it so there will be no confusion! haha! I preferred this style of helmet as it looks a bit more relaxed, not so cycle serious! It's comfy and you buy attachment such as ear warmers for winter. I already own a headband thingy which covers my ears to keep them warm so saved spending another £25! I wear my helmet every time I am out on my bike...safety first.

3. Nike Lunarglide 5. This verso of these running shoes are high vis! In light, a cool animal print pattern is visible. I got them for cycling to help increase my visibility when cycling in low light. It's pretty dark from about 4pm in London right now so the shoes are a good call. They are made specifically for winter so I believe they are also water resistant / proof...I'm yet to test this out!

Before I leave you, I made my top cycling tip into a cool image which can be pinned / shared / saved etc to keep the awareness going. Although it's winter, I'm not alone in jumping in the saddle to cycle for a commute or for leisure. Please remember this tip when you are out and about...and stay safe!

remember

This post is long enough as it is so hopefully I'll have time to share with you some of the updates in my training (gym) wardrobe, running and products that I love :)

What are your must have yoga or cycling items since the weather got chilly?! 

Elle :) x

28.11.13

Training at Altitude

As I write this post, I am tucked up in bed, yawning over and over again. It's just gone 8pm and I'm looking forward to bed time yet I am smiling after my session at the Altitude Centre. 

I rocked up at 5pm for my induction with Alex. I filled in all the usual stuff - y'know, do I suffer from chest pain, joint pain, is there any reason I know of that I shouldn't exercise.

Alex then talked me through how this would work. First read what this was all about...

The Altitude Centre aims to improve fitness by training the body how to use oxygen more efficiently. The chamber contains less oxygen than the air at sea level, offering pre-acclimatisation for altitude trekking and allowing you to take advantage of the benefits of training at a high altitude. 

They offer one-to-one training as well as regular exercise sessions in group classes, and customers can rent machines to use in the comfort of their own home. Professional athletes and amateurs looking to get fit can benefit from running or cycling sessions at The Altitude Centre (usually £28 per session). 


As explorers climb to a higher altitude, the thinner air and lack of oxygen aims to force the body to work harder, using more energy to acclimatise to the change in atmosphere. Instructors will take would-be mountaineers through a consultation to offer tips and advice on high altitude training and an exercise plan unique to the individual. The guest then has between one and five running or cycling sessions to work towards increasing their stamina or maintaining fitness.

As I have recently started cycling I thought I would opt for the cycle version. What I didn't realise was that it'd be on a Watt Bike which is too clever for it's own good. I also didn't bargain on all my stats being on a monitor that I couldn't block the view of, and the fact I had to wear a heart rate monitor. This meant there was no pretending...not that I ever pretend...uuuhhhhumm!

my bike screen and me in the mirror :) 

my stats on the LCD screen 

Before jumping on the bike, Alex also took my blood pressure and measured oxygen levels in my blood. In all honesty, I was beginning to get a little frightened, but if others had survived this then surely I could...

testing my blood oxygen levels 

He told me all about how it's harder to recover and you would feel your heart beating furiously. I can confirm this to be true! He also told me that at the 15 second mark I would want to stop pedalling and bang on 15 seconds I could (did) scream each time and beg to stop...but just so you know, I didn't! Oooo there was proof of my anaerobic training system!

The session consisted of 3 x 30 second bouts (with a minute rest between) of cycling as fast and hard as I could. I then got 90 secs rest before I had to repeat the set, 90 seconds rest then repeat AGAIN! Alex kept an eye on the power I was producing and (attempted to) motivated me to keep it above 350 to start with then 300 in the later sets! He also took the reins on my resistance too! Jheeez, no go for control freaks eh?!

I was curious so during the session I'd pop my finger into the little gadget to check my blood oxygen levels which did indeed reduce as time went on.

After the session, I received a FULL detailed report of what happened during! Lot's of statistics, measurements and basically bedtime reading...if you can stay awake! Somehow I even managed to cycle home; mostly I think because I had company!

I got high!! 

To find out more about The Altitude Centre, check out their Facebook page or Twitter account!

A few weeks ago I didn't understand the purpose of training on a stationary / spin bike just to ride a normal bike. But it basically is the same as if you run without purpose, you will never get faster, fitter or more efficient. So although my cycle commute is doing something...it could do something more if I trained effectively...

This is one way...

D'you know much about altitude training?! Do you supplement your running or cycling with different sessions?! 


Elle :) x

26.11.13

City Sights Tour with lululemon athletica

If you've given me a like on Facebook, you'll have seen that over the weekend I went out on my first group ride. It was organised by lululemon athletica Covent Garden showroom here in London and was a route planned to showcase some of the sights of London. 

And here is one...Buckingham Palace. 

Cycling up towards the palace

All in all, the ride totalled Just under 17km. 

our route

But cycling in a group on the streets of London provided us with an edge, a confidence...safety in numbers. And after being made aware that it is perfectly legal for cyclists to cycle two abreast I made the most of it to allow myself to chat to fellow riders.

I must say, that on this morning, the traffic lights were a welcome rest every now and again!

at the lights 

Me being me, at some points, missed the sights as I was concentrating hard on keeping up with the group. I've only been cycle commuting the last few weeks and have been pedalling at such a moderate pace! 

This thing below was around the Marble Arch area of London! I must look that up! It reminded me a bit of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. We cycled right across to it, under and through, where we were met with lots of pedestrians and police patrolling on horse back. 

a sight :) 

police 

We then came into a park and pass the Serpentine River. The sun was shining, the air was chilly but the view was amazing. For all the 21 years I have lived in London, I'd never been to this part of town before! 

awesome view 

on bike selfie with Alice 

Alice and I got chatting as we rode around Regents Park and with all the traffic lights we got separated from the rest of the gang who were ahead. We cycled, and cycled and cycled then came to the conclusion that we had lost them and should make our way back to the showroom. Luckily though, we spotted them busy fixing a puncture. Another opportunity for a quick rest before the last few kilometres of our journey. 

Adrian trying to complete in the 5 minute rule

Adrian, our tour guide for the morning told us that on club rides if someone gets a puncture they have 5 minutes to fix it or they get left behind!! I certainly won't be club cycling anytime soon! If I get a puncture you will find me on the side of the road crying! ...I MUST get to a workshop and / or do some reading! 

back on our bikes! 

And then we were off again! Back to the showroom...somewhat behind schedule to get ourselves into downward dog and stretch it out in the complimentary yoga session geared towards cyclists and runners on this particular day! 

I didn't do the yoga at lulu after the ride but I did do a yoga class later on in the day! It wasn't easy after all the cycling (and class yday!) but it certainly helped loosen me up, stretch me out and strengthen my body! 

The ride was a great way to spend my morning (although somewhat fast for my commuter legs!) but I thoroughly enjoyed it! 

Do you get out and cycle on the weekends?! Have you been out on a group ride before?!

And how beautiful is London?! ...get out and explore your city on two wheels! 

Elle :) x

25.11.13

Living the simpElle life: Venetia

Hello again :) and a warm welcome back to my mini series - Living the simpElle life - where I talk to someone who has inspired me with their story. 

It all started because I heard this great phrase - 
"The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms"
- so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all! 

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and that is what their story will do for the rest of us...

Meet: Venetia Marriot 



- {THEN} -

Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? ...What was your plan / goals?

VM: I was always into sports from quite a young age. When class used to complain about doing cross country in PE I would be happy about it. So I guess being active has always been in me. But over the last couple of years it's pretty much been a way of life. 2011 to 2012 was a really tough time for me - I was in my final year of uni, I was working and was a part time carer for my father who was terminally ill. I found running was my 'thing' where I could be in my own headspace and away from all that was going on in my life. I didn't really have any goals when I started running consistently, it just felt like something I wanted to do, until I got roped into a 10k...then a half marathon...then a full marathon! 

- {HOW} -

Elle: What's your favourite way to work out? 

VM: Running first and foremost! But I love the relaxation and strength building of yoga, it really balances out the exertion of pounding the pavement. I love working out with friends, it always help to have someone next to you who will push you that little bit more 

Elle: What's your typical weekly exercise schedule

VM: My typical week of exercise would be 2 - 3 runs with some yoga and strength training thrown in the mix, although my schedule isn't always so regimented! 

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

VM: In terms of chicks in the fitness world that would have to be Bangs (blogger at Bangs and a Bun / Spikes & Heels) and Robin Arzon. For me they completely embody what it is to be a fit, strong, well educated and inspirational woman. I love what they do and they always look good doing it. 

Elle:  What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited?

VM:  I think that would have to be my level of dedication. I've trained for over 8 races since 2012. Don't let the Instagram and Tumblr posts fool you, it has been really hard. It makes me proud that even though it was hard I never walked away from the challenge. In turn, having people approach me, both people I know and people I don't know telling me that what I'm doing is inspiring it does make me feel happy to know I'm doing a good thing 

Elle:  Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?

VM: Oh dear. My diet has been TERRIBLE! And I don't like vegetables! I never trained with the intention of losing weight or anything so before now, I never really paid much attention to my diet. At first, as long as I was eating breakfast, lunch and dinner and drinking a lot of water then that was good for me. But now I'm really trying to be a bit more aware of what is going into my body and how it will either help or hinder! I'm trying really hard with the vegetables now! 


- {NOW} - 

Elle:  How do you track your progress? 

VM: I run with Nike+ app which is really cool at keeping a track of your runs and PBs which is great. I try not to delve into the whole 'progress pic" thing too much because I don't think my journey is about aesthetics as much as it might be for the next person. Although it is nice to notice when your abs pop a bit lol. But I definitely feel a lot fitter than I was last year so that can only be a good thing 

Elle:  Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

VM: I'd say my goals have changed slightly. As much as running is still my release from everyday life, I now look forward to actually training for a race. If you told me last year that I'd run a marathon this year I'd have probably laughed in your face! Now I'm hoping to do another; maybe I might do a duathlon? Or even a tri? Well, I'd have to sort my swimming out if that were the case, ha! But I do feel like now I'm more open to these challenges 

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

VM: Some days it's easy, other days it's hard, but ultimately you get out what you put in. I always feel better when I complete a workout and sometimes I have to remind myself of that. It's kinda like when you cross something off your to-do list. It might have been a drag getting it done but saying you did it is always better. 

Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the "before" you...or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle...what would you say?!

VM: Cheesy but, there's no time like the present! Social media is your friend, connect with people that have the same interests or goals as you! Feeling like you have the support of others is really nice; you can learn from others and they can learn from you. And don't give up!


Inspirational?! ...just a little huh?! 

If you'd like to leave Venetia a comment below please do! Or connect with her on Instagram: venetianarelle 

...and if you have a story you would like to share just get in touch! {Contact Elle}

Keep living that simpElle life ;) 

Elle :) 

22.11.13

Stay Inspired...

So it look's like I'm kinda doing what I aim to do...y'know inspire y'all to get active and enjoy life! 

The tweeps over at Women's Fitness magazine recognised this and featured me as their Twitter Crush in the December 2013 issue which went on sale October 30th here in the UK! 

I couldn't be more grateful and I'm looking forward to continuing my efforts in 2014! 


Are you on Twitter too?! ...I believe inspiration is a two way street so lets get connected to #StayInspired :) I'm here... @X_eLle_S

All you have to do is keep it simpElle ;) 

Elle :) x


21.11.13

'One for the Girls' Women's Cycling Evening

Event Flyer

On Monday evening I got the bus (haha) to this event in Central London at Evans Cycles. Having attended a similar event at another store a few months ago I had high hopes for this evening. We were emailed and told to have our questions ready...so there I was...ready to get the lowdown on winter cycling not only to be in the know myself, but to share with you! 

I'm not one to be negative, but I will be honest. The event started at 6pm with the first 50 attendees getting a goody bag. I arrived at 6.10pm and was somehow attendee number 51 yet some of numbers 1 - 50 hadn't even arrived yet...they just got their mates to pick up one for them as well... Not the most impressive start, and I did bring this to the attention of the staff there...

So, the talk...couldn't hear a word the lady was saying so I wandered off to say hello to a few people I had bumped into and check out if there was anything I needed on which I could get a 20% discount...

I decided to go for a waterproof jacket (originally £129.99) currently £49.99. I teamed that with a pair of waterproof over trousers. Both were by Altura, and labels said it was 3 for 2 on Altura but that didn't apply this evening. Disappointed much?! 

The evening wasn't what I was expecting. There were no chairs for the talk so being at the back I couldn't see or hear anything and wandered off, like I said. There seemed to be a lot of staff when you had no questions but then they all disappeared at the same time... When I found someone to ask a question...they didn't always know the answer! 

Positives are that I am hopefully now more suitably kitted out to make it through winter :) 

Ideally, I'd love to add a waterproof bag cover to my kit along with some warm and / or waterproof gloves. If there is anything else essential I need I certainly don't know about it...yet! 

I must add that the Store Manager found me during the evening to apologise about the goody bag incident; he took my details and promised to get one for me... so fingers crossed. 

On reflection, I don't think this needed to be a women's specific evening unless they were going to be more relevant (and organised) talks. It's great as I now know that particular store exists though :) 

In principle, this could have made for a fantastic evening. But I still have all my questions to be asked of someone...anyone...

Elle :) x

Here are some of my questions...

1. What is the ultimate cycling outfit for commuting during winter? Something that means I don't have to take an entire change of clothes for work?

2. Any tips for accessories I should defo have? i.e do I need to own a pump? repair kit? bike cleaner??

3. Top tips (and the very basics) for maintaining my bike?

4. Should I stay off my bike when ice drops or the snow falls??

5. With all the recent tragedy, what are essential tips for staying safe on the roads?

19.11.13

Review: Merrell Mix Master Move Glide

I feel like a very lucky girl - right at my running low, I got offered the chance to try out a fab pair of running shoes. I even got to choose which shoes, making this much more fun and more authentic of course.

These are what caught my eye right away.


I'm sure you know I love a bit of pink so I decided to go for something a little different. Different and bright. These are the Merrell Mix Master Move Glide Womens Running shoes.

When they arrived on my doorstep I was in the middle of "resting" my knee so I couldn't run right away. It's funny how when I am more than able to run, I'm not motivated to but the minute I physically can't run I am itching to get out there and pound the pavement!

So the first time I tried them out was on my cycle commute to work! Same effects, less impact :)

These shoes are quoted as having 'breathable mesh lining' ...which was evident from the first pedal! I've never worn a shoe that is so breathable! I could literally feel the wind between my toes!

Another reason I chose this shoe was for the support. Although they are very light, they have a cushion in the heel to absorb shock and add stability. This they did do. I felt natural running in them...oh yes...I did get out and run in them! A few times actually.

Once, at a Nike Training Club 'Run to Train' session and again at a Fitness Playground session.

run out to our training spot 

running back

Fitness Playground

Part of the reason I enjoyed wearing this shoe is that I don't remember much about wearing the shoe! As in, I didn't have to fiddle with undone laces, I didn't have toes rubbing (I usually always get a blister in the same place when I run), no knee pain, no clunking, no plodding...I just got to get on with the task at hand...to run.

One thing I was conscious of though was grip. The ground was wet and I would be cautious wearing any shoe. I didn't ever lose my footing, but I did make a real effort to ensure I could feel the grip between the shoe and the ground...which I could because of the way this shoe is constructed.

couldn't get the best pic of me in the shoes...

Brand: Merrell
Model: Mix Master Move Glide
Gender: Women's 
RRP: £80.95 

Me and these shoes will definitely be friends for a while to come and I'm pretty sure they'll be my race day choice in future. Which is when?! ...race planning is underway! 

Next up, I will be on the hunt for some trail running shoes...anyoe have any recommendations or favourites?! 


Elle :) x

p.s This is not a sponsored post; I was provided with the shoes to test...but all opinions are my own :) 

18.11.13

Living the simpElle life: Stanislava

Welcome back to my mini series - Living the simpElle life - where I talk to someone who has inspired me with their story.

I heard a great phrase recently - 



"The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms"  

 - so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!


Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and that is what their story will do for the rest of us... 

Meet: Stanislava Bazitova 


Stanislava

- {THEN} - 

 Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? ...What was your plan / goals?

SB: I was lucky to get tickets for one of the amazing NIKE running events, so I was really motivated to train hard and do my best on the day of the run. I was really proud of myself when I managed distances I never dreamt of, and that kept me inspired to carry on. "Run a marathon" was one of my New Year's resolutions, so the only way to do it is by training hard.




- {HOW} -

Elle: What's your favourite way to work out? 


SB: Accompanied by motivated people, inspired by my instructor, wearing my favourite tights and surrounded by nature if possible.


Elle: What's your typical weekly exercise schedule


SB: Twice a week NTC and at least 5km run.


Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?


SB: My inspiration has been you, Elle, always there for me, encouraging me to do by best and then better it. Another powerful inspiration for me have been the Paralympic Games last summer. I was astonished by those truly amazing athletes who regardless the dificulties they have, achieve amazing results. That is totally admirable. People are capable of great things if they are dedicated.


Elle:  What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited?


SB: I became stronger and lean, more flexible and resistant to weariness. I started achieving stuff I never dreamt of, like running my first 10k. Training helped me get rid of stress and be more efficient at work and in my studies.




Elle:  Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?


SB: I have always been a healthy-lifestyle person, but ever since I started training and running, my diet has changed a lot. I am more selective when it comes to buying and preparing food. I belive that training alone it's not enough. To feel the difference and take a full advantage of your workouts, you need a balanced diet as well. The best improvement in my eating habits is that I eat often, but not excessively. I keep my metabolism working all day. But nutrition is a very personal thing. Something that works for me, might not work for someone else, so one should listen to its own body and find the best way to treat it.


- {NOW} - 

Elle:  How do you track your progress? 

SB: I use my fuelband to keep track on my daily performance, the NikeRunning App keeps track on my runs, and the most tangible way is my own body, which really indicates my progress.




Elle:  Have your goals changed since you started your journey?


SB: Yes! They grow bigger!




Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?


SB: I think about how I usually feel after work-out - awesome, alive, strong and happy.



Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the "before" you...or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle...what would you say?!


SB: Just keep going. Results will come. No matter how difficult it is. Hard work pays off for sure!


See?! ...inspirational huh?! 


If you'd like to leave Stanislava a comment below please do! 


...and if you have a story you would like to share just get in touch! {Contact Elle}


Keep living that simpElle life ;) 


Elle :) 

15.11.13

Power Plate EssentElle's

By now you must know that I work at a great studio in Central London teaching Power Plate classes, right?!

Said studio kindly donated a free class to each of the attendees at my keep it simpElle Supple Strength class and a couple of questions were raised as a result so I decided to scribble a few answers down here!

class vouchers

Beginning with what is a Power Plate...

Power Plate is a brand of vibrating platform used as exercise equipment. It consists of a vibrating base, which may vibrate up and down approximately 1 to 2 millimetres 25 to 50 times per second. wikepedia, 2013

this is a power plate

So when we talk about Power Plates (PP's) we are actually referring to whole body vibration training which is just another method of working out to get the results we want.

What results do we get from whole body vibration training, I hear you ask!

The list is exhaustive! PP's can be used in a medical setting, for rehabilitation and then all the way through to professional athleticism.

The point of this method is that you get results, but FASTER! In today's day and age who would (could) turn that down?!

So all the usual...weight loss, increased muscle tone, increased strength, increased flexibility can all be achieved using PP's ...in a shorter space of time than 'regular' training.

Other benefits include:

Healthier bones (increased bone density)
Increased circulation 
Relaxation 

Generally, studios will offer 25 - 30 minute classes which, believe me, is enough! Each drill will last somewhere between 30 seconds and 1 minute depending on the type of drill.

power plate display 

you can use equipment too :) 

Wear regular gym clothing, preferably something made of a technical fabric to wick sweat and keep you feeling comfortable. No shoes are required - just socks -  ones with grip on the bottom are ideal. Take along your water bottle and a small towel too if you tend to sweat a lot! Nothing else is needed, except a smile & some enthusiasm...

example session plan 

As with all forms of exercise, there are precautions to be taken. One is to not overtrain on PP's. I'd recommend a maximum of 3 - 4 sessions per week. You need to give your nervous system (that sends the messages to your muscles & back) a rest after working so hard sending messages like crazy when your muscles are contracting 30 times per second!!

I always suggest yoga as a great complimentary form of exercise for PP's and virtually everything else! If you want to increase your cardio side of things, running and / or spinning are great options too.

Next time you pass the PP machine sitting there lonely in the corner of the gym think about all the potential we have just explored...

Get yourself to a studio class, get some ideas and then incorporate them into your regular training schedule...

Classes generally are not cheap but most places offer great intro deals...free first session or a month or so for around £30 - £40.

Up for giving it a go?! ...if you have any questions, please, leave them below in the comments section...cos I'm sure someone else somewhere will be wanting to know the same thing...


Elle :) x

14.11.13

Elle About Town, November 2013

Grab a cuppa (I'll have a soya latte) and lets have a chit chat about what's been going down so far this month and what is coming up :)

To update you on my October post...I went to the Doctor and have been referred for an MRI scan :) I did have to see two Doctors though! The first wouldn't listen to me and prescribed me anti-inflammatories which ended with me in hospital suffering with gastritis. The moral of the story is to follow your heart...

As you of course know...I BOUGHT THE BIKE! ...and am loving it! Have you read all our tips for cycling?! Or if you have one to share please comment on the One gal, her bicycle and a plastic bag post!


And then I got up to all this too...

Classes: Ballet Sculpt & Stretch 


..with Becky was a great start to my Saturday! She was pretty inspiring and I picked up a few moves to use in my Power Plate Ballet Class the following day! Her class is a great way to lengthen, tone and increase flexibility. It made a welcome change from yoga based classes and her regular class takes place in a hot studio!

This particular class was held at lululemon Covent Garden. They host complimentary yoga classes on Saturday mornings between 11am and 12midday on a first come first served basis. You can check out the list of events on their Facebook page to see what is coming up! There are also showrooms in Islington and Chelsea who host their own complimentary classes too :)

Classes: Bikram Yoga 

I actually made it to Bikram yoga and was super proud of the effort I put in! I actually came bouncing out of the studio feeling reinvigorated!

Following class I wrote up the Bikram Basics EssentElles for anyone thinking about going and wondering what they will need!


Classes: NTC Run to Train 

This class was similar to the Nike Training Club, Train to Run classes...but back to front! We started off with a run...to a location in the heart of the city, did a short workout and then ran back to the store! It made for a great mix and a good opportunity for runners / gym bunnies to cross train!

Our route to our training spot 

This class takes place on Tuesday evenings at the Covent Garden store; I'll be covering this class on both Tuesday 19th & 26th November so if you are in town come along! The class is free and you just sign up via the NTC Facebook page!

You can check out all the classes I am teaching on the Train with Elle page ...did you know?!

Workout Gear: love me some lulu 

You may or may not know, that I have found a new love for lululemon (oh and I also work there part time as an educator! *disclaimer* in the Covent Garden showroom)

I picked up a couple of bits today. Have wanted one of the No Limits Tanks for yoga since I started my new role but recently only black has been in stock. Got the weekly product notification email and there's a new colour in town...

 

I also picked up one of the fab Run Swiftly Tech long sleeved tops. It's been great as a base layer for cycling and promises to be moisture wicking and anti stink! So far, no complaints!

useful.com :) 

If you would like to know more about lululemon do come along to one of the showrooms and get to know us :)

Coming Up...

This weekend I'll be attending the Broga charity event in aid of Movember and the fight against prostate and testicular cancer. It sounds like it will be a great evening...and will also help me fulfil my monthly goal of attending x amount of yoga classes in November (I think I'm actually ahead of goal but that never hurt?!).

Then on Monday I'll be at the 'One for the girls' Cycle Evening hosted by Evans Cycles. It's all about cycling through winter and includes a goody bag and discounts on the night! If you would like to attend there is still plenty of room for more women to come along. They would love to see the store packed out, so I'm encouraging you to join me. If you are interested you can sign up at www.evanscycles.com/one-for-the-girls ...see you there?! 

And then, *breathe* I've signed up to go do a session at the Altitude Centre! I've decided not to ask too many questions...sometimes it's best to have no expectations! But rest assured, if I make it through, I'll be sure to write it all up for you! Don't think the pictures will be pretty though!

So what's new with you?! ...what classes / training have you been up to?! ...Anything exciting planned to see the month out?! 

Elle :) x

11.11.13

"Yoga Found Me"; Nicolette Wilson

Some two or three years ago, I knew nothing about yoga. A colleague convinced me to attend a staff class at our workplace and that is when I realised the great benefits that yoga can bring to me. My first ever teacher was Nicolette Wilson; she inspired me to continue to practice yoga and her teaching empowered me to learn more.

I've been lucky enough to reconnect with Nicolette since being back in London and she spared some time to answer a few questions for us.


Meet Nicolette

My name is Nicolette Wilson and I run a yoga and Pilates business named Self Love yoga and Pilates based in London, England.
I have over 20 years of experience in the health, fitness and well-being industry and having started as an Exercise to Music Instructor I broadened my knowledge to become a Personal Trainer, holistic masseur, sports massage therapist, Health and Fitness Manager, Business Networking Director, professional dancer, Pilates teacher and yoga teacher.  I am presently a full-time yoga and Pilates teacher delivering both disciplines in London, nationally and internationally.  
Self Love yoga and Pilates primarily supports women to feel empowered enough to choose how they wish to feel every day.  

Tell me about your history with yoga & Pilates and what led you to start your company, Self Love. 
My first experience of yoga was when I managed a gym floor and studio of a private health and fitness club over 10 years ago.  I had no idea what yoga really was and after hiring a very experienced yoga teacher I ended up attending his classes weekly for the following 5 years.  His classes were mega dynamic and very physically challenging. I absolutely loved it because it mirrored my life at that time.
Yoga created space within my body which was really muscularly bound due to intense weight training and cardio workouts and most importantly it taught me to slow down.  I was however only interested in the physical benefits and glided over many of the spiritual aspects that were sometimes integrated within the class.
As I continued on my life journey, I dipped in and out of yoga for various reasons i.e. supporting my dance training and dance injuries.
The great thing about yoga is that it finds you, rather than the other way round.  It’s a journey that leads you to a place that gives you the power to trust yourself and therefore others. Yoga found me and so I therefore now share it with others having qualified three times – two in the UK and one in India.
My Pilates journey is quite different.  When I was Fitness Instructor, we were sent on a Michael King Pilates course.  He was one of the first experts to train people to teach it however I didn’t quite get what it was all about.  I didn’t do anything with the new knowledge and it just stayed dormant in my memory bank for a good few years.
Years later, I was watching QVC on the television and I saw an advertorial for Mari Winsor’s Pilates triple pack videos.  It was brilliantly marketed so I indulged and have never looked back since.  She was a real pioneer at the time and made Pilates really accessible for the public to share the benefits as well as just celebrities and dancers. I qualified to deliver it and continue to do so today.
Having been exposed to both yoga and Pilates, I have been drawn to realise that my body is MY body.  This means that I have control over it, (the original name for Pilates was Contrology) and that I can determine how it looks, how it thinks, how it reacts and how it ages.  
Yoga is a philosophy that is a way of life and Pilates is simply a form of exercise.  Combined they give me the freedom to take charge of my body.  It is for this reason that I started Self Love yoga and Pilates so that other women may do the same.

What inspires you the most and / or who inspires you the most?
I’m really inspired by people who aren’t afraid to be the first at trying something new irrespective of whether it is a success or not.  Also people who know their purpose and remain un-swayed by others.
Examples:
Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama, Malcolm X, and more recently Karren Brady, Oprah Winfrey, Shami Chakrabarti, Kathryn Bigelow, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Margaret Thatcher, Natalie Massenet, Williams sisters, Alek Wek, Benazir Bhutto, social media pioneers.

What is your favourite kind of class to teach?
I love teaching a yoga class that allows people to distance themselves from their everyday challenges.  Here they can find space to breathe, resolve, re-energise and reconnect.  

What are your favourite asanas? 
Arm balances have to be my favourite asanas because they take you out of your comfort zone and force you to connect intrinsically to your body.  
Challenging yoga poses are all about focusing on more than one body part at the same time.  If you transfer this concept off the mat into your daily life then it can fill you with confidence when dealing with the many curve balls that get thrown your way.
A good few arm balances require openness within the hips.  Many people have limited mobility here and freeing up this area can reduce discomfort within the lower back, knees and ankles.  It is therefore really important to spend quality time releasing tension from this part of the body and I will be delivering a ‘Hip Opening’ workshop in December 2013 to an create opportunity for this.

What’s your favourite gear to wear when teaching or practicing? 
Practicing in clothes that are like second skin is a true delight.  My practice clothes tend to have less style and colour than my teaching ones.  This means that they are usually clothes I no longer teach in and don’t mind getting sweaty and grubby - functional.  
On the other hand and together with comfort, my teaching clothes must inspire and motivate my students.  Bright, unique styles that represent my objectives are important to me.  My clothes should say ‘inspire, lead and make a change.’

When you are not teaching or practicing, what do you do to find your zen?! 
Family, friends and food all mean the world to me so being around them brings me immense joy.  
I also love to laugh so films, books, music, plays and incidences in life that induce this emotion reminds me that I am alive. 
I adore dancing and listening to music that represents my present mood.  This helps me to enjoy and stay in the present moment.

If you are lucky enough to be based in London and are interested in attending Nicolette's 'Hip Opening' workshop, here are some details...

SELF LOVE HIP OPENING WORKSHOP
8 DECEMBER 2013
2-430PM
64 TYERS STREET, VAUXHALL, LONDON SE15 5NL
CONTACT 07957 319117 / nicolette@selfloveonline.co.uk
£35 / £50 for two

Be inspired. Be motivated. Be empowered. 

Elle ;) x


p.s. I signed Nicolettes Guest Book on her website in May 2011 - this is what I said...

"Hi Nicolette, 

Just wanted to say first and foremost thanks for being such an inspirational yoga and pilates teacher!
I have been doing Pilates for 7 months now, Yoga for 3 months and it has made so many differences to my life!
It has enabled me greater control over my body, in addition to increased core strength which has improved my strength when Pole Dancing (Pole Exercise). It has also improved my flexiblity which enables me to be far more graceful!

Best of all, it's a welcome break during my working day where I can cast stressful thoughts out of my mind for that period of time, refreshing me, and making the rest of the day that much calmer!"
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