My Personal 2016 Wellness Wrap Up!

♥ local lunar babe @chi.borrello

Hey 2016! You were actually an awesome year for me, thanks for existing and allowing me to exist through you. I love to reflect, so the following are some of my health & wellness highlights:

Self-care became the top priority. After a few years of insane stress + anxiety, working 24/7 & zero holidays, all of that changed when I finalised the sale of my old business. Actually – it took a little longer if I’m being honest. At first I felt relieved, but also out of sorts. I’d been working so much that it felt wrong to have downtime, so I started freelancing & picked up a few ongoing marketing clients who were all AMAZING, and the extra money was terrific, however I was back to working 7 days a week and exhausted. Any days off I had from my regular job I was face deep in other work & I was burning out. Something had to shift, but I wasn’t sure what it was quite yet. All of this lead to…

Another life changing Bali trip (full review to come soon!). In June I spent 10 days in Ubud with my boyfriend & bestie, and it changed everything. We decided to create a DIY yoga retreat, this meant 2-4 yoga classes per day, meditation, incredible vegan food, loads of coconuts, cold-pressed juice & kefir, Ayurvedic treatments, pool time, a little exploring & lots of rest too.

It was here that I realised what I had been doing. I was focusing so much on work that I had absolutely no time to take care of myself. Being constantly tired, daily 2-3 hour afternoon naps, fluctuating moods & regular junk food cravings had become my new normal. I knew what I had to do.

As soon as I returned home I contacted my clients, thanked them for being wonderful & bowed out. I now enjoy 2-4 days off a week for the first time in around 5 years and have never felt healthier.

♥ Sunshine + cats!

Moving House + Sunshine!. Prior to my Bali trip, probably the biggest event of the year occurred. I moved house! From my teeny tiny falling apart-ment of 6 years, containing zero sunshine opportunities & zero landlord fucks (the place was practically in disrepair, but I did love it), to a giant, beautiful old house with a cat, huge backyard, plentiful slices of sunshine, AIR CONDITIONING (a big deal!!!), fireplace, amazing kitchen and a million other great things. Let it be known that having space to dance around, a couch outside to enjoy the morning breeze & birds, loads of flowers & trees, and a little bit of heating/air conditioning does wonders for your overall wellbeing – who knew 😉

Seeing a Naturopath. I wrote a big article outlining the reasons why I saw a Naturopath when I was feeling healthier than ever. And I can now attest that it’s absolutely one of the very best things that happened last year.

I’d seen Marnie a few years ago and loved her down-to-earth approach. I was already feeling great, but knew I had a few lingering deficiencies that could be improved upon. Actually they were pretty important ones! My iron was incredibly low (just below the lowest acceptable minimum) and my vitamin D levels weren’t great either, more than likely due to living in the no-sunshine-home mentioned above.

Both of these have a huge impact on mood and energy. Having struggled with intense chronic anxiety and low energy in my life, I knew it was time to get on top of these once and for all. I’m now spending a little bit of time in the sun every day, taking Vitamin D supplements to help & taking Iron supplements too. Interestingly, low iron is a pretty slow fix. It may take up to 2 years to get the levels to their peak, but I’m feeling better every day and excited to continue on this journey to full health. If you need a Naturopath I can, and always do, highly recommend Marnie Downer in Mount Lawley / Inglewood.

♥ Running around Lake Monger

Running. I’ve always found it difficult due to the aforementioned anxiety and low iron, however in June of last year I decided to recruit a friend and finally give it a real go. We decided on Couch to 5K, which is an 8 week program available as a phone app or you can just time your runs (the app is much easier!). This program does as it says and gets you from the couch, to being able to jog without stopping for 5K.

I have a confession to make, however! Due to my yoga teacher training, other fitness classes that need to be taken as part of my job, sicknesses, weather and general life – my pal and I are actually only up to ‘Week 5’ of Couch to 5K!!! But we’re both okay with it. At the beginning neither of us could jog for even 60 seconds and we are now able to cruise through 5-8 minute runs without collapsing. We’ll get to the full 5K this year 🙂 The mental and physical benefits have been fantastic – increased confidence, calmness, flatter stomach, better sleep, increased overall fitness – the list goes on.

If you are able to stick at it 3 x per week as the program suggests then you will get there much quicker than us, as we’ve only been able to squeeze around 1 per week in.

Hot Yoga Revelations. Listen closely, I’m about to share something that might change your life, as it is starting to do so for mine. So, as you may have gathered I do a bit of yoga and take a few fitness classes, partly because it makes me feel fantastic & partly because my job at lululemon requires it (cool job!).

What I’ve only JUST realised after all this time, is how incredible I feel the day after a hot & sweaty yoga class, but the kicker is that it HAS to be in a heated room. Why? I have absolutely no idea yet! All I know is that the day after sweating it out in warm to hot yoga, I feel INCREDIBLE. The only way I can describe it is a childlike feeling of joy and contentment that permeates through the whole next day and often lingers into the next.

You best believe I’ll be experimenting more with this in 2017!


So that’s my wellness year laid bare for you, I’d absolutely love to read your personal wellness discoveries of the year – and if you have any exciting plans for 2016, so share with me in the comments below!
🙂

Be well,

Annette xo

Exercise Review: Bikram Yoga Victoria Park, Perth!

There’s most certainly a right and wrong way to go about Bikram Yoga. I learnt this the hard way. My first session I turned up in my standard gym gear = long yoga pants, a t-shirt and a leotard thing (so I can bend this way and that and not have my belly fall out), and realised my mistake as soon as I entered the studio. The vast majority of the 30-ish attendees were wearing what I first thought were bikinis, but turned out to be Bikram-intended gym gear. These people had the right idea. Before I’d even started, I had condensation dripping from my eyelashes.

And there’s definitely a learning curve. The three sessions I went to followed a pattern – I would arrive, enter the room and be freshly shocked at HOW warm Bikram yoga is (40 C), lie down on my mat and start to feel like I was adjusting and this might be okay – then the instructor would enter and we’d start moving. I lasted 40 minutes in my first session, overdressed and not hydrated enough, and drove home bewildered and drenched.

My second attempt was far better. I wore as little as I was able and attended an evening class, meaning I had a whole afternoon to get hydrated enough in preparation, which made a big difference. I left the room twice to pace around in the air conditioning before heading back in, but I still stayed until the end of the 90 minute session. I considered this progress, and decided to give it a third shot to see if I could top that effort.

Third session was exhilarating. I didn’t leave the room, though I did sit sweating on my mat to recover every once and a while. But I still stayed for 90 minutes and emerged sweaty and victorious at the end, feeling like I’d proved to myself that I could adjust to what felt like an insurmountably difficult physical challenge.

And the end result is fantastic. Once you’ve rehydrated (and I deeply recommend the Chi Coconut Water available at the front desk) you feel godlike. You’re energised, ultra limber and have all those good aches that tell you you’ve done well.

My particular Bikram was at the newly opened Bikram Yoga Victoria Park – and I had three different instructors over that session. The circuit of poses was identical each day, which was a small mercy since there was a collective boneless relief when we moved to the second half of the session (the stuff on the floor). Our instructors all wore headsets and talked continuously through the 90 minute class. Granted, they weren’t doing the full exercise that we were, but they were still demonstrating, wandering between people and fixing postures. It struck me as incredibly exhausting. There must have been some serious tolerance build up in that.

Ultimately I had a really positive experience – I feel like I was worked hard and got results, and the staff were professional and friendly. I’m even considering some of those Bikram bikini things. I’m a sucker for nice new gym gear.

♥ There are even showers you can use before/after class!

Bikram Yoga Victoria Park has a rather awesome beginner’s deal that I’d recommend: Ten days of unlimited Bikram for $20!

I spread my three sessions over five days, and the amount of improvement I felt just in those three sessions drives home for me that it really is something that needs to be done in bursts, multiple sessions in close proximity. Karen, the vibrant and ultra-fit Studio Director confirmed as much by very gently suggesting I come back for the third class, and I’m glad I did. (She also clarified for me that I was not, in fact, drowning in my own sweat, but in an ungodly amount of condensation. This is very reassuring). Can I also suggest that you remove all makeup before heading in there? I finished a session looking like I’d emerged from a screening of The Notebook.

Bikram Yoga Victoria Park

Unit 1, 345 Shepperton Road
East Victoria Park, Perth

Ph: (08) 9470 5700

E: info@bikramvicparkperth.com.au

Have you tried Bikram Yoga before, or want to? Does the idea of heat-based exercise excite or scare you? Lets chat in the comments!

Review by Suzanne from Don’t They Know Who I Am?

Be well,

xoxo

Exercise Review: Bikram Yoga, Scarborough, Perth.


I had done hot yoga a couple of years ago when the first Perth studio opened in North Perth. I was completely impressed by the long list of health benefits, but in all honesty, I wasn’t a fan. It was just soooo hot.

However, two of my best friends had been going to the Scarborough Bikram Yoga and raved about it. One had a bad back and was told he wouldn’t run again, now his doctor is considering his appeal to run another marathon. From nothing to 42.2km! The other is just as much as sport nut and had bad knees. She’s gone from ITBs so tight she faced the dreaded “roller” every night after exercising to not needing it all and just competed in a Half Ironman triathlon. There had to be more to this yoga than a hot room. I had to go back.

My first session was hard. I counted the minutes and felt every bead of sweat dripping down my legs. The first exercise was a breathing one and the darth vader sounds were freaking me out, I felt claustrophobic. I didn’t notice what the yoga was doing for my body, I just did what the instructor said and waited for it to finish. One of my buds was there and applauded me for getting through the first session without having to lie down or leave the room. I felt a flicker of pride but admitted I wanted to leave, I just couldn’t get past the heat.

However, I had five sessions to trial and I went back for more. The second session couldn’t have been more different. My head had wrapped around the concept of the heat and I used the breathing time not wondering if I had packed a light saber, but on opening my lungs. Despite telling my friend that I hadn’t done any proper stretching in the first session, I now found myself in deep hamstring stretches, reveling in the glorious feeling of these tightly wound muscles lengthening. I noticed my quads strengthening in various poses and my hips opening in others. Suddenly the class was over… it had flown by and my body was singing, skin glowing and face smiling. It was an “aha!” moment where I realised that once you get beyond the heat, Bikram does incredible things for the body.


More things I like about Bikram Yoga – nobody seems to be body conscious. Most people wear sports bras and short shorts and the men don’t wear tops, practical for the heat. Nobody cares what anybody else looks like (well except me, I took note of a few exceptionally fit looking footballer types… only on the first session of course, before I was transformed) and they seem to embrace their bodies in this class. Nicer than gyms where people seem to punish their bodies rather than revel in them.

I also like that it detoxifies the system. With all that sweat, make sure you’re putting back in at least an extra litre of water than you normally would and your skin will boast the benefits.

Make sure you take a yoga mat and towel too to avoid the couple of bucks charged to hire them from the studio. Give Bikram at least three tries, apparently most people struggle like I did on their first go, but go back for another couple of tries and you will have a completely different experience.

Article by Lisa O’neill, Freelance Journalist and Bikram yoga convert!

More info;

http://www.bikramyogascarboroughbeach.com.au/
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Bikram Yoga Scarborough Beach

A: 19 Scarborough Beach Road Scarborough 6019
P: (08) 9341 6095

Be well,

xoxo