The world of health and fitness is changing and I am totally jumping on board this new idea of 'balance'.
I went to my first Asana X Ale on the weekend thanks to AKYODA CREATIVE which was a hybrid of my two favourite (often contradicting) things - beer and yoga. The class was taught by the gorgeous Rhiannon Edwards who owns YabYumYoga in Victoria Park and it was truely amazing.
The event itself I will get to in a bit, but first I want to touch on why this resonated with me so much. The idea of beer and yoga years ago would have been frowned upon, but now it's so much more accepted and it got me thinking, are we the hybrid generation?
I mean think about it for a minute, the fitness world in particular is going crazy with these new hybrid style workouts and studios. Whether you like a combo of yoga and Spin in one class, a mixed format HIIT session, or a bootcamp-style training that combines multiple machines and floor work, there's something for everyone out there. What's unique about Asana X Ale is this is a hybrid of two types of lives, not just workout formats. This is the hybrid of the fitness lover and the party animal (or alcohol enthusiast). In the past, if you were one, you certainly weren't the other or perhaps you were judged for trying to be.
For years I have struggled with the feeling of being a walking contradiction. To my friends i've always been a party animal who loves a night out and a drink, but over the years my attention has turned to the health world for a number of reasons and I've struggled to promote my love for it. When I became a yoga instructor and health coach 4 years ago I became riddled with anxiety (ironic right?) because I felt that if I was seen out drinking by my students, wasn't vegan or had a coffee binge every now and then I was being inauthentic. I would post on social media about my classes but fear that my friends were all questioning my direction or thought I wasn't being genuine. This honestly caused me a lot of angst over time as my friends would make little comments and I'd find myself justifying what I was up to all the time and being riddle with guilt if I had a night out.
The reality is, we can't be perfect all the time. We all have our quirks, our habits and only recently have I let go of the judgement I had on myself and said its ok to be both. I make it no secret that I live a relatively insane life, with a thousand things going on at once and having a drink at the end of a long week of teaching, radio, filming, blogging, studying is my absolute saviour. I eat well, exercise and look after myself, but every now and then I need a little blow out with my friends!
Don't get me wrong, I feel a lot more switched on and mentally healthy when I haven't been boozing, we all do. I just don't beat myself up when I have a hangover any more because it's likely I had the best night out with friends. We would have been connecting, sharing, dancing and losing our inhibitions just a little in order to be vulnerable and open up - all things that fill my soul. I am not by any means supporting binge drinking or anything of the sort, I'm just supporting being human, having our vices and keeping them in check. Having such strong restrictions on ourselves can cause so much stress. I've tried diets and punishing myself if I ate pizza or any kind of starchy white food and the more I thought about it, the more obsessive I became and the more unhappy I was. Balance is so important and as i've reached my 30's I can truely say I have found it.
I'm honest and open about who I am and wear my heart on my sleeve as most of my friends will tell you and because of that, I am a better teacher and a happier person. I exercise a lot because I have been blessed with an insane amount of energy. I do HIIT classes and weights to burn that energy off and Yoga to help me wind down, be present and slow the world to a normal pace.
Asana X Ale was held at Creatures Next Door and it was the perfect venue for an event like this. Rhianna took us through a beautiful Vinyasa Flow which incorporated a strong use of breath, sighs and letting go of our ego. The music was modern and her approach gave us a lot of space to move freely, get a hang of the sequence and then make it our own. I jumped up to take a few photos but I didn't last long as I was enjoying the practice so much I wanted to just lose myself in it a little. The class went for an hour and then afterwards we were treated to some Little Creatures Pale Ale and Fremantle Elsie WA Ale which I hadn't tried before (It was delicious just FYI). We got to mingle with some like minded yogis and all in all it was a really beautiful event. If I've got your attention and you'd like to attend one of these events, keep an eye out here:
I'm truly loving the developments in the way we approach Yoga. I love the tradition and the old world yoga that has been around for centuries but this new flare and hybrid yoga that's developing is giving everyone a chance to connect to a style of practise that relates to them. Yoga can be intimidating if you are someone who fears getting too deep but I feel now it is becoming all inclusive and you can chose just how deep you want to take it. Yoga is all about removing judgement and as teachers, as long as we can keep authentic in who we are and mould that into the way we teach you can really create a genuine community. As long as you love it and keep it 'real' the right crowd for you will gravitate organically.