I am a yoga lover. It’s been a part of my routine for over a year now and my body has been thanking me ever since. It’s not just great for my body, but my mind is different with yoga in my life. It’s more clear and more focused. I can relax instantly just by using breathing techniques. It simply de-stresses me so that I feel centred and balanced.
A couple of weeks ago, I booked myself in for a pre-natal yoga class with Ina Becker at Sansara Yoga to start modifying some of the yoga positions for my changing body and expanding belly.
I learned that prenatal yoga is not really different from regular yoga. There are some modifications that can be made once your belly is heavy and in the way, but the biggest thing I took out of the session was the ability to stop, focus on and connect with my growing baby. Life can get busy and I am guilty of cramming as much into my day as I can. My mind jumps from one task to the next, but yoga gives me the chance to stop. Be present. Breathe. Check in with myself and especially at the moment, check in with my growing baby. Even though I can’t see it, I can feel it. I can send it love and nurture it. I can bond and give it my attention and focus. I can give it more oxygen through breath. All good things!
Here’s a few of my favourite poses that just feel sooooooo good right now.
Yoga is for everyone. It doesn’t discriminate. It gives you breath, peace and flow. Those that do it regularly know this… those that don’t, give it a go. You won’t be sorry. xxx
I was a gym snob.
For the last 14 years of my aerial skiing career I have rarely set foot in a public gym other than the ones I’ve used when overseas. I have been fortunate enough to work out in the privacy of the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) amongst the best minds in strength and conditioning, sports science, nutrition, physiotherapy and some of Australia’s best elite athletes…the list goes on. Needless to say, I was a massive gym snob.
My experience of using public gyms in the past had left me with undesirable images. Guys staring at their chests and biceps in the mirror, forgetting that their legs were the size of toothpicks. Or of women in full make up cleverly coordinated in the latest gear. Trainers asking me why I do certain exercises. Regular people sipping on protein shakes and amino acids. My thoughts were always, why? What for? I couldn’t understand why non elite athletes were so obsessed with working out? What drove them? (more…)
Our bub weighs as much as a turnip!
It was a busy week this week with interstate trips, work, doctor checkups as well as heading back to Mt Buller to catch the spring snow and the annual Abom Mogul Challenge. I’m feeling tired in general this week…. and just trying to juggle everything as best as I can.
The 17 week mark is a funny stage of pregnancy. My work out singlets are starting to get tight and I’ve had to pack away some of my non stretch jeans (see you in about 6 months!) I don’t quite look pregnant yet…I just look like I have a gut. It’s the annoying, in between stage. High up in my cupboard I’ve been eye-balling a stuffed garbage bag marked ‘maternity’. I know I’m going to have to haul that down soon enough and pack away the clothes that are now or soon to be redundant. The joys!
Our bub is the size of an avocado!
All ‘growing’ fine this week. One thing that strikes me more this pregnancy (compared to my last) is the difference in my belly size in the AM as opposed to the PM. When I wake up, I generally still look normal and my bump is not overly pronounced, however, come evening and it’s tripled in size! I did some reading up on it…but to my disappointment, I didn’t find any scientific explanation. Forums suggest it’s common symptom and it’s just gas build up throughout the day. However, it would be nice to know for sure and is on my list to ask my obstetrician.
Anyway, I’ve attached my gym program that I’ve been doing whilst in the 2nd trimester. It’s a mixture of exercises I’ve done in the past particularly for pelvis and back stability as well as strength building. They are general exercises that I feel comfortable doing at this stage of my pregnancy. These are in addition to the pelvic floor and TvA exercises I’ve posted previously in week 9 (which I will do throughout my entire pregnancy). It’s important to do all of these exercises slowly and stay focused on control and technique.
* All the exercises I post on this blog are just what I do. I’m familiar with these exercises and my body. They may not be suitable for you. If you’re unsure, get an expert opinion, be sensible with your body and know your capabilities!
Gym workout: 2nd Trimester
Phase 1: Warm up/activation
1. Walking TFL stretch
Over 2 years ago I was asked by my good friend and talented producer Katie Bender if I wouldn’t mind a feature documentary being made about me. My instant reaction was – seriously? Who would want to watch a documentary about me? A typical Australian reaction – we’re always ones to downplay ourselves…or at least I am.
I’ve always had issues with watching myself on TV. I think I was scarred in childhood. My (beautiful loving) mother video taped all my gymnastics competitions as a kid and whenever we had visitors around (which in my family is constant), she would bust out the tapes and show off my latest victory -or crash (which my brothers preferred). I HATED watching or hearing myself and to be honest, I still do but have learned to suck it up. I have no problem with doing video analysis, but I will never sit down to watch myself on TV. I discretely leave the room if I know I’m about to be on…weird.
So getting back to the documentary. I thought about it for a while. I thought about my son Kai whom I was dragging around the world to training camps and competitions. Surely he would feature in it and what a great thing to at least have him documented? I thought about the sport of aerial skiing. A small sport filled with amazing characters (past and present) doing CRAZY flips and twists off massive jumps. We make it look easy, but trust me, it isn’t. Surely the world would like to see that? The last time a movie was made about aerial skiing was in the 80′s – a movie called Hot Dog. I thought, maybe it was time for an update?
Lastly, I thought about myself. I thought about my story and what I had experienced in my athlete life. I had accomplished a lot and experienced so many moments of extreme joy and elation. But mostly, my career has been anything but smooth. I’d been riddled with injury and setback that constantly shook my confidence and tested my resolve. I thought about all the shit I had gone through to come out gleaming in Olympic Gold. And if Olympic Gold wasn’t enough, I wanted more. I wanted to break new ground. I wanted to go further than any female aerialist had gone before. I wanted to do the quad twisting triple – a trick only the men had mastered. Oh yeah…. AND I was going to do it as a mum. (more…)
Just like our muscles, our mind needs constant training and conditioning. It’s our mind that gets us through high-pressure situations. It’s our mind that gets us into and out of ruts. Don’t underestimate its power. Our mind decides all.
For over 10 years now, I have travelled religiously with 3 books. These books go where I go. They are worn and torn but I’ve never grown tired of the content and valuable information inside. I’ve read a lot of books relating to sports psychology, self-improvement and anything that would up skill my mind to make me a better athlete and person. Whilst there are lots of great books out there, none have resonated the same way as those written by long time mental coach and friend Jeffrey Hodges. I’ve played his audio tracks throughout my entire career, so much so that when I hear his voice, I feel instant calm. His voice played inside my head to keep me in form, to get me through injury or to get me out of a slump in confidence, motivation or self-belief.
Working with Jeffrey Hodges (like other gurus I’ve had the pleasure of working with) has changed my life. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, his material is GOLD and worth every penny!