Spring has sprung! A new season means new beginnings and the perfect opportunity to take some much needed time to restore.
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Emma Seibold, Founder Barre Body
Emma founded Barre Body, a ballet, pilates and yoga inspired method in 2012, since then it has grown to have studios all over Australia. I recently attended their new Newstead studio and love the beautiful space and the workouts, it is wonderful for improving posture and flexibility and it will burn those thighs! Plus there is time for relaxation at the end of class.
1. Tell us about the moment that led you to the pivotal moment in your decision to start Barre Body?
After I had my first baby eight years ago, I started incorporating barre into my postnatal exercise routine and fusing it with my yoga practice. I saw pretty incredible results in a really short time (like weeks) and I felt the best about my body I’d ever felt which is saying a lot only a few months after having a baby. My husband and I saw that the barre trend was huge in the US and he suggested that we open a studio and with my wellness, yoga, business and marketing background, it seemed like a fantastic way to create a brand I loved and move my body (which I love!). It all happened very quickly and we opened the first studio when Xavier was 6 months old and it’s been all go since then. We now have eight Barre Body studios as well as Bende in Byron Bay. We have a huge training business and an online studio (Barre Body Online) with over 200 streaming workouts, and we’ve recently launched an online training division which is hugely exciting.
2. Tell us about why Barre is the ultimate workout for women?
I really love it because it’s so holistic. We tone and stretch every part of the body delivering incredible physical results while really nurturing and caring for our clients and helping them to build their positive body image. It’s a magical workout and the teachers, clients and studios really contribute to a beautiful experience.
3. As a mother, do you have advice for how women can integrate exercise into their lives when they have a baby or toddler?
That’s where the online studio is so amazing. After I had Xavier I was doing about 120 minutes of barre a week at home in front of the TV – about 30 minutes x 4 days a week, but the 30 minutes was broken up into 3 x 10 minute sessions on the days I had time. If a mum just commits to 10 minutes, it’s really easy to do and is just as effective as doing the whole workout all at once.
The other obvious suggestion is lots of walking with the pram. I love walking and a pram just adds a little extra resistance.
But the most important thing for a new mum is to be kind to herself. She might not have the time or energy to devote to exercise for months (or even a year or two) and I think that’s totally ok. It’s a huge new job that she is doing and oftentimes it takes every last bit of energy. If that’s the case, I suggest that she walks when she can and dials up the positive self-talk and self-love as much as possible.
4. What is your favourite thing to do shrug off winter once the weather warms up in Spring?
I absolutely love to pack away my winter clothes and get out my spring/summer wardrobe. It really makes it feel like summer and good times in the sunshine are coming.
Shannah Kennedy, author of The Life Plan and Restore
I read Shannah’s book The Life Plan a few years ago when I was in a stressful part of my business and it really helped me so much to clarify and condense what I really wanted out of my business, and my family life to make me happy. From all the multitude of paths we can take, it can be overwhelming, confusing and stressful to know the right path. Shannah has just released a new book called Restore and you can buy her books here.
1. Tell us about the moment that led you to the pivotal moment in your career change?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, adrenal burnout was a turning point in my career. After working 7 days a week for years, with no self care strategies or boundaries, I burnt out. It robbed me of my health for years and it is still something I need to manage today. This lead me to pursue life coaching after working with a coach for 2 years to manage CFS. My goal was to coach athletes into retirement as I was in sport sponsorship for years and 20 years ago, no one supported athletes once they were retired, so I studied life coaching and opened my business.
The life plan is a work of experiences, skills, tools and structures for people to work through for clarity, calmness, simplicity and incredible inspiration for life.I wanted to write a book that was also incredibly beautiful (like a cookbook) so that people would be drawn to learning life skills – what we are not taught at school, the secrets to life, to work on and master – the basic fundamentals for success and happiness.
3. Being busy in the modern world seems to be worn as a badge of honour but we know that it can lead to burnout. How do you recognised the signs that you need to take time for self care to prevent this from happening?
The great warning signs of burnout are feeling stressed, fatigues, anxious, tired all the time and the beginning of aches and pains in the body. This badge of honour costs us our health, both mentally, physically, emotionally and physically. For people to thrive, to be able to give and and glow, we need to protect the asset, to nurture and nourish ourselves, to reconnect with the most important person in our life, ourself. When our tank is full, when we truly are inspired and motivated because we have clarity, goals, direction and vision for ourselves (see the Life Plan) we can live mindfully with energy, joy and be able to give back fully to others without resentment or losing our energy.
4. As a mother, why is the message of THE LIFE PLAN book so important?
Because mums are the anchor, the glue of the family, the amazing and incredible women that need to master the juggle. Our tanks are actually the most important. We also are the ONLY ONES that can refuel ourselves, adopt self care strategies, create boundaries and connect back with our values. This is our own responsibility. We need to be the driver of our lives, not the passengers, to own our journey and how we feel, how we approach situations and create the environment and routines that support us the most.
5. What is your favourite thing to do to restore yourself?
I have my bookends of the day – my daily AM and PM rituals that keep me grounded and light. In the morning I do some breathing work, set my intention for the day, move for an hour (walk or yoga), drink 500ml of water and have my to do list ready. This is how I start my day BEFORE I touch my phone or wake my family. My PM routine is before bed – wash face, teeth, do the mirror work of self love, write in my gratitude journey and do some breathing work, set out my clothes for the morning exercise and set the alarm (no phones in bedrooms) Then it is lights out! I do love a good massage as my treat or to just sit in my backyard on the couch in the sun – love it!
Elise Catchlove, Vedic Meditation Teacher
I had read about meditation and had tried multiple variations over the years – guided, mindfulness, and failed to take it up regularly. I knew there was scientific and anecdotal evidence from friends of it’s benefits for relieving stress, improving focus and clarity but I just couldn’t ‘get it’ when I tried. Everything changed when I was fortunate enough to have attended By Catchlove’s Vedic Meditation course in Brisbane. She teaches a very simple technique which is very easy to learn and stick to, leaving you feeling very relaxed with increased clarity and calm. Elise is a gorgeous person inside and out and I highly recommend the course for everyone to CEO’s to mum’s managing the never ending juggle.
1. Tell us about the moment that led you to the pivotal moment that led you to VM?
There wasn’t so much a ‘moment’…but rather the realisation that after years of dealing with anxiety and doing nothing about it, something had to change. To be honest, I was a highly functioning anxious person, which I think is why I managed to avoid dealing with it for so many years. But I hated that it was so prevalent in my life and it was really holding me back from a lot of things – basically anything that triggered anxiety, I would point blank avoid. This meant making conservative decisions in my life and my business - I was playing small in a big way. Anxiety can be so self-sabotaging and limiting.
2.Tell us about why VM is the perfect meditation alternative for people who have tried other forms of meditation such as guided and haven't found it be something they could stick to.
Vedic Meditation (VM) /Transcendental Meditation (TM) is an effortless technique – it requires very little effort and no control of the mind. Most people think that meditation is about stopping the mind from thinking or clearing the mind of thoughts. I think this is the reason why many people don’t stick with meditation because it just feels impossible. Thankfully this is not the case with VM. Thoughts are a welcome part of the practice and this is incredibly liberating when you have tried other techniques in the past and felt like a meditation failure. With VM, you are given a personal mantra by your teacher and then taught how to use your mantra effectivity and it’s the effortless use of the mantra that allows the mind to settle down into its own state of inner stillness. It’s also a self-sufficient practice which means it can be practiced anywhere and at any time – on a bus, plane, train, while Peppa pig plays in the background – no apps or headphones required, which makes it the perfect style of meditation for people with a lot on their plate and who need an adaptable technique.
3. Being busy in the modern world seems to be worn as a badge of honour but we know that it can lead to burnout. How do you recognise the signs that you need to take time for self-care to prevent this from happening?
This is an important point and I really think this whole, ‘busy as a badge of honour’ culture needs to change. We all have full plates, myself included, but we must also be conscious of how much stress and fatigue is costing us – mentally, physically, emotionally and financially. I would argue that self-care is imperative for everyone who lives in the modern world but in particular, if you’re feeling fatigued, overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, depressed or lacking motivation, then self-care needs to be put at the top of your list to prevent serious burnout.
4. Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, assist in sleep and improve focus. A lesser known benefit is enhancing creativity, do you have insight into why this can happen?
Yes, absolutely. There are a couple of reasons for this. When we meditate Vedic style, we are actually laundering the body of accumulated stress, tension and fatigue and re-calibrating our nervous system. We’re also transcending the active, busy part of the mind and accessing a very deep state and a state in which our greatest human potential lies. This state is unsurprisingly where our unlimited creativity resides. It’s the combination of ‘clearing out the junk’ and tapping into this deep state of awareness that allows more creativity to bubble up and become fully realised by our conscious awareness. When we’re stressed and overwhelmed, it’s very difficult to experience creativity because we haven’t created the space for ideas to be realised …It’s just a wonderful by-product of meditation and something so many of my students have experienced.
5. What is your favourite thing to do to restore yourself (apart from meditation).
Going to the beach for a weekend getaway. I love the ocean. I think it’s incredibly therapeutic. But there are lots of things I do on a daily basis to keep myself in balance. I eat in a very balanced way with a focus on whole-foods, I drink filtered water, I research and read about inspiring things, I get fresh air – just simple things that are so often over-looked when we’re living in a stressed and overwhelmed state of being.
Take the opportunity this Spring, to restore and rejuvenate yourself. You deserve it.
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