Balance is a concept central to any yoga practice. Physical balance of course, moving through tree pose, half moon, or mountain pose, staying upright, finding your focus and summoning your strength. But in a yoga practice you also learn to think of balance more metaphorically, finding your centre, moving at your own pace, striking an equilibrium between effort and ease, and learning that balance – physically or metaphorically – is not a state of being, but a recurrent act. I am not balanced, I am balancing.
I am no yogi, nor a fitness fanatic by any means, and I would not want to be. However, at 40 I am as fit as ever, comfortable in my skin, feeling pretty great… I stay in pretty good shape. For me this is all about balance. Living life in moderation, in a city of excess – Miami.
It all comes down to eating well and getting in some kind of exercise in a few times a week.
Eating healthy is my main focus. I take a hard line on bread and fried food, I barely ever eat them. I try to keep to grilled and seared foods, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. On a typical day I have oatmeal or an egg over easy for breakfast with a black coffee. Before the gym, usually around late morning, I take creatine – it gives me a little kick of energy for my work out and boosts my results.
After a gym session I have a protein shake – chocolate peanut butter with almond milk and a banana… frozen. My favourite. From there things get more interpretive I try to keep to my grilled and seared code but I make space for my favourite foods – sushi, pizza, and tacos. May be a steak for the protein if I feel I need to bulk up.
Fads and specialised diets – macro, vegan, paleo? I can’t do it. I won’t. I don’t want to be that person. Every once in a while I indulge because you aren’t really enjoying life that much if you can’t have a cookie every once in a while are you?. Stay fit and healthy but enjoy yourself.
Once a week, I hit the gym. Forty-five minutes of heavy weight-lifting to increase muscle mass and tone. No cardio. For flexibility and balance I do yoga which also works my core. Hot Yoga (Bikram).
I got into Yoga at the recommendation of a classmate in my Spanish lessons. I stayed because I love the challenge. It’s extremely difficult at first, you feel like you will pass out by the end. It’s super-hot – around 104˚F and 40% humidity. When you aren’t used to it you sweat profusely though now I barely break a sweat. I shred weight very quickly in the class – I can lose 3 lbs in water weight alone from one class.
An added benefit of hot yoga compared to other yoga is that is a detox. Sweating and working out your muscles are on fire, your blood is pumping, and toxins are leaving your body. When I am finished a session, instead of feeling tired I feel energised and ready to get to work at one of my businesses… or to hit the scene in Miami.