Grounding: science and spirituality.

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People freak out when you talk about grounding for fear that it’s a bit hippy or just not scientific! It’s science babe it’s science. The big secret is that Science and Spirituality (and Art) have always been talking about the same thing; one using quantitative analysis to communicate the other using qualitative. (Reality can be ‘measured’ or ‘felt’)

Grounding (putting feet in soil) is soothing, physically, for feet and therefore calming emotionally and mentally, breathing in fresh air and seeing the sky etc people can feel a spiritual/emotional connection with the world.

At the same time the body is an electro-magnetic system. The Earth gives off a -ve charge and when your body has gone through stress, trauma, illness (or you’ve just been an arsehole) it tends to be carrying more free radicals which have a +ve positive charge. These are then neutralised through connecting the two bodies; earth and human. Literally grounding any excess charge.

If you ever find yourself prejudging ANY form of knowledge at all you’re being emotional not rational. 😃

Train Heal Breathe is about researching all forms of free healing!

Delicious Plant based fuel

The journey to becoming vegan has led to me to find the most delicious easily digestible training fuel that also smashes my daily nutrient goals: iron, Vit C, Vit E, Potassium.

And includes key minerals that many food diary aps don’t consider like magnesium, copper, zinc that are fundamental to a healthy nervous system i.e. chilled and balanced with good energy levels✌️.

I’m working hard to help share the knowledge that you have to fuel serious training and although you cut down on processed foods, you actually increase the amount of quality fuel (calories) you eat.

So yeap my recipes have calories! But they are all natural, wholesome, nutrient rich, delicious calories! Check it…

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Ingredients

1 pink grapefruit (skin removed)

1 large organge (skin removed)

70g frozen mango

5g root turmeric

5g root ginger

30g shelled hemp

10g milled chia

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Take care in the sun! Winter bodies seeing sun for the first time..

Please. I mean it. It’s nearly midsummer and our skin has barely been in touch with the air for 6 months let alone the sun (unless you’ve been on holiday lately). It’s particularly dangerous this year because this fresh wind is clearing the pollution in London and we’re getting south of France style powerful sun.

Make the most of it, get out into your local green space, enjoy the trees, the people, the atmosphere of warmth, don’t hide inside (!). But pay attention because we are jumping from one season to another, 20 degrees within 2 weeks!

Behaviourally (wearing different clothes, carrying sun cream/glasses with us, water) and biologically (skin not conditioned to sunlight, hydration levels not adapted to change in temp, mineral salt loss increases through sweating) we are not adapted to the change in season. Arguably this is the most vulnerable time of the year for the human body, going from cool to hot

Overwhelmed by the excitement of hot sun for the first time we easily mess up and get burnt, dehydrated, heat stroke or even worse sun stroke. But at the same time we need Vit D desperately! So many illnesses are related to vit D deficiencies and it’s a natural anti-depressant too.

I love the sun but I respect the sun too. I try to sunbathe in the shade at this time of the year, wear suncream if skin is in direct sun or cover up, only sunbath in direct sun in the early morning or evening and use a timer. We all make mistakes and get caught short but the aim of this blog is help avoid it.

As we go through the season you are more conscious of what you can handle (my legs rarely burn but upper body is more sensitive to light) and the sun becomes weaker too so it’s easier to manage. It’s this time of the year that we have to be vigilant!

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Respect Mother Nature and take care! Here’s some tips on how to take responsibility for your body in the change in season from spring to summer:
(This is directed at UK or anyone going from 6 months of no sun to sun)

1) Don’t drink alcohol in direct sun. If you can’t handle heat drink be even more careful (and ideally don’t drink!!
2) Know your skin!!! Humans have brains so we must use them! Every single person has slightly different skin to the other. Amazing isn’t it. So it’s your responsibility to not get burnt. 10 mins sunbathing could burn one person and barely touch another. If you haven’t had sun on your skin for 6 months be aware this weekend.

3) Don’t do any training in direct sunlight, only early morning or evening or under shade, if you can’t handle heat you shouldn’t train between 12-4pm. Drink extra fluids throughout the day and bring extra to any workouts. Be careful not to overdrink whilst training too thought!

4) Use a timer if you’re sun bathing, be aware of the strength of sun: its at it’s strongest a month before and after midsummer (Saturday 24 June) May to Aug.

Sunbathing under a tree is nice. But remember the sun moves so set a timer.

2pm is Very strong

1pm and 3pm strong

12pm and 4 pm still strong!

5) Don’t fall asleep in sun!!!

6) Wear sun cream if in direct sunlight! There’s organic sun creams if you don’t like chems. Or the mottled shade of trees (gets you a nice light tan!) or long sleeve light thin clothing. Loosely woven cloths will allow vit d in whilst protecting you.
7) Think about what’s on show when walking about, every minute counts. If your arms and chest are out then you must use some sun cream or cover up (because your mind will be on other things).
8) Take water with you everywhere! You be ver know when you might need it, there’s pollen and really hot transport to contend with. Ideally have a little fresh lemon or lime, some fruit juice in the water to rehydrate most efficiently. Watermelon is ideal rehydration ratios of water to sugar for training too.
9) Take a hat with you everywhere to protect the heat of the sun from your head.

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2016/02February/Pages/NICE-issue-new-guidelines-on-sun-exposure-warn-tanning-is-unsafe.aspx

Later on in the year the sun is less strong (further away from mid summer) and our skin is more conditioned from summer and behaviourally we are used to wearing protection and considering it.

Have a great bank holiday weekend everyone! It’s usually raining so enjoy and take care.

I think I’m an inversion addict…

 

#inversionaddict

I’d seen the hashtag for a long time before I realised! I still saw it as ‘other’, those clever people who can do that stuff. I think, because, I was still focussed on where I needed to go, rather than what I had become. Looking at the photos in this blog, I’m smiling, I’ve achieved some stuff. Stuff I NEVER thought possible at the beginning or even halfway through. I had faith in the process, that training made me feel good in the short term. On that day. (Check out my blog Little by Little for motivation on getting started)

As you grow stronger on the journey you naturally try new moves and often don’t realise they’re impressive until you see someone’s reaction! Check out my instagram… for more. And here’s some of my you tube links:  headstand on beamassisted headstand on beamOlympic Rings.

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My goal was and still is to conquer handstand, by which I mean hold it at will no support and eventually on parallel bars. It’s taken me a long time because I developed headstand strength first, which is more core and neck. And for handstand, despite strong wrists for barwork (pull ups, push ups, dips) and punching, my 90 degree wrist strength needed a lot of work and shoulders loosening.

However once I took a step back and gathered my thoughts I realised, that despite all the work that I have to do on inversions, that I too was a #inversion addict! (about 40% of my instagram shots are me up-side-down lol).

 

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Storytime

It began 9 years ago, it shocks me to say that, feels so recent and so distant at the same time. I’d been working in the office on and off for 10 years (minus 3 years for study). I had dabbled in some dance classes and mini workouts before a long steam but in short I had zero fitness, zero strength and absolutely no core.  At 28 I still looked fine on the outside but I could feel something was wrong on the inside and the rest would soon follow if I didn’t do anything. A looming darkness that something wasn’t right; IBS symptoms, depression, SAD, anxiety and insomnia. I had no idea what the answer was at the time and that training would become my new way of life.

I tried a yoga class at work and realised something profound: I felt like I should be able to do the moves but I couldn’t; it was weird seeing people holding one legged stances and pulling off headstands, I was shocked to the core. What had happened to me? I was really active at school. I didn’t know at this point that you could change your body to be able to do the movement you want (through A LOT of hardwork :)).

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I was a long way off a headstand, in fact 4 years off (training for around 4 hours a day 5 times a week).  Your body knows when it’s not ready and I wasn’t ready. Some people were and I now know why; they had core.

[Piece of advice, when someone tries to tell you you’re lacking confidence because you don’t want to try something, ignore them, your body knows best. It’s moments like these when you get injured. Your body will naturally want to try a new move when it’s ready.]

Inversions are for all levels of ability

Inversions, however, are for everybody of all levels. An inversion at it’s most basic level is standing up on straight legs, bending over and letting your head hang. All the way up to gymnastics bars, olympic rings, flips, headstands, parallel bars…

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no handed ankle weight headstand

Balance mind body and soul

They are an invaluable way of balancing the body system: physically, emotionally, mentally (and spiritually, in brackets because you can ignore it if you wish).

Physically you are putting your heart and lungs above your head. This is calming. It lowers the blood pressure (so any conditions of this nature ask your doctor if it’s ok.)

If you’re feeling mentally stressed it helps clear the mind just by holding your head upside down. If you put your head in the soil you’re ‘grounding’ your body too!

Naturally you feel emotionally calmer from being still, focusing on breathing and lowering your head; extreme emotions like fear and anxiety seem to be balanced by the physical system working against gravity and pumping blood the other way.

 

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How to use an inversion in day to day situations

If you’re in a stressful environment or dealing with a difficult situation I highly recommend taking a minute out to go to quiet spot, empty meeting room, or even the toilet, put your back against the wall and lean over. This will stretch your hamstrings as well. Let your head hang as long as is comfortable, then gently raise, take a few deep breathes once in the up right position before moving. Make a note of how you feel after!

I find submissive poses (like the one below and the one described above where you’re not exerting yourself like in a handstand) help release painful knots in my back and realign my spine after tension.

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Hence my brand logo: my all time favourite go to move in any stressful situation: THE PLOUGH!

Finally an excellent way to cool down.. 

Even for those who have no interest in being upside down, I still recommend it to give the joints a break from the usual angle of force and pressure that you do in your regular training. Much like swimming it gives the lower body joints a break. And it is an excellent way to cool down from a workout.

If you want to book a PT session with me get in touch! book a PT session

Join the Facebook group for tips and inspiration

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Food

   

So much information out there, science meets medicine meets food companies and profit. Public Understanding of Science is the official name i.e. what science research papers conclude vs what the public understands. What lies in between the two? Newspapers, tabloids, New Scientist, Facebook articles, gossip, TV, self-declared fitness and nutrition gurus/personal trainers (!) and general food fashion and trends. 

Even if you’re a qualified dietician or nutritionist, research into nutrition, health and weight loss is fast and furious and therefore difficult to keep abreast of. You have to personally dig into papers and compare to government advice; research on the net, look at the official, look at the unofficial, then relate to your body and quirks. Yep you have to be your own expert.

When it comes to food the most natural form and the least amount of time from Earth to mouth will provide you with the most nutrition and fuel (frozen foods freeze time in a sense). The colours of fruit and veg have a tantalising effect on our minds.  Alluring. This is a healthy food mind connection and something you can trust. A deep instinct to replenish vitamins and minerals in the body through contrasting and vivid colours.

There are no short cuts in the fitness game. You have to buy the food, prepare the food and eat the food then… You can train. And of course you can’t forget the importance of positive intent when cooking!

Food deliveries can help http://www.organicdeliverycompany.co.uk 

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CORE workout

Straddle Pike Core

Client Sophie has advanced to the deep stuff. Oh yeah. Today we worked on Silent Strength. The Yin of exercise. SLOW movement. Everything is about speed these days. I’m into form and core developing alongside speed and power. Speed and power on their own lead to injury.

So we did suspension training, dance conditioning, deep stretches and inversions very very slowly. Poise, form, control, consciousness, feeling the minutiae of muscles, ligaments, weak spots, working out who you are physically!

The slow movement movement….

A session like this can be adapted to all levels and is offered as part of the journey you’re taken on when you buy a series of sessions. Sophie started out this journey like everyone else just looking for weight loss but after 18 months is on a new dimension of body strength and fitness. Although most people come to me wanting high intensity sessions to get rid of the fat quickly, the value of spending time holding positions and developing deep core strength is critical for long term health, fitness and peace.

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Size 18 to a size 14: Marie’s story

Outdoor Adidas gym in Homerton.

Outdoor Adidas gym in Homerton.

Running in Wick woods. Beautiful green space in Hackney Wick.

Running in Wick woods. Beautiful green space in Hackney Wick.

Marie has been training with me in East London since October. We’ve been doing outdoor fitness sessions once a week including: running, skipping, outdoor gym (assisted chins, pull ups, leg raises, dips), TRX and weight training.

It’s a joy to announce she’s gone down from a size 18/20 to a size 14! And has lost 10cm off her waistline.

It’s not just the 60 min training sessions we do each week that have contributed to her fitness it’s her attitude! After she was diagnosed with diabetes earlier this year Marie has transformed her diet. Her food and nutrition ideas are a massive inspiration to me. Check out her instagram account here: http://instagram.com/mijosy

She’s also been training at home 3 times a week doing free weights, skipping and yoga.

So exciting to watch the progress, see how her amazing attitude transforms her body as well as inspire me with her recipes!

If you want to buy personal training sessions for a Christmas present get in touch! 30 min free consultation and food diary analysis included in all multi buys. Prices are as little as £40 an hour if you buy ten and can be split with a friend for no extra cost.

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Make training fun

Pavillion Cafe Victoria Park

Pavilion Park Cafe Victoria Park

Getting training going if you’ve had a break or are starting out (even if you’re training hard but getting bored) has a lot to do with making it fun. Start to lose the bad associations with exercise and make some positive ones.

For example I love a really well made coffee. So I train in an unconventional way that helps me get going in the morning, brightens up my day and takes away the chore element of training. I plan the run to call by my favourite coffee spots and incentivise myself by knowing: a) I have a nice coffee waiting for me so get out there! And b) after I’ve had the coffee I’ll get a buzz from a full on training run!

I’ve not met many runners that do this! The pre coffee run is a warm up and the post coffee run is training. I get a high from coffee and running/training/dancing. It’s a cardio buzz as well as making use of any adrenalin from the coffee in a constructive way.

If you’re having trouble getting motivated have a think about what would make you get out there. It’s ok to make training fun and integrate it into the things you enjoy. Don’t worry if you train in a different way to others, everyone is at different stages. All that matters is you try and do something towards your inner goals. And that’s it. You will feel good about it after and so the positive spiral begins.