Regular readers will know that Fitness On Toast is all about pursuing a lifestyle of healthy, natural ‘wellness’; with that in mind, this post is sponsored by my friends at Yes To, a natural skin & haircare brand to which I was introduced a few months ago, and which really struck a chord with me. I work out 5 days a week, and as a consequence of such regular showering, I’m constantly searching for nourishing products that are kind to my hair and body! These products are almost edibly natural (think carrots, coconut oil, blueberries, avocado, grapefruit), but are also ethically conscious, affordable, work a treat and smell delicious – all important, to my mind! I used them after this awesome ‘Anti Gravity Yoga’ session at Virgin Active Mayfair last weekend; I spent a good hour suspended mid-air, mostly hanging upside down in a bright red hammock – and I LOVED it! Click MORE to see more about the session and discover my Yes To kit of choice 🙂
1) YES TO
As part of pursuing a natural and healthy lifestyle, I believe that what I put on my body is just as important as what I put in my body, as well as the exercise that helps condition it. Having grown up on a farm in Sweden, I’ve always eaten naturally-grown ingredients and avoided unhealthy foods, including those which are chemically processed; that same ethos applies to the products I put on my body, which I think should be healthy and free from chemicals too. Yes To has me covered, as all of their products are at least 95% natural (some even hit the 99% mark), formulated without parabens, SLS, phthalates and silicones and all of their packaging is recyclable. Whilst most natural products seem to cost a small fortune, these are super-affordable and the skin, hair and body care ranges of six different fruit and veggie families are tailored to meet the needs of different skin and hair types, meaning Yes To should have you covered, too.
After any sweaty training session, I make a routine out of jumping in the shower, washing my hair (here I used the Carrots Nourishing Shampoo), and popping some conditioner on too (here I use Blueberries Smooth & Shine conditioner). If I have time, I’ll leave the conditioner on whilst I sit in the sauna, to give my hair more of a deep restorative treatment. Working out almost every day does take its toll on the hair and body which is why I think it’s so important to get the right products. The whole Yes To range can be bought from Boots 1/3-off at the moment and the company are also sampling their ranges and running in-store competitions at selected Boots today (this Saturday) so keep an eye on the Yes To UK Facebook page to see if they’re in a Boots near you to try the range for yourself! I used this fruit-and-veggie powered collection last weekend after discovering the following awesome class…
2) THE ANTI-GRAVITY YOGA CLASS
I’ve always believed that trying out new classes is a fantastic way to stay in shape as they ‘shock the body’ a little by dispatching with predictable routine, take you out of your comfort zone slightly, and variety is after all the fiery spice of life! Led by the fabulous instructor Simon, this Antigravity Yoga session incorporated elements of Pilates, Yoga, and Acrobatics which delivered a really compelling full-body workout; the whole body is constantly in motion and being stretched, which feels wonderfully liberating as well as challenging! Some poses lengthen the muscles, whilst others require them to turn out pure strength and static holds!
As per my recent post on the benefits of headstands here, many of the same benefits apply for the inverted yoga poses; the theory being that sitting or standing, gravity pulls fluids downwards, thus by hanging upside down, the circulatory system is reversed and cleansed. As per the following excerpt from that post:
This system is made up of the heart, lungs and the entire network of vessels that provide oxygen and expel carbon dioxide and other waste products from the cells. Arteries fan out like a delicate and detailed system of tributaries from your heart, which pumps nice freshly oxygenated blood onward from the lungs. Veins bring the blood back to the heart and constitute a low pressure network that relies on movement 0f muscles, or indeed gravity, to get the blood flowing. Various valves stop backwash, at regular intervals, and make sure fluids are kept moving onwards as they travel to the heart – that’s a system called ‘venous return’. By turning one’s self upside down it promotes this process of venous return!
The difference with anti gravity yoga is that it doesn’t apply the same degree of compression and weight to your shoulder neck, spine, or indeed the rest of your body, as you are suspended. It can help improve your posture, and the inverted poses are said to help lengthen the muscles, as well as encourage the lubrication your spine.
If you’re willing to trust the hammock (which can supposedly hold the weight a baby elephant, though I’d imagine nobody has yet put that to the test), you can can release your inner child and experience a real endorphin release – it’s a totally different experience and a great laugh!
As with any class, I’d suggest that you really listen to your body. Some of the poses are quite tough and you don’t want to put too much pressure on your lower back, or over-stretch your shoulders for example. Simon assisted expertly, which makes a big difference to one’s sense of confidence.
This post is part of a sponsored collaboration with Yes To. Please see my Disclosure Page for more about why I take on projects like these.