Friday, April 24, 2015

Friyay flow


A few fun snaps from today's Friday work party (lululemon style). We were treated to a beautiful yoga flow lead by one of our favourite teachers - Masha from Happy Melon, with drinks, nibbles, mingling and lots of laughter to follow. A massive thanks to the team who organised and put this event together for us. Such a fun way to launch into a fun weekend! 

A room full of lemons embracing half pigeon
(image credit: kchealthandfitness)
Chats and smiles with a handful of my favourite people
Snuggles with this adorable ball of wrinkles

Thursday, April 23, 2015

#joblove

Smiles with a beautiful work friend today
One of the hashtags used by the company I work for is #joblove. If you search it on social media you'll find thousands of photos and updates featuring stretchy pants, yoga mats, sweaty pursuits and smiling faces doing exciting things. It's part of our everyday culture - we do what we love and we love what we do whilst sharing it with other likeminded people.

I was chatting to a fellow lemon (aka workmate) today about how lucky we are to work for a company which values the happiness and wellbeing of it's team. We both agreed that if we were going to be spending 35+ hours somewhere every week then it was important it's a place that we wanted to be.

I got thinking about the concept of #joblove and what makes up an ideal career. I'm guessing the answer to this will be different for each individual depending on talent, location, family, ambitions and goals. Right now when I visualise #joblove I see freedom, creativity, purpose, connection, adventure and growth. However,  my vision is forever changing and evolving.

Have you found your perfect career path? What does #joblove mean to you?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

the annual cascade of autumn leaves


“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.” 
― Joe L. Wheeler

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

the best project

A quick and simple little share from the sketchbook today. 'The best project you'll ever work on is you'.

Monday, April 20, 2015

cafe lifestyle

coffee and study time today at my most recent favourite - 'Gardiner and Field'
I spend a lot of time in cafes. On the days that I need to do lots of studying or design work I usually adopt a favourite cafe as my office for an hour or so. (Luckily I have lots of favourite cafes close to home!) I like being out and about whilst also productive. I find the buzz and the atmosphere of working in a public place inspiring (and a strong coffee or two always helps get the brain working!) and believe it or not, I find it much less distracting than trying to work or study at home.

Today after attending a Uni class at Deakin I have settled myself at my current favourite - 'Gardiner and Field' - to complete some lab reports, discussion board posts and begin a major assignment.

My essentials for a 'perfect study/work cafe'?
1. Good coffee
2. Accessible power points
3. Enough tables for everyone (so I don't feel guilty taking up a space for an hour)
4. Friendly staff who don't mind me hanging out for a while
5. Cruisy background music

How do you find focus when you have a lot to do? Do you find yourself more productive working from home or from another space?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

vision and goals

my updated vision and goals for April 2015

Vision and goal setting is a huge part of our culture at lululemon athletica - the company that I work for.  Each of us participate in regular goal coaching sessions and are encouraged to think big, pursue our passions and work towards making our dreams happen. This aspect of our culture is one of my favourite parts about my job.

This morning I realised it had been almost 6 months since I'd revisited my vision. Many of the goals which I'd set in November last year had been achieved so I was excited to create some new ones! You can visit our website here to download our complimentary goal setting template and find out how to write your own vision.

This time I've reworked the original format into something which is more representative of me. I've included photos, illustrations and journalling with my 'by-whens'. There are no rules when it comes to goal-setting! Dream big, have fun and create something which fills your heart with excited butterflies!

Do you regularly set goals?
Here is a short video explaining what our vision and goals program is all about:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Happy Melon

selfie in the bathrooms before class
I went to a yoga flow class at the recently opened Happy Melon studio this morning with a couple of lemons from work. My yoga practice is very inconsistent (meaning non existent most of the time! haha!) but I was super excited to check out this new studio and after a busy week yoga seemed like the perfect way to give back to my body. 

From the Happy Melon website:

"These days we are more likely to recharge our devices than recharge ourselves. Happy Melon is a first-of-its-kind mind and body studio that blends meditation with yoga and dynamic fitness. We believe this powerful combination of mental and physical practices is the answer to living a happier, healthier and more conscious life. The life-changing benefits of meditation are numerous, from greater mental clarity, calm and patience, to increased energy and efficiency. Get the mind right, the body will follow."
a view of the studio
The studio is stunning and I really enjoyed the class this morning. I was able to lift myself up into full wheel and go into a bind for the first time! Yay! 

Where is your favourite place to practice yoga?

Friday, April 17, 2015

the whole world is a garden

One of my favourite  illustrations I've ever created titled 'garden'
“It's not that I believe everything happens for a reason. It's just that . . . I just think that some things are meant to be broken. Imperfect. Chaotic. It's the universe's way of providing contrast, you know? There have to be a few holes in the road. It's how life is.” 
― Sarah DessenThe Truth About Forever

Thursday, April 16, 2015

when life gets busy

savouring some sunshine on a lunch date with my friend Alicia

It seems a lot of people have had massively busy days this week! I've found my mind filled with new work projects, study assignments, creative ideas and choreography for group fitness classes. All exciting things - but man at times my brain has suffered from overload! I find getting outside into the fresh air (even for only a couple of minutes) the perfect and quickest way to clear my head and free up some space. Earlier this week I took an hour out to catch with a good friend for lunch and some sunshine in a local park.

What do you do to refresh your mind when life gets busy?

Here are a couple of other ideas I like to try:
- Taking a long shower
- Tackling an easy small task (such as cleaning the bathroom or doing the dishes)
- Taking 30 minutes out for some free creative time
- Going for a quick walk and listening to music
- Playing with my cat Lexi
- Changing scenery - e.g. moving from my desk to the park or a cafe
- Calling a family member for a quick check in

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

fear of flying


"In every moment we can choose fear, or we can choose love. When you operate out of love, you smile at strangers, you tip generously, you assume that other people have best intentions. When you live with love life opens up to you, like a blooming fuchsia rose. Opportunities present themselves, connections are made, and everything feels good. You move swiftly along with the wind at your back, and there is a sense of ease with everything you do." - Gala Darling

Right now I'm completely intrigued and inspired by the concept of identifying, facing and overcoming fears. What are you scared of?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

rainbows


I came across this older illustration I completed a couple of years ago and remembered how much I love this quote. 'Look up to the sky. You'll never find rainbows if you're looking down.'

Monday, April 13, 2015

recap from a workout with Michelle Bridges

workout in action - kettle bell swings paired with walking lunges
Yesterday at the Melbourne Health & Fitness Expo myself and a friend got to join a workout session with Michelle Bridges. We were hanging out waiting to be let in when a lady from management approached and offered us 2 tickets. Having just done Body Attack we were knackered but thought 'why not?' and took up the opportunity. 

The session was held in a pen in the middle of the expo which was set up with a range of weights, balls and kettlebells. We were joined by 6 other ladies and put through a HITT workout based on circuits and bodyweight movements. For most of the session we were in pairs working on reps for time. We did a few drills where we alternated exercises - e.g. one partner would do 10kg plate presses while the other did 10 sprints, then we swapped until we had counted the sprints down to 2 each - the goal being to get as many plate presses done as possible in that time. 

I really enjoyed the workout and came away not only sweaty, sore and a bit fitter but also with a few handy ideas to add to my own workouts. Plus now I've got a handful of snaps of myself working out with Michelle Bridges! Awesome, right!?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Les Mills One Live 2015

Body Attack 89 - so much energy in the room! How many Attackers can you count?
A few snaps from the Les Mills One Live event at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre which I attended this weekend. The event ran over two days coinciding with Filex. Yesterday I got to experience the new releases for RPM, CXworx and Body Pump and today it was all about Body Attack.

Pre-Attack 89 snap shot with these amazing GFI friends
My favourite part of these types of events is having the chance to spend time with so many other inspiring, talented and like-minded people. Instructors from all over Australia have the chance to come together, network and share the passion for their programs.

A pack of riders smashing RPM 67
RPM was the first release I got to experience and the class gave me goosebumps. We won't get the new music to be able to teach these releases for another couple of months, but I am already so excited! Watching Body Pump was absolutely spectacular - there must have been at least 400 pumpers in that room, all moving in unison in a fiery cloud of red. It was almost enough to inspire me to return to teaching the program again.

The most massive Body Pump class I've ever seen. Truly Epic to watch!
My highlight was Body Attack 89 which I participated in this morning. The energy in the room of a Body Attack workshop class is absolutely unbeatable and it was so fun to join a class taught by the brilliant Lisa Osborne. There will be more One Live events throughout the world over the coming couple of months. 

Have you ever been to a Les Mills workshop? What is your favourite program?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

the perfect pushup


An illustration I completed focusing on the pushup - one of the most functional exercises to master correctly. I remember a time back before I joined the gym when I was unable to do a single pushup on my toes - they are now one of my favourite movements! It's amazing how a few little tweaks and adjustments to form can really make so much difference to your results when performing an exercise. 

After a challenge? Check out this blog from lululemon athletica with 82 different types of pushups to master! Which is your favourite? 

Friday, April 10, 2015

dance with your heart

One of my recent illustrations titled - 'dance with your heart'

Thursday, April 9, 2015

one of those days


It's a chilly Autumn morning here in Melbourne. The air is crisp, the sky is cloudy and the ground is covered in crunchy golden leaves. I woke up in a bit of a funk today - you know those mornings where you're just a little bit off for no apparent reason. One of those. Grumpy. Not exactly my favourite way to feel. I'm not going to lie, I really wanted to lie in bed and stay cranky but that didn't exactly seem like the most productive use of a new day. So, instead I decided to focus on filling my morning with lots of my favourite things and be proactive about lifting my mood.

Here are a couple of the things which instantly put me in a better mood:

  • Hot strong coffee
  • A challenging workout
  • Chatting to inspiring people
  • Snuggles with my furbaby
  • Dressing in my favourite colours
  • Playing with paint and paper
  • Messaging a funny photo to an old friend

Pretty simple really. Nothing extreme. The little things. The actions I can do right now. Today.

What do you do when you're feeling out of sorts? What are the little everyday things which help brighten your day and put a spark in your step? 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

so what exactly is CXworx?

My 'CXworx kit' all ready to learn the current release.
CXworx is one of the Les Mills group fitness classes which I currently teach. When I talk about CXworx, I'm usually asked what it is all about, so I decided to write a little blog post about the program.

Taken from the Les Mills website:
"CXworx: based on cutting-edge scientific research, this program is the ultimate way to get a tight and toned core. With dynamic training that hones in on your abs, glutes, back, obliques and 'slings' connecting the upper and lower body. This workout will leave you looking good and feeling strong."

A CXworx class runs for 30 minutes and looks like this:
1. Warm Up - Connecting you with your core muscles and teaching you how to engage them.
2. Core Strength 1 - Increasing the challenge on your lower and upper abs, beginning to activate muscular slings.
3. Standing Strength 1 - Training your glutes, abs and sling muscles in standing and improving your awareness of how these muscles function in daily activities
4. Stranding Strength 2 - Increasing the demands on your glutes using squat and hip pulse moves.
5. Core Strength 2 - Training your obliques in three patterns of movement - laying twists, side hovers and mountain climbers in a plank position. This is 'superset' core training.
6. Core Strength 3 - Bringing your focus to the back muscles to improve trunk extension.


During a CXworx class you work with your bodyweight, a tube and various weight plates. Weights and tube strengths can be tailored to suit individual fitness and experience levels. The moves performed during a CXworx class are designed to have functional benefits - meaning, they are designed to help us function better everyday, whilst doing basic activities such as moving heavy objects, walking with the correct posture or bending/picking up a child.  I completed my CXworx module in 2012, but have only recently returned to teaching it in the last couple of months after a years break. Since I've returned to regular CXworx classes, the muscles around my core have quickly become much stronger and more powerful. I've noticed changes in the way I teach my other programs - my high knee runs are stronger, my tuck jumps higher and I'm much more stable throughout my mid-section.

The class teaches you how to activate your core muscles. When these muscles around your core region are switched on, your spine is better supported, which results in the body being more equipped to handle load without risk of injury. CXworx also trains correct breathing patterns. Through focusing on even, controlled and continuous breathing whilst performing exercises such as hovers and lunges, you will find yourself able to perform movements with more strength, intensity and with better posture. Constantly holding your breath whilst exercising can result in pressure being put on the spine instead of through the abdominal region. With correct breathing, comes better posture. When we have control over the muscles which control the position of our pelvis and spine, we are able to hold our bodies in better posture whilst moving and working with intensity. This type of training helps to prevent back pain and postural problems from occurring later in life.

What more can I say? Cxworx can be a life changing program!

Your homework is to go out and try a Cxworx class. Les Mills recommends doing Cxworx 2-3 times a week for optimal results. It can easily be slotted in around your other training sessions - the only precaution being not to do a Cxworx class before any heavy weight training. This is because your core muscles can become so annihilated during the class that they may not be capable of stabilizing you properly during weight training until they have recovered. Instead, tack a Cxworx class onto the end of your session or around your cardio workouts.

Give it a shot and let me know how you go!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

celebrating Autumn


Autumn is by far my favourite time of the year. It’s the season for enjoying cups of tea, introducing layers, reading in bed, savouring sunny mornings and exploring colour. Autumn marks the transition from Summer to Winter. It makes me think of warmth. Of burnt orange and navy. Mustard and charcoal.  It's a season of contrast and change. The season of releasing old and embracing new. Letting go. The beginning of a new cycle. 

I've spent the first month of Autumn reflecting and pondering over the goals I set at the beginning of the year. Am I staying true to myself or have I veered off track? Is the vision I've created the right one or am I forcing myself to adapt and be something which isn't necessarily right for me?

At the beginning of 2015 a friend sent me the link to Susannah Conway's ebook Unravelling the year ahead. I wanted to take the time to work through it but I let the email get lost in my inbox during the holiday season and the intention slipped my mind. Last night - a whole three months later - I remembered. Usually I use the beginning of the new year to write my goals, but suddenly Autumn seemed like the perfect opportunity to revisit the pages.

And that's what I will be doing over the coming week. Working my way through Susannah's ebook and realigning myself with exactly what I want 2015 to look like for me. If you haven't already I encourage you to jump over to her blog and download a copy for yourself. It's complimentary and absolutely beautiful.

How are you celebrating Autumn this year? 

Monday, April 6, 2015

thoughts on nourishment


After lots of indulgences over the Easter long weekend, I'm focusing on nourishing my body properly this week to restore balance and energy to my system. For me this means lots of smoothies, juices, herbal teas, fresh vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. This also means consistent workouts, plenty of sleep, lots of water and ensuring I have quiet moments each day to indulge in a little 'me' time.

I feel like I won't be the only one reining in their health this month. My Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of 'diet' posts and 'fitspiration' memes this morning. I'm all for inspiration and those who know me know that I love a good motivational quote. However, what I don't support are the promotion of deprivation and guilt. Life is so short - it's meant to be explored and enjoyed! I love trying new foods, indulging in sweet treats and enjoying a meal out with friends and family - and you know what, I'm totally ok with that! I've learnt over the last few years how important it is to find that healthy medium between looking after myself and treating myself. Balance is the key - emotionally, mentally and physically.

So if you too are looking at getting back on the health bandwagon after an easter break - take a moment to consider…

When do you feel your best?
What can you do right now to help you feel that way?
And, how can you make the experience happy and enjoyable?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter

A little Easter inspired creative play
Happy Easter Sunday! It's amazing to think it is already April - it's crazy how quickly 2015 is travelling! I like to think about Easter as a time of renewal. A time to refresh and rejuvenate. Here in Melbourne we have had a lunar eclipse, a change in daylight savings and Easter all over the one weekend. So many shifts and changes in energy. 

It's so easy to become distracted and lost in the busy hustle bustle of everyday life. I've taken the time over Easter to relax and let myself chill out. I've started to create some new goals, reconnect with my vision and realign with my focus for the coming year. Spending time with friends, with family and some precious moments with myself.

How are you celebrating Easter?