SunGod- #LifeLooksBetter #AdventureProof

activity, adventure, snowboarding, Travel, Uncategorized, winter, women, women in sport

SunGod- #LifeLooksBetter #AdventureProof

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Okay okay, it will be a shameless sales pitch for my favorite goggles but either you’re on here because you’re my friend and you are being supportive which is awesome! Very much appreciated OR you want a genuine recommendation from someone who puts there goggles and sunnies through A LOT OF STRESS, WEAR AND TEAR. I have never been one of those who keeps there goggles in the box, looks after them like a piece of gold, no, I am more like throw them around, drop them on the floor and generally being a terrible owner!

In previous years I have gone through one or two pairs a season, a cost that I simply couldn’t keep up with.  I thought I had hit the jackpot when I finally got myself a pair of the magnetized Anon goggles but they turned out to be just like the rest. I mean it was hella cool that the lenses simply popped on and off and they were very user friendly but at the end of the day, I have the same issue with every pair I own- rather embarrassingly, I HAVE THE HOTTEST, SWEATIEST FACE EVER!

It’s the same vicious circle, hiking or riding in the back country, getting a hot face, the goggles steam up, I try to let them cool down, they don’t, I panic and end up touching the inside. My own fault I know but when you are at the top of a run in the middle of nowhere or worse, at the start gate of a comp (which has happened 4 times), I’ve had no choice but to clean the inside with a goggle cloth. However after a while, this cleans the anti fog coating from the inside and you end up with damaged goggles.

However, here comes the plug, my SunGods have been my trusty back country companion for the entire season. I personally think it’s the bigger the better for goggles and the Custom Revolt model is perfection! Not only that but the goggles stay cool and dry for every adventure, from piste cruising to back country shredz, I am totally over the moon with the models! The Custom Classic glasses are totally cute too, plus they are study, durable and can take a beating too- specially when they are on and off, shoved in a package, taken on numerous crazy adventures and still help protect your eyes and look effortlessly cool!

It’s worth mentioning that SunGods are really cost effective, not as pricey as other models on the market but still performing really well! I have a 20% off code coming for you guys really soon so keep checking my FB and Insta and you could pick up the goggles and sunnies with a huge 20% off! CLICK HERE TO SHOP

In the mean time, you stay classy and let me know what your plans are for the winter, if you need any help or advice, I am here for ya!

 

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“One Of Us”- My Most Inspiring And Empowering Friends

blog, blogger, lifestyle, positivity, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, skitouring, snowboard, snowboarding, social media, sport, strength, Travel, twitter, Uncategorized, winterseason, wintersport, women, women in sport, Yoga, yoga lifestyle

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” —Maya Angelou

Today I wanted to share with you, my most inspiring and empowering female friends. These women are next level. Along the way, I have met them, known them and learnt from them and that is what is truly beautiful. These days, it’s so easy to become competitive and see every female as a “threat”, this notion is ridiculous to me. We should cheerlead one another to ensure that no matter where you are at in your life that you recognise an achievement of your fellow women, then you will surely find that you begin to feel empowered and encouraged. Together we are a team, we are queens, total badasses and YOU ARE “ONE OF US”.

First up: Tijn Vuijk

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Tijn is an absolute babe! She has long since been one of my favourite freeride buddies. She has taught me to push myself further, workout harder, eat better and strive to reach my potential. Tijn thinks I am totally crazy and is always there to keep me grounded. I trust her with my life, you get to feel this way when you ride back country with someone you trust, you know they have your back! Right now Tijn is focusing on Yoga, fitness traveling far and wide to ride the most gnarley lines out there! Follow her on Instagram!

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Next Up: Annika Färjh

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I am so glad to know Annika! This season I knew I wanted to find a gal I could ride back-country with, a gal that I could share the amazing experience of freeriding with. Plotting lines, laughing, talking and looking after one another. Although the snow conditions have not yet offered Annika and I the best conditions, I am over the moon she will be killing it in the Freeride World Qualifiers this year! She will be making her debut in Chamonix, a resort she knows well. She rides like a total bad ass and she slays on the daily. This season will be epic as we get to share it together! Follow her on Instagram!12961548_10156782897265057_6139346731874128925_n

Marte Tveten

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Marte has been a pal of mine for a few years now and I am so glad to know her. She has been a really generous and all round top gal to have around. I have competed with her a few times and every time I was so impressed. Marte has such a wonderful attitude to life and to riding; relaxed, happy and ready for any feature that comes her way. Marte goes big every time and to me, she nails it! I can’t wait to hang with her in Verbier, absorb some of her good vibes and ride as hard as we can! Follow her on Instagram

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Kjersti Buaas

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Now Kjersti, although I have not had the pleasure to know her in person, she is someone I look up too. For years I have followed her snowboarding journey from freestyle to freeride and everything in between. She is killing it at life. Kjersti oozes positivity and good vibes, even through the medium of social media, I love reading about her outlook on life and how she rides day to day. Kjersti is another cheerleader for women and I love to see that, if she inspired me, she will surely be inspiring others to feel empowered through snowsports! So Kjersti, I hope for a day when we can shred together and if only a smidge of your awesomeness rubs off on my, I will be one happy snowboarder! Follow her on Instagram

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Alexa Hohenberg

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Alexa is so cool! Alexa started one of the best blogs I know, “Still Stoked”. The message behind the blog is incredible, sharing stories, talking to amazing women in the extreme sports industry and spreading the love. Alexa is a sick rider and I can’t wait to shred with her, maybe this season if I can get the pennies together.Alexa was the one who published the article that lead to one of my best performing posts about women just being wonderful and not feeling the need to show flesh for followers. Ladies, you don’t need to do anything you don’t want to do, be awesome, be you and ride wherever your heart takes you! Follow her on Instagram.

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Last but certainly not least- Mirte van Dijk

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Mirte!- What a gal, she is killing it. Mirte is the editor in chief of Taste Magazine which is a gnarly awesome snowboard publication. Mirte is also the sickest content producer, she has a real eye for photography. Mirte is a kind hearted and lovely person to be around, when I met her in Verbier a few years ago, I felt instantly at ease in her company, I guess that’s is a natural side effect of hanging around with someone who is the definition of chill!  Follow her on Instagram. 

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So there you have it! Enjoy, let me know what you think in the comment section below, let me know who your favorite female rider is and why? Who inspires you the most? Share and spread the love!

Peace ❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄

Conscious Caucasus – Europe’s Last Wilderness | VAUDE

activity, adventure, Cross Trail Biking, europe, fitness, fitspiration, fitspo, girlpower, girls, health and fitness, instagram, MTB, nature, outdoors, snowboarding, Training, Travel, Uncategorized, women, women in sport

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Another absolutely incredible demonstration of Vaude’s deep and meaningful connection with the environment. This video features some really amazing females outdoor enthusiasts and all round athletes, but also helps us remember to be respectful of wherever we choose to ride and indeed whatever discipline that be in- whether it is Skiing/Snowboarding or MTB and hiking. This respect encompasses our literal environment foot print but also our impact on local wild life and and eco-system of the area.

I very often head to their YouTube page to watch their array of edits and promos as they all have a clear message. I am really loving how strongly they feature empowered females on the channel and this video is a top example.

Whats more you will learn a thing or two about Armenia, I think I speak for all of us when I say we could stand to gather a few more valuable factoids about this clearly beautiful and naturally ore inspiring country.

This is what Vaude had to say:

The Caucasus is perhaps Europe’s last wilderness. The mountain range between Europe and Asia is home to the Caucasus leopard, Europe’s last big cat, and many other endangered species. For over twenty years, the WWF has been helping to protect as much as possible of the Caucasus’ natural regions under threat from people and has been helping to make these areas available to the public for sustainable tourism. A great opportunity for bikers Sylvia Leimgruber and Susanne Huth. Together they set off to see learn about the WWF project and to personally experience the unique hospitality & culture of Armenia.

Production: Third Pole
Riders: Susanne Huth, Sylvia Leimgruber

Subscribe: http://vd.cm/channelsubscribe
Website: http://www.vaude.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VA…
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VAUDE_s…
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/v…
Outdoor Movies on this Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/pla…

Summer Training- Part 2. The Plank Challenge.

activity, adventure, fitness, health and fitness, snowboarding, sport, Training, women in sport

Hello there folks,

How is everyone? Well I hope. I thought it was about time to check in with my Summer Training Update Part 2. This is totally something everyone can try and is NO WHERE NEAR AS HARD AS IT SOUNDS.

Recently, on Facebook the world record holder in the plank position showed up on my news feed, it’s like 8hrs or something crazy and I was flabbergasted to say the least. I struggle with my current timings of like a minute so that sounds just mental. Then later purely coincidentally I saw a post about planking for some seconds every day to improve toning and over all vitality. I read it and thought I would customise it to my own training standards (helping get Ski Season Ready). I personally do other exercise as well to aid in free riding but this is totally up to you, it’s simply a hopefully, helping suggestion.

So first before I tell you how to start the plank challenge, let’s review why it can be  beneficial for you:

1.) Planking is a body weight exercise that requires no money investment, very little time, no equipment and allows you to see the results happen in a short space of time. That’s all the key ingredients of a good “workout” right? It’s certainly speaking my language!

2.) Planking, in conjunction with many other muscles, allows you to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles help strengthen your back and help protect against injury. In the snow sports industry, your back its suck an easy area to damage, so theoretically speaking, strengthen your tummy, help protect your back.

3.) Improve posture. This is ideal for skiers and snowboarders, as better posture means again, spinal strength and another step in the right direction of preventing injury.

4.) Planking is an excellent position to improve balance. Balance is the magic word in skiing and snowboarding. Having total strength and awareness of every muscle makes you so much more adapted to harder tricks and general over all agility in your descent, whether you are on piste or off. This is why I still profess every snow sport enthusiast should be supplementing their days on the hill with a short yoga session. But continuing on that theme, planking helps you isolate your abdominal muscles, your lower and upper back along with your bum! It helps you build on your balance through that inevitable, yet satisfying burn of holding a body weight exercise position.

5.) Get sweating! I don’t know about you guys but planking can certainly help me work up a sweat, especially if a full mixed position 20 min or so work out. Sweating when exercising for me, has a direct line to that illusive part of the brain that releases all the happy hormones. One way to help me feel in control, happy and poised is exercise. Sometimes if i need a little boost, I don;t need to go do a 60 min work out, I can simply do some of my favorite yoga poses or plank for a few minutes. This helps make me feel grounded and overall improves my personal vitality.

Okay so, sounding good so far? I haven’t lost too many of you right? Well then, let’s explain how you can get started right now. Do variations of these poses for as long or as little as you like. Do only a few of them or do all of them.

1.) Basic Plank- Down on your forearms, BUM DOWN and toes on the ground, Nice strong line and hold. Min 20 seconds. increase the amount of time the more confident you get or the more time you have.

Rest 10 Seconds

2.) Basic Push up Position- Palms on the ground, press up position, BUM DOWN and toes on the ground. Nice strong line and hold. Min 20 seconds. Increase the amount of time the more confident you get or the more time you have.

Rest 10 Seconds

3.) Twist Plank- Take the principles from Basic Push Up and twist your hips from side to side. Don’t dip all the way to the ground but stretch left to right so you can feel your external obliques (The lower side muscles in your tummy).  Min 20 seconds. Increase the amount of time the more confident you get or the more time you have.

Rest 10 Seconds

4.) Raised Leg Plank- Take the basic principles of the Basic Plank and swap between raising your left leg then your right leg. Keep your weight nice and grounded through the foot touching the ground and the raised leg should be extended out nice and strong.

Rest 10 Seconds

5.) Side Plank- This one is a little more tough balance wise. However once you have it, its great, its probably my favourite now. Keep one palm down on the ground nice and sturdy. Eg, start with left hand palm down then with stability and strength place the left foot on it’s side and stack the right foot on top. Then right arm up in the air, shoulders in line. Then swap over. Another variations of this include; Incorporating a great yoga position is to raise the top foot and leg to a 45* angle to the grounded leg- If you can, grab your big toe of the raised leg with your peace fingers on the extended arm.

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My gal @erinellisx showing us how it’s done in Italy. Looking super strong, toned and fit!

THAT IS IT! There are of course many more variations of plank but this is my favourite sequence and already after a short amount of time my stomach feels leaner and it’s great to do while watching a bit of Netflix!

Follow me on Instagram @angelicasykesuk and on Snap chat “Angelica Sykes”.

Freeride World Tour Calendar Announced! A celebration of 2 fallen athletes.

activity, adventure, Alaska, America, avalanche safety, backcountry, big mountain, bigmountain, chamonix, determination, europe, explore, facebook, fitness, fitspiration, fitspo, France, freeride, freeride world tour, freerideworldtour, freestyle, good vibes, Italy, nature, offpiste, outdoors, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, skitouring, snowboard, snowboarding, snowsport, social media, sport, strength, Summer, technology, Training, Travel, twitter, Uncategorized, wellbeing, winterseason, wintersport, women in sport

OH IT’S ON! BIG TIME!

The calendar is out, it has been unveiled and now the athletes can big their rigorous training regime to ensure they can pip the others to the post and WIN the champions freeride comp.

This year, more so than ever, the FWT team should use every comp stop as a chance to celebrate the lives of the 2 incredible riders that we lost this year, Estelle Balet and Matilda Rapaport. The Freeride World Tour and the Freeride World Qualifiers- that I am a part of are, in their essence, an insanely awesome competition series to be a part of. There is, generally speaking, a lot of LOVE, FRIENDSHIP and GENUINE SUPPORT AND HAPPINESS FOR THE SUCCESS OF OTHER PARTICIPANTS. That is another reason why the freeride world is separate to that of the freestyle. The vibes are great and seen as we a small but buzzing industry, we are about the celebration of this progressive and demanding sport which is FREEride. Estelle and Matilda would want everyone in the FWT and FWQ to continue, with a sense of mindfulness and a new understanding for the elements. These ladies were pioneers and continued to push females in the sport, even to their last days. That is why, this year, let us rejoice that we ever had the honor, the pleasure and the experience of having met or ridden with this incredible women.

So the set up is as followers:

HAMONIX-MONT-BLANC, FRANCE
28.01.2017

VALLNORD-ARCALÍS, ANDORRA
11.02.2017

FIEBERBRUNN, AUSTRIA04.03.2017

HAINES, ALASKA, USA17.03.2017

VERBIER, SWITZERLAND01.04.2017

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the updates when they come in! Then when the dates come along, as I can assure you they will quickly, the summer is already escaping us which is crazzaaayyyyy! before we know it, we will be tuning in to watch the FWT athletes show the world why they are some of the most ore inspiring athletes in the world.

https://www.instagram.com/freerideworldtour/

https://www.facebook.com/FreerideWorldTour

https://twitter.com/FreerideWTour

https://www.youtube.com/user/FreerideWorldTourTV

 

Filming, Riva Del Garda- Summer Training Edit

activity, adventure, fitness, health and fitness, Italy, snowboarding, sport, Summer, Training, Travel, vegan, women in sport, Yoga, yoga lifestyle

Hey everyone.

 

I hope all is well. I am so excited about this project I have been working on and I just had to tell you guys all about it! I have created a brief for you guys to have a look at so you know what’s coming.

Now some of you will know that a good few years ago now I lived and worked in Riva at the northern most tip of Lake Garda. Last year I was of course in Bardolino but Riva will be where my heart lies. It is steeped in natural beauty and with a wealth of culture and undeniable summer vibes, I simply had to head back there for my next filming project.

This summer, I am making a real focus towards health, well being and vitality. Riva was always a place where  felt all those concepts came together. Don’t get me wrong, within the context on “Summer Training” I don’t train like this all summer, but the edit will show some activities you can do to stay fit and healthy during the down season. You don’t need the literally incredible back drop of Lake Garda for running, yoga and MTB but for the purpose of project, it certainly helps.

I will be blogging, Snapchatting and instagramming the whole week so I hope you beautiful people will come with me on my adventures. Add Snapchat “Angelica Sykes” and follow me on Instagram @angelicasykesuk.

I am also really stoked to hang out with a coll crew. With a couple of my besties living out there, I simply can’t wait to kick back and enjoy a little slice of summer heaven with them!

Summer Training Edit- How to Stay Season Fit and Keep Motivated During The Summer Months 🌊

Location: Riva Del Garda, Tenno, Arco.

Discipline: Yoga, Trail running, MTB, Paddle Boarding and Wind Surfing.

Theme: Pop Music, Social Media, Bright colours, big smiles, style and practicality, health and fitness- good food.

Collaborations: Vaude, Sweaty Betty, SunGod optics, Naturya, Fatmap and Bloc eyewear.

Social Media Platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Youtube, Vimeo

Length: 5 -7 minutes

Camera Equipment: GoPro 4 Silver, TomTom Bandit, Canon

Filmers: TBC

Photographers: TBC

Editiors: TBC

Music: ” The Work” By Rudimental and Beating Heart (I am close with the production company that made the record so I can use this awesome summer tune!)  Check it out on YouTube now!

Notes: Strong photography, emphasis on the natural beauty of the area and inner and outer strength on females in sport- big smiles and lots of love!

Layout and Over View:

This edit will be set in one of my favourite spots in the world. Riva Del Garda is drenched in natural beauty and is steeped in sporting opportunity. At the most northern point of Lake Garda it has ideal conditions for some of my favourite sports. I want the edit to show how hard athletes work in the off season to ensure they stay season fit, this means the summer is really valuable to keep you at the top of your game. I have myself been working on toning up and improving my muscle mass and becoming lighter in general so the activities in the edit will show how to make this happen. The brands involved are ones that share the same love- a love for the outdoors, staying active and being in nature. Sweaty Betty will bring the style element to yoga and paddle boarding, allowing your personality to show with big prints. Vaude makes eco friendly, practical and great pieces for MTB, showing how you can still show your feminine side in a very manly sport. Sungod make the best and most awesome sunnies, you can customise your lenses and frames to match your personality. Naturya will help me show the nutritional back ground to the theme; going vegan was obviously an important progression in my training however it doesn’t mean everyone has to follow suit, although diet and nutrition is massively important in complimenting a great workout regime. The food is incredible on the lake and the wealth of natural, fresh produce is ample- I am thinking fruity morning smoothies and lots of bright and happy food.

Day 1- Afternoon arrival. Jog along the lake front to Torbole then surf club for drinks with the girls.

Day 2- Early Morning Yoga, followed by Paddle Boarding. Wind Surfing in the afternoon.

Day 3- Steep up hill cycle to Lago di Tenno, Swim in the chalk lake. Evening yoga.

Day 4- Early Morning jog as the sun comes up. MTB to “Maroche”- my favourite route.

Day 5- Early morning Yoga by the Bastione (Uphill hike 25 minute for views out over the lake). More paddle boarding and cliff jumping into the lake.

Day 6- Garda Land and the Water Park with the team!

Day 7- Cannoning in the lakes behind Riva.

Home time.

Going Vegan, Yoga and My Summer Training-Part 1

activity, adventure, body image, bodypositive, cardio, girlpower, good vibes, gym, health and fitness, lifestyle, positivity, running, snowboarding, Training, Travel, Uncategorized, vegan, wellbeing, winter, wintersport, women in sport, workout, Yoga

Hey wonderful people.

 

It had been just too long. I am so sorry I have been totally MIA recently, I have completely neglected my social media but it’s okay because it think it was totally needed. I was having a tough time at the end of last winter, many issue with my own well-being and mental strength and the future for my competitive career.  I was so eager to come home, get back to my sanctuary, with the family and in control of my own destiny again. So after a few weeks at home and I can come back to you guys fresh faced and ready to go.

Okay so I make a little check list in my mind, what I needed to address in my life in order to move forward and be the best version of myself I can be.  On the list was:

1, My out look and general well-being

2, My diet for building strength and training regime

3, Yoga and exploring the possibilities

4, Social Media

Not a very long list, but a list where all topics could lead to a happier and healthier me.

I will be talking over all these topics in the coming weeks but I wanted to take this particular blog post to talk about my decision to go Vegan.

Not one I took lightly, this is whole heartedly been the second best decision of my life, after deciding to take part in competitive big mountain snow boarding of course. I know I am only 2 weeks in but I could not be happier. I had a few courses of inspiration, the first were my good friends Ninni and Marta. These girls embody everything that is beautiful about vegan-ism and a general overall yogic lifestyle. These girls are beautiful, lovely skin, killer bodies but also kind natured, selfless and a pleasure to be around, I think being a vegan promotes a sense of greater understanding; for not only the environment but the value of life. The second inspiration was Full Moon Yoga retreat. Although, over at Chalet Rosiere you don’t eat exclusively Vegan, (we do have some light diary products)- the vibe, promoted by the gorgeous ex model and yogi Alex Volkers and her hero of a hubby Philip Volkers- they made their own probiotics, almond milk and explored the French Alps for the best health food shops, to ensure a balanced diet was served at their blissful retreat without needing meat or fish. Thirdly I discovered Yann Arthus-Bertrand- a documentarian, a humanitarian and my life’s inspiration. After watching all volumes of his documentary “Human” and then “Home”, a learned of the value of Human life, the preservation of our world and species, along with the enlightenment of our impact on the planet. With some self discovery, the realisation of my environmental impact came hurling toward me. Now I don’t have a car, I live in the Alps in the Winter, I recycle and I wouldn’t have said I was a massive contributor to the issue, but I realise it’s that mentality which has caused to much harm. Now adopting a Vegan diet to aid my summer training regime, I now know how to do my little bit to help save the planet; I save 1100 gallons of water 10lbs of CO2 emissions and one animals life PER DAY. To me that is more than good enough.

So what am I eating, well luckily my mum instilled within me a passion for food and cooking, safe to say I have not suffered. I have greatly enjoyed trying new ingredients and replacing protein etc with new experimental ingredients. Chia seeds man, who knew! I have attached some pictures so you can see:

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Home-made Granola Breaki

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Vegan/Glutan Free Beetroot and Cocoa Brownie

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Wild Berry Protein Shake

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Coconut Chia Pudding with Strawberry’s

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Roasted Sweet Potato, Avocado and Rocket

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Fried Broccoli, Pak Choi and Walnut Salad.

I will be sharing with you some experimental recipes and maybe popping some videos up on YouTube, but for now. . . . .

 

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you guys think.

 

Peace and Love, oh and FOLLOW ME ON INSTA- promise it will be worth it! Angelicasykesuk

 

 

 

 

The Full Moon Yoga Retreat with Kelly Brooks Yoga

activity, adventure, big mountain, body image, bodypositive, fitness, France, freeride, good vibes, gym, health and fitness, healthy, inspiration, london, Meditation, nutrition, offpiste, outdoors, peace of mind, positivity, relax, ski, skiing, snowboard, snowboarding, vegan, winter, winterseason, wintersport, women in sport, workout, Yoga, yoga lifestyle

Yoga for snowboarding, a combination that has changed the way I ride.

 

I am so glad yoga came into my life, a force of peace and tranquillity. I started practising yoga about a year ago, in a time where I felt I needed something to help rationalise, well, everything in my life. After last season, I know my competitive career was a success, I still doubted myself, I still looked for gaps in everything I did, when I should have been commending myself for working hard and reaping the rewards. Yoga helped me look inwards, find the appreciation, the serenity and peace I needed. Separately this winter season where the success and failures in my snowboarding career have been totally different, I again turn to yoga for the support.

 

Yoga is a way of life, its not Jennifer Aniston drinking vegan smoothies, its not going to a class once a week and saying you got all zen from that 1 hour. Although, I’m sure Kelly would agree, everyone must be encouraged to take part and do whatever they need to do to fit yoga into their lives; but for me as a professional athlete, I don’t want to be a cafeteria yogi, I want to try and embody every aspect to ensure I have all the resources I need to be a better athlete. That is why the yoga retreat really changed so much for me. Being around similarly yogic people and embodying the lifestyle even down to the cuisine and the general “Vibe”, I wanted to carry it on to my everyday life.  What I mean is, exploring the options of a vegan diet, (as vegan as I can be living in Italy and being from an Italian family) certainly cutting out alcohol, allowing myself the sleep I need, being kind and honourable and doing all I can to really dedicate to my practice and clear my mind to let the yoga guide me.

But how does yoga benefit me as a snowboarder? I cant even begin to tell you how much. If I had to summarise my personal discipline (Freeride/backcountry snowboarding) in simplistic terms, you need strength, endurance and a sense of calm and pensive nature. Now, I had really only practiced Vinyasa yoga, but during the retreat, Kelly blew my mind to the wonders of Iyenger and Ashtanga yoga. These practices helped me explore new muscle groups, building on my strength, in the core and in the weaker areas of my arms. The yoga retreat helped me focus on my breathing; at the top of a couloir, about to drop in or while on a competition, I need calm. The focus on breathing and meditation has taught me skills I can use to really centre myself, I can think pragmatically and rationally but not only that, I have learnt to hold my poses for longer and really feel the power of yoga through ever corner of my body.

The retreat certainly inspired and motivated me. I am now equipped with more techniques to go forward into my summer season of training. Not only that but the retreat was sheer bliss, Chalet Rosiere have really got a good thing going, such a prime location, it’s quiet and set back away from the main hustle and bustle of La Rosiere, Ian the chef was on point, every meal exceeding the last and Kelly- well, Kelly is my guide, her calm and serene nature was just what I needed to discover my inner yogi. The combination of deep house too was incredible. Kelly has really given a lot of thought into exactly what house she chooses, eg. Odesza, a group that have very deep and contemplative music and beat was very helpful for when you are practising longer poses.

If you are lucky enough to live in London get yourself to her classes as you well see a new side to yourself and your yoga ability and if you have ever wanted to combine the incredible sports of skiing and snowboarding with yoga then you simply must join on the next retreat, it was a life changer.

In the mean time follow her on Instagram @kellybrooksyoga and the Chalet @chaletrosiere

Getting Itchy Feet to compete or not to compete

activity, adventure, avalanche safety, backcountry, big mountain, bigmountain, cervinia, determination, europe, fitness, freeride, snowboarding, snowsport, sport, Training, Travel, Uncategorized, winter, winterseason, wintersport, women in sport, zermatt

Looking back on last year, I was one busy little bee, although I am this year also, its in a totally different way. I’m loving the direction in which my career is going and I couldn’t be happier with all the love, support and opportunities coming my way but I forgot for a moment how it all started. It was the Freeride World Tour and the Qualifier Series. I stopped to wonder why I was competing and last year why I invested so much time and money travelling Europe to show what I could do. I thought was it worth it, all the days training, the days travelling and all the hate and sadness I felt at myself when I didn’t perform to the standard I deemed good enough. I was never quite good enough in my own eyes. I spent days literally sitting in bed crying and thinking-What am I doing, I am not a good enough snowboarder; I’m not as good as that other girl, everyone compares me to her, she should be competing not me-. I put myself though it all because I wanted sponsors, I wanted to work with the companies I had idolised as being such incredible brands, I wanted to be a part of that world. This summer, after a winter of feeling down about my ability as a snowboard and a massive amount of money out of pocket I got my wish.

I can now proudly say I work with and collaborate with so many amazing brands and companies who have been so wonderful and supportive. However although I’m sure it doesn’t hurt, not one of the sponsors has explicitly said they wish for me to compete. For a brand to move forward in 2016 its all about online presence, social media and potential reach. So for the season thus far, that has been my focus.  I’m investing time and energy into my other projects, Filming particularly and planning for the All Girls Freeride Edit and ensuring I stay up to date with my online profile by posting pictures of my adventures.

But now, I have itchy feet. I am longing for that feeling of pure adrenaline and sense of community I used to get from competing. There is literally nothing like that notion of fear and excitement when the organisers yell- 3, 2, 1 DROPIN- and I want that again.I said after Verbier Freeride Week that at the next comp, I would #gobigorgohome, well, after 2 months of pondering I’m ready to put that into practice. I need to dedicate myself to training for the next 2 or 3 weeks and head to the St Foy and Cortina stops on the Freeride Qualifer series with fresh eyes and new energy.

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Supporting Women in Sport

activity, adventure, body image, determination, health and fitness, healthy, inspiration, motivation, nature, nutrition, outdoors, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, snowboard, snowboaridng, snowsport, support, Uncategorized, women, women in sport

Hey there everyone,

 

I wanted to check in with you today to talk to you all about something that I have been thinking about a lot. I am talking about supporting women in sport. Now this of course is something very close to my heart, I have so found so much peace and happiness, frustration and craziness in sport and sport has helped me out of many dark places where I thought there was nothing for me in life or a future. Snowboarding has given me the feeling of freedom and purpose I have been looking for my whole life. All of this makes me want to help other women feel the same and find within themselves what sport has helped me find.

I know many women who are either fantastic riders or very impressive athletes but I look at the in all their glory and achievements and wonder if they would want to help others strive to get where they are. I see some women who are so protective over their skill, their craft and the work they have put in the activity, which in a way I understand. Women have to be so ruthless in sport and in the professional world as positions of influence are so hard to come by. However if it means I am not as good or as determined to make it to the top no matter of the cost then so be it. For me if I have the opportunity to help, to pass on knowledge or advice then I want to take it. I want all people, not only women to feel welcomed with open arms when they meet me, to feel they can ask me anything and know I will provide support no matter what.

At the competitions, I am so fortunate that the women are supportive and loving. They embrace new athletes and support existing ones. Especially in the snowboard women category, we are the envy of the other disciplines as we are dolling out high fives and hugging every competitor when they arrive at at the finish. This is so important as its about helping people see their potential and grow from it. I want to employ this mentality in everyday life. When I meet women wanting to learn, wanting to improve, I want to be there offering a supportive word or some gentle advice.  Unlike these women I speak of who try to suitably talk others down, make them feel inadequate, try to outdo them in every way, I say to you that you will not find a friend in me. But to all women out there who want to try snow sports particularly, then go for it. There are groups and organisations out there that want to bring out the best in you and ensure you have all the motivation you need to get where you want to go.

After all an athlete is not just skin and muscle; an athlete is not just awards and accolades, and athlete is a motivator, someone who influences people positively, someone who has a healthy body image and a healthy view on eating and exercise. Most importantly an athlete inspires and I hope deeply that I can be that person to some women out there.

http://www.chickyclinics.com/en

https://www.womeninsport.org/