Yoga

The Beginners Guide To Aerial Yoga

Anti-Gravity or Aerial Yoga uses silk hammocks to support your body and suspend you in mid air allowing you to do challenging stretches you’ve never done before.  It’s like being a trapeze artist without the threat of plummeting to your death in front of a large crowd of people, which is good with me. 

Dancer Pose Yoga

I absolutely loved my first Aerial Yoga class at The London Dance Academy and so thought I’d share my 4-step guide to aerial yoga for beginners. Get ready to fly!

STEP 1. Don’t Eat Or Drink Within 2 Hours Before Class 

In class you’ll be twisting, turning, hanging upside down, swinging and literally spreading your legs. Avoid feeling queasy by taking it easy on the food before class.

Standing Splits Aerial Yoga

STEP 2. Sit Back

Postures that look like they’re not of great benefit are doing more than you think. My favourite one was the chair pose which is said to help relieve lower back pain and improve posture.

Chair Pose Aerial Yoga

 STEP 3. Try Every Posture

It’s easy to look at certain demonstrations and doubt that you’d be able to do it but you shouldn’t feel intimidated. Moves that look intricate to begin with are quite often the postures that you find yourself in seconds later as the teacher takes you through them step-by-step. There’s a lot of room for progression and poses that you find difficult on the floor become much easier in the hammock. I mean just check out my upside down dancer pose; I couldn’t do this on the floor!

Aerial Yoga Pose

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Let Go

There were certainly times in class that I strongly doubted that the harness was going to be able to carry my 10.5 stones of body weight and instead rip the ceiling down.  I like to take the roof off when DJing but when it’s your body mass that’s responsible it’s just embarrassing.  Thankfully, the harness is designed to hold up to 2000lbs in weight which is the equivalent to 10 baby elephants, though holding any more than 4 elephants at a time means the range of positions they can do is extremely limited. So as the Frozen princess sings: Let It Go!

Anti-gravity yoga

So there you have it. A class great for your body, mind and Instagram feed. Happy Swinging. 

XOXO

What I’m Wearing: Primark top &  leggings

Yoga Matt by Primark

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Primark | #PrimarkSetGo

Country Comforts : Thyme Luxury Hotel

Last weekend I pulled up on acres of the Cotswold Countryside to Thyme Luxury Hotel, dressed head-to-toe by Primark in my favourite Cammo combo.

Primark Fitness OOTD

Good job as before I checked in, we were putting the fit kit to the test; skipping, squatting and burpee-ing our way through a one hour fat burning HIIT class. It was no wonder I was feeling Sheepish afterwards.

Sheep Sofa

Next it was time to check into my cottage which was cosy and lovely. With a welcome letter, a bag of gifts and a posh suite to myself, it was like I was on a honeymoon!  Just without the inconvenience of a husband.

Thyme Hotel Cottage
Luxury Hotel in The Cotswolds
Thyme Luxury Hotel

Lunch in the barn was next on the agenda and it was filled with all the goodness I needed. Kale, rice and fig salad with a squash and feta cheese tart was on the menu. Yum!

Healthy Kale, rice and fig salad
Squash and feta cheese tart

After scoffing lunch it was time to head to Thyme Hotel's Cookery School to bake a carrot cake that was free from refined sugars. The cake was delicious, though in a Great British Balls Up I messed up my sugar icing, so had to abort that part of the mission. The icing on the cake not so much.

Homemade Carrot Cake

After cake we had a 40 minute yoga flow class in Tithe Barn. I received motivation from the bright Primark yoga mat, though at times I felt it was somewhat repetitive.

Motivation Monday Primark Yoga Mat

Here’s me doing what the mat told me to.

Yoga Tree Pose

A three course dinner at Thyme Hotel's very own Country pub around the corner called The Swan was followed by a massage, nightcap and in my cosy cottage. I put my feet up by the fire and drifted off.

The Swan Pub in The Cotswolds

The next morning head gardener, Beverly gave us a tour of the grounds. As we walked I picked up some chicks:

Thyme Farm Chickens

Met a fat pig that resembled a cow;

Pig Cow Farm

Sniffed some fresh veg;

Gardener

and squealed with excitement when Beverley told us that Gary Barlow and Kate Moss live locally and often go to The Swan pub! So that's that then: Thyme Luxury Hotel really is a perfect place for a five star nature kick. 

Primark Puffa Jacket

If you ever fancy a quintessentially English getaway then this peaceful place is fit for a Princess... in wellies. After all, how many farms have Cow-Pigs? 

Thyme Hotel have a few rooms and packages to choose from (I had a cottage called The Dairy) and you can see all the options and get in contact here.

xoxo

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Hen Party Ideas

Yoga mat, water bottle, skipping rope & towel by Primark

What I'm wearing: Blue and red puffa jacket, leggings and all activewear by Primark

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Primark | #PrimarkSetGo

 

 

Chewton Glen Luxury Treehouse Escape

When Next invited me on a wellness stay at Chewton Glen luxury treehouses I bit their arms off. My dad never made me a treehouse as a kid, something about not having a tree.  Also I think the only time I get to relax and keep still in London is when I’m on an escalator. This trip away sounded an absolute dream.

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

So I hopped on a train to escape the intensity of the big smoke and after a 15 minute drive from New Milton train station I arrived at Chewton Glen Luxury Hotel & Spa. A man took my bag and placed it in a ‘luxury golf buggy’, which looked nice but was hard to discern why it was deemed so luxury. I then jumped on and it was indeed a smooth drive to my quarters, all 30 seconds of it.

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa Treehouses
Chewton Treehouse

When I got to the treehouse it was absolute perfection. I had a roaring fireplace, two floors to myself, a collection of sweet locally sourced treats and a hot tub that was ready to jump in. So I jumped in. Naturally all previous plans to leave my room were now vetoed so I ordered room service instead. The room service guy told me that loads of celebs had stayed there before, including George Clooney!  Sadly the pillow just smelt of lavender.

Chewton Glen Bedroom
Chewton Tree House
Open Fireplace Chewton Luxury Hotel

After the best night sleep I woke to find that my breakfast had been delivered in a hamper through a secret hatch. How cool?! I ate it on my stunning terrace overlooking the New Forest.

Breakfast Hamper
Breakfast
The New Forest

Once I’d finally torn myself away from my Treehouse, I walked through Chewton Woods to Highcliffe beach. It was only a short walk which was just as well as it was -2 degrees!  Thankfully due to my bright orange sleeping-bag-esque coat I was snug as a bug. Plus visible at a distance of 50 miles.

Chewton Glen Forest
The New Forest

The weather was so bright and beautiful that I couldn't resist a little coastal run. 

Coastal Run

I didn’t forget to stretch- I felt like a Ninja Warrior. I looked like one too.

Warrior Pose Highcliffe Beach

And as I was with all of my blogger friends, we posed along the beach.

Highcliffe Beach

During my active stay I did yoga and took a full body workout class in Chewton’s Gym Studio. Small, but had everything you need. I was lucky enough to use the spa too. Well, the tin did say luxury.

Chewton Spa

One relaxing facial and pedicure later I was back in my treehouse to change for dinner in the main hotel. Their smoked salmon was particularly delicious.

Smoked salmon

On my final morning I packed, had breakfast and took one last dip in my hot tub.  It's not everyday a girl gets her own hot tub, it's just a shame George Clooney didn’t extend his stay: it had plenty of room for two.

New Forest
Next Multi-Coloured Long sleeve swimsuit

If you fell in love with Chewton Glen Treehouse & Spa through the photos as much as I did in real life, then add it to your bucket list and get yourself booked into this paradise. After all, how many hotels have a secret hatch?

Chewton Glen have a few Treehouses to choose from (I had a treehouse loft) and you can see all the options and get in contact here.

Happy adventuring!

xoxo

If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it for me. Cheers!

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

You can see me in action at Chewton Glen over on my YouTube channel too. 

What I'm Wearing: Coat, swimwear, trainers and all activewear from Next

Why Choose The Best Fit Kit?

Wearing the right fit kit isn't just about looking good on Instagram (although admittedly,  I have been guilty of that) but actually, paying attention to simple details like which workout clothes to wear, helps to keep you focused on what is most important at that time – the workout. That is why I have teamed up with New Balance to giveaway one of my lucky readers the chance to WIN a New Balance outfit worth over £160, so keep reading.

New Balance Night Floral Bra

During exercise you should wear practical clothing that you are comfortable in and supports your body in a way that can aid and even enhance your performance during workouts. All of that sounds a bit boring but it doesn't have to be, especially if you find a bold print or bright colour that looks good enough to boost your body confidence at the same time.

New Balance Night Floral Top

When I go to the gym I may well do a HIIT training session followed by a yoga class to get a deeper post workout stretch. Two completely different workouts requiring varied performance functionalities. One outfit (HIIT training) requires more sweat wicking material and the other (yoga) needs to enable you to move freely, in order to do those all important stretches.

Yoga outfit New Balance

Fortunately I've discovered a great range from New Balance that ticks all of my boxes; the New Balance Night Floral performance leggings, top and sports bra (as seen above). They each come in different styles and colours to suit all, have a flattering fit, subtle mesh insets for breathability and are made from material that wicks sweat away fast.

NB Studio Skins

They are perfect for sweat inducing workouts such as HIIT and because the material is so lightweight and comfortable, it even doubles up as a great yoga outfit. The bra offers medium support and is long enough to wear on it's own as a crop top and they even have matching studio skins, which offer great grip and cushioning on the balls of your feet, allowing you to twist, turn and leap in studio based classes with greater ease and comfort. 

New Balance UK

COMPETITION TIME! 

One of you is going to win a New Balance fit kit complete with a top, bottoms and a pair of trainers. The lucky winner will be sent the prize directly to your doorstep so you can just sit back and wait.

IF YOU WANT TO WIN ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CLICK HERE AND FOLLOW THE 3 SIMPLE STEPS AT THE END OF THE BLOG POST.

THIS COMPETITION CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT ON SUNDAY 31ST AUGUST 2016, SO GOOD LUCK!!!

Header and footer photograph by Duncan Nicholls

#IAmTheCompetition

 

 

 

ADAY & Fierce Grace

ADAY is a lifestyle brand from London, launching in just two days time. After hosting their Inspire Series in NYC, ADAY invited me to join them in London as part of the same sequence. I got to workout at Fierce Grace hot yoga, chat to inspiring fitness bloggers and hang out with ADAY's founders, Meg and Nina who were lovely. Together they have created a brand that can only be described as a God-send! Why? Because they offer clothes that you can wear practically to exercise in and also stylishly to go out in. Genius!

Full of multitasking wardrobe wonders, ADAY have leggings that look good, perform well and promise not to compromise on function. Their monochrome and clean cut styles create a high-end finish and they even have more quirky pieces which include their shiney shorts, to suit those who want to stand out. It matches my active and spontaneous lifestyle and I’m so excited for their launch.

ADAY offer wear for an energetic and impulsive lifestyle and Fierce Grace, provide the ultimate blend of strength and flexibility meaning that their collaboration was very fitting.

Get exclusive offers to ADAY here. Check out Fierce Grace here.

Fitness Date with John Lewis and Women's Health

Women's Health AJ Odudu
John Lewis AJ Odudu
Yoga AJ Odudu
Yoga Crab AJ Odudu

Tweet Me: @AJOdudu | Instagram me: @ajodudu | Watch me on YouTube: AJOdudu

John Lewis and Women’s Health Magazine have collaborated to introduce their #JLLiveBetter campaign and I went to it’s launch at the John Lewis Live Better Loft, overlooking the Olympic Stadium in London.

The morning kicked off with a mini-session of awakening yoga led by Colby Hanks, which was swiftly followed by a healthy breakfast of bircher muesli, matcha porridge, cardamon buns and fresh organic smoothies made by nutrition’s woman of the moment, Natasha Corrett of Honestly Healthy. I’m a mere mortal human who loves to eat, so this was one of the highlights of my morning.

Elite Barry’s Bootcamp trainer, Anya Lahiri put us through our paces with a fitness training session before personal trainer Rich Tidmarsh shared the secrets on how to exercise better.  He had us doing crabs and all sorts which was a lot harder than it looks but loads of fun. I got to hang out with a number of amazing fitness and health bloggers and the icing on the alkaline, sugar-free cupcake was a money-can’t buy personalised front cover of Women’s Health Magazine. 

There was something particularly special about coming together with a bunch of women (most of whom I’d never met), to work out together, laugh together and learn together. Essentially, it felt really empowering. Mental stability is just as important as physical strength which is exactly the message this #JLLiveBetter campaign is trying to send. It was a Saturday morning well spent and a campaign well worthy of recognition.

For more information about #JLLiveBetter click here  and in the meantime, love yourself, eat well and feel fabulous!