Tags: yoga

Model Interview: Aisha Howard

We welcome international model Aisha from New York to the Wilhemina Dubai family. Aisha travels  all over the world not just for her exciting modelling career but takes care of herself on the inside learning and teaching yoga and meditation . She shares with us some of her insight, beauty tips and overall advice on how to stay beautiful inside and out.

 

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How did you get into yoga, and where are some of the best places you have practiced yoga in the world?

I began practicing yoga per chance after sustaining a career ending knee injury while playing basketball.  All my life, I had been an ardent basketball player with dreams of playing in the professional league.  However, due to a freak injury, I had to undergo three knee surgeries and became devastated as my basketball dreams came to an end. 

I went from being extremely active to basically having to learn to walk all over again and as an athlete, this was extremely difficult for me.    A doctor suggested that I incorporate yoga into my rehabilitation and workout regime.   To my surprise, I found that not only was I getting an intense workout physically but mentally things were beginning to shift as well.

After practicing yoga for about 5 years, my teacher encouraged me to become a certified instructor myself.  In doing this I have been able to train and teach in some of the most exotic locations around the world.  Last year, I traveled to Thailand, Vietnam and  Cambodia.  Earlier this year, I practiced yoga at base camps along the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu and prior to arriving in Dubai, I spent some time in India where I practiced with some of the most amazing teachers.

 

What is your weekly exercise routine like?

As we are all unique, I found that when it comes to an exercise routine, the most important thing is that you have to listen to your body.  Everything is not for everyone and therefore, what works for me, may not work for you.   Nonetheless, I definitely think a good cardio routine or exercise is paramount, as it strengthens both the heart and lungs.  

Therefore, I always start my workout with some form of cardio which I always tend to alternate.  It can be 20 minutes of jump rope, or 30minutes on the bike a 45minute jog.  Being a former athlete I also have become quite a fan of the bootcamp workouts.  These short yet very intense workouts of 30 minutes to an hour gives you a full body workout, incorporating cardio-conditioning, strength, agility and a great core (abdominal) workout all in one.

 

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What are some of your favorite beauty tips?

Our physically attractiveness is only one aspect of what makes a person “beautiful”  

When it comes to my beauty regime, I am a stern believer that beauty emanates from the inside out. It is our duty to ourselves to love and take care of ourselves.  Mentally, physically and spiritually.

I am quite fond Ayurvedic treatments and remedies.  Ayurveda can be defined as a system, which uses the inherent principles of nature, to help a person maintain health by keeping the individual’s body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature.   

My mother used to always tell me, you are what you eat.  Thus I try my best to avoid processed foods, eating most of my foods as natural as possible.  I have also recently incorporated juicing in my diet and normally start my day with a green juice.. and of course water is a must, It helps to keep the body hydrated and it also helps to flush toxins from the body. 

And lastly, I try to stick to the rule, if I can not eat it, I will not put it on my hair or skin.  I am not always able to abide by this but I am very mindful of the fact that whatever I put on my skin is ultimately absorbed into my body and blood stream.  

 

How often do you practice meditation?

Meditation for me, is on of the most powerful tool for balancing the mind and body. I find that when I dedicate an hour a day to doing some sort of mediative exercise, I am much more productive and no matter what is going on around me, I am at peace and better equipped to deal with whatever lies ahead.

I also make a point to do at least on mediative lock in a year.  During a meditative lock in I normally go into silence for 10 days.  Last year, I did a 10 day mediative lock in in Cambodia and next month I will be traveling to a monastery in Nepal where will do another meditative lock in while there.

 

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How much has yoga impacted your life?

When the majority of people think of yoga, images of extremely flexible people in even more extreme positions come to mind.  This however is only one aspect of yoga. or the asanas,the  physical practice.  Nonetheless, yoga entails so much more than this.  In actuality, Yoga is a way of life.   Yoga is all about harmonizing the body with the mind and breathe/or spirit. I am definitely more grounded and I have found a sense of peace and security in being myself.  I have learned to love and accept myself just the way that I am. Yoga has allowed me to release negative attitudes I once harbored and I am learning to enjoy and appreciate every moment of my physical existence on earth.

 

Highlights of your modeling career so far?

I have been extremely blessed in my career. I have always dreamed of traversing  the physical planet and my career has afforded me that.  But there are two events thus far that I would have to say have been true highlights for me.

My first career highlight was the opportunity of working with the Lebanese designer Ellie Saab. It was one of my first jobs as a model and I  will never forget the day.  I arrived at the casting and was actually rudely turned away by the casting director.  As I was leaving the building, I bumped into Ellie Saab himself, he stopped me in my tracks, asked me who was I and how come he had never seen me before.  He then insisted that I turn around and go with him.  I walked back into the casting, he handed me two dresses to try on, turned to the same casting director who initially turned me away, and said “Do you see this girl,” she is amazing,  I want her to close my show. 

Another highlight for me was being invited to Ethiopia as a guest judge, host and model coach  for modeling competition for young girls.   I have been blessed abundantly, and one thing I promised myself is that I would do whatever it was in my power to do to help others to attain their dreams and to provide the same opportunities to others that were bestowed upon me.  Being a guest judge and model coach for those young girls allowed me to do just that.  And of all the places I have been and all of the things I have done as a model.  Nothing has been more rewarding than spending that time in Ethiopia with those girls. 

Favourite Workouts

Bored of the same old routine? Want to try something different? Here’s our picks for favourite workouts!

 

Flywheel

Flywheel takes indoor biking to the next level. Created by Ruth Zuckerman, the brains behind the New York indoor cycling phenomenon, Flywheel is a intense workout. Usually lasting 45 to 60 minutes, you will be riding a bike which is customised for your body and can be adjusted to your comfort level. Add music to the mix and voila, the perfect workout.

 

FlyBarre

Interested in sculpting your body? FlyBarre is the answer. A combination of yoga, pilates, dance, circuit training and strength building with a bit of Flywheel included. This workout is meant to make you sweat! A complete body work out!

 

Bikram yoga at Rawr Yoga Studio

Boasting a studio space of 4100 sqft, situated in Dubai Media City, the interiors are sleek and clean. Its the perfect environment for a work out and there’s enough space for everyone! Bikram yoga is a intense 90 minute work out in a temperature of 40 degrees or more with 40% humidity. It helps you lose fat and improve circulation, among many other great benefits.

 

Yoga at The Mine

What do you get when you mix underground art culture and yoga? A pretty cool work out space. A chance to soak up all the art and culture. And a mean work out session. What’s not to love?

 

- Neha Prasad

Practicing Yoga At Home

christy turlington yoga

After a long day at the office, sometimes by the time I get home  the last thing I want is to get back in the car and drive over anywhere for a yoga session. So recently I bought myself a nice yoga mat and decided to try yoga youtube workouts in the privacy of my own home, so I can still work out and stretch without having to leave the house and the results have been amazing. Here are some tips to consider in order to prevent injury and maximize the experience:

1) Create  your own space

Set aside a space in your room making sure  it is free from furniture and is clean and serene. I like to light a candle to create a peaceful atmosphere and I have a nice playlist of soothing music from Spirit Vogage and Shiva Rea has  compiled a collection of trance music suitable for Vinyasa flow. Keep the lighting low and relaxed.

2) Prevent Injury

Don’t force postures. Anything that is advanced is much better to do around a teacher who can watch you, but at home dont compete with your body -Be present, warm up, fully get into the poses you know…that is how an at home practice should be. Difficult poses should be in a class, where your teacher can make a safe environment for you.

3) Choose your youtube yoga style ( here are some of my favorite):

Hatha Yoga at Home http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAA-SZ05zSg

Weightloss Yoga with Tara Stiles

Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown1

4) Research!

The internet is a wealth of resources for an at home yoga practice.  Itunes has many yoga podcasts and  I Yoga Life has many videos  for a variety of levels.

7) Meditate

Sit with a straight spine, close your eyes and focus on your breath. The benefits of meditation include everything from lowering your blood pressure to improving your mood.

-Leila Antakly

yoga at home

Stefanie Ost on Staying in Shape

Stefanie Ost fitness

Stefanie how often do you work out?

Fitness is extremely important to me and I usually work out 5 days a week before coming to the office.

How do you manage your workouts when you are on the go?

If I am on the go or travelling, I love using an app called “Sworkit”, which gives you a quick workout depending on how many minutes you have and you don’t need a gym or any equipment besides a mat. Otherwise, also Yoga or just a quick 20-30min Cardio are other options I sometimes go for if I don’t have a lot of time.

Any tips to staying fit with a quick workout?

The key for me is going in the morning before going to work as it also helps to get a clear mind and focus better at work. I fear I would be a hopeless case if I had to go after work as I usually just feel so tired by then.

What music do you listen to while working out?

House music puts me in the right work out mood and makes working out fun.
How many minutes do you usually spend on the treadmill? Do you like to switch to other cardio machines?

I have to confess I absolutely hate running on the treadmill these days I prefer the bike as I can answer emails, read a book or play games on my phone at the same time.  What my trainer usually does is incorporating then 2-5min high speed running with incline in between lifting weights to get my heart rate up. About once or twice a week I spend one hour of cardio only and during which I am switching from bike, to the treadmill to the cross trainer. Yet, overall, I prefer weight training as the muscles you build will be burning calories even if you are doing nothing at all (so that’s in my point of view the much smarter approach if you want to stay in shape than doing endless cardio).

Can you give us a weekly chart as to your workouts?

Overall, I like a bootcamp style of workout. Usually I start the week on Sunday with a good leg and butt workout which includes lots of squats (wide, close and split squats but also Bulgarian squats sometimes, launches, stiff leg dead as some other weight lifting for legs). As this is usually very exhausting, it is the best for me to wake up and start the week.

On Mondays I change then to some really heaving abs exercises including Burpees (which are really a killer). On Tuesdays I like to focus on my upper body including Shoulders, Chest and Arms.
On Wednesday I usually feel so sore that I am having a Cardio break or playing Tennis for a change, while Thursday I hit the gym again with some obliques and tie work out. Fridays I usually rest and Saturdays are usually Cardio or Yoga days.

Beauty Tips From Cynthia Abdel Karim

Dior Addict

What are some of your favorite beauty products?
Revive-moisturizing renewal cream.  Its a moisturizing cream that you apply overnight and it does exactly what it says on the jar.. it gently exfoliates, evens out skin /wrinkles and gives you a great glow. When I use it, I wake up and my skin feels dewy, i love that word, fresh and glowing.

 

Dior- Lip glow : A friend told me about this one, it looks like a chap stick…but when you apply it on your lips magic happens. It basically brings out the color in your lips, like you’re not wearing lipstick…but have naturally red snow white type of au naturel lips. It looks different on each person that uses it as it enhances your lip color.

Cle de Peau -Foundation gives you fabulous even skin tone that lasts all day. Lasts being the operative word, no matter the weather or day you’re having it stays on and your skin looks flawless.  Whenever I travel to the states I load up on it and am always buying stock for my sister, friends etc. a great brand.

What are your tips to protect your skin from the hot summer months ahead?

One has to drink water, moisturize and use sunscreen. I’m good at the last two, I never drink enough water but you have to in Dubai.

How do you get ready for beach season?

Its beach time all year in Dubai, which actually forces you to stay fit all year long. I have a trainer that I’ve been working out with for several years that I swear by, Jane Head. She has a studio where you are max 4 people so she’s very attentive to you and makes sure you are doing everything right vs lost in a big class.  Her technique is core resistance training, so you isolate muscle and use a percentage of your own body weight to work out.

I also love yoga., its great for the mind and body.
And for the best results I just watch what I eat, basically cutting out wheat and dairy although I love food too much to diet.

How do you get the latest news on Fashion and Trends?

I never buy fashion magazines. I mainly go on online portals, websites or newsletters to see what’s new. In fact I even go online to shop cause I find stores too hectic and uninspiring


How do you keep a balance in your busy life?

I really need my downtime so I try not to make too many plans during the week and I need my 8 hours of sleep. Working out regularly is also really the key.

Interview with Barry Ennis Master Instructor Flywheel Sports Dubai

Barry Ennis

Barry Ennis is a Los Angeles native currently living in Dubai, UAE. Barry has extensive experience as a male model as well as a E-RYT yoga instructor, cyclist, and as the founder of Elite Sport Yoga.
Barry’s first passion is fitness, and through his life has gained experience in sports psychology, nutrition, strength training, flexibility training, yoga, conditioning, rehab, sports medicine, and life philosophy. He brings all of this knowledge together to create unparalleled fitness experiences through teaching indoor cycling and barre series classes at Flywheel Sports as well as through his personalized training.

We interviewed Barry to find out more and share some of his tips on keeping fit this summer with you.

Tell us about yourself Barry

I first got started in the fitness industry after completing college. There wasn’t much I wanted to do with a Psychology degree. I played college and semi-pro baseball, and through that training fell in love with yoga which was used to help us prevent injury and maintain mental peace of mind on the field. I decided to get a yoga teaching certification and began teaching yoga for athletes. Since then I’ve fallen in love with cycling and indoor cycling, and my journey has taken me all over the world- to different parts of the US for trainings and certification programs, to India to study life management and yoga philosophy. Since then I’ve been working in Dubai at Flywheel Sports teaching indoor cycling and barre series classes. I love to weave in the psychology and philosophy that I’ve learned to make each class more than just a workout, but an experience to help us all to higher heights.

What are some challenges or obstacles about staying fit in Dubai?
The whole Dubai lifestyle can for many be a big challenge to overcome. Most expats are here for a job opportunity, and that day-to-day life sends us rushing around the city from one thing to the next. Food is grabbed on the go a lot of the time, and it’s difficult in general to remember to take time for yourself and your health. It’s often not regarded as something as important as other aspects of life. Generally, the city is not conducive to those interested in an active lifestyle, but with more gyms and studios popping up in Dubai, it’s become harder to find excuses not to go!

How do you motivate your clients into staying in shape?
It’s so much more than the workout itself. I encourage and invite all class participants to delve into deeper aspects of themselves in class. When you feel like your body and mind are resisting you- when it feels like you’re up against a wall- how do you respond? There are so many life principles that can be learned and practiced in the context of exercising your body. The same tendencies we have in our work, our romantic relationships, our personal development, etc. all come up again in class when you’re literally being met with resistance. If you’re the type to not give yourself a chance mentally and give up, it’s possible in a fitness class to learn how to shake off these demons, change your way of thinking, change your attitude, and therefore change more about yourself than just your body.

What are the fastest ways to shed the extra pounds?
The Flywheel and FlyBarre combo is fantastic. In Flywheel you experience a high-intensity interval training cardio burn. That means you’re going to keep your heart rate elevated and you will not only burn calories in class, but for a few hours afterwards as well since interval training spikes your metabolism. FlyBarre is a class to lengthen, strengthen, and tone the muscles of your body giving you that sleek, strong, toned look. By burning away the fat in Flywheel and toning your muscles in FlyBarre, you’ll be ready physically (and mentally) to hit the beach confidently.

Are there any special projects/charities, ngo’s you support ?

I’m actually a vegetarian, and want to raise awareness that it’s just as easy to get protein from other sources rather than from meat. There are so many misconceptions about meat and why we think we have to eat it. I’m part of a group called Animal Protection. They’re a new group in Dubai, but are working to bring awareness to how and why you may want to start eating less meat or assume a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. https://www.facebook.com/ANMPROTECT?fref=ts

Anything else youd like to share, any favorite tips or wellness advice?
The body achieves what the mind believes!

Twitter @barryfly

Barry Ennis Flywheel