The wonderful, powerful and athlete-yogi guru, Amanda Bisk (web site click here) is this week’s inspirational person.
Amanda changed her life completely and has become a yogi and training influencer worldwide.
- 1. How young did you start high performance sport?
I actually started gymnastics at 3 years old (my dad needed to take me somewhere to burn my excess energy!! Haha) by 6 I was in the national development program but a few years later I grew too tall and moved onto state gymnastics until I was 18. In the meantime I fell in love with athletics at high school and was selected on the state team as a high jumper in my final year. A few years later I found pole vault (the perfect combination between gymnastics and athletics) and that where I really excelled and eventually was chosen to represent my country.
- 2. How come did you choose Pole vaulting in a first place?
I saw the pole vaulters training at the athletics track and I was in awe at how amazing it looked and how much fun it would be!
- 3. What is the most relevant lesson you learned, transitioning from high performance sport to yoga?
That it is completely fine not to be perfect! As an athlete you ask a lot of yourself, and there is a lot of pressure to train harder, longer and always push to be better. You are always searching for perfection (even though that doesn?t exist!!) I was actually forced to retire because I was diagnosed with chonic fatigue. During my recovery I found yoga, and that taught me a lot about listening to how I was ACTUALLY feeling (physically and mentally) and understanding how important it is to slow down and let go of expectations.
- 4. How essential is sport to you?
Sport is my life. I may not be an elite athlete anymore, but I have learnt so many important lessons that I will never forget. Hard work, dedication, setting goals, never giving up, physical achievement, mental strength, passion..and the list goes on. I use all of them in my daily life. Plus being active and moving my body is my ultimate ?me time?. It makes me feel incredible!
- 5. How much time a day do you dedicate to yoga?
I really try to do yoga everyday. Some days it might be for an hour, some days it might be for 10min. Yoga and stretching before bed is essential for me. It lets me unwind, de- clutter my mind, and helps me sleep!
- 6. What is so self-empowering about being a yoga professional?
Guiding people though a unique experience every single session. That?s the amazing thing about yoga, it is different everyday! Some days you can do everything really easily, some days you can?t. And that means both physically and mentally! It really helps you tune into your body and mind and helps you understand how you are feeling in the moment. To be able to experience that in myself and also in others is really amazing!
ON PERSONNAL LIFE
- 7. Your personal and professional lives seem to mix well; do you think it?s a key to happiness?
For many of us, our professional life is a huge part of our day (Sometimes 8-10 hours of it! Or more!). If you invest so much of your time and effort into it, its really important to make sure it is something that you love, and want to be entirely involved in. I think it is important to have a good integration with personal and professional aspects of out life, just because they both have huge impacts on the way we feel and express ourselves. Its difficult for one not to influence the other
- 8. Given your experience of hardship and your ability to bounce back, what would be your advice to gain control over one?s life?
It only takes one small action to start guiding yourself in the right direction. Doing one small thing everyday that supports your progress and where you want to be really adds up. Don?t feel like you need to do everything under the sun and do it perfectly instantly. Start small, and do that small thing consistently. Then keep adding those small things along the way.
Our life is not what we do once in a while, it is what we do consistently everyday.
- 9. What does it feel like to be able to influence that many people with your story/experience?
It is actually quite unbelievable. I still can?t fathom that people ?follow? me from all around the globe! I guess the coolest thing is when I get stopped in person…its so amazing to meet someone and get to know them as a person. When they say they enjoyed something I posted or shared, its great to know they had a positive experience and they got something encouraging out of it.
- 10. Do you find it easy to balance between the yoga discipline and the frenzy of being a brand ambassador?
To tell you the truth, it does get overwhelming at times! But, I have learnt it is ok to have a meltdown every now and then. It just means something is not working or isn?t balanced and I just need to fix it. It?s all about accepting the hecticness for what it is, not letting it get to you, and then understanding when it is time to switch off and let the world stop for a moment while you reset.
If you?re not in a balanced state of mind, it is so much harder to deal with the craziness!
- 11. You have a significant amount of followers on Instagram; how digital are you in your everyday life?
I have a rule where there is no instagram/social media/phones when I am with my family or friends or before bed! I will go on a few times a day to post something about my day, or when I want inspiration but I definitely don?t have hour long sessions or anything like that. I?m not on it as much as you would think!
- 12. How do you choose your diet? Any nutrition recommendation?
Food is so personal. Every body is different, and we all react differently to the food we eat. For me personally, I am a vegetarian, I feel better eating this way (physically and also because I love animals too much). I love carbs (bread, pasta, grains), eggs, fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans and legumes, and drink a lot of water.
I don?t feel it is my place to suggest people eat the same diet as I do or any other diet for that matter. Its all about how you feel, and what works for your body.
I can?t encourage learning about food enough! It is so important to understand how the thing we eat effect the way we look and feel. When you understand the effects of eating good food, you definitely feel more motivated to eat it. In general I think eating as much fresh food as you can, lots of fiber, limiting processed and packaged foods, keeping hydrated, and eating lots of variety it key!
- 13. Some food is known to be good to the skin, would you recommend any?
Orange foods are great! Think pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato…the vitamin A helps grow new skin cells. Water and fibre are the ways our body detoxifies, getting rid of dull lifeless skin. And omega-3 fatty acids (like in walnuts) keep your skin elastic and suple!
- 14. Why did you choose to be a vegetarian and not a vegan?
I tried to be vegan for a while but it just didn?t work for me. It really affected my mood and energy levels, and I just found it hard to incorporate into my life. I eat eggs, a little bit of yoghurt and white cheese here and there, and then have stayed vegetarian for the rest of my diet.
Again, what we eat is very personal and about feeling the best we can in our own body.
- 15. You promote a healthy lifestyle through many aspects: fitness, mental wellness, good nutrition. What about skincare? What is your daily routine?
I always use sunscreen! I am in the sun daily so it is an essential for me. Biotherm Melting Sun Fluid for Wet or Dry skin is a lifesaver. I also have very dry skin, so adding moisture is a constant, morning, after workouts and shower, and night. I love everything from the Aquasource range, but I think the Aquasource Deep Serum is my favourite.
- 16. Yoga keeps your body healthy from the inside, what about how it impacts your skin?
Yoga provides such an amazing boost to your circulation. That on top of more oxygen (because of the increased breathing rate, and breathing bigger breaths) is so revitalizing for the skin. More nutrients and oxygen to the skin, means less toxins and more colour and vibrance.
- 17. What are you expecting from good skincare products?
Something that doesn?t irritate my skin, easy to incorporate into my daily routine, and products that are sustainable for our planet.
- 18. How do you protect your skin from the strain of physical activity? What about your hair?
Sun protection, moisture, and lots of water.
- 19. How do you keep your muscles from being sore after a yoga session?
Self massage is really great. I love using Lait Corporel body moisturizer and releasing any tigger points or sore muscles.
- 20. What is your after-sport routine?
Shower, cleanse my face, apply a serum (Aquasource Deep Serum), moisturize (Aquasource Everplump), and if I?m going outside again sunscreen (Biotherm Melting Sun Fluid for Wet or Dry skin). Also apply a fresh body moisturizer (Biotherm Aquagelée Body Gel)…essential!
- 21. Living in Perth close to the ocean, do you have a special sensitivity to water related issues?
Definitely. I live in a place that is surrounded by the most beautiful ocean. It is what sustains us and I want to look after it for those generations of people, animals, and life to come.
- 22. Do you think beaches are inspiring places to practice yoga? Do you think we should better preserve them?
The beach is my sacred place. Whenever I feel down or need clarity I go there. It is where I connect with nature, but also how I connect with myself. There?s something about the rhythmical sound of the waves, the clean salty air, and the landscape that just makes life simple and calm. We should definitely bring more awareness to the importance of looking after our world, and especially a place that gives so much back.