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Lockdown with Mari Yammas - Keep it Cleaner Pilates Instructor

Lockdown with Mari Yammas - Keep it Cleaner Pilates Instructor
  • How are you coping with Melbourne’s Stage 4 Lockdown? 
  • I have had my ups and downs along the way, as I'm sure everyone in Melbourne has probably also experienced.

    It's a very difficult situation that we are all in, and initially during the lockdown I had put a heap of pressure on myself to be productive, but I learned very quickly to drop that expectation on myself, and normalise the fact that I will have good and bad days and that's ok and expected during this time.

  • What’s been the hardest for you during lockdown?
  • Honestly, I feel like the feelings around the challenges during lockdown come in different waves at different times.

    I think in general, it's the unknown that has been the hardest for me - not having an endpoint, and not knowing when we might be able to make some sort of a return to the life and freedoms that we knew before lockdown. 

    I really really really miss being able to see and hug my friends, and being able to share time all together. Obviously I miss travel too. Greek islands - do I need to say any more?!

  • How have you stayed motivated throughout this lockdown? Have you stuck to some sort of 'fitness routine'?
  • I haven't been consistent with a fitness routine. 

    I ran some free Instagram live classes, and honestly, making the commitment to run those, forced me to stay motivated to train too! Also, the incredible commitment and consistency of everyone who joined in, inspired me SO much to keep doing them and keep training! 

  • There’s no doubt that these lockdowns have been hard on everyone’s mental health, are there any lifestyle changes that you have implemented into your daily routine to improve yours?
  • The main thing I try to ask myself  before I do, or don't do anything, is how will I feel after this?

    I have three main categories that things fall into: good for the mind, good for the body, and good for the soul (read: doughnuts :) )

    My daily non negotiables to keep my mental health in check are: are getting at least 8 hours sleep, not drinking coffee (it makes me extremely highly strung and unable to focus - but it tastes so's a daily battle to stay away!), and talking on the phone to a friend on most days, even if it's just a super quick chat. I also know my mind always feels best when I eat a healthy diet, and when I do regular exercise.

    I've also found that having some sort of project ongoing helps me stay more happy - I'll share some examples of projects I have successfully and not so successfully taken on during lockdown: painting part of the kitchen (don't ask how this turned out!), repotting plants in the garden, creating a pilates space at home, and starting a youtube! (speaking of which, go and subscribe :) )

  • If you are having a bad/flat day what is your go-to routine to help change the cycle?
    I either just go with it and let myself indulge in whatever I might feel like I want, or I'll tell you what makes me feel good every time without fail? The Dance Marshall on YouTube - try it and thank me later.

  • Have you been binge watching any TV series/Movies? Do you have any good recommendations for us?
  • So I am only new to Netflix! I got it during the first few weeks of lockdown so it still makes me very excited to get into a new series! Schitts Creek has been my favourite show ever - I laughed, I cried (weirdly, in most episodes), and I never wanted it to end. 

  • Do you have any good books or podcast recommendations for us?
  • Hmmm I'm not the biggest podcast person! I have a few recent books I enjoyed and can recommend though: The Gut By Giulia Enders is a great read if you want to know more about gut health, and the Brains Way of Healing by Norman Doige if you want to know more about the brain - neither of these are new releases but they are currently on the top of my bookshelf :)

  • Have you jumped on the Iso baking bandwagon? If yes, what’s your favourite recipe to bake? 
  • I have, and I've had some successes, as well as some major fails.. failure is part of growth, right?!

    I make a good risotto, and I had a month where I baked chocolate chip cookies every week.

    I tried making stuffed peppers.. they weren't the best. I also once left some pumpkin in the oven and forgot about it while I was teaching a live Pilates class... suffice to say it was very burnt when the class was over!

  • What does your day usually look like at the moment?
    At the moment I am running a Pilates teacher trainer intensive course - this is all via zoom so I am spending a lot of time teaching in front of a screen! It's very different to teaching face to face but I am enjoying the challenge.
    When I wake up, the first thing I do is.. snooze for 10 minutes or so :) then I have a big glass of water - at the moment I'm loving adding a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to this.
    I usually go for a lunchtime walk, and in the pm, I am usually multitasking by talking to a friend on the phone while I do something around the house.

  • Last but not least, do you have any advice for anyone struggling with motivation at the moment?
    My advice would be to remember that we are going through a pandemic - we are living through a very difficult time in the world at the moment, therefore it is not only normal but also expected that we will have up and down days.
    I think it's important to take some time to have a break without guilt, and then keep up the momentum with motivation on the days that we can.

    Mari's virtual Pilates Studio is now live! We have a cheeky discount code for you to help you stay active during isolation. Use code 'ISOPILATES' to get your first month 50% off, which comes to less than $4 a week.

    Follow Mari on Instagram at @i_do_pilates 
  • Continue reading

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    11 ways to improve your mental health during lockdown

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