Summertime is a time of transition, travel and rest.
Slow Dance is a collection of tunes in which I became familiar while travelling and exploring over the last few months to continue tapping into my wellbeing, such as rejuvenation and clarity.
In April last year, Rob Jackson and I explored Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi (and beyond). Here are some great reasons why Vietnam has a lot to offer in staying fit and eating well.
>> Queue: Onra’s Chinoiseries <<
First of all, Vietnamese cuisine includes some of the healthiest ingredients on the planet. From the ever popular Phở to its abundant rice based dishes, this cuisine wonderfully caters to gluten, wheat, and diary free diets.
Fresh herbs and spices are also used extensively throughout – lots of mint, cilantro, ginger, lime leaf, cinnamon, turmeric, the list goes on. You’ll often get fresh local fruit as dessert over sugary pastries. Best of all, fresh food is available everywhere.
However, if you want to maintain a clean diet, you’ll need to (obviously) avoid ingredients like: condensed milk, famously in the intensely strong Vietnamese coffee; anything fried/deep-fried; and fruit concentrates.
In a cafe, I found a gem of a magazine called Word – it’s like Vietnam’s own Time Out. Rob and I also found some outstanding places by asking the people we came across. I highly recommend Quan An Ngon restaurant and asking for a good Bun Cha spot.
Particularly in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, yoga studios are almost everywhere with most of them offering classes and retreats in English. A simple Google search will do, or have look around cafés nearby.
Even in April it was already too hot by 9AM. The remedy is to wake up at sunrise (when the rest of the locals would do their exercises) or an indoor workout. If I were a ‘morning person’ I’d choose the morning option every time because the sunrises were absolutely out of this world.
Of course doing GYROKINESIS® on the beach was the best, but I also thoroughly enjoyed using the Nike Training Club App. Falling lucky with ample indoor space in my BnB’s, there was usually enough room for a full workout plus a mini-Barre class.
My all time favorite activity was hiking and swimming through the beautiful Hang En Cave (3rd largest in the world) with the incredible Oxalis group. We then ended the trip with trekking around Sapa’s rice fields. I’ve never felt so alive!
With all the soups, trekking, and hot weather, you’ll be fit and well without even trying.
More in Vietnam
WE SPEAK DANCE is a 5-part Netflix series that follows Alvin Ailey trained dancer and former UN advisor, Vandana Hart, throughout Indonesia, Vietnam, France, Nigeria, and is globally accessible.
Hart comes from a very interesting and impressive background. Being able to merge dance, arts, culture, as well as global politics first handedly, it’s no wonder this unique series has already been a sensation. Hart’s aim was to expose dance as a “political weapon” and how villages, underground groups, and the stage can bring people together through these outlets around the world.
Be a part of this movement –
here’s how you can participate:
Sign up to the Newsletter now.
1. Share the trailer on your Facebook page!
2. Send a 1min dance video for a social cause of your choice and tag @wespeakdance #wespeakdance Vandana Hart on FB and Instagram.
3. As part of the campaign, we are raising money for dance classes in a Syrian Refugee camp that we filmed in Beirut. You will be supporting their education, passion, and hope for the future.
Thank you from the whole WE SPEAK DANCE team!
Watch the full 5-part Series on Netflix
Trained dancer Vandana Hart travels the world to learn traditional and urban dance styles from the local experts who know them best.
Don’t have Netflix? Buy directly from We Speak Dance.
Bonus: Check out Hart’s Dance Protest, January 5th
in Los Angeles, CA
We are back from our hiatus and are winding down in Lisbon, Portugal for a different change of pace. I’m excited to announce that I will begin teaching the GYROKINESIS® method at the ever-so charming Little Yoga Space in Baixa-Chiado from October 2017. Stay tuned for more details. However, if you’re looking for GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® classes in London feel free to contact me, look at our recommended studios, or check out gyrotonic.com.
Rob and I have missed you all dearly! In the last 6 months, we’ve explored Southeast Asia, got married, and trekked through South America. Therefore to really enjoy our experience, we wanted to take a break from technology. We then spent a lot of our time on buses and trains discussing what 2017/2018 will look like for The Movement Blog. We’ve even experimented with Podcast audio to use for interviewing trainers, dancers, etc. Stay tuned for the launch of The Movement Pod.
Moreover, we have the following lined up:
An interview with Yolanda Corrales, a Gyrotonic Trainer, dancer and actress from Madrid, Spain who is now based in California
A second interview with Nonie Yung, a Specialized Master GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Trainer, Pilates Instructor, and dancer from and based in Hong Kong
Surveys for Dancers – an International Dance census by Rob Jackson
Why the GYROKINESIS® Method and Yoga Can Go Hand in Hand
Spotlight on our recommended studio: Kings Cross Studios, London
Inside: My GYROKINESIS® Certification in Münstertal, Germany
Don’t forget to subscribe to The Movement Blog for updates!
We look forward to catching up,
Kindall & Rob
Hello my favorite movers,
As I gather and organize all of the oh-so-inspiring information from my travels in Southeast Asia and South America, I thought it would be a good time to say, “Be right back!” while I take a break from being glued to the computer screen.
We would like to ensure the next upcoming posts exceed great content and quality. We are also working to add some new and exciting things to The Movement Blog as well. Thanks to you – it has been growing immensely and we are looking forward to it’s future.
Don’t forget to check out my preferred Gyrotonic trainers list in which I’ll be adding to while I’m away. Trainers on the list are not only a personal favorite but are of the best with top facilities. Definitely not to miss.
Guest Post: How to Use a BOSU Ball to Strengthen Your Core Muscles
Interviews with Gyrotonic Trainers Yolanda Corrales (Mexico/L.A.)
and Nonie Yung (Hong Kong)
Tips for Staying Motivated and Fit While Travelling
Podcasts, Videos, and more
See you soon!
Happy Birthday to The Movement Blog 🎈
Our blog baby is officially 2 years old! In the beginning of April in 2015, I wrote my first post on what this blog would be about and some basic points on the GYROTONIC® Method. Come April 15th, The Movement Blog received over 4,000 + visits in one day after my post called, ‘5 Reasons Dancers Should Take the GYROTONIC® Method.’
2 years later, we are taking the blog around the world. Here’s what we’re up to now.
First of all, thank you EVERYONE for your interest and increasing The Movement Blog’s popularity day by day, country by country. This is why we’ve said, ‘The Movement Blog is Officially Global‘! I’m ecstatic about the various topics we will write about and what we will see, record, and research over the months.
Secondly, I also want to thank you those who has shared and referred The Movement Blog to someone else or through their blog/website, especially the Dance and Gyrotonic community. It is truly my passion to continue to give back and create a platform for both the up-and-coming and the seasoned professional.
What’s next? Well, my fiancé, Rob, and I will be travelling for the next 6 months in Southeast Asia, Africa, the States, Europe, and South America. Our intentions are to draw inspiration from the places we visit and relate to our favorite topics: health, fitness, wellbeing, the Gyrotonic method, the Gyrokinesis method, dance, and data.
The green dots are the places we’ve already visited in 2017 and the blue dots are the places in our itinerary for the rest of the year. We just left Hong Kong and are currently travelling in Vietnam from the South (Ho Chi Minh) all the way to the North (Sapa). And let me tell you, I already feel healthier and more fit just from the lifestyle and the food alone (not to mention sweating everyday in smoldering hot weather).
That’s it for now! Feel free to email us with any questions, comments, or even just to say ‘Hello’. Looking forward to writing about our journey and the people, places, and activities we encounter.
Kindall & Rob
The Movement Blog(gers)
Being in the States for Christmas and New Years for the first time in a while meant being able to visit family, friends, teachers and studios I know and love along the Pacific Northwest.
After a very relaxing time in Los Angeles, it was time for an adventure to discover something new. This meant travelling (and dancing) for at least one week along the Pacific Northwest coastline from San Francisco all the way to Vancouver by train or bus. Consider this to be your Mini Dance and Fitness Guide to these prominent and inspiring cities. Enjoy!
Home to San Francisco Ballet, LINES Ballet, Smuin Ballet, ODC Theater, AXIS Dance Company, Tiny Pistol, and many other beautiful dance companies. The Bay Area also contributes heavily to the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® scene.
As my former stomping ground, this visit included a class at Alonzo King LINES Dance Center with ever evolving Erik Wagner and a catch up with my former Gyrotonic Master Trainer, Debra Rose from SF GYROTONIC®.
Before leaving the Bay Area, I was able to squeeze in a Gyrotonic group class with Trainer Mike Luque from The Working Body in Oakland (whom I wrote an article for his blog but never met). Luque’s new space offers a lot of other types of classes too such as boxing, pilates, yoga and personal training.
What Else to Check Out
Gyrotonic & Gyrokinesis Studios
Home to the infinitely cool Northwest Dance Project and BodyVox studios. Unfortunately during my January visit, this city was literally iced over, which made it difficult to get around in a short amount of time.
However the beauty of the Coast Starlight sleeper train from Jack London Square, Oakland satisfied my travel appetite with its stunning views and spacious cabins.
I did, however, briefly speak to Emma Kingston, the Gyrotonic Master Trainer and owner of Center Gyrotonic, to discuss the happenings of a future interview with her about the Gyrotonic Method, dance, fitness, and all of that good stuff.
What Else to Check Out
Dance Teacher and Choreographer
Gyrotonic / Gyrokinesis / Reformer Pilates
This is the quaint (and very rainy) hometown of Pacific Northwest Ballet, Velocity Dance Center, and Cornish College of the Arts. Here, I took a Masterclass with Lavinia Vago from Montreal’s renowned RUBBERBANDance Group.
We moved, danced, and increased our heartbeats continuously for nearly 1.5 hours (in the style of Gaga‘s movement language), then learned some the company’s repertoire. IT WAS AMAZING. Keep an eye on Velocity Dance Centre for future workshops and masterclasses.
What Else to Check Out
Crossed the border for the last stop and lucked out with a sunny day. However, I had an even shorter time to explore the city, so spend the only full day to explore Vancouver by biking the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path, the Seawall at Stanley Park.
28km later, this waterfront-only pathway was very fulfilling. I also got to practice photographing this city’s stunning scenery with my new camera. For skiing enthusiasts, this is your city. Vancouver’s known for their local ski resorts, just 20 mins away, also includes night skiing.
What Else to Check Out
Exercise & Nature
Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain, Mount Seymour
Local Day and Nighttime Ski Slopes
Larger Ski Resort with Hiking Trails
This jam packed trip opened my eyes to the Dance, Fitness and Gyrotonic world. Taking class and understanding the style and vibe of the city was definitely the highlight of the trip. Looking forward to the next adventure.
The Movement Blog’s ‘mini’ dance review aims to give you a ‘short and sweet’ low-down of current performances from around the world.
Company: Skånes Dansteater
Choreographer: Ben Wright (and dancers)
When: November 4th-6th, 2016
Where: Malmo Opera, Sweden
Skånes Dansteater, based in Malmo, Sweden, represents dancers from all over the world. This is my second time seeing the company perform and its diversity is highly apparent. This is also the second time that I’ve seen the company’s performance with other non-dancers, in which their appreciation have been just as enthusiastic.
Skanes Dansteater’s new show, To See the World While the Light Lasts was entirely derived and choreographed from both Ben Wright and the dancers. In addition, dance students from Codarts had the chance to perform as Apprentices in a few shows. Both the Rehearsal Director and one of the Apprentices’ Mentors from the company, Brittanie Brown, agree that they’ve possessed both maturity and the will to be prepared at a moment’s notice along with impressive, beautiful dancing.
Wright’s new show takes on a vast and deep topic: life and death. Without sounding like something to put you off, this double act ballet explores much more than that. There are elements of light, happiness, and partnerships. There’s even a reminiscence of ‘another world’, which could be considered ‘the afterlife’, or it could represent a new beginning in an unknown/alternate universe? That may be for the audience to decide.
In addition to the concept, the performances are completed with an onstage band, a full orchestra in the pit, and the choir from Malmo Opera, whom were set up in the theatre’s balcony behind the audience: surround sound in real time. There’s a familiar feeling with this musical arrangement that seems both folklore and theatrical. Perhaps this allows the viewer to immerse themselves into the story.
Skånes Dansteater’s upcoming performances continue this weekend, November 4th-6th, 2016 at the Malmo Opera. If you’re in the Copenhagen/Malmo area it’s definitely worth a trip (plus Copenhagen and Malmo are both great cities!). Come with a patient, open and curious mind. This show is great for those who like to interpret the meaning of a choreographer’s work.
As it’s holiday season, here’s a compiled list of some essential ‘travel-sized’ fitness and well–being items.
After hours of getting to the airport, standing around, and flying you’re bound to be exhausted, dehydrated, and pretty sore. Travelling requires being (somewhat) prepared before, during, and after. This could also mean remembering to adhere to your fitness and well-being needs. Here are a few essential fitness and well–being items that could be beneficial for pre, during, and post airplane travel, although these items could be used for any other mode of transport as well. Here’s to Zen, Rock and Roll, and feeling refreshed.
Protect your ears, drown out chatter and outside noise, and get a good snooze.
Continue said snooze by drowning out that awful cabin light while refreshing the skin around the eyes (win/win).
Maintain proper sitting alignment by providing support for your neck to avoid awkward spinal positions.
Try soothing scents, such as Chamomile, to help you relax and rest.
Poignant scents, like Grapefruit, can also help with jet lag and staying alert.
Gone are those days of high heels and your best threads. Embrace your favorite workout gear or oversized sweater.
Very helpful for nervous travellers or needing to fall asleep quickly to help adapt to a new time zone.
Nearly all international flights now provide a variety of free music (and audiobooks).
Consider making your own off-line playlists.
Water, Water Everywhere
In a previous post, I mentioned the daily importance of staying hydrated. There’s no better time to practice good hydration than on a plane as flights are extremely dehydrating. You can easily give yourself a hydration boost with plenty of water, face mist, lip balm and moisturisers for the face, body, and hair. Vogue has even suggested using a hydrating face mask the night before and steaming your face from the bathroom sink once you’ve reached your destination (ooh la, la).
In addition, most airlines now allow free refills via their drinks cart or water fountain whenever you like during the flight. However, airplane tap water hasn’t received the best reviews due its potential health hazards. So, if you prefer, bring your own (empty) water bottle and help reduce plastic waste. Seize your filtered water journey by researching and comparing these top 10 water bottle filters, for instance. Filtering water helps to kill bacteria, absorb chlorine, and remove heavy metal ions (just to name a few).
Stretch It Out, Work It Out
Walking around and onboard stretching is a must, especially for long haul flights. For those who want more full-bodied approach can turn to yoga and GYROKINESIS®, which are especially useful in these situations as they can be done sitting or standing. Both exercise methods involve spinal motions, a core workout, and stretching of the entire body. Moving the spine and stretching the legs are generally beneficial to maintaining good health, so why stop on a plane?
Travelling for work or pleasure usually involves a considerable amount of walking, standing, and/or sitting more than your normal day to day routine. Take care of the body by exercising and stretching a little bit each day. Therabands/Resistabands are travel friendly and can provide a mini workout for the entire the body. Using resistance is useful for maintaining fitness and can be used as an aid for stretching.
Another favorite: tennis balls and spikey massage balls. Both tennis and spikey massage balls can be used to eliminate muscle knots and/or release myofascial trigger points. There are a series of simple exercises that can help relieve major points of the body such as the calves, hamstrings, back, hips, and gluteus, which can be done anywhere standing, sitting, or lying down. Excellent as a quick (and cheap) post-flight ritual.
Injured? Try Air Activated Ice/Hot Packs
If you’re injured or suffer back and joint pain, you’ll may need ice or heat to reduce inflammation or pain. Using air activated ice or heat packs are great way to continue your healing process. They are usually inexpensive, compact and, most importantly, are allowed in cabin luggage. Ask your doctor or therapist whether you should treat your pain/ injury with ice, heat, or both during your travels.
Bring ‘Airplane Food’
Another important aspect to consider, in turns of well–being, is the food we eat on the plane. Bringing healthy snacks can help us avoid overeating carbs and sugar. It can also help us feel better, improve potential jet lag, and have less swollen hands and feet. What we drink the plane is also an important factor, of course. Some sources say avoid non-water beverages due to dehydration (as mentioned before), however minimal intake of alcohol, tea and coffee can be all right when followed by plenty of water.
Check out these sources below for recipes and more information about eating and flying:
Safe travels & Happy Holidays! xo