For most of us hustling the typical 9-5 grind, an alternative career in the fitness industry is quite the curiosity. Couple that with TV and magazine appearances, and you’ve got one interesting CV. Ever wonder what it’s like to be one of those people?
We sit down with yogi, model, host and fitness enthusiast Stephanie Bovis and chat with her about her road to becoming a yoga instructor, and the secret behind that bod.
As a model and host, what are some projects you’ve worked on lately?
Hosting and modeling are quite erratic in my life, but I figure this is the nature of the industry. Some months are productive, others are quiet. I just flow with it. I am currently managed by Artiste-Entertainment, where I host gigs for corporate launches and gala dinners for rather prominent companies. I have no idea why, but apparently I exude a maternal, loving vibe and thus play the occasional mother for commercials every once in a while. If only they knew!
What’s a typical day like for you?
I have been simplifying my life quite a bit lately, as I used to try to cram in an activity or a meeting at every hour of the day. A typical day, sans-appointments, generally goes like this:
- I wake up somewhat early most days (7AM)
- A special someone makes a bullet proof coffee for me, while I prepare for the day slowly, quietly
- Light stretches and breathing techniques to set the body and mind right for the day
- I go to work at Ritual
- On days that I feel great, I try to fit in a HIIT session or a yoga class
- Wind down the evening with some dinner (if I have no other engagements), and read over a glass of wine (one of my favorite things to do).
- Make some love.
- Sleep J
When did you get into yoga?
As a chick who has been active most of my life - engaging in sports such as rugby, volleyball, and of course strength training - I realized that I never really took the time to release the fascia in my joints and stretch out the tightness that resided in my muscles. I started yoga in 2013 at Yoga Movement for therapeutic reasons, and after about a year of consistent practice, I was hooked.
What made you want to become an instructor?
Sharing is my passion. The general yearning to help others better themselves on a somatic, and spiritual level fuels me with energy that contributes to my own wellbeing (there really isn’t such a thing as a selfless good deed, is there?). I realized I have an apt to gain trust, connect with, and influence my students with my own flair, and thus found an outlet for this creativity through facilitating yoga and meditation classes.
We hear that you work at Ritual and Grit, 2 of the coolest gyms in town. What’s that like?
Ritual Gym has been a defining part of my life over the last 4 years, where for the first two years I worked as the Client Relations Manager at our first branch. I am currently focusing on the training and development for Ritual, creating materials for training (operations, customer service) that will replicate and spread the culture as we embark on our mission towards international expansion.
Grit Gym, which is actually Ritual’s “sister” gym, is a multi-faceted institution that offers a wide variety of classes. I teach yoga at Grit part time, and program direct/manage the other yoga teachers that have joined the team as well.
You go to the Bali Yoga Spirit Festival – can you share your experiences there with us?
The Bali Spirit Festival is a 5-7 day long festival that comprises of workshops, talks, and classes during the day, and musical performances at night. It is an experience for yoga teachers, wellness enthusiasts, spiritual guides, and other holistic practitioners to not only learn from other internationally acclaimed teachers, but to also broaden their horizons and influence the ways they teach their students back home. It is also for those who wish to immerse themselves in an eco-friendly environment, and to explore interesting workshops. My favorite workshops are those that focus on tai-qi, philosophy, sex-related workshops, and of course the many disciplines of yoga that are showcased. It always feels good to be a student again.
We have to ask – what do you eat to maintain that amazing physique?
I start my day out generally with a bulletproof coffee. This meaning I grind beans to make a hand brewed long black (I have recently become a coffee snob through certain influences in my life), and blending it with MCT oil/coconut oil, cacao powder, sometimes maca root powder, with a dash of stevia. This keeps me full throughout the morning, and provides me with that caffeine high and enough fats for my brain to function at an optimum.
Depending on my mood (and the time of the month), my choice of lunch varies. Sometimes it’s a nutrient-dense salad, sometimes a meal replacement shake, or even a massive English breakfast. I usually end my day with lots of veggies and protein, very little carbs, and of course, a glass (or two) of a delicious red vino.
Following that, what are your workouts like?
I keep it simple. HIIT and Yoga. I sometimes decide to break the norm and do other activities, but seldom.
If you could only have 1 choice of cheat meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pasta. Pasta. All kinds of pasta.
We’ve seen you at spots at Kilo Lounge. How does alcohol fit in with your lifestyle?
I love to dance, and I love music. I have been going out less these days as I do not think clubbing and nightlife is the ideal situation to catch up with someone, but it’s an outlet I have that allows me to release. I drink a glass or two of red wine most nights, and when I do decide to drink the hard stuff (which is seldom), I either drink a fantastic cocktail at a well acclaimed bar, or drink the alcohol with a sugar-free mixer. It’s the sugary mixers that will contribute to your hangover. Rum is my go-to, tequila is there for me when I want to go wild, and I stay clear of vodka. I counterbalance my “healthy” habits with a lil’ bit of sin, where my true friends know that I am quite a multi-faceted, wild child at heart. J I admit, I am a confusing, complex creature.
In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception women have about weight loss and fitness in general, and how do you address that?
Women do not listen to their bodies enough, and are in general the most susceptible for body image dysmorphia. The two of these combined create a recipe for imbalance in the body, mind, and spirit. As women, our bodies change drastically from day to day, depending on our “time” of the month. Hormones are a real thing, people. It’s impossible to set rigid exercise goals every week as we cannot forecast how the body will feel at that time. All my lady friends know that we go through days where our energy levels are high and can thus smash a HIIT workout, and there are days where we feel groggy and lethargic, which is our body telling us CHILL the f*ck out! My advice would be LISTEN to your body, and try to rid away the guilt that forms when expectations are not met. You are doing more harm than good to your body by pushing it more than what it wants. Rest, many people don’t realize, is just as important as exercise.
Where’s your favourite place to shop for work out gear at the moment?
Under Armour Ambassador over here!
Finally, what’s a mantra or “life motto” (if you will) that you feel people need to hear? (As inspired by your work on The Wellness Report)
Stay true to yourself, and act with integrity. If you are authentic, you will attract those people you WANT to attract. The moment you try to be someone else, you will attract energies that do not complement you, and the toxicity and baggage in your life will accumulate.
Follow Stephanie on Instagram for more wellness and fitness updates @stephaniebovis