health and fitness, mobility, Pilates, self help, Uncategorized, yoga

Splits…or maybe Not?

Splits… or maybe Not?

Ive recently read a BBC article linking Yoga and hip replacements and hip issues. Please do have a read it – it is a good one and I am totally, both hands and legs up, agree with the article 🙌🏼

I have hip displasia, which has unfortunately only been diagnosed this year. I was born with it, but it only really showed up around a year ago. My condition might have been aggravated by my exercise routine, but Yoga wasn’t the root cause of it.

Before I got the hip displasia diagnose, I was being treated from hip bursitis and hip impingement for well a few months. The pain wasn’t going away and I kept doing CrossFit, running and everything else I was not meant to be doing (as I know now) on the days when the pain would disappear, and then it would come back with the vengeance. It was very frustrating and upsetting.

I did a lot of research, listened to a few podcasts (Yogaland in particular, podcasts with Jill Miller who had a hip replacement and openly talked about it), and at that point of my life I discovered that many many yoga practitioners in their early 40s and 50s had hip replacements🙄

Why? Because if your hips are not anatomically and physiologically designed to get into splits, and you keep pushing them into the positions totally out of your reach – you will eventually p’ss those hips off. The rest is history…

It doesn’t mean Yoga is bad for you – Yoga is great for you if you don’t focus purely on the hips. You can add some other activities to compliment your Yoga practice: Pilates to strengthen your core and spine; Barre & Strength Conditioning to strengthen the muscles around tbe hip joint, Swimming, walking..

I stopped practicing splits as well as some other yoga poses and re designed my practice. I had to stop CrossFit after 6 years of training, and weight train sensibly a couple of times a week now; I stopped running and doing anything that can aggravate my hip condition and walk or use a bike instead.

Don’t push that hip to open beyond what’s comfortable, practice within your own limitations and abilities and always make sure you make it into YOUR practice – it doesn’t matter if a girl on a mat next to you can go into the splits and wrap her legs around her head… if it doesn’t serve your body – it won’t benefit you 💕

Love & hugs,

Natallia xxx

gratitute, health and fitness, Pilates, self help, Uncategorized, yoga

Ease and Release November

Hello lovely people and hello November!! November is proving to be a very exciting month at Natallia’s Fitness HQ: more trainings, more workshops and a lot of exciting future projects!

Let me ask you: What is your passion? What makes you jump out of bed and sometimes ignore your children and sometimes forget to eat? What is it that can make you so excited that you walk with a spring in your step?

I can go first:  watching and re watching all the 5 seasons of Ally Mcbeal 😆 and Understanding Human Body it is for me (not at the same time but I do enjoy both of them ;))

I have always been interested in mobility, human anatomy and functional movement. 

My own teaching is very much based on principals of alignment and precision with a sprinkle of mindfulness, fun and strength. That’s why I was so drawn to CrossFit: a combined trio of Yoga, Pilates and Crossfit were all feeding off each other complimenting strength with mobility and breath work. Unfortunately I had to give up on Crossfit due to my wonky hip, but I still weight train a couple of times a week.

My first introduction to therapy balls and foam rollers happened back in 2008 during my Pilates training; and came from a well known in the UK fitness professional, who was at the time training for the Ironman triathlon. Since then we have been using the balls for foot massage and trigger points release in my Pilates classes and in a couple of Aerial sessions as well. 

Foam rollers have been a huge part of my Pilates sessions for years now: we use them for Pilates exercises as well as for rolling out.

After attending a Yoga & Myofascial Release (MFR) training in September with Rachel Land at Kali Collective studio in Glasgow, I have been enjoying working with the balls and other MFR tools incorporating them in a variety of sessions: Yoga, Pilates, Barre and one to one practices. I’m fascinated about fascia and the ways to manipulate it to make us humans function more efficiently.

I have already started feeding MFR techniques into all of my classes and I’ll be continuing doing that in November. We have 2 Wednesday Yoga Sessions combining Yoga & Myofascial Release coming up this month. 

Pilates crew have been introduced to the balls and foam rollers on a slightly deeper level already and there is more exciting stuff to come. 

In November I’m running my very first session incorporating therapy balls into an Aerial Yoga Practice. Both sessions have sold out crazy fast and there will be more of them coming in 2020! 

The benefits of using balls, foam rollers and yoga blocks for muscle and tension release, relaxation  and mobility aid are enormous. 

I’m very excited about the way my own teaching is going; and being a mobility geek I would love to help people to see what these tools can do for you. I can finally define my personal style of teaching and where and how I would like to take it further.

I’m beyond excited to continue my MFR training in December with Jill Miller  – founder of Yoga Tune Up! I bought the whole set of her Yoga Tune Up balls and the Roll Model Book a few years ago. I’ve listened to numerous podcasts with Jill and have been following her mobility and yoga journey, hip replacement phase and her blogs for a while now. Funny enough, I now have a Facebook badge of her top fan 🙂 So so excited about my London trip to Triyoga attend the course; and hopefully jump into a few yoga sessions while I’m there as well!

It has been an exciting phase for me recently with many things falling into the right places at the right time and new projects shaping up quite nicely. 

Please do visit my website to check out everything we offer; and our November newsletter with more information on all the happenings is landing in your inboxes this weekend.

What’s on in November?

  1. Pilates Fundamentals 6 week course

Starts 1st of November 

7:15pm – 8:30pm


The course has now started, but I can squeeze in 1 more person if you sign up until Friday the 8th of November. Group sessions are running alongside online 

  1. RRR: Yoga & Myofascial Release (MFR) Series (small group sessions)

***1/2 price offer on November Workshops***

I’m looking for 6 people to join my Saturday 2 Hour Yoga & Myofascial Release Sessions happening on the 17th and 30th of November.

These are the first long Yoga & MFR combined practices I’m running and I’m offering them at half the price of regular 2 hour sessions in exchange of your feedback and to trial the practices.

If you are interested in joining me please follow the link below and I’m looking forward to stretching, relaxing and releasing all those right muscles with you in November!

November, 16th (Saturday) – Yin & Release Yoga Practice with MFR

11am – 1pm


November, 30th (Saturday)Open Hips, Strong Core & Happy Feet Yoga Practice with MFR.

11am – 1pm


  1. Essential Yin & Sound Bath 

November, 24th

10am – 1pm

Mulbuie Hall

A morning of restorative yoga, pranayama and deep relaxation surrounded by aromas of essential oils and concluded by an hour of singing bowls.

We have been running this Workshop since March, 2019 and it is one of my most favourite sessions. 

This will be our last long session in 2019 and we would love to have you all joining us for a lovely Sunday morning practice.

  1. Aerial Yoga Workshops

All November Workshops are now FULL as well as 2 December ones. I have recently added a new afternoon session on the 1st of December – 1:30-3:30pm. Currently it has 5 spaces left. The last 5 Workshops have sold out crazy fast, so please do reserve your space if you don’t want to miss out!

I’ll release January and February sessions soon. I will be running one Sunday Yoga & Myofascial Release Workshop and 2 Friday Aerial Yoga Workshops per month.

Many many thanks for all your interest and I am very much looking forward to the sessions!

  1. ***New morning classes at The Studio in Inverness*** I am excited to share the news that I’ll be taking a few morning classes at The Studio starting from the 6th of November

Everyone is welcome to join these – upload GymCatch App, find The Studio and get booking!


6:30am – Power Yoga

7:15am – Barre


9:30am – Pilates

10am – Barre

Have an easy and happy November everyone!


Natallia xxx

gratitute, Uncategorized

My Bali Adventures. Day 2

That long awaited sleep had to wait for 10 hours as for the second time in less than a year my Bali trip was affected by an erupting volcano (the same one as in 2017).

So far volcano is definitely winning:

Erupting Volcano 2: Trip to Bali 1

We were told to go to a restaurant to get the food vouchers and have some food while waiting for information. The food wasn’t the best and everyone was knackered.

At 2:20am and 2 coffees after we were told the flight might be delayed for even longer. Then the news arrived that we were to wait til 8am for any further updates.

I made friends with a lovely Swiss girl and we were chatting the whole night in between walking up to the restaurant and walking around the airport. I would have been long fast asleep if I was on my own.

The updates came only about 10am and we could then depart 12noon.

By the time we eventually took off,  we had stayed at the airport for 10 hours. All this was followed up by an 11 hour flight.

The cabin crew and the guys at the airports were super nice and helpful. We also had WiFi on the plane and loads more new movies to watch in between regular feeds ;))

I am very grateful for the fact that the flight went ahead and  we were on our way to the final destination! Some people were stranded for well over 24 hours.

I’m only hoping for good positive flawless holiday! Only onwards and upwards from now on!!


My Bali Adventures. The Intro

The Story That Led To It.

It all started in 2013 when I decided that I just had to have another degree (I had already had one in Linguistics by then) in Business, Management & Marketing. 4 yeas later and many many stressful days and nights that came with it I graduated from UHI with that exact degree and to be honest with not necessarily a wide spectrum of knowledge that I was hoping to get out of the course.

I remember finishing off my last assignment on a module that I had no interest in whatsoever and my daughter wanted to play with me. I yet again gave her the excuse of having to finish yet another assignment. She wasn’t impressed and I felt guilty..again. But when I told her that it was the very last one her eyes lit up! She was so excited and kept asking me if I was ‘pinky promise’ sure it was the last assignment and when I ensured her that it really was she was happy to let me finish it. After graduating I had loads of quality time with Eva taking her out and just being there for her!

I found these 4 years quite stressful, but being stubborn and hating quitting I held up to the end. It was hard, stressful and time consuming. Hats off to Angus for carrying me and my stresses and moods through these 4 years!

And I learnt a good lesson: sometimes quitting isn’t a bad thing. You should go with the gut feeling not with the head sometimes.

So, that summer I thought that I would go away somewhere as a treat for being under so much pressure for 4 years. And I chose Bali!

I booked a retreat in Bali for October 2017, but ended up not flying there as the biggest volcano on the island was just about to erupt any time then. After yet another couple of stressful weeks of trying to decide whether to take that risk and go or stay safe I decided to stay put and transferred the retreat to July 2018.

So here I am now, on my first flight from Inverness to Birmingham with 2 more flights and 18 hours of travel ahead of me (which turned out way more than that!)

clean eating, health and fitness, Uncategorized


sprouted grains

Adding these to your food will give your body a bit of extra goodness!

If you are not familiar with sprouted grains, here’s a bit of information on why we sprout them and what they are.

I sprout wheat at home and add it to kefir, scrambled eggs and salads.

(Wild salmon with scrambled eggs, spinach and sprouted grains)

A regular grain is essentially a seed that you could put in the ground to grow a new seed-producing plant. When you let that grain start to grow, but harvest it before the shoot turns into a full-fledged plant, you end up with sprouted grain. Pretty straight forward, right? Well, here’s where things get more complicated… In order for a shoot to grow, it digests some of the starch inside the seed and uses it as fuel to break through the grain’s outer shell. So, since sprouted grain is lower in starch, it has higher proportions of other nutrients, like protein, vitamins, and minerals, compared to unsprouted grains (

“The advantages of sprouted grains are maximized when you are eating the sprouted grains themselves,” (

Sprouted grains are whole grains, and whole grains are healthier than their refined-grain alternatives, like white bread, pasta, and rice.  (

Sprouted Grain: Benefits

Sprouted grain differs from whole grain in three fundamental aspects:

1) sprouting activates food enzymes;

2) sprouting increases vitamin content,

3) sprouting neutralises antinutrients like phytic acid which bind up minerals preventing your ability to fully absorb them.

When examining the nutrient density of sprouted wheat to unsprouted wheat on a calorie-per-calorie basis, you’ll find that sprouted wheat contains four times the amount of niacin and nearly twice the amount of vitamin B6 and folate as unsprouted wheat; moreover, it contains more protein and fewer starches than non-sprouted grain and as a further boon, it is lower on the glycemic index making it more suitable for those suffering from blood sugar issues.

Furthermore, sprouted grain and sprouted flours – having been effectively “pre-soaked” do not need to undergo further soaking or souring and are therefore suitable for quick breads, cookies and cakes in a way that sourdoughs and soaked flours are not (

You can always purchase sprouted grain flour online if you don’t want to do it at home.




Despite being on the most underestimated activities, walking has many benefits for your health and fitness.

Although many of us have changed our perception on walking, it still remains one of the most underestimated activities out there. The main reason for this stems from the illusion that a few exercise sessions a week (especially if they are high intensity ones) or going out on runs eliminate the need for taking a walk.

So what is that miracle benefit that can only be achieved by walking?

If fat loss is your goal, incorporate walking into your lifestyle! If you are dealing with too many stresses, going for a walk might be that miracle cure you have been missing! If you want to rebalance your hormones to multiply the post-training/weightlifting/cardio effect, walking is the key to all of the above!

Walking and high-intensity exercises like intervals and weight training are synergistic in their actions. “This is not a calorie phenomena but rather a hormonal one. In order for the body to recover properly, age well, build muscle and burn fat, it needs the correct balance of stress producing hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline) compared to growth promoting hormones (testosterone and human growth hormone,)” (HGH). During an exercise session, the desirable effect is to raise all of these hormones together to maximise fat loss.

However, in the days and hours following an intense workout, it is most beneficial to maximise the levels of growth hormones while minimising the levels of stress hormones. To keep stress levels low, walking should be done at a leisurely pace.

Many fat loss seekers misunderstand that changes in the way your body looks has much to do with changing the way you feel. Stress lowering activities such as yoga, Tai Chi and meditative practices are wonderful at this. A lower cortisol level along with lower perceived feelings of stress will have a positive impact on fat loss directly through less cortisol activity, and also indirectly through potential decreases in hunger and cravings for sweets or fatty foods, which cortisol will impact. The effect of walking is magnified in a nature setting as feelings of relaxation and comfort are enhanced.

So if fat loss is your goal you should maybe look into:

  • Changing your power walking to leisure walking
  • Whenever possible walk in nature-based settings

walk1Walking anywhere is better than no walking, so if you are nowhere near nature-based settings, any type of leisure walking will still help to balance the nervous system and make you feel more relaxed. In those cases when it is possible, go for a walk in a nature setting like the woods as it seems to have an even greater impact on rebalancing our hormones and making us feel more relaxed and rejuvenated.

Another big problem with walking is taking that first step and actually going for it. If you are very new to walking, start small with a 5-10 minute walk and gradually increase the time and the distance. Have a step goal you want to achieve daily and try and beat it if you can.

This feature is available on a variety of tracking devices (Argus being one of them), which are a great help to stay on track and be accountable for your actions. It all depends on how much you would like to invest into your tracker (or get a free app!), but I would certainly recommend having one.

10,000 steps per day should be the minimum step goal for a more or less active individual. A considerably lower number of steps is ok for those who are just starting to make changes to their lifestyles.

A few tips on how to make walking more fun

  1. Listen to Podcasts. I am a big fan of them and with a busy lifestyle, walking is the only time I can listen to podcasts. They are free and it is amazing how much new up-to-date information you can get out of them. There are so many podcasts out there ranging from comedy to science. (My personal favourite is Tim Ferriss’ podcast).
  2. Get a dog. With a dog, you will have no choice but to take the dog out! Can’t have one? Borrow a dog from somebody or join your friends on a doggie walk! Time flies when you have a walking companion.
  3. Walk different routes. If you can, avoid walking the same route daily to prevent yourself from becoming bored!
  4. Join a local walking group.
  5. Walk on your lunch break and whenever you can get around not using the car!
  6. Walk your kids to school and from school.

There are absolutely millions of ways you can get in these 10,000 steps into your day without even thinking of it or making any effort!

Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Achieving small goals brings big satisfaction! Make little changes and you’ll be surprised how easy and quickly it is to reap all the benefits of walking!


3 Easy Steps To Clean Eating

Why do you think it is important to eat clean? The answer is simple: if you want to be healthy, fit, have glowing skin, sleep well and feel great then you should seriously think to incorporate the 80/20 principle into your life (80% – clean, 20% – cheat meals)

3 easy steps to clean eating:

  1. ESTABLISH for yourself what it actually means to eat clean.

In a few words it is: no gluten, no preservatives, no fizzy drinks or shop bought juices; no sugary snacks or shop bought ready meals; no ‘magic’ shakes; cook from scratch; eat fruit and veg and whenever you can go local or organic! (no dairy if possible as well)

  1. Make SMALL changes to your diet. Setting yourself a ginormous goal of going from eating junk to suddenly becoming healthy overnight will most likely lead to failure. Start excluding or cutting down on ‘bad’ foods gradually, i.e. one per week (week 1 – gluten; week 2 – sugary snacks, etc.).

If you do not want to completely cut out gluten from your diet, try and cut down on it (gradually); eat spelt based foods; try rye bread maybe??

  1. Be MINDFUL about food. That means

– learning to eat when you are actually hungry, and not just bored so you decide to snack on a packet of Doritos

– knowing what that food does for your body. Especially if you are lacking some vitamins – eat the foods rich in those! Supplements are great, but nourishing your body (and mind) by naturally absorbing these from real food rather than supplementation is so much better for you.

There is a lot of information online on Vitamins and where to get them from (which foods). If your plate looks like a rainbow (vegetables, berries and fruit of various colours) – there is a very high chance you are consuming most of the required vitamins for your body.

Talking about supplements: my advice for anyone would be to start taking Vitamin D, magnesium, fish oils (or krill oil), and to include spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass, etc into your diet (add them to your yogurts or take them with coconut water!) Obviously if you are lacking other vitamins then do take them as well.

Do not go cold turkey and be 100% good with food (unless it works for you). Have a treat, have a cheat meal, do not deny yourself of stuff you like and crave, but have it as a treat, not as a daily routine snack. Pareto’s 80/20 principle can be applied to absolutely any situation, including healthy eating.

Your health and how you feel should become your priority. Would you rather be skinny, hungry and miserable or healthy, fit and content??


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