I am

Shona Vertue

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My story in a nutshell

My journey into fitness began at the age of 9 when I started training as an Elite Gymnast in Sydney clocking in 20 hours a week of hardcore skill and agility training. I also practiced ballet and classical dance alongside the gymnastics. As enjoyable as it was for the first few years, the two forms of movement and constant performance pressure, became draining and I disconnected from the joy of it all. After ten years of training and dancing the time had come and so I quit. The next chapter of my life involved a brief stint working in an office where I was shocked to notice that my body had become stiff, weak and tired after only a few months there. This big change in my life meant that the injuries that I had sustained doing Gymnastics and Dance, presented themselves with a vengeance and caused frequent bouts of chronic pain. In retrospect I would say that the silver lining of that physical suffering was that it forced me to seriously inquire about how to make it stop and this was how I discovered Yoga.

I loved Yoga from the very first instance. I liked that it allowed me to move as fluidly as I had done with dance, and with as much strength and focus as I did with gymnastics. I soon realized that it was more than just a physical practice and that the philosophy itself helped me on mental and emotional levels too. Through Yoga I have come to believe that physical health cannot be completely attained unless we also address the wellbeing of our mind and heart.

In 2008 I traded in my white shirts and pencil skirts for a pair of yoga pants full time and I have never looked back.

Since then, I have taught in several independent studios in Sydney, Australia, and co-facilitated health retreats around the world in places such as Thailand, Taiwan and Samoa. In autumn 2015 London Gatwick Airport enlisted my help to create a pre-flight yoga routine, to help passengers relax before flying, shown on screens in Gatwick’s South Terminal.

I am a certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher with over 10 years industry experience. In addition to this, over the last five years I have obtained qualifications in Chinese Massage, Dry Needling and Fascial Stretch Therapy with the Stretch to Win institute. I feel that this has enabled an eclectic and holistic approach to the way I educate my clients and myself.

I see my mission in life as broadcasting the message, as widely as possible that the key to health is a commitment to your own self-love and self worth.

My Musings on Strength Training:

I train to have strength, maintain agility… oh and have fun! I strongly feel that when health goals are based only on things such as body weight or having a six-pack our self-esteem will be at the mercy of the number on the scales (which we all know will fluctuate based on partners, jobs, delicious late night kebabs, and menstrual cycles for women). My years as a gymnast and dancer and then later, briefly, as a body builder meant that I was constantly struggling with insecurities about myself physically and spent far too much time looking in the mirror – which was incredibly boring.

If we work towards goals related to accomplishing a feat of strength or a skill – such as completing a chin up, a handstand or even a full push-up – the rewards are tied to achievement which can’t be taken away if you decide to have that second bit of birthday cake or piece of pizza (I love both). We are rewarded, as we get closer to achieving our goals and motivation to train will become more consistent and not just a seasonal flurry.

My Musings on Yoga:

Yoga is more than just a physical practice – it is a medicine, a way of life and a method for deepening awareness to the point of physical liberation and enlightenment. When I began doing Yoga it was simply a physical practice, a wonderful stretch class with a weird 5-minute sleeping session at the end (now known to me as Savasana – one of my favourite postures). However, after just a few months of consistent practice I was witnessing incredible benefits throughout all aspects of my body and life. Yoga requires no equipment and can give you the independence to move your body in a healthy way, wherever you are.

The Vertue Method:

The Vertue Method incorporates my experience as a yoga teacher, gymnast and personal trainer resulting into a workout that is healthy, holistic and seriously badass.

The Vertue Method is a fusion of yoga, gymnastics, weighted circuit training and meditation, designed to uplift both your soul and your butt. It begins with a signature warm up comprising of full body movements to mobilise joints as well as a sequence of serious glute activation exercises to prepare the correct muscles to fire. This is followed by a series of compound exercises, using kettle bells and resistance bands, in timed circuits; all carefully chosen to create a strong and lean body.

The session includes yoga sequences and ends with a soothing savasana meditation to further stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, aiding in recovery.

My intention behind creating the Vertue Method was to accommodate for those that either neglect their flexibility practice or their weight training – it is for everyone!

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