Now that summer is here, I feel light as a feather, less stressed and revel in not having to get my kids up for school, pack lunches, etc., However, this is also the season when I become a little more focused on my health and notice the old body needs a bit more attention!
No more hiding behind long sleeves and turtlenecks, out come the bare arms, legs and toes and keeping them in tip-top shape is often easier said than done. I will fully admit that summertime makes me a little self-conscious as I realize my once-toned arms are resembling a bit of a bat wing and my skin needs a lot of polishing. This being the fact, I am careful not to be so hard on myself and try to look at the glass as half full. None of us are getting any younger and things do change from year to year, but summer always provides that push to get more motivated. It not only gives me an extra incentive to be more healthy, but also gives me opportunity to slather on new products, try new fashion ideas and take advantage of the beautiful weather and change up my exercise routine.
The Vancouver sea wall is bustling this time of year and I love getting outside, chatting with the neighbours and enjoying the community, as well as interacting with families. Of course, my dog George enjoys meeting new friends as well.
However, nothing refreshes the mind and body at the same time better than yoga and I love practicing outdoors on my patio! The wind and warmth give me that extra sense of zen. I realize so many people are intimidated by yoga believing that in order to practice, you must be able to twist yourself into a pretzel — not true! There is yoga for all levels and if anything, it simply will stretch you out, tone your muscles and clear your mind. If you haven’t tried it, I really encourage you to do so!
Most recently, due to my love of yoga, I have become a designer of activewear and am so proud to see one of my dreams come to fruition. Our new stores are called LotusActiva and our motto is “YOU define the brand.” I want to encourage all women to feel good about themselves — instead of focusing on what they don’t like about themselves, to focus on what they DO like.
I believe that women should be comfortable and confident with who they are, at whatever size they are. Women should endeavour to change, if this is part of their own personal path. Society has put parameters on what are acceptable norms or standards for women, and our mantra is to re- examine and redefine these standards and make them real for all women. We want to encourage women to be active at every size, every stage, and every condition of their lives. We realize changing society’s overriding belief is not a simple task or something that will occur overnight. Through a re-definition of the idea of beauty, we aim to reframe the standards of self-image and body perception. We are all beautiful! We are all unique! We are all on the same journey of rediscovery. We are the New Standard.
So get outside this summer, slather on your sunscreen, take a walk, take a yoga class and just be loud and proud of who you are, sister!
By Mary Zilba inside the summer 2014 issue of NICHE