Balance Festival

What they say

"London, get ready. The UK’s largest celebration of the fitness and wellness scene is back in town.
Explore cutting-edge fitness classes, sample delicious healthy foods, learn from leading experts and browse the latest brands, and more..."



What I say


If you read my post from last year's Balance Festival (http://hannah-fashionlife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/balance-festival-highlights.html) , you might remember my rave review. With this month seeing one of the UK's biggest wellness festivals return for a second time round, in all honesty, I was a bit apprehensive about returning. After having SUCH a good time at the first one, surely year two couldn't quite live up to my fond memories?


Needless to say, I was wrong!

What we did

OK so, it says it in the name, but Balance festival is all about, well, Balance. With three main ideas - Explore and Sample, Sweat and Smile, Watch and Learn - I made sure to balance my way round them all!!

Explore and Sample

..... aka the Foodcourt! With far too many brands than I could ever mention, as soon as I entered on Friday night we went into a bit of a food frenzy, trying all the delicious samples on offer. Over 100 brands showcasing the latest in fresh produce, protein shakes and bars, yummy treats with a healthy (ish!) slant, Friday night ended up being a bit of a write off in terms of the fitness side of things..... I was far too full of food to even consider a burpee!!



I mean, had to try everything in the name of research, right?! Highlights included:

1. Fuel 10K- first time I met these guys was back at an Active In Style event when, being on lent, I was devastated not to be able to try their Chocolate Protein Peanut Butter. Luckily, the team remembered me and were lovely enough to give me a full squeezy pouch to take away and enjoy to my hearts content!! And I can confirm - it was worth the wait!

2. MissFits - I mean, do these guys even need an introduction?! Now stocked everywhere from Holland and Barratt to your local Tesco, alongside recently adding a Salted Caramel option to their range of all natural and nutritious protein powders, MissFits are truly on their way to world domination. As for their Chocolate Protein Wonderballs, I AM LITERALLY OBSESSED.



3. Innermost - Couldn't complete my highlights without giving a HUGE shout out to these guys! Effectively how I ended up at Balance at the first place, I won two tickets for the festival after entering myself and my friend in their Instagram competition. A company founded with the vision to inspire people to live their best lives through better health and wellbeing,  they could not be more inline with my own ethos, and with their all natural range of unadulterated, responsibly sourced, low-sugar and GMO-free protein powders and supplements, they are certainly living up to their promise.

Aside from the food marketplace, there was a second space dedicated purely to activewear....dream. The brand new Pro Direct Fit took centre stage, showcasing the latest adidas and reebok drops, alongside stands by all your other activewear favourites and Sport FX makeup.


Sweat and Smile

OK, so if my Friday was dedicated to eating, Saturday it was time for sweating! With a back to back to line up of all my favourite classes, here's what we got up to:



1. Boys Of Yoga - Yoga's not usually the kind of thing I'd select out of choice at a festival/event, but when seeing the line up for this event included literally my three favourite yoga instructors in the whole of London - Chris Magee, Marc Hatvani and Cat Meffan - I was there in a flash!

2. Barry's Bootcamp - a 30 minute 'taster' of the real thing, with 15 minutes of weights on the floor and 15 minutes of running intervals on the tread, it didn't quite provide the full Barry's experience, however with legend Samantha Stone taking our class, we definitely didn't leave feeling short changed!



3. Third Space WOD - Because even at a festival FULL of other studios, I still stay loyal to my Third Space Fav! (Who am I kidding - I have the LEAST loyalty whatsoever when it comes to fitness....  #studioslut). Anyway, with WOD (Workout Of the Day) being the newest (and best, in my opinion!) concept class to launch at Third Space London, we made our way through a killer circuit of dumbbells, kettlebells, swings and burpees. Competing against each other and the clock, I put my months of practice to good use, finishing the workout first in the class.



4. Kelsey Wells Power Body - OK, I admit, I'm really not good at this whole 'influencer' stuff and I actually hadn't a clue who Kelsey Wells was (sorry!). But after finding she's part of the BBG global craze, I decided to join my crew to see what all the fuss was about. Honest opinion? INCREDIBLE figure, pretty poor class. Sorry Kelsey.... stick to the app!




5. Boom Cycle - fifth and final - time for Boom Cycle! Now, despite having been a few of these 'dancey spin' styles classes recently, I'm definitely still a watt bike girl at heart. (Note - 'dancey spin' refers to when you, quite simply, 'dance' on the bike - claps, press ups, tricep dips etc.) Now, personally if I want to do a press up I'll go the GYM, not a spin class, but you know what? If you are gonna do a dancey spin, Boom Cycle is the place to go to! (try to book in with Bangs if you do, she's fab!)


Watch and Learn

A host of leading experts and professionals sharing the latest wellness knowledge, training advice and science backed nutritional recommendations, I probably didn't make as much of 'The Lab' stage as I should have (too busy spent in the studios) but the one talk I did make - Luke Worthington, Jamie Ray and Tameka Small -  'Body Consciousness' - could not have been more worthwhile. The key highlights I took from the 45 minutes of down to earth, funny but factual presentation:


1. Your goal for working out - pick something tangible, something performance related, not just  to 'lose weight'. Workout so that you can run a 10k, be able to do 10 pull ups, perform a single squat with completely correct form. Master that, and the aesthetics will follow.

2. Don't set your happiness on achieving a target weight. We've all done it right - I reach 'X' amount of kg, then I'll be happy. But where did that number even come from? Chances are, you plucked it out of thin air. Chances are, it probably doesn't mean much. Chances are, even when you get there, if that's what you're placing all your importance on, you still won't be happy. Focus on what your body can DO, how that can progress.

3. SCHEDULE A REST DAY! This is probably the biggest one for me. Clearly, I overtrain. Not because I feel 'guilty' if I don't (far from it - I know it's actually the best thing for my body if I have to miss a session!) - but because the temptation is just too much. There's always something going on, an event, a workout, a #squadgoal opportunity. Meaning I keep going, and only when I actually get injured and FORCED to stop, that's when I step back. But as Luke Worthington posed to us - "you have to schedule your rest days in. If you're so run down that you HAVE to take one, it's already too late. Think of your car - you book it in for it's MOT in advance, you don't keep driving it until it fails and then consider getting it seen to. Treat your body with the same respect".


AMEN to that.

Highlights

With all the activewear, healthy food, fitness studios on offer, you might think I'd have a hard time picking the highlight. Funnily enough, I don't. And even MORE funnily enough, my highlight of the event was absolutely none of the above....



My highlight was the people. The social circles. The community. You literally couldn't walk a few steps without bumping into someone you knew, stopping to chat, getting in a workout/photo/snack together. Sure, instagram, social media, it gets a lot of stick. And I understand why. But without it, I wouldn't have met so many of the people I genuinely feel lucky enough to call true friends. The people who share my passions, my values, my ambitions. Ultimately, the people who have become the circle of positive influences in my life today.


Lowlights

Overall, it was an incredible day, however as with everything on this sort of scale there are a few minor things that could be improved for the next year. Firstly, one that caused quite a few grumbles was the fact that classes weren't included in the ticket price, but had to be booked for an extra £6-£12 depending on the session.... meaning effectively you pay the £30 ticket price purely to walk in the door. As for the £45 VIP tickets - not worthwhile. The VIP lounge is less of a lounge, more of a seperate seating area.... and with so much else going on your unlikely to want to be in there anyway. Finally, most of the stands started packing up an hour or so before close - meaning if you bought an afternoon ticket, you were cut a little short.

Need to Know

Location: Old Truman Brewery, Shoreditch
Price: Half day tickets cost £30, VIP full day for £45 (prices vary depending on when you book). Classes cost £6-£12 and are paid for separately.
Dates: 2019 dates will be announced very soon.... keep your eyes peeled!
More Info:  https://www.balance-festival.com/London/

Baileys, Burpees and Balance


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