Tizi Talks with Gigi Mwange

"I found self-love"

· Interviews
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Student, Artist, Model

Dear Reader,

Have you ever tried yoga? My first class was back in university and it was called vinyasa (flow yoga) which is where you use a dynamic flow to move from one posture to the next. I walked into the class and everybody was on the headstand pose... I didn't get the memo that it was an advanced class! Of course I embarrassed myself and almost got an injury by attempting it and since then, I have high respect for the yogis out here! Welcome back to episode nine of Tizi Talks with the lovely Gigi Mwange or rather, Gigi the Yogi as I like to call her.

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I have been stalking her instagram for the longest time and I remain inspired by how much she has grown and perfected her skills; be inspired by checking out her page here. She is a yoga enthusiast, a student and a part time artist & model. I had to get her on this series to share her experience with the yoga journey along with the benefits it has brought to her life at a young age. We got to chatting and this is what she had to say...

TIZI: How old are you?

GM: Finally 21 :)

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TIZI: How long have you been working out?

GM: I wouldn't say it has been a long time, but 2 years now.

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TIZI: What made you start working out?

GM: I started doing yoga because I had a keen interest in modern contemporary dance. I fell in love with it and wanted to do it. The problem was that my body needed plenty of work physically. I needed the flexibility, stamina, discipline and strength. A friend of mine suggested yoga to me. I wasn't sure about it at first, so I did my research and started learning at home. Eventually, it turned out to be exactly what I needed in my life.

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TIZI: Do you feel like it has made a difference in your life? If yes, how so?

GM: Definitely yes! I found self-discipline. I understood deeply that good things don't come easy. I found self-love as well. I learned to be patient with myself and stopped comparing myself to others . If I was better than I was yesterday, then I was happy. My self-esteem has blossomed into something positive. I learned to take care of myself and also appreciate both my flaws and beauty. I am also a lot more confident. In terms of my health, it has done wonders. It has helped with my asthma, digestion, appetite, low BP and my bad sleeping patterns. I visit the hospital less now and feel stronger.

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TIZI: Can you please take me through your daily fitness routine on a weekday and the weekend?

GM: I work out and stretch 4 times a week or 5 to 6 days in a week. I normally start with warm ups, then move to my work outs (I work on my core every session) and finish off with my yoga stretches. The sessions go for 2 hours and on a busy day, an hour and a half. On weekends I mostly relax, but once in a while I will jog.

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TIZI: Do you find it difficult to include your workout in your daily routine?

GM: It has honestly been a problem. I can't say I have gotten the hang it, therefore I don't have consistent timings. With school, social interactions, part-time work, as well as my need to relax, I am more focused on making sure I get my 4 days in my week. I'll pretty much sneak in my work out time into my daily routines when the chance pops up.

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TIZI: What keeps you motivated?

GM: I follow dancers, yogis, gymnasts, and fitness gurus. Looking at their work, their energy and passion for their art really moves me and inspires me to work hard. My followers and friends motivate me because they are so kind and encouraging. The number of people that send me messages saying I inspire and motivate them is really touching. It definitely motivates me to keep going on.

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TIZI: What can you advise people who want to start their fitness journey?

GM: Be open minded, don't be intimidated. Be willing to go for it, even when it looks difficult. You'll never know your abilities unless you try. Be patient with yourself. It's not a competition or race. Move at your own pace and do not compare yourself to other's achievements. Do your research. Personal research is very important. Only you alone can understand your body better than anyone else. Keep going! It doesn't get easier, you only get stronger. You will have fall out days, but if you get back to it tomorrow then you are on the right path. No excuses! Make it a major priority.

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Have you seen the ease in how she holds the yoga poses? Gigi needs to school us on yoga! Many of us struggle to find the workout that excites us which is why its important to try a variety of exercises from yoga to spinning, to weight training. Gigi advises that we shouldn't be intimidated by how difficult it looks; all you need to do is start, and remain dedicated. If you are on social media, follow people with similar fitness interests because they will motivate you when you have your fall out days. She also explained that with yoga, she found self-love. What's not to love about yoga.. Bikram anyone??

Yoga is not about touching your toes; it is about what you learn on the way down- Jigar Gor

Yours in Wellness,


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