Trying out Esquared PLUS Promo Code!

The lovely folks at Esquared approached me to try out the newest London-based fitness app – an opportunity that I snatched up right away! This is an honest review, and all opinions are my own – promise! 

As most of my lovely readers will know, I’m a keen runner and all-round fitness enthusiast. I’m always on the lookout  for new and exciting ways to enjoy fitness in the city, but like most Londoners, I hate the idea of being tied down by a contract. That’s why Esquared, a new London-based fitness app, seemed right up my alley! So let’s jump in:

Esquared 7

What is Esquared? 

Esquared describes itself as “the only place to book on demand exercise classes and gym sessions in real-time. No membership. No commitments. No catches.” It’s a bit like ClassPass, but without having to pay up-front for credits- you just pay as you go.

Some of the studios on offer through the app include:

  • Best’s Bootcamp
  • Fierce Grace Yoga
  • Good Vibes
  • More Yoga

How it works

It’s really simple to get started on the app- just download through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store  and sign up in a few steps. Then, you’re good to go! You can easily top up your account, or use my promo code (further down) for your first class free – exciting stuff!

Esquared-Fitness-app-7

Personally, I’m concentrating on my running at the moment, so was looking for classes to complement my training. Straight away, I found two of my favourite London studios, Good Vibes and More Yoga, and signed up for classes straight away. (Side note – I always forget how difficult pilates and yoga are… and regret signing up about 10 minutes in!)

 

You can sync the app with the calendar on your phone, meaning that you can keep track of classes, and get reminders, and make changes to your booking if you need to. I found this really handy, as some evenings after work I’d find myself in the mood for something other than a regular gym session – and I could make bookings right away!

Once you’re finished with your class, the app asks you to provide a quick review to help other users make their decision. It’s as simple as that!

IMG_2098
Don’t mind me, on the way to Sunday yoga

The Pros 

  • Really easy to use; syncing to your calendar is a really nice bonus and helps you manage your classes on the move
  • Easy cancellation – you can cancel up to an hour before your class without losing your credit
  • No limits on the number of classes you can do at any given studio (unlike ClassPass)
  • In-app payment is really simple, and there seem to be quite regular promo codes

The Cons

  • Still relatively limited in terms of studios – would love to see the likes of Another Space and Psycle on there!
  • You have to review every class straight away, before you can book any more. This is a bit frustrating as you might want to leave a longer review, and that could get in the way of your next class!

Is it worth it? 

Overall, I do think it’s worth it. I would absolutely love to see more variety in the classes on offer – think hot yoga, Crossfit and ballet barre – but for someone who wants flexibility, and likes to book classes at the last minute, it’s perfect!

Promo Code! 

And now to the good part – a promo code for followers of Pip in Motion! It’s super simple:

  • Download the app through the App Store or Google Play Store
  • Enter the promo code PCALVIN20564 
  • Voilá! £20 credit to try your first class with Esquared!

 

What’s your favourite way to keep fit in the city? Have you tried Esquared? 

Lots of love,

Pippa

Advertisements

Life Update: The Mexico Edition

Well well well, quite a lot has happened since I last wrote an update! I’ve just come back from a gorgeous two week break in Mexico, so there’s quite a lot to fill you in on!

What’s been going on

About mid-Summer, I was in a rut with my life, and decided, on a whim, to book a two week holiday to Mexico. I booked a flight, one night in a hostel, and decided to take it from there. Hands down, this was one of the best decisions I’ve made all year. I had a grand total of 5kg luggage allowance (thanks to my airline) and I took off into the sunset, without a plan in the world.

I have to say it was simultaneously the hardest and most rewarding two weeks of my life. I crammed so much into two weeks; the highs and the lows, and ultimately came back with fresh perspective on life.

My itinereary looked like this:

  • Fly into Cancun, spend first night there
  • Ferry to Isla Mujeres
  • Three days beaching, snorkelling and dancing the night away
  • Bus to Tulum
  • Three days exploring ancient ruins, diving in cenotes and a few basic beach days
  • Bus to Playa del Carmen
  • One day entirely rained off by Tropical Storm Michael, followed by one day at a gorgeous beach
  • Half a day travelling, via bus and ferry, to Isla Holbox
  • Two days in Isla Holbox, seeing flamingos, chilling in hammocks, and doing sunset yoga by the beach
  • A ferry back to the mainland, followed by one final night in Cancun
  • A day’s shopping for presents in Cancun, followed by a night flight home!

Needless to say, I fit an awful lot into two weeks, and can thoroughly say I squeezed the pips out of this vacation!

 

Health, Fitness & Food

During my vacation, I completely let go of tracking food or keeping an eye on what I was eating. To be honest, being vegan means that I tend to stick on the healthier side of things – think smoothie bowls, sorbet, veggie tacos, and copious amounts of guacamole – but it was liberating to not even have to think about calories, protein or any of the rest of it. I definitely drank way too many mojitos, daquiris, tequila shots… you name it- but at the end of the day, isn’t that what a holiday’s for?

 

Exercise

When it came to exercise, I was pretty laissez-faire. I was on my feet a lot, exploring throughout the day (and dancing throughout the night), plus I rented bikes wherever possible to see the sights on my own terms. I snorkelled, which was actually a lot more work than I’d anticipated; plus I did yoga whenever I felt like my body needed it.

All things considered, I definitely came back ready to move my body and get back to working out – I’d allowed myself space to miss it.

IMG_4367
NBD just swimming with turtles

Everything Else

One thing I will say, is that travelling can really be quite tough on your mental health. Of course, it’s a wonderful experience, and you get to see incredible beauty; but on the flipside, it can be overwhelming to constantly be surrounded by new sights, sensations and even people, and that can take its toll.

At the outset of my holiday I had sworn to take in as much as I could, and never have a ‘day off’. But pretty soon I realised that this was a holiday, and that it was important to me not to feel burnt out by the whole experience. I’d say I probably had 2 days ‘on’ followed by a day ‘off’, just lounging on the beach or by a swimming pool somewhere – and that felt like the right balance.

I also found myself reading extensively, and journalling more – travel always seems to do that to me. Part of it is wanting to remember all the experiences you’ve had;  but more often than not that leads to self-reflection and deep digging. It was definitely a cathartic time for me, and made me think a lot more about what I want from life. (That doesn’t mean that I’ve figured it out, by any stretch of the imagination – just that I’m gradually inching closer)!

IMG_4362
On a boat, eating watermelon in the sun 🙂

All things said, this holiday was a great way to recharge, and really do something selfish, solely for me, after a demanding few years without much respite. I’ve come back feeling inspired to do something exciting for my next big step in life – and my next holiday!

 

When was the last time you felt truly inspired?

Lots of love,

Pippa

 

The Comeback Chronicles: Episode 3

Well kittens. Another week, another update! After writing a whole post for last week’s update, it went entirely missing… and so we have a lot to catch up on from the past two weeks!

What’s been going on

Last week I was at Ecocamp Glenshee for some well-deserved relaxation in the form of running, cycling and fresh air. Then this week, I started my new job – it’s been intense! I’m writing this feeling pretty knackered after a combination of a new job, switching my workouts to the morning, and my first race back after the broken ankle. Exciting stuff, huh?

img_2520.jpg

Workouts & Fitness

I was very active in Scotland – when the scenery is that beautiful, you just have to get outside. But then this week, I took the fresh start of a new job as an opportunity to start a new habit – something I learned from Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast – and so I switched my workouts to first thing in the morning before work. It’s been tough and it’s still very much a work in progress, but I think I was pretty successful for the first week!

Last Week

  • Monday: 40k cycle, 2k swim
  • Tuesday: 4 mile run
  • Wednesday: Short 16k cycle (absolutely knackered)
  • Thursday: 40k cycle
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: 30 minute run, 10 min row, abs & circuits
  • Sunday: Rest day but a teeny circuit on the rooftop

This Week

  • Monday: Rest day – first day at the new job
  • Tuesday: Kettlebell circuits, 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Wednesday: Sandbag circuits, 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Thursday: Sandbag circuits, 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Friday: 30 mins cardio + abs
  • Saturday: The Comeback 10k!
  • Sunday: Rest. I need it.

 

Running

After one run at the start of last week, the ankle was feeling a bit sore, and so I decided to rest it up in preparation for The Comeback 10K, which was yesterday. I might actually write a full race report on that but TLDR; it hurt, and was actually a lot tougher than I expected on my body! A humbling experience for someone who used to treat a 10k as a short training run. How the mighty have fallen (literally)!  I’ll be taking it easy for now…

IMG_2605

 

Food & Nutrition

I have to say my food choices have been on point the past two weeks; highlights include a gorgeous hummus, beetroot falafel and roasted vegetable wrap from Nero of all places; and lunch with a new colleague at 26 Grains in Covent Garden. Avocado on rye with an oat milk cappuccino on the side. The stuff of dreams!

 

Everything else

I’ve been settling nicely into the new job, although the Family Drama keeps rearing its ugly head and making things difficult emotionally. Nonetheless I’m trying to take it easy on myself, with lots of treats and weekend naps. I was in quite a low place after The Comeback 10k, as I was feeling nauseous as well as achey and emotional – I think a lot of it turned out to be dehydration, but it’s forced me to acknowledge that my body needs to rest.

 

How’s your week been? 

Lots of love,

Pippa

 

 

Yoga All Day: The OM Yoga Show

I was lucky enough to get tickets to the OM Yoga show this weekend, courtesy of Tapped Birch Water. I already stalk them on social media as well as fangirling over their water, so I was absolutely thrilled to find out I had tickets!

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-10-59-08

So let’s get to it: OM Yoga Show is an expo and festival covering all things yoga, mindfulness and wellbeing. Based in Ally Pally, it’s a bit of a trek to get to for a South-Londoner like myself, but well worth the effort. There are products to try, open (free) yoga classes all day, and additional workshops you could sign up to in advance. And so I ate my body weight in free samples and did as much yoga as I could manage, but sadly did not get my aura photographed or my chakra cleansed! Here are some of the highlights:

Open Rocket Class with Yogangsters

This was my first open class, which I somehow stumbled into, and even managed to get a mat right at the front! It was a half-hour class taught by Leon London, and was a great introduction to Rocket Yoga, with a relaxed vibe and some challenging postures.

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-10-54-42

Open “Funky Vinyasa” Class with Kathy Ray

This has to be hands down one of the most bonkers classes I’ve done to date. Kathy was clearly inspired by her experience as a dancer for this vinyasa flow, with both club tunes and deep chill vibes playing over the sound system whilst we moved through an incredibly fast-paced yoga flow. It perhaps wouldn’t have been best for a beginner, but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, myself included!

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-10-54-57

Rocket Yoga Workshop with Marcus Veda

I signed up to this class on the advice of my friend, colleague and all-round fantastic yogi, so I had high expectations! Needless to say Marcus delivered, with a combination of challenging yoga poses and ujyayi breath, all tied together with the rebellious spirit and great sense of humour that Rocket is all about. Marcus’s past life as a DJ came into its own, as the music was paired to the ideal tempo of breathing- all you had to think about was breathing to the music.

I’m not going to lie, I was not prepared for my second Rocket class of the day, especially considering how many miles my legs still have in them from marathon training. I struggled with some of the more intense standing postures, as well as anything that required upper body strength. It’s a goal of mine to get stronger though, and that only happens when you challenge yourself.

We rounded off the class with a pranayama practice followed by meditation and savasanah. I really enjoyed the workshop, but I was completely knackered afterwards, and headed straight to the food tent for some gorgeous vegan eats.

marcus.jpg
I stole this because I was too busy sweating to take photos!

After three yoga classes I was pretty much done, but somehow managed to have another wander around, buying more products I probably didn’t need. Whilst I absolutely loved the show, all the classes, and the positive vibes, it was still pretty hectic and by the end of the day I was craving some downtime to just chill, eat and drink some of the many tea samples I picked up! But it certainly reinvigorated my passion for yoga and the need to incorporate a regular practice into my life. How I’ll do that? Well the verdict is still out, but I’ll keep you posted!

Do you have a regular yoga practice? How do you incorporate it into your life?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Mindfulness: Falling for fall?

Summer has always been my favourite season, and so when Autumn arrives it can be easy to feel despondent. Whilst social media gets excited for crisp leaves, warm jumpers and Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but I often struggle slightly- I think that’s the thing with the British Summer- blink and you’ll miss it.  That’s why it can often be quite startling when Autumn comes around.

That being said, the colder months are generally much better for me than they used to be, and I think that has a lot to do with running all year-round. Spending more time in nature, getting that endorphin fix, and trying to run during the limited daylight hours- without any of this, I’d be lost. So whilst I’m not overly excited about the end of Summer, things are looking up. And here are the things I’m looking forward to:

 

  • Blanket scarves. These are basically a socially-acceptable blanket that you’ll always have to hand during the winter months. I can even get away with wrapping myself up in mine when I’m at the office.

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-17-26-05

  • Chai tea. I feel about chai tea the way many people feel about the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’m in love with it. Cannot get enough. I love super sweet chai tea when you’re stuck inside on a super grey and rainy day. Preferably wrapped in a big blanket scarf.

Screen Shot 2016-09-24 at 22.56.15.png

  • Bonfire Night! This is my favourite “holiday” of the year. We Brits snuggle up, watch fireworks and build huge bonfires, in commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot- an attack on the Houses of Parliament that was foiled at the last minute. It’s such a community event, and I absolutely adore it.

Screen Shot 2016-09-25 at 17.42.31.png

  • Crisp mornings. Whilst Autumn/Winter in the UK is generally grey and foggy, every once in a while we get a gorgeous crisp sunny morning. These are the best to be out running in.

Screen Shot 2016-09-25 at 17.54.18.png

 

So there you have it. I’m not 100% on board for the colder months, but I’m a damn sight more positive than I would have been this time two years ago!

 

What’s your favourite thing about the colder months? Please, give me tips on how to survive!

Lots of love,

 

Pippa