An interview with Vie Activist and physiotherapist, nutritionist and yoga teacher, Katrina Loop
Posted on 06 February 2013
Having had a love of sport since childhood and growing up active, it seemed like a logical progression for Sydney-based health, nutrition and yoga coach Katrina Loop to create a career in health. After having nearly 10 years in the physiotherapy arena, Katrina honed in on her passion for health further, and decided to do post-graduate studies in Nutrition whilst concurrently becoming a certified Yoga Teacher. With the aim of a holistic approach to health, she’s just recently launched her own business ‘HONEY health.nutrition.yoga’
Ed’s note: if you are after a fact-based but holistic approach to wellness in your life then Katrina is your go-to gal. Secretly, we are of the belief that there’s nothing this gal doesn’t know!
How do you live an active life, what’s your favourite way to stay fit?
Leading an active life every day to me is essential. It is about making active choices, like taking the stairs instead of the lift, about doing squats while cleaning my teeth (yes I actually do this!), and fitting in activity whenever I can. I mix it up - I walk, I run, I play tennis, I paddle board and kayak, and I have a daily yoga practice.
What is your favourite thing to do on the weekend?
Be active! I love going for a big walk with a girlfriend or my husband and eat a healthy breakfast (The Bondi to Bronte walk does very nicely). I will do yoga both days, and maybe play tennis. A refreshing swim in the ocean and some beach time is usually on the cards too, and I usually catch up for some good banter with friends for dinner.
What’s your style like when you’re not working out?
Mmm tough one. My style changes with my mood. It is street casual during the day usually, but at night I will throw on a pair of heels and some jeans. I prefer a no-fuss style, that speaks cool and comfortable, not glam.
Favourite healthy dish to cook?
Another tough one! There are so many amazing creations you can make with healthy ingredients. A go-to of mine during the day when I am at home that is super easy is a quinoa veggie bowl. I quickly stir-fry whatever veggies I have on hand in coconut oil and Tamarind paste (capsicum, broccoli, and Kale do quite nicely), take the veggies out and replace them in the pan with a whisked egg until cooked through (flipped half way) the egg then gets chopped up, and I combine all this with cooked quinoa, fresh basil, and the juice of half a lemon. It is kind of a healthy version of fried rice! Yum!
What is your favourite /most effective yoga position and why
Dancers Pose (Sanskrit name: Natarajasana) I feel so graceful in this pose, and it has so many benefits. It requires flexibility, and coordination, and builds full-body strength. The shoulders, chest, and hips are opened, and it strengthens and stretches and the hamstrings, ankles, and abdominal area. The combination of front of body opening and activation of back muscles does wonders for posture too! Aside from the physical benefits, Dancers pose improves concentration, as the pose requires you to remain calm whilst balancing in a standing back-bend. This improves your grace and poise off the mat also.
If someone told you they were too busy for a 90 min yoga class, what quick, do-at-home sequence would you recommend?
This really depends on the experience and state of the individual at the time. To rev up energy, I would recommend stronger poses, including sun-salutations, warrior poses, back-bends, chair pose, and lunges. If the individual needs to wind down, is not sleeping properly, or is not feeling up to a strong practice, then a more restorative practice would be more appropriate. This might include poses that are held for longer to really unwind, such as reclined bound angle pose, child's pose, side-bending poses, and even some meditation to sooth the busy mind.
How do you find balance?
Oh this one is easy. Yoga. It puts thoughts into order, and life into perspective and balance. Every time.
What does living an active life mean to you?
An active life to me is not just about pounding the pavement. And I used to do just that! But after years of sustaining injuries and learning the hard way, I came to the (long overdue) realisation that being active and fit is not about that. For me, it is about listening to your body and what it needs, not your ego, and not about pushing it too far. What you need is usually to get moving, but equally it may be that you need to rest sometimes to avoid injury.