I had been in two minds as to whether or not to go to the Balance Festival. I’d been to stuff like this before, was this really going to add to the already quite busy fitness/wellness event scene in London? In the end, I looked at the line-up of talks and saw something on the Sunday that got me quite interested…..
I got to my talk a couple of minutes in, it was already so packed, surprisingly, with a smattering of men (PT’S perhaps looking for ways to convince women to lift?) From where I was standing (at the edge of the talk), the DNA-altering screams of encouragement from the “Box/Hitt” class next door were drowning out the talk, so I moved on.
Sound was an issue at times. The idea of having DJs and banging tunes is great when you are trying to crush your personal best in a fitness session. But, when you are sampling a juice, chatting about refined sugars in cake, trying a luxurious body oil or considering signing up to a flower/recipe/veg delivery box, the pounding beats are less helpful. If I’d done 3 days on one of those stands near the DJ….. For next time, maybe let’s have some banging and chill tunes put all the big beats downstairs. Just a thought
I usually come away from events like this with leggings. It’s my thing, I teach all week: my justification is that I have to look good for my clients…. OK, it’s true it also means that I can shop and indulge in a bit of retail therapy. I feel that I am lucky to be working in fitness now, leggings are my uniform, I love beautiful clothes and active wear is having a moment with lots of stylish designs to choose from. My efforts do pay off, as some of my clients do stop me and ask me where I get my clothes from. Another thing I like is to wear stuff that isn’t seen everywhere. So these events are a great way to discover stylish new leggings and other fitness gear.
This time there seemed to be fewer brands to choose from that at other shows that I have been to. There was the wonderful Active in Style (they now have a men’s range, yay) and a handful of other companies. One that stood out for me was Bella Kinesis, they are British designed and made, the company is run by two friends and it has a great social conscience. Lastly, they use quality Italian fabric, which, I learned, decreases the chances of the bobbling that happens with wash and wear. I didn’t get anything at the show, but I’m looking forward to their range next time I need new leggings.
In the end I bought body oil and washing liquid. Lol, so far from leggings, I know. That was one of the surprises for me, bumping into some lifestyle brands that made me sit up and take notice. Both products smelled so lush. A tuberose infused coconut oil from beauty company LIHA and a lavender washing liquid from mother and daughter outfit KINN. They had a lovely luxury lifestyle vibe, nice ethics and it gave me a chance to support some women business owners. Always excited to support the #girlboss.
Usually I’m not organised enough to book class tickets before a fitness show and then there always seems to be a queue when I get there. This time, it was different. I actually pre-booked an Xtend Barre session when I booked my ticket (some executive – skills on show there) and I signed up for a PHIIT MOTR class when I got there.
OMG, pain. Lol as a fitness teacher it’s easy to forget to do your own practice, even if you are doing your own practice your body can get used to your routines and programmes. I squatted more in these two session more than I have all year. I loved them, it was good to get to try out some new moves.
As well as the classes, I had a few conversations with some really interesting business owners too. Let’s just say I picked up some inspiration for posts and reviews further down the line. Look out for them.
Food, there was so much food. Seriously, the foodie section was massive. I got myself sorted (finished classes, shopped for the goodies that I what I wanted) too late to get one of the vegan burgers I’d desperate to try, but I did rekindle an old relationship with Aranchini Bros, true, bliss balls. Yum.
So juice is
big massive at the moment. I couldn’t move for juice companies offering me a little taste. With so many to choose from I kept it to two companies: Press and new comers, just-now-launching, Evermore.
I like fruit juices because they taste nice and contribute to my 5 a day. For me, all the other stuff around juicing is marketing hype (read what dietitians have to say on this, I’m not that far off from the scientists, shhh, don’t tell anyone I said that) but it’s fine, I understand products need to be sold. Both companies gave great juice, with delicious recipes creating amazing flavour combinations. In fact they’ve got me thinking that I need to replace my bog-standard supermarket fayre (at least its not concentrate) with something special. I Need to up my juicy game.
I had a great afternoon at Balance Festival. The range of classes, food and shopping opportunities and vibe all made this a great new addition to the London fitness event scene.
Looking forward to 2018 edition.