Strong is the new sexy and fitness is the new party. With society leaning towards health and fitness, Yahoo's #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to all inspirational women in Singapore leading active lifestyles. Know of any who deserve to be featured? Hit me up on CherylTay.sg and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (cheryltaysg).
Name: Wany Misban (Instagram: @oneknee)
Occupation: Instructor/Studio Manager
Status: In a relationship
Diet: Eats as healthily as possible, has one serving of meat and two servings of vegetables per meal, takes a Fuji apple a day, avoids rice where possible but will have a slice of bread every other day, eats chocolate every other day
Training: HIIT and Pilates twice a week, stretch or mobility work (GYROTONIC or myofascia release) every day
Q: Were you always a sporty person?
A: I loved running and playing basketball when I was younger. Then I played netball competitively from secondary school days to post-tertiary where I played for a club until I was 22.
When did you start going to the gym?
I had this obsession with toned arms ever since I was in secondary school. I'm the weird one who loved doing push ups during netball training and I would be at the gym using every machine available there to make sure I was fit for netball. We worked a lot with 5kg medicine balls and dumbbells. But I only started lifting heavy weights when I joined CrossFit.
When did you start doing CrossFit?
One of my best friends, Jasmine Danker, was talking a lot about her CrossFit training at one point so I decided to join her three years ago. I love the family structure that is present in every CrossFit box.
Everybody signs up for a crazy workout, one we know we would have never done on our own so having that love and support is something I look forward to besides a good burn and sweat. I usually WOD two to three times a week at CrossFit Enduro but I'm currently on a break to pursue other goals.
When did you first learn about Pilates?
My first Pilates session was a workshop done in my school, Republic Polytechnic. I was very impressed by the instructor's derriere to be honest :p
What do you like about Pilates?
I love all the Pilates machines! The resistance from the springs makes it a hard workout even in a stretch. There are hundreds of exercises that you can do on one machine. Pilates is plenty of fun!
How did you end up teaching Pilates?
My former facilitator from Republic Polytechnic knew about my dreams of becoming a personal trainer so she offered me a spot at her studio. I was very lucky to have been offered the job even before graduation. Even now, six years on, I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to do more than I planned to initially.
In all your years of Pilates, what are some of the things you have learnt about yourself and others?
1) I've learnt that technology does horrible things to our lifestyle and posture.
2) I’ve learnt that sleeping plays a more important role than just a good night's rest because you spend a third of your day in bed.
3) I’ve learnt that women tend to hold our stress in our shoulders and men in their hips.
4) I’ve learnt that our posture tells a lot more than just how you hold your body up on a daily basis.
What are some of the misconceptions about Pilates and how do you hope to correct it?
Many people think that Pilates is a form of mat exercise, the same as yoga. We are different from yoga since Joseph Pilates started this regime with four different exercise machines in the 1940s. We do share similar movements and principles but ultimately, you get different experiences on how we perform the movements. The only way to correct it is to experience a Pilates Reformer class.
How would you describe Pilates to the unaware?
Pilates is about performing your daily activities functionally by balancing the muscles in the body and correcting one's posture. Expect to challenge your core muscles with endurance exercises, stretching out the tight muscles and strengthening the weak ones.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
I've learnt to accept my body the way it is. I could do with thicker and stronger legs, bigger deltoids and a lean mean six-pack, but I love the way I am. If I don't love myself, who will?
What kind of comments do you get about your body?
Recently, I've been getting a lot of comments on how I've shrunk, my legs especially. Losing weight wasn't in my plans, to be very honest. I love how I was a year ago at 50kg, but there's nothing wrong with the way I look today either. As long as I'm happy, people's comments don't quite matter.
Did you ever feel not confident about your body before?
I've always wanted a six-pack, even though I get reminded time and again in Pilates that they are just superficial muscles and aren't as important as the deep core muscles. So if there were ever any instances in the past to have my shirt off, I wouldn't, because to me I wasn't 'perfect'. But now, I've learnt that I don't need to be perfect because nobody is.
Who is your fitness inspiration?
My CrossFit coach, Juria Maree.
Any life advice?
Love yourself and give yourself some credit for being here in the world. When you're happier, your body reacts by relaxing and being more open to receiving the good in the world. Give someone a hug today. You don't know how much it could mean to a person.