The health, wellbeing and lifestyle industry is full of some pretty amazing people and we're excited to have had the opportunity to chat with the lovely Andy Kovszun for our 'Talking Straight' series.
Andy is a yoga instructor, model, surfer & writer who is passionate about empowering women through her blog No Shoes, No Worries to be strong, brave, adventurous and elegant in everything that they do. Here's Andy.
SUPR: What does your morning routine look like?
AK: I am a BIG fan of morning routines. Setting yourself up for the day is so important, especially as a freelancer. I find that how I start my mornings has a huge impact on my focus and productivity for the rest of the day. My routine has changed over the years and I tend to go through “phases” – however through experimenting and being flexible, I have found some things that work best for me:
1. Drink a big glass of water
2. Meditating for 20 mins (I sometimes change it up with an early morning yoga class or combine it with a morning surf or swim… something to get me moving and mindful!)
3. I Journal. Gratitude + intentions + goals for the day
4. Listen to a business podcast
SUPR: What does ‘health’ mean to you?
AK: A keyword for me is balance. Knowing when to have a burger or opt for the salad. When to sit at your desk and get a couple of hours of work done or call it in and get some air/exercise/self-care. Health doesn’t have to be a strict set of rules or a diet to follow. It just has to be whatever you need to make it so that you’re optimising your most vibrant, happy self.
SUPR: What are five things you’ll always have in your fridge / pantry?
AK: Eggs, chocolate, spinach, whole grain brown rice and rosé (that’s what I call balance)
SUPR: What’s your favourite form of movement?
AK: A healthy mix of surfing and yoga. Both activities have played a huge part in my lifestyle and guided my decision making. They pretty much sum up who I am. The mindfulness and calm they bring me is something I am forever grateful for. Not to say that I don't enjoy a good HIIT sweat session every now and again, but there’s something about giving yourself mental space through physical activity that just hits the reset button for me, every time.
SUPR: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
AK: There really is no place like Sydney! I feel like Australia really has it all in terms of lifestyle, weather and people. I’ve always travelled and have lived in a few places, but since the very first time I came to Sydney when I was 15, I knew this would be the place. I love it so much. Now the only thing I would do is spend my winters in Bali! I love the culture of the Balinese and the hot, balmy incense-filled air.
SUPR: What is one fun fact most people wouldn’t know about you?
AK: I speak fluent French and grew up on a tiny island in the Caribbean, called St.Martin :)
SUPR: Why is it important to you to be Straight Up and authentic? Have you ever struggled in the past with being your true self?
AK: It took me a while to shape the person I am today, but that isn’t to say it may change in the next 10 years. Just as we are all a culmination of our upbringing, experiences and opinions, being your true self can be hard to distinguish as you evolve, especially with social media.
It’s important to be straight up and authentic because I believe we’re all given an individual set of skills and gifts that are specific to us, and those skills are ours to be shared with the rest of the world. If we don’t stay true to what we love and what gives us purpose, how are we being of service to others?
I’ve never really struggled with not being “authentic” however I will say I’ve given in, like most humans, to worrying about what others think or say of me and comparing myself to others.
Authenticity comes from being comfortable with yourself and having the confidence to show it. A big part of what I do through my teaching and writing is to encourage women to deep dive into what makes them feel happy, unique and empowered. And hopefully, push them to follow that.
SUPR: The health industry isn’t perfect. If you had the power to change one thing about it, what would it be and why?
AK: As much as I love the health industry and am a part of it, one of the aspects I really don’t like is how some parts take advantage of vulnerable or unknowing people. I see this especially with young girls who are shown unrealistic expectations of what they should be doing with their bodies or thinking of themselves. It’s one thing to be inspired and motivated, but that shouldn’t lead to someone feeling bad for not being a certain way or having a certain lifestyle. I wouldn’t say I would “change” the health industry, but what I would improve on is everybody’s ability to remain relatable. That may mean sugar coating it a little less, filtering a little less, and being more to the point. In other words… a little more Straight UP ;)
You can follow Andy on Instagram at @noshoes_noworries