Meet Shona Vertue - Fitness Guru, Author, Comedian, Feminist, Creator, Badass. I met this hilarious fitness phenom on a photoshoot a couple years ago. When you meet people who are as talented and generous as Vertue, it's hard not to become a super fan.
I really love how she mixes humor and education into fitness on her feed. Also, she touches on everything from hip hop to curly hair care to feminism which makes you want to just sit down for a coffee with her.
Her knowledge, honesty and hilarity are undeniable. So, sit down and take a minute to get to know her in this brief interview. And if you are not following her yet, you know what to do.
1. What is your health and fitness philosophy?
I created the Vertue Method which is the culmination of my experience as a gymnast, dancer, yoga teacher and personal trainer. I truly believe that a healthy body is one that is both strong, agile and mobile.
I also passionaly believe that we should be aiming to exercise for reasons that go far beyond just the way we look (aesthetics) and that it’s so much more motivating and empowering to exercise for skill development. There are a 99 reasons to exercise and fatloss DOESN’T HAVE TO BE ONE OF THEM.
2. Is there a book, article, lecture, experience that has had a profound influence in shaping your life in some way?
OH EM GEE SO MANY (sorry for yelling). To me books are LIFE - I love to read, everything from relationship psychology to anatomy and physiology. I love to binge watch TED talks as well, and often the books I’ve read have come off the back of awesome lectures I’ve watched over time.
At the risk of sounding like a total hippie, I do feel like books find us at the time we need them the most. Here are top 5 books that have/are in the process of changing my life (in no particular order):
1. Atomic Habits (James Clear)
2. Ego is the Enemy (Ryan Halliday)
3. Strong Curves (Bret Contreras)
4. Yoga Body, Mind and Spirit (Donna Farhi)
5. Love Factually (Laura Mucha)
3. What have been your biggest challenge when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle? How have you tackled it?
I am lucky to enough to be able to say that these healthy habits were instilled in me from a very young age. Both my parents helped me to understand that Health and Fitness should (and is) an expression of self-respect. If I lose my health practices, I feel as though I am letting myself down. To me, nothing is more important than keeping my body and mind healthy because without those things I am going to struggle with everything else.
4. Outside of fitness, what are some other things you are passionate about?
Psychology, Feminism and Racial Equality (and pizza and coffee).
5. How do you take care of your mental health?
I think that exercise and living a healthy lifestyle helps, but not in all cases. Its for this reason that I make a conscious effort to set aside time for sessions with a qualified therapist. I also spend a lot of time reading psychological principles and theories and see how I may be reflecting/acting on them in my own life. Self development and self-awareness, I believe, are crutial for mental health.
6. What are your fitness and/or wellness essentials that you can not live without?
Honestly, I don’t have any. Obviously I love to have my apple watch and my comfy activewear - but I feel proud to say that I don’t NEED any of them and that fitness and health doesn’t take much to obtain and maintain.
In saying that, I do love a heavy kettle bell and glute band for Vertue Method workouts.
7. Tell me something surprising about your story …
You and I met on a photoshoot and it was love at first sight (well, at least for me, I’m not sure it was reciprocated). Because we live too far away from each other, I sadly can only get my Lauren Williams fix through the gram (sigh).