Wellbeing

Cat Meffan: “I had a bad relationship with sleep; now 8 hours is vital”

July 19th 2017 / Anna Hunter / 0 comment

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The yoga teacher, jewellery designer and fitness blogger on her morning routine, overcoming sleep issues and her move of choice on the mat

Cat Meffan may make getting your legs up by your ears look easy, but the qualified yoga instructor and new member of the Reebok Girl Squad is certainly not perfect, as her tellingly titled travel and fitness blog Imperfect Matter would imply. She’s got quirks like everyone else, and has overcome an eating disorder, mental health issue and severely broken sleep pattern to become one of the most honest and inspiring fitness icons out there. Here’s a little insight into how she does it, from diet to workouts deep tissue massage.

In three words, I’m..

“A bit weird.”

The workout that works for me

“A fun circuit mixing weights, body weight and of course some handstands!”

The product that I tell everyone about…

Origins Ginzing Moisturiser, £25.”

I sleep…

“For eight hours most nights. After having a very bad relationship with sleep, it’s now the most important part of my wellbeing.”

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My secret to staying sane is….

Meditation, writing a journal and spending time in nature.”

I got my big break by…

“Working hard and not giving up, even when things were tough.”

My best budget beauty buy is...

“The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, £5.99.”

My biggest health and beauty spend is…

“A deep tissue massage every two to three weeks, and I’d have one more often if I could squeeze it in.”

The toughest thing I’ve ever had to cope with…

“A long-lasting battle with bulimia and depression, but I got through it and I truly believe that anyone suffering can do so too with the right support network.”

I’m surprisingly good at…

“Table tennis, but I’m terrible at actual tennis!”

If I gave myself a performance review I’d say…

“I’d give myself 8/10 at present. The two extra points could be made up by slowing down a bit and taking some more time to just be at home with my partner Rob.”

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What I do before breakfast…

“On an ideal day (important to note that not every day is the same) I get up at 6:30am, meditate for 15 minutes, have a glass of warm water with lemon and a cup of proper tea, do 15-30 minutes of wiggling around on my yoga mat and then eat my breakfast.”

The new find I’m excited about…

“The Apple Watch 2. I’ve only just got it and want to test out its waterproofing claims. Also CC creams (Decleor and Origins do amazing ones)- how did I never use them before!?”

Complete this sentence, money is…

“Just a bonus. Happiness can be found in many other places.”

If I could be anywhere on earth right now…

“I’d be paddling my feet in the Bern river in Switzerland, eating a sorbet with Rob by my side.”

If you came by for lunch I’d make…

“Roasted butternut squash mixed with quinoa, lots of grilled veggies, mashed avocado and my homemade salsa on the side.”

I always say yes to…

“Pizza.”

I always say no to…

“Mushrooms. I just don’t understand them. How do people like them?!”

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Why Cat loves headstands

As mentioned above, Cat is partial to a headstand (she is an ex-gymnast after all), but everything from a shoulder stand to just placing your legs up the wall can have benefits- here’s why Cat is crazy for an inversion.

“Remember that when practising inversions, always make sure that your body is warm and if you’ve got any doubts at all, speak to your yoga instructor before attempting a posture. Also, ladies out there, please refrain from doing inversions when you’re on your monthly cycle, as we need to let nature do it’s thing.”

1. They energise the body

“Getting upside down is such a great way to get your body buzzing if you’re feeling a little low, or as the yogis might say, lacking a bit of ‘prana’. Obviously always make sure that you’ve warmed up properly, especially if going into some of the more advanced postures.”

2. They build confidence

“No matter where your start point is, there’s always further to go and always new versions of the inverted postures to explore. For me, each tiny step of progress I make just makes me feel mentally stronger and more confident.”

3. They relax the mind

“This one lends itself more to the shoulder stands and legs up the wall postures, as you can find a comfortable place within those poses where your mind can relax and focus on the breath. That being said, I actually find headstands rather relaxing, as I’m so focused on my body and breath, my mind isn’t able to think of any external worries.”

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4. They improve balance

“Inversions are an amazing way to really work on your core strength, teaching yourself how to use your core properly, ultimately stabilises you.”

5. They give you new perspective

“In the literal sense, you look at the world from the opposite angle to usual, which can really help you see things a little differently, clear your mind of worry and energise your brain.”

6. They boost blood circulation

“Using gravity to increase the blood flow around the body is a simple and effective idea. We spend most of our lives either standing or sitting upright and then we head to bed where we spend six to eight hours horizontal. Throwing an inversion into your daily yoga practice is a great way to shake up the blood flow.”

8. They’re fun

"Even for those of you who are a little nervous or fearful to begin with, when you finally succeed after all that hard work, I promise you that it really is such an amazing feeling."

Reebok Ambassador Cat Meffan is a member of the Reebok Girl Squad and is pictured wearing the new AW17 City Series collection available now at www.reebok.co.uk

Follow Cat on Instagram @CatMeffan and Anna @annyhunter

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