We met up with Philly Lewis, Animal's brand new lifestyle ambassador. Philly has a certain aura about her. She's a yogi, surfer and photographer, and there was no better person to test out our brand new activewear range.
Here's a little insight into a life of health, spontaneity and fitness.
You’re an active lady, love keeping fit and healthy, can you tell us a little more about that?
I think having a healthy body means having a healthy mind. When my body is healthy it is when I feel most alive. I spent a long time trying to figure out the best things to eat, the best way to exercise. I used to go to the gym every day but that got boring. I used to run everyday but I got bored of that. It took me a long time to figure out that yoga and meditation was the exercise that really could change my life.
Do you keep a certain training regime?
I like to stay active to keep a balanced life, it keeps my mind present, calm and happy. There's nothing better than a good sweaty run along the beach or a long surf. I don't really have a certain regime, I do yoga every morning and I just like to listen to my body and go with what I can that day, a surf, a run, a walk, yoga, a cycle, a swim. Or nothing at all! I like to keep it spontaneous so it stays fun. I also LOVE to take my workouts outside as much as possible.
And what about diet?
I have the same sort of outlook on my diet, I just listen to my body and what it needs. I'm a vegetarian and try to leave out dairy or wheat. I was really ill a while back and it took some time before I realised it was what I was eating. I had to cut out a lot of food to figure out what worked best for me, and eventually I did and I've never felt so healthy! What you eat really makes a difference, I can't explain that enough. In yoga, we talk about how your body is your temple and you should treat it as well as possible. Food for thought is real. Eating processed foods and sugars will just turn your mind and body to mush. Eating organic veg, fruit and grains will turn your body into a temple! And lots of hot lemon water.
That being said I'm not overly strict either, I don't like to get too obsessed. It's all about being kind to yourself. If you’re not kind to yourself then who else will be? If I feel like eating a pizza then I will! If being kind means eating lots of healthy food then do it. If being kind means indulging a little then do it.
Athleisure is a big thing at the moment, do you think it’s just a trend or is it here to stay?
I think it's definitely here to stay! Fitness is such a huge thing at the moment and it can only get bigger. Once you start being healthy there's no going back. And you need clothes to match your lifestyle. It's really important to have good active wear to move in, but I think it's just as important for your active wear to look exciting and give you that burst of energy you need! I love bright colours, I think it helps to bring some fun and positivity to your work out.
Being comfortable is one of our priorities when making clothes, what other aspects of a good active wear range stand out for you?
I spend more time in my active clothes than real clothes (I'm a secret legging addict), so it's important for them to be super comfy and look good, something that could work with 'real clothes' too. And of course fit well and perform well whatever sport I'm doing.
You’re also a professional photographer, where do you take your inspiration from?
I'm inspired by a lot of things, colours, textures, music, travel. The sea is really inspiring. I think just nature inspires me most. People also inspire me a lot, I love Morgan Maassen's work, his photos are always so alive and depict a lot of emotion. The way he photographs the ocean is just beautiful. I also love Ming Nomchong, her work always feel so tranquil and graceful. She has a stunning way of showing feminity and how women connect with the sea.
What do you love shooting most?
I can't really say what I like shooting most, I studied fashion photography so spent a lot of time in the fashion world, but recently I've been doing more lifestyle shoots. I also love to document adventures. I love all types of photography, if I have a camera in my hand I love it. For me, it's all about capturing those fleeting moments in places and people, ones that go unnoticed but are beautiful all the same. I love to work with natural light and find the magic in it.
You’re a bit of an expert at Yoga, can you tell us a little more about how you got into it in the first place?
My sister introduced me to yoga, I didn't think much of it at first, if I was going to exercise I always wanted it to be super upbeat, sweaty and intense. It was until I started my own practice and went to a few classes that I really found my place with it. I fell in love with the undeniable peaceful feeling and being completely centred after each class. I then started Vinyasa yoga and found I could turn my yoga into a fun, sweaty practice (or workout ha) and still leave my mat with that same calm state of mind.
How has it impacted your life in the long run? (lifestyle, health, comfort, state of mind)
Yoga creates space, space in my body, space in my mind and space in life. Originally, yoga was all about your state of mind, and practicing yoga means practicing in all areas of your life, on and off the mat. I find my outlook on life has completely changed. I don't worry or stress as much. I know where to focus my time and where not to. I know to be kind, to love. To accept. To be positive ALWAYS. To be patient. To trust in the world. It's these things that are important in yoga, the body and strengthening stuff is all just a juicy added extra. And it is a good extra, you learn to walk better, sit better and generally move better. It helps a hell of a lot with surfing, you learn to use and strengthen all the right muscles for when you’re out in the water. Stretching is the best thing you can do for your physical body.
You teach others, how does it feel passing such a special thing on to others?
I hope that when I teach my students they get as much out of it as I do. It feels amazing at the end of a class and I can feel everyone's energy. I feel like I've helped them in a little way. It also feels amazing when people tell me how much their practice has changed their body, and how happy people are when they finally realise they can do things they never thought they could.
And it's SO easy to start. Everyone can do yoga it doesn't matter how stretchy or fit you are. All you need is yourself.
You’re a surfer, yogi and photographer, how do all these things go together? Do you feel like they bring something to one another?
People always ask me how being a photographer has anything to do with yoga or surfing. But they are all linked, they are all ways I can be creative. My yoga improves my surfing, my surfing inspires my photography and my photography is just a way to express everything as I do it. They definitely all inspire each other and I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now without all of them.
If you had any bit of life/yoga/photography/surf advice for our readers, what would it be?
To be kind, do whatever makes you happy and enjoy life!
Below is a sneak peak into Philly's Instagram feed. Follow her here.