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Break Your Routine, Fitness, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: Kelechnekoff Fitness

Kelechi Okafor is awesome. She’s been listing Twerk Werkz classes on Wonderush for months, and getting fantastic reviews in the process. This week she opened her very own fitness studio in London, which means she’s now in an even better position to help people all over the city to have the kind of really positive workout experience she always aims to achieve. We can’t wait for our first visit to the brand new Kelechnekoff Fitness, but in the meantime we sat down for a chat, because we love doing that with people we think are really cool:

How did you get into what you do?

I can’t remember actually getting into dance because I’ve always danced from a young age.  It was very much a part of my West-African culture. I started teaching others to dance as a form of fitness six years ago when I realised that people want to enjoy themselves as they get fit.  Not everyone wants to “feel the burn!”.

How would you describe your teaching style?

My teaching style is firmly rooted in loving everybody I encounter and assisting them on their fitness journey in the way that makes them most comfortable. I always say that my only rule is that we don’t use the word “can’t” in a class, because we can do anything we put our passion into.

Why would you recommend your activity?

I would recommend Twerk Werkz because it really does work! It gets you fit, gives you a cute booty and puts a big smile on your face.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

People are always surprised to find out that my favourite genre of music is actually Country & Western. Maybe I’ll start doing country music fitness classes and combining my passions!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

When I’m not at work, I like to read poetry and watch really terrible reality TV. Sorry!

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

My favourite part of London will always be Peckham.  I grew up there, and its vibrance is what I always miss when I travel to other places. I love food and would definitely recommend “Obalende Suya” for Nigerian-inspired grilled meats and tasty dishes.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

The experience I would like to try most in the world is probably crossing a really high bridge connecting two mountains somewhere in Asia. I imagine that being so high would be terrifying but I would also get to experience breathtaking views (if I don’t pass out from fear!).

What does the future have in store for you?

The future is exciting! My studio “Kelechnekoff Fitness” has just opened, and there’ll be loads of classes focused around shaking your bum or climbing a pole.  The studio is in Clapton and I’m really looking forward to the experience of bringing my super Fit Love ethos to East London.

If you can’t wait for your first trip to Kelechnekoff Fitness you can book Twerk Werkz, Pole dance, and all kinds of other cool stuff by visiting Kelechi’s profile on Wonderush.com.

Fitness, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: Hackney Hiitsters

We couldn’t really claim to be the fittest bunch of people at Team Wonderush. The most exercise we used to get was joking about how one of us never really gets to the gym, despite meaning to. However, our fitness levels are starting to change since we met the Hackney Hiitsters. Their HIIT workouts are hardcore but fun, and the group itself is friendly and encouraging (definitely necessary after about five minutes of work). In fact, they’re so great we couldn’t resist finding out a little bit more, so we spoke to Shelley, their awesome founder:

How did you get into what you do?

I have always been into fitness from a young age. I the studied it at College then went on to University to gain a BSc in Sport Science. From here I started my fitness career as a Personal Trainer at David Lloyd getting involved in many group exercise classes along the way.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Motivational and encouraging all the way.

Why would you recommend your activity?

Our classes effective and full of functional and fun exercises.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I can play the Ukuele.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

Socialise with friends and fitness of course!

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

Stoke Newington has had my heart from the beginning, Church Street is a magical place.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

If it can be out of the world? It would to visit the moon and experience space, the unknown excites me!

What does the future have in store for you?

With working at Premier Training I teach students to build their own business. When they ask me my plan, my reply is always ‘going global’!

If you fancy an amazing workout check out Hackney Hiitsters and get booking! You’ll ache tomorrow, but you’ll thank us later.

Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Popular

11 Things we learned this Summer

It’s been one hell of a Summer. Now that it’s nearly over, though, we’ve come over all nostalgic, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the highlights.

OK, fine.”highlights” might be the wrong word. Maybe “Learning opportunities” is slightly more appropriate. There have been an awful lot of educational moments in the past couple of months:

  1. Just when it looks like the weather can’t get any grimmer, the weatherman will invent a thing called a ‘Spanish Plume’ and we’ll all bask in glorious sunshine for, like, 36 hours.
  2. Just when it looks like the mood of the entire world can’t get any grimmer, an app gets released that instantly becomes a craze and makes everybody forget all of the terrible events of a bleak year in a blaze of anime glory.
  3. High Street Kensington has a crazy number of Pokestops. That one might just be benefitting us, but it’s good for you all to know.
  4. The political climate of your entire country can be turned upside down, but you might just manage to muddle through.
  5. You can create an insane mess, and then quit your job if you want to avoid any consequences (this only works if you are a politician).
  6. English footballers are not great. Some people still seemed to think they were.
  7. A surprising number of people can find a tenuous link to some Welsh ancestry if they try hard enough.
  8. The olympics are brilliant, and we are all world experts on everything from BMX to high-diving, none of which we’ve ever tried. But that doesn’t stop us from calling someone’s slightly-splashy dive ‘shit’ even though we’d die if we had to show them how it’s done.
  9. Sometimes the internet trolls are wrong and new, all-female versions of old films are actually incredibly funny and just all-around great.
  10. Just when we thought Kanye West and Taylor Swift had no more feud left in them, they restored our faith in their ability to create gossip column inches and make us click on articles we didn’t realise we cared about.
  11. Face swapping is never not funny. Was that even just a Summer thing? Whatever, it also happened in the Summer.

What were your Summer highlights? Or lowlights, for that matter? Let us know by tweeting us at @Wonderush, and if you’re suddenly feeling the need to make a few more memories before Autumn takes hold don’t forget to check out Wonderush for awesome things to do.

Photo credit: Ed Reeve
Break Your Routine, Fitness, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: Hotpod Yoga

Picture the scene: You’ve been at your desk all day, people have been annoying you, you’ve got a niggling ache that won’t go away. Sounds like most weekdays, right? We’re not really into that, and our friends at Hotpod Yoga aren’t either. They’ve made it their mission to make hot yoga accessible in order to help everyone work out the stresses of life in the city. We’re all over that idea so we sat down with Nick – Hotpod yoga teacher extraordinaire – to find out more.

How did you get into what you do?

It took me rather a long time to discover yoga. I was suffering from achey joints and a back that clicked and clunked all the time due to poor posture and bad habits I had developed over the years. I had seen chiropractors, osteopaths and physios but nothing helped; so I embarked on searching for something else.
I tried a number of yoga studios but felt that even those classes weren’t effective, and it was only when I tried hot yoga that things fell into place. I came out having never felt so good; worked, cleansed, and my muscles and joints felt open and mobile. I was hooked.
I started going more and more regularly, once a day for a 3 – 4 years. Soon I realised this was what I wanted to do; give others the experience I had discovered and to make others feel as good as it made me feel. That was the beginning.
I trained as a yoga instructor and taught part time, however, it was teaming up with my old school friend Max that changed the picture – who had a similar entrance to yoga as I did. We wanted to bring yoga to the 99% of people who had never done it before, to appeal to those who see yoga as something far-fetched and other-worldly, and bring it down to earth so that everyone can gain the benefits of the amazing practice – this is how Hotpod Yoga started.

How would you describe your teaching style?

How I view teaching is keeping it really simple, as if talking to a child. Not in a patronising way, but so that the students who come really grasp what is happening and why, so that things are clear.
Our classes are a little intense with the heat and movement so I try to make people as comfortable as possible with a little light heartedness (bad gags basically!), but the important thing for me is to try and make sure that those who are fresh to the class/environment grasp it and feel amazing, so that they really see and appreciate the benefits of it.

Why would you recommend your activity?

The way Hotpod Yoga makes me feel – my mind calmed, my body worked, open and strong; ready for whatever the day may bring – is second to none. Its a gamechanger of an experience which I would recommend to any body – and mind!

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I am terrified of space. Outer; not personal.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

Believe it or not – yoga! And, of course, seeing friends, discovering London, festivals, travelling, riding my motorbike, learning, learning more, learning even more about myself and the world around me.

What’s your favourite part of London?

I really like walking along the canals and discovering cafes overlooking the water – my most recent favourite being the Towpath Cafe.

What does the future have in store for Hotpod Yoga?

This September, we are going to be offering City workers a chance to supercharge themselves and their workdays, with the introduction of 20-minute power classes at One New Change. The classes have been created in a bid to combat sedentary – a ‘disease’ which now kills more people each year than HIV – whilst simultaneously providing a time-efficient way for office professionals to reach a physical and performance high.
We’re partnering with The Grange Hotel who offers their sauna, spa and shower facilities, and One New Change retailers offering discounts on food and beverage options post-class, the Power Lunch Series promises to be the most immersive, effective lunch hour London has ever seen. So if you’re in the City and want to have a revitalising lunch break, book a session here.

If you can’t wait to climb into that inflatable and get down to some serious yoga, you can find Hotpod yoga classes on Wonderush. We’ll see you there!

Break Your Routine, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: China Exchange

Sometimes there are days when we all need a little bit of inspiration, and there are only so many motivational quotes you can read, before you start to get a tiny bit bored. So what else can you do? You could stalk the people you admire online (we strongly discourage you from doing that in real life) or by up half of the ‘self help’ section of the nearest bookshop. Or, you can get yourself to China Exchange. As part of their Prudential series of speakers they invite people with “extraordinary lives and achievements” to take to the stage, talk about their experiences, and to answer questions. We’re talking people like Gwyneth Paltrow, Tessa Jowell, and Jude Law in their most recent season. With other activities like Orchestral Concerts and their upcoming wire rabbit making workshop they’re also offering you the chance to step out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons. Or, to put it another way, China Exchange are great, and we love what they’re setting out to do. As such, we couldn’t resist catching up with Becca, their co-ordinator, to find out more.

What’s the story behind China Exchange?

China Exchange had a royal opening in February 2015. Set up by Sir David Tang in the old BT Telephone Exchange building, China Exchange is a Chinese cultural exchange charity in the heart of Chinatown. Our aim is to host activities and events that stimulate a greater understanding of, and curiosity about China’s impact on the world. Hopefully I don’t need to explain why China is important (it’s the second largest economy, stupid!) and we think that having access to a better understanding of the country and culture is a positive thing. We don’t shove China down anyone’s throat – instead, we hold dance, concerts, exhibitions, pop-ups, talks and lectures, some focused completely on China and some not. We keep what we do accessible – most of our tickets are £10 and under. It’s a wonderful environment to be in!

Who is the best guest you’ve had for your Prudential Talks?

That’s a tough question! I’ve had 3 favourites so far: Alain De Botton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cherie Blair. Each very different, and each incredibly inspirational, empowering, funny and warm. We get such a wide variety of speakers for the Prudential Series that there really is something for everyone.

Why would you recommend your activity?

I would recommend our activities because they offer an affordable way to experience new things and hear from extraordinary people.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I can whistle and hum at the same time!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

I like to try different beers (I’m definitely a ‘craft beer’ head), watch live music and try new things. As it’s summer now, I’m making the most of beer gardens!

 What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

I love my local area, Peckham Rye. There’s a brilliant brewery called Brick Brewery and you can get the best burgers in London there (honest!) from Slow Richies.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

To go to india and stay in a national park and see a wild tiger! And then eat all the food.

What does the future have in store for China Exchange?

We’ve got an exciting summer and autumn of events coming up! The Prudential Series will take a break for August, but will be in back in September with the likes of Joanna Lumley and Sarah Ferguson. We’ll host The Battle of the Noodles – team Italy (AA Gill and Giorgio Locatelli) Vs team China (Ken Hom and Sir David Tang). In September it’s the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival, which we’ll be celebrating with music and classes. Don’t miss our wire rabbit making workshop on Saturday 17 September, too!

Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Roundup: August

August could – very correctly – be described as the height of Summer. Of course, it’s all very well for us to sit here at the very start and be all overly-optimistic about the weather, and therefore that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We can say with absolute certainty that we think August is going to be gorgeous, and sunny, and all-around lovely. And with our not-really-met-office-approved weather forecast out of the way, it’s time to take a look at some of the best things happening all over London this month.

Notting Hill Carnival

Carnival

We would not be doing our job correctly if we didn’t mention the Notting Hill Carnival here. Our love of it has been well-documented and we can’t wait to get out on the streets this year, dancing and judging people watching the world go by.

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

bucking palace

Speaking of judging people, Buckingham Palace opens it’s doors every Summer to allow the public a chance to get a glimpse of the royal family’s State Rooms. In other words, they’re giving the public a chance to have a nose around a judge their interior design taste, and we fully support that.

Camden Fringe

comedian

August is the month when everybody (including certain members of Team Wonderush) makes a big fuss about the Edinburgh Fringe. But the fact of the matter is there’s also an awesome Fringe Festival happening right here in London, which you should check out, whatever your tastes.

Great British Beer Festival

beer

Would you like to be in a room containing over 900 different kinds of ale, cider, perry, and beer? Yeah, we thought that might be a stupid question. Get involved in the ultimate in tasting fun this August at Olympia, London. There’ll even be great music to help you really make a day of it.

BeachEast

beach#

Over the past few years, everybody in London seems to have grown to love a temporary, urban beach. They seem to be springing up everywhere. And now there’s one at the Olympic park, which means that you can lay back relax on the sand in almost the exact spot where someone did lots of movement just a few years before, which definitely heightens the experience.

Holi Festival of Colours

holi

If you liked Holi in the Spring, any kind of colour run, or just really playing up in art classes when you were at school, you’ll probably be well up for this. Taking place in Wembley, in combines music acts and throwing coloured powders at people. Perfect combo.

Proms on The Roof

Classy

Look. We were never seriously going to make it all the way through an August newsletter without suggesting some kind of rooftop situation, were we? What better way to enjoy the weather than by sipping a complimentary Aperol Spritz and listening to a bit of classical music?

And there you have it. August. We’ll be looking back on it fondly with a Pumpkin Spice Latte in our hands in just a matter of weeks, so we need to make the most of it. What will you be doing this month? If you’re still looking for inspiration, don’t forget that we’re bringing loads more of it on the Wonderush website!

Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Roundup: July

Another month is upon us, which is scary. What’s even more scary is the fact that we’re now in the second half of 2016. Man. Remember the beginning? We were so young, and naive, and so full of hope. And now we’ll be in December before we know it, and the whirlwind of life will carry on ad infinitum. But putting our minor existential crisis aside for a moment, July is a great month. It’s sunny, people are going on holiday, and we’re all so determined to ignore the political chaos we’re currently in that we’re working extra hard to have a good time. So, here are a few of the best events across London this month, to help you do just that:

Festival of love

love

What the world needs now is love, sweet love. Never has that been truer, and luckily the Southbank Centre are bringing back the Festival of Love starting this July. There’ll be shows, outdoor attractions, and family events galore, all on the subject of love. All together now: Awwwwwww.

Lambeth Country Show

countryside

This is the perfect event for anyone who fantasises about living in the countryside and then gets put off at the last minute by things like lack of public transport or fields. Taking place in Brockwell Park, there’ll be animals, performances, and even homegrown vegetable competitions.

Thames Lates

boat

You know how sometimes you’re on a boat on the Thames and you find yourself thinking ‘this is great, but it could stand to be a little bit later…”? Well, you’re in luck. Thames Rockets are offering the chance to get out on the river closer to sundown for the whole of July.

London Wonderground

cabaret

London Wonderground is a place to see all of the best Fringe acts in the city, from circus performers, to comedians, to cabaret. On top of that, you have the opportunity to sit in old bumper cars with your friends and drink Negronis in the sunshine, and opportunities like that can never be underestimated.

Camden Beach

beach

Bringing a whole new element of fun to spending the night hanging out in a car park, Camden Beach is a sandy oasis (if such a thing exists) in the middle of London. If you’re not going away this Summer it’s your chance to chill and feel some sand between your toes and,if you are, it’s your opportunity to practice.

Great British Pram Race

pram

Show off a full range of skills, from keeping calm under pressure, to racing ability, to pram decoration chops in this charity event. It’s open to everyone so whether you want to bring your kids or your work colleagues, you’ll be able to show off your very specific, buggy-based skillset.

Ride London

bike

Cycling is a great way to get around, but cycling in London can be scary AF sometimes. Luckily, Ride London are closing off an 8-mile loop of roads past some of the city’s biggest attractions so you can have a go without the pressure from angry lorry drivers.

So, what do you think? Will you be getting out and doing anything cool this month? If you’re after more to do than just these few events, don’t forget to check out everything we have to offer on Wonderush – we’re your passport to pastimes this Summer. And, indeed, any other time of year!

Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: Speed Dater

Dating in London is tough. Luckily, there are companies like Speed Dater events to help us all to navigate the choppy waters of the dating scene. After all, who wants to spend their evenings looking at a screen when you could be sitting in front of some real people and actually getting to know someone? Since we’re always looking for new ways to get social we thought we’d find out more from Dani, the Speed Dater Date Whisperer:

Speed Dater sounds like a great company. How did you get into what you do?

More than a decade ago (gosh I’m old!), I helped out a big Valentines singles party in London. I fell in love with the concept immediately and found the dating industry fascinating. I had only recently moved to London and knew no one, so being surrounded by hundreds of new people chatting/flirting was very appealing! Soon after, I joined the SpeedDater head office and have now personally introduced more than 42,000 singles at a variety of events – from wine tasting to vegan speed dating. Every event is different and I am never bored!

How would you describe and recommend your activity?

Speed dating is a fun and fast way to meet new people. You meet around 15 people in a series of 4 minute dates and the following day you can see who you match with. Nothing beats face to face chemistry – if you have ‘swipe fatigue’ and just want to meet real people, you should most definitely give it a go!

If you were on a speed date, what interesting anecdote would you tell about yourself?

I would talk about my travels tales – I am forever in a state of either ‘just back from a holiday’ or ‘about to go on one’. Dating someone who also shares the desire to travel and experience new cultures is a deal breaker for me, so I’d make sure I weave some travel chat into each 4 min speed date.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I am the only Australian in the world who isn’t interested in watching sport, playing sport or talking about sport.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

Dining out / bikram yoga. One cancels out the other! I have a very long list of restaurants to try that I probably couldn’t get through even if I dined out for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. I’m giving it a good try though.

What’s your favourite part of London to go on a date? Any places you’d recommend there?

I am a big fan of first dates which are cheap and quick (1 hour maximum). I often met my dates in Soho as it’s a central meeting point and has loads of options for drinks/coffee. A personal favourite of mine is to stop in at the Hanover Square Dirty Martini for a happy hour mango and chilli martini.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

I’m really keen to do the Inca Trail.. or snowboard in Japan. Both are right up there on my bucket list.

If a Speed Dater event is right up your street you can find the next one here – we hope to see you soon!

Break Your Routine, Fitness, Live More Awesome, Sports

Tom’s wheely good charity challenge

A little while ago we heard about a guy called Tom Heaps. Having recently finished a course of treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma, he and his girlfriend Holly had set themselves a challenge: To cycle from London to Cambridge. During the course of their journey they’ll be raising money for several charities which have helped them through Tom’s brush with cancer. At Wonderush we bloody love people who go beyond their comfort zones, so we had to sit Tom down and find out a bit more about him.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m Tom, I’m 27 and live in West Kensington with my girlfriend.  I work at a bank in the City.  My favourite things to do are: riding my Quella Bicycle in Richmond park, going for nice meals and watching football with a few beers with my friends.

What’s the best thing about life in London?

Living amongst the landmarks and having so much to do on your doorstep, it’s a bit different to the life in the fens I had 3 years ago!

If you could try any activity, anywhere in the world, what would it be and why?

Some sort of scuba diving/wildlife exploring in The Galápagos Islands, you know, something off the beaten track.

How would you spend your dream Saturday in the city?

Watching Arsenal (win) followed by a Michelin star meal and the Comedy Store!

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Draw my eyebrows after they fell out post-chemo…

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

If you’re going through hell, keep going!

Tom and Holly pedal off into the sunset (which is our poetic way of phrasing it because we are sure they’re not about to start that journey at night time) on July 3rd. If you’re feeling generous, you can support Tom and Holly on their journey by visiting their Virgin Money Giving page here. And, if you want to find out more about Tom and his experience, we highly recommend you check out his blog here.

Good luck guys!

Break Your Routine, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

5 Ways that you can have fun with paper

Ah, paper. It’s super-plain, and it’s somehow made of trees (which is a fact you know, but you still don’t really understand exactly how it’s done). It’s possible that someone could find it a little bit boring, but that person would be wrong. There are all sorts of fun things you can do with paper, and we listed just a few of our favourites:

Bookbinding

There’s nothing quite like getting your hands on a brand new notebook. If you’re not a stationery fan, it might not be a high you’ve experienced before. But we’re absolutely sure that it’s one that gets even better when you’re holidng (oK, fine, sniffing) a book that you made yourself from scratch. We imagine this is how parents must feel about babies. Except there’s a lot less poo.

Paper Cut Workshop

Everyone can splash some paint around and call it a picture (Alright, fine. Some can do that more successfully than others). But for people looking to create something a little bit different, paper cutting might be the way to go. Working with negative space, pictures are created using blades. Plus you have a quick and easy way to look super-threatening if anybody interrupts you. (You did not hear this from us. Please do not threaten anyone.)

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