Domestic and other violence is on the rise. It comes in many forms, is often…
Women are trending right now.
And when I mean they are “trending” I mean that there is currently an influx of inspiring bad ass women power that has begun to dominate popular culture. Think Wonder Woman, Atomic Blonde, and the upcoming Tomb Raider movie set for release in 2018; leading ladies kicking ass and taking names.
Wonder Woman is the first female-dominant superhero film in twelve years since the 2005 release of Elektra, and while it wasn’t necessarily a feminist movie, it was empowering enough to have me looking for where I could sign up to be an Amazon. But if you can’t make it to Themyscira, there are quite a few places here in Canberra that can help empower you whether you are a lover or a fighter.
For the Fighters
On the extremely broad scale I think I fall more into being a fighter rather than a lover, so if you’re like me and you need something to get the pent up adrenaline out there are heaps of ways that can help make you feel strong without joining a band of very toned and perfectly hair styled Amazonian women.
Take a combat class
When I was having a tough time I turned to the brilliant Dark Carnival to learn the basics of Brazilian Ju Jitsu and I can’t rave enough about how powerful it felt to learn martial arts!
Martial arts is great for many reasons; you are using your body in a way that is strong and powerful, it can help you become fit and active, and it’s a great way to learn to focus and stay present. There are heaps of different types of martial arts you can choose from, including Brazilian Ju Jitsu (My new favourite!) Muay Thai Boxing, Karate, and general self-defence, so you can find one that is right for you.
Professional beginner’s classes will help you work through the movements and learn the basics so that you can continue to upskill, and while you might walk away with sore muscles and bruised skin, the clarity of mind is astounding!
What: Dark Carnival Martial Arts School
Where: Cosmopolitan Building, Woden Town Square, Phillip
Phone: 0422 000 145
Lift some weights
Maybe you can’t flip cars or destroy clock towers with your body just like Wonder Women but lifting weights is a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your overall health. It also just feels darn satisfying.
You can read all about why women shouldn’t be afraid of weights here, but if you’d like to check out a gym where women are celebrated for their strength, why not check out Strength Syndicate in Weetangera? There you can learn how to lift properly from kick-ass Canberra women like Schae Zarew and Liz Craven.
What: Strength Syndicate
Where: 10 Weetangera Place, Weetangera
Phone: 6254 1450
For the Lovers
The great thing about strong badass characters like Wonder Woman is that she wasn’t just a strong fighter, but had a big heart and was unwavering in her resolve too. Her focus and determination sharpened her mind and made her strong, and for those of us who might be a little more passive and aren’t so keen to get down and dirty, there are other ways that will help to develop your strength and focus.
Take up yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation isn’t just about stretching, breathing and lying down having a nap—it’s one of the healthiest activities that you can undertake because you are not only focusing your mind and aligning it with your body, but you’re developing a connection to help understand every facet of your being. Regular yoga practice will help reduce stress and anxiety responses in your body, as well as help you feel more centred and at peace with yourself.
Luckily for us there are many different yoga practices, styles and classes to choose from here in Canberra, including everything from Hot and Bikram yoga to Pilates. If you’re keen to give it a go start having a look at some of the practices that are offer and get yourself a mat – I promise it will be worth it!
What: Balanced Yoga
Where: 39 Jardine Street, Kingston
Phone: 0451 408 957
Conquer a mountain
These days we are all so deeply rooted and connected with technology that it can be hard to notice the beauty that is around us. Being mindful and open to nature will open up new senses and heighten your awareness, helping you to appreciate the things we have in our lives more and more aware of the world around you.
Canberra has so many beautiful hiking trails and mountains to climb that getting out into nature doesn’t mean driving hours out of the way, and the feeling of accomplishment at having conquered even a smaller hike can leave your spirit soaring. Choose yourself a day, pack some water and basic hiking supplies, and go conquer something you haven’t done before!
What: Gibraltar Peak
Where: Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Phone: 02 6205 1233