From ballet dancer to fitness model to CEO, Nathalie Schyllert is the face, body and brains of Bodyism (bodyism.com). As CEO, she’s taking the wellness brand global with new outposts at Heckfield Place in Hampshire and Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. When she’s not balancing international clients, or yoga poses, she’s a mum-of-two who’s often on the move.
“We currently have nine sites and I’m usually travelling every second or third week,” Nathalie says. “Where to all depends on the season and what stage the new Bodyism site is at. I never get bored in my role, that’s for sure.”
We chart Nathalie’s journey from pirouetting to perfecting mountain climber techniques. Plus, don’t miss her hacks for keeping fit on your travels. No excess baggage required…
What’s your background in dance and fitness?
I was at the Royal Ballet School in Sweden until the age of 15. We danced for four hours every day. It taught me about movement and nutrition, but also to be disciplined with my time since I had to fit in all my school work around dance hours. When I had to stop dancing because of an injury I started training at the gym which is when I became really interested in fitness and nutrition.
How did you first get on board with Bodyism?
I’d been travelling the world modelling for seven years , so at the age of 25 I wanted to do something different. A friend of mine introduced me to Bodyism and, after the initial meeting, I started as a PT the next day. That’s 12 years ago now.
What does your role at Bodyism involve now?
I’m the CEO of Bodyism so my to-do list is always varied, from board meetings to team managing, to finance meetings and interviewing new trainers – the list goes on.
How would you describe Bodyism and its ethos?
We focus on mindset, movement, nutrition and sleep. Once your mind and body are working together, you’ll get long-term results. We believe in being kind to yourself and training in a clever way that doesn’t increase the cortisol level (the stress hormone) in the body – this can actually result in weight gain since the body goes in to fight mode.
Where next? Tell us about your latest Bodyism global launch?
I’m off on a press trip to Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi to launch our new Bodyism Club at Jumeirah Hotel. It’s a stunning location just on the beach and we’re launching Bodyism for both hotel guests and local members.
What are your favourite places to travel to with family?
One of my favourite hotels in the world is the D-Maris Bay in Turkey. Mainly because of the beaches, clear turquoise water and cuisine – it’s just out of this world. It’s also perfect with kids since it’s such a short flight from London.
What’s your advice for keeping up your lifestyle and nutrition when you’re travelling?
I bring the Bodyism Gliding Discs and Exercise Bands whenever I travel since you never really know if the hotel gym is good or not (unless Bodyism is at the hotel, of course). I also always bring healthy options to eat on the plane and when I choose from menus in restaurants I usually go for fish or lean meat with loads of veggies.
What’s the best way to keep up a healthy regime if you travel a lot?
It’s all about getting into the habit of training , so put 20 minutes aside when you wake up first thing in the morning and do your best to stick to that each time you wake up. If you have time, go out for long walks exploring the destination. I also recommend having regular body massages when you travel a lot because of water retention and stiffness from flying.
Is it wise to avoid alcohol when you’re travelling and training?
If you feel like having a drink on occasion, it’s not the end of the world. You can go for a glass of nice organic wine, or my favourite, vodka with cucumber and lime juice with some muddled mint. It’s all about moderation and staying hydrated while drinking alcohol, as well as not drinking on an empty stomach.
How can you get a sweet fix in healthier ways when you’re on vacation?
A lot of sugar can make you bloated and sluggish – even more so when you’re travelling. Go for delicious fruits and berries or a few squares of dark chocolate instead.
Are you a light or heavy packer? And what types of fitness equipment would you usually pack for longer trips?
I’m a very heavy packer unfortunately. I always bring far too many outfit options, but I like it that way. I usually bring a TRX with me when I travel for long periods and then I usually use the water bottles as light weights for my arms in the hotel room.
What light fitness equipment would you recommend for travelling?
I always bring my Bodyism Exercise Band. Put the band around the ankles and walk sideways, first 10 steps to the right and 10 to the left with straight legs, and then repeat with bent legs. It’s the most effective way to lift your bum because it’s switching on the gluteus medius.
My other favourite is the Bodyism Gliding Discs. You can honestly do so many things with them. A great core exercise is knee tucks – put both feet on them when you’re in a plank position and then bring the knees in. To be more advanced you can do a pike, which is the same movement but with straight legs, bringing the hips up high and folding the body. You’re not just getting a flatter tummy, but working on getting defined shoulder muscles without bulking up.
What’s in your suitcase?
The Bodyism Pure Serenity helps me relax, sleep and get over jet lag quicker. On my skin, I wear Inika Organic Liquid Foundation – it’s a very light formulation which gives a natural look so I can even wear it for workouts. I also wear La Mer 50 SPF UV Protecting Fluid because it’s super-light and doesn’t make my skin break out like other sun creams.
I love wearing my Chinti & Parker cashmere sweater on the plane because it’s super-comfy. My Emilia Wickstead jumpsuit is ideal because I can go casual with flats or add heels when I want to dress it up. And for fitness, I have a particular favourite pair of leggings, a leopard print Bodyism x Charlotte Olympia collaboration. They are just the best leggings ever – I just wish I’d bought more than two pairs!
WHAT NATHALIE PACKS…
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