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Nathalia Basso
How an Injury Took Me from Bikini Competitor to Yoga Teacher

Nathalia Bassos Stats When We Talked with Her 💪

United States
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👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training

Hi there! I’m Nathalia. A musician by trade, I hold two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree. I am also a registered yoga teacher, and a signed model & actress.

Austin, TX is home, but I travel frequently as my work is online. I’ve lived in Mexico, Canada, and all over the US over the past few years.

I began going to the gym in undergrad and doing mostly cardio and some leg work. I was so conditioned that I could cycle for 40+ miles.

In graduate school I started training myself for a bikini competition and then hired a coach to really focus my training.

Between class, work, meal prep, training, posting practice, etc, this was a very busy time in my life. I competed several times during those years and qualified for nationals a few times.

After suffering an injury my training shifted to a more holistic approach. I stopped counting macros, lowered cardio, did less lifting sessions, and incorporated more mobility and yoga.

Maintaining a yoga practice was very transformational. It’s true what they say: yoga is good for the mind, body, and soul. A few years later I would become yoga certified and teach throughout my travels.

It feels so great when you treat your body with love and care.

I now maintain a very balanced approach to health and fitness between resistance training and yoga. It feels so great when you treat your body with love and care.

Always inquisitive, I’m obsessed with learning so in my spare time I may be taking a course or certification, researching, or reading non-fiction. I also enjoy hiking, rock climbing, performing & recording, and photography.

⏱ Describe a typical day of training

I truly believe in the benefits of diversifying your training and encourage people to incorporate complimentary activities in their training.

Getting a workout doesn’t have to mean that you’re going to the gym every day.

A split that I really like is lifting 3x/week, yoga and cardio 2x/week, one day for a fun activity like hiking or rock climbing, and one rest day, however I almost always do yoga every day.

Since I travel so much, my training consists of daily yoga (30+min) and walks (1+hr), and resistance training (1hr) 3-5x/week.

I always travel with a versatile yoga mat like the Liforme Mat or the Yogibare Mat and a set of resistance bands. I find this is all I need to maintain my training while on the road.

My days currently look like this:

  • 5:00am: Wake up
  • 5:15-7am: work
  • 7am-9am: 2-3 mile walk (I’ll do a walking meditation and then listen to a podcast like Tim Ferris, Melissa Ambrosini, Joe Rogan, Catt Saddler, or Directionally Challenged) + yoga or resistance training
  • 9:00-9:10am a quick shower (a cold one if I’m gutsy)
  • 9:10am-10am: tea and breakfast
  • 10am-2pm: work
  • 2pm-3:30pm: lunch (I’ll catch up with my mom and friends during this time)
  • 3:30pm-5:30 work
  • 6pm: dinner and relaxation (After dinner I shut off the devices)
  • 9pm: Bed

I’m very lucky to have complete autonomy over my work day and can split work sessions to optimize my productivity.

It also ensures that I get my physical activity done in the morning as I’m less likely to skip training this way.

👊 How do you keep going and push harder?

Adapting my training to my body rather than the other way around is key to maintaining physical balance and avoiding injury.

I used to keep pushing and pushing until I suffered an injury that has taken years of rehab and will always require special attention.

It has taken a while for me to become in tune with my body and let go of the “grind” mindset, but now I know how to train without crossing a dangerous threshold.

If I’m not well rested, I skip strenuous training. If I’m too tight, I’ll do extra yoga instead of more resistance training. If I have lots of energy I’ll take advantage of that and do more resistance training or cardio.

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Adapting my training to my body rather than the other way around is key to maintaining physical balance and avoiding injury.

The carpe diem type of motivation isn’t always there, so on those days it’s just a matter of either having the discipline to stick with the routine, or switching things up.

If the gym doesn’t light me up I’ll go for a class or another type of physical activity.

🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I’ve settled on a nice, balanced routine. Some things change when my body speaks to me and I’ll adapt my training to suit those needs.

Flexibility is key. I’m always diversifying my training so if there is a new class, I’m trying it! I wish I’d had this mentality when I first started training.

I am working on several fitness certifications right now and hope to obtain a 500hr yoga cert within the next couple of years.

🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?

Recovery is very much built into my routine. If I need to nurture my body a little more I’ll opt for yin or restorative yoga over power yoga.

On rest days I usually don’t do intentional physical activity, though sometimes I will do some mobility or slight stretching if needed.

Sleep is crucial for me. If I get less than 8 hrs of sleep I can’t function. I try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, even on my days off.

I avoid blue light in the evening and will have a calming tea like valerian, chamomile, ashwagandha, or lavender.

Sometimes I’ll use melatonin, but this can make me groggy if I don’t go to bed extra early.

Reading a book before bed instead of scrolling on my phone really helps me fall asleep.

🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?

Over the years, I have slowly transitioned from a typical meat-centric, macro-counting bodybuilding diet to an organic whole food plant based diet.

I’ll occasionally have seafood and aim for a nice balance of protein, fats, and carbs on my plate. For ethical reasons I would love to be vegan, but it hasn’t worked well for me in the past.

I try to get as many micronutrients from my food as possible and will supplement with a high quality plant derived multivitamin like MegaFood and fish oil like Nordic Natural.

I love a green or black tea to sip on throughout the day and I’ll avoid anything processed or sugary.

Additional supplements are as needed. I find this to be a very balanced approach to nutrition.

👍 What has inspired and motivated you?

My mother has always maintained an active lifestyle. One of my earliest memories is watching her perform single arm curls in her bedroom.

She was super mom and would hit the gym before I even woke up for school, and would have a healthy home cooked meal ready for me when I got home from school.

Though I was focused on my classical music education in my youth, I have carried those good habits and discipline with me in everything that I do.

That level of dedication, motivation, and accountability was the norm in my household and it’s really formed the foundation for my healthy lifestyle and work ethic.

Some things that keep my momentum going are self improvement books, interview style podcasts, a great playlist, and a yummy self care routine.

✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?

  • Never stop learning and ask questions.
  • Keep working on yourself — not just your body.
  • Try something new every day.
  • Don’t give up when things get tough, because that’s where the magic happens.
  • Listen to your body and your intuition.
  • Find your edge, but dont push past that too quickly.
  • Find balance between grit and adaptability.
  • Take injuries and rehab seriously.
  • Set realistic goals, make an actionable plan, and stay accountable.

🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?

Every year I take a few select clients for 1-on-1 yoga and/or wellness coaching via skype, zoom, facetime, and hangouts.

Please view my website for more details and send your inquiries to [email protected]

📝 Where can we learn more about you?

I have loads of good info and interesting articles on my wellness blog + join the mailing list.

I love connecting with my community on Instagram @nathalia_fit.

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