We talked with Stéphanie Ortega in September, 2020.
Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hello! My name is Stephanie and I am 36 years old. Born in Toulon (South of France) where I live. I am an aerial circus artist. I am touring with Cirque Du Soleil in the show “Corteo” in Europe but with the pandemic everything stopped until further notice.
When I was young, I studied ballet until I was 18 years old. I was a dancer professionally and during one of my contracts I discovered aerial silk.
I thought it was fabulous to dance in the air so I decided when I went back to France to learn this discipline. It wasn’t easy, I had no strength….my arms were so skinny, it took me more than one year to do one chin up! But with a lot of practice, training and a lot of perseverance anything could happen.
Describe a typical day of training
A typical training day before I started to work for Cirque du Soleil: In the morning, I started at 10 a.m. with a good warm up (conditioning, flexibility) for at least one hour.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., I was training on my apparatus (silk, aerial pole or pole trapeze.) In the afternoon, I was doing one or two hours on the pole with a good stretch at the end. Five days a week.
Right now, my training day is at home, in the morning one or two hours of yoga vinyasa and same thing in the afternoon with some conditioning at the end.
How do you keep going and push harder?
The only reason is “I love training”.
If i don’t train for one day, I feel strange in my body, like I missed something in my day. When i was on tour, performing five days a week, my body requested some rest. So I gave myself one day to completely rest and just to relax and enjoy the city where I was.
Right now, the fact that I don’t perform, I have more time to practice and I can see my family. So I need to find a good balance between family and practice. So I try to keep three hours per day for myself.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Well, with the pandemic, my life is completely upside down. During the lockdown, I found a way to pull “my head out of the water”. I did a course online to be a Vinyasa Yoga Teacher. I just recently graduated from the YOGABODY Teacher College. It is an awesome course, very interesting and it is not just online .
During eight weeks, we met two hours minimum with teachers and students, all the classes were live . It was a very good course, a great community. I will do another course in October with them about “Gravity Yoga”.
I don’t know if the show “Corteo” will restart soon but i can’t wait forever. I need to move on so right now I am focusing on building my business with online classes and later to have my own studio when the pandemic will be over.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I had few injuries in my career but nothing really serious. So most of the time it is physiotherapy, exercises and some time to rest. Never easy to be injured, specially when you work constantly with your body, but when your body makes this call you have to listen.
The fact I was on tour, moving every week city to city, you have a routine for your body. My body hated to travel by bus (for example, it could be six hours after a couple shows) so you cannot not really sleep, everything hurts. So the next day is a day off, just some gentle stretching.
One recovery tool I like to have is “Bluetens” (electrotherapy). So small, I travel with it all the time. As soon as I feel any pain in my shoulder or back, I use the device. So useful!
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I don’t use any supplements or diet. I follow a program called “FODMAP” because I have IBS Syndrome. It has really helped me to decrease my symptoms.
What has inspired and motivated you?
I have inspiration everywhere. I am surrounded by many talented friends, it is a great motivation to see people grow up. The circus community is a big source of inspiration as well.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Never give up on your dreams, hard work always pays off. Patience is number one, I would say, and to regularly practice is everything!
Some days can be very hard to practice but just remember your goal and everything will come.
Are you taking on clients right now?
Absolutely, I take clients right now, it is my number one goal. I Just graduated as a yoga Vinyasa Teacher. I am offering group and private classes online using zoom and in person depending on where I am in the world.
I want to show to people how yoga is great for your mind, reduces stress and makes you feel better in your body by improving strength and flexibility.
Where can we learn more about you?
Instagram artists: @stephblondy
Instagram yoga: @so.yoga.stephanie
LinkedIn: Stéphanie Ortega