Irina Jenni: Swiss World-leading kite surfer and Development Consultant practices “5 Tibetans” an ancient yoga practice to remain fit 

Date:

Irina Jenni is a world-leading kite surfer, Development Consultant and a true high performer. As a consultant, she has already worked in innovation and high-tech hotspots such as Silicon Valley, the Technology Fair Las Vegas and Sophia Antipolis (the French version of Silicon Valley), and as an athlete she is an active participant in the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour with.

When she’s not kite surfing, she advises and coaches small and large companies and guides them through a cultural change in order to become more innovative, creative and efficient. In order to pursue her sporting as well as her professional goals, the Swiss woman has been working mostly from a distance for three and a half years. Her secret recipe for long-term happiness, health and success is Power-relax balance.

Women Fitness President Ms. Namita Nayyar catches up with Irina Jenni an exceptionally talented, Swiss World-leading kite surfer and Development Consultant, here she talks about her fitness routine, her diet, and her success story.

Namita Nayyar:

You must have started Kitesurfing at a young age and then kitesurfing became your favorite sport. You made your debut in 2019 in the kitesurfing world tour. This later propelled your career as a Kite surfer to the height where you are at the top of the world in Kite surfing. Tell us more about this professional journey of yours in the field of kitesurfing that you have achieved by your hard work, tenacity, and endurance?

Irina Jenni:

😃 Actually, I did not start at a young age. I started around seven years ago, more accidentally. A good friend I used to snowboard with suggested trying something new. I loved it from the first moment on! From the next years on, I took all my vacations and spare time to kite (which was not more than 5-7 weeks a year). I developed my specific kiteboarding training at home, to be physically ready, whenever I had the chance to go on the water again.
That obviously didn’t satisfy me. I took a year off from my work, just to kite more and to see the world. I travelled to the world’s most famous kite destinations and got very warmly welcomed in the kitesurfing scene.
The passion was so enormous, that it changed my whole life. One year later, a friend of mine asked me to join the first stop of the GKA Kitesurf World Tour in Capo Verde. Well my thought was that I had nothing to lose.
So there I was, Capo Verde March 2019 Punta Preta on fire. Huge waves. I knew it is now or never. I ended up in 7th place. Being physically fit and knowing my body extremely well from all the different sports I have done since I was very little, made me succeed with so little experience.

Namita Nayyar:

The biggest highlight of your career came in 2019 when you were placed 7th in the World Global Kite sports Association Ranking. Tell us more about this exceptional achievement?

Irina Jenni:

It was my first year of competing and the only year we had a full tour before the Covid pandemic. To be honest, it was a wonder! Being a basically unknown kite surfer, coming out of nothing, financing everything by my own means and by training myself. I discovered and developed so many different skills that I was not even aware I possessed until this moment.

Namita Nayyar:

You must have many memories and experiences as a Kitesurfing winning different competitions in different locations. Share some such experiences which are precious to you and embedded in your heart.

Irina Jenni:

The first competition I ever did I can recall with a big smile on my face. Mauritius is my favorite place to be, this island has a special natural power and the local people are extremely empathic, helpful and cheerful. Being on the top of the podium on my first competition, with my local friends on such a paradise place on earth is an experience that awakens tremendous feelings of happiness. Plus, it was one of the key experiences to realize that I am now a talented kite surfer.
Furthermore, for me, the very best competitions are those when the ocean is on fire. That means when there are big waves. It creates enormous adrenaline, nervous energy, brave, joy, passionate atmosphere under the competitors – this energy is creating goosebumps only if I write this down here.

This feeling is something you only understand, if you have ever experienced it – it is incredibly overwhelming.

Namita Nayyar:

You are a world-leading kite surfer, kite surfing competitor, media personality, Development Consultant and brand ambassador. How do you manage such a remarkable multi-dimensional lifestyle?

Irina Jenni:

Good question 😉 I found my own method to manage it.
It’s a mix between my working skills as a project manager, where you need to be able to manage different project at the same time and my training skills as a kite surfer, where you are dependent on the wind and the waves and you have to adapt your training constantly. Basically, it is all about finding the right combination between agile and stabile acting at the same time (technically, you need to be ambidextry).
I am in the process of founding my own company, where I coach c-level and employees in there leading and cultural behavior and people in their free time to develop digitally, agile, in innovation and personally. Coming soon, keep on posted on my LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/irina-jenni-69996545/

Namita Nayyar:

You are one of the world’s leading kite surfers. What traits do you consider as a kite surfer led to this meteoritic rise in the sport of kitesurfing?

Irina Jenni:

Kitesurfing has grown dramatically since its conception and has become extremely popular throughout the world for people of all ages.
There are many reasons, including the amazing locations throughout the world that this sport takes place, also the many health and fitness benefits, both physically and mentally.
An overwhelming attraction is being into nature and frees to explore the open ocean or a spectacular lake and feel the power of the wind.
Kitesurfing is a very sociable sport; friends are made easily amongst all people, all cultures, and all ages.

Namita Nayyar:

You advise and coach small and large companies and guide them through a cultural change in order to become more innovative, creative and efficient. Tell us more about the concept of power-relax-balance that you propagate?

Irina Jenni:

Born into the Y-generation, I find the definition of the common ‘Work-Life-Balance’ is misleading, because for me it implies that something bad (work) should be balanced with something good (life). To me it should be more a balance between power and relax.
That means, ‘work’ should give you short term power, because you like what you do and to be able to do it long term, you need to ‘relax’.
In my case, for example, it is extremely important not to regard sport or my work as a consultant as relaxation, although both give me an incredible amount of energy and fulfil me with pleasure. Only because I give enough space to relax can I ensure that I am able to do both in the long term with the appropriate commitment and space for fun.
This implies that you need to be very clear about on what you want to spend your power and then organize your day, your weeks, your life according to that and at the same time plan and allow yourself the necessary hours to rest and relax.

Namita Nayyar:

Kite surfing is an extreme sport where the kiter uses wind power with a large power kite to be pulled on a water, land, or snow surface. It combines aspects of paragliding, surfing, windsurfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, and wakeboarding. You are one of the world-leading Swiss kite surfers. What do you consider has been the catalyst to drive you from within, your competitive urge to move against all the odds to come out victorious and achieve such an accomplishment at the World platform?

Irina Jenni:

Pure satisfaction 😉. For me, kitesurfing is like medicine. When kitesurfing I activate my body and switch off everything else around me, I play with the energy that nature supplies me. The better I do this, the higher my kite performance. It took me some time to find out why I am always so happy and full of energy after a kitesurf session. The combination of fresh air, physical exertion and water allows my energy to flow freely and bring body, mind and soul into harmony. Because it is an extreme sport it releases endorphins which fill me up with extra power.

To be honest, I don’t feel any of the odds. If I would have the chance I would kitesurf even way more, always in the best places where wind and swell are coming together.

Namita Nayyar:

What exercises comprise your fitness regime or workout routine you may wish to share?

Irina Jenni:

First of all, the most important thing is a regular training.
My daily morning routine is the 5 Tibetans. It’s an ancient yoga practice that contains 5 stretching and strengthening exercises. For kite surfers it’s important to have a strong core, because that is how we balance out the power of the kite, to prevent a herniated disc. I have a daily core training routine that contains 14 exercises with a gymnastic ball and a trx. The rest of the training depends on the conditions, either I kite, run, cycle, sup, wake surf, bike or skip.
If you are about to start to do more sport, please be gentle, 2-3 trainings a week are enough and train yourself in listening to your body, it tells you always the truth.

Namita Nayyar:

Do you take a special diet or have a strict menu that you follow to remain healthy and physically fit?

Irina Jenni:

Yes. Basically, I follow a strict healthy diet, as I suffer from fructans and histamine intolerance. That has not always made it easy for me; the good thing about it is that I am an expert of food ingredients 😉. Therefore, I recommend eating fresh, unprocessed food that contains a lot more of everything you need.

Namita Nayyar:

You have glowing skin and gorgeous hair. Share with us your haircare and skincare routine, especially in the salty sea breeze.

Irina Jenni:

Thank you! The salt lightens your hair and damages it a lot. My secret is to not wash it daily with shampoo but wash out the salt with water and protect it with natural coconut or argan oil.
For the skin I use non-oily full sunscreen protection and wash my face with cleaning towels straight after I come out of the water.

Namita Nayyar:

Advice and motivational words to the inspiring and budding Kite surfers, who all are your fans and shall like to know from you for their climb to the ladder of success in the field of Kite surfing?

Irina Jenni:

A word on the women out there: ‘Come and join the community – its nice to see more and more girls kiting’. Support each other whenever you can – be a team! We need to stick together to improve our well-being, to have fun together as we share the same passion and to fight for equal prize money.
Keep the sports mentality, play fair in a competition and stay true to yourself!

Namita Nayyar:

Do you have a cheat meal diet, once in a while? What do you enjoy eating the most?

Irina Jenni:

Yes, as I am from Switzerland a cheese fondue or a raclette.
I really love the own grown vegetables from my mother’s garden mixed up with her herbs with quinoa and almonds.

Namita Nayyar:

Share with us your personal struggles with physical sports and kitesurfing injuries if any and what you may wish to share with other individuals who may feel motivated by your experience to win over physical sports injuries in their career?

Irina Jenni:

I broke my left front foot and just recently my right fibula (leg). Both injuries happened because of a lack of concentration. Better leave a training session when you are not focused and do something less extreme, like yoga or stretching.

After an injury I recommend physiotherapy lymphatic drainage straight away.
It is very important to listen to your body carefully and do the exercises given from your physiotherapist. Follow a strict muscle building program after such an injury and don’t forget to massage and stretch. As a motivation: “my left foot is now better trained than it was before the injury” 😉.

Namita Nayyar:

Five water kite surfing locations you like the most.

Irina Jenni:

Mauritius
Cape Town
Zanzibar
Brazil
Tarifa

Namita Nayyar:

Tell us five athleisure brands you love to wear?

Irina Jenni:

Ionactionwear
Vivida Lifestyle
Hilx
Volcome
Hurley

I really love to support small local brands wherever I am they put so much effort and love into their brands and take care about sustainability.

Namita Nayyar:

Five kite surfing accessories you always carry with you?

Irina Jenni:

Spare Fins
Poncho
Bikinis
A brush 😃 to clean the sandy feet’s before going out of the wetsuit and in the car
IKEA bags to put in the wet stuff

Namita Nayyar:

Five favorite destinations you wish to travel to?

Irina Jenni:

Haiti
Fidschi
Cook Islands
Coconut Keeling Island
Barbados

Namita Nayyar:

What do you wish to say about the website Womenfitness.net and the message for its visitors?

Irina Jenni:

It is such an inspiring place for sports women and healthy lifestyle issues.
True and honest advice for healthier living and wellbeing.
Really good exercises explained very well.
An enormous help for motivating women to stay fit and stick together, thank you for providing this amazing effort.

Namita Nayyar:

Today social media plays a vital role in putting your message across to your followers and fans. What is your message for your followers on Instagram?

Irina Jenni:

Find out what makes you happy, plan, put more effort in there, and go step by step with confidence. Happiness is not a destination it is a way of life.
Focus on the beautiful things in life.

It’s about inspiring people to believe in themselves and keep on following their heart and ambitions.
Don’t let yourself be talked down by other people. If I can do it you can do it. Stay with a positive attitude.

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