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Nicola Peters, The New Yoga Teacher On The Block

4 October 2017

I've known Nicola for many years when we used to work at the same fashion brand. In fact, this lovely lady was one of the very first featured on the blog back in 2011. This will be her third time featured, but this time for a very different reason. Since the days of stalking fashionistas on the street the blog has grown in a different direction and taken the road of  all things mindful. Similar to my blog, Nicola has taken the same road and has just qualified as a fully fledged professional yogi! I caught up with her to find out what it's actually like to be a new teacher and what the teacher training was like. If you're anything like me and have been thinking about taking the course you will find this interview with Nicola particularly interesting!


How did you get into yoga and do you remember your first class? 

Classic story - I was starting my own company and super stressed to the point I became ill, a friend introduced me to yoga and I was hooked immediately! At first some of the classes were too spiritual for me and the place I was in at the time, so Power Yoga was my go to, now I love all types - the more spiritual the better ;-) One of my first classes that I remember was a 75 min Power Yoga class, the pace was so strong I remember at the end I sat up said out loud "what the f*ck was that?!" haha



Why did you decide to do your teacher training and would you recommend it to anyone thinking about it? 

I believe that the universe leaves you little signs, coincidences and other types of signposts if you choose to follow them. There was a lot happening that made my path keep crossing with the Frame Academy course at the start of this year and I just felt it was something that I was being guided to do - turns out it was exactly where I needed to be. I can't recommend training to become a yoga teacher enough, whether you are interested in becoming a teacher or not the learnings and self growth along the way are experiences that money or jobs could never buy, cliche but it is life changing. 



How has it been since graduating as a teacher? What are you working on now? 

Awesome. Crazy. Scary. I have been fortunate enough to have great yogis, friends and teachers around me from the start so it's been nothing but fun and love so far! I joined Sunday School Yoga straight away and have benefitted from the outstanding community and support that Michael James Wong has created. Working on a couple of projects to bring my past experiences in the tech world to yoga and mindfulness at the moment.


Where do you sweat, breathe and eat in London? 

Sweat at Frame, Breath at Mudra Stoke Newington, Eat at Morito Hackney.




Five items you cant live without? 

Sad but true - my iphone, iphone battery case, meditation app Headspace, sunglasses, concealer.


Follow this lovely lady on her yogic journey here.

In Love With Wanderlust

25 September 2017

On Saturday London was graced with the arrival of the first ever Wanderlust festival, a renowned mindfulness event comprising of a 5k run, yoga and mediation. My regular followers may have seen that my latest interview was with the wonderful Julie Montagu, who was the main headline act at the festival, directing over 400 yogi's in the middle of Victoria Park.  Julie was accompanied on stage by other much loved yogi's including Celest Pereira, Jaime Tully, and Mono-Lisa Godfrey. Following a fabulous 90 minutes of yoga, the mediation started with the wellness warrior himself; Michael James Wong



Even if you're not yogi and are more of a runner you can just go for the 5K run and then just dive into the delicious food at the festival, the likes of Bel Air  with delicious Ozone coffee and mouth watering salads to healthy beans, avo and brown rice with a Mexican flare at other food stalls.





Following the main events the afternoon was packed full of every type yoga from Aerial, Acro to Dharma Wheel yoga. 





Wanderlust will be back next year and watch this space because I will be interviewing the guys behind Wanderlust GB soon on the blog... so stay tuned!


Julie Montagu, The Flexie Foodie and Wanderlust Headliner

14 September 2017

I don't normally get butterflies before a shoot but on this occasion i did, that's because Julie Montagu, aka The Flexie Foodie is probably one of London's top yoga teachers. Her classes at Triyoga sell out in seconds with her Sunday night class attracting over 80 people! Now onto the shoot, not only was it pure undiluted fun, it was amazing to meet someone who has really embraced wellbeing and healthy living, with four children she has written 3 healthy foodie books; Superfoods, Eat Real Food and Superfoods, Superfast, which are a must for every kitchen dresser! She also has her own wellness membership site (http://truly-julie.com/), her own column called ‘Small moments of Self-Care’ in the Grazia magazine and is a regular contributor for Mind Body Green. If you're looking for you modern day Wonder Woman you've found her right here!

I caught up with Julie to discuss her latest on being the headline act at Wanderlust Festival, a festival celebrating and supporting mindful movement, featuring a triathlon with a difference. Three intentional activities: a 5K* run, an outdoor yoga flow class (taught by none other than the lovely Julie), and a guided meditation. What more could you ask for!

Here's my very fun shoot and interview with London's very own Yoga Guru!!!


Can you remember the very first time you practiced yoga and how has it changed your life? 

After my fourth was born, I was in an exhausted state and a friend took me to a vinyasa flow class and while in savasana, I cried. But these were good tears as I was just able to release a lot of the stress that comes with being a mother of 4! So, I vowed from that day onwards to commit to yoga.



The popularity of yoga has grown significantly in the past 5 years, how do you think festivals like Wanderlust have helped? 

Wanderlust IS yoga. And by creating a space where thousands of like-minded people can come together and radiate their positive to energy to the person on the mat next to them and to the world, it’s pretty wonderful. 


Where do you sweat, eat and breathe in London? 

Simply all at Triyoga - it’s my home away from home.
  

How are you collaborating with the festival? 

I’m actually going to be headlining with Celeste Peirera on the main stage! So we will be teaching yoga to thousands which rather daunting by very exciting!


Five items you can't live without? 

My 4 kids and husband (but I’ll count that as 1), yoga, my bike, Chlorella and my Uniqlo light down jacket


To watch Julie in action go to wanderlust.com for tickets!



Yoga, Wine and Pizza

4 September 2017

Anyone who follows me on instagram would have noticed my endless posts of the beautiful Italian countryside and the odd yoga mat or two, that's because I have just returned from my first ever yoga retreat. Yoga twice a day, inversion workshops and lots of delicious pizza, healthy food and wine, all hosted by London's coolest yogi; Jaime Tully, this was possibly one of the best holidays I've had!

I've been hooked on Jaime's teaching style ever since I interviewed her in February about her journey into yoga, click here to read the interview. This was Jaime's first retreat, which sold out pretty quickly, her next in Sri Lanka is also going the same way!

Jake Wood. Founder and Designer, So We Flow

21 August 2017

These days it's hard to miss the amount of women's boutique fitness and yoga brands popping up all over the place, which of course is fabulous for me, but for all the male yogis out there isn't great. There are a few male only brands starting out but the market is still relatively untapped, and that is where my latest talent comes in. Jake Wood has just launched So We Flow, a men's only yoga wear brand, specialising in easy to wear gorgeous fabrics and silhouettes perfect for yoga and lounging!

I caught up with Jake to find out more about the brand and what's in store!


How did you first come across yoga and get into it?

Whilst living in Taghazout, Morocco, I met a lovely duo - one part yoga teacher, the other accomplished chef. They required some branding (my official trade if I had to name one) to turn this combo of proficiencies into a business. We traded a brand identity for 6 months of daily yoga. The setting: a rooftop at sunset - following a day of surfing and preluding a freshly caught fish BBQ - it was the perfect introduction.



How did you get the idea to start up your own yoga clothing brand?

There were a number of reasons. Firstly, nothing was quite working for me or those around me. I was wearing women's sweatpants; others were wearing old gym rags, bohemian mashups, or technical sportswear. There appeared to be nothing suitable for the everyday man. I wanted to create something that was principally designed for movement, distinctively stylish, yet understated enough to embrace any man’s individual style. Not all men feel comfortable in sportswear. Even less would wear it outside of class. I based so we flow… on British workwear. The way a work shirt is constructed to allow movement in a factory resembles the way a compression vest is optimised for peak performance in the gym. This culminated in something that works equally well on the street as it does on the mat.

Secondly, yoga has had a profound effect on my life and the lives of those around me. At the root of everything is my genuine ambition for more men to do yoga. I’m under no illusion that so we flow… is a business, but if so we flow… can make yoga more accessible, more enjoyable, more authentic for men - it is a success in my eyes.


Describe a day in the life of Jake?!

The build up to launch hasn’t exactly been a great representation of how I generally spend my days - it’s been hard work! So I’ll give you the picturesque version…

I’ve freelanced all my life so I frequently spend time in different places. However, a few elements of my day are steady. Unsurprisingly, I generally have yoga for breakfast. This could be anything from 30 minutes relaxation to a 90 minute sequence, depending on how I’m feeling. I work best in the morning so this is the time where I enjoy knuckling down with a coffee and getting things done. Post lunch it’s time for activities. Depending on where I am in the world, this could be a yoga class, swim, a stroll, climbing, exploration or if I’m in an urban location, something akin to gymnastics. There may be more work slotted in here if needs must… I love to cook (and eat), so I’ll usually put something proper together for dinner. I’m also partial to a tipple - whether a fine red wine or a pint in a Yorkshire pub. In and amongst all of that I read savagely and spend a rather large proportion of time wandering around…


What's your favourite yoga position and where do you practice?

At the moment Baddha Konasana is the place to be. I’ve recently been taught it as a Yin posture where you basically just flop over and let go. It can take you to crazy places. I recently moved back to Yorkshire in order to start so we flow…. As classes are much more affordable here it’s been a great opportunity to explore all kinds of practice. I’m currently taught by Dave Kane (facebook.com/davekaneyoga/) in Ashtanga style, Claire Wilkinson in Iyengar, Catherine Hope (facebook.com/YogaEarthCatherineEastwood/) in Hatha and also do some classes at a beautiful studio come bar called Om is Where the Heart is (omiswheretheheartis.co.uk). I often feel like I’m spreading myself thin and I think I would perhaps benefit from a focus on one style for a length of time.


What advice would you give to anyone starting their own brand?

Entrepreneurship is paraded as an idyllic situation. There is a literature culture which says ‘follow these simple steps to success’. But there are too many variables. Perhaps the only constant is working like a bitch. It is certainly far removed from yoga. You end up taking the role of accountant, labourer, designer, web developer, lawyer, retailer, delivery driver to name a few… There’s the negatives. What outshines all of this is being able to make something you love ‘work’, the journey and the extraordinary experiences you have, and ultimately being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Everyday’s a holiday.


Five items you can't live without?

My kindle is genuinely the only thing. I’m stretching the definition of ‘items’ but apples, the sea, hot beverages, my guitar and wine.


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