Stalked: Kelly Brooks, Yoga Teacher, London
10 October 2016
Last week I introduced you to one of my favourite TRX trainers and now its time for one of the hottest yoga teachers in London! Kelly Brooks is a fantastic teacher whose teaching methods push the boundaries of conventional yoga, attracting city goers who are not necessarily into the spiritual side of yoga and those who are. She is the 'real life' yogi and I adore every one of her classes which are structured so differently to most yoga classes and are all light hearted and most importantly fun!
I caught up with her for a very fun shoot underneath the towers of Parliament in Westminster and chat about what makes her tick and her love for yoga.
Why did you decide to become a yoga teacher and what do you love about it?
I worked in a law firm and couldn’t believe how much yoga changed me, I wasn’t your typical hippy so I never thought that yoga would be for me to trust the yoga will give you everything you need. I would finish a lunch time class and go back to my desk being able to be focused on one task rather than being like a headless chicken and not finishing one task. I wanted share all these aspect to others and make yoga more accessible to people who don’t think its for them.
I loved the feeling of my mind quietening down, the feeling of lightness when you leave the class and not knowing which bit of the yoga class helped but walking out of class and being free of pain.
Do you have a particular favourite aspect of your practice?
Over the years I actually have learnt to slow down and I now realise how important the restorative poses are. Give me supta buddha konasana on a bolster any day. I also love to overcome poses which I never thought I could do, crow was a particular challenge for me as I was scared to break my tooth after my brother knocked my front tooth out as a child, the poses we hate the most if we work on them in yoga become the ones we really connect with over time which is what I love about the practice. What we learn on the mat we can take into out everyday life.
Where do you eat, sweat and shop in London?
Coffee is a weakness - Timber Yard in Covent Garden as is Juices/smoothies - Juice Baby on the Kings Road. The Riding House cafe does an amazing brunch. Breakfast is my favourite meal so anywhere that does Avocado on toast. I do a lot of cooking/prepping food at home so I can eat healthy on the go, you can find some easy recipes on my blog as I won’t cook if it takes more than 15mins to prepare and cook.
I am a pure yogi so you won’t find me doing any other exercise. I practice yoga daily at home, in my PJ’s, not very glam and I try hard to promote people practising yoga at home. Lululemon is a strong favourite to teach in, fits so well and you can go out after as it all looks so nice. They have just opened a concession in Harrods so I love to head over and see the team there and indulge. I do a lot of walking and live in Putney right by the Heath which is so nice to have woodland and nature yet still be in Zone 2 and close to everything.
Yoga and Snow.. one of Kelly's retreats in France - here
What's been the most memorable moment since becoming a teacher?
So so many, I have been so blessed to meet the most amazing people from all over the world, to travel to some stunning places that I just didn’t expect when I changed career. One of my favourite moments was my first retreat that I ran at Wild Tuscany in Italy. I was teaching the final Klub Yoga session on the platform looking out over the vibrant green of the national park with two of my best friends who had come as participants on the yoga retreat, the sun was shining and the week had gone well and I just couldn’t believe how lucky I was so be sharing my love of yoga in such a stunning place. I have now been lucky enough to teach 4 retreats there and the 5th is planned for 2017 and it has become a second home, its has a very special place in my heart.
Wild wild Tuscany retreat.. here
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about getting into the world of yoga for a career?
Be prepared to work hard. I honestly didn’t realise the impact on my body of teaching so much. The 5:30am starts and the 9:30pm finishes with all the travelling from class to class sends me all over London, which I love but also it can be tiring. It requires a big shift if you have come from a 9am - 5pm life. I wouldn’t change it for the world but I think social media can portray the glamour side of teaching and not the reality of how it feels every day
What is 'Flow in The Dark' and are you getting involved in any other different or fun yoga events like this?
Flow in the Dark is an event set up by the amazing Iris Louwerens and its one of the regular events that The Wellscene puts on. Flow in the Dark is a yoga flow in black with UV lights, we are putting on three bespoke events running up to christmas with a twist on my Klub Yoga vibe to make a really fun vinyasa flow with a difference. We know that life is about working hard and playing hard so we will have prosecco after the session. The first event is on 21st October and is sold out but tickets are available for 11th November and 2nd December will be out soon. I teach Klub Yoga every month at Soho House and I have a Deep House Chronicles full moon ski retreat in March with Chalet Rosiere which will bring in the Klub Yoga vibe progressively each day. I can be a bit of a serious alignment based teacher day to day so Klub Yoga allows me to bring in everything I love about life making yoga fun with glitter, house music and a a modern yoga twist.
Five items you can't live without?
Sadly my mobile phone (and my portable charger as I am on the go and my iPhone battery does not last) - we live in a social media world even as yogi’s
Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar is my yoga bible and go to yoga text book.
My Thermos Flask for the early morning teaching - I LOVE tea. I also always carry a glass bottle of water
A hair tie - I have about 10 spare in my bag. I am truly lost in class when I don’t have a hair tie as I get so distracted and it changes my practice
My bolster in particular but all my yoga props - bricks, belts, foam blocks, a massage ball.