Emily Spriggs, Yoga Teacher

29 November 2017

Emily caught my eye a while back, her beautiful form and practice looks like it originates from a Degas painting and her lovely soft approach makes for a truly lovely class.. 
Before becoming a yoga instructor, Emily trained and worked as a professional ballet and contemporary dancer. She has performed all across Europe appearing in a number of company performances and projects, fashion and music videos. This is another one of London's great teachers, teaching at studios such as the famous Triyoga, I caught up with her to find out how she started and what makes her tick.

Do you remember the first time you practiced and what brought you to the world of yoga?

I do, I was living in Eastbourne with my parents because I was working as a professional dancer and as a result couldn’t afford to live in London. I felt so lost and disconnected from who I was at the time and I was putting so much pressure on myself. I started taking class at a tiny studio called the Yoga Life Studio which could only fit six people in it. Taking yoga classes allowed me to tune in to my body and myself again. When you are dancing you are always focused on pushing your body in a competitive environment to perform, whereas yoga allowed me to be kind to my body and look after it. I think that is so important, I really tuned in to who I was and what I wanted, not what other people expected or wanted from me.

What are your favourite studios in London?

The Camden Triyoga studio is one of my favourites, it has such a great energy, and the studios are so nice to practice in, they have great food from the Nectar cafe, and I love using the infrared sauna after class.

What advice would you give anyone about becoming a teacher?

Go for it! We all have something special to give and teaching yoga can be a beautiful way of sharing yourself with others. You will learn so much about yourself during your teacher training as well.

How have you seen the yoga industry develop in the past few years?

Yoga has grown so quickly and there are so many studios and teachers out there now, some people think it dilutes the essence of yoga and I can see how in some ways it has, but I think that the increase in its accessibility is a great way for more people to find their own practice in their own way. Whether thats because they like the fashion or social aspect of it, I don’t think matters. If it brings someone to practice yoga then I think that, that is what is important.

What’s your wellness tip?

Don’t over complicate things. Eat real food. Simplify. Move your body. Breathe. Sleep.

5 items you can’t live without?

I think I could live without most things, apart from a kettle because I love tea so much and I probably drink at least twenty cups a day.

Follow this lovely lady for all of her latest news and classes... here

Adam Husler, Boxer Come Yoga Teacher

13 November 2017

This week I'm very pleased to be bringing you all one of my favourite male yogi's who I avidly follow on instagram, Adam Husler. Boxer come yoga teacher, Adam has been practicing for over 8 years, and some would say is one of London top yoga teachers, teaching at the big studios such as Triyoga and Indaba. As well teaching he works with big brands such as Adidas, Boys of Yoga, Harrods and OHMME. I caught up with Adam for a walk along the Chelsea Embankment and regardless of the cold temperatures we nattered for over an hour about how his life changed from super physical forms of pushing his body to the beauty of yoga...

Philipp Schälli, Yogi

23 October 2017

Some of my regular followers will know that this blog consists mostly of yoga and well-being professionals, but this post profiles an incredible yogi who decided not to make a career in yoga, even though he's practiced for 10 years and done teacher training! I met Philip on the yoga retreat that I attended back in the summer, his level of yoga was incredible so I decided to delve deeper into his past and journey into yoga. If you're anything like me, self practice I struggle with, but this was exactly how Philip became the expert that he is now...

How did you get into yoga and what effect has this had on your life?

I started Yoga more than 10 years ago when I bought an introductory Asthanga Yoga book from John Scott. I then self-taught myself Yoga with books and YouTube for 4 years. As a student I couldn’t afford fancy classes and all the free resources available were more than enough to keep me going. For me Yoga is a great way to disconnect and to focus my thoughts on movements, breath and balance. Having established a self-practice allows me to take that “break” whenever and wherever I need it.

What was the reason you did your teacher training and what type of yoga did you train in?

After university and before my first full-time job I had a few free months and I thought a Yoga teacher training would help me lift my self-practice to the next level. My teacher training was in Dharmasala, India and I trained in Hatha Yoga with Vinyasa influences. The experience was great it helped me to develop an understanding of Yoga anatomy, allowed me to lift my practice to the next level and got me comfortable with teaching and adjusting people. I also met friends who I am still in touch with today. I have not taken up teaching professionally since, but there are always opportunities to teach small groups of friends or colleagues which I really enjoy.

Favourite type of yoga nowadays?

Today I prefer challenging flow classes with opportunities to practice my inversions. I also enjoy longer workshops that focus in on specific parts of the practice.

Where do you sweat, stretch and eat in London?

My favourite ways to sweat these days are training with Clem, Velocity with Ben and Pace with Carl at Core Collective. I enjoy the diversity of workout options at Core and the great espresso afterwards. As far as Yoga is concerned I am a regular at the classes with Jamie and to keep progressing in my own practice I go to workshops at Indaba Yoga. I am a passionate cook so most of my eating is at home with loads of salad and protein. For the occasional cheat meal you can’t go wrong with pizza at Homeslice, a selection of starters to share at Social Eating House or a full French meal at Gastronhome prepared by some of the best passionate self-financed chefs in London.

What's been your favourite yoga retreat that you've been on?

Given I have been to two retreats so far so it is difficult to answer that question. A retreat can be a great opportunity to develop your practice and new skills. However it’s important that you know the teacher you are going with well, that you get a good feeling for the group and make sure the level fits with yours.

Five items you can't live without?
This is a difficult question, which is why I cut it down to three:

1) My Journals – I am keeping journals since 10 years and they are one of my most prized possession as they allow me to look back at my past goals and aspirations and always keep me honest.

2) Podcasts – Given the London commutes and the travelling involved in my work no better way to stay informed about what is happening in the world and to explore new topics.

3) Espresso – Dark, No Sugar.

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.

Ida May, Movement Director, Dancer, and Yogi

14 August 2017

I first came across Ida May about 2 years ago in a boxing class she was teaching in East London, her energy bounced off every punch bag and wall in the place, a year later on I went to one of her yoga classes at Ethos in Shoreditch, another fabulous class!! Then she came into my life again more recently when I interviewed Lindsay from My Yoga Agency and we spoke about Ida's shoot with Sundays London, after this I thought I have to get this lady on the blog!!

Ida started out as a dancer and actress, then found her way into yoga, becoming a natural at it with her existing range of movement. She has since worked for the likes of Hunger Magazine, Adidas, Charlie Cohan, Vauxhall and teaches at boutique studios such as Ethos and Blok.

I caught up with her on the back streets of a favourite area of mine; Shoreditch for what would be one of my favourite shoots, damn this girl can move!!

How did you get into yoga and what inspired you to become a teacher?

Did my first yoga class in Finland more than 10 years ago. It complemented my dance training so well that kept going finding new strengths and lengths in me. Moved to London, didn't stop and took my training further and trained to be a teacher! I kept exploring teaching and have taken influences from my dance back ground as well as from all my other fitness training I've done, always fusing and exploring new places and spaces in my flow.

Recently you've worked with the likes of Sunday's London and My Yoga Agency for yoga modelling, do you think more and more brands will be looking to yoga to showcase their products in this way?

I've worked as a dancer and model for the past ten years and can definitely say fitness and yoga is more and more popular in the commercial field and more and more brands both in fashion and commercial are fusing in elements from health and wellness industry. The world is about feeling and looking good at the moment, inside and out. And that's what yoga represents too..

Am I right in thinking you also run retreats? What do you love about this form of holiday and where's your next?

Yes, I've been running retreats around the world. Next one in Sweden. A little unique long weekend get away into the wild nature. Before I'll be in Sweden teaching and am taking some time off and going on a retreat myself in Portugal. Surf, Yoga, good food, sun, fun and my best friend; perfect combo! I like retreats that are more like little escapes, retreats that have a little more to offer than just yoga practise on the beach... I want to explore the culture, find some secret gems the world offers... I really am not a fan of a typical one week all inclusive touristic holiday resorts, I prefer finding something more authentic than just a pool by the sea... nothing wrong with that though, but you know what I mean. Obunjan is a great new retreat kinda place that combines music and health and wellness and also you can choose and book the dates that suit you.. easier that way when you not too stuck with dates.

Where do you sweat, eat and chill in London?

East London. I live in east and like to stay local when it comes to sweating eating and chilling. Shoreditch House, Cream Shoreditch, Legs, L'atelier & All Press. I reckon I have long black and eggs & solders w/ avocado from All Press 5 times a week sometimes hahah. Where I get my coffee and food are the places and routines that stay the same in my life. Everything else seem to change daily. My other work: acting, dancing, movement direction always takes me a little further that just streets of East London.. even abroad - which I absolutely love.

Describe your typical day?

Early sessions at the gym or doing a class of some sort. Personal training clients & classes in the morning and afternoon and then off to castings. Evenings I've spent doing courses in acting, studying advanced film camera and theatre, or having a drink and chilling partying with friends in various different events, opening and launches around London or just going to cinema. When on a shoot, I'll be on a shoot all day.. or all week! I've just got back from 2 week commercial shoot from Turkey. Then my day consisted of gym, breakfast, rehearsals / shoot.. Last two days I've spent in Rankin Studios working on movement direction for Hunger Magazine with an awesome team of creatives. Today's been more standard: gym, client, casting and now catch up with a friend going to see the unsigned talent in Soho. Wednesday I'll be shooting something rather very exciting for Adidas... Thursday am off to Portugal! So guess every day is different :)) !! Just how I love it.

What five items can you not live without?

My Black Tokyo bike. Long Blacks (Coffee & HER coldbrew). Contact lenses. iPhone. BOSE noise cancelling headphones.

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