Lindsay Jessup. Founder, My Yoga Agency

21 July 2017

One question: How many yogi’s on instagram do you follow based on how inspirational their poses are and how good they look when doing them? My answer would be 40% of who I follow consist of the above! The human body is beautiful form and yoga is the perfect practice to show it in it’s full glory, therefore, when I came across my latest interviewee I couldn’t believe that someone hadn’t come up with the idea before. Lindsay Jessup recently started up her own modelling agency all based around, yes you guessed it, yoga!!
After working in the advertising industry as a digital producer and having started My Yoga London, a guide to yoga teachers and studios, Lindsay found a gap in the market when more and more companies were looking to her to source yoga professionals for shoots, and voila, My Yoga Agency was born. The agency has worked with the likes of fashion brands to cast top tier yogi’s instead of the standard models in their campaigns, one of my favourite’s is the luxury loungewear brand, Sundays London, and their work with Ida May.

I caught up with Lindsay for a chat on the backstreets of Westminster and took her to one of my favourite streets for a little light yoga posing and a giggle at the expressions of passing tourists!

What's your career background and how did you come up with the idea to start a yoga modelling agency?

I've been working in the advertising industry as a digital producer for over 10 years. And recently working at an agency for Nike across the various sports categories. After doing a number of shoots, and working with talent agencies to find specific talent, it occurred to me that - the day we started to get briefs that required yogis - no talent management specifically for yoga existed. I had built up my own network of yoga teachers and studios across London from my other site My Yoga London (a city guide of yoga teachers & studios), and so was the only person that could really help, and who had a large enough network of yoga teachers to contact.
With my experience as a producer, having worked on multiple fitness shoots, and my existing yoga network across London...I realised I could create one.

(Image source: MYA)

Describe your day?

I wake up around 7am. Make a green tea / sometimes lemon and water / sometimes a fresh coffee, and read the news on my phone. I post in the morning on the days that I do, so I'd arrange those and set them live. A few times a week I will go to a yoga class in the morning rather than the evening, so will head down to Triyoga Soho for an early morning class.
Generally back at my desk at home for 9.30 to set upon emails for the morning. Meetings through out the day at local coffee shops. If I have a shoot that day we will meet at location, sometimes a studio, sometimes somewhere random. I try to have at least 10 mins a day being active on Instagram, but this is generally something that falls to the bottom of the priority list.
I wrap up around 6.30pm, & make dinner with my boyfriend. The evening is a mix of catching a film in Covent Garden - I have an annual cinema pass so we go a lot - or reading something that I am in the middle of. I've loved strolling around in the evenings so post dinner, if the weather is nice, we will have a walk around the backstreets of Soho.

The yoga industry in the UK is growing by the day, how do you think it will evolve in the next few years?

It's come along way since day one when I started my city guide site - My Yoga London. The main reason for starting that was noticing the growing choice of popup yoga studios / classes in my then home borough of Hackney. I couldn't keep up so I started to document them. And equally loved the choice I was seeing.
We still have a long way to go if we compared ourselves to the US and Australia, they are miles ahead. But with so many people finding new yoga styles & inspirations during their travels, & simply the ability of sharing on social media, its making the yoga world feel smaller. I'm hoping yoga will evolve into an affordable option for a lot more people. It's expensive in London and it shouldn't be (I know that's mainly driven by rents etc, not teachers).
I'd love the day Yoga For The People made it across the water and set themselves up in London. We need more community led yoga, to encourage more people to make it part of their lives. Hopefully we are a step closer now that its made it onto the NHS. We'll see.
Likewise, I feel encouraged by Supply Yoga who are a social enterprise in East London. They use their profits from classes to fund free yoga for community support service users. That's love hey.

(Image source: MYA)

How did you get into practicing yoga?

I remember my very first yoga class, around about 12 years ago. I was taken by a friend at university @emilyandruby to a class in Oxford. She encouraged me to try it so I did. I hadn't done it before, I remember laughing at the back a little, a bit displaced but also engrossed. I left feeling like I was walking on a cloud. I don't think I had ever felt that way before, and at that point in my life, with university and dissertation stresses; it was perfect.

Where do you sweat, eat and shop in London?

I regularly yoga at Triyoga throughout the week. My cardio & core work is generally a mix up depending on what the week is. I'll sometimes go for a run around St James Park with my boyfriend, with an impromptu HIIT session. I use classes and the gym at Shoreditch House for general cardio & core work too, or my front room for a Kayla.
My favourite places to eat nearby are Kiln, Hoppers & Mildred's. I'm on a hunt for terraces at the moment for Aperol's too.

Shopping wise, its generally Carnaby Street & the back streets nearby. I've recently found a couple of hidden vintage shops amongst them too which I'm obsessed with. Soho is a treasure trove, new places pop up and down often so there is always something new to find.

Five items you can't live without?

My tangle teaser, green tea leaves, The Week, my camera & my passport.

(Image source: MYA)

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