Mariel Witmond, Yoga Teacher

28 May 2018

The practice of yoga never ceases to amaze me of how powerful it is when it comes to changing lives, giving hope, and bringing people together. My latest story is with a yogi who when turning to yoga brought her closer to her mother, as well as repairing her mind and body.
I am excited to introduce you the truly lovely Mariel Witmond, a London based yoga teacher whose warmth and kindness circulates around the room when she teaches at the stunning outdoor studio in Earls Court, Method Movement. This was one of those classes you realise how lucky you are to have found the practice and you'll be hard pushed to leave without having a big smile on your face! 

What brought you to the world of yoga and do you remember the very first time you practiced?

I did yoga for the very first time at the age of 17 in New York. I went with one of my best friends and we giggled our way through it finding so much of it absurd. I was young and insecure and it took me outside of my comfort zone. It came back into my life through my mom who started practicing yoga while my family lived in Malaysia (by then I had moved to LA). She went on to become a yoga teacher and it was something we shared together (it would actually become one of the primary things that repaired my relationship with my mom). Yoga always existed in the periphery throughout my 20’s - I would go to classes here and there. I was hyper mobile with a very flexible back, which I soon injured by pushing it too far and not being aware enough of, or loving enough, my body. In many ways I think my back injury transformed my relationship with yoga - injuries can teach you so much about yourself.

Did you ever work in another field and since starting to teach how has your outlook on life changed?

I worked for 11 years in the entertainment industry, first as an agent representing models at Ford NY & LA and then moved into casting where I set up a company called Casting Network internationally (it’s what brought me to London). I fell in to both jobs if I am honest. In between the two I had considered becoming a yoga teacher and taking a year off to figure myself out, but I had just bought a house and financial pressures stopped me from doing so. My journey with yoga has been a long and gradual one, but without doubt it has changed my life for the better. Without me even truly realising, it brought me back to myself. It taught me how to love myself and my body, how to listen to myself and my needs, how to find moments of peace amidst the chaos. It showed me how capable I am, it has given me awareness, and the journey continues every day.

What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

The first book that ever changed things for me was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It opened my eyes to the power we have over our lives, though much of it wouldn’t truly sink in for years to come. It’s a book everyone should read at least once. Other books I would recommend are “Loveability” by Robert Holden, “The Four Agreements” by don Miguel Ruiz and literally anything written by Brene Brown (I adore her!)

What's your morning routine, if you have one?

My morning routine mainly consists of feeding my dog Freddy and making my morning matcha latter. I never go without doing those two things. Depending on the day I either prepare to teach or I go take a class with my husband before he heads off to work.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? 

I find the first thing I need to do is find silence and just check in with myself. A walk often helps. I think the most powerful questions I ask myself are “is this true?” if I am experiencing limiting beliefs and “will this matter tomorrow?” if I am overly stressing over something that shouldn’t be taking up so much of my time and energy.

Five items you can't live without?

I 100% cannot live without my matcha latte. My husband says it’s my crack. I religiously make it every morning and am meticulous about the ingredients!
Sweet potato fries. I mean, seriously. I could just live off of them...
Music. There is something so incredibly therapeutic to me about music, I can lose myself in it (and find myself).
My bed. Sleep is so important so having a comfortable place to sleep is really important.
My dog Freddy. He’s been by my side almost from the very moment I moved to London. He keeps me sane (even when driving me insane) and it’s amazing to experience the unconditional love dogs give to us.

For all classes click here and follow her journey @marielwitmond

2018 Retreat Review: Jaime Tully

14 May 2018

With the summer fast approaching if you haven't already booked a retreat for 2018 and need a little guidence, look no further than here.. This week I will be looking to some of my favourite yogi’s and the wonderful retreats they have planned for this year. 

Starting with my fav lady Jaime Tully...

After going on my first retreat last year it has opened up a whole new realm of type of holiday I need to plan in each year. A retreat is not all about yoga or fitness, it’s about meeting people you’d never normally meet, eating foods which will inspire you and most importantly getting to know more about your body and mind. If it’s the thought of not drinking a glass of wine overlooking a sunset that turns you off or the ban on meat, I can assure you there are plenty of retreats that cater for that or alternatively if you’re looking for the healthy option we can definitely russle up a few of these too!

Starting with the stunning little yogini who first got me hooked on yoga and retreats, these pictures were taken in the hills of Italy on her first retreat last year that I attended, it was such a wonderful holiday which I have come away with the most wonderful memories..

Jaime Tully's retreats now get sold out very quickly but there are a few spots left on her Somerset retreat, in England, which is 21 – 24 Sept 2018.

Here are the exciting details ...

Nestled within a secluded smallholding near the Devon and Somerset border sits Boheme, a 16th century former cider press turned boho farmhouse and the stunning home for the weekend. Wrapped up in 100 acres of pastoral paradise, it blends original character features with exceptional interior design in the most fashionable modern-rustic manner. This nine bedroom farmhouse has been renovated to an exceptional standard, and includes eco-friendly enhancements and local materials to retain its rough luxe style. Think morning swims in the 15-metre indoor heated pool, yoga and fitness classes led outside on the manicured lawn, topped off with healthy feasts and barn dances in the olive tree courtyard.

Images © Unique Home Stays

Jaime has teamed up with Coach Clem [Coach Clem, The Transformation Lab] and Molly, Head of Nutrition & Recipe Development for Core Collective, to spoil you with 3 days of yoga, fitness, real nutrition and complete relaxation set in a stunning eco-friendly, bohemian farmhouse.

Prepare for some serious insta-food porn!!

Forget noise pollution, busy walkways and crowded tube stations. Escape the city for the weekend to reset in the countryside with us while there is still a little bit of summer weather to be had.

Prices start from £650

Marc Hatvani, Yoga Teacher

8 May 2018

Australian born yogi, Marc Hatvani holds the 300 and 500-hour Jivamukti teacher training certificate and has been mentored and taught by some of the worlds most renowned teachers, consisting of Sharon Gannon, David Life (both founders of Jivamukti) Yogaswari, Denise Durga Devi and Emma Henry. I first went to a class of Marc's with a friend who sang his praises, she knows just how fussy I am with my teachers! Marc's class was challenging but rewarding coupled with wonderful music and meaningful ending words (which rang so true he nearly had me in tears sitting on my yoga mat) his classes are a must visit, that's if you can get a spot... his classes sell out super quick! Previously a professional footballer, and now a yogi come personal trainer, rehab specialist, and massage therapist much of his focus has been on external therapy on the body, this makes him a great teacher and whether you have been practising for years or just joined yoga his knowledge and guidance of each pose will expand your knowledge of the practise enormously. 
I caught up with him before his Sunday class at KXU to quiz him on how he got into yoga and his thoughts on life.

Firstly, do you remember the first time you practiced yoga and why did you decide to start to teach?

my first practice was horrific, I went to a very famous/renowned teacher and the class was packed. There were about 40 very well seasoned yoga women in the class, and I just came out of my professional football career, so I was a very fit and macho man. In the end I got torn to pieces and couldn’t really do anything in that class looking like a complete fool, but being very stubborn man that I am, I persisted and persisted over and over again. From my first class i fell in love I was hooked And knew I wanted to be a yoga teacher.

Do you have a favourite yoga teacher yourself?

all Jivamukti teachers have teachers mine are Durga Devi and Emma Henry

What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

I love pickles a lot and as a kid I use to drink the juice as well out of the jar when I finished the actual pickles. Haven’t done it for a while though hahaha.

In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

There has been one quote that has changed my life for ever and it’s by Marianna Williamson

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Favourite yoga pose?

-Handstand. It is my first, my last, my everything. This has to be my favourite because it took a lot of my time everyday for 6 months to even get up, helping me challenge a lot of my inner demons along the way. I like to think I'm stronger mentally and physically because of it.

Describe a day in the life of Marc?!

A day in the life of me, god. Up at 4:45am every morning working all day usually till 8 or 9 pm of course I have some gaps in the day to have fun and get on my hands to have a play around. But I am a workaholic unfortunately 7 days a week. Usually towards a extreme end goal of course such as taking a week out to jump out of planes and do something extreme.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your area of expertise?

I could talk about specifics and individuals but I would be here for ever. When ever you want to learn, do or improve in anything to do with movement and health, you must try and do and learn from many different sources for yourself there isn’t a one size fits all in life. And the more you look and try the more you will find the people who know what there doing and talking about as the will be saying similar things.

What five items can you not live without?

Chocolate croissants
Good friends if that doesn’t count then my teddy bear for company on
my adventures

Follow Marc on instagram for all his classes across London here.
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