YOGA WITH NATALIE IN EAST LONDON

YOGA is something I love to do as its so good for my body and mind. I started practicing yoga when I lived in Berlin, so it was really important to me to find a good teacher and a nice environment when I moved to London.

I tried a few different studios out when I first arrived and while the teaching was good, they were often very busy and I never felt very relaxed. Until I met Natalie on a rooftop in Hackney Wick teaching yoga outside in the summer. I immediately warmed to her personality and methods. She has a unique way of building up your confidence with trying new poses but making the atmosphere really fun and relaxed. We take it seriously but always enjoy ourselves with the odd giggle.

I asked Natalie a few questions about herself and her love for yoga below. 

Namaste! x A. 

 This sound bowl looks simple, but creates an amazing sound which ripples trough the entire room & body. She often starts and ends the class with it. 

This sound bowl looks simple, but creates an amazing sound which ripples trough the entire room & body. She often starts and ends the class with it. 

Where did you do your training?
- I did my official teacher training course with YogaLondon, a school with some really lovely, talented teachers which offers training in the Vinyasa Flow style of yoga – a contemporary style many will be familiar with and have practiced even if they might not know the name. It means linking movement with breath.

Natalie teaches beginner’s classes on Monday evenings and improvers’ classes on Wednesday evenings (7.30-8.30pm) from her home studio, OmWorks, in E3.

 Personally, I love her approach to teaching a class in this chilled way and would highly recommend her as a teacher. 

Personally, I love her approach to teaching a class in this chilled way and would highly recommend her as a teacher. 

Do you have a favourite pose?
- They’re all great but I love lunges and back bends. I just think they’re so important as we sit around so much, curving the spine the other way and building up tension in the hip flexors. Many people think of fitness in terms of how far you can run or how heavy an object you can lift – even how much weight you can lose! For me it’s about how good does your body feel, both when you move and when you are stationary, and the health of your spine is critical to this.

Do you have a blog?
- My website has a blog section. I like to write about great workshops I’ve attended, new styles and teachers I discover, a lot of philosophy, as well as interesting sequences. I also post many of my yoga playlists to my site.

What's your favourite Spotify playlist for a yoga session?
- I create lots of different playlists which I hope will capture the mood of the type of class I’m looking to teach on any given day. Right now, I’m playing this one a lot: it’s quite fun and funky.

How much did yoga change your live and does it influence your daily life?
- Teacher training really opened up the world of yoga for me. While I’ve been practicing a long time, it was really the thing that truly made yoga integral to my life. Since then, I’ve incorporated mindfulness, meditation, cleaning practices (like neti), physical practice and a lot of reading about philosophy, anatomy, and different approaches to yoga into my daily routine.

- I never really had a strong sense of ‘calling’ like some people do – I knew I loved yoga even from a young age and was also very interested in philosophy, going on to study this at the London School of Economics. But it took quite a few years plus the teacher training process for me to tune into my true purpose which I feel is to help others discover more about themselves through yoga so that this understanding may enrich their lives. Having the ability to go out and do this, and to share my passion with others is a real privilege for me. That is also one reason I founded the True Yoga Collective – an online magazine and community for yogis with the aim of helping others find their truth and discover more about yoga. This is Natalies profile at True Yoga Collective. 

How often do you practise yoga?
- During the week I practice in the evenings a lot – this practice tends to be very slow with an emphasis on releasing tension and developing flexibility. I’ve also started in the mornings three times a week practicing at an Astanga shala, Mysore-style, which involves self-practice in a communal hall with other yogis.

- Weekends are time for me to learn and experiment – I’ll often attend workshops held by internationally renowned yogis like Kino MacGregor, David Swenson, or Meghan Currie so that I can learn about specific aspects of yoga in more depth. I also practice some of the trickier inversions, arm balances and transitions: this is play time for me :)

Which type of yoga do you prefer?
- Tough question! I can’t think of any style which doesn’t have anything to offer! I do really love styles like Jivamukti, Universal and Dharma Mittra, however, which offer dynamic, contemporary, challenging sequences which are based on solid, classical foundations. What these styles also share in common is their strong respect for the spiritual aspects of yoga, and how these aspects are consciously woven into the physical practice more than with some of the other styles.

Which other countries have you experienced yoga?
- I’ve been to quite a few destinations to train and practice – a little private ashtanga shala near Mysore in India, Vikasa in Thailand, various places around Morocco, Ibiza, and Brazil, and recently spent a few weeks in NYC and Toronto trying out as many studios as I could – I love being influenced by what teachers are doing elsewhere in the world! The reviews are up on my blog, but my recent highlight was attending the monthly workshop held at the NYC Jivamukti centre by a founder of the school, David Life.

Do you have another job besides yoga?
- I keep up a full time job in digital media in addition to yoga. It’s tough to balance everything but I love teaching from a pure desire to help others rather than having to worry about supporting myself financially through that alone, which is really tough these days. It means I only teach a few classes – Mondays and Wednesday evenings, some corporate lunchtime classes, a few privates and then workshops some weekends – but I really do cherish those opportunities! I have a workshop on Saturday 7th November at London Fields Yoga, for example, which is entitled ‘Spiritual Warrior’ and I get to really put a lot of my passion into planning for and teaching these!

If you are interested in her upcoming ‘Spiritual Warrior’ workshop this Saturday the 7th of November then book your spot here quickly. The workshop starts at 2:00pm, ends at 4.30pm. 

Natalie teaches beginner’s classes on Monday evenings and improvers’ classes on Wednesday evenings (7.30-8.30pm) from her home studio, OmWorks, in E3.

Contact: info@natalieyoga.com or visit www.natalieyoga.com for more information.

Online magazine True Yoga Collective

Facebook @Natalieyogalondon

Instagram @natalieyoga

Twitter @natalieyogaldn