Tell us about your yoga journey, when did you begin to practise?
I was first drawn to yoga in 2013 when I was stuck in that phase between graduating and figuring out what to do with my life. Having trained in dance and musical theatre when I was younger, I was keen to move my body again and was curious about the mental benefits of the practice. I felt the effects almost instantly – I floated out of my first class feeling so peaceful and just kept going back and back. It gave me a sense of purpose, a space to take some time out, to relax, and to reconnect to my self as well as my body.
What are the benefits of Yoga?
Teacher Jason Crandell says,
“The nature of yoga is to shine the light of awareness into the darkness corners of the mind and the body”
which hits the nail on the head for me. Ultimately yoga is so much more than just a form of exercise. It’s the yolking of the body with the mind and the soul that makes it such a transformational practice. Not only do you get a good workout – you become stronger and more flexible – but you’re also given space, an opportunity to practice stillness, to reflect and to be at peace. That’s why it can bring a lot of deep-seated emotions to the surface for people.
How has it transformed your lifestyle?
Yoga helps you to establish more mindfulness and more awareness in your day to day life. I started to look at certain aspects of my lifestyle that perhaps weren’t the most loving or compassionate, not only towards myself but towards the planet too. I revisited a plant-based diet having been vegetarian for 10 years when I was younger, and I stopped indulging in things, situations and relationships that were no longer serving me in a positive way. It helps you to reestablish your sense of self-worth, and in by doing so, treating yourself with a bit more love and kindness.
What are your words of wisdom?
“You are the universe in ecstatic motion”
I’ve always loved this quote by Rumi. I believe we’re part of something much, much greater at work, and that we’re all interconnected in some way. It reminds me to have perspective whenever I’m struggling, and helps me to stay feeling connected.
Do you have any green beauty favourite products or secrets?
Coconut oil! I use it for absolutely everything – to cook food in, to make homemade toothpaste, face and hair masks with, to moisturise and to take makeup off with. It’s such a versatile product and a must for your cupboard.
My favourite restaurant is a vegan Italian place in Dalston called Fed By Water – the dishes feel so indulgent but they’re really healthy and planet friendly, so it feels extra satisfying.
Tell us about your new project, Living Yoga?
For me yoga is so much more than just making shapes with our bodies – it’s about embodying its teachings off the mat – by living as compassionately as I can and, through my platform and blog Living Yoga, hopefully inspiring others to do the same.
What are your main aims for Living Yoga?
The concept of Living Yoga is to essentially encourage people to live yoga off the mat; by empowering people with knowledge and awareness around various environmental issues, by invoking conversation, and hopefully inspiring people to campaign against these environmental abuses and make lifestyle changes and choices that are more in harmony with the planet.
Why is this topic so important to you?
I’ve always considered myself to be an environmentalist, and recently I’ve felt the call to try and raise more awareness impact and realise positive change. So many of us are unaware of our intrinsic connection to nature – we fail to recognize that our actions not only impact the environment, but millions of other people too who are suffering as a result. We have to start taking responsibility and act before it’s too late and the consequences are even more disastrous than they’ve already been.
What advice would you give to people that want to know more and are passionate in these things also?
Reassessing your lifestyle and seeing where you can make small, manageable changes, would be a great place to start. Look at where you can avoid plastic and unnecessary waste for instance. Opt for local produce and retailers where possible – there are hundreds of grocery shops that sell items loose and in bulk. Choose reusable, biodegradable, fair-trade, certified organic, or second hand in your consumer choices. Compost your biodegradable waste, recycle as much as you can, turn off lights, taps, and switch to electronic for your bills and admin. Joining local environmental groups is a great way of connecting to others and sourcing some inspiration too – Greenpeace hold monthly meetups across cities all over the world (you can check if they have a group near you at https://greenwire.greenpeace.org/uk/en-gb/).
If you could be granted had one wish, what would it be?
Peace for all living beings!
Thanks Lotte! X
Catch up with Lotte and keep up to date on the yoga classes she holds over at www.livingyoga.online and _livingyoga on Instagram