Ever wondered what it would be like to be a Real Life Yoga Teacher in one of the World’s Busiest Cities – London?
Spa it Girl chatted exclusively with one of Lotte Bowser, one of London’s Top Yoga Teachers to find out.
Meet Lotte Bowser
Q: How did you first get into practicing Yoga? I decided to take myself off to a yoga class a few years ago after graduating from university as a way to get back into exercise and find some peace away from the post-uni what the hell do I do with my life dilemma. I’d always been interested in movement having trained in performing arts for 10 years when I was younger, but the idea that yoga went a bit deeper than anything physical and was a means of healing your mind too made me really curious to try it out.
DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE ? This is when the magic really starts to happen in yoga. Most of the time we are only ever using a fraction of our full lung capacity, and are never really aware of our breathing. Doing the asanas without the breathing is essentially just stretching. Awareness of the breath and synchronising breathing with movement floods the body with energy and allows us to tap into higher states of awareness, and deep states of calmness and relaxation. And do it off the mat as well. Take 5 minutes today, or whenever you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed, to just sit quietly, close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath, deepening each inhalation and exhalation. Notice how the mind begins to quieten and you're able to find space between the thoughts. It takes some practice to switch off, but when we do, our sense of wellbeing improves tenfold. ✨ Find me amongst this tropical urban oasis every Tuesday from 10-11am for a Beginner's Flow ??
Q: What Inspired you to go from practicing Yoga to Teaching Yoga? I’d not felt happy in the work I’d been doing since I graduated because I didn’t feel was actually helping to realise a positive impact on anyone or anything – I realised in order to be fulfilled in my work that I needed to feel as though I was helping people and making people feel good – even if that was just one person. So I thought what better job to be able to do that than teaching yoga – I love the practice so much and being able to share that joy with others is just magic.
Non-attachment. Making peace with what is. Happiness is our truest nature – if we allow ourselves to sit quietly enough, we realise it's always there, and we do not need to rely on external factors, or the business of doing this or that, in order to feel good. No exercise or yoga for me this week thanks to a persistent virus that's now done away with my voice. It's been a frustrating few days, but then I realised there's much to be gained in sitting still and being quiet. No thinking no worrying no doing, just being ? I'll be back in action at classes as normal and feeling alive again next week! ✨
Q: Do You Have Favourite Yoga Studio to Teach at? I wouldn’t be able to decide between them – they all have something incredible and unique to offer!
Q: Can You Suggest any London Yoga Studio’s for us to visit? I love all the ones I teach at – Heartcore in Notting Hill, Blue Cow Yoga in Moorgate, Frame in King’s Cross, The Detox Kitchen in Oxford Circus and Total Chi on Baker Street – aside from these, my favourite studios to practice in are Indaba in Marylebone and Triyoga in Soho.
Q: We See you teach at Total Chi and that it’s a Yoga Bar can You tell us more? Total Chi is a beautiful little oasis with two studios, a garden terrace, an amazing juice and coffee bar and chill out area for people to come and relax before/after class.
The perfect way to start my Tuesday sharing it with my lovely yogis at this gorgeous urban oasis @totalchiyoga ✨ I'm covering a few classes there over the next week – Friday 14th ~ 7.15-8.15am Tuesday 18th ~ 7.15-8.15 & 8.30-9.15am (for the beautiful @makeitflowyoga), as well as my own class at 9.30-10.30am. Come and say hello! ??
Q: What advice can you give someone who doesn’t think they are flexible enough to do Yoga? When I did my first teacher training, I couldn’t do a forward fold and reach my toes without rounding my back. Surprising for someone who used to dance right – but you lose flexibility quickly. DON’T let lack of it put you off – I always say to anyone who makes these kinds of comments, why would you be flexible if you haven’t trained your body to be? The only way we become more flexible is through practice – unless you’re blessed with natural bendyness! It takes work, consistency and a lot of patience, which as an inflexible person, yoga certainly teaches you! It’s not about focusing on the end goal but the journey that comes with it, although it’s the most rewarding thing ever to feel your body opening up and becoming stronger.
"The so-called pursuit of happiness is usually nothing more than chasing after accumulations and achievements. The ego convinces us that happiness is somewhere out there in the form of some material thing or accomplished goal. So when we obtain and attain these things, we feel good for a moment. That is, until the ego sends us on yet another journey to the mystical land of happy. "Just one more thing, one more achievement, and then happiness will come". But what we find is that pursuing happiness as the ego defines it is a guaranteed prescription for unhappiness. In the end, happiness is not a pursuit at all. It is an awareness, an awakening to love – the love that has been within all along."
Q: What do you like to eat for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner? Breakfast for me involves a bowl of porridge, way too much peanut butter, berries and chia seeds or squashed avocado, sautéed tomatoes, spinach or mushrooms and bean sprouts on toast. For lunch I usually make a salad the night before or have leftovers from dinner which is normally a load of veggies thrown together in a stew or curry.
Q: Do you prefer to practice Yoga in the Morning or Afternoon? It completely depends on how I’m feeling that day – some mornings I don’t feel like getting out of bed until the very last minute I need leave the house, other days it feels great to have already accomplished something before the day properly begins.
After a crazy 90 minutes of Dharma on Thursday night (where I got this headstand inspiration from), I'm looking forward to heading back to @indabayoga tomorrow with my main girl @mind_body_bowl for the assists workshop after my classes. 9-10 and 10-11am at @thedetoxkitchen then 12-1pm at @moreyoga_ for any last minute yogis who fancy joining! ✨
Q: What do you think practicing Yoga has taught you? Where to even begin – so many lessons! It changes your perspective entirely. When I started to get deeper into meditation, I would feel such an immense sense of presence and peace that would last for hours and hours. Nothing could phase me, suddenly things that felt important or stressful or negative melted away and I was able to deal with challenging or stressful situations with so much more calmness and clarity. Combining movement with the breath, you start to connect deeply with your body, accepting it for what it is and in turn teaching you to love yourself fully. I started to reevaluate certain aspects of my life and my behaviour too that perhaps weren’t serving myself, others or the planet in a positive way, and made changes that I believe allow me to lead a more compassionate, fulfilling way of life that is in line with the teachings of the practice.
Q: What’s your Favourite Activewear to Teach Yoga in? I’m loving Starseeds at the moment, they’re an awesome brand dedicated to sustainability, founded by my friend Natalia. All their clothes are produced in the EU and they’re made out of materials like organic cotton, biodegradable bamboo and waste coffee – how amazing is that!?
Q: Do you have any Daily Rituals you couldn’t Live without? No phones at least an hour before bed! It’s so important to give ourselves that space to switch off from the outside world and wind down before we sleep. I also try to down a pint of water and mug of hot apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning too.
Guys, I'm so buzzing to be adding two new additional classes to my timetable for you! I'll be teaching at @moveyourframe in King's Cross at 9.30-10.30am, and @heartcorelife's Notting Hill 2 studio at 19.15-20.15, both on Mondays as of next week ??? Thank you @mind_body_bowl for giving me the confidence to try this pose out yesterday in Dharma!
Q: Apart from Yoga what other things do you like to do, To Keep Fit? I think it’s important to have a well-rounded routine and mix things up a bit. I love boxing, kettlebells and callisthenics, and try to go to at least 3 exercise classes outside of my yoga practice each week.
Q: What Skincare are you using right now? Organic cold pressed coconut oil! It’s the best thing ever and is so versatile. If you mix it with a sprinkling of Himalayan salt it makes an amazing body/face scrub.
Q: Do you have any favourite Holiday Destinations you like To practice Yoga at? One of my favourite places in the world is the Merkaba community near Fundao in Portugal. My friends bought the land a few years ago and they have created the most beautiful, off-the-grid, completely self sustaining farm with eco domes, an in and outdoor fitness and yoga space and around a dozen orchards where they grow all of their own fruit and veg. It’s so remote and idyllic and you are really at one with nature there.
Q: Could you go a week without practicing Yoga? I’d probably go a bit nuts if I couldn’t as movement and exercise are my way of releasing stress and feeling good. Teaching yoga in a crazy, fast-paced city like London definitely comes with its challenges and can be exhausting, but I really enjoy my quiet time and don’t party much these days so I’m often at home relaxing when I’m not working.
Q: What words of wisdom can you share to other’s wanting to Become a Yoga Teacher? I would suggest taking some time to think about your motivations for wanting to become a teacher – why do you want to teach? What motivates you? Enjoying yoga as a student isn’t necessarily enough. You have to be passionate about sharing that with and helping others. It can be really challenging – plenty of unsociable hours, financial instability, exertion on the body – but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Knowing that you are of service to others, that you can make a difference to somebody’s day, is what makes it so fulfilling.
Q: You Are Living Your Dreams, what can we do to Live our Dreams too? We are all worthy and capable of living a life we dream of – never let fear of the unknown, fear of what others might think or fear of failure stop you from taking that leap of faith and doing what you really want to do. My friend always used to say to me, “what’s the worst that could happen?” You pick yourself up, dust yourself down and move onto the next thing – no big deal. We would be doing ourselves the worst injustice not to at least try, right?
Q: Do you have any Spiritual Gurus, Mentor’s or people who inspire you? I love the Hay House author and inspirational speaker Wayne Dyer. He’s been such a great source of guidance for me over the past few years. He talks a lot about self reliance and the power we hold within ourselves to achieve whatever it is we want to achieve – I’d definitely recommend checking him out if you aren’t familiar. Though Dr Wayne Dyer has sadly passed I am forever grateful for his inspiration and guidance.