Tara Lee, Yoga Teacher

My morning routine varies from day to day depending on my mood, but I will get some sort of yoga in as soon as I wake up. It will range from 20 to 90 minutes and incorporates pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation and a long savasana. I don’t view yoga as exercise, so I do other things to get that physical workout. That means that once I’ve made sure the children are ready and on their way to school, if I’m not off to teach a class, then I’ll be doing something fun like going to a dance class or for a swim.

For breakfast, I’ll make a big smoothie full of crazy superfood powders, nuts and seeds or I’ll have avocado on wheat-free bread. My diet is mostly vegan, but I do occasionally eat fish.
Throughout the day I’ll either be teaching yoga, writing meditations for an app, meeting friends for lunch or studying for the three-year nutrition diploma I’m currently taking.

I first discovered yoga when I was studying sociology and psychology at the University of Bristol and a friend asked me if I wanted to go to a class. Straight away I loved it and kept up a regular practice. I found that when I was studying and sitting so much it was a really good way to balance and clear my mind.

I love the fact that my job as a yoga teacher is always changing and different; the energy is different every time, the people are different. I love that I feel like I’m able to help people feel better in themselves but really, it’s not me, it’s the yoga working its magic. By getting people to breathe and focus on their bodies, they will always leave feeling better than they did when they arrived.
I slightly fell into teaching. Back in 1998, a friend suggested we go to a five-day intensive training in Cornwall with an Ashtanga teacher called David Swenson and I just saw it as a fun opportunity to get into the practice a bit deeper and do lots of yoga. As a result of those five days, I started teaching friends and then my mum wanted me to start teaching her and her friends, and before I knew it, I got a job teaching at a small lifestyle studio.

Eventually I went and did a longer training, but it wasn’t really regulated back then like it is now. I started to become really interested in pregnancy yoga so did a specialist training and then started teaching a regular pregnancy class at the Life Centre in Notting Hill where I still teach today. I've also created numerous yoga DVDs so that those who can't get to classes are able to practice with me at home.
The best thing about yoga is that the more you do it, the more it really translates from your mat and into your everyday life without you even being aware of it. I think it makes you a little more conscious of looking after yourself and other people. I also think everything becomes more balanced: sleep, food choices, energy levels… you notice that you don’t want to go to extremes. It’s not really a conscious thing – it’s pretty magical.

Find out more and purchase Tara's latest yoga DVDs at www.taraleeyoga.com