Yoga teacher, nutritionist and mindfulness guru Julie Montagu truly is a pioneer for wellness
Instructing classes so popular that she has been known to stand on a radiator to teach, and with 143,000 followers on Instagram, it’s no wonder Julie has been hailed as one of London’s top yoga teachers. And when it comes to having fingers in (healthy) pies, Julie has plenty. Not only did she commentate for the BBC on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May, she’s also the new brand ambassador for Liz Earle Beauty and presents live for them on QVC in America. Plus, she is a frequent speaker on the global wellness scene, and works alongside Nivea and California Walnuts to promote a healthy lifestyle, too. Here, we caught up with the guru.
Being an American, it’s great to watch Britain catch up (and fast) with the US wellness scene. London, especially, is on par with America in terms of yoga, vegan food, gong baths and wellness festivals. However, I do find that, when I go back to NYC and LA, there is so much inspiration on the latest wellness trends and I think: “I can’t wait for them to come to London!” Soul Cycle, are you reading this? I think compassion is set to be the next big thing on the wellness scene, whether this is being taught in schools, in workshops or at wellness events. My bet is that Brene Brown (a wellness expert and author) will be writing her next book on this topic, too. I also think that mandala vinyasa flow – where you circle around a yoga mat during sun salutations – will be big on the yoga scene.
After I had my fourth child, I became so exhausted. I was giving all of my energy to my children and saving none of it for myself. It really took its toll on my health. I had always dabbled in yoga, but a friend of mine took me to a vinyasa flow yoga class and that was it! It was the physical aspect of vinyasa flow that I loved but, more importantly for me, it was a chance (an hour) to spend time alone simply feeling and being. I knew right there and then that yoga was what I wanted to do. This year, I’ve launched Whole Self Yoga, which are 200- hour teacher training programmes for students who wish to become yoga instructors, as well as short courses and retreats. I wanted my style of yoga to leave the studio. Yoga involves so much more than poses – it’s about re-discovering the authentic and whole self, learning from the past and building a future.
My four children keep me motivated. They get me out of bed in the morning and make me crave my bed in the evening. Everything I do, I do for them. When it comes to balancing work and social life, I try not to over-think and I avoid over-planning. I think that’s key for me. I don’t spend time over-analysing anything I want to achieve – I just do it. If it doesn’t work out, I learn from it and do it again in a different way. I guess you could say I just get on with it. The one bit of health advice I swear by is not to worry – it just causes stress.
I look at setbacks as life lessons. I ask myself what did I learn from this setback? What can I take away? What can I do better? What can I do differently? I firmly believe that we can’t move forwards without failing or making mistakes. They will happen and it’s up to us to either accept and learn from them or fall and give up. After collaborating with Mantra Jewellery (mantrajewellery.co.uk) my life motto is ‘She needed a hero so that’s what she became’. I now have that mantra on a beautiful necklace, too.
The Royal Wedding was so much fun! Words can’t really describe how amazing the atmosphere and energy were on the day. I was so fortunate to be inside Windsor Castle grounds where it was so quiet and serene, as only about 50 of us were inside. The hours were long but worth it! I left my London home at 4:45am, on both the Friday and the Saturday, and didn’t get back until 9pm. But it was, and is, one of the highlights of my life. I’ll remember every single bit of that day.
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