We chat to London-based yoga teacher and all-round wellness warrior Annie Clarke
Inspired by her own experience of poor health and depleted energy, Annie Clarke is on a mission to help others take responsibility for their wellbeing. She set up her blog, Mind Body Bowl (mindbodybowl. co.uk), two years ago to encourage people to think, move and eat their way to better health and has just released a book of the same name. Based on her three pillars of wellness, the guide shows how you can welcome strength and happiness into your life by focusing on a healthy mind, a fit body and a good diet and is packed full of nourishing recipes, meditation exercises and mindful tips.
I was always fairly conscious of keeping myself healthy and fit, but I definitely didn’t always do the best job. By the time I left university, I was struggling a lot with feeling exhausted and having persistent stomach problems and decided something had to change. I knew I was intolerant to certain food and so I decided to focus on sorting these problems out first. I was so surprised at how quickly my gut healed and my energy came back after several years of feeling totally miserable. I think that is what really sparked my interest – I became fascinated by the small lifestyle tweaks that can make a big impact on how we feel. I started to piece together the connection between my mind and body and notice a little more each day about how it all works. What became most obvious was that we are all hugely individual and so our approach to our own health and wellbeing should be too. I started working with that idea and haven’t looked back since!
I don’t have a typical day as everyday is totally different… and that is one of the best things about my job! That said, most weeks I will teach about 10 to 14 hours of yoga and perhaps run a workshop. I’ll also be recipe testing and creating YouTube videos and blog posts, so my week can get busy very quickly! I try to make sure I take time for myself as that benefits everything – my work, my relationships and my all-round wellbeing!
Eating well doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. I love simple, delicious, healthy food and that is what I wanted to share in my new book, Mind Body Bowl. I wanted to remind people that it doesn’t have to be inconvenient to eat well and you don’t have to go out of your way to find ingredients you’ve never heard of. But, even more important than that for me is the message that food is just one part of wellbeing, and this is what my book is really about. Everything is interlinked – so, rather than focusing solely on what we eat or how we exercise, there needs to be a relationship between many aspects and that sense of balance is totally unique to each person. The book is based on that message – it’s a non-prescriptive approach to empower you to find your own balance.
Yoga started as exercise for me. I wanted to stretch, strengthen and sweat so it seemed like a good place to look. Now my attitude has totally shifted. I don’t view it as exercise at all – for me it is all about enjoying space and time to connect to myself. It is the perfect way for me to bring my mind and body together. I practise lots of different styles of yoga and I love everything from dharma and rocket which are more physically challenging, to vinyasa flow, yin yoga and restorative which are much more still.
If you want to start focusing on your wellbeing, I’d say do what you can to listen to your body and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. We are all so totally unique – so, yes, take inspiration from the world and people around you, but don’t become attached to their opinions and experiences because they won’t necessarily be the same for you.
I’m working on lots of exciting plans for the next year. A lot of my efforts are going towards organising some really cool events and retreats to help people work with their own sense of wellbeing.
Annie’s new book, Mind Body Bowl: Think, move and eat your way to a more balanced life (£16.99, Thorsons, Harper Collins), is available now.
Save over £11
when you subscribe today
Exclusive prizes from our Heaven Skincare, Senspa, Green People and more...