Article: YOGA ROCKS - Q & A with Tara Lee
YOGA ROCKS - Q & A with Tara Lee
It It was sooo lovely to meet up with my dear friend Tara Lee the other day and do a little Q&A. I have known Tara for a very long time....we met at The Life Centre over 25 years ago in Nottinghill when I was a Reflexologist and she was a Yoga instructor there.
Tara was one of the first teachers to specialise in Pregnancy Yoga and with her incredible gentle manner and caring she quickly became world renowned. She has built up her business while having kids and had the same struggles we all have juggling work and family life.
We had a lovely chat and ended up doing an impromptu photo shoot because she is also a big fan of jumpsuits!
When did you first get into Yoga?
At Bristol University when I was studying Psychology. A friend asked me if I wanted to go to a class with her and I loved it. No one I knew was into Yoga then because it was 1995 and not at all fashionable, but it really helped me feel more relaxed and cope with the stress of my degree especially during exams.
How did you become such a huge International Yogi?
Im not sure that I am a 'Huge International Yogi'.......but I have been enjoying travelling a lot to teach on yoga retreats in countries such as Morocco, Italy and Greece. Also over the last 2 decades, thanks to the internet, Amazon, Apps and Social media, a lot more people have seen my classes around the globe!
How did you go from that first class to now? Where did you train etc?
I have done so many different training courses for my yoga! I did lots of teacher training courses and intensives. My main teacher training was with Yoga Campus in London over 20 years ago, but I have trained with different teachers and different styles of yoga nearly every year. I trained in pregnancy yoga, teen yoga, restorative yoga, ashtanga yoga, Para Yoga and Yoga Nidra. I think it’s important to continually be a student to become a better teacher. I now enjoy teaching teachers on training courses.
How do you juggle the work/life balance?
I always set aside time to focus on my own wellbeing whenever I can. I think that is how you can be of better help to others (including the kids). I also prioritise my health through nutrition, sleep and movement which gives me better energy and focus to get more done.
What are the challenges or struggles of being self-employed Mum?
It’s always a challenge trying to juggle kids and work as a mum running your own business. This was especially true when the kids were younger. I end up working lots of evenings and weekends, especially when I was studying for my nutrition qualification. Being self-employed these days means having to be a photographer, a social media expert, a public speaker, a writer and many more skills!
Being a mum always takes priority for me though.
What are your top self care tips when you need some ‘me time’ other than Yoga and breathwork?
I love dancing, singing, eating well and walking in nature. These things all make me feel uplifted and energised. Yoga is 'me time' as is walking with my dog and these are part of my daily rituals!
I’m lucky that I don’t get stressed often but that doesn’t mean I never get stressed! Caffeine makes me feel anxious and wired so I steer clear of caffeine and I cant eat chocolate to close to bedtime as it really affects my sleep.
How can yoga help our mental health and regulate our nervous systems?
Yoga can really help our mental health in terms of lowering anxiety levels, improving mood, and fostering better overall mental resilience.
Yoga helps us relax, reducing feelings of stress, and improves our feeling of well being. Yoga techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness can help regulate the nervous system by activating the parasympathetic (rest and digest and healing) response and reducing an overactive sympathetic (fight or flight) response. I would recommend trying to do a Yoga Nidra session at least twice a week. If you signup to my newsletter you will receive a free session - it's incredibly calming and connects you back to your body when feeling really tired or over stimulated
Do you have a secret style tip or fave brand (other than RTJ obvs!)
I do love my RTJ jumpsuits. I was a fan right from the beginning when you gave me an amazing gold shimmery one!
Have you had a life changing moment?
Becoming a mother was life changing! Mothering 2 children who are now teenagers has been transformative. I have had to develop skills I didn’t need before to nurture them through their different stages. My whole outlook on life and my priorities shifted when I became a mother. I no longer put myself first. My family are always at the forefront of any decisions I make.
What are you most proud of professionally and personally ?
I am most proud of my children and the way they are growing as wonderful individuals. It has been hard work at times but definitely the most rewarding of all my jobs!
I am incredibly proud that I qualified as a nutritional therapist while juggling being a mum and my work as a yoga teacher. That course was definitely the most challenging thing I’ve undertaken since my University degree!
I also feel proud that I have supported so many pregnant women and new mothers on their journeys into motherhood over the last 2 decades.
My work teaching yoga is incredibly fulfilling.....I'm so grateful to have been given the opportunities to travel along this path, working in the field of health and wellness, which I have always been drawn to
What is in the pipeline and how can people find you?
I have yoga classes in studio at The Life Centre or if you can’t join me in person I have lots of online classes and courses on my website (www.taraleeyoga.com/courses), and videos on Amazon (to download). I am regularly teaching yoga and working as a nutritionist on retreats throughout the year.
I see clients online via zoom for one to one nutrition consultations whether they need help with fine tuning their diet or have any particular health concerns.
I am running teacher training courses with Yoga Rise. If you follow me on instagram or sign up to my newsletter you can find out about any of my events, retreats or courses.
What's your favourite quote or lesson to live by?
'Why put off til tomorrow what you can do today!'
And Finally, what are your 9 fave Products or Brands that you are currently using or couldn't live without
I’m reading - 'The covenant of water' by the author Abraham Verghese who wrote another favourite book of mine -'Cutting for stone’.I’m listening to The Plot on Audible while I drive or walk my dog.I’m using RelaxayVoo face oils and body oils which are incredible.I’m drinking Ohmg water which tastes delicious and helps you get enough magnesium into your body. As a nutritionist I am recommending this to everyone!I am taking Hux superfood blend powder in my smoothiesI am taking Zooki vitamin C sachets and adding them to my waterI am recommending my online yoga classes to anyone wanting to follow yoga classes with me from wherever they are in the world in their own timeI am planning my Greece yoga retreat which I swear by for anyone who loves yoga and wants to swim in the sea in Ithaca and practice yoga outside in the most dreamy location.I am using my travel yoga mat @weareblessed which is great for fitting into my suitcase (foldable) while still having good grip!