Interview with Chloe Leighton of You Go Do Yoga
Chloe Leighton is the founder of You Go Do Yoga. I’m lucky enough to call her one of my good friends and she was once my housemate too! As a result of our many evenings at home together, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about yoga. I used to quite frequently tell her not to ‘become a yoga w*nker’ and that I genuinely thought yoga was a load of nonsense. I was all about cardio, cardio, cardio and how can I burn the most fat. That said, I could see the positive impact yoga was having on Chloe and I began to be quite intrigued. I started practicing yoga at the start of 2017 as my new year’s resolution to give my back the love and support it demands. I’ve broken my back twice whilst snowboarding (I know, ridiculous) with the second time being rather serious. My commitment in January 2017 was to do yoga or swimming every single week of the year as my back therapy. I did my first class at Another Space London and was hooked. Let's just say the swimming pool didn't get much airtime last year!
So, Chloe. My questions for you, yoga master.
How did you first get into yoga and why?
The very first time I went to a yoga class was when I was at university. My friends and I went along to a community class for a laugh. The class was £3 and I remember thinking that was really expensive! Fast-forward two years, several rugby injuries and two car crashes later, my body was in pieces. I took up yoga in my front room watching YouTube videos. The more I practiced, the more in tune with my body I became, the more my flexibility and strength built up and the happier I was! I had become so used to my knee pain that I almost didn’t notice when it started to fade and fade. Three years later, I signed up for an intensive teacher training and it changed my life. I now live in Brussels, teaching yoga in studios, offices and privately, as well as via Skype to clients back home in the UK. I’m running my first yoga retreat in Morocco in September and I couldn’t be more excited.
Can yoga be good for weight loss?
Absolutely, but if that’s your main goal then you might not see results as quickly just practicing yoga as you would with intense cardio or weight training. My recommendation would be to combine the two. Yoga has so many benefits; it improves your flexibility, strengthens and tones, it improves your balance, works your respiratory system and your coordination. More than anything, though, I have found it has helped me to love my body when I didn’t.
Any tips for which type of practice to try out if you're trying to lose weight as well as tone up?
Higher intensity practises such as vinyasa, power or hot yoga are great if you really want to feel like you’ve had a work-out.
It’s not just the style though, but also the teacher. Every teacher teaches in a different way and no two vinyasa classes are the same so try lots out!
What's your favourite yoga move of all time and why do you love it?
I’m stronger than I am flexible so arm balances such as Crow, or Eight-Angle Pose always make me feel empowered. I also love the deep hip stretch that comes with triangle, and the feeling of calm which washes over me when I find that perfect alignment!
What's your advice for those who might be dieting and a bit shy in going to a class full of people in crop tops? Can you do anything from home?
Absolutely, the yoga mat is supposed to be a place you can go and forget everything around you, including what the person next to you’s bum looks like in Lululemon, but it’s not that easy, especially when you’re first starting out.
I LOVE home practice, it’s really great to grow confidence. Depending on the type of person you are there are a lot of different options. YouTube is full of great video content (I highly recommend Yoga with Adriene). If you want to take your time or feel that you get left behind following a video then I have a Free Introduction to Yoga eBook which breaks down some key postures and the alignment for each, and then that gives you an opportunity to pick and choose which you practice! AudibleYoga is also helpful, where you can listen to yoga classes instead of watching a video.
We're foodies here, albeit low-fat ones. What's your favourite healthy meal?
How to choose just one?! I actually LOVE vegetables, so roasted veggies with lots of garlic, chilli and herbs is one of my favourites, served with a piece of steamed fish or a chicken breast rubbed in spices. Oh, and I also adore Ottolengi’s cucumber salad.