I started following Imogen on Instagram as I really liked her posts and yoga style but mostly because we have the same philosophy in life.
Acceptance: finding the place where you are truly happy, ‘imperfections’ and all.
Love: getting to that point where you love yourself. Mind, body and soul.
Connect: to the people, universe, sun, moon, love, the now, anything that makes you feel alive and fill your soul with joy.
Balance: making sure you get as much back as you give. Listening to your intuition and not the ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’.
I’m a great believer in finding balance in life. We all have the ability to find it. Say ‘no’ to the things you don’t want and ‘more’ to the things that make you happy. Give yourself love, take time out and create that balance; your mind, body and soul will be thankful.
One post I noticed and it stuck with me was with the caption ‘Look up, be thankful and open to the universe.’ We here at no&more love this.
I caught up with Imogen to talk about what influences her…
What took you to yoga in the first place?
My Mamma, I use to train and run a lot and she was concerned about my flexibility so convinced me to start going. She wasn't a yoga practitioner herself at the time (I've since got her going to regular classes in her home city). I thought yoga was a room full of older women napping. How wrong I was!
Who inspires you?
This is a tricky one... in life my parents inspire me. They are so strong, a real unit, a team and have built a successful business out of nothing - and inspire me to do the same. From the fitness/wellness world I adore Shona Vertue and James Duigan and have been blessed enough to work with them. They inspire me to stay true to what is right for me, as they do, and therefore stay true to what I teach and the message I send out.
Are there any apps/podcasts/books that influence you?
Oh, this is a biggie! favourite 2 podcasts are 'The Joe Rogan Experience' and 'Iraki Nutrition'. App wise, I usually recommend 'Headspace' or even the 'Breathe' app by apple. And then books... books are my go to and there are so many...Louise Hay is awesome, 'Breathe' by Rebecca Dennis, 'Do your OM thing' by Rebecca Pacheco, 'Cure' by Jo Marchant and 'Gut' by Giulia Enders are some that I usually end ups buying people.
What’s your yoga vision?
Truthfully, to help, heal and empower.
How important is meditation to your yoga practise?
For me it’s THE most important aspect of yoga. Luckily it is something that is increasing in popularity and its benefits are helping the wider population, even the ones that wouldn't call themselves a yogi, as they don’t practice asana.
Aside from yoga, what other forms of exercise do you enjoy participating in?
Being a personal trainer as well as a yoga instructor I very much enjoy training as well - weight training in particular. Walking OUTSIDE is my other go to and something that I feel is massively undervalued and appreciated!
What time of day do you feel you get the most out of your practise?
I'm a morning practice person. I think its a beautiful way to wake up, gets the mind focussed and prevents anything unnecessary from getting in the way of a full practice. I have been known to be late for 'work' (I enjoy my job too much to feel like I should call it work) because my self-practice runs over.
What styles of yoga do you enjoy the most?
For me yoga is yoga... I connection of mind, body and soul through the breath, any practice which assists this I enjoy thoroughly. I will happily jump into any class and when it comes to self practice I really just flow how my body is wanting. However, during yoga journey I have mixed it up in what’s taking my fancy and Forrest Yoga, Jivamukti and Yin are probably my go to's. But, I do believe that how you interact and feel in the teacher’s presence is equally as important as the 'style' that it is labelled. Even through each style has slightly different teachers or methodology it all really is just moving, breathing and enabling space for you to become the best version of yourself.
What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?
Honestly the hardest challenge I have as a yoga instructor is connecting people back to themselves. We spend so much time 'doing' and not enough time 'feeling' and its only when we start to 'feel' that we find ourselves being able to deepen out practice, our breath and our experience of life. That life is about balance and its only when we connect that we are able to create balance and harmony within.
How do you hydrate when you aren’t in the studio?
I am a herbal tea queen. I always have my keep-cup and spare tea bag on me. There’s a tea for every occasion and I am not fussy as to what it is. However, I always have a bottle of water on me to and have been known to slightly panic if I don't.
Do you hydrate during your practise?
During my practice I general don't drink and I usually try and advise my students to come to class hydrated rather then slipping their way through the asana practice as it isn't the best for either your body or your mind.
Do you have any advice to give someone who would like to start their yoga journey?
Remember yoga isn't a competition, like life its a never ending journey. Try not to compare yourself to any one else in the room, keep focused on your breath and your body and drop into childs pose at any point you are feeling it is necessary.
Imogen Harding Instagram