Picture the scene, we get the photoshoot proofs back from @jorgkoster (genius, photographer extraordinaire and person you need to be following on twitter immediately..go follow him now, it is okay, I will wait. Done it? Great, lets continue), so proofs are back. We gasp at Sanita, we cheer for Katie P and we are in awe of Cliodhna. Then we see Lisa and something unexpected happens. The room clears immediately and we can hear everyone at Queen B booking their next yoga class. Yup, when we grow up we wanna be Lisa. Top yoga instructor and one of the formidable ladies that makes the Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre one of the best yoga centres in Ireland. Firm friend of the Queen B family and champion of our kit, Lisa and the team at Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre saw a rowing brand and had the inspiration and foresight to see how brilliantly our kit could work for Yoga lovers everywhere. We simply love it when our customers teach us something new and had to take the opportunity to salute these clever, clever Queen B’s. Not to mention how cool it is to see such a master at work! Lisa (who is married by the way, so all you Queen B boys can stop asking us now!!) rocked the shoot and is not only a fantastic ambassador for her occupation but is also our ultimate Yoga Queen B. Lisa, there will always be a yoga mat with your name on it at Queen B HQ. Namaste.
1. When did you first start Yoga?
I started yoga in 2007. I had a lot of changes happening in work at the time and I heard yoga was good to clear your head and help you to focus. I also had an achy back and was looking for relief.
2. What did Yoga offer that made it so irresistible?
I have to admit that I was terrible for joining courses and not sticking with them. I’ve tried 6-week courses in just about everything. I’d have the best of intentions but was ultimately too lazy to stick with them. I enjoyed my first course of yoga classes but like everything else I let it go. It wasn’t until I stopped that I realised the affect it had had on me. My back had never felt better, my energy levels were up, I was calmer and overall healthier. I knew it was something I had to stick with. Over time I became extremely dedicated to the practice and this transferred into the rest of my life. I’m no longer the procrastinator who gives up on everything! Hurray!!!
3. What does it take to be a Yoga teacher?
Most people think you need to be able to do all the advanced poses to be a good yoga teacher but it’s not the case. You could be tying yourself up into the most impressive looking knots but if you can’t connect to your student and recognise their needs then it’s just a performance show. The best teachers are student focussed, they care about the benefits their students can get from the practice, they teach holistically, without judgement or ego.
4. What would you say to someone who has never tried Yoga before?
You don’t have to be flexible, fit, strong or spiritual to start, there’s a class for everybody. Try it, nobody ever regrets it!
5. A lot of our Queen B’s are serious sports women, can yoga be of benefit to the elite athlete?
Absolutely! A lot of our students are elite athletes too and we get feedback from them all the time about the transformation yoga has made to their sport. It ranges from reduction of injuries, to longevity in their game, to minutes taken off their marathon PB. It’s also a great way of de-stressing for competitive athletes and personalities. Yoga can be really physical but it’s non-competitive.
6. You guys go to Goa to train – we are green with envy and you need to tell us more!
The Headquarters of Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre is in a little seaside village called Mandrem in Goa. I first went there to qualify as a yoga teacher in 2011. As fate would have it, they were already planning to open a centre in Cork – my hometown. So now as part of the Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre team I get to continue to go back to Goa to work on the teacher-training course and to train more intensively with Lalit, my teacher and director of Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre. Mandrem is paradise, with beaches stretching for miles. On either side there are beautiful restaurants, shops and stalls and warm smiles everywhere you go. The centre itself is hidden at the edge of the jungle with stunning views all around. It has a large Yoga shala, a restaurant, swimming pool and beautiful spacious villas. There’s a bunch of our students from Cork heading out there in a few weeks on a retreat so there’ll be a few more Queen B’s in Mandrem soon.
7. The Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre has an incredibly reputation throughout the country as being one of the best yoga centres, as a complete novice (I once tried a yoga DVD…don’t think that counts!) what class would be best for me?
We have a free introductory class every Saturday at 12:30pm called “Let’s Get Started” for novices or yogis who want to find out more about us. There’ll be an introductory talk on what we’re all about, followed by a taster class and time at the end to ask questions. If you want to skip that and go straight into a regular class then try a “New Beginnings Level 1”, and there’s usually about 9 of those on the schedule every week.
8. Where is your favourite place to practice Yoga?
Besides Goa, there’s a really special place that we found on Heir Island last summer, it’s a secluded grassy patch overlooking a tiny private beach. This year will be my forth year running yoga retreats on the Island but I only discovered this spot when the owner of the land told me about it. The views are spectacular, overlooking the water and on to the other Carbery Islands. A practice there before sunset is very special.
9. Top 3 tips when doing Yoga?
Be Patient – It can take a long time to undo the physical and emotional tension built up in the body so don’t expect transformation overnight. You will definitely notice improvement to your health and wellbeing early on but don’t fixate on goals like being able to stand on your head or touch your toes, the benefits come from the practice, not the achievement.
Trust The Practice – As I said, the process can be slow but the practice will deliver. Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years before us, we don’t change it or invent our own form of it, we’re passing on a very tried and tested practice, it’s perfect the way it is.
Have Fun – Don’t get all stressed trying to de-stress. Yoga increases your seratonin levels, boosting your mood, so enjoy it! Celebrate the little triumphs and laugh at the falls. Don’t take yourself too seriously. And on the days when nothings seems to be going right on or off the mat, there’s always the breath, close your eyes, listen to your breath slowing down and you’ll soon feel a little more balanced.
10. We want to join your class – when, where?
I teach in Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre on 19/20 Academy Street in Cork City. We have almost 40 classes running every week for all levels including “Meditation by Donation” for Cork Simon Community, Pregnancy Yoga, Kids and Pre-Teen classes and Restorative Yoga. We’re open every day so pop in or call us on 021 4279696. Our website is www.yogacorkireland.com
11. How can we follow you on twitter?
We are only too aware of our ladies sporting chops, but we wanted to get the quick-fire skinny on their modelling experience for Queen B. So this is for any aspiring Queen B models out there – work hard, play hard and keep practising your “fierce” look in the mirror – here is what it takes to make it as a top sportswear model, Queen B style!
1. Linda Evangelista once said she wouldn’t wake up for less than 10k, what is the one thing you would wake up for? I don’t have a choice in the matter, my westie Ricky wakes me every morning with a nose in my face. A little less glam than Linda.
2. What is an absolute must for you at a photo shoot? Your freshly baked scones, I won’t be coming back unless they’re a guarantee!
3. Zoolander had “Blue Steel”, what is your trademark look called? “Fierce” I look vicious in one of them.
4. What is the worst thing about being a professional model? Hmmm…….. probably trying to think of a clever answer to this question.
5. What was your favourite shot of the day and why? The one where I’m doing Eka Pada Raja Kapotanasana (where I’m holding my foot behind my head). This pose more than any others has taught me to be patient and trust the practice. My hips were ready for this pose years before my shoulders and it felt like there was cement in my arms when I used to reach back, it seemed impossible. I gave up thinking about it and continued with my regular practice until it happened out of the blue one day. When I look at this picture, it gives me hope.
6. If you could sneak one item of clothing from the shoot into your bag and take it home (naughty models!), what would it be? The sports bra, I didn’t want to take it off, it’s really supportive and is made from such soft material and I love cross look at the back. I got myself one for Christmas.
7. What preparation did you do for the shoot? I did a practice in the garden while Cliodhna was doing her shoot, For any Yogis reading this, I did half the primary series and some backbends. It was a really sunny day, it was lovely.
8. Who (other than the gals at Queen B of course!) is your biggest fan? My Grandad. He’s 94 and has always had a strong interest in health and wellbeing so he loves what I do. He had his first Yoga lesson aged 91!
9. What is next for you? Milan? Paris? New York? Haha watch this space!