This new episode of “Living yoga”, my interview series with yoga practitioners from all around the world, features Lucie, one of the sweetest yoginis I’ve ever come across.
Lucie comes from the Czech Republic but moved to the U.K. for university this year. She admits that this was the scariest thing she’s ever done in her life, but also the best decision she ever made. She is now a first-year student of Marketing with Psychology but feels she doesn’t really relate to the student life stereotype. While her classmates are out partying, she usually puts on cozy PJs, bakes cookies and drinks huge amounts of tea before falling asleep watching Netflix. “Some may call it boring, but I prefer the descriptions ‘grandma soul trapped in a 20 year old body’ or ‘absolutely awesome’ “, Lucie says.
Besides being a yogini, she is also certified as a pop pilates instructor and teaches classes at the university gym.
Lucie, how and when did you find yoga? Was it love at first sight for you?
It was, actually. I had been practicing pop pilates and pilates a couple years before I discovered yoga. To get in touch from the people from the pop pilates community, I joined Instagram and I found out that quite a lot of these people were practicing yoga as well, so I wanted to give it a shot myself. Being too scared to go to an actual yoga class, I started practicing with online classes on YouTube and I fell in love. Before I knew it, I was flipping my grip in dancer pose, learning to meditate and hosting yoga challenges on Instagram.
What’s your preferred yoga style and what do you love about it?
I have tried many different yoga styles and I enjoyed everything from hatha to hot yoga, but what I feel like resonated with me the most was vinyasa and aerial. The reason I love vinyasa is that it just feels more natural for me to flow, rather than hold poses (and I am also a very restless person, but that doesn’t sound as good as “my body loves to be moving”). Therefore, vinyasa is what I usually practice on my own.
I have only tried a couple of classes of aerial, but I loved every single second I spent in that hammock. I do not really have an opportunity to practice it where I live now, but I would love to do more of it in the future, when I have access to an aerial studio.
What or who inspires and motivates you?
My biggest motivation is my own progress. I feel like I’ve come such a long way, both in my yoga ractice and life in general. When I am standing in front of a challenge, I always look back at all the challenges I have faced in my past and how I got through every single one of them. This is such a powerful technique and it’s hard not to feel motivated when you realise what are all the things you are capable of.
How do you integrate yoga into your daily life?
Being a uni student, it is sometimes hard to find time to get on the mat every day. But what I try to do is at least a little something. If I have the time to do a 1 hour practice with a nice and proper shavasana, that’s fantastic, but it’s not always possible. Instead of always trying to make time for a “perfect practice”, I will just do 3 sun salutations on a busy day, or at least a minute of breathing exercises. These little things do count and really help me to focus when I have a day full of studying ahead of me.
How do you find inner balance? Could you share your number 1 tip for cultivating mindfulness?
When I feel out of balance, I always try to find a moment just for myself: I put on my fluffy bathrobe and drink a cup of tea while journaling. Journaling is a really good tool for cultivating mindfulness: somehow, having whatever is going on in your life written down on paper in front of you puts everything into perspective. I do have a yoga journal, so it’s specifically focused on yoga practice and mindfulness, but any notebook will do. Just write down some positive affirmations and a list of things you are grateful for.
What was the best experience you ever had related to yoga, and why?
Yoga helped me find some of my best friends, so I would say that the best yoga-related experienced I ever had was when I jumped on a plane to Ljubljana to meet 4 amazing yogi friends and spend a wonderful weekend full of yoga and good food with them! And I should also add that I was 18 at the time, never travelled on my own before and only had met one of them in person previous to that!
What do you struggle with in your practice, and how do you deal with it?
As I am such a restless person and I always want to be moving forward, I can get very frustrated when something is not going well in my practice and I am just not feeling it that day. I have been working on this for a while now, but I still have a long way to go.
If you could give new yogis an advice, what would it be?
I touched on this a bit when I talked about journaling. What I feel like helped me with my practice the most was writing it down, taking note of what I was practicing and most importantly, how I felt. This way you can also see if there are any patterns, such as: “I always feel better when I practice in the evening”, and organize your practice to be the most enjoyable and beneficial it can be.
If you want to get inspired by Lucie, find her on Instagram @lucewithlove