Yoga has been a big part of Kelly McHugh’s life for over a decade and she loves getting other people as passionate about it through Good Yoga Life, which runs classes and events in cool spaces as well retreats in places like Morocco and Ibiza. We caught up with Kelly to find out how to get that good yoga life…
Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?
E17! I moved from Hackney to Walthamstow a couple of years ago with my partner Stu. We live in St James, which is a pretty awesome and up and coming part of the Stow. We’re well connected – just 15 mins into Liverpool Street and half hour to Kings Cross – but enough out of town to feel that sense of suburbia. We absolutely love having the Walthamstow Marshes and London’s Wetlands right on our doorstep. I run most days and within five minutes from our front door, I’m in fields and nature. Walthamstow also has its own village where you can find independent shops and a good Sunday roast. A short walk takes you to Walthamstow’s very own neon sign haven, God’s Own Junkyard, which neighbours two microbreweries and a Gin Palace – a secret spot that comes alive in the summer months.
What inspired you to start Good Yoga Life?
I’d worked in marketing for 15 years and decided to do my teacher training. This led to setting up a monthly Yoga Supper Club event, which was an instant hit with 40 people regularly attending. Eight months later I quit my job and set up my own classes and continued with the monthly events. I knew I wanted to do something different and that people were enjoying the social mix of yoga, food, prosecco and catching up with friends. I also loved that newbies to yoga were coming along so I continued to experiment with event concepts and focusing on the idea of creating a “good yoga life” – balancing yoga and all the amazing stuff that life has to offer.
Good Yoga Life started from there. That was August 2015 and a year after launching I started running my retreats abroad and continue to run these in Ibiza, Morocco, France. Next year I’ll also be heading to Portugal and Sri Lanka! It’s been a really exciting journey and I’m so grateful to all the incredible yogis who come to our classes, events and retreats. They are what make the Good Yoga Life world go around![easy-image-collage id=105383]
And what sets it apart from other yoga studios or companies?
I like to think of us as a nomad studio. We move around, we make our home in unique spaces. We evolve and innovate. Mostly Good Yoga Life is about bringing yoga into your life in a way that is fun, balanced and doesn’t take the practice or life too seriously.
You teach classes at cool spaces all over London, like on rooftops and at God’s Own Junkyard. How do you choose the spaces?
God’s Own Junkyard is an Aladdin’s cave and home to thousands of brightly coloured neon signs. It really is a feast for the eyes and it attracts thousands of visitors every year. I first ran Yoga Supper Club events there a couple of years back and now I run monthly Saturday morning yoga classes. Every summer we take to the rooftops of London, with regular classes in Shoreditch, Borough and wherever we can get our sky-high yoga fix. Last summer we ran yoga classes on a boat in partnership with Benefit Make Up and the summer before we set up a pop up studio for a week of yoga and events in Old Street underground station. Anything is possible!
What have been some of the highlights?
The retreats are definitely a highlight. Being able to craft experiences that give people the chance to take a break from the hustle bustle of life is really special. We have been running the Ibiza retreats since 2016 and it really is our spiritual home. I spent most of my twenties in Ibiza so I know the island well and will be heading back out there in May and October this year. We do yoga twice a day at our stunning cliff-side villa that looks out to sea. It’s simply magical! We also explore the island, visiting beaches and heading out on SUP paddleboards. What makes the retreats extra special are the people that come along. It always amazes me how well the groups bond and we’ve even had guests who met on retreat book the next retreat together! Other highlights include teaching at festivals such as Soul Circus and Lovefit and teaching 300 yogis at Hyde Park for Lululemon last summer.[easy-image-collage id=105388]
Describe your perfect day in London.
The sun is shining and it’s a perfect morning for a run with hubby through the marshes and to the park for sun salutations on the grass. We stop by the Boat Café for brekkie – the mushroom brioche burger is a fave. We love a bit of park life so will soak it all up at Victoria Park or London Fields and take in some of the joys of our old stomping ground and meet up with friends, before jumping on a bike down the canal. We have a route that takes us all the way down to the river….but getting there usually depends on how many prosecco stops we make on the way.
Get £100 off the Good Yoga Life October Ibiza retreat and £100 off the spring 2019 Sri Lanka retreat when you quote LOTI. Code valid until 1st August 2018.