We Speak To... Polly James
1) Tell us your back-story in a nutshell?
I was born and bred in West London and spent most of my youth doing cartwheels and spinning around in a giant car tire that was in our garden (Dad in motorsports). I studied philosophy and psychology at Bristol University. As a very athletic and somewhat competitive child I held strong values in being sporty and keeping active. Throughout university practicing yoga was invaluable to me not only for its physical benefits but also mental stimulation and wellbeing. After completing the doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Kings I started to question my blind faith that I won't really work 5 days a week and will still get long summer holidays. In December 2015, I completed the 200hr teacher training with the power yoga company. Now I work part time paediatric psychologist and part time Yoga instructor. The training course absolutely reinforced what was important and meaningful to me, plus it gives me much more flexibility and I can continue to pretend I don't work 5 days a week.
2) Have you always wanted to be a yoga instructor?
As a child I dreamed of being a gymnast, then a philosopher and as I got older a psychologist. So mix them altogether and you (kind of) get a yoga instructor. So yes I think I have!
3) What exactly is Rockin’ Vinyasa?
It's a Power Yoga class to some awesome beats. Power yoga is based on the ashtanga series and is a very active form of yoga that follows a series of postures designed to improve strength, balance, and flexibility. Rockin vinyasa offers a varied, fun, and dynamic class that will keep you on your toes. Music is played throughout the class to support the practice; in strong songs the poses become stronger and relaxing songs the mind quietens. I believe that you can combine a meditative focused concentration with a powerful sweaty vinyasa flow that provides both therapeutic and yoga values all in one.
4) In your experience what do you think the biggest benefits of practicing yoga are?
I think the yoga asana practice is like a one stop shop for your mind and body. Whether it’s a sweaty work out you want, something restorative, healing for ailments or an amazing meditative flow. Yoga is therapy for both mind and body.
5) What are your favourite pre and post workout snacks?
I am obsessed with porridge (especially with dried dates that caramelize when cooked)! Its healthy, tastes great and gives me lots of energy before a physically demanding power yoga class. Plus I seem to be able to wolf a bowl down just before a class and be totally fine going upside down.
6) And finally, tell us your life philosophy in one sentence?
Oh I cant cope with the pressure to condense my over analytical mind and psychology background in giving a life philosophy in one line…I think I’ve just used up my sentence.
Polly's classes are at midday every Monday lunchtime. You can book onto her class on the studio page of our website.