10 MINUTES WITH RENOWNED YOGA TEACHER & HEALTH COACH JULIE MONTAGU
American-born Julie Montagu exemplifies a life of passion and dedication. The renowned yoga teacher, food blogger, bestselling author and successful business owner has garnered such a following that her packed-out Sunday class in London often sees her teaching while standing on a radiator.
Married with four children, the businesswoman and all-round wellness expert divides her time between London and her family estate at Mapperton in Dorset. She spends her days balancing her work and family life, as well as upholding her commitment to teaching people about the benefits of holistic wellbeing.
The epitome of the Silou woman, Montagu is authentic, driven and mindful, and like us, she knows how to leave people feeling good from the inside out.
Here, she reveals what sparked her love for wellness, how she invests in her own health and what it takes to turn a passion into a career.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD A PASSION FOR YOGA?
I’ve practised yoga ever since my eldest was born nearly 19 years ago. But the passion really began after my fourth child was born. I was exhausted, depleted of energy, moody and feeling unhappy. I knew I needed to do something just for me, so I went to an amazing Vinyasa yoga class and cried during Savasana –– but they were good tears, which left me feeling like I was releasing all of my negative energy. As I was walking home, I thought, I want to feel like this every single day, and that’s how I became so passionate about yoga.
HOW ABOUT YOUR INTEREST IN NUTRITION, WHAT SPARKED THAT?
The inspiration behind my passion for nutrition came from my four kids and husband. My husband was unwell for several years and my kids were eating terribly at school and at home –– everywhere we went they were eating packets of crisps and sweets. And so, on the one hand I wanted to see if I could help heal my husband, and on the other hand I wanted my four kids to eat better.
YOU’RE ALSO A BEST-SELLING AUTHOR, HOW DID YOU MAKE THE LEAP INTO PUBLISHING?
Luck and hard work. When I really started getting into nutrition and healthy eating, I wanted a way to remember all of the recipes I was creating, so I started my blog: The Flexi Foodie. I had no intention of anyone ever reading it, much less a publisher, but that’s what happened. My blog got bigger and became widely read and it fell into the lap of a publisher.
AS A HEALTH COACH YOU’RE ALWAYS ADVISING OTHERS, BUT HOW DO YOU INVEST IN YOUR OWN WELLBEING?
I literally have to carve small moments of self-care into my daily life otherwise I become grumpy. Because of this, there is rarely and I mean rarely, a day that goes by that I’m not taking a yoga class. Yes, I teach a lot of yoga but I also make sure that I’m a student every single day.
SO, HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE YOUR FAMILY TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR HEALTH?
Lead by example. I don’t force my kids to eat chia seeds or do yoga, but they see me do it. They ask questions and want to know more, which eventually leads to Nestor doing a headstand or William making a green smoothie.
WHAT DOES LIVING MORE MINDFULLY MEAN TO YOU?
It means never rehashing the past. Instead, I take lessons from the past and apply those lessons to the present. You should never worry about the future, just trust that it will all work for the right reasons.
WHO, OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU WHEN IT COMES TO BUSINESS?
Kris Carr, a best-selling author and wellness activist, is a friend but also an inspiration to me. Her story, her life, her diet, her energy, her smile and her entrepreneurial ways are something I am utterly in awe of.
WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE DAY IN YOUR LIFE ENCOMPASS?
Life’s become a bit easier this year, as my youngest was old enough to take the school bus. So, not having to do the school run for the first time in nearly 14 years has been kind of shocking –– but I’m not complaining.
Now, once I get all four kids out of the house at around 7:45am, my day begins. I do emails, cycle to teach yoga, which is followed by meetings, then I eat a quick and healthy lunch at one of my favourite spots in London. Somedays I’ll be blogging and recipe creating in the afternoon, and on others I’ll edit my book before heading home by 5pm when all my kids return from school.
Next supper is made and homework is done, and then on two nights of the week I head out to teach an evening yoga class. My days are jam packed but I love being busy doing what I love.
YOU LIVE SUCH A BUSY LIFESTYLE, HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR ENERGY LEVELS?
As long as I can remember I’ve always had a ton of energy. I’m super and perhaps maybe overly optimistic about everything, and as I said before, I do yoga every day which helps. I’m also obsessed with Chlorella and have been taking it every day for six years now, I cycle 12-15 miles a day and I drink lots of green tea. But I also just love what I do.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE WANTING TO TURN THEIR PASSION INTO A CAREER?
Go for it! If you are really, truly passionate about it then you can and will make it a reality. Even if that means working on your passion in the evenings after your day job or on the weekends during your time off. There is only one of you and your passion is what this world needs.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE MONTAGU BUSINESS EMPIRE?
I have my fourth book coming out in 22 countries on the 4th January 2018. It’s called RECHARGE: A Year of Self-Care to Focus on You. It’s like a month-by-month self-care bible. I’m super excited about it, as it contains everything I’ve learned about self-care and how to make it a habit. Secondly, I will soon be doing three day yoga retreats at my family’s estate in Dorset, Mapperton. We’re redeveloping the estate now so fingers crossed my first retreat will be happening next summer.
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