As one of the rising stars of the yoga world, we were extremely excited to add Shona Vertue to our 2016 calendar. She’s one of the most sought after yoga instructors around, and now the Instagram favourite is teaching at Champneys. With National Yoga Month up and running, here, we caught up with Shona to discuss her rapid rise…
Shona, we’re obviously excited to have you hosting your Two-Night Health Immersion Retreat. Do you look forward to working at Champneys?
Yes, Champneys is a wonderfully relaxing and quintessentially English place to host one of my retreats - it's going to be perfect! It's great to have access to both a gym as well as a place to teach yoga. The food there is also amazing, and the health menu has been designed by a nutritionist - it couldn't be more perfect.
Earlier this year you started teaching a new workout concept called the Vertue Method. These classes, which work to uplift the soul and butt sold out 10 weeks in advance. That’s impressive…
I'm very pleased that people took to it so enthusiastically. It's wonderful to be able to offer something that incorporates a focus on both flexibility and strength. In my experience people tend to lean one way or the other, however, true health is achieved through balance. The Vertue Method provides people the opportunity to develop that balance.
What can you tell us about your retreat at Champneys, what can participants expect?
They can expect to feel both invigorated and relaxed as we will be practicing the Vertue Method as well as daily yoga classes and meditations too. My retreats always have an education element to them, so it's my aim to ensure they leave with a new practice or understanding that they can apply to their own lives to help them live even more healthfully.
Your classes fuse elements of yoga, circuit training and meditation. Why do those three disciplines work so well together?
Because it's important to balance all aspects of strength and flexibility within the body. The mind is also a key aspect to health, and meditation addresses that. Meditation can also help to boost recovery by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (which is in charge of rest, digestion, repair and recovery). It's an aspect of fitness that people often forget.
You’re also an experienced gymnast and dancer – is there anything you can’t do? Where does your passion for health and fitness come from?
There are plenty of things I can't do, but the sweetness of life is in learning to accomplish them one step at a time. I love to move and challenge my body and I'm sure I always will. The passion comes from the feeling I get when I exercise and take care of my body.
You were born in Australia, live in London and have seen a lot of the world. Do you think those different cultures and experiences have shaped your wellness philosophy?
Yes absolutely. Due to the weather and outdoor culture, Australia is a very fit and active place. However coming to London has taught me a lot about finding motivation to train even when your body is covered up for nine months. Living in the UK changed the way I viewed training and helped me to make it less about aesthetics and more about strength, empowerment and health.
Over the past 18 months, you’re career has gone from strength-to-strength. What does the rest of the year hold for you?
Well apart from my amazing Champneys retreat, I am currently writing my first book, which is really exciting! And if you can't make it to the retreat but would like to access the Vertue Method workouts you can download the videos that I have made here: www.shonavertue.com - they are practiced in over 45 countries and counting and can be done inside the comfort of your own home. It’s been an incredible time, and I’m very grateful for that success. I have a wonderful community of people supporting me and helping me channel my energy in the right direction. It’s an exciting time for me.