Emily Hayden

When were you first introduced to yoga?

I first started yoga when I was running 800m for my county, I suffered from shin splints and tried a few classes as I heard it was good. But I found it quite boring!

Then I went back to it years later, different teacher and style and fell in love with it. It did help with my flexibility but it also worked wonders for my mind and I craved that feeling more and more. I had no idea I would go on to be a teacher at the time.

What has yoga – and teaching yoga – brought your life?

I see so many people walk into my classes stressed and leave smiling and relaxed. This is my reason and what makes me happy. I know how much yoga has helped my life and to be able to give that gift to someone else is the best feeling!

I also love teaching yoga to athletes and took further training in Sports Yoga, and hearing that they are back playing and performing well in their chosen sport is really inspiring. Most athletes come to me when there has been a problem in there game or sport or they keep getting injured or want to prolong their careers, but I want to raise awareness of yoga in sports as it’s something that would help from a younger age and would help them perform at a top level throughout their careers.

What would your advice be to someone who is in a fitness rut?

Mix it up!  I can’t think of anything worse than going to the gym doing the same old stuff every time or walking round not knowing what to do.

I’m easily distracted so I’ll plan my workouts and get on with it. I’ll go to the gym only once or twice a week now. I also love going to classes so I go to this trampoline fitness class once a week now called ‘Bounce’, which is a fun way to get my cardio in. I’ll also try and get in a circuit class if I’m working in London – such as F45 and I’ll either do a self yoga practise or go to a class once a week too!

Tell us your dream three course meal.

Well I’ve just come back from Italy and they have like seven courses so three is quite tight!

Ok, this is hard! I’ll go for a Mozzarella, tomato and basil salad to start. For the main, I’ll go Japanese so black cod with broccoli and rice – maybe throw in some dim sum in there too. Then Chocolate fondant (warm with the chocolate caramel that trickles out as you put your spoon in it) and some green tea ice cream on the side.

Tell us your most cherished travel experience.

As I said I’ve just come back from Italy, this was for my first solo yoga retreat! I had some incredible women come and to see the change in them was incredible. We did yoga twice a day, went on a hike, ate our meals together, sunbathed, had massages, laughed so much and relaxed. I would say that’s up there!

If you could transport anywhere right now, where would you go? And why?

I’m desperate to go on safari and take my daughter, I just think it would be such an incredible experience. I love animals especially lions and tigers. They are so beautiful, powerful and survivors!

What do you love about acting and performing?

I’ve been in the industry for years. I love being part of a team on set, get to work with incredible talented people and seeing it all come together in the end production is really cool! I’ve always been a drama queen so I guess that’s why I fell into the industry!

When do you feel at your happiest?

You know what, the last few years I have made it my mission to be happy in most circumstances in my life and I would say in most areas of my life now I’m pretty much happy all the time. I have incredible family and friends, I work in what I love doing and I’m happy in myself most of the time.

Still working towards a few more things and that’s part of life, part of the process, part of growing and part of your own evolution. I never want to stop learning so when things don’t go the way I hoped I try and use these things as lessons and not reasons to give up or fall apart.

We are blessed that we have access to so much support, advice and we aren’t alone in our struggles!

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