We sat down with Kelly McHugh, founder of Good Yoga Life to find out about how she started GYL, her favourite music to OM to, her festival essentials and more..
What is your background and how did you come up with the idea for Good Yoga Life?
I was working full time in marketing for 15 years before I did my teacher training with Yoga London a few years ago. I always knew the corporate scene wasn’t really for me and that I was destined to be my own boss and bring something good and sparkly to the world!
I’d experienced first hand the pressures of a demanding marketing career and the struggles of finding a work life balance in a busy city.
As soon as I qualified, I launched Yoga Supper Club, a monthly event named by Grazia as “London’s best healthy alternative night out”. The idea of getting your yoga fix whilst hanging out with your mates, eating great, healthy food and having a few glasses of prosecco has been really popular and my events have sold out time after time.
Things are changing and the idea of living a balanced life is growing, with more yoga, meditation and wellness options launching daily. People are swapping their all-nighters in clubs for healthier options – or at least including wellness into their social calendar.
I’ve enjoyed partying with my friends over the years and discovering new music and I’m bringing as much of that part of me to Good Yoga Life as I am my love for yoga and a healthy, balanced lifestyle. When you come to a Good Yoga Life event, you’re actually getting a little slice of me!
In November 2015, it was good-bye to the boss and hello to my first weekly classes at a work space in Shoreditch, where I still run rooftop yoga. Since then, I’ve launched classes all over East London at cool and unique spaces.
My events have included a week-long pop up in Old Street Station last summer, yoga on the Benefit Make Up boat on the Thames, Vino Vinyasa, Hip Hop Yoga, Yin & Gin, Groove OM Disco Yoga, Zen Hens, Yogi Spa Day Retreat plus many themed yoga brunches and workshops.
It’s all about injecting some fun into yoga and the response has been phenomenal. What I love most is that it brings yoga to people who have never been on a yoga mat before – and then they come back again and again! They come with a friend or are attracted by the food or the novelty of having a gin or a prosecco after the class.
I’ve seen a special little community build up who love what’s on offer each month and I am truly grateful to each and every one of them – they’re a special group of people who are seeking to find balance in this crazy city by loving life and embracing everything that comes their way! YOU GUYS ROCK!!!
2017 has seen Good Yoga Life Retreats take off with yoga in Ibiza and yoga and surfing in France already this year and Morocco (sold out) and Ibiza still to come.
In 2017, expect more of the good vibes plus retreats across Europe and much more to keep you balanced and living a GOOD YOGA LIFE!
What GYL classes are you most excited about at the festival?
There’s something for everyone at the Good Yoga Life Studio over the weekend so whether you’re a Hip Hop queen or love to shake your bootie at the disco, we’ve got it covered!
I can’t wait to see everyone’s glittery faces at the Glitterati classes over the weekend! These classes are all about the music and good, sparkly fun vibes so expect to dance, flow, sweat and laugh a lot!
I’m super excited for our Yoga Supper Club where we’ll be eating under the canopy of the forest. Make sure you’re following us on Instagram for a chance to join us!
What else are you excited for at the festival, any classes/activities outside of yoga that you want to try?
The full line up looks mega with something for everyone and lots of opportunities to try out new fitness classes and meet new instructors!
Swimming in the lake is definitely going to happen!! I’m an absolute water baby so this is my idea of pure bliss and the perfect way to awaken your body, mind and soul any time of day.
I’ll definitely be HIITing the main stage on Sunday for Carly Rowena, Kim Hartwell and Ministry Does Fitness.
Then there’s the obstacle course and games of volleyball and not forgetting chilling out in the Sanctuary’s detox gardens and hot tub whilst sipping a glass of processco!
What’s your favourite music to practice yoga to?
My playlists are quite diverse. I love house beats, chilled electronic music and soul.
Currently in the Good Yoga Life Spotify you’ll find Atjazz, Maribou State, Nude, Jose Gonzalez, Telepopmusik, Nightmares on Wax, Roy Ayres, Lapsley, Nina Simone, Mr Scruff, Quantic and gems from Inner City and Lucy Pearl!
As long as I can lose myself in the beat, it’s a winner.
What are your festival essentials?
- 50+ Sunscreen – wrinkles people, wrinkles!
- Mascara – for that wide-eyed look no matter how much sleep you’ve had
- Glitter – say no more.
- Ear plugs – don’t leave home without these. Probably my number one essential, you want to actually sleep when you finally rest your head!
- Coconut oil – great for everything! Massage your face in the morning to de-puff your eyes from lack of sleep and boozing, use on your hair, moisturiser and even toothpaste!
- Wet wipes – festivals are one of my few consessions to wipes – with limited access to running waters, there’s no use fighting it
- Infruition Water Bottle – say no to plastic, refill, add a few slices of lemon and drink plenty of water.
Connect with Kelly McHugh Yoga on Facebook.