We like to ask yogis questions… So we asked skiing and yoga retreat teacher Kelly Brooks about sustainability and house music.
Images by Philip Volkers.
Tell us about your style of teaching yoga?
I think its really important to bridge the gap between the yoga “hippy, spiritual stereo type” and make it accessible to people who may not think yoga is for them. I teach a fun, knowledge-based class that empowers people to understand how yoga can help them in their everyday lives.
Day-to-day my yoga is alignment-based, in order to realign our postures and to give ourselves healthy bodies. My passion is teaching to house music, using the music to create a euphoric environment which lifts our energy. The yoga moves are designed around the tracks.
Why did you start teaching yoga?
I started teaching yoga because I wanted to bring the tools of yoga to the corporate world. By showing them what yoga had done for my health and stress levels, I wanted to give people the ability to change their bad habits. I wanted to share the secret that it is so easy to bring yoga practises into your daily life. I think that sometimes the spirituality of yoga can put people off. I believe there is a style of yoga for everyone, they just need to find the right one for them. I think we all need yoga in our lives.
What has yoga brought to your life?
Yoga saved my life and my relationships. It made me a better daughter, a better girlfriend and a more balanced person. It stopped me overthinking things. I don’t feel stressed anymore. The happier I became, the more amazing people and experiences came into my life. It’s cringing to write this but it is true, and it’s a journey that is accessible to anyone who wants it.
You’re Deep House yoga classes are renowned, what do you love about Deep House music?
Deep House music brings me to life in a similar way to yoga. When I first started doing yoga practise at home on my own, the house music kept me on the mat for longer.
Who’s your favourite DJ?
Solomun, without doubt. I have been following him for about 8 years and try to go to Ibiza once a year to see him play, and whenever he is in London. I also love H.O.S.H., Stimming, anyone from the Diynamic record label really. You will often hear it in my yoga playlists on Soundcloud.
What are you listening to right now?
At the moment because of the time of year I am listening to more chilled vibes. I’m loving Bonobo’s new album which is fantastic for chilling out towards the end of yoga classes. I’m also always listening to Odesza and Hiatus.
What are your views on the interaction between yoga and EDM?
For me yoga and EDM go so well together. I think the movement of yoga is so beautiful when it is sequenced to music. It allows me to be creative, and for the student to be transported to another world through the beat. Using music makes yoga more accessible to people who may not think it is for them, as sometimes silence alone can be too much. EDM boosts your energy when you are in a difficult positions, and when the sequences are built around the energy of the music there is a beautiful synergy for the students to experience on the mat.
What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you in a yoga class?
I had an awkward moment once when I went to a yoga class before heading straight to a meeting. I didn’t realise until it was too late that it was hot yoga, and I didn’t have any spare clothes with! I ended up wearing cold, sweaty clothes to my meeting afterwards, and because my clothes were light grey there was absolutely no way of hiding it.
What do you wear when you practise yoga?
When I teach I mainly wear Lululemon because it fits so well, and you don’t have to keep adjusting their leggings around the waist as they keep their stretch. When I teach to deep house I love to wear colours and patterns, the brighter the better, but if you saw me at home practising I am usually in my pyjamas as I roll out of bed and get straight onto my mat before work distracts me.
Can yoga help you to live more sustainably?
Yes, I definitely do think that over time, for some people, their yoga journey leads them to think about the environment and how to live sustainably. Part of the yoga principle of Ahmisa is compassion. It means non-harming, which makes the yoga practitioner think deeply about how they might hurt themselves or their surroundings. Yoga first made me realise what I was doing to my body through my posture and bad habits like sitting constantly at a desk. Next it made me look at what I was eating, and how that impacted my body, which in turn led me to having a more balanced and environmentally friendly diet, and wanting to live sustainably for the planet. The practise of yoga and its subtleness leads us to appreciate the earth more. Yoga created a drive in me to protect the planet as best as I could.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone about to embark on their first yoga retreat? And how about their first yoga retreat?
Be open to having fun, making friends and stepping outside your comfort zone, and just do it! Travelling enables us to experience life, it enriches us and stops us falling into bad habits. People who join a yoga retreat often share similar values, and one thing they will all have in common is the yoga. Bonding through the yoga happens really fast, and so groups come together very quickly on yoga retreats. Come with no expectations and you will leave with so much more.
What have you got planned for the Chalet Rosière Deep House Ski Yoga Retreat in March?
So much fun! I can’t wait to be back in the Chalet Rosière yoga studio. In the mornings I will be energising us with more a dynamic practise to warm up before we head out onto the mountain for the day. We will learn a progressive sequence that we will build on each morning, using the music, movement and breath, which will be put together in a seamless celebratory flow on the last day. There will always be options for different levels. The evenings will be yummy chill-out sessions to release and reduce muscle tension from skiing. Everything will be taken care of by the Chalet Rosière team, there will be nothing for you to do but chill out and enjoy the week!
To find out more about skiing and yoga retreat teacher Kelly Brooks and her yoga journey:
Visit her website www.kellybrooksyoga.com
Follow her on Instgram @kellybrooksyoga
Alternatively, join us on one of our other yoga retreats in France.
Or to enjoy a week of skiing, yoga and healthy eating at Chalet Rosière with friends and family, take a look at our ski holidays in La Rosière for groups of 8-10 people.
Alex and Philip Volkers