There is now so much information about practices and products to improve your mental and physical well-being. But how do you know what’s right for you? Bellamy Central spoke to Maysun about Ladina Yoga’s journey to accessible and sustainable yoga for all.
You may have heard by now that Bellamy Central is hosting their Health & Wellbeing Fayre this May! A wellness haven where anyone can enjoy a variety of services and products provided by independent vendors and businesses. The event welcomes seasoned lifestyle enthusiasts, such as Ladina Yoga, as well as newcomers. But for some, starting the journey into health and wellness can be intimidating.
This article provides information and honest personal insights from Ladina Yoga’s Maysun. She shares her experiences, from beginner to expert Yoga instructor, and helps to demystify wellness practices.
When did you become interested in yoga practices?
“I discovered yoga at 19 years old just after moving to London from Madagascar for my studies. I wasn’t “good” at sports and hated the gym so I thought I could find some solace in yoga. And I did!”
What was the process of adopting sustainable yoga like as a lifestyle choice?
Over the years I had an on/off relationship with yoga and it took me 6 years to become more regular and disciplined with it. At the beginning I remember struggling because I tried a lot of classes in different studios and gyms in London but I never seemed to fit in anywhere. I was the person standing out because of my “beginner’s” level, I wasn’t wearing any “cool” brands, the post-yoga kale juice didn’t attract me, I was almost passing out in hot yoga classes and I was a brown girl in a crowd of mostly white people. But I kept coming back because yoga made me feel good and at peace, so I knew there was something there working for me.
How did you overcome the feeling of not belonging?
Over the years I learnt to focus and only practiced yoga in places where I felt comfortable and stopped trying to fit in. In 2020 I became more curious about the background and philosophy of yoga and trained as a yoga teacher in India in 2020 just before lockdown! I would have never imagined being a yoga teacher in a million years, let alone build my own yoga brand but here we are and I am loving it!
What have you found to be the benefits of yoga, and why is your practice important to you?
My practice is now embedded in my life. I start my mornings with meditation. I also do yoga Asana and journaling (and a little boogie to get me in a good mood!). If I have more time in the evenings or on the weekends I do a longer practice on my own or in a class. I keep learning everyday by reading books, listening to podcasts, teaching, talking to other teachers and my community.
There is so much to learn and for me yoga is a great tool to accept myself, get to know myself better, go beyond my fears and grow. Yoga has also been a huge help to deal with grief when my dad passed away and it has helped me to accept it and deal with my feelings. Yoga keeps me grounded, especially as I have busy days and sometimes get stressed and overwhelmed. It’s a good reminder to be mindful, focus on the present moment, accept things the way they are and be more compassionate towards myself and others.
What inspired you to expand your personal yoga practice to become a brand that offers products as well as classes?
I created Ladina Yoga, a sustainable yoga brand inspired from Africa, because I want to empower African artists. I also wanted to help yoga practitioners reconnect with the earth. A fundamental philosophy of yoga is “Ahimsa”, which means “non-harming”. Ahimsa is at the core of Ladina Yoga because the products are eco-friendly, ethically-made and designed to support yoga practitioners.
Shining a light on African artists is very important to me. Growing up in Madagascar I saw amazing handmade and organic crafts by local artists. So I wanted to share them with the world and improve the local living conditions. For every yoga mat sold, we plant a mangrove tree in Madagascar, the fourth most de-forested country in the world. By supporting Ladina, you are not just getting beautiful sustainable yoga accessories, but supporting families and the planet.
Visit our Evergreen Fayre in May to learn more about Ladina Yoga’s journey to accessible and sustainable yoga for all. Ladina Yoga as well as other independent vendors will be gathering to share their products and services. Take part in a yoga session, ask advice from qualified practitioners, browse an array of wellness products and more. Tickets are available on Eventbrite