Pollen Q&A: Julie Montagu
Ahead of Wanderlust Festival this weekend, we took the opportunity to catch up with a couple of our favourite teachers that will be joining us in Battersea Park, including the ever-inspiring Julie Montagu. Our founder, Steph, met Julie 8yrs ago when she first moved to London and started attending her classes at The Power Yoga Co. and it’s been great to see how much her career has flourished since (and understandably - her classes are still our favourite in London!). We’re talking all things career advice, finding balance and favourite Pollen products:
Q. It’s amazing to see your career going from strength to strength – super woman! How did you get into yoga, and when did you know this is what you wanted to do?
A. I was an exhausted mother of 4 when a friend dragged me to yoga class imploring me that this was what I needed! I was a skeptic as had dipped in and out of yoga for 20 years - but this class - a Vinyasa flow class - was different. Something shifted in me, I cried in Sivasana and walked out saying to my friend that I need to have that feeling every single day. When I get asked why I decided to teach yoga, this is my honest answer: I never want anyone to feel as bad about themselves as I’ve felt about myself in the past.
And that is what inspired me to teach. Yoga - all of yoga: physical, mental, spiritual, helped me to learn to love myself again and I wanted to share what I experienced with others. I remember the first time I got into crow pose (bakasana) and as crazy as this sounds, I must have smiled from ear to ear for a month! Obviously it wasn’t so much about the pose itself, but about the what the pose did for me on an emotional level. My body was stronger, so was my mind and my heart and so getting into crow for the first time made me realise that if I put my mind to something - whether it’s a goal, or a dream or following my passions - I could do it!
From the outside, working for yourself can seem like the dream. Any there any hard parts/difficulties?
I think I’m lucky in that I work for myself building my career - solo - but I also teach yoga in a studio - Triyoga - 7 x a week so I have a lot of interaction with my students and my fellow yogis! Otherwise, I do think it would be hard for me to work - just on my own! I have that yoga community around me every single day and I think that’s what then motivates me to continue to keep going when I’m doing my other job - on my own! So, my advice for those working solo - get out at least once a day and surround yourself in a community of like-minded people to keep you motivated.
What would be the one piece of advice you’d give to someone wanting to follow a similar path?
Can I have 3?! Compassion and Optimism and Positivity! If you have all of these attributes and incorporate them into all that you’re passionate about - the magic on the path you’re on, starts to twinkle. Be compassionate to those around you, be optimistic for the future and positive in both the good and the bad.
With such a busy work and home life. Whats the one thing you to do every day, just for you?
I breathe. Every single day - many, many times a day and NOT just in a yoga class - I breathe for my body rather than my body breathing for me. On my bike, in the car, taking a walk. When I take back the control of my breath, it calms and energises me at the same time.
“MY THREE PIECES OF ADVICE IF YOU WANT A CAREER IN THE YOGA INDUSTRY IS CompassioN, Optimism and Positivity!”
We’re big believers in balance - What’s your go-to meal when you need a bit of a health kick, and what’s your favourite indulgence?
I will always go for a smoothie with some vanilla vegan pea protein. I mix a banana or avocado with some plant-based milk, handful of greens and the pea protein. I love it!
And hands down my favourite indulgence is French fries with vinegar, and a beer of course.
“I pick up a Pollen + Grace pot or box once - sometimes 2x a week but my handsdown favourite is the Turmeric and Butternut Daal pot.”
We know you are a Pollen + Grace fan :) What’s your favourite Pollen + Grace product?
I’m so lucky to have Planet Organic on my door step! So, I certainly pick up a Pollen + Grace pot or box once - sometimes 2x a week but my handsdown favourite is the Turmeric and Butternut Daal pot.
What will you be doing at Wanderlust this year?
I’ll be on that main stage in front of 4500 people, teaching yoga! I’m still pinching myself that it’s happening and I certainly cannot wait!
How does it feel leading such a large group of people at Wanderlust? Do you still get nervous?
I absolutely love the energy that any group - large or small - give back to me. I take than energy on and use it to project my voice, my excitement, my energy! I always say that nerves are healthy - it means you care. So, I do get nervous every time I’m on a stage, or reporting for the Royal Wedding but….. they last for about 30 seconds and then I think to myself, I want more of this! When can I do it again!?!