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'The mindfulness that yoga teaches has helped me to shift my outlook on life'

Super fit Insta-mum Hannah Barrett is inspired by her fellow yogis and loves to get a sweat on to Bastille, hears Liz Connor

Staying calm: Hannah Barrett has spoken of the difference yoga has made to her
Staying calm: Hannah Barrett has spoken of the difference yoga has made to her

By Liz Connor

London-based yoga teacher Hannah Barrett (@yoga_girl_london) was working in a stressful finance job when she first discovered the joys of yoga.

Fast-forward five years, and she's now one of the capital's leading practitioners, with more than 200K followers on Instagram.

We caught up with the Strength Through Yoga (yogagirllondon.com) author to find out how she keeps in shape...

How did you first get into fitness?

"I had always loved working out in the gym, but had assumed yoga wasn't for me - I could barely touch my toes when I first started. I didn't think I was spiritual enough and I was convinced it wouldn't give me a 'real' workout.

"I fell in love with yoga during pregnancy. What brought me back to my yoga mat, time and time again, was the strength I found inside.

"The mindfulness yoga teaches helped me shift my outlook on life. It helped reduce my anxiety and it made me work harder than I ever had in the gym."

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What's your favourite way to get a sweat on?

"I love doing power yoga classes (an energetic vinyasa-style yoga). Being a mum means I don't get much time to go classes so when I go, I choose wisely. There's nothing better for the body and mind than a sweaty power class."

How has your relationship with fitness changed over time?

"I listen to my body much more now. I used to force myself to the gym when I was younger, thinking that it was what I needed. Now, if I'm feeling tired or sore, I'll take on a much gentler practice and work on calming my mind.

"I think the key for everyone with fitness is finding something you love. With yoga it doesn't feel like a chore. I enjoy and look forward to my time of peace on the mat."

What are your gym bag essentials you couldn't leave the house without?

"My Liforme travel mat (from £85, liforme.com). In my opinion, they do the best yoga mats for grip. I find that in studios, the mats can be quite slippy, so I always like to bring along my own."

Your favourite song to play while working out?

"Your Love by Sol Rising always gets me into the zone when I'm practising yoga, but when I'm in the gym, it's got to be Doom Days by Bastille."

Who are your fitness heroes and inspiration, and why?

"There are tonnes of people who inspire me. I worked on a Gymshark campaign at the start of the year with Paracanoe athlete Jack Eyers. At the age of 16, he had his leg amputated. He's extremely inspiring as he's proved that losing a limb hasn't held him back in any way.

"I'm also hugely inspired by yoga teachers like Danni Pomplun and Zephyr Wildman who have been through such pain in life, but have come out shining and sharing how yoga has helped them."

Strength Through Yoga, written by Hannah Barrett and Finola Burrell is available to buy from Hannah's website, www.yogagirllondon.com, price £39.99

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