Living the simpElle life: Tatyana

After a weekend packed with running, I think I am in need of a yoga class or two! 

Perfect timing for us all then! Some yoga inspiration…in the form of this mini series – Living the simpElle life – where  I share the story of someone that I think we all need to hear.

I heard a great phrase last year –

“The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms”

 – so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and that is what their story will do for the rest of us…

Meet: Tatyana Mateva 

I first met Tatyana at the Yoga Show in London in October 2013. From the moment I met Tatyana, I warmed to her. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with Tatyana often through the lululemon london community, of which she has been an integral part! Tatyana is my little yoga butterfly and I’m sharing her sparkle with you all, here…

– {THEN} – 

Elle: What made you decide to start yoga? …What was your plan / goals?

Tatyana: I have been very active all my life. I’ve tried pretty much every sport you can think of, well apart from rugby! I used to run competitively when I was a student and now I run in Hyde Park every week day when the weather allows it. I was also part of my school volleyball team. I love playing tennis when the sun is shining. I cycle everywhere in London and rarely take public transport. I just came back from a kite surfing holiday. 

I used to change the discipline I was addicted to every year until I found yoga. It was my Bulgarian friend here in London who took me to my first yoga class 6 years ago. Back then I used to smoke and party often. I was amazed. I remember telling her “Wow, I feel so liberated after this class”. It almost felt like after having an orgasm and I am not joking. I used to go back to the mat every now and then and always felt so great afterwards. 

Two years ago I set a goal for myself to lose a lot of weight because I booked to go sailing in Croatia with a big group of friends. I trained every single day for 10 months. I must admit I was really fit and the more you see results the more addicted you get. However, I knew back then that this was not a sustainable strategy long term. It was then that I went back to yoga. 

I started doing cardio sessions before work and yoga after work. Yoga cleared my mind immediately from all the stress created during the work day. It didn’t take long until I was completely hooked. I couldn’t have a day without it, even if it meant stretching on the airplane and mediating on a flight for a business trip. I had to have it in my life every day. This made the transition for me from using yoga just as a physical exercise to living and breathing yoga everywhere. In terms of plans and goals, yoga, balance and present living is teaching me every day that goals/plans/dreams are there to create structure and take me from point A to B but the more I ‘let go’, the more I just float with the stream of life, the more things come to me easily and without any force. And it is amazing. So no, no specific yoga goals, well apart from maybe learning to do a handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) and a split (hanumanasana) one day when my body (and mind) are ready for it.

 – {HOW} – 

Elle: What’s your favourite style of yoga? favourite yoga pose?

Tatyana: Happy baby (Ananda Balasana) at the end of my practice and sticking my tongue out in lion’s breath. I also love pigeon pose (Eka pada rajakapotasana) as it helps me open up my hips and release any unnecessary emotion from my body. In general you can see that I am sort of a ‘soft’ yogi. I like challenging myself in yoga but to be honest with you I have had so many challenges and competitions in my life that I use yoga really to get balanced and soft and not to add any more stress by forcing my body with too much muscular effort.

Elle: What’s your typical weekly schedule?

Tatyana: Well, it actually changed recently as I have started teaching yoga a lot. So for the last year and a bit it has been, EVERY week day I got up at 6:30am, went to the gym for 30 minutes to do a cross trainer session and maybe some abs work and then I always did yoga in the evening. On the weekends, I used to do mainly yoga; 2-3 classes and I managed to squeeze in some running around Hyde park too if the weather was good. I think that was a bit too much. Oh and I literary cycle everywhere. Work, classes, meetings…everywhere. 

Since this April, I decided to change things around. I cancelled my gym membership and now I try to go every week morning for a half hour run in the park. Most evenings I teach yoga so I don’t have so much time for my own regular practice. But one thing I do more and more these days is meditate 15 minutes a day. It’s a really positive change to my life. 

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

Tatyana: There are so many people around me who are so persistent and positive and inspire me constantly. I really do love the lululemon london team as they are always so honest and smiley. I also ADORE the Yoga_Girl, Rachel Brathen. If you don’t know her, check her out on instragram. I check her posts every morning, sometimes before I even get out of bed

Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited?

Tatyana: Well, the best thing about yoga is definitely not the physical successes for me. No matter how rewarding it feels to hold crow for 15 seconds, what amazes me these days is how I react differently in familiar situations. I think ‘quieting ‘down the monkey in our heads is the only way to change anything in your life. 

Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?

Tatyana: Not immediately, but yes I gradually became vegetarian. And more importantly I don’t drink. Things just fall into place when it is the right time. My mantra is always to feel your body and what sits well within it. I do love ice cream and carrot cakes though so everyone has a sin ;). In terms of coffee, I go through periods when I don’t need it and periods when I am dying for one. One of the principals in yoga is recognising and more importantly accepting that your body changes every day.

– {NOW} –

Elle: How do you track your progress?

Tatyana: I don’t really. I don’t even weigh myself regularly. I just know when I’ve been good.

Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Tatyana: Totally! I used to be focused way too much on how things looked rather than how they feeled. I am learning to feel the world these days. And it is not easy. It is not easy even feeling your belly and knowing when you are full! haha! I hope I make sense?!

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Tatyana: By going to nature, taking breaks and travelling as much as I can. I love discovery and adventures. I also go to inspirational workshops and classes all the time. The last amazing class I went to was a Kundalini yoga class; ‘Expand your access to the inner creative spirit with Gurmukh’.  It was incredible. What a teacher.

Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the “before” you…or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle…what would you say?!

Tatyana: It’s simple. Just keep moving. Don’t contemplate. Move and break things if they are meant to break. The only way to start is, to start. You can create your perfect you. But love every phase of your life. You’ve are where you are for a reason. Open your eyes, breathe deeply and live NOW. Namaste. 

hear hear! …Namaste. …so what d’ya think?! 

If you’d like to leave Tatyana a comment below please do so or you can connect with her via… 

Instagram: instagram.com/yogisart
Facebook: facebook.com/Yogisart
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Yogisart_London

…and if you would like to share your story please get in touch with me here: {Contact Elle}

Until then, keep living that simpElle life 😉 

Elle 🙂 


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