Celebrating Inspiring Women
Owner and Founder of Yoga Collective, Aimee Garcia-Marshall, shares with us her story of courage, ambition and determination.
First things first, what led you to yoga in the first place?
I had just relocated and needed a focus whilst I was building a new social circle for myself, so I applied for the London Marathon as it had been on my bucket list for quite a while. I had almost completed my training when I suddenly sustained a back injury and was told that I needed to strengthen my core. After trying out a few different yoga and pilates classes I discovered a love for Ashtanga Yoga, which I found challenging and it made me feel good afterwards.
Why did you want to start your own studio?
I had a fast paced, stressful job. I was a workaholic and was getting burnt out in my early thirties. I was unhappy and found myself short-tempered and looking for an outlet to destress. I knew I wanted to get out of this world I was being consumed by and wanted to change my life by doing something I loved. When I started my Yoga Teacher Training I said, if I am going to do this I am going to work for myself and have my own studio.
What have been some of the challenges of running your own business?
First, I had to write and present a business plan to secure a 'Start Up Business Loan’. Then, once I had found premises I had to apply to the council to grant permission to change the use of the building. This took more than 4 months and as a result the landlord nearly pulled out of the deal. I had to quickly become an expert in commercial leases and lastly, because the project took longer than anticipated to complete I ended up launching my new Hot Yoga studio in the middle of a heat wave and at the start of the school holidays!
You’re clearly a very determined lady – where does your inner strength come from?
I don't believe in giving up. I believe “what doesn't break you makes you stronger”. This has evolved into what I now teach others, “if it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you”. When I decided to change my life I knew it wasn't going to be easy. I set out a goal to retrain, do something I loved and I went for it. I have faced and overcome every hurdle with a little blood, sweat and tears along the way - but I did it all on my own. I qualified as yoga teacher in April 2013 and, 5 years later, opened the doors to my own yoga studio.
Apart from yoga, how else do you look after your health?
I do strength training - a mixture of weights & HITT. In the summer I love cycling and, before the pandemic, would sign up to charity cycles each year. I love challenging myself and raising money for charities along the way. I've done a triathlon, cycled to Paris and completed several 100mile cycles.
I don't eat processed food. Everything my husband and I eat is cooked fresh. My diet is 95% vegan but I gave in when the pandemic started last March and started to eat 'real' cheese again - vegan cheese just isn't the same! I make sure that I drink plenty of water. I prefer sparkling water and I love No1 Botanicals because they are naturally infused, vegan friendly and taste amazing.
Visit https://www.yogacollective.uk/ to sign up for a live streamed yoga class
While you’re at it, line up some delicious, refreshing botanical waters for your post work out hydration.