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Congratulations on your new book, Hannah! Has it been a big dream of yours? When did you decide that it was the right time to start working on your very first book?
Hannah: Thank you, it’s so exciting!
Yoga has had such a transformative impact on my life and I always knew I wanted to share it with as many people as possible and to help people understand that yoga can be accessible to all, not just those who can do the splits or meditate in lotus for two hours.
When lockdown hit, the book really began to take on new meaning as I was turning to so many of yoga’s tools myself to help bring me calm and strength. I crafted the book’s proposal and my literary agent landed Yoga Happy with my wonderful publisher, Quadrille, who shared the same vision. I really hope it helps people find calm, happiness and resilience in the chaos of the modern world!
Why “Yoga Happy”?
Hannah: I think we all need a little more happiness in our lives right now! There is no magic switch or quick fix but I truly believe that yoga can make such a huge impact on our mental outlook. Not just in the physical movement (asana) but in the magic off the yoga mat too. Whether through breathing, meditation or the many mindful practices that are part of yoga, over time these tools bring a feeling of inner strength, calm and clarity. Yoga teaches us connection to ourselves and to others, and I feel that right now that’s needed more than ever. It helps us connect mind, body and spirit in order to live a life with meaning, purpose and freedom.
Who has been the biggest influence and inspiration behind Yoga Happy?
Hannah: My husband, Giles, who has always believed in me and fills my life with love and laughter. I worked in finance in a fairly stressful job for nearly ten years, but after having my son I was really reluctant to go back. When I suggested a complete change of careers he said “go for it”. He was even the one to suggest I join Instagram all those years ago.
And of course together we created two beautiful children who are constantly teaching us about the joy of life and living in the present moment. Children are the masters of living in the now and finding happiness in the smallest of things. It mirrors the teachings of yoga so well.
What are the feelings you’d like one to be left with once reading your book?
Hannah: A feeling of connection, strength and happiness. That you have the tools to nourish and support you in mind and body and that you feel like whatever life throws at you, you’re going to be ok.
Now, tell us, who was the first person who read the book (apart from your editor)?
Hannah: Fearne Cotton! And I still can’t believe it as she’s someone I have huge admiration for, I love what she does and the message she promotes. We met each other at an event a few years ago and have stayed in touch over Instagram. I reached out to see if she wanted to read it and was blown away when she said yes!
Cheeky question but we might as well try: is book number two in the making?
Hannah: For sure! I’m working on some new book ideas now, and I’m just finishing up an exciting project with my publisher on something a bit different that we’ll be announcing soon, watch this space!
Hannah Barrett is a London-based yoga teacher, empowering students all over the world to feel confident and find strength on the mat. With 400 hours of Yoga Alliance training and a specialization in anatomy, she also has 42-hour pregnancy teacher training and a 75-hour postnatal. Teaching pre and postnatal women is a specialty of Hannah, but she equally enjoys teaching all students to find their fire & strength from within. Her style is dynamic, playful, anatomy-based and challenging but always accessible, with an intention to empower you to create strength, resilience and connection, feel grounded and have fun in the process. She is known for strength-based creative flows with fun and unexpected transitions and modifications to make the flows accessible to all.