As part of our Your Practice, Your Story series - we caught up with former Great British gymnast and yoga teacher Lucy Sesto.
Lucy believes yoga is about so much more than being able to bend your body in different positions. It's about discovering who you are. By linking movement to our breath we become more in-tune with ourselves.
We dug a little deeper into Lucy's practice to find out how she got started, how her practice has evolved and what other wellness rituals she incorporates into her life.
Tell us about your journey into yoga – why did you get started and what keeps you returning to the practice?
I am an ex-acrobatic gymnast who used to compete for GB when I was younger and travelled around Europe doing so, it was so much fun and I loved it! I’ve done gymnastics since the very young age of 4 all the way up to 18. I then went to Uni to study Psychology and Sociology where I had to stop training for gymnastics. My dad actually took me to my first yoga class at a hot yoga studio in London and I wasn’t sure about it, I found it really hard. But the more I turned up I began to really enjoy it and realised that there is so much more to yoga than just the physical practice. So I then went on to book my intensive 200hr training course in Bali where I stayed for two months and became a qualified instructor, I came back to London and fell straight into teaching at some studios and have been ever since!
What benefits has yoga given you beyond getting flexible and stronger?
It has helped me in so many different ways. I began to meditate and I have now found myself more involved with restorative and yin yoga which are super slow and more of a mind practice than a body practice and I absolutely love them. It has taught me how to unwind and slow down and also how to align my actions with my morals.
Has your yoga practice helped you cope with life in lockdown? If so how?
Oh yes for sure! I really don’t know what I would have done without my own yoga practice and without my zoom classes! I get so much pleasure from teaching and seeing my students online, knowing that I’m creating a safe space for them to just be is such a beautiful thing. My own practice has given me routine which I believe is so important to have especially In this time where it’s easy to get lost without routine, it has kept me grounded and focused.
How has your practice changed or evolved since you began your yoga journey?
So much has changed! Coming from a gymnastics background, I was very focused on the asana or the physical poses of the practice to begin with, I wanted to hold a handstand for longer and get into all these funky poses you see on instagram. Gradually I began to realise that it is so much more of a self practice and a practice of showing up for yourself no matter how you feel that’s so much more important. I also tore a muscle in my lower back a couple of years ago and couldn’t bend forwards at all for about 3 months. This injury taught me how to teach without doing the postures and also taught me other ways of doing my own practice that weren’t as physical, such as meditation, yin, yoga nidra and so much more. Injuries are the biggest teachers and although it feels awful in the moment, from these experiences there is always something to learn!
Do you have any other wellness rituals or routines that help you?
Meditation has been a huge part in my morning routine since the beginning of lockdown. Prior to that I always found myself meditating when I was stressed or anxious, but finding a daily practice made me realise how important it is to bring these things into your every day no matter how you feel. I do it every single morning now with my mug of oat milk matcha and it’s become such a habit that I feel lost without it!
Where can we find you?
Try a taster of Lucy's classes with a 30 minute slow flow, on our Youtube Channel now.