Ian meets a former celebrity stylist and girlfriend of Harry Styles, who re-trained as a yoga and meditation teacher in a bid to beat the blues and mend a broken heart…
Whenever I break up with someone I turn to chocolate. Then after a while, depending on how bad the break up and how good the chocolate, I wipe my sticky face, wade through the wrappers and set out on a mission to show that I’m so much stronger/happier/thinner without him, all the while playing Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” on loop in my head. You thought that I’d be weak without you, but I’m stronger. You thought that I’d be sad without you, I love harder. So there. Bastard.
I’m aware that this is not a particularly healthy response. I really shouldn’t care what he thinks. Whilst Beyoncé, Kelly and the other one do have a point, the reason to get back on my feet, looking and feeling fabulous again shouldn’t be so I can flaunt it in his face. It should be for me and my self happiness. All this “revenge body” nonsense needs to stop.
Luckily, celebrity stylist and former girlfriend of both art wild child Damian Hirst and Harry Styles, Roxie Nafousi, was only 9 when the Destiny girls were belting this one out, stranded on that desert island in their camo bikinis. Unaffected by those catchy lyrics, Roxie chose a much more constructive and fulfilling path, re-training as a yoga and meditation teacher in a bid to beat her depression and mend her broken heart. “2017 was one of the most mentally challenging years of my life. My depression was at an all-time low and it was affecting all areas of my life, from work to relationships. All I wanted was for this cloud to lift and to feel happy and myself again and I knew that the only person that could make that happen was me.’
One year on, a healthier and happier person, Roxie is sharing her path to happiness with others. In the week that research revealed the UK is feeling at its most frazzled, we caught up with Roxie at EON’s Recharge Retreat on London’s Southbank where she has been hosting workshops showing how mediation and breathing can help recharge your batteries and beat those autumn blues…
What inspired you to learn to become a yoga teacher?
I started practicing yoga at 21 because I had back problems, and although I began the practice for physical reasons, over the following five years it has become my biggest emotional support. I felt I had a safe space on the mat to explore my mind, body and soul. When I became a mental health ambassador, helping other people find peace became my priority and teaching yoga was one way I could achieve this.
Tell us three ways it has made a difference to your life
1. It taught me the art of mindfulness. 2. It opened my body and especially helped my spine health. 3. It gives me an hour to myself each day where I can truly escape from any stress that may be present in my life.
What is the most positive change you have seen in yourself since becoming a yoga and meditation teacher?
The purpose it has given me, and the reward I feel seeing others benefit from the practice gives me immense gratification.
What was the most challenging thing about training?
I did my yoga teacher training in Thailand at Vikasa Yoga. The days were long, and we were practicing in really hot and humid temperatures, so physically it was incredibly challenging. More than that though, the hours of mediation bought up a lot of emotional release which was hugely confronting, but at the same time changed me as a person the most.
Where do you practice and what do you love most about it?
I love classes and training in various studios across London. My favourites are Evolve Wellness, KXU and Tri-Yoga. Each place offers a totally different environment and energy, so I choose depending on the mood I’m in.
You recently held two workshops at E.ON’s Recharge Retreat, how was that experience?
I loved being able to meet new people and give them take-home advice on how to incorporate mediation and mindfulness into their daily lives.
Who do you most admire and why?
I admire anybody who is truly authentic and unafraid to be themselves because I really believe that we can only feel genuine contentment when we do this.
What else would you like to accomplish in your life and why?
My motto in life is to make the world a happier place one smile at a time, because giving back to the community is my key purpose.
What other forms of exercise do you enjoy and why?
I love spinning because I love a good sweat and I love boxing as stress relief. I also love band work as a way to tone my ass and abs.
Besides yoga and meditation how else do you unwind?
I’m obsessed with walking as I find it incredibly therapeutic and I love listening to podcasts and reading a good book before bed.
What stresses you out?
I feel like I try and not get too stressed about anything, but if I do, I know that I have the toolbox to deal with it in a healthy way.
Can you share your top tips for recharging your batteries?
Turn your phone off. Have a good catch up with your best friend. Take a long walk. Exercise. Get stuck in to a good TV series.
To read Roxie’s tips for recharging your batteries and beating the autumn blues and watch her workshop online, go to eonenergy.com/recharge
Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.