From modelling to yoga teaching, Natalie shares her journey to finding inner peace and her tips for winding down amidst the pressures of life in the city.
Born and raised in Sweden, Natalie Söderström moved to Hong Kong 10 years ago to pursue a career in modelling. After falling in love with the city, she decided to stay and pursue her passion for yoga and wellness coaching, working in studios across the city and most recently hosting classes at XYZ’s new central based studio.
How did you find the transition from modelling to yoga?
Being a model created a foundation for a healthy lifestyle, as I’ve always been physically active in different shapes and forms, doing everything from dancing, basketball, hiking, and yoga. I initially went for my first yoga teacher training in Bali to deepen my own practice but soon realised this was something I wanted to share with the world. After this, yoga went from being just a physical workout form to a spiritual practice, even now I only move my body for my mental health and longevity in various forms.
How do you use yoga and meditation to overcome challenges in your life?
Life is constantly full of challenges, yoga and meditation have helped me to stay centred and calm internally when there has been a storm externally. My practices have created space for me to respond mindfully to what is going on around me rather than reacting from a place of old patterns and habits that weren’t serving me. It has changed the lens from which I view the world, helping me feel at peace and in harmony most days.
What does a healthy lifestyle mean to you?
Health looks different for every individual. What is healthy for one person might not be so healthy for another. To me, it means moving my body every day, doing a meditative practice, eating mainly vegetables, and nourishing my soul through my relationships with other people. I do things that make me feel good and make me smile and say no to things that don't.
Hong Kong is so fast-paced, how do you unwind on busy days?
I keep reminding myself throughout the day to stop whatever I'm doing, just to pause and take deep breaths. I will take a bath, surround myself in nature, practice yoga Nidra, or even just sit and have a nice glass of wine sometimes.
What advice would you give to people looking to start practising yoga but might be intimidated?
Start with the basics and be kind to yourself. There are a lot of yoga for beginners classes and workshops online, but ideally find a teacher you like, attend classes in person and commit to yourself. Don’t be intimidated if you’re not flexible, yoga is about so much more than that. There is no good or bad in yoga, it is just about meeting your body where it is at.