We caught up with Lucy Edge, Founder of Yoga Clicks and author of Yoga School Dropout to chat about her journey with fashion, yoga and her latest book, Down Dog Billionaire
The Early Years
As a shy teenager, ridiculously body-conscious, I hid in big t-shirts and long mohair jumpers, unwilling to bare even the slightest suggestion of flesh.
At university I back combed my hair and tied it with a ribbon a la Bananarama … Did I rock the look? As the song goes, ‘na na, hey hey.’
Moving to London, working in advertising, pitching for business in a brand new Joseph trouser suit, I was living the dream.
There followed many years debating what song a sunflower should sing and eating ready meals for one. Twenty years later the joy had evaporated. Major burn out had set in. The dream had become a nightmare.
Enter yoga – to save the day.
Merging with the big pool of cosmic bliss that is the universe
On my first yoga holiday, Huzur Vadisi with Simon Low in 1997, I wobbled and cried a lot but by the end of the week I was rocking a firmer tummy, and a big smile.
The violet vibrations blow my crown chakra wide open
A six-month career break in the yoga schools of India followed. An adventure described in my first book Yoga School Dropout, I soon learnt that a Joseph pashmina was never going to pass for ashram chic. There followed an ill-advised experimentation with Osho and the ashram’s signature maroon, a look that, somehow, all the South American girls managed to make their own. I took myself off to Rishikesh to cleanse my jealous soul in the Ganges.
Six months later I came home. No yoga bod. No boyfriend. But it didn’t matter; I had everything I needed. While I‘d been shopping for something ‘out there’, the practice had been working behind the scenes; peeling away the layers to reveal new possibilities, new ways of being. I was clear. I would write a book about my journey.
I met David soon after Yoga School Dropout was published – introduced by a friend who’d met each of us on a yoga holiday – me at Cortijo Romero, him at Molino del Rey. I wished those Brazilian girls had been around to meet him too. He was bright, handsome, successful, and somehow unmarried in his forties. Hoping to raise a family, we decamped to a farmhouse in the Norfolk countryside. Sadly, after a couple of years, we had to concede that my age was against me and I was not going to be a winner in the egg and womb race. We celebrated the upside, our freedom, by getting married. The bride wore Alice Temperley.
Meanwhile readers of Yoga School Dropout kept getting in touch. As I had shared my story with them, they shared their stories with me. They came from all walks of life but there was one common thread – how yoga was also helping them create new possibilities in their lives – in their careers, in their relationships, in their imagining of who they were and what they wanted for their lives.
I wanted to create a gathering place for these kindred spirits. YogaClicks.com is a #PoweredByYoga community – a place to discover the incredible creations of people who are powered by yoga.
Meet Ingrid, the Swiss German yoga teacher who built a Greek yoga retreat out of bare rock, Heather, the American yoga therapist with a mission to get yoga on the NHS, Mary, the TV chef who used yoga to help her climb Mount Everest in her fifties, and of course our very own Alice Asquith, who has made it her mission to create both gorgeous and ethical yogawear.
The Yoga Map Project is our latest addition. We want to map every yogi on the planet. To tell the world we’re #PoweredByYoga. Drop a pin and raise your hand! Share your story – the possibilities you’re creating out of your yoga practice – and create the possibility that you’ll inspire someone to roll out a mat for the very first time.
Down Dog Billionaire
Being a city girl in the country has not been without its challenges. Writing Down Dog Billionaire enabled me to escape the endless fields of sheep and live (in my head at least) in the glam world of super-luxe yoga, complete with cellulite-banishing yoga pants and high tech yoga mats.
A global chain founded by a seriously ambitious ex-City guy, Shine combines Silicon Valley smarts – think intuitive, personalised user experiences – with buckets (or should that be vitality pools?) of Asia-Pacific style. Think rice paper shoji screens, hand painted wall mounted scrolls and Tsukiubai – wide stone basins symbolising purity. Think skylights framing a deep blue sky, vast parallelograms of sunshine thrown across gleaming white floors, Peruvian alpaca rugs and floor cushions scattered by concentric ponds, white lotus flowers floating on the dark water. Think pebble walkways, lush bamboo gardens and terraces, steam rising from hot tubs into the crisp air. Think Tibetan tree bark.
Landing in a jar of jellybeans
One of the best bits about writing the book was imagining all the yoga clothes, especially the ‘Shine Studio-Ready Collection’. To my Down Dog Billionaire heroine, walking into her first yoga class, seeing all those pants, capris and shorts matched to tiny tanks, bras and vests, was ‘like landing in a jar of jellybeans – tomato red, sky blue, zesty orange and zingy turquoise.’
I could have been describing Asquith’s Wanderlust collection – a jar of Brazilian jellybeans, embodying the zingy spirit of Rio. If only those South American girls could see me now.
Does my Uddiyana Bandha look big in this?
The other common thread through all these incarnations? Covering my bum.
Photography by: Kane Layland Photography.