Trained doctor and experienced yoga teacher Kiki Morriss runs Primrose Hill Yoga from the top floor of her family home. A tranquil and light-filled studio – designed by Kiki’s architect husband – provides the ideal setting for her hugely popular spiritual practise that counts Mimi Holliday amongst fans. With three young children Kiki is passionate about the benefits of starting young and she not only runs family classes but is currently writing a book, Yoga for Children. Here she shares her London highlights:
Do you practice every day? What’s your favourite pose?
I practice every day in my home yoga studio and once a week I take a class at Sangyé Yoga School on Kensal Road. My favourite pose is the headstand. It makes me feel quiet and peaceful. Apparently when I was a child my parents used to wake up in the morning and find me doing a headstand at the bottom of their bed!
How important is it to go to a class versus practising yoga at home?
If you are new to yoga, I would advise you to try out a few classes and find a teacher that resonates with you. A good teacher will guide you on how to listen to your body and your breath. Then you can start to develop your own home practice. Many people find it hard to motivate themselves at home but if you can discipline yourself to make it a part of your every day routine, even if it’s only for 5 minutes, it will transform your life.
How do you encourage your kids to get into yoga?
I try to make yoga as playful as possible for the kids and never force them to practise. We often practise outdoors, so if we are in the woods we will do Tree pose or if we are by the sea we will do Boat pose. The children see my practice and that makes them want to join in.
Do you have any tips for staying focused in a very full yoga class?
Every time you are distracted in a yoga class you can make a choice. You choose either to get caught up by the distraction or you choose to return to an awareness of your own body and breath. This is the essence of a yoga practice, cultivating the ability to draw your focus inwards, to listen to your body and your breath, to experience the space between your thoughts and the bliss of your true nature.
What do you like about living in Primrose Hill?
Primrose Hill is easy to fall in love with. It has a relaxed village feel and a strong, supportive community, despite its proximity to central London. There are beautiful pastel coloured townhouses and the view of London from the top of the grassy hill is second to none. We love Oka for sushi, Chalcot Square for family picnics, Sew Much Fun for creative sewing classes and the Primrose Bakery for delicious cupcakes.
Where do you buy your gym wear/yoga kit?
Wellicious make eco-friendly yoga wear and active wear. They use ethically sourced, organic, biodegradable materials and environmentally friendly production processes.
Do you have a favourite London park?
My favourite London park is Hampstead Heath, a rural escape from the hustle and bustle of London with its rolling woodlands, hills and meadows. I particularly love the serene and secluded bathing ponds where you can swim all year round surrounded by trees and wildlife.
Which recipe book are you enjoying at the moment?
I love the simple, natural and delicious recipes in Breakfast Lunch Tea from the legendary Rose Bakery. My favourite recipe is baked rhubarb and orange with crème anglaise.
I’m sorry I don’t have a favourite one! I use my mobile phone as little as I have to.
And finally, what saying or phrase motivates you?
‘Do not kill the instinct of the body for the glory of the pose. Do not look at your body like a stranger, but adopt a friendly approach towards it. Watch it, listen to it, observe its needs, its requests, and even have fun. To be sensitive is to be alive.’ Vanda Scaravelli