Meet Bess Shipside

You certainly recognise Bess. A yoga teacher in London, a Strala guide, an artist and a Catalyst Ambassador, she is a lot of what we love.

Oh, yes, you certainly recognise her by now! She’s been the face of Catalyst during our launch. A yoga teacher in London, and also a Strala guide, Bess is a lot of what we love. Trained in India and New-York, Bess is teaching at the Wells Garden, in East London and will soon be a resident teacher at the Obonjan festival this summer #designyourlife.

How do you mix the inherent unpredictability of living in London with the desire of zen-plening your life?

Eveyone’s lives can be unpredictable or complicated, no matter what situation, job or role is. Luckily we usually have a choice on how to handle any situation and yoga is a great tool for managing stress.

Yoga plays a vital part in the life of many Londoners- a healthy habit that can help reduce this stress and increase happiness and healing. In such a fast paced city its essential to go with the flow. As the London yoga community grows its also increasingly easy to find pockets of ‘zen’ – there are many people, places, events that offer support to myself and others.

Even with yoga it is easy to over complicate things- when in-fact we want to simplify.

I am always thinking how I can offer more while simplifying. My desire is to be content and aid happiness and the rest will follow.

There is some art in yoga, and you’re an artist yourself. It’s quite certain there is a connection between the two. Is it the need to de-cypher life which ‘unify’ them?

To understand life is not something which interests me. Mystery is much more interesting, isn’t it?! But I find drawing and painting a release, a meditation- and humans are creative beings so this is very natural outlet that I believe is a cornerstone of health. It is good to focus on one thing, easily for a while. Being involved mid – flow in yoga or mid- flow in drawing is a process of connecting to a deeper part of yourself, a more mysterious part that you can not see. Its intuitive problem solving without necessarily knowing what the problem is to start with.

We all need release from external systems that bring repetitive patterns into our lives, and instead do something with ourselves for ourselves for the pure joy of it.

If you find something out about yourself, thats interesting and if you enjoy the process who knows what you might discover or where it might lead.

It’s going faster everywhere. How does it work for you, what’s your personal destination in the long-haul that’s life?

Slowing down is a good start, take the pressure off yourself. Slow down, take more in and feel more. Do this in your yoga practice and it will radiate onto the rest of your life. I don’t have a goal in life or strive for ‘success’ – I like to be in the moment and take opportunities when they arise. I am blessed to have a wonderful supportive family and many people to love, to of visited many beautiful places and had the freedom for self expression. This is a gift.

Experiences make up the fabric of life.

Focus too much on a goal and you may miss the view along the way. I hope to stay curious, healthy, happy and be able to spread this through my work to others. What keeps us going really is love, so ultimately I’m in it for that.