"I wish people knew more about the Ayurvedic way of being. We’ve become a society obsessed with every fad diet out there, which by the way, all fad diets end up dying! But Ayurveda has been around forever and is still here, so I wish people would take the time to understand that THIS really works and isn’t some fad diet."
Julie Montagu is one of London's top yoga and nutrition teachers. She was recently named one of the Top 10 Holistic Health Icons in the world. She is the brains behind the membership wellness site truly-julie.com and author of three international best-selling books: Superfoods, Eat Real Food and Superfoods, Superfast. Her fourth book Recharge: A Year of Self-Care to Focus on You was published in January 2018 and is already flying off the shelves.
Julie is founder of the Julie Montagu School of Yoga which provides 200-hour teacher training courses for students who wish to become yoga instructors. Julie regularly appears in press articles and on TV discussing the benefits of yoga and healthy living. She’s the official BBC Royal correspondent for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May and the new face of Liz Earle, presenting live for QVC in America. She is a frequent speaker and host at wellness events globally and is brand ambassador for Nivea and California Walnuts.
Married with four children, Julie divides her time between London and her family’s historic house at Mapperton.
"[AYURVEDA] KNOWS HOW TO GROUND ME BECAUSE I'M USUALLY UP IN THE CLOUDS FLOATING AROUND AND I NEED TO COME DOWN FROM TIME TO TIME."
What does Ayurveda mean to you?
A balance between body, mind, spirit and overall wellbeing.
When did you discover it? How long have you been practising it?
I had learned just a small bit about Ayurveda during one of my yoga teacher trainings, but it wasn’t until I went to Rishikesh 6 years ago that I truly understand this way of life, this amazing philosophy. They live and breathe it in Rishikesh and I was consumed by it!
What drew you to Ayurveda?
One word: Vata! That is what drew me to Ayurveda, because I felt as if finally, someone, something understood me! This way of life knows how to ground me because I’m usually up in the clouds floating around and need to come down from time to time.
Has it helped you with anything major?
Understanding my body, my head and my crazy energy more, which I deem major!
Is Ayurveda part of your everyday life or just for your medicine cabinet or fall-back routine?
Ayurveda is definitely part of my everyday life. I not only teach it in my 200-hour yoga teacher training course, but I understand what I need to do, what I need to eat in order to re-balance and stay connected to all that’s going on in and around me.
What are your top 3 Ayurvedic tips that have worked for you?
1. Walk everywhere you can. Walking is a Tridoshic exercise and it balances all three Doshas without putting excessive strain or stress on you.
2. Drink water — a lot of it. Not only does water rehydrate you, but it also keeps the digestion good and flowing.
3. Once a day, if not more, disconnect from the outer world and into your own world. Whether it’s a yoga class or simply finding a park bench and closing your eyes to breath — disconnect.
What surprised you most about Ayurveda?
How this ancient way of life is so spot-on in today’s very modern world!
Did you integrate it gradually or overnight for any particular reason?
I went full steam ahead and integrated it overnight, but that’s me — when I’m into something, I want every single book about it and I start to immerse myself day 1!
Do your children/family eat an Ayurvedic diet? And if they do, do they know it’s Ayurveda or do they just think of it as home cooking?
I have four kids and they all have different Doshas so it’s sometimes a bit tricky to cook an Ayurvedic diet that suits them all, but I do try! Emma, my eldest 19-year-old, is Kapha; 17-year-old Jack is Vata Kapha; William is Vata Pitta; and Nestor is Tridoshic — Vata, Pitta and Kapha!
What is your favourite Ayurvedic recipe or go-to ingredient?
Hands down my favourite Ayurvedic ingredient is turmeric. I try to use it and consume it on a daily basis.
What do you wish was more accessible in our society to make an Ayurvedic lifestyle more accessible?
Knowledge. I wish people knew more about the Ayurvedic way of being. We’ve become a society obsessed with every fad diet out there, which by the way, all fad diets end up dying! But Ayurveda has been around forever and is still here, so I wish people would take the time to understand that THIS really works and isn’t some fad diet.
Do people around you/in your circle of friends know about Ayurveda?
Because I’m in the yoga world, most of my friends know about it, but having said that, most of my friends wish they knew more.
What’s the one thing you would encourage everyone to try or you think would benefit the majority of people’s health for the better?
Walking. I just wish people would walk more.