As part of our Women Who Make Things Happen series, we talked to Charlotte Holmes, yoga teacher, fitness model, former Miss England and MTV’s Beach Body SOS Trainer about body confidence and going it alone.
1. How did you get into fitness modelling and does it differ much from non-fitness modelling ?
I’ve been modelling since I was 19 (so a few years now) and I started modelling fashion for one season (after appearing on Britain’s Next Top Model), but found I was much better suited to a commercial board. I’ve always been into health, fitness and sport so the natural transition into fitness modelling was easy when the fitness scene started to explode in the UK a few years back.
2. Why did you choose to teach yoga and how has it changed your approach to life?
When I first did my YTT (yoga teacher training) I didn’t have any intention to teach, I wanted to further explore the practice and immerse myself in life in India and the culture that surrounds that part of the world; which yoga encompasses.
By the time I’d spent two months there I knew it was something I had to come back and share with everyone I could. It’s a magical practice that has changed my life and I genuinely believe that the world would be a better place if everyone practised! So I’m doing my bit!
3. What advice would you give for women wanting to work for themselves – whether it’s teaching or modelling?
I’ve always been a one-woman show, so I can’t imagine what it would be like to transition from a full-time job at a company to cutting loose and going for it solo. However I have learnt over the years that you’ll have good months and then really crap ones. Sometimes you think you’ve got it all sussed and the next minute, literally, everything can fall to bits. But perseverance is key, don’t give up just because one thing went wrong… if you’re gonna do it – do it. Dive fully and whole heartedly into it, grab it by the balls and don’t let go!
4. When it comes to body confidence you must have it in spades! Have you always been confident? Do you have tips for those of us who are less confident?
I was terribly shy at school and like many other young girls had a tough time transitioning between friends and schools etc. I found confidence in myself through learning to love myself, this realisation came at a much later age but I was always one of those kids that didn’t want the same hair cut or clothes as everyone else at school! I liked something because I liked it. And that was always a good enough reason, I never let anyone else tell me otherwise.
Sounds simple and relatively unrelated but if you translate that to day to day adult life – just do you; be unapologetically you always! And through that, self love will grow and your confidence will come.
5. What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Getting to regularly share a space with humans wanting to move and breathe with me! There’s nothing quite like the energy in a room after a yoga class. (And they occasionally laugh at my terrible jokes which is nice!)
6. And the most challenging?
Trying to convince young girls that they CAN, that they ARE enough and that above all the bullshit on social media and in magazines, they are ALIVE and that is the most magical thing.
7. If you could impart 3 pearls of wisdom, about anything, what would they be?
Be grateful. Listen more. Always eat the cake.
8. How does fitness feature in your day to day life?
I move dependant on how I feel and what my body wants. Sometimes I wanna run so I run … mostly I want to spend half an hour on my yoga mat with my eyes closed just breathing and flowing… and occasionally I wanna surf and rock climb and jump out of planes! It’s all movement, it’s all fitness.
9. What do you do to ground yourself during busy/stressful/emotional times
10. If you could invite four inspiring people for dinner who would they be and why; and what would you have for dessert?
HRH The Queen, Oprah, Michelle Obama and my gran (because her and the queen would be besties – life made!). And we would eat granny’s recipe of banana caramèle with cream and ice cream and a side of chocolate cake.
11. What would you tell your younger self?
Don’t worry – everything is gonna be alright.
12. What’s your secret to a speedy workout?
13. What’s the key to a productive day?
Start it with yoga.
Charlotte Holmes is wearing our Seamless Crop Top in white, £30 and our Supersoft Yoga Leggings, £39.99.
Charlotte Holmes teaches yoga weekly at @anotherspace_london and cardio and strength classes available online via the @FiiT app: https://getfiit.tv/charlotte. You can also follow her for daily inspo on Instagram.