Alexandra Legouix is a TV sports presenter and celebrity yoga instructor who now also owns and runs the Konasana Dome at the Medicine Garden in Cobham.
Okay, so what’s the quick Alexandra Legouix backstory?
I was born in a little village in South Wales called Caerleon then moved to Berkshire when I was 6 and my parents still live there now but for the past 10 years I have bounced around various parts of Surrey from Thorpe to Virginia Water to Chertsey to Weybridge! I am currently just on the outskirts of Weybridge and I imagine we will probably stay here for the foreseeable future as we love it so much!
You’re a TV presenter. Are you still working in telly, or is it all about the yoga now?
Yes – I’m still presenting. I trained in musical theatre and spent a few years working as an actress and singer. It was a tough industry to crack so I spent more time teaching performing arts, than actually doing it myself! I got so exasperated and I was about to throw in the towel and stick with full time teaching when I was offered the job of presenting Miss Great Britain. That was the best, irrational decision I ever made and day one of what has turned out to be a very enjoyable career. I’ve since done presenting from music to art to fashion, then moved into motorsports and I now present the World Touring Car Cup for Eurosport and Fox Sports. Sometimes I work as a presenter for F1; I often host the likes of the London Boat Shows and Farnborough AirShow, and then I do a lot of launches, festivals, live events and corporate events.
And you’ve also made yoga DVDs?
I am working on my third DVD as we speak. The first release was 2017 – Yoga Made Simple for Beginners & Improvers – 4 Bitesized Workouts and then my 2018 release is part of the same ‘Yoga Made Simple for Beginners & Improvers’ series but is 4 Daily Compact Workouts. Both are 80 minutes total divided in to four 20 minute chunks that can be done in whichever order you choose – or altogether for a full body workout.
So, you’re also a qualified fitness instructor, PT, dance coach and yoga instructor. Do you ever actually sleep?
Actually I am rubbish at sleeping! So the short answer is “no, not enough”!! But on the whole, I guess I have just always been someone who had her hands dipped in all sorts of pies, even from a child, and so I am used to that juggling act feeling and thrive off it. I get bored impossibly easily and so it does suit me well – despite being very hard some days!
I’ve read that you don’t shy away from challenging yourself – I may even go as far as to say you’re a bit of an adrenalin junkie? Could this be right?
Haha… I do enjoy adrenalin. I have always had a very strong ‘life is short’ approach to the world and I have had a few health issues over my life, so I decided a few years ago to do one thing off my bucket list every year. The scariest thing would have been my 2016 Wingwalk. Strapped precariously to the top of a plane with no helmet and nothing to hold on to with a pilot who decided that scaring me was a fun challenge and so did full 360 degree loop the loops was a pretty strong adrenalin releaser! Great fun!
What brought you to Cobham and the Medicine Garden to set up Konasana?
We moved back to Surrey in December. My boyfriend is the Performance Coach of Carlos Sainz, F1 driver – he travels the world with the F1 circus and therefore also spends a lot of time at the airport, so being close to both the McLaren Technology Centre and Heathrow were important factors for us. I had no intention of hunting for a studio to take on specifically, I simply contacted all of the local studios and asked to be put on the yoga teachers cover list.
But, having said that, owning a studio called Konasana has been on every vision board and wish list for the past 6 years, so when Paul from the Medicine Gardens contacted me and asked if I would consider taking over the dome, my interest was piqued. All I then needed to do was take a look inside the beautiful bubble and that was it. It is the most unique space ever and I have never come across anything like it in the UK – in Bali yes, UK no! So it felt like the Universe was saying ‘Well Legouix, you’ve been asking for this for years so come on…’ And it felt like a bit of a no brainer…
And it all happened pretty quickly?
Yes I agree to take it over in January and I launched in February. So the speed I had to get it going was ridiculous. But I am an all or nothing human and the pressure worked well for me. We currently have 19 classes on the timetable.
Favourite yoga pose?
Tree – Vrksasana. If I am feeling ‘off kilter’ in life I find this balance really helps me mentally and physically to calm, focus and ground myself.
Celeb life? You’ve worked with Joanna Lumley – did you get her doing the downward dog?
Haha… Oh Joanna Lumley… what a lady she was! She was incredibly humble, full of fascinating stories and an absolute pleasure to work with. I didn’t get her to do any yoga but she did say that she meditates and has been known to do a bit of yoga herself.
And yep, other than her, I have been fortunate over the years to work with or meet some very interesting personalities. Bill Nighy and Hugh Bonneville were two of my favourites – both great characters and exactly how you’d expect them to be. I presented the London Boat Show with Nicole Scherzinger one year – that was quite an experience! And most recently I worked with ‘Jet’ from Gladiators (Diane Youdale) which was great. She has a youtube show called ‘Jet Loves’ and she is keen to come and do a joint workshop with me at the Konasana Dome so hopefully I can get her in sometime in June.
Anyone else? Anyone you’re particularly keen to work with?
I would love to meet Anthony Hopkins. I have no idea what I would say or how our paths would ever cross but I love him and I absolutely love Olivia Coleman – but they are pie in the sky dreams! I did get to go to the BAFTA’s recently and sat very close to Olivia so that was cool in itself so I imagine I will have to make do with that! I would also love to meet Adriene Mishler of ‘Yoga with Adriene’. She has been a big influence for my teaching over the years and has a fantastic ethos.
The Konasana Dome at the Medicine Garden offers a variety of yoga classes including Hot Vinyasa Yoga, Beginners Yoga, Pre & Postnatal Yoga, Mumma & PreSchool Yoga and Fairy light Yoga. There’s also Baby Massage, YogiJuniors and YogiTeens. There are also sessions of Pilates and Meditation each week, and a monthly workshop / retreat.