Waking With . Pandora Symes

Pandora Symes is a holistic feeder and yoga teacher, and with several strings to her bow, she brings together a wide variety of lifestyle practices to guide people to live well and feel better, reassessing and managing many aspects of their lives. It's no wonder we get on so well, her approach to living well is aligned with our own, focused more on balancing several good habits, rather just balancing your diet. Pandora teaches yoga across London, is a holistic nutritionist and healer and also a life coach through her company, ROOTED London. We find out how she juggles all of her jobs and how she sets herself up to accomplish her potential each day.

"ROOTED started by hosting events, mainly in the form of supper clubs and yoga workshops which since has grown into something different. I did some catering jobs, mostly through word of mouth and people loving the food. But, after graduating from nutrition school and having mastered the healing I wanted to share as a practitioner, it’s now my sole focus.  This year also sees much more content and recipes on the site, plus opening our own living site - bricks and mortar style. It’s a very exciting time for the brand.

I used to teach yoga most mornings but given I like nothing more than waking up well, I had to reduce the number of mornings I woke up at 6am. I work mostly from home so most mornings starts with meditation for 20 minutes. I’ve tried and use all forms but Vedic meditation tends to be my go-to. Meditation is what I call my non-negotiable - no-one or nothing gets in my way! From here I’ll read the papers with a cup off tea in bed, giving my partner and I some together time before the day starts. We both like a slow start in the morning. Breakfast tends to be a smoothie or porridge, and eggs on the weekend. I then check emails for an hour and then take my dogs for a walk. I like to be back at my desk ready for the day by 10.30am.

During the week I like a good smoothie, packed full of nutrients and powders, some of which even I can't pronounce! I’ve recently been working on a lot of heart opening, both in my yoga practice and with the foods I’ve been eating. Almond butter, almond milk, chaga, oat and rose petal smoothie is seriously hitting the spot. Some days I’ll add greens, and others cacao. It really depends on my food and how I need to feel for that day; nourished, energised, cleansed etc.

Mornings on the weekends are even slower. I tend to wake and then read in bed or just chat with the animals and my partner for a couple of hours before we even decide on moving. Omelettes and baked eggs are favoured on weekends although sometimes I’ll look to create something new to add as a recipe on the site.

One thing I need to do more of in the morning is find space for my meditation. I still do it in bed. Post moving to our bigger house though I plan to have my own meditation room! When it comes to my favourite positions and postures, I tend to start in childs pose in the morning and then move into supine twists to get the digestive system going. I’ll lie on back, knees into chest and then out to the side.

The earliest I've ever woken is at 2am to get a flight. I’ve done a lot of these but generally it’s to a warmer climate so I can’t complain. My dad always used to say to me, adjust on the time zone you’re going to as soon as possible. Don't think, “but it’s X time at home”. Jetlag never used to get me as bad but I find meditating once on the flight and when I’m just about to land helps.

The first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night is my love, my best friend, my soul bub. Unless he’s not there in which case, it’s the animals. We are outnumbered 3 to 2 in our house!

I wake up well with love in my heart, knowing that every day there is an opportunity to make a positive change and find more light to fill my spirit. My best piece of morning advice? Smile at yourself in the mirror and say your vision for the day repeatedly for a minute. The universe is always listening. I'll wind down well with a long bath with epsom salts and essential oils, in which I’ll do breath work and a self-hypnosis. That or sex wins every time.

I enjoy Qnola because it helps me wake up well! It’s a great gluten-free alternative and you can have it light, or add thick yoghurts to make it more filling. Tres versatile!"