The all-American queen of the scene is Viscountess Hinchingbrooke, whose hot yoga class at Triyoga Chelsea was a hot ticket before the Covid-19 lockdown. She trains new yoginis, too, such as Countess Anna de Pahlen, who now teaches at The Power Yoga Company in Parsons Green (her online classes recently featured her young niece and nephew learning the moves).
‘Julie is an inspiration to me,’ says Anna, the daughter of Fiat heiress Margherita Agnelli. ‘I’ve always been sporty but I find yoga very healing, especially when I practise among nature in Sri Lanka or on one of my retreats in Corsica.’
The American influence on high society’s yogic zest is hard to ignore. The US-trained Marchioness of Northampton has created a schedule of wellness retreats at Castle Ashby, while the Californian Countess of Devon hosts yoga classes at Powderham Castle.
Speaking of Californians, the Duchess of Sussex’s commitment to the practice is to be commended – but for the energetic young aristocrats who’ve been executing asanas on their estates for ages, the only way to the top is to teach.
Kind-hearted Zoe, daughter of the recently titled 14th Earl of Galloway, became a lockdown hero after raising thousands for the NHS via her online yoga lessons.
The philanthropic yogini requested charity donations in return for her weekly virtual classes, with society chums such as Daisy Hambro and the Duchess of Cambridge’s best friend, Sophie Snuggs, taking part.
Having trained as a teacher 10 years ago at The Power Yoga Company and Triyoga, the mother-of-two (whose daughter Zalie was a bridesmaid at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding) now gives classes at Wasing Park in Hampshire, in between her online tutorials. She also works with Age UK to encourage the older generation to stay supple.
Bella, daughter of the Duke of Beaufort, experienced such a mental transformation after her ﬁrst yoga session at The Life Centre in Notting Hill that she now shares the healing powers of asanas on retreats high up in the Himalayas.
‘The backdrop of the Annapurna peaks is magical,’ she says. ‘Yoga grounds and centres me. The secondary beneﬁt is the toning effect on my body. As someone who has had an unhealthy relationship with food and body image, this has helped me feel more calm in my mind and more comfortable in a healthy, slim frame, rather than pushing my body to be skinny.’ Bella’s Magic Mountains retreats take place closer to home, in the Lake District and at Daylesford in Gloucestershire.
During lockdown, she began leading online classes from Badminton, the family seat. In the future, expect to see her back in London, perfecting her pranayama (breathing) techniques with her Triyoga tribe.
The daughter of the Marquess of Abergavenny – and heir to the family seat at Eridge Park, in Kent – emanates an air of serenity.
She trained as a meditation teacher between lectures at Edinburgh University, but it was during a retreat when she was 22 that she found herself truly ‘awakened’ by Scaravelli yoga – a practice based on gravity.
‘Meditation was always my thing,’ says the softly spoken wellness guru. ‘But when I tried Scaravelli for the ﬁrst time, it expanded my heart wide open.’
Now she teaches at retreats all over the UK and offers guided meditations online.
‘In the next couple of years, I would love to have my own wellness retreat, like my friends Paris Ackrill and Roger Tempest at Avalon Wellbeing in Skipton,’ she says. ‘We all need more nurturing and gentleness right now.’
See the full feature in the September issue of Tatler, available on digital download and newsstands now