ML’s Inspirational Women: Pandora Paloma of Rooted London
When we asked Pandora Paloma where she’d like our interview to take place, she chose the fantastic Rawduck in East London. It’s easy to see why she picked this place, bright, with plenty of greenery and long, rustic, wooden tables, it has a great energy and was the perfect spot to sit and talk about yoga, listening to your body as well as have a moan about London house prices. Pandora has training in nutrition, life coaching, and yoga, which combine to make the Rooted brand totally unique and her skills incredibly well rounded. We ordered a typically London style brunch of avocado toast and harissa eggs with cold pressed juices and coffee, before delving into the Inspirational Women topics for this new phase of the Manuka Matters blog.
How many times do you aim to exercise per week and how many times do you actually exercise?
Firstly, I’d never aim to do anything, I prefer to listen to my body and what it wants to do. I probably tend to do yoga three times per week, and I’ve just taken up swimming so I’m doing that once or twice per week. But I never really push myself with exercise, I never set goals because I don’t have a goal setting mentality. If you set goals, you set yourself up to fail and I don’t ever want to do that to myself because I love myself too much and I value feeling good, well and happy. I can see why people do it, but for me, having just moved from London and spending the best part of 16 years not really listening to my body, getting up at 6am to go to gym and doing everything I thought I should do because I wanted to be fit and healthy; I’ve realised that’s not very good for me, I’m better waking up well, in my own time, I’ll see how I’m feeling that day and exercise accordingly. Usually I’ll get up, make a cup of tea, take it back to bed, maybe spend around 2 hours meditating, doing some stretches, having breakfast. I don’t start my day on a “I must do this today”, I’d rather take things slow. I do tend to exercise more in the evening because my body feels more open in that way, but if I go swimming I’ll tend to do that in the morning because it wakes me up.
What food can you not live without?
That’s a tricky one, probably things like oats. They’re very versatile, you can make smoothies with them, you can make porridge with them, you can make biscuits with them. They’re a good food and full of energy. Tahini is another one, again you can make any sauces with it, sweet sauces, savoury sauces. I don’t really have any rules when it comes to food but I do eat predominantly vegan, I’ll eat meat and fish now and then, so tahini is a great one for protein.
Which women inspire you?
My mum, always. She brought us up, my dad left when I was really young, 6 months old, and she raised three children alone. My mum worked a full time job, plus a part time job in a pub, as my dad also left us with a whole load of debt and my mum worked her way through it. I think that’s incredibly inspirational.
What one thing are you most proud of doing?
I think I’m most proud that I listened enough to my body and my mind when I was 27. I was in a job which I thought I was meant to be in, working in PR. It wasn’t for me and I knew something was wrong, I really tapped into that, went on a big journey of self-discovery and ended up doing what I do now, which completely feels like it’s my life purpose and really boosts me, makes me feel very grounded and connected to the powers of the earth and nature and things. So I’m quite proud of being lead by that really, listening to myself. I see a lot of people in my Life Coaching who are just pushing themselves to this place that they’re very unsure on and it’s not making them happier, they just think they want to do it, but you should listen into what’s really going on.
What are your favourite three things about yourself
Physically: My nipples and my eyes, I think I’ve got good bright eyes.
Emotionally: I think I’m very emotionally connected and aware. I’m good at talking about emotions and how we’re feeling.
Mentally: That I’m a very positive person.
I believe we create our own destiny, we dream our own worlds into being and everything we do is a choice.
What’s the most effective way for you to relax at the end of a long week?Meditation and a bath. Everything Sunday my boyfriend and I have a bath and give each other a massage. We have a digital detox, we don’t have the TV or any wifi on, we don’t look at our phones, we just spend one night per week being together. We’re both really busy and can be quite disconnected and it just brings us together. These kinds of things are a choice, I believe we create our own destiny, we dream our own worlds into being and everything we do is a choice. You can choose to feel a certain way and it’s about using the tools to deal with things.
What is the one piece of advice that you would recommend to anyone?
Listen to your body and feed your soul. Because it’s my business strap line, and it’s incredibly true. If you don’t listen to your body and feed what it needs and what your soul needs then you will never be truly living with purpose or feel satisfied with life, and satisfaction is key.
What inspired you to start Rooted?
At the time, I’d gone part-time doing my own PR work so I could do training in nutrition, and yoga as a teacher. I just wanted to start something where I could start using my voice a little bit, so I started doing monthly supper club events, because I love food and wanted to share plant based food with the world. As I qualified and trained as a life coach, it’s moulded into something quite different. But really I think it was a platform which wasn’t lead by trends and fads, no “read about the latest superfood”, all foods are superfoods so we need to start getting real about this stuff. I wanted a place that gave real advice, something authentic, everything I do is based off authenticity and kindness. So I wanted to start sharing my messages and the things I’ve learnt along the way which really helped me to live a more content life.
Which aspect of Rooted do you enjoy the most and why?
Well now I solely focus on holistic nutrition and life coaching. Nutrition comes in first and foremost I think, because where people may come to me for life coaching, I truly believe that if you’re not eating the right foods you’re not going to be able to fuel creativity and balance and health. You can’t truly be healthy if your mind is saying one thing and your body is saying something else and you’re not listening to it; you have to work in tandem. I started re-training in life coaching because I was seeing clients in nutrition and a lot of what was going on with their bodies was because of their lifestyle, so I started trying to help them fix that part of it. It didn’t really sit under nutrition because it was more, what’s stopping you fulfilling your power? Why are you in this relationship you really don’t want to be in? Let’s find some courage to get out of it. We all have these different situations and I thought, well hang on a minute, I need to re-train and have something under my belt where I can deal with these different kind of situations. The way that I work now is very unique, there aren’t many nutritionists who can also support you on a life level.
Finally, what does yoga mean to you?
It means a wonderful connection to your body, as I say, my strap line is “listen to your body and feed your soul”, so yoga is a form and tool you can use to tap into your body and how it’s feeling. I think everyone should be doing some form of yogic movement, for me the asana itself is part of the practise, yoga is a way of life, a way of thinking, a way of moving, a way of being, and I think we do get trapped into that world of thinking yoga is a fancy picture on Instagram when it’s absolutely not. I’ve taken the yogic philosophy with me and I live by it. I don’t get too attached to things, I breathe, I meditate, I try and keep that path to enlightenment to get there and try to operate those eight limbs within everything that I do.
You can find more information about Rooted London and Pandora Paloma on the Rooted site: www.rootedlondon.com
Rooted on Instagram: @rootedlondon
Manuka Life on Instagram: @manukalifeyoga
Plus of course, the wonderful Rawduck: www.rawduckhackney.co.uk