Donna Noble is an Author, Wellbeing Coach, Facilitator, Activist, Certified Master NLP Practitioner, and the Founder of Curvesomeyoga. She has been a certified Yoga Teacher since 2011 and practising yoga since the late 1990s. Donna teaches Internationally as well as all over the UK at Workshops, Conferences and festivals. She has written and been featured in numerous digital and print media – Style Magazine, Om Yoga & Lifestyle Magazine, Elephant Journal on BBC Radio London and Channel 4 on various topics covering diversity & inclusion and body positivity. She also co-created the UK’s first Black Wellbeing and Fitness Festival in 2020.
Her debut book “Teaching Body Positive Yoga” was published in August 2022 and contributed to the Anthology: Forgiveness is the Hardest Thing”.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I have many roles: Author, Wellbeing Coach, Facilitator, Yoga Teacher and Educator , Activist and Founder of Curvesomeyoga. I spent 20+ years working within the corporate world.
My yoga journey began in the late 1990’s and I became a certified yoga teacher in 2011 and teach various styles of yoga internationally (vinyasa, Body Positive, Accessible, Chair, Hot, Yin, Aqua and Pregnancy Yoga). I am also a Certified Master NLP Practitioner.
My passion for sharing the benefits of yoga stems from the proud healing it offered me when I suffered with Bell’s Palsy.
Curvesomeyoga was founded in 2014 from a desire to provide accessible and inclusive yoga showing that everybody can do yoga regardless of shape, size, ethnicity, ability or gender. Where anyone is welcome to come and experience yoga on their own terms.
What does a typical day look like for you?
As an entrepreneur, my day varies and is based on my current focus. It might involve preparing presentations and facilitating workshops. Coaching or mentoring clients, teaching yoga, sat at my desk in Zoom meetings or writing. If I am feeling tired and it is possible, I will have a nap as I believe that self care is important – making time for yoga, meditation or going for a morning run.
Then relaxing as much as possible in the evening when I am not teaching.
How did your yoga journey begin and what inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
My yoga journey began in the late 1990s when a colleague saw a picture of Madonna with one leg behind her head in Eka Pada Sirasana. Much to my surprise, she suggested we give yoga a try. A few years later, a good friend, Errol, suggested I should have a plan B. Eventually, after practising Yoga for many years, I decided to complete a Yoga Teacher Training Course at Triyoga. I thought that I could potentially teach Yoga, and my logic was that I could do this when I retired.
However, the Universe delivered earlier than I expected, and I retired from the corporate world and became a Yoga Teacher much sooner than I could have anticipated.
The realisation came that I was destined for another path whilst studying on a Master NLP Practitioner Course. I was asked what was going on in my life. I explained that I did not know what to do in terms of my career as my role was been made redundant. I was informed that unconsciously, I already knew. It was explained to me that when I talked about Yoga, I “lit up”, and when I spoke about the current role, the opposite happened. It was as simple as that. In that instant, I decided that I would complete the Teacher Training course, then fly to LA to attend Hot Yoga Training.
What was to have only been a nine-week journey morphed into six months of travelling and teaching before returning to London to continue the yoga journey. Becoming a yoga teacher was never part of my original plan.
What inspired you to specialise in diversity & inclusion, and body positivity ?
I never set out with the intention of becoming a Body Positivity advocate. My journey started with a simple desire to share how Yoga had played a transformative role helping me heal from the trauma of Bell’s Palsy. As my journey evolved, I became increasingly the body’s innate abilities and wanted to share my experience of healing.
Another key moment was reading an article titled “Fat Girls Do Yoga” by Deborah Coughlin in The Guardian (October 2014). The article chronicled her disheartening experience as a yogi and left a profound impact on me. I became so passionate about this newfound perspective that my friends found me tiresome in my enthusiasm. At this point, I faced a choice: either stay shut up or do something about it. I chose the latter, leading to the creation of Curvesomeyoga, aimed at making Yoga more inclusive and diverse, showing that every body is a yogaBODY. Though I didn’t have all the answers, I felt compelled to reach those overlooked in the yoga community.
Fast forward to 2020, I observed a paradox in the yoga world: as it grew in popularity, it seemed to become less diverse. An invitation to participate as a panellist at the ‘Black Women in Fitness’ event was a unique and empowering experience. Being surrounded by black women who shared their stories and experiences led me to realise that there was a pressing need for safe, judgement-free spaces within the black community. Little did I know at the time that this experience would ultimately lead to co-creating the UK’s Black Wellbeing and Fitness Festival.
Additionally, I was approached to provide Diversity and Inclusion modules on Teacher Training courses both in America and the UK, and this progression felt entirely organic.
My goal has always been to ensure that as many individuals as possible are spared the discrimination and exclusion that I have faced. Witnessing the lack of diversity and the invisibility of certain populations in the yoga community, I felt compelled to make a difference.
Tell us about your book?
“Teaching Body Positive Yoga” is a guide to spreading acceptance, and self-assurance through yoga. It ensures that every individual who steps onto the yoga mat feels welcome to come just as they are. It’s the essence of yoga that rejoices in the beauty of every body, both inside and out
With practical tips, as well as information on social justice and body-positive yoga off the mat, Teaching Body Positive Yoga is a well-rounded resource that gives yoga teachers the confidence to host inclusive and welcoming classes for all.
This book celebrates all that yoga is. It breaks down all barriers and shows us that yoga has open arms for anyone who wants to practise. A liberating look at how anyone can be part of what yoga has to offer mentally and physically. Donna shares her wisdom and past experiences to show us the origins of yoga, subconscious bias and how we can all be more inclusive when it comes to yoga.
“A celebration of yoga for all.” — Fearne Cotton
It has been described as a book that every yoga teacher should read!
How have you seen yoga benefit your students?
I have witnessed how my students gain confidence and trust in their body through their yoga practice. Learning to honour and listen to their body as well as letting go of self judgement and appreciating the strength and resilience in their as they begin to notice all the things it does for them without asking.
I have seen this by how students realise their bodies true potential. Seeing practitioners begin to realise that they are more than just how their bodies look and witnessing them appreciating their strength.
Yoga has helped my students find a sense of calm and balance in their lives. Allowing them to let go of stress, to listen to their innate wisdom and to slow down and be present in the moment. They are able to see beyond the physical aspects.
Hearing how they take yoga off the mat into their every day life as they appreciate that the true yoga begins off the mat.
Being more accepting and seeing that all they need is inside of them.
Seeing how they take the yoga off the mat into their every day life.
What is your favorite quote or life motto?
“Diversity is being invited to the party, and inclusion is being asked to dance” – Verna Myers In fact, I love this quote so much that I adapted it: “Diversity is being invited to yoga, equality is being able to access yoga, and inclusion is being allowed to practice” – Donna Noble
What coming up for you in 2023 / 24?
I’ll be hosting a special weekend Body Positive Yoga Retreat from May 10th to 12th in Kent. You can get all the details about this event at this link.
The ongoing work on my second book.
Remaining open to new opportunities that come my way.
Prioritising more time for joy and self-care to keep a healthy balance.
Exploring new travel adventures while continuing the book tour.
Above all, staying dedicated to the mission of being the change I aspire to see in the world.