The Yoga Teacher
Her avowed mission is to get people eating better and moving more, which wellness guru and East London aficionado Pandora Symes is accomplishing through her company, Rooted London, offering food coaching, recipes, events and yoga classes across the city.
How did your interest in wellbeing evolve?
I’ve always been interested in it. As a late teen I would pick up health and fitness magazines and read them passionately. My association with food wasn’t always a healthy one though, but as I grew older and worked on self-development and self-love, I got myself to a good place and wanted to share my insight.
How did Rooted come about?
I had a hectic career in PR, which I gave up to go freelance. I’d wanted to do a nutrition course for a while and I finally had the time and brain space to do it. While doing my training I realised I wanted to start a business that incorporated both food and my love of yoga, and voila, Rooted was born. We started with small dining events and supper clubs, leading into catering and workshops with big and small businesses with a focus on wellness in the workplace. I’m also resident yoga instructor at South Place Hotel, so there’s a lot to keep me busy.
How is the business is doing?
Good. It’s been an interesting journey and I’ve learned along the way. This year sees us focus on Rooted Presents – panel-led discussions on empowerment, mental health and food issues and self-love. We are also launching our intuitive eating workshops and private coaching sessions, as well as our Rooted Blends, three elixirs to be added to milk or hot water for a nourishing start or finish to the day.
Where do you hope to see it going in the future?
We’re looking at venues as we speak. That’s the long-term plan that I feel passionate about – a place where people can come to feel nourished, educated and empowered.
What motivates and inspire you?
I’m naturally ambitious and so I don’t need too much motivation every morning! I love what I do, and over the years I’ve taught myself to switch off properly, meaning when I’m working, I’m always giving it my best. Anyone with soul and kindness inspires me. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by such people.
If you could offer advice to someone looking to follow their passion, what would it be?
Do it from the heart. Know the morals and purpose of your brand and come back to it with every opportunity that arises. I’ve worked on things where I’ve not taken into account why I launched Rooted and our specified aims – it’s always turned out wrong. Also, don’t be afraid to be honest to people about how it has changed your life. No, you probably won’t be able to spend £100 on dinner any more and yes, you’d rather sleep than go for drinks on a Friday night. My life has changed dramatically since launching Rooted but the beauty is I’m doing something I love, and, most importantly, on my terms.