One of the pleasures of engaging digitally with people this past year has been catching up with various alumni and finding out how they have been creatively active at a time when creativity and the arts has been facing real challenges.
My guest earlier is no exception – former Music Scholar Lena Younes, who graduated in 2011 having read Drama and Theatre Studies and History at Kent, singing with the Chamber Choir and at the Jazz @ 5 sessions on the old Gulbenkian cafe stage.
Lena releases her first single, Hold Your Heart, at midnight tonight (or will have done, depending on when you read this…), and I took the opportunity to chat to her about her writing process, the challenges of remaining creative during the past year, and the influences on her music. Watch it online here – my thanks to Lena for taking part.
Kent alumna and former Music Scholar, Lena Younes, has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to create a community yoga centre in Brighton, where she lives and teaches.
Whilst studying Drama and History at Kent, Lena was a Music Scholarship student, singing with the University Chamber Choir and as a soloist in lunchtime concerts given by the Music Scholars, as well as making regular appearances in the Jazz @ 5 gigs.
Following her degree, she moved to Dublin, Ireland, to pursue a PhD in Early Modern History, for which she received a postgraduate scholarship from the Irish Research Council. She kept up her musical aspirations by singing and playing violin in a blues band and teaching herself guitar.
She went on to move to Cork, taking her studies with her, together with fellow Kent alumnus Richy Batten and their dog Fëalin (who loves music & yoga), where she began a regular yoga practice. After spending some time travelling in a van, they landed in Florence, Italy, where they stumbled upon and trained in a fun and creative form of yoga called ‘The Rocket.’
The Rocket is deeply rooted in the Californian music scene as well as traditional Ashtanga Yoga – something that very much appealed to a former music scholar! The Rocket System – and yoga in general – completely transformed Lena’s life. Coming from a background of long-term illness, she saw her body and life transform… So she made the decision to let go of her doctorate studies and focus on her personal practice and teaching skills.
After moving to Brighton in February 2016, Lena and Richy started their yoga business, LoveLightYoga, providing unique yoga instruction in the vibrant and creative seaside city. They are now ready to expand and are crowdfunding to open their own yoga studio in an innovative space – sharing with people from Brighton and beyond the yoga experience they received thsemelves in Italy and Ireland.
Find out more about Lena’s campaign here; we wish her every success!
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.