Wellbeing & Empowerment: Isa-Welly Locoh-Donou
“A better choice is different for everyone,” Isa-Welly, a London-based Pilates and wellness coach explains. “We all know what’s good or bad for us. I can’t define what’s good for you, because that’s not my job, I’m not you. My job is to empower people to make the best choices for themselves, whatever they are”.
Born and raised Togo, West Africa, Isa-Welly moved to Paris at the age of twelve, where she studied a Masters in Business and Marketing, before embarking on a slightly different career as a dancer.
Isa-Welly lived the dream and toured the world as a professional dancer for 15 years. She performed live and danced for stars including Madonna, Kylie Minogue, and Take That. It was a “fast, exciting, and thrilling lifestyle,” Isa-Welly says. But after living life in fifth gear for too long, her body sent her an urgent wake-up call that change was needed to keep living her dreams.
Now Isa-Welly embraces wellbeing – and as a coach helps others to exercise, rest, and eat well. “I was practicing Pilates and I really liked it,” she says. “I liked how it made my body feel and I thought, I’m going to qualify and become a coach. It was really natural. I always like to help people, it’s just in my nature.”
Having left West Africa to move to Paris with her family at the age of 12, Isa-Welly moved to the UK’s capital city when she was 20. “I came to London because I wanted to see a different country. I wasn’t feeling the vibe in Paris. I felt like London was more me.” And London has now been her own home for 15 years, as well as the home to her wellbeing coaching business.
Isa-Welly runs a series of events – Pilates and brunch, wellness workshops, and retreats – and a blog, offering healthy recipes and lifestyle tips. One of the things she loves most, she says, is connecting with the people who she meets through her coaching. “It’s all about my clients, the people on my mat, that come and train with me. Even when they’re tired, even when they can’t deal with all their problems, they inspire me. If they’re making the effort, I’ll definitely make the effort. It’s an exchange. It’s not just me teaching them, they also teach me a lot about life.”
It’s an exchange. It’s not just me teaching them, they also teach me a lot about life.
Turning her passion into a business has also come with its challenges. “The hardest thing is putting yourself out there every day,” Isa-Welly says. “Putting myself out there as a business, as a person, as a leader. As someone who has something to say. You build a website so that everyone knows what you’re doing. You work to get clients, you put yourself out there, and step by step you keep trusting and things start happening.”
She’s learned not to force things and to trust the process. By putting the hard work in and trusting the process, Isa-Welly believes that things will happen if they’re meant to happen. She has no career roadmap or plan for the next 10 or 20 years; instead, she tries to trust her intuition and keep her trust.
To conclude, Isa-Welly shares her tips for physical and mental health: “Clear your mind, whichever way you want to do it. Meditation, yoga, boxing… Whatever you need to do. Mental health is super important. Eat well, drink loads of water, and love deep. Love from within. Love with your whole heart.”