Up Close With Lolita
Posted on 05 December 2018
Model turned yoga teacher, Lolita has featured in several of our campaigns over the years. Her modelling career has brought her all around the world from Tokyo to Paris and Hong Kong.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Uzbekistan. When I was 16 years old I left the country and have been travelling and moving around since. I've lived in Tokyo, Paris, New York and 6 years in Hong Kong before moving back to Uzbekistan a year ago. All these years of travelling I worked as a model and just a while ago I completed 500 hours Yoga teacher training in Bali and India then changed my profession to a yoga instructor.
How did you first get into modelling and how long have you been modelling for?
I was scouted on my way home from school at the age of 14. My mum was very suspicious about the idea but I saw it as a chance to change my life. Growing up I wasn’t very popular in school and was always bullied with offensive nicknames for being so skinny. But everything changed when I joined a modelling agency.
I first modelled in Tokyo and have been modelling for the past 15 years. I've worked in most of the major fashion cities.
Tell us about your journey to yoga teaching and what inspired you to learn?
I've always been active and into more aggressive sports. While living in Hong Kong, I regularly attended Muay Thai classes. I didn't know very much about yoga back then.
My understanding changed 1.5 years ago during a retreat trip to Bali. After trying just a few yoga classes I noticed the changes not just physically but also mentally. After each class, I left the room feeling calm, happy and more confident. Slowly it changed my lifestyle, food habits and my life philosophy.
Due to my personality, I always wanted to understand the things I did on a deeper level. Just doing yoga classes and reading yoga philosophy books didn’t satisfy my hunger for yoga knowledge. That’s why I decided to attend a 200 hours yoga teaching course in Bali this year. I had no intentions of becoming a yoga teacher. But after completing the course and hosting a few yoga classes, I received positive feedback and that made me change my decision.
How has embarking on a new career path changed you?
It has changed my life completely. From constantly travelling for modelling work to settling in one place now. I do still travel but now it’s more for pleasure. It’s nice not to live in a suitcase after being on the road for such a long time.
I do still miss modelling though. If I was living in a country where there was a fashion industry, I would combine modelling with yoga. Unfortunately, Uzbekistan has no modelling jobs for me.
Everything changes and everything is different, but every career has its own beauty, the most important thing is to enjoy what you do!
Tell us about your new project @lolitahandknit?
I always loved wool knitted sweaters but found them very costly in stores. During my winter break back in Uzbekistan I got bored and decided to learn knitting from Pinterest. Right now, it's a hobby I have and maybe some day turn it into a business.
What are your top 3 bucket list destinations and why?
1. Iceland - a place where fire and ice co-exists
2. Morocco - a mix of Arabic and European traditions
3. South Africa - for the wild nature and of course to go on a safari
Follow her @lolitaleo