The main motivation behind Jessica Olie’s practice when she started yoga three years ago? To touch her toes and split to the floor. Despite an active South African upbringing, then eight years swimming for GB at national level, flexibility was not the Brit’s forte. Looking for a way to stay in shape after quitting the pool, Jessica tried yoga. She decided to teach herself, replicating Instagram poses in her room. ‘I started off with 10 minutes a day, most of which was spent falling over,’ she says. ‘But because I could control the pace, I quickly improved, which was really motivating.’ This spurred Jessica on to begin documenting her journey using social media – and within a month she had 10,000 followers. ‘It was crazy,’ she says. ‘I was a 20-something practising poses in my pyjamas! But I suppose people could relate. Social media can be a safe space to connect with others who share your mindset and goals; which you don’t always get in real life.’ Jessica embarked on a three-month teacher training programme and began coaching privately. ‘I never set out to teach,’ she says. ‘I just wanted to develop my own practice. But when your mum’s friends ask for one-to-ones, how do you say no?’ Jessica now teaches around 20 sessions a week in Dubai, and devotes four to five hours to her own practice each week. When word of her classes reached Instagram, Jessica was flooded with requests for Youtube videos and Skype sessions – her resulting ebook #letsstartyoga was released in March 2015. Worldwide workshops followed and, earlier this year, an 18-carat gold and gemstone jewellery collection, inspired by yoga’s spiritual side. ‘The beauty of yoga is it has so many different dimensions. And you can’t fake or rush the results of any one; you have to work for them,’ says Jessica. As she posts yet another handstand pic and her followers creep closer and closer to the 400k mark, it’s clear she has done just that – and, boy, has it paid off.