Gemma Merna is a qualified yoga teacher
Gemma Merna is a qualified yoga teacher.
The 32-year-old actress, who was known for playing ditzy blonde bombshell Carmel McQueen in 'Hollyoaks' until she was killed off in 2014, turned her back on acting last year in order to fulfil her dreams of a full-time therapy leader.
She explained: "To be honest, it's been my plan for the last six years. I always wanted to train as a yoga teacher, but when you're in 'Hollyoaks', you can't really get any holidays...
"I went to Morocco and trained. It was one of the most amazing experiences, but also one of the hardest."
The blonde beauty has admitted people are often put off when they rock up to her classes and realise who she is.
She said: "When people first come into the room for one of my classes, they may see me as 'Gemma from 'Hollyoaks'. But by the time they leave, I'm just 'Gemma the yoga teacher' and they've had a great class. I'm very tough in my classes - nobody gets away with anything!"
Meanwhile, although she took a year out to train as a yoga teacher, Gemma is now keen to get her acting career back on track and has been busy auditioning for roles.
She told Digital Spy: "I took a year off and now I'm just auditioning and seeing what's right for me. Yoga is my life at the moment, so it doesn't ever feel like something I'm 'falling back on'. I do it day to day, but then if another job comes in and it suits me, it's all quite flexible."