Easing into it

Erin is the social media manager for Caffeine magazine, and a qualified yoga instructor. She explains how it has improved her wellbeing and how she’s now sharing her passion with others.

United Baristas is running a new series looking at the sporting hobbies people from across the coffee industry have. We want to understand why they do it, how they got involved with their chosen sport, and what motivates them.

With the lockdown in force, Barista Life turns its focus on indoor activities as a way for the coffee community to be healthy and well during the pandemic. United Baristas founder Tim caught up with Erin over Zoom to talk about her journey to become a yoga instructor, and to make plans to start a weekly coffee community yoga session during lockdown .

Tim: How did you start yoga?

Erin: Like many people I went to classes now and then, but following one community classes at Lululemon that I realised how powerful the practice was for my mental and physical wellbeing. I’ve been riding that wave ever since, making it an integral part to my lifestyle.

What do you get out of it?

It’s the perfect antidote to an otherwise hectic and fast-paced city lifestyle. I love the freedom of movement, the mental benefits, but above all the community. Everyone is so lovely and supportive – nothing competitive about it in the slightest. Also, contrary to what many might think, yoga builds a lot of strength, both physically and mentally. I think yoga has made me more resilient in all other aspects of my life, particularly working in social media.

What does it bring to your job?

As social media manager for Caffeine, building connections with people and brands is key. I think doing something very customer-facing like yoga gives me the tools to reach out, connect and create relationships with people and brands (even if it is through Zoom at present!) I’ve also been very lucky to combine my two career paths – being able to write about yoga and coffee in the same space, check out my yoga and cafes feature in issue 37 of Caffeine Magazine.

What can you do now that you couldn’t when you started?

Now that I teach full time, I have way more time to roll out the mat and have a little play. My self practice has benefitted so much from this, so much so that I can now do tripod headstands, funky arm balances (like flying lizard) and even splits (I’ve always wanted to be able to do these!)

Why did you start teaching?

I fell into teaching quite organically – when I graduated from university, I did a 200 hour teacher training with Hotpod Yoga (a yoga studio I had frequently attended and loved) to deepen my practice and understanding. To be able to help others connect with themselves is the best feeling in the world. There’s a quote that I love, from the father of modern yoga, T. Krishnamacharya, ‘Teach what is inside you, not as it applies to you, to yourself, but as it applies to the other.’ I try to embody this, my teaching is a service of love for others not for personal gain.

What are your yoga goals for 2020?

For me the year is about growing Yoga Den London with my business partner Sophie. The Covid-19 lockdown may have thrown a spanner in the works, but we’re determined to host some incredible yoga events across London once we are allowed to. I’m a big believer that as yogis we are always students – so with that said, I’m going to be doing more trainings and yoga courses this year to elevate my offering. Not all work and no play though – if all goes well, I’ll be heading to Bali at the end of the year for a retreat with one of my favourite yoga teachers!

Yoga for the Coffee Community

United Baristas has teamed up with Erin to offer five yoga session designed specifically for baristas.