Over the last couple of weeks in my blog I have talked about Cheerleaders and Celebrating Success as part of a series and challenge to celebrate International Women’s Day.
I also mentioned the fact that we never have to look far for inspirational people and how we are particularly well served in our local area for such people.
I am delighted to say that in my blog today I am going to be talking to the lovely Laura Piercy-Farley, the owner of E18 Yoga, about her business.
Laura runs Yoga classes for children and adults as well as personal one to one classes and a pregnancy yoga class at the weekend.
One of the things that has always struck me about Laura is her energy. I often wonder how many hours there are in Laura’s day compared to everyone else’s. As well as working full-time, Laura is involved in and can turn her hand to so many things.
She works full-time in a very demanding role, has two grown up sons and manages to play netball, run Yoga classes, crochet and be very active in the community all at the same time.
The biggest surprise is that Laura is due to retire from the City of London police force in June so there is lots more to come for E18 Yoga.
It is clear that Laura is passionate about her classes and the children and adults that she teaches. She takes a genuine interest in everyone and the children absolutely love her.
Over to you Laura – exciting times ahead, how did the Yoga idea come about?
I started attending yoga class with a wonderful lady Kay Russell after a sad event 14 years ago to help me deal with depression. I found it so helpful I wanted to share my good experience with others so I trained for four years, whilst working as a riot officer, to teach others. I have been teaching 12 years (you start teaching half way through your training as a student teacher).
My first yoga classes were to my fellow riot officers! I thought if I could teach them I could teach anyone!
Yoga has become more and more popular in recent years, it’s a wonderful form of exercise. What would you say are the main benefits?
Balance is the main benefit of yoga, exercise is a by product of yoga! Yoga can bring balance to the mind, body, breath and heart. You become stronger, more supple, focused, relaxed and dare I say happier, well at least you do in my classes and we spend a fair amount of time laughing!
One of your really successful areas has been working with children. I know that you have seen really positive results?
Children are a complete joy to teach. I don’t know the exact science behind why yoga is so good for children, however you see a shy child blossom, an angry/sad child be able to better deal with the emotions raging around their bodies and a happy child become happier and more confident. I trust my yoga children to catch, teach and lead me in yoga (see Video of Trust link below)
You are an avid user of Social Media sharing lots of useful information around Yoga and well-being. Has this helped with launching your business?
I get more enquires via social media than any other medium. I will be launching yoga video bites via Facebook soon watch this space!
Another lovely thing about you is that you actively support others with their ventures too. I have talked about Cheerleaders throughout this series. Would you agree that you are one?
I like to help local businesses and local yoga teachers, I am a great believer in the rule of three, ‘What you give out free you get back threefold’ .
Whilst I am still working I sometimes get offered classes that I can’t cover I look to local teachers to offer them the work. I know that once I retire that this will come back to me. I am also happy to promote business through my class network.
Who are your Cheerleaders for when things don’t always go to plan?
My biggest cheerleader is my husband. Without his help I would not be able to teach my classes. He cares for our sons, cooks the dinner, walks the dogs, does my accounts, maintains my website and much, much more. He also attends my Monday class with our son and gives me honest feedback.
Leaving the security of employment can be life changing but also daunting – has this been a concern for you or is it celebrations all the way?
I have loved being a Police Officer and feel very privileged to have completed my full service of 30 years. It is very unusual for a female officer to reach this milestone.
I am now ready for the next chapter of my life, spending more time with friends and family, exploring my yoga practice and teaching more yoga!!! Oh and learning the piano, ballroom dancing, Spanish, tennis and the list continues!
Up until now, the Yoga has been a part-time business for you. What plans do you have for E18 Yoga once you are officially retired?
This was an area of dilemma for me as I like to be busy. I love teaching a variety of yoga class from prenatal all the way through to Fab & Over 50.
However, I have decided that my area of expertise is really teaching yoga to children. I am going to offer yoga to schools as an enhancement to the curriculum. Including Inset day training for staff and how they can use yoga to create a calmer more productive class environment and teaching the children how to use yoga to balance their school days.
I already teach afterschool yoga club at two schools in South Woodford which I love. Those are the children whose parents see the value of yoga, but there are lots of children in school who would benefit from yoga whose parents would never think to send them, i want them to benefit from yoga as well.
I am already in negotiations with a local school to volunteer an hour a week to help children 1-2-1. Fingers crossed.
Laura, thank you. I really appreciate the time you have taken to share more about the E18 Yoga journey and being part of this series.
I wish you all the best with your exciting plans!
You can contact Laura and find out more about E18 Yoga here.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have. As always, your comments are welcomed and encouraged on the blog.
Do stop by again next week when I shall be talking to another local entrepreneur.