Sharing the Success of E18 Yoga

Laura posed

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.

Ben Stansall / 07875 583086 Yoga students practise ‘Downward Facing Dog’ during a yoga class at Wood Street Police Station in the City of London on July 23 2008.

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.


Mind the ‘Age’ Gap



This one reared it’s head for me whilst travelling on the Central Line  to London recently. It got me to wondering how we determine the age of another.

How efficient can one be at making such assumptions.

When is it OK to imply that someone is older and more in need than you are?

I was travelling with Iron Man, The Kid and my cousin.

An elderly gentleman and his wife boarded the train with very heavy suitcases. No one moved, so after having a little mind tussle as to whether my offer of a seat would be offensive, I decided to speak out. When the gentlemen replied jokingly “do I look that old then?” I was able to quickly respond “no not at all, it was the heavy luggage!”  No flies on me.

Iron Man pointed out that I’d surged too early. That he wouldn’t have assumed the couple would want a seat.  He didn’t think they looked particularly ‘elderly’.

Not being a frequent traveller on the underground as part of the daily commute nowadays, would, perhaps deem me out of touch with the etiquette of judging how ‘seat worthy/needy’ one is.

Apparently, there was no look over of expectation for a seat. No eye contact. I’d missed the signs. There is a new Code of Practice operating on the tube to which I am not privy. Left to my own devices it would seem, I could make one feel older than their years.

For the purpose of this blog, I now find myself ticking the age group 45-60. I’m at the very lower end of the range but how, I ask myself did, this happen? It seems only last week I was in the 21-25 category.

I do often wonder if my being a little older makes everyone look younger. I often find it difficult to guess the age of another now. It seems there is no benchmark on which to compare. Iron Man agreed that he feels the same.

Perhaps we are boringly middle aged.

So we did what all sensible parents do after their child has been carted off to the theatre with free time on their hands. We played a guessing game. Iron Man and I played a little game of guessing how old people were as we continued our journey through Oxford Street. Not the wisest idea given the crowds on a Sunday. Never mind trying to shop!

Anyway, we got fed up with that but we would seem to agree in the main. The exercise, however, proved precisely nothing.  We took ourselves off to a bar to commiserate our time wasting.

Central Line

I remember working in Tottenham Court Rd in my early 20’s and without fail an elderly gentleman would get on at exactly the same time and place at Holborn. Every evening without fail I would give my seat to this man. Common sense should have told me to change carriages. In hindsight, given how wrong one can be at judging age, the gentleman was probably only 40 at the time and is probably still doing the same journey. I bet he’s missing me though if he is!

It’s a bit like the pregnant woman thing. You are not sure if she’s pregnant and are worried about causing her embarrassment versus staying put while the poor cow suffers thinking how inconsiderate you are. Both equally embarrassing, I’ve done both. Thank god they brought the badges out.

I’ve also been on the receiving end of getting the seat whilst not pregnant. I have to say I took no offence and dived in to the seat swiftly.

Would I do the same though if I was offered a seat because I was old. Hell no, I’d be bloody mortified. I’d probably start rapping in the carriage just to show I wasn’t.

I guess it’s probably not in order to query why someone is offering you a seat either. Chances are you aren’t going to like the answer.

Could it be that whilst thinking I was being courteous in offering a seat to a perceived ‘elderly’ person, I was in fact making them feel awful. I hope not. I could have had a far more comfortable journey and so could they.

So, where does one stand (or sit) on this potentially sensitive subject.

Are you a seat ‘giver-upper’ or a ‘head in your newspaper’ commuter?

Does it need to be about age or is it about courtesy?

We were brought up to respect our elders but is it possible that respect can be misinterpreted in this case?

Of course, if I were to ask The Kid, old is anyone over 25.

We are older parents in comparison to many people. Ancient in the eyes of The Kid. We are cool with that.

We have a wide range of friends that vary in age from much younger to much older than us.

Of our older friends, I wouldn’t dream of offering them a seat based on how they look but by rights, they are entitled to one. I know that none of them would accept it though.

Is it a battle that everyone faces as they reach their mature years. Is it a realisation that ‘you’ve arrived’, the first time a younger person relinquishes their seat?

Is there room for chivalry if we are trying to be appropriate. Which comes first?


I am asking this question at a time when everyone looks so wonderful and so young.  At a time where 50 is the ‘new 30’ and 80 is the ‘new 60’.

It’s not easy when you think about it, is it?

What qualifies a person as ‘elderly’?

This is a subject that is not limited to public transport.  It reaches much further than that.

I’d love to know what you think.  Do you have similar difficulties in determining age?  Maybe you are of the age that ‘should’ get a seat but don’t want one for the reasons I describe above.

More questions that answers in this Blog so I would love to hear your thoughts.


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How I’ll Remember September

I recently wrote a blog letter Dear August where I bemoaned a few things about this August.  Little did I know what was in store.

All I can say is sorry August – I was only joking mate.  Last time I pick a fight with that one!  Choose your battles and all that.

Well to cut a long story short, whoosh, bang, I was knocked off my feet.  A hospital stay later, it would seem that I’d had a ‘Thunderclap’ headache.  Never heard of it?  Me neither.  If you google it, it’s interesting.  What is it they say about never googling an ailment.  I don’t usually.  Bit different this time though.

One of the more amusing causes of this ‘Thunderclap’ is having sex.  I can solemnly vouch that this was not indeed the cause in my particular case.  The fact that it happened at work is evidence of this little fact.

What has followed has been an unprecedented and lengthy time off to recover.  I am also working on getting my brain back into gear and re-polishing my social skills before letting myself loose on the unsuspecting general public. Iron Man has had to double up as a Carer and I have to say he has been (in the main) a superstar.

As always, the incident hasn’t been without its funny moments.  Not least my ability to be ‘lost’ three time whilst in hospital.  Not ‘lost’ in the passing over sense I hasten to add.  ‘Missing’ lost.  Not bad going considering I was flat on my back.

It’s a very strange feeling to know that you are being looked for when you can’t just jump up and shout ‘surprise’.  On one occasion I did actually wonder if I was watching this scenario from a higher place (well you read about these things – could it actually have happened?).

A quick tannoy announcement for ‘Nicola Kentisbeer to make herself known’ soon brought me back to earth.  I have to say I’ve never seen my Carer move so fast, you’d have thought his parcel had arrived at the collection point in Argos.

Iron Man taking charge
Iron Man taking charge

And then of course came the Wedding Anniversary.  13 years funnily enough.  Well, we spent it in hospital.  Had a date in fact.  We know how to party.

The Carer turned up with a fabulous roast dinner, courtesy of our very lovely friends.  I should say at this point that he was well looked after in the food department – courtesy of even more lovely friends.  Once fit and well, I shall be returning this fabulous hospitality that the Carer took full advantage off was very grateful for.

We decided to precede my feast with a walk.  A walk in The Whipps Cross Hospital Car Park.  I didn’t make the usual effort, hospital gown, socks and flip flops (I know!)  That was a really bad fashion move –  not that easy to walk in either.  It was really enjoyable though coming, of course,  from the perspective of needing to get out.  I would even go so far as to say quite romantic until the Carer suggested that I could have made an effort with my hair.

Low blow indeed!  Little did he realise that he was going to be prising off my wedding ring from my swollen sausage fingers the next day and guess what shock horror – it won’t go back on.  He also said he wasn’t actually that keen on it.  Nevertheless, no need to take it out on the hair.

As luck would have it, we returned to the ward as the dinner cart was coming round.  Peachy timing!  This meant that I could order a desert and coffee to follow my lovely roast dinner.  Happy days.  A box of Ferrero Rocher later and I was a very happy woman.

Coffee to follow my anniversary meal

I was also a very happy woman  being referred to as ‘young lady’ by the hospital staff.  I’m not sure if this was because I was the youngest on the ward or if I was being told off for saying something I shouldn’t have.  Still not sure.

I should also add that I was very fortunate to be in the safe hands of wonderful doctors and nurses doing amazing jobs whilst under a huge amount of pressure.

I should further add that doctors are very young these days.

I have missed lots of things this month not least my little blog and The Kid’s first day back at school in Year 5.

I shall also be missing the Shine Walk* (see below) in London for Cancer Research with three lovely girlies on Saturday evening.   I know that they will be amazing and they know that I shall be filling their glasses with something lovely very soon to celebrate their success.  I promise I will be at the starting line next year.

Anyway, it’s time I was getting lost.

I hope that you have enjoyed my somewhat unusual ramblings.  Normal blog service will resume shortly.

As always, comments are most welcome and gratefully received.

Nicky x

PS *If you haven’t already made a Shine Walk donation and would like to support these girls doing their bit, here is a link to the Just Giving page

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