EMILY COHEN

Yoga Instructor

DOB: 22 August 1988

Place of Birth: Jersey

Occupation: Yoga Instructor

Meet doer Emily. Her do is Yoga and it's her time to sweat, stretch, strengthen and smile! Every move is flowing with her breath to leave her feeling energized, revitalized, recharged and relaxed. She finds freedom in her practice anytime, anywhere. On the mat, the beach or in the woods Emily will stretch, move, breathe and smile to set herself free and be happy!

Her classes in London and retreats in Europe help uplift and energise the students with dynamic and powerful moves whilst having fun! Her practice will help to heal, cleanse, calm and detoxify your mind whilst challenging the entire body, increasing flexibility and strength.

"When I do yoga, it’s my time to be free"

What made you start practicing yoga?

I started many years ago with my mum. I wasn’t that keen on it at the time as it was in a hot room and doing static movements. However, when I moved to London I found the style of yoga that I teach now, Vinyasa Power Yoga, which is very much a cardiovascular flow, focussing on one breath, one movement, or five breaths within one movement. You get that physical exercise as well as the meditative aspect of it. This is when I started falling in love with it and started to feel the benefits, not only physically but also emotionally and psychologically, and as time went on it became part of my daily routine and my career.

What does yoga do for your heart, body, mind and soul?

It exerts your body to its maximum. When you manage to do one pose there’s always another variation you can go into to make it harder and get more out of it. It not only makes your body more mobile, it also makes your everyday movements go a lot better, as your actual functional mobility is enhanced. It calms your mind down, as we focus a lot on breathing techniques. Breath control and physical movement together are very powerful, and if you do it properly you get a lot out of it. This also makes you a lot calmer and brings you more peace of mind. It’s really good for the soul and makes you a better person

How do you set yourself free?

I feel free when I’m on the mat, when I practice anywhere, with a teacher or by myself at home. When I find that time to connect my body to my breathing and movement, that’s the time I start to feel free. I just move into a position in that time that feels right for my body. Some parts might feel tight, other parts might feel looser, and you play with that. Through that there’s this energising, uplifting feeling of freedom, which happens during and after the practice. It takes some time getting into the zone but it makes you feel really happy and smiley. Can’t explain it, you just have to try it.

What keeps you going? Do you ever have a bad day?

Yeah, many bad days! Everyone has good and bad days. The good days are better than how bad the bad days are, and this keeps me going. You have things you always want to get to, and make small progressions to the bigger picture. Some days you can’t do those small things and you don’t feel great about yourself but you just keep going and think of the smaller progressions, and set smaller goals rather than the bigger picture. Then you reach those goals quicker and more often. This is what keeps me going.

How long do the happy and energised feelings last after a class?

It can last all day or all week. It all depends on the mental state you’re in. If you’re having a bit of a rough time it may not last as long. Then you just go back to the mat. It doesn’t have to be long, like 90 minutes or one hour. Just 10, 15 or even five minutes can make a difference – just the time that you have in a day to zone out and relax. Take your time, and you don’t always have to move. Sometimes you just sit and breathe, calming yourself down. Providing you do that you can go into the good state anytime you feel like you are getting out of it again.

Is there a difference between practicing yoga indoors or outdoors?

You can practice anywhere, in your garden, in your home, along trees, you don’t need a mat and you don’t have to be a pro. You can go into your downward dog anywhere. You don’t even have to know the name of the movements. Just start to stretch those muscles in a way that feels right.

What’s the perfect outfit for yoga?

You need to feel comfortable and be able to move freely, so soft material and some sort of grip or ribbing for the advanced arm balancing. Or when you need to stick your knees into your arms it’s nice to wear anything that’s tight and comfortable so it doesn’t get in the way. It’s also nice if it looks good and you can just wear it walking around after your yoga, ha!

What inspires you?

Everyday teaching people and seeing their smiles and transformations. It’s so inspiring how such a small thing can have such a powerful impact on people.

Do you have a dream?

I have a dream of doing yoga wherever I can, spreading it wherever I go to everyone; make people realise they don’t have to go to the gym to do it, that you can just start anywhere. You can do a little bit here and a little there.

Do you get your radiant smile form yoga?

I would say some of it comes from Yoga, yes! Ha-ha!

What advice would you give to the younger version of you?

Start earlier! Start as young as you can when you have no fear, and your body is still flexible and you can do so much. You can start at any moment, but the best piece of advice is to start as early as you can.

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