I started my teacher training journey in September 2017. I was new to Oxford, was about to
start my PhD, and didn’t know anyone in town. Although I am usually of a very anxious nature, I felt very relaxed about this all because I knew it was the right choice for me at that point in time. I had practiced yoga on and off for years and decided that this was the best time for me to commit to it and to a studio fully because I would be staying put for a few years, which isn’t always a given as a student. And in retrospect I was right to feel at ease. As soon as I met our trainers and the other trainees I knew I had found the environment I wanted to spend my Saturdays in for the months to come. Not only was the content new and engaging, from the philosophy and history of yoga, to anatomy, to learning poses that I never thought I would be able to achieve because I have an upper-body strength similar to that of a kitten, but the atmosphere was also always warm, welcoming, and compassionate, making these Saturdays bliss in the middle of PhD chaos. This gave me the opportunity to learn from the amazing charity Yoga Quota, from the wonderfully-crafted training itself, and from our incredible trainer, Harriet.
Yoga Quota gave me the chance to do my training in a caring environment focused on
spreading the yoga love. Their mission to make yoga accessible to all not only spoke to my
love of giving and sharing with others, but also made me realise that this is what I always
admired about practising yoga, without being able to put it into words. No matter people’s
body shape, physical or psychological past, or reason for practising yoga, I am deeply touched by the fact that we can all come together and share these moments with one another.
The 200-hour teacher training gave me the knowledge and the confidence to take part in Yoga Quota’s mission. I started my teacher training so I could deepen my own practice alongside my studies. Teaching was not necessarily part of the plan because I feared I would not be able to put on classes that others would enjoy or benefit from. But I am coming out of my training a few months later dedicated to sharing everything I have learnt and to helping people feel empowered in their practice.
Harriet gave me the determination to keep going further. Learning from Harriet was undoubtedly one of the best parts of the training, and her passion, knowledge, and drive have positively influenced all of us and given us something to aim for. As a researcher my job is to learn and discover new things, and the same can be said about practising yoga.
This 200-hour training is only the first step in my journey and there are many more things that I hope to discover, from yoga for children, pregnancy, or even injury. I am excited to see what the future holds and thankful for the endless opportunities for personal and professional development that this training has brought me.
The second quarter of 2018 has continued to gain momentum, and we’re so excited to be heading into a summer of long days, lots of yoga, and charity growth! Here’s Harriet’s report of everything going on at Yoga Quota between April-June 2018.
Charity Classes Done
Across April - June, we taught over 165 charity classes (800 individual visits), bringing our total for 2018 to over 320 charity classes & 1600 individual visits so far!
New Charity Partners
We’ve welcomed an amazing group of new charity partners on board, some already have classes up and running, and we’re working hard to match teachers with classes to deliver yoga to their beneficiaries.
Yoga Quota now has over 110 badgeholders! Badgeholders are our incredible community of teachers nationwide who have committed to teaching yoga to vulnerable people in their areas.
Read about our new badgeholders;
We are always looking for new teachers to join our expanding Badgeholder family! Fill out our online form to join today.
Our Oxford studio has continued to be a thriving and amazing centre of community!
We’ve got a wide variety of workshops lined up over the Summer and into the Autumn, and there’s truly something for everyone!
Our Open Day on Friday 27 April was an huge success and it was so lovely to see so many lovely students enjoying yoga & snapping up some amazing prizes. Read the Round-Up here.
In June we also released the first of a few films celebrating our accessible and inclusive studio culture! You can see the full film on our YouTube channel. We’d love it if you could like, subscribe, comment or share! Stay tuned for more films being release over the coming months.
Our teaching training program continues to be a vibrant and much-loved offering. We currently have 30 trainee teachers enrolled in our 200 hour program, with another group of eager yogis set to start in the Autumn (only 3 spots left in the October 2018 stream)! If you’re curious about teacher training, pop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out Liz, Chiara or Anna’s blog posts.
We’ve also announced our 85-hour fully certified Pregnancy & Post-Natal Yoga Teaching training launching in October 2018, and there’s only 4 spots left already!
Yoga Quota’s bespoke retreats are up and running! Our August only has a few spots left, and we’re super excited about the next retreat planned for December 2018.
We announced our first Sponsors in June! Stretch Breathe Smile and Breadren.
Corrie is a familiar face at Yoga Quota, as she comes to teach workshops regularly (next one is 24 August), and Sal is an inclusive chef extraordinaire!
If you're a Yoga Quota client and book onto one of their amazing retreats, Corrie and Sal have generously committed to donating 10% of your booking cost to Yoga Quota, which will directly fund charity classes for vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged groups. We'll even be able to tell you which charities you've supported! One booking could support up to 4 charity classes!
Their next retreat is 10-15 September, in a stunning villa perched in the Italian mountainside. (you might even find our CEO, Harriet, there teaching a few classes in between pool swims and cooking workshops.)
A massive thank you to both Stretch Breathe Smile and Breadren for your incredible support.
In April, we welcomed Adam as our Operations Assistant. Adam is a Yoga Quota 200 hour teacher training graduate, studio teacher, and pillar of our Oxford community. He’s been doing a great job settling into the role.
Double pigeon, or firelog, or square, or knee-to-ankle pose, or agnistambhasana in sanskrit (yoga poses are known by so many different names to different people) is a deep opening of the hips through strong external rotation.
It's a lovely pose, but challenging. It can put pressure on the knees or the hips if the hips are too tight and it can be challenging to get into.
You may have come across this pose in a group class and weren't offered the right modification or enhancement for your body and level of openness. Maybe you're building up more openness and want to learn how to progressively enhance the sensations in your body in this posture. We're glad you're here and we're happy to share what we know with you!
Check out below for different enhancements, modifications, alternatives, or options that will steadily promote openness in the hip through external rotation to allow you to explore this posture in your body. At the very end, you can download an entire sequence designed to warm up your body and prepare you for double pigeon or firelog, etc etc...
Here's your monthly round up of new badgeholders that we've added in June.
Being a badgeholder means that you commit to spread the benefits of yoga in your community, and teach your first 4 charity classes as a volunteer. After the first 4 classes, Yoga Quota pays our badgeholders to continue teaching.
We’re happy to help badgeholders set up a charity class in your area, but are also equally happy if you set up your own.
We're always looking for more teachers dedicated to spreading yoga to their local community, so if you're interested in joining, please fill out our badgeholder form.
Here are this month's new badgeholders: