Briefly say hi and tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Sophie Emma and I am a movement enthusiast. I am originally from the south west of England but have spent the past ten years travelling and making homes all over the world. My journey with movement started at the age of three, competing in Gymnastics for nine years, I then started at a dance centre for advanced training and fell completely in love with movement as an art form. I later graduated from one of the world’s leading contemporary dance schools ‘Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance’ with first class BA Honours specialising in Dance Science and the rehabilitations of injuries.
After traveling and living in Australia, my love of movement developed and I found Yoga. I traveled to India and qualified as a 200 Hour Vinyasa Yoga teacher. I now live in Edinburgh Scotland where I teach full time in various boutique wellness studios.
How did you begin teaching yoga, and what attracted you to it?
During my lifetime I have obtained many serious injuries, alongside my previous movement training, this interest in rehabilitation of the physical body sparked my curiosity in Yoga. Initially I wanted to understand how the anatomy of Yoga could help the rehabilitation process and learn how to apply that to different bodies. However, soon after I started practicing I lost my best friend of 14 years, immediately my appreciation of this practice deepened and enlightened me to the true power of Yoga. I travelled to India to heal from this trauma and left knowing this was my purpose and I needed to create this safe space and share this light for others.
Being in a teaching role, what kind of things do you hope to pass along to those in your classes?
The main focus of my classes is for my students to celebrate the union of mind, body and soul. Holding space for people to play with the internal dance between breath and movement, feel deeply and heal is of most value to myself as a teacher.
I want my students to learn and leave my classes with a stronger understanding of their body, for them to let go of any comparisons and feel confident in honouring what works best with their own anatomy. It is also incredibly important to me that my students understand that Yoga is more than a physical practice on their mat and that they leave my classes with the tools they need to implement this into their everyday life.
How has the pandemic affected you, specifically as a yoga teacher, and what are some ways you have had to adapt?
Similar to many, 2020 has been a challenging year for myself and my business, with Yoga studios closing in Scotland, I was forced to take my offerings online. As someone with only creative arts experience, this was a huge step out of my comfort zone, learning how to negotiate the online world was both exciting and scary. Looking back now, nine months on, I view this challenge as an opportunity to grow and expand my business. I now have a large online community of students practising with me from all over the world which I never dreamed of being possible. I am so incredibly grateful for everything I have learnt both personally and professionally throughout this year and look forward to trusting in whatever the universe has planned next for me.
Looking forward, past the pandemic, what are some of your visions/goals for the future as a yoga teacher?
As a recovering perfectionist and previous ‘over planner’ I continually remind myself the importance of flexibility. Being able to adapt to the ever changing world whilst simultaneously keeping the authenticity of my purpose and teachings. I cannot wait to offer classes again in person, nothing is better than the energetic feedback from a room full of bodies moving and breathing in unison. I am however dedicated to keeping the accessibility of my classes wider than just Edinburgh and intend on creating an even stronger online presence within the health and wellness industry.
Photography by Edward Fitzpatrick. You can find him on Instagram here.