Indie Oxford Interview: Harriet McAtee of Yoga Quota
This year we welcomed Yoga Quota to the Independent Oxford family and we’re super excited about it! Today we’re catching up with Harriet from Yoga Quota to find out more about this amazing organsiation.
Tell us about Yoga Quota
Yoga Quota is a registered charity (no. 1161833) we spread the benefits of yoga to vulnerable people nationwide, fully funded by our amazing studio here in Central Oxford. We teach over 30 classes a week, and work with an incredible variety of charities nationwide. We really believe that the transformative effects of yoga should be accessible to everyone, everywhere.
How did you get into teaching yoga?
I’ve been practicing yoga since I was an uncoordinated 13-year-old, but got really serious when I was dealing with the stress of university. During my Masters I was practicing every day (sometimes two or three times!) and I had this profound realisation that I just wasn’t stressed. I felt calm and capable, it was really surreal! I knew that I wanted to help others create space for calm and happiness in their lives too.
What attracted to you working at Yoga Quota?
Yoga Quota became my instant community when I first moved to Oxford in November 2015, our community is like no other! I felt instantly welcome and accepted. At the time we moved I was recovering from a shoulder injury which meant I was taking a break from teaching, and when I was eventually ready to teach again it was an easy decision to teach for YQ!
How many people do you have in each class on average, and what ability levels are they?
Anywhere from 5-15 people, of all different experience levels. We welcome all yogis of all levels, from complete newbies, to spaghetti noodle masters.
What would you recommend people should wear for yoga classes?
Something comfy that they can move in: it doesn’t need to be tight or fancy, but try bending your knees and touching your toes. If you can do that without your legging/shorts cutting you in half, then you’re good to go!
Do you have any tips for simple poses or techniques we should be practicing every day?
Child’s Pose (photo below) is one of my favourite postures. It’s just a total chill out zone for me! Take your knees wider than your hips, bringing your big toes together. Stretch your arms out in front and rest your forehead on the floor or on a cushion. Stay as long as you like, and pad your knees with a blanket if they’re tender. I think the other thing is just being aware of your breath: it can have such a massive effect on how we feel. Try taking three slow, deep breaths. Nothing fancy, just conscious and controlled. Whenever I’m feeling a little spun out, three deep breaths always brings me back to the present.
Lastly, which are your favourite Oxford independents?
We can’t wait to throw on our yoga pants and shed all our stresses! Hopefully we’ll see you there!