Indie Oxford Interview: Yoga Quota
Why was Yoga Quota set up and how long you have been running now?
Yoga Quota was set up as a yoga studio with a difference — for every 50 students who practice with us, we teach one class for a vulnerable or disadvantaged group through one of our amazing charity partners. Yoga is such a wonderful and transformational practice and we’re committed to spreading the benefits to those who need it most! We are 5 years old!
What is your role, and which classes do you teach?
I’m YQ’s Lead Trainer, I’m responsible for all our teacher training programs, and I also teach regular classes at our two studios in Central Oxford. I teach a variety of styles, including Restorative Yoga, Vinyasa, Yin and Pregnancy yoga.
Which classes would you recommend for beginners?
Our Beginners Yoga is a great place to find your feet with one of our friendly teachers. I’d also recommend Gentle Yoga or Restorative Yoga. Once you’ve got your groove, then you might start exploring Vinyasa, or Vin Yin. But you might also like to dive into Power Flow! It’s really up to you. We recently had a great post on our blog about trying Beginner’s Yoga.
How often should people practise yoga?
As often as they like! There’s no right way or right amount to practice, it all depends on your lifestyle and what works for you. We have students that come once a week, once a month, or once a day. Personally for me, I try to get to one Yin class, one Pilates class and one Vinyasa class a week (but I’m also in control of my schedule!). I like taking a variety of classes and mixing things up. Given that yoga is my work as well as a practice for me, I try to keep 1 day per week entirely yoga free. Finding a balance that works for you is really important.
Who are your customers at Yoga Quota?
Our community is really varied, beautiful and amazing! Because of our central locations (High St and Turl St) we are a great spot of lots of students and university staff, but we also see a lot of young professionals, all the way through to parents, and retirees. We’re really committed to making yoga accessible and inclusive, so often people who find their way to us haven’t always felt included or safe in other yoga spaces.
What should you wear to a yoga class, and is there space to change at Yoga Quota?
It’s a good idea to wear something *you* feel comfortable in, and that you feel you can move in easily. There’s certainly no need to buy anything expensive (though the wellness industry might make you think so!) trackpants and a t-shirt is fine! Yes we have bathrooms at both our studios for changing space.
What is the difference between Yoga & Pilates?
Quite a bit, but they can complement each other really nicely. Pilates focusses more on “core” strength (your abdominals, pelvic floor, bum, and back muscles), and tends to include more repetitive exercises. Yoga tends to work more holistically over the whole body, with a different focus on breath, relaxation and meditation. There’s very different histories and developments for both practices (not to mention philosophy). My main practice is yoga, but I love going to Pilates (particularly with our Pilates teacher Lily, who is just a ray of sunshine!) for something different.
Do you offer pregnancy yoga?
Absolutely, we offer pregnancy yoga on Thursday evenings at 7pm and Sunday afternoons at 1pm. Pregnancy yoga is so wonderfully beneficial, and I can’t recommend it enough. We also train teachers in pregnancy & post-natal yoga, so we’re really engaged and committed to offering evidence-based, inclusive and accessible pregnancy yoga.
What are your plans for 2020?
We’re looking forward to another amazing year with our community in Oxford. We have some amazing workshops planned, including an Intro to Kundalini Yoga, Yoga Nidra, and How to Make Your Yoga Classes Deaf Friendly. We’re also launching our Advanced Yoga Teacher Training in April (my pet project), and we’ll continue to work with our charity partners to spread the benefits of yoga to those who need it most.
Lastly, can you tell us about your favourite indies in Oxfordshire?
Ah there are so many it’s hard to choose! The Garden is our go-to for all our studio plants. We love Oxford Aromatics for essential oils. Personally I’m a coffee-fiend, and The Missing Bean, Society Cafe and Jericho Coffee Traders are all in my regular rotation. I can keep going…I haven’t even gotten to food yet! I love Oxford’s independent business scene!