Cake With... Emily Clare Hill

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This wonderful lass has been part of my life for just over a year now. She has filled it with so many chuckles, good times and change. Emily is the co-founder of North London yoga studio, Mudra and also co-led my 200 hour Frame teacher training. She is not only a brilliant teacher, but a fabulous friend too. Here’s the chat…

Your story so far...

My first step into this experience was getting involved in being in my body and understanding movement through dance, acting and different techniques. I found yoga when I was studying acting and theatre. For me, it was permission to be myself which I had never really found before in my life, even through parents - there was always a need to be something. Suddenly this experience provided the opportunity to be yourself and from that you find your route and your path. More than anything, it was intrigue to understand different life philosophies.

I stepped into my journey learning more pretty promptly. From there I’ve just done a lot of trial and error process to figure out who I am as a teacher, where I want to go in life. I’ve played with the idea of traveling, I’ve played with the idea of being stable. I learnt from the experience with no regrets whatsoever. Everything has bought something forward for me to understand.

I have taught yoga everywhere, from small studios to the oak stage in the middle of Hyde Park. It has all been a continuous learning process to find myself where I am now, which is teaching yoga in every aspect and having my own studio. Still being able to travel, run regular trainings and… This is just work I’m discussing. Outside we have life and life experience. My work has pushed me into situations where I am uncomfortable, to encourage me into different cultures, to facilitate not just teach.

What makes you feel on top of the world?

Just moving my body makes me feel good. Somedays sleep… I’m good at sleep. Being outside, sun shine. Going somewhere where the culture has brighter days brings my whole body to life. I love being in my creative space, thats when I’m on top of the world.

Animals. I have my dog, Cohen, who is the light of my life. I am so inspired and intrigued by them, the idea that animals simply wake up and move, they don’t think about the need to stretch, they just instinctively do something. We could really learn more from animals.

What do you feel should be spoken about more?

Hierarchy and divide between the rich and poor. for me, a lot of stuff comes down to this. I say ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ with a bit of tongue and cheek. The rich stay rich and the poor stay poor because the rich remain in control. So many things boil down to this.

A daily ritual that makes you feel good

Yorkshire Tea. If I’m away, I get so excited to get home and have a cup of Yorkshire tea. Proper builders tea, noting fancy, nothing deep in detoxification, I just love tea - but it has to be Yorkshire.

Pranayama. Breath work for me is so powerful. I use my breath and my voice a lot more that I used to. It is a very important tool to understand yourself more organically.

Feel good song?

I ADORE music. This is challenging because it changes all the time. Let’s go with Here Comes The Sun, and there are so many beautiful adaptations of this song. For feel good, always come back to Bob. Is This Love. You can put Bob on and pretend its sunny even when its not - this is a great technique of life.

A nugget of advice that has stuck around?

Anyone know me knows that my mantra is ‘when you stop learning, you stop living’. This for me is the essence of everything. It’s basically saying; stay humble, keep your eyes open, and keep challenging yourself. A balance of the soul being comforted and warm with support, and the soul being wild, fiery with excitement and edge.

For someone starting a brand new business, what's your one piece of advice?

First thing - go in eyes open.

Second thing - go slow. Things change very quickly in the first few years. Go slow so you can allow these changes to occur, so you can adapt and grow as you understand your business, the people and what is most serving - rather than needing to pull back.

Third thing - reward yourself regularly. Nobody else is going to. You need this to allow you to keep evolving. In the notion of: I just achieved this - so now Im going to take myself out for dinner. Give yourself little achievable targets - slowly those targets will get larger and more challenging. In terms of owning a yoga studio, the first time having 10 people in a class - I will treat myself to a nice bottle of wine or get my nails done - something like that.

How has the practice of yoga enriched your life?

In short, the practice of yoga has allowed me to be me.

So many people exist in a way that their own truth is not real. I have found my own comfort, happiness and passion. Through me being me, I give that to others. It is like an effortless, unconscious ripple effect that occurs to the people close to me the people I teach. It has inspired me to be comfortable and confident in this life.

I also think of it as a re-parenting. A lot of us have been bought up in a society where our parents have been trained in a certain way. Yoga is like a new parenting rule book that shows you how to be a human. A human that is more expanded and less closed. Which is what we tend to become with our conformed society and what we are exposed to. Yoga philosophy and all its teachings guides us in the expanse of everything and anything.

Do you have a favourite cake?

Depending on the time of day and my mood. Usually I’m gonna come back to chocolate… But I am a big fan of banana bread. There is bakery close to me that has a combo of banana and chocolate cake that is the be all.

Your ultimate TLC tips?

Never regret and don’t have a guilt for giving back or doing something that might be perceived as for yourself.

Be that breath, play, or time off. The worst thing is having time off and this lingering sensation of guilt or not fully in the experience of having the time off. For example, in savasana. If you are in it and you and thinking “ok I have to get back to work now” you are not allowing yourself that love and care to soak up everything in the practice.

It is said that when we can relax into rest, we go 4x deeper into that state. It might not be rest, it might be 4x deeper into that experience. So the big TLC moment is no guilt, no regret. Be in it all, learn form it all, be with it all. You do you, and let everything else stay as they are.

You can find Emily over on her Instagram

Make sure you check out her studio, and upcoming retreats on her website.

Immy May