Meet Eloise, a full-time city lawyer / yoga teacher. After graduating from Cambridge with a triple First, she stumbled across yoga during her first year in the city, fell swiftly fell in love with the practice, and now teaches classes across London. She also somehow found the time to write a book…
Describe a typical day…
Mornings usually begin around 8am (I’m not too good with super-early starts!). I leave some time to stretch out on my yoga mat before heading off to catch a train to London. Once I’m in the office, I’ll grab breakfast, and start in on the day’s work.
Days at the office can be filled with anything from meetings, to conference calls; from visiting clients, to preparing deal documents. The days are packed, and I’m rarely alone – it’s a very social job, involving a lot of team-based communication!
Later in the evening, I often try to make a yoga class before heading home. There are some great studios in the City – Blue Cow, Another Space and Blok are all perfect for an evening practice. And, of course – the Frame studios (where I teach)! A couple of times a week, I’ll switch up yoga for a Pilates or ballet class.
After picking up some food, I’m back on the train home. If possible, I’ll try and focus on non-work things for the journey – I’m working on my first book at the moment, so I’ll spend some time writing and editing. Back at home, I’ll usually try and get a bit more work done – emails, drafting, etc. – and then switch off for the night, have a quick stretch out, and sleep!
Why did you decide to train as a yoga instructor?
The practice of yoga – the physical practice, but also the deeper philosophy behind it – has had a huge impact on my life. Incorporating yoga into a hectic city lifestyle has been crucial to staying grounded, feeling balanced and finding a sustainable pace of life. I wanted to be able to share the practice with others, and I find teaching incredibly rewarding.
How do you find the time to teach alongside being a full time city lawyer?
It’s not easy! I teach at weekends, and it often means sacrificing other weekend plans, or having a shorter personal practice on those days. But I love it – and it’s so, so worth it.
Do you still make time for socialising?
Absolutely – I love exploring London’s restaurant and bar scene, and there’s so much going on. But it’s also important to schedule in some down-time. For example, if I know I’ll be teaching an early morning class at the weekends, I’ll attempt to spend Friday night winding down, or head to a restorative class. (It doesn’t always happen, but that’s the aim…!)
Why is having a side-hustle so important to you?
It’s so important to do work that you love, and I feel lucky to have a full-time job that interests and inspires me. But having a side-project is also important: it allows you to pursue other passions, develops a different skill-set, and provides a sense of perspective when you return to the office on Monday morning! It’s time-consuming, for sure, but it’s also deeply fulfilling.
What is the most challenging part of your day?
There’s no typical day, so the challenging parts can be all over the place! It’s usually the uncertainty of the day ahead that can be stressful – my work can be quite unpredictable, and often prevents me from thinking too far ahead. But it can go both ways: it’s bad for trying to stay organised, but good for spontaneous plans…
How does yoga make you feel?
Balanced, calm and grounded. I’ll often step onto the mat and realise I haven’t taken a single deep breath all day! It’s usually about halfway through the practice that I can feel myself coming back to my body, and sense the movements becoming more intuitive. By the time we reach savasana, I’m fully present – and, once class ends, I’m ready to head back into the world with a new awareness.
What is your advice to those contemplating a yoga teacher training course?
Do it! Seriously, do it. Yoga teacher training will deepen your own practice in ways you had no idea were possible. And holding the ability to teach others is such an incredible privilege.
What are 3 things you wish you could tell your younger self?
1. Relax! Things will work out as they were supposed to. Also, the stakes are nowhere near as high as you think.
2. Quite a few life crises can be made way less dramatic by good friends, good food, good sleep and yoga. And see if you can be a little more forgiving with yourself, too – that usually helps.
3. When everything feels chaotic, remember that you’ll eventually get to a place, one day, where you can look back and see the path you walked with a new clarity.
I love Sufi poetry, and this is my current favourite from Rumi:
“Yesterday, I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself.”