Beach yoga: Outside meditation in Cornwall
- Credit: Archant
Few places in the world invite you to meditate outside more than the beaches of Cornwall says surfer-turned-yogi Emma Jaulin
Emma Jaulin has practiced yoga for the past ten years and been teaching for almost six. Having moved to the Westcountry from London a year ago, her aim is to bring something entirely new to Cornwall and the South West.
With her roots firmly set in the Southwest, Emma is an advocate for ‘keeping active’ along with being an avid surfer and ambassador, working closely with the surf brand Roxy, teaching master classes at their Run Sup Yoga event at the large Boardmasters festival, held in Newquay.
Emma trained on the coast of Bali to work with surfers alongside developing Yoga that would aid a surfer’s body.
‘Early on I worked with Magic Seaweed to develop a specific Yoga for Surfers series that proved to be hugely popular, receiving hundreds of hits online,’ she says.
She then moved on to specialise in teaching surfers at Bantham and Salcombe, promoting strength and balance to the sport. ‘The classes were aimed specifically at surfers, to focus on where they need to strengthen, release tension, mobilise and prevent injury,’ says Emma.
Emma now focuses on Yin yoga – a practice designed to strengthen the fascia rather than the muscle itself. Alongside Yin, she practices a variety yoga styles with a simple philosophy of getting on the mat and moving.
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My ‘Asana’ practice is really just moving in a way that feels good in my body, so no specific poses just fluid movement. I work and draw upon the elements in my guiding and teachings and my personal practice also. My favourite is water - I love to move and breathe like water. There are two elements that brought me to my practice, the physical and the mental, which of course Yoga is both.
‘Yin is very much mentally challenging as well as being physically challenging.’
Emma says of the practice that sees her class members holding poses for up to seven minutes at a time. She describes this particular practice as being a step closer to meditation, running regular candlelit classes that she admits are ‘intense’.
Emma’s ethos behind her yoga practice is quite simply to feel good, guide others to feel good and build a community.
‘For me teaching yoga, creating events and living the lifestyle I live, creates all of these things and I adore seeing people happy, letting go of all life stresses and dropping life’s worries!’
Moving to the South West, Emma admits, has encouraged her further to develop a strong community.
‘Yoga certainly helped me to meet amazing people and start to build a community here which I am progressing through super fun events, retreats and get togethers!’
A balanced lifestyle is something that most people strive for and Emma is intent that yoga can help with this. ‘My yoga practice absolutely influences my daily life, whether it be Yin yoga or Asana practice, it certainly guides me in decisions I make, helps me to understand myself, understand others, breathe more and appreciate everything around me more. I also believe the more balanced my lifestyle is, the more I can give to others around me,’ she says.
Emma brings wellness and balance into her lifestyle by moving her body, being present, enjoying sunshine, eating well and breathing. ‘It sounds silly but when you actually take a big deep breath of fresh air you realise how you haven’t been doing it recently! I also relish in laughter, being in the water, walking, being outside and generally doing the things I love such as spending time with my family, my husband, mum, sister and doggie Truffles!’
Emma concedes that immersing herself within her surroundings in the South West countryside and coastline have a huge effect on her practice. ‘I love to practice yoga outdoors and my love of the water is certainly drawn upon in my practice and teachings,’ she enthuses.
A particular love of the Cornish coast is evident in her enthusiasm for the, often enviable lifestyle.
‘In Cornwall, everyone seems to smile! Everyone is friendly and there is such a lovely sense of community – the waves, the walks, memories, I love all that it encompasses, especially the expanse of the ocean - I love to practice anywhere by the sea,’ she says.
Emma certainly knows her spots for the best surf in the area, naming Godrevy, Padstow and surrounds, along with Perranporth as just a few of her favourites. ‘Also from my sailing days I have the best most beautiful childhood memories of Fowey, Falmouth and St Mawes,’ she reminisces.
Having previously taught at Boardmasters for Roxy, also the Run Sup Yoga event on Newquay beach, along with having guest taught at many Cornish retreats, Emma is keen to work along Roxy on further retreats and workshops in the future, bringing her love surf and sea to her group practice.
‘My yoga classes are always relaxed, fun, free flowing and explorative. When you come to class you don’t just leave feeling lighter, you have new friends and a new sense of freedom. Maybe you’ll leave a bit sweaty and stronger but sometimes totally and utterly relaxed with no weight on your shoulders,’ says Emma of her sessions.
Drawing on her personal practice plays a huge part in what Emma shares in classes. ‘That’s what keeps it authentic. There are a lot of yoga teachers out there, but for me people come to my class to learn; I feel I can only teach and guide in what I believe in and have a passion to share that which will help others,’ she says.
Emma is keen to explore opportunities involving more personal/lifestyle related projects within Cornwall and the surrounding area, bringing the community together further still.
‘Anything nature based would be amazing, hikes, exploring new surrounds and sharing with my community the delights that Cornwall has to offer through boutique hotels, restaurants, beach cleans, keeping our planet healthy out of harms way and reducing plastic intake, something that I am trying to focus on this year more so than my efforts previously!’ she admits.
Emma’s principles behind her practice are refreshing, especially in a time where often exercise is governed around gaining results and the perfect body. ‘I aim to keep my classes refreshing, fun and enjoyable, providing a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and make new connections. On a deeper level the classes also offer a chance for people to find their authentic self, becoming aware of particular thought and behavioural patterns, realising what they need to overcome,’ she says.
It’s this fresh, innovative approach to yoga that she is hoping to bring to the south west, adding a little yin/yang balance to all who take part.