How yoga can bring you closer to nature
Amy Bench, Founder of Earth Souls Yoga tells us how her passion for yoga, experiencing the outdoors and bringing awareness to environmental issues led to launching her online yoga community.
When did you start Earth Souls Yoga?
Earth Souls started at the very beginning of lockdown when we couldn’t teach yoga in person anymore but we still wanted to connect with people and share our passion for yoga. We both lived in the Alps at the time and we wanted to share the beauty we were surrounded by with as many people as possible especially at a time when people couldn’t travel and were feeling particularly unsure of everything going on around. For us, yoga is first and foremost about helping people feel good. We are keen climbers, snowboarders and surfers who see first-hand the effects of climate change on the planet. We also wanted to do something to make the world happier too.
What is your mission?
Our mission is to help people and the planet feel good! We want to bring yoga outside, to encourage people to spend more time in nature and create a more sustainable yoga community.
Do you support any charities?
We donate 10% of subscriptions to WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) and Inspire Eco Participation. Both of which are non-profit charities that educate, clean, support and campaign to protect oceans and marine wildlife. As outdoor lovers this is something very important to us and clear from the very beginning. We wanted to make it easy for people to get involved and support environmental protection and by doing so through outdoor yoga we can see how much beauty there is and what we can do. We also plant a tree for each subscriber and encourage people to get involved in our monthly global clean ups to help make their community a better place.
What type of yoga classes do you offer?
We offer yoga classes for all levels and abilities. We have free mini tutorials with step by step guidance on basic poses and also poses to help with specific pains or goals you may have. As for our classes, we have classes for advanced goals including headstands and splits but also beginner routines, after work stretches, work from home specific yoga and so much more. We tailor our classes based on requests from our community so if you ask for something you’ll get it, and in that way, you get a personal practice too. Each week we add at least two new classes and each month we release a new series too which may be a programme to follow for a series of days or yoga for a specific sport such as climbing or surfing.
I started teaching yoga over five years ago when I was working as a teacher in a high school in the UK. It was an extra-curricular after school programme which soon became my favourite class to teach. A group of teenage girls would come every week without fail simply because they loved yoga. It was amazing to see how passionate they were about yoga and how good it made them feel. In that room it didn’t matter what they looked like, they learnt to laugh at themselves and accept their body, which really meant everything to me.
After deciding that teaching wasn’t my calling I moved back to Europe. I’d previously spent a lot of time in the Alps and in Italy teaching English so I decided to head back there and teach yoga and circus full time running kids summer camps, aerial yoga workshops and yoga retreats. Sadly, all of that came to a halt with Covid. That’s when Earth Souls was born. I wanted to share my passion for yoga, creativity, teaching and the environment with everyone.
What advice do you have for people who want to live more sustainably and achieve more balance in their lives?
My advice for anyone wanting to live more sustainably and find more balance in their lives is do what feels right. I spent so long doing what I think other people wanted for me or what I thought I should do, whereas actually the only thing that made me happy was what I knew already deep down for a long time. I’d say buy only what you need, use your money to follow your dreams, experience the outdoors, be fully present in what you do and love it! If you love what you do, where you are and who you are with then you don’t need the other things. Remember you always have the chance to change! I did…more than a few times!
To find out more about Earth Souls Yoga and sign up to their classes, please visit their website. They offer a 14 day free trial.