Yemaya Ladies: Introducing Ems
Ems is the latest addition to the Yemaya Ladies team! A water loving lady, I caught up with her to find out a little more about what she's upto!
Hey Ems welcome to Yemaya Ladies! So introduce yourself & tell us a little bit about what you’re upto at the moment?
It's so great to be on the team Yemaya! As a lover of many watersports, I absolutely love the ocean inspired jewellery on offer. Currently I am living in West Wales, so I am lucky to have some incredible coastlines on my doorstep. For my day job, I work in business finance which allows me to get out on the road and meet local businesses to help them expand, which is truly rewarding! As a side-line hobby, I teach yoga at my local gym as I am an advocate of the practice after it helped me massively in the past.
Generally on weekends, you can find me at the beach where I will either be surfing, Supping or windsurfing! #livingthedream
Tell me a little bit about your journey into watersports and windsurfing?
When I first attempted windsurfing, I was actually petrified of the water funnily enough. My dad is a World champion sailor and his dream was for me or my brother to follow in his footsteps, but I never connected with sailing. After my first windsurfing lesson, I made some great friends and whilst I had a fear of the water, I persevered. After a year of learning to windsurf, I decided to do my instructor course which enabled me to do my first season in Club Vass (Greece) where I did 2 x seasons. After finishing Uni, I then ventured out to Australia where I had intended on going for 3 months, but ended up living there for 2 years working for a watersports centre in Sydney.
My love for surfing started in Australia as it was the perfect playground to learn. After leaving Aus, I decided to embrace the fantastic surfing spots we have here and continued with it, but also grew another love for SUP surf.
And how did you get into your yoga?
After leaving Australia (not out of choice!), I came back to the UK in the middle of winter which was a slight shock to the system and out of nowhere, I started suffering with anxiety. It really was unusual for me as I had never experienced this before. I am a definite do-er and would not let this affect my well-being, so I tried many different things to help with this and Yoga was the best training for my mind and body. Yoga really did cure my anxiety and consequently, I wanted to share this with others, so this fuelled me to do my Yoga teaching training. It’s been an amazing experience and It really does bring me great pleasure to help others
So you have your own SUP yoga coaching company – Stretch & Flex Yoga – tell me how that all came about and the journey to get there?
I don't currently have a SUP Yoga company, but it's definitely something which I am looking in to for next summer. I guess it's trickier in the UK, (what with the weather!) but we did have a great summer this year and I was lucky enough to teach SUP Yoga on a few occasions which was incredibly fun.
The dream would be to have a Surf Yoga retreat business eventually which would be affordable, fun and aimed at kick-starting the mind-set. Watch this space.......
Combining SUP & yoga for most people must seem pretty daunting – what are your three top tips for beginner sup yogis like myself?
It can be daunting, but if you just join in on a class with an open mind and think 'whats the worst that can happen?!'. We all have fun, we laugh and occasionally get wet, so no biggie really.
My 3 top tips would be: 1. Don't take yourself too seriously 2. Embrace the elements 3. Keep with it!
What are the benefits of combing SUP and yoga?
There are heaps of benefits to SUP Yoga, some of these include:Increased endorphins from all the fun you’re having 🙂Greater strength & balance - Let's face it, the Earth will never seem so stable after Yoga on a SUP! Greater appreciation for your surroundings - The sounds are heightened on a SUP as it's normally carried out in a tranquil environment where you can hear nothing other than soothing water and the occasional bird tweeting. It's a great way to make new friends with similar interests - I always find that those trying SUP Yoga are like-minded folk and are generally open to try most things in life. Greater flexibility - As with any Yoga class, if you are consistent, then you will see the benefits. It burns those calories!
With it being mental health awareness day this week - do you think that doing yoga outside has more benefits than inside?
I think that any Yoga is good Yoga at the end of the day however, I do think that in this day and age, we don't get outside enough.
I remember when I was a kid, I was never indoors and my brother and I were always outside playing games. Happy enough to make a mud pie!
For me, after a day in the office, I just need to get outside and feel the fresh air. There is nothing more refreshing that getting outside, so I think with Yoga classes outside, this would have the same effect. Being outside also exposes us to vitamin D which is great for immunity and well being.
So you are also big into your SUP surf too at the moment. For those of us who are not SUP surfers what are the best conditions to go out in?
Absolutely! This is literally my favourite thing at the moment.
The best conditions for me are clean mellow waves that are around 2-4ft and my favourite spot at the moment is Llangennith down the Gower.
I have also had some cracking SUP Surf sessions at Newquay this summer.
For anyone who has not tried SUP Surf, I would recommend cementing your flat water paddling first and trying a smaller board on flat water prior to venturing out on to the waves. Start small with regards to waves and just keen getting out there.
I would also highly recommend going out with friends as this makes it much more fun and safe!
What are the key differences between surfing and SUP surfing?
Surfing involves a lot more paddling as we do not have the paddle power.
A SUP Surfer can generally catch a wave slightly easier some may say as they are already standing up when they approach the wave. It is also much harder to turn on a wave with a SUP board due to its size, so this can take much practice to master.
Both sports are AWESOME and I would recommend both for anyone out there. I like both Surfing and SUP Surfing equally, but I would say it's great to do both, as you can get away with smaller waves on a SUP and then the surfboard can come out as the swell increases!
Any top tips for those who are new to SUPing? Can you recommend a great beginner spot?
My top tips for someone new to SUPing would be to either join a club or have a lesson or two first if you haven't already done so, as our paddle stroke can change everything in terms of performance and progression.
I would also, as mentioned before recommend dialling the flat water SUPing first and ensuring that we are confident with our turns and stroke before heading to the sea for some waves.
A great beginner spot if you are in South Wales would be Llandegfedd Reservoir; or if you are in Cardiff, the Cardiff White Water Centre is also great and they have regular paddle clubs on a couple of evening per week.
If you are looking to progress on to the waves and are more coastal, I would recommend Coney Beach in Porthcawl or Rest Bay depending on conditions.
So what’s on the horizon? Anything exciting we should know about?
As I have only just relocated with my job, I am particularly excited about my move West. I am soon to be moving in with my boyfriend who is also a keen surfer like myself, so this is awesome. He is an amazing snowboarder, so we will be booking a snowboard holiday and maybe Bali at the end of 2020.
Aside from this, I have recently purchased a van which has been a lifelong dream. This winter I am planning on kitting the van out for some seriously epic road-trips!
Our usual spot is Perranporth and we love to attend gigs at the watering hole after surfs, so looking forward to summer already!
Ems wears the clam shell & sea glass necklace which is available here