Meet Naomi: Writer, Business owner, Yoga lover

Tell us a little about where you live, who you live with and why this is important to you. 

I live with my husband and our two kids in Homerton, right by the glorious Hackney Marshes. There’s a lovely sense of community here with the local primary schools at its centre. We landed in an incredibly supportive neighbourhood and I find it super-inspiring to be around so many interesting, creative and nice people. 

What do you do?  

I’m a yoga teacher. I run Yoga on the Lane, a studio in Dalston. My first book, Yoga: a Manual for Life, came out in 2019 and I have a second one coming soon... 

 

What made you end up in the career you have? 

I left home when I was just twelve years old to join the Royal Ballet School. After that I got a job in the corps de ballet and danced at Covent Garden for four years. Having had a very gruelling and intensive physical education I burnt out and retired with a broken foot at age 21. I retrained as a yoga teacher to heal my own body but very quickly realised it was something that I loved doing 

What was the job you thought you’d have when you were younger? 

An artist. I used to carry a little pad around with me wherever I went. I didn’t draw for years until a friend of mine set up local life-drawing classes that now run online. I absolutely love the moving meditation of putting pen to paper.  

 

What is the best part of your job? 

I love the sense of community but also yoga’s great capacity to change people’s lives. My latest big passion is thinking about how we can provide school kids with the tools they need to navigate their lives, especially as they are taking on many of the stresses that we didn’t have to think about as kids: online life and the climate emergency. 

What are some of your daily rituals that you rely on to make you happy? 

I rely on a little yoga practice and meditation every day, even if it’s just ten minutes. I always feel better for giving my system that time. I teach from our loft and having a place to retreat to has made daily practice easier. Sometimes the kids join me but mostly I take the time once they’re asleep. The ritual of tiptoeing up the stairs alone to my cosy den, is very special. 

 

Talk us through your morning rituals.. 

Morning rituals? Ha! Kids breakfast, mad hair-brushing, book bag-finding, porridge-making, and then I have a quick shower and I am usually teaching at 8am. 

Name one everyday pleasure.. 

I love coffee. A flat white can change my mood and we are spoilt for choice on Chatsworth Road. 

 

What is the one smell that triggers a memory - what is that memory? 

Roses. I really craved the smell of rose when I was pregnant and it transports me back to those happy days when I smell it now.  

 

Which classically ‘bad’ smell do you love? 

Unwashed hair. My kids aren’t fans of the bath dunk which means all that lovely ‘them’ aroma is extra potent behind their ears.  

 

What actions have you done recently to help your carbon footprint? 

I’m a vegetarian and I don’t drive, which means I have to cycle everywhere, even when it’s pouring. 

 

What is the first place you recommend to visitors that are coming to town? 

I love Borough Market. Grab a coffee at Monmouth coffee and then walk to the Tate modern. After a browse, walk across the bridge to Covent Garden and have lunch at 32 Great Queen Street. Not hungry? Work up an appetite by walking to Lambs Conduit Street. Grab a novel from Persephone books and snuggle up in Noble Rot for lunch. 

For the evening go the Royal Opera House, you can stand for as little as £10 and the ballet company never disappoint.  

 

Favourite shop/ place in your neighbourhood? And why? 

Triangle and Hackney Draper for gifts.