“I get up at 5.30am to do my morning meditation and gentle yoga practice,” says yoga teacher and co-founder of East of Eden yoga studios Naomi Costantino. But don’t worry: she also drinks wine and eats pizza. Here, we talk yoga, business and being a single mum…
Naomi Costantino, 35, has one son, Rudy, aged three. They live in Walthamstow, east London, where she’s a yoga teacher and runs East of Eden yoga studios with her business partner, Abigail (who we interviewed earlier in the year).
What time do you wake up in the morning?
My son springs out of bed around 6.30am so on most days – level of duvet comfort dependent, I get up at 5.30am to do my morning meditation and gentle yoga practice.
What wakes you up?
Not the birds! It’s either an alarm or my son calling ‘mummy’ as I hear him making his way towards my bedroom to jump on me.
How do you feel?
If I’ve had my morning practice time, I feel centred, grateful and energised. If I haven’t managed that, usually a bit groggy and in need of a coffee.
What do you do first thing?
Hot water, lemon and apple cider vinegar.
How might the rest of your day pan out?
Once I’ve settled Rudy with his breakfast, I check emails and then jump in the shower before heading out the door for the nursery run.
At the studio, the day is filled with making sure everything is running smoothly, touching base with our teachers, timetabling classes, planning workshops and our upcoming events. I teach classes at East Of Eden too, and really look forward to this.
Once the day is done at the studio it’s back to nursery, dinner, bath and bed – well, for Rudy anyway! I’m studying at the moment so getting stuck back into my yoga bookshelf in the evenings.
On being a yoga teacher…
You co-run East of Eden yoga studios in Walthamstow. How did you come to be a yoga teacher?
It was a natural progression. In my early 20s I was injured, which put a stop to my dancing career and I ended up in a yoga class. The yoga teachings outside of the physical postures clicked into my inner hippy and the pieces fell into place for me.
I had been teaching dance and pilates and personal training in gyms around auditions and castings so decided to take my yoga teacher training and move away from the entertainment industry completely.
How do you find it being in business, alongside teaching yoga?
I come from a family of business men and a background of studio management so I enjoy the backend runnings of a studio environment and it feels like a little second home.
It has been challenging switching from business/studio management head to yoga teacher head as I run up the stairs to teach after being fixed gaze on my laptop. I actually now make sure I go and take 10 minutes before class in the studio to shift my focus.
Does your profession require you to lead an all-round healthy lifestyle or do you have the odd glass of wine/pizza?
Haha! I have the odd glass of wine and pizza!
I trained as a professional dancer from a young age and grew up vegetarian. I was required to be in the best health to support that training and being a bit of a natural born hippy I’ve always been fascinated by the mind, body, spirit connection. These things become second nature when they are such a big part of your formative years – well it has been that way for me.
Do you feel you have a healthy work/life balance – teaching, running the business, time with your son, seeing friends, time for yourself?
I think in the early days of a start-up business and being a single mum this surely must be near impossible?! If there is anyone out there with tips – point me their direction. With studying on top of that I don’t have the perfect balance but I’m grateful for what I’ve got and it makes you appreciate the moments you get. I love what I do and that’s what makes it all tick.
If money were no object, what paid help would make your life easier?
I’m sure a babysitter on some evenings would up level my social life. I’m looking forward to that.
Tell us about the ommersion weekend workshops at East of Eden… what’s involved, what do participants get out of it/ how do they feel afterwards?
Ommersion is a two-hour immersive yoga experience fusing the transformational power of Yin Yoga and vibrational healing qualities of a gong sound bath closing with a vegan superfood elixir to ground and revitalise. Both Yin yoga and sound healing move energy through the physical and esoteric body. Every immersion is different and each participant will have a different experience depending on the energetic make up of their physical, emotional and energetic body at that current time. Expect shifts, cleansing and deep feelings of relaxation and grounding.
What are your dreams for the business?
That it becomes a little hub for the local community, that our staff and teachers enjoy the experience of working and teaching in the studio and that East of Eden can one day provide great training for new teachers so that the good stuff can be spread far and wide.
And for your personal life?
To be able to spend time with the people I love and that inspire me and for Rudy to have that in his life too. Having a child was the start of a new chapter for me, as is the business. I’m excited to see this new chapter shape me as a woman as I feel like I’m back at my roots again.
If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
In a beach hut on Koi Yao Noi Thailand.
Tomorrow, we’ll be launching a competition to win a weekend Ommersion workshop at East of Eden studios in Walthamstow, east London… If you’re into yoga and meditation, you’ll love this. Come back tomorrow and find out how to enter.