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All photography in this post is ©Kasia Kiliszek

This summer we were stoked to host a co-lab with Yoga Brunch Club here in the roastery as part of Bristol Food Connections.

An awesome opportunity to invite our community in to experience the roastery in a totally new way. And so, our noisy, normally-buzzing roastery was transformed into a calm oasis; bringing with it the opportunity to stop and connect with Extract friends old and new.

We caught up with Yoga Brunch Club founder, Clem, for a flat white and a chat about the power of coffee, yoga and community.

Namaste coffee lovers x

"I want to make yoga fun and social, people come to practice then stay to eat, chat and socialise. "

EXTRACT: So, we were, I think, mutual fans of each other for a while before this collab came about. What’s the story behind Yoga Brunch Club?

CLEM: I started Yoga Brunch Club over four years ago now. With a passion for all things food-related, it was a chance to bring together my creative and foodie side and passion for yoga.

The idea that you have to have a particular body type or be the most flexible person to do be able to start or do yoga, is a myth I am trying to get rid of.

As a yoga teacher, my mission is to create a space where yoga feels accessible. I want to make yoga fun and social, where people come to practice, then stay to eat, chat and socialise.

For Yoga Brunch Club, I collaborate with the most incredible chefs, artists, designers and florists (and coffee roasters!) to create a memorable morning of yoga with a delicious brunch. These run monthly in London and Bristol, alongside festivals, yoga supper clubs and weekend retreats.

"When we share experiences we feel more connected to those around us"

EXTRACT: One of the best things about coffee, is its ability to bring people together. In coffee shops, round the breakfast table, in the office. Do you find the same thing in yoga?

CLEM: Definitely! When I started the Yoga Brunch Club there was a gap in the yoga world. Runners and cyclists meet and socialise after a training session but in yoga, you just roll up your mat, smile at the person next to you and head home.

There is something very special about practising yoga in a large group and beautiful space. There’s this incredible energy that is created in the room when everyone moves and breathes together. When we share experiences like this we feel more connected to those around us.

This is exactly what is at the heart of my events. We spend so much time online these days and crave human connections. The Yoga Brunch Club’s main purpose is to build a community of like-minded people who can connect face to face.

I often have people attend events on their own and then return each month, which is wonderful. Friendships have formed over the years, new connections made and the community continues to grow through shared passions of yoga, food and great people.

"Yoga teaches us to slow down, to be present and more conscious of our actions... including coffee"

EXTRACT: Let’s talk caffeine. At the roastery, lots of us are into yoga, we’re also unashamed coffee fanatics and no stranger to a caffeine hit or three. Having shared lots of coffees with you this year, I know that you’re also no stranger to caffeine! Lots of people still expect a yoga event to be decaf-only though, tell us why there’s space for coffee in yoga.

CLEM: I am a strong believer that everything is fine in moderation, and that includes caffeine.

If you have attended a Yoga Brunch Club or your looking to join one. You will realise quickly that the food and drinks are just as important as the yoga and there are no rules or restrictions on what you can and can’t eat or drink.

Yoga teaches us how to listen to and build a connection with our bodies, so we can build a much deeper awareness of how we move and how what we put into our body affects how it is going to function.

Society today is fast-paced, there’s never enough time, and we constantly seem to be rushing (I am guilty of this too!). Caffeine gets drawn into this never-ending cycle and can quickly become a habit that we feel guilty about.

Yoga is there to teach us to slow down, reminding us to be present and more conscious of each of our actions rather than going into autopilot.
We can apply this to other areas of our lives, including coffee.

If you love coffee and you choose to have one cup or more a day, rather than mindlessly knocking back cup after cup, make it delicious. Make time to sit down and truly enjoy it and savour it.

For the collaboration with Extract, the coffees were carefully sourced and roasted, skillfully made by baristas, the time, effort and thought that goes into serving each cup hopefully encouraged individuals to take their time to drink and savour it too.

"The food and drinks are just as important as the yoga"

EXTRACT: Food at Yoga Brunch Club is always, amazing. Talk us through your menus.

CLEM: The food is a key part of the experience, I collaborate with very talented chefs and cooks to provide a post-yoga feast, each event is unique and has varied from seasonal British chefs to Sri Lankan, Indian, Vietnamese, Persian, Japanese and middle eastern themed brunches.

When I first started teaching, I ran classes at a community space near my house. I would cook up different themed meals at home and serve them after class in the cafe next door. It was such a lovely way to spend an evening. Yoga and then sitting around a table chatting over delicious, wholesome food. This desire to bring new flavours to each event is one that I love and that has stuck around.

I want people to come away feeling like they have tried something new. That might be yoga or a new dish or cuisine. The food is served in large platters, family-style down long tables, it’s the weekend so no one has to rush off, people leave feeling relaxed and ready for the week.

Shout outs and details....

Massive thanks to Clem for helping us put on such an awesome event and for this blog ❤️ - yogabrunchclub.com

Bakers and Co - Granola gods. You guys smashed it. Food was so SO good - bakersbristol.co.uk

Willow Yoga - For transorming our roastery with those epic mats - willow-yoga.com

Kasia Kiliszek - Photographer extraordinaire. You captured the day perfectly - @kkiliszek

Bristol Food Connections - For bringing the great and good of Bristol together year after year. You guys rock - bristolfoodconnections.com

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