Social Enterprise Spotlight – Edinburgh Community Yoga

Posted: 06 April 2021, in News

Our newest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Lorraine Close and Edinburgh Community Yoga. Edinburgh Community Yoga take the therapeutic benefits of yoga to communities in Edinburgh, ensuring access and inclusion, by working across the cultural, economic and health barriers that inhibit people from taking part. Read and share their Q&A interview below!

Get in contact with Lorraine on

What’s your social and/or environmental mission?
Our social mission at Edinburgh Community Yoga is to take the therapeutic benefits of yoga to communities in Edinburgh, ensuring access and inclusion. We provide a learning environment that is safe and supportive, equip people with the skills to deal with stress, and improve health and mental well-being.

How do you do it?
We achieve this as a not-for-profit organisation by offering a range of yoga programmes in prisons, psychiatric hospitals, with third sector organisations around Edinburgh and with the NHS. We also run public classes, retreats and training in community outreach and trauma informed practice for teachers.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?
As a nurse, I have always been interested in health inequality. I worked in India in Calcutta and in Bhopal, and also in a prison in Glasgow. The combination of these experiences created interest in supporting health promotion in groups who didn’t have equitable access to health opportunity in Scotland.

What are your current projects?
We are currently offering online yoga programmes for Steps to Hope, a recovery charity in Edinburgh, and are starting a new trauma informed class with Spring Project in Midlothian. We have run a really successful project with AAA over the last few months offering online classes for the autistic community.

What exciting things do you have coming up?
We are really looking forward to our next big fundraiser- an online event where we aim to raise 12K by bringing 108 people together to raise £108 each and do 108 sun salutations- basically a yoga sequence. It is a great community event, even though it’s online. Join in if you like!

Who do you want to work with more?
We love working in partnership with other organisations.  I’m really keen to look at ways that we can work with yoga as a tool for developing skills that can support employability, so I would really love to hear from people who work in that field.

What’s your biggest challenge?
Other than COVID-19 resulting in many of our outreach programmes being on hold, balancing the vast amount of work on different projects that is required within the organisation- from setting up new classes, to writing policies and procedures, applying for grants, supporting teachers and dealing with the day to day.

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?
Don’t forget to look at where you started as well as where you want to go, start small and build up with a solid base. Laura and I were juggling everything for a while and it was really hard but it is worth it and it gets easier.

Lorraine Close, Director at Edinburgh Community Yoga