Erica Quam

Yoga Teacher | Swim Coach | Leadership Coach

Hi there, I'm Erica. I grew up in Roanoke, Virginia. I swam in college at Indiana University, and spent 15 years as a collegiate swimming coach - most recently as the Head Women's Swimming Coach at Washington State University.

Kerry and I landed in Bellingham, Washington in 2011. We had great jobs at WSU and were in positions many people dream of - at the Division 1, Pac-12 elite level. Yet, we both knew that there was more we were supposed to do.

Although we weren't exactly sure exactly what we'd be doing we were very clear on the where.  Bellingham is home!

I love this community...and all of the things I get do to stay active here.  Kerry and I started mountain biking in 2016 and I began paddling a surfski in spring of 2019.  Now, I'm totally hooked on both!


What do you do at Prime?

I wear a few different hats and play several different roles here at Prime...which I love.  It keeps me happy, busy, and fulfilled!

I TEACH YOGA

I teach lyengar Yoga classes and workshops here at Prime.

I'M A SWIM COACH

Since my background is in collegiate swimming, I spend a limited amount of time offering stroke technique work for masters swimmers and triathletes through video stroke analysis, private one-on-one coaching, and stroke clinics for groups.  Contact me directly to get all the details.

I'M A LEADERSHIP COACH

My passion is working with athletic coaches to help them develop leadership skills both on and off the field.  I facilitate Women's Coaching Summits each spring and summer here at the Prime Sports Institute.  I lead a year-round mastermind group for a select group of coaches that includes group calls and one-on-one coaching with me.  I facilitate an online mentorship program for coaches - called the Coaches Mentorship Club - that includes strategy training, group coaching, as well as an online private forum so coaches can get consistent support and encouragement all season long.  

I HELP OUR TEAM HERE AT PRIME

My 'behind-the-scenes' focus is on team development at the Prime Sports Institute. I'm passionate about helping groups create a positive team environment where people can communicate clearly, work through challenges effectively, and function at a higher level than they could alone.


When & How did you get into yoga?

I started taking yoga when I coached at WSU.  It was my personal self care twice a week.  I experienced such profound results, I decided to incorporate two yoga sessions into our weekly training schedule - as a way to prevent injuries, improve posture and balance, and relieve some of the stress and pressure that comes along with being a D1, Pac-12 student athlete.

I started teaching a couple of small classes in Pullman and then moved to Bellingham to begin a 4-year apprenticeship with Ingela Abbott at Yoga Northwest. I completed my Introductory lyengar Yoga certification in the fall of 2015.  I also teach a Level 1 Beginner Yoga class at Yoga Northwest on Tuesdays in addition to my classes here at Prime.

What's your approach/philosophy to yoga and why does it work?

I believe that most people in general need to slow down and listen more than they need to speed up and plow forward.  This is especially true for athletes.  

One of my favorite quotes about how yoga can help athletes:

"Yoga will make you a better athlete. Even if you never do touch your toes, gaining flexibility, balance, and whole-body strength will improve your form, efficiency, and power. Yoga’s approach to concentration and breath awareness will improve your mental focus and mental endurance - the intangibles that become so important at the end of a long training session or race.” 

Yoga can be a great way to break the patterns of training, explore imbalances in your body, and find ways to strengthen while maintaining length.  I enjoy teaching athletes who may have never done any yoga before and people who don't consider themselves to be flexible.  I love helping everyone experience the benefits of yoga and explore the many ways you can incorporate into your training and life.