A Leicestershire village yoga studio which bent over backwards to support its clients after having to close its doors during the pandemic has brought eight new teachers on board in the past year.
Award-winning Yoga Loft in Burbage, near Hinckley, has taken on two internationally-renowned senior yoga teachers, as well as six highly-experienced guest teachers from across the UK to deliver regular workshops throughout the year, designed to improve overall balance and mental health, but also to help support those experiencing post Covid-19 anxiety or daily work and life stresses.
The studio on the top floor of a former hosiery factory in Coventry Road has also taken on a second in-house physiotherapist to help clients recover from injuries and support with chronic conditions alongside yoga, alleviating pressure on NHS services.
Owner Kat Jennings said they were seeing more and more people from the area looking to improve their health and wellbeing through yoga, with many local businesses also showing interest in schemes such as Thrive at Work.
“More than 60 percent of adults say anxiety interferes with their daily lives, according to the Mental Health Foundation, and with the impact of Covid-19, social media and now the cost of living crisis, it’s no surprise more people are looking to yoga to improve their health and wellbeing,” she said.
“I can’t tell you how amazing it is to finally bounce back from the pandemic over the past year and be in the position to grow our team significantly. To able to attract international teachers is fantastic for our clients and a huge thing for our studio.”
New senior yoga instructor Robin Aurora spent 12 years in India at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute and is widely regarded as one of the best in his field. As well as being a Senior Yoga Alliance registered teacher, Robin also has a passion for handstand and travels the globe teaching people how to view the world upside down.
Anna Ashby, author of Restorative Yoga: Power Presence Practice for Teachers and Trainees and one of the very first to teach restorative yoga in the UK after spending 12 years in a yoga ashram in New York, is also on board as a new senior yoga teacher.
“Along with myself, Robin and Anna will teaching our clients, but also the growing number of teachers coming from all over the UK to build on their practice,” said Kat.
“And as we grow our community of teachers, we have attracted some of the best in the UK to deliver empowering workshops in everything from ashtanga to vinyasa flow.”
The studio, which scooped Yoga Studio of the Year at the 2023 national Health, Beauty and Wellness Awards after winning a regional Muddy Stilettos award in 2017, offered just four classes when it opened in 2016. Today, there are more than 20 classes a week in different yoga styles and pilates on offer, as well as yoga retreats.
But it all almost ended in 2020, when Kat was forced to find news ways to bring yoga to her clients, who ranged from babies through to men and women in their seventies.
“When Covid hit, like the rest of our industry, we had to close our doors,” said Slovakian-born Kat, who, along with Robin and Anna, holds Yoga Alliance Professionals senior yoga teacher certification after qualifying to teach in 2010. “It was devastating, especially as we still had all our overheads and insurance to pay.
“But we had built up such great connections and relationships with our yogis, we were able to continue online and ended up a lifeline for many of them.
“The cost of living crisis is now putting particular pressure on our clients, but we are committed to offering physical and emotional support to our growing yoga community. And we are also offering those who want to try yoga out the first class for free.
“There are so many great things happening and we are looking forward to sharing yoga with modern day yogis and those looking for more balance in their lifestyle.”