Tag: studio by YOTN

Bringing zen to Mackie’s Corner

Posted on by Alex Kirtley

Local yoga teacher, Louise Edwards, has opened the doors of her first independent yoga studio, Studio by YOTN, inside Sunderland’s historic Mackie’s Corner.

With January just around the corner, Louise Edwards is preparing for what she hopes will be a flourishing first full year of business – at a time when improving health and wellbeing is at the top of many people’s resolutions lists.

A qualified yoga teacher with nearly a decade of experience, Louise was one of eight new tenants to move into Sunderland’s iconic Grade II listed landmark, Mackie’s Corner, this autumn.

Her unit is one of 16 new creative workspaces – together known as ‘The Co.llective’ – designed and built by Sunderland-based developer, Kirtley Co, as part of a multi-million action plan to restore the much-loved site.

After years spent teaching yoga on a freelance basis and on the side of a full-time job, Louise, who hails from Washington, decided to embark on a self-employed journey and set up her own venture – Studio by YOTN.

She joined forces with Kirtley Co, who were on the lookout for a wellness business to join Mackie’s Corner, and officially opened for business, with an aim of creating a relaxed, comfortable and inclusive space for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the benefits of yoga.

“When I started looking for a space to share my classes, I had no intention of putting down roots in a city centre,” said Louise, who was teaching yoga on the side of a full-time job when her search for a yoga studio began.

“It just wasn’t part of my vision. But when Alex showed me around the unit inside Mackie’s Corner, I was sold.

“I’m very gut-led and I had a good feeling about it from the moment I stepped inside. Everything about it – from the high ceilings and big windows to the exposed brickwork – caught my attention and felt right. I knew it was the place I wanted to be.

“I handed my notice in at my job, took the leap and the rest is history. It was empowering, terrifying and exciting all at the same time, but the team at Kirtley Co were a fantastic support and made the whole process so easy.”

Today, the studio’s varied and growing timetable offers a range of classes, all of which are designed to strengthen the body and relax the mind.

Popular classes include Classic Flow and Core Flow – which focus on improving core strength, balance and flexibility using traditional vinyasa sequences and classic yoga poses – along with Yin Yang and Mellow Flow, which encourage gentler movement and include dedicated time to meditation and breathwork.

Louise has also developed her very own Sculpt class, which blends deep yoga stretches and targeted Pilates-based exercises for an invigorating experience that increases the heart rate, works the muscles and boosts endorphins.

“It was important to me that Studio by YOTN offered a mix of experiences for all kinds of people – from experienced yogis to complete beginners,” said Louise.

“Yoga can be intimidating. People think you have to look a certain way, be super flexible and take the classes really seriously to be good at it, but that’s not the case.

“It was always a goal of mine to create a laid-back space, where people of all ages, shapes and sizes can be themselves, feel comfortable and have fun – regardless of their ability or whether or not they fit the stereotypical yoga mould.”

Drawing on her experience and training in reiki and crystal healing – and in a bid to shine a light on the importance of mental health – Louise also offers a range of spiritual workshops and holistic sessions to improve wellbeing.

These include New Moon and Full Moon workshops – which include a mix of guided meditation rituals, soft yoga poses and breathwork practices – and relaxing Chakra MOT sessions, centred around guided meditation, reiki and the use of crystals to quiet the mind, cleanse the aura and balance the chakras.

“Mental health is a big focus within the studio and all classes incorporate a degree of relaxation, mindfulness and breathwork,” said Louise.

“Yoga has helped me through some dark times in my life and I’ve seen first-hand the benefits it can have on a person’s wellbeing, but I’m also very spiritual, which is why I wanted to offer holistic, energy-focused sessions, too.

“The feedback has been really positive and I’m looking forward to offering more of these in the coming months.”

Alex Kirtley, MD at Kirtley Co, added: “We’re delighted to have Studio by YOTN in Mackie’s Corner. The studio has such great energy and offers an exciting and varied timetable of classes for everyone. A must-visit for anyone wanting to better their health and wellbeing.”

Classes at Studio by YOTN take place in the evenings from Monday and Friday and in the mornings during weekends, however, Louise hopes to offer daytime classes in the New Year and into 2024.

Find Studio by YOTN at Room 8 (2nd floor), The Co.llective, Mackie’s Corner, Sunderland SR1 1TX. For more information, or to book a class, visit Studio by YOTN’s Instagram page (@studio_by_yotn) or visit https://goteamup.com/p/7586345-louise-edwards/c/schedule?date=2023-12-15

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