Ben and Kristina here! We are very excited to open the doors to the very first and only family wellbeing centre in Northamptonshire - Soo Yoga. Our centre will be offering all styles of yoga and wellbeing classes for all ages and abilities. We have 7 beautiful studios including the first professionally equipped Hot Yoga studio in Northampton; Dance, Cycling, and HIIT studios; and a Meditation room. There will also be Creche facilities available and a health cafe - Soo Greens.
This project took 2 years in the making and this is how it all began…..
Our story started from Kristina’s passion for Yoga. She has been a yoga devotee for nearly 20 years and credits her regular yoga exercises during her professional and TV dance career which kept her away from injuries and provided mental focus.Kristina finished her 8 years career on “Strictly come dancing” and had our little girl Milena. She was desperate to get back in shape after giving birth and knew that yoga would be the best exercise to rebuild her strength and ability to come back to dancing. Sadly there was no Hot yoga studio (heated to 38 C to recreate climate of India where yoga is originated) in Northampton, so she ended up having to travel an hour away in order to take her preferred style of yoga class. This made her think of how to bring yoga to her hometown so everyone, regardless of age, abilities and gender, can benefit from this ancient form of exercise. So that's when the conversation started....Myself and Kristina were both in professions where it had a limited shelf life. Dancing and playing Rugby at a professional level for 20 plus years takes it's toll on your body. We both knew that a transition into working life would be challenging, especially when you have been in careers that you sacrificed so much for, like education, apprenticeships, climbing the corporate ladder etc.When I finished Rugby back in 2011, I followed a passion of mine - which took me over to the states - to set up my anti-bullying foundation called StandUp, then launched in the UK in 2012. I dedicate my spare time into raising the awareness of what bullying does long-term and support those who do real-world work around the anti-bullying space. I am proud of all of my achievements but the biggest and the most important reward in my life are my 3 beautiful girls Harriette, Isabelle and Milena, who are my everything and I love beyond words. All my girls love sports and being active and when Kristina mentioned about creating a family wellbeing centre where mums can do yoga, the dads can do circuit training, the kids can do drama and dance, or everyone can enjoy a family class it all came together in realisation that every family around can benefit from a wellbeing centre where all of those activities exist.
The Next Chapter...
So the next chapter was here, a blank page ready to be written. The name Soo Yoga was thought up by Kristina after our initial conversation and then the process began. How do we do this? Who will help us? How much will it cost? What’s the business model going to look like? What order does this all go in? Many questions we were constantly thinking about and so we immersed ourselves into creating a business model which would suit all ages, families and capabilities.
Creating a family wellbeing centre that can provide all services, like our cafe which caters to all types of dieting including vegan; Crèche; Yoga; Hot Yoga; Pilates; HIIT; Spin; Physiotherapy; Beauty; Nutrition Treatments; and many more, took a lot of time, research and effort.
It was very important for us to provide a service for everyone - from “stay at home parents” so they have freedom to enjoy our Centre while the children can be in the crèche; to the millennials for pre and post work/school classes with express workouts and relaxation through yoga or meditation; as well as provide the senior generation with classes such as chair yoga for mobility issues, and senior dance/fitness classes because enjoying life and exercising has no age limit!
We also created over 15 different family classes which are tailored to suit every age from babies to teens; and our very own unique children’s yoga where kids can learn valuable techniques to cope with pressure and stress in a fun and loving environment.
Soo Yoga is also home of Kristina’s Dance and Drama Academy “Bespoke Ballroom”. Along with her incredible team of teachers, Kristina created exciting classes for babies, toddlers and kids.
Needless to say it has been a challenging road to put this business model together - but it was exciting! The real challenge was finding the right premises, which took over two years! A painful process but we managed to get there in the end and secured a unit which could provide the space and as importantly car parking. Having spent 5 months ripping out and refurbishing the unit to become Soo Yoga was beyond challenging and very hard work - no one said it would be easy but it was definitely worth it!
We really hope you like what we've created and that we can make a little difference to our community!
Thank you, Ben & Kristina