Angela Ross is the driving force behind Yoga Blackpool and, last week, she opened a brand new yoga studio in Bispham (above the RBS on the corner of Red Bank Road/Promenade).
Angela has been teaching in Blackpool for the last three years; she started offering sessions for friends but then has gradually built up her practice and out of that Yoga Blackpool was born, however, this is the first time she has had her own dedicated premises and she’s keen for it to become a home for authentic yoga practice in the area.
Originally from London, she moved to Blackpool in 2007, after years of living in Liverpool. Her yoga teacher of five years there was her key inspiration.
“Everything was right, the venue, her, the authenticity, the challenge – the whole experience is really important with yoga and sometimes that’s difficult to find. I didn’t have a teacher for a long time because I just felt disappointed by the practice that I was experiencing. I found a place in Manchester where I did a year-long pre-cursor to teacher training course and that experience exposed me to a lot of different styles – I found that opened up yoga to me in a different way.
Then I had my first child and I thought yeah I’ll carry on with my teaching, but I didn’t get out of my pyjamas for the first few months of having a baby – I don’t know how some women do it! So it wasn’t until after my second child when I decided to pursue teaching again. I found myself consumed by babies – my life was so much about them and so to be transported back to that world was amazing. I trained at a great centre in Hebden Bridge. As soon as I started training, I started teaching and some people thought that was bonkers but I’m a really practical person so it was helpful for me. The great thing about that course is that it is non-dogmatic so it’s not one voice leading you; you get a broad range of teaching styles and so you’re able to question it and find your own voice through it – for me that’s really important.
Yoga Blackpool offers an authentic experience – it’s not about getting fit or losing weight, it’s so much more than that. You need to practice using the breath – I want to educate people that unless you’re breathing and moving together then you’re not doing yoga – everyone can do it – it’s not about the tight pants and the crazy back bends; this should feel like a safe space, somewhere you’re not judged, a place for health.
Yes there are physical benefits – strength, joint mobility, injury healing, but there’s the whole other side of it where you’re going to be able to live your life better. You can do a yoga class and you can come away feeling like you’ve done something good for yourself but actually nothing really changes. I’m not saying everybody, but a lot of people are unhappy, have got problems in their lives with their health or with their relationships and so if you do yoga regularly and start to be kinder to yourself – how you treat yourself in your class or in your own personal practice – that becomes how you treat yourself in your personal life and that has a knock on effect to your relationships.
Everyone communicates yoga practice in a different way and so it’s been really important for me to bring the right people on board with the studio. My practice is very much rooted in Hatha flow which is old-school with lots of mini flows, it’s not one long sweaty sequence where you’re feeling the burn – I’m gonna bore people to death about the breath. Charlotte and Nicola’s approach, who also teach here, is more focussed on static poses. I know both these teachers, I know their practice, I trust them and I know they will be safe.”
YB offer seven classes a week during days and evenings and Angela is going to build the range of classes, workshops and events on offer including acro-yoga (combining acrobatics with yoga), Yin Yoga (seated, kneeling or lying, using lots of equipment and holding poses for a long time), Keyotan (chanting and singing) plus Gong Baths (blissing out to the vibrations of an enormous gong). She also hope to continue to run the very popular Yoga + Sounds sessions (with John Tree that previously ran out of Bootleg Social) in the new studio. She also hopes to be able to support mums and babies through pre and post natal yoga practice, she loves working on a one to one basis and in small groups and so hopes anybody who is even vaguely interested will make contact.
“I feel really lucky to be here. I really hope that people will support the studio, that people will check out the website, come and have a look at the studio; I love hanging out here and so hope that others will do too; I’m trying to offer something a little bit more than a class at the gym and I hope people will see that.”
You can just turn up to any of the weekly classes, all last 1 hour, 15 minutes and cost £6 but there’s also a loyalty card scheme so if you attend nine classes then your tenth class is free.
For more information visit the Yoga Blackpool website.
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