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New Business

Upward Frog Yoga H

aving been brought up in a home where her mother practised yoga, Emma Gartside (pictured right) has had varying degrees of connection to the practice throughout her life but it was only when her son had grown up that she focused on it seriously. “Until then I really just did it as a means of stretching but it has become more of a lifestyle. For me, now, it’s about a connection with my breathing and feeling more peaceful and accepting of things around me.”

These explanations can come occasionally across as meditation which wouldn’t be an entirely wrong conclusion to jump to, “It can be that for some people but for me it’s about a connection with my breathing and feeling more peaceful and accepting of things around me.”

If you visit the company’s website you’ll see a dizzying variety of yoga practices described but it’s nothing to be intimidated by. Emma believes that the most important thing isn’t the type of yoga you are practising but the person who is teaching it. We spoke to Emma at her new studio called “Upward Frog “Much of the difference is in the teachers. There are two of us Yoga” on Chestergate, right by the Taxi Rank. Naturally we here at the moment but as the studio grows we will get more wanted to know what she was up to.. teachers in.” “I lived in Stockport before moving to London and when I came back here 18 months ago I looked around for a yoga So, you’ve read this far. £24 for up to eight beginners lessons? studio and was amazed that there wasn’t one. In London Go on... Go on... It could be life changing. they are everywhere. I looked for places where I could teach - church halls and so on, but there wasn’t much available so I thought it might be time to go for it and open my own studio.” The place she found was perfect for what she had in mind. Other than investing in a new floor “VERY important” not much else has needed to be done to the building and she was able to open after just a couple of weeks. But the people of Stockport will probably be asking, what exactly is yoga? “A lot of people think that it’s elitist, that it’s something other people do. My aim with these classes is to make people feel comfortable about coming to yoga.” Another misconception is that it’s not a physically demanding activity and while, as Emma says, “It’s not lying down and chilling out for an hour,” it is something anyone can tackle. “You only need to be able to get down on the floor and get back up again. My oldest student is 80, he only started 18 months ago and he can stand on his head. “Some people say ‘I’m too fat’ or ‘’I’m too inflexible’ but those are exactly the reasons you should come! ‘I can’t touch my toes’, well come to yoga, you probably will in a few weeks.” As such Upward Frog is very focussed on the beginner. Experienced yoga practitioners have gravitated to the studio since it opened but there is a greater challenge out there and to tackle that Upward Frog have an ongoing Beginners offer of a month’s access to all the Beginners’ classes for just £24. “That would be a maximum of eight classes at three quid a go, which is unheard of” Emma explains. A beginners class would cover all the things that would be covered in a regular class but Emma (or Emma’s colleague Claire Morgan) would take more time to talk about how to set up a pose and more time is made available for people to ask questions. A notable aspect of the Upward Frog operation is its flexibility. From 6.45am ‘before work’ classes that they have introduced on Wednesday mornings, through bespoke one-on-one sessions to the corporate events that have just started in which employers pay for or subsidise yoga sessions for their staff. Some people might still be asking, ‘yes but what exactly is yoga?’ but it seems the answer is different things to different people. Emma referred to it becoming a lifestyle for her and when asked how that manifests itself, she explains, “Some of my students say it happens instantly, for some it takes longer but it’s about your connection to yourself. It helps you deal with difficult situations outside your practice.”

39 Chestergate, SK1 1LZ 0161 537 2731 www.upwardfrog.yoga

Profile for TOTALLY STOCKPORT

Totally Stockport Magazine Issue 8  

Showcasing all the great things happening in Stockport Town centre, this month; Tramp - Produce Hall - Martin Kemp - The Frogs are coming -...

Totally Stockport Magazine Issue 8  

Showcasing all the great things happening in Stockport Town centre, this month; Tramp - Produce Hall - Martin Kemp - The Frogs are coming -...

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