Founder Louise Jackson worked in fashion for ten years, for companies including Burberry and Net-A-Porter. She discovered yoga four years ago and began practicing more regularly when she started suffering with anxiety. “Yoga helped alleviate my anxiety and the physical symptoms that came with it. My muscles would tighten up so much I needed to stretch out every day and so yoga became a huge part of my life. Yoga has so many benefits for our mental and physical wellbeing that I wanted to share it with as many people as possible, so I decided to train as a yoga teacher.” Travelling to India to train in ashtanga and vinyasa yoga teaching, she’s since completed trainings in pregnancy and yin yoga too.
Before moving to Leyton three-and-a-half years ago Louise was living in Walthamstow. “I was looking to buy my first flat in the Walthamstow area, but got priced out so started looking in Leyton. I got the keys to my flat on my 30th birthday! I love Leyton and love that everyone who lives here does as well. There’s such a strong sense of community.”
Since March Louise has been teaching yoga classes at multi-use space Host of Leyton but owning her own studio was always the plan, and Francis Road her ideal location. “This street is the centre of the community, but I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find a property big enough. I found 187 Francis Road and knew it was right from the moment I walked in.”
When Louise first clapped eyes on the unit it was a long way from the super-zen, super-chilled white space she’s planning but, having renovated her flat last year, she was excited to take on a new project. “The property is an old shop, which is in a bit of a state. The ceiling and flooring need replacing and the walls need to be plastered and painted before it becomes a shiny new yoga studio.”
A Pinterest trawl for typography ideas led Louise to the studio’s name. “I saw the word pause and knew instantly it was what I should call the studio. Our lives are so hectic, especially in London, and I want the studio to be a sanctuary. Somewhere people can take a pause from everyday life and focus on themselves for an hour without feeling guilty. It’s so important that we do this on a regular basis, to give ourselves the chance to reset and re-balance.”
Both yoga newbies and advanced practitioners will find something to suit. “Yoga is for everyone. And I truly mean that. Some studios can feel quite intimidating, especially if you’re new to the world of yoga and pilates. At Pause, I want to create a relaxed and friendly environment where people feel comfortable attending any class.”
With space for up to twelve students per class Pause will offer yoga classes in a variety of styles and for all levels, plus barre and pilates. There’ll be a variety of payment options, including class packs and memberships, introductory offers and a weekly donation-based community class.
“I’m in the process of building the schedule and putting together a timetable that will appeal to everyone. I want Pause Studio to be at the heart of the community, offering a great selection of classes and making Francis Road a destination spot where people can do a yoga class at Pause, then go for brunch at Marmelo and buy a book from Phlox or a bunch of flowers from Edie Rose.”