About the Project:
We need to raise £40,000 to complete the project and keep it ticking over for the next few months, there is up to 50% match funding available from the council for community projects and other funding sources we are also tapping into.
These spaces are so important, they build communities and help us all deal with the stresses we face in everyday life. They allow us to step away for a brief while, to re-connect to ourselves, to find out what needs healing and have that bit of time and space just for us, where we can leave everything behind, if but for a moment.
From the moment we first saw the place we knew that there was so much potential in both the space and how we could transform it.
We have done it before:
We received some beautiful feedback from the first place, many people that said that this is what the Yoga Loft was for them and this is why it is missed; it was a place where people could take off their shoes and leave their troubles at the door.
"The aesthetics of the studio take you from the busy streets of Plymouth to a fragrant Balinese temple, I can't rate this place enough! Namaste" - Emily
"I've been coming to the Yoga Loft for over 3 years and it enriches my life no end. ... The space is beautiful and calm and you always come out feeling SO much better than when you went in. It's also a very friendly environment, no egos here and the community class (pay what you can) on a Monday is a great bonus. Long live the yoga loft!" - Sally
"This place is unique in Plymouth ...The atmosphere of the space feels calming, friendly and open the moment you walk into the studio. With clean wooden floorboards, soft green & white hues, the smell of nag champa and beautiful hand carved wooden seating, this place is truly stunning. The teaching is excellent and the Yoga loft offer a decent range of different types of Yoga classes and workshops for beginners and advanced Yogis." - Katie
This is also our aim for the new place, to create this Zen space in one of the most hectic and troubled parts of the city, like a lotus flower, emerging from the mire, completely transforming not only the building but our little part of Union Street once again creating a little haven in the heart of the city, a street crying out for transformation. Our ethos has always been to ensure these classes are accessible to everyone and to ensure our students are seen.
When the studio sadly closed in 2017 and we began dismantling the structures we had put in, the oak flooring, the screens, the wooden benches etc I was tempted to sell the materials and move on, but something stopped me, it didn't feel right, it felt like it belonged to Plymouth and when the time was right we would bring it back.
For me yoga has always been a place, a place to pause and a place to transcend the duality of life. I truly fell in love with yoga when I discovered a place between breaths, in a shoulder stand in my living room there was a pause between the exhalation and the inhalation that felt like it lasted forever, in that instant I felt connected to the universe, I felt the insignificance of my tiny existence and for me this was discovering the magic of yoga.I can honestly say that I do not have this experience every time I practice yoga, but throughout the last 20 or so years that I have been practicing yoga it has been a lifeline for me, a place to find stillness in the midst of confusion and to reconnect to myself.
When I opened the first studio my aim was to share this love of yoga with Plymouth and so we became Plymouth's first dedicated yoga studio. We created a beautiful zen space in the heart of Plymouth and did our best to keep true to the experience of yoga that we as teachers had experienced.
It was a very sad day for us when we had to close our doors in the summer of 2017 and definitely a time of soul searching for me.
The yoga world has changed a lot since those early days where it was relatively unheard of or unpracticed, at least in Plymouth.
In many ways it has become more commercial and mainstream and you can end up spending hundreds of pounds on yoga paraphernalia if you so choose, but in essence the heart of yoga is still the same, it is a space that can lead us to a state of greater connectedness to not only ourselves but to nature and can give us that moment to pause in our vastly busy lives and connect to the things that are truly important to us.
The New Venue:
There were a lot of little things that lead us to the place we are today, to the location, to our current team and there have been a lot of changes along the way as well. There have been times that I have been tempted to give up on the project, but every time I have felt that way, something has happened that has inspired me to keep going, to take the next step and keep moving forward, so here we are.
The change of use from a pub (one of the most notorious pubs on Union Street) to a yoga studio shows the changing times in our city, and all of the little venues popping up in and around the area are breathing new life into the area and creating an edgy and upcoming area.Lots of these changes are being initiated by the people of Plymouth, those of us who are either from Plymouth, or have lived here a long time.
Plymouth is my home, I have lived here for over 20 years, it is the city that my children grew up in and doing my bit to make my city the best city I can is quite a rewarding endeavor.
This is our aim to bring this space once again to the heart of Plymouth. Our new location on Union Street is fitting for this in so many ways. The word Yoga itself means 'Union' and its position on the Octagon reminds us of the eight limbs of yoga, of which 'Asana' or the physical practice of yoga postures is just one.
What the money will be used for:
Primarily the money that we raise will be used to complete the build and keep us ticking over until the doors open.
What's been done so far:
We are about half way through ... we have taken the non structural elements out of the old pub and have the framework for the new layout in place.
A major rip out of the old bar area, old toilets, stud walls, ancient wiring and old floors.
Plans have been drawn, redrawn and drawn some more for the interior layout.
Pink board (fire board) has been put on the ceilings and walls (in keeping with building regulations)
The stud work for the new structures have begun to take shape
All of the new wiring is in place in the main areas
In short we have the skeleton structure of the studio in place
What still needs to be done:
Laying of the beautiful oak floors
-Initial laying of latex to even out the floors
-Laying of Plywood to fix the flooring to
-Screwing the beautiful oak panels in place
-Plastering of the walls and ceilings
-Painting of the walls and ceilings
-Two new toilets installed - complete renovation of toilet areas
-Strip lights in the main studio area (sample pictured above)
-Ceilings, floor, cubbies and hooks in the changing area
-Renovation - ceiling, floors, lighting, window in the therapy room.
-Ceilings and lighting in the reception area
-Construction of shelving in the reception area
-Lighting in the reception area
-Lighting in the corridor
-Flooring in corridor
-Painting the exterior of the building
We welcome you to get on board with this project in any way that you can to support our planned opening, early December 2019.