We Are Wellness offers a balanced approach to health and wellbeing in urban Leeds, with classes, therapies, retreat experiences and more.
Health and fitness has definitely been having a bit of a moment recently. Fad diets abound, and it’s nigh on impossible to scroll idly through your Instagram feed without being confronted with dozens of guilt-inducing posts showing gym bunnies in various states of physical perfection. Take heart, though – Leeds’ independent yoga and wellness centre We Are Wellness is taking the wellness industry on, by creating a supportive community where everyone feels welcome.
We Are Wellness opened in January 2016, and in its two and a half year life so far has made big waves. This urban sanctuary is based at the majestic Hilton Court in Headingley, working on an ethos of making wellbeing holistic, social and inclusive for people from all walks of life – or, in their words: ‘Yoga, fitness, therapies […] and a feeling of being part of something with friendship and fun!’.
The brainchild of accomplished yogi Helena Byles and savvy business owner Stephanie Green, We Are Wellness pulls together several fitness disciplines taught by expert instructors, a fantastically wide range of therapies, and beautiful rentable spaces all in a tranquil setting. As someone who practises and loves yoga (but definitely feels the shame of being unable to hold a good pigeon pose), this sounded too good to miss.
I met Stephanie to find out what’s driving this venture, and on arriving was gobsmacked by the mansion that’s home to this wellness centre. Ornate floor tiles, intricate mouldings and an impressive stained glass cupola provide a really luxurious surround for the peaceful studios and therapy rooms, and busy Otley Road seems miles away at the end of a green garden.
With plenty of experience in the wellbeing sector, this team are all too familiar with the common barriers people experience when they toy with the idea of improving their health and are doing everything possible to dismantle them. Whether it’s self-consciousness, perceived lack of ability, psychological barriers, worries about not knowing what to expect or simply life’s commitments, the team are working around them so everyone can access wellness!
The business has also been removing barriers to wellness freelancers, providing flexible working spaces for therapists and teachers to develop their own businesses. Stephanie says ‘We started to realise how many people self-employed in wellness were around, struggling for spaces and the feeling of being part of a team. So we started to build our wellness family. We have lots of individuals, including mums who might otherwise not be able to work, running their businesses through We Are Wellness. We all support one another in the hope that we remove the lonely freelancer feeling from this industry’.
Achieve Your Goals
We Are Wellness offers the whole package of health. Their approach is all about the journey of wellness, which is not a straight path. So if you feel you need a helping hand to get started they can help; if you have specific injuries or health concerns, they probably have an expert who can help; if you want to achieve goals, they can help; or if you just want a pamper they can help with that, too!
Stephanie explains “We all start at a different point with wellness. It’s our job to find out what works for the individual and build on that. Just get in touch.”
The positivity is palpable at We Are Wellness, and for this fitness part-timer the studio is a really exciting opportunity to get involved and support a growing Leeds business with some serious wellbeing credentials and an aim to make a difference. If you’ve been thinking of trying your hand at a yoga or pilates class, tackling a physical or mental wellness issue, moving towards personal goals, or just getting a pamper, I say there’s no time like the present. Check them out – I can almost guarantee you’ll find a service that suits you, and it could well be the start of something beautiful!
(Please note, this article was originally written by Emma Chaplin in April 2016 and updated 20 August 2018 by Helena Byles.)