Read our interview with Yotopia founder, Lisa Campbell on Groomed & Glossy, below.
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INTERVIEW: Lisa Campbell, Founder of Yotopia Fitness Studio
Posted on February 22, 2012
Interview: Kathryn Lewsey
Proof that it’s more than just a phase, yoga’s popularity has continued to increase, to become one of the best ways to keep fit and tone your body. The recently opened yoga and Pilates studio, ‘Yotopia’, situated in Covent Garden, is a fantastic way to practice, relax and de-stress and also offers a brand new form of hot yoga and Pilates – ‘Myo-Fit’.
We caught up with Yotopia’s founder, Lisa Campbell, to find out more…
What makes Yotopia different to other yoga/Pilates studios?
I’ve tried to modernise the image of yoga and take it away from the stereotypical idea of yoga and have made it much more up to date with the branding and the interior. In terms of the actual yoga, we have incorporated the latest scientific research in anatomy and overlaid that on the very traditional style and practice that yoga is.
How and why did you come up with the Yotopia concept?
I’ve always been very keen on sporting activities and extreme sports and I’d always dismissed yoga as being much more static, so I was amazed when I tried it, how great the benefits were. It enhanced my performance in other sports that I was practicing; my body shape actually changed for the better, my diet changed and it transformed my ability to manage stress. I just felt it was something that hadn’t been represented properly to me and I wanted to broaden the interest in yoga to other people.
Yotopia offers ‘Myo-Fit’ yoga and Pilates, why is hot yoga/Pilates deemed as better for the body?
The benefits of practicing in the heat are that it’s a fantastic detox, with the heat and the humidity in the studio you sweat a lot more. Therefore, it’s energising, great for the skin and can offer weight loss, too.
What can beginners expect from a class at Yotopia?
A very steady guided approach, in respect of the teachers. In addition to having up to fifteen years of teaching experience, we put them on a very intensive 160 hour training, to understand the science behind the type of yoga that we’re offering and to really focus on their teaching techniques. So we pride ourselves on teachers being much more aware of how to minimise the risk of injury. They are very sensitive to being able to guide a beginner to what otherwise can be a very complex practice. We break down the class so that beginners understand what’s really going on in their body, through practice.
Is yoga something that you would recommend to anyone trying to get fit and into shape, or for the super flexible only?
This is an interesting myth! My mum started practicing yoga when she was 55 and she was not flexible at all. One of the amazing things about yoga is that people recognise, pretty soon after they’ve started, that it has exactly the same benefits, whatever your flexibility. No matter how flexible or not you are, you come out feeling exactly the same way. It’s a complete myth.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
About eight years now. I’d been very resistant to it, as I thought it was not for my type of person, as I’m quite energetic and intense with my exercise. I had always thought that it wouldn’t challenge me in the way I like to be challenged, when doing fitness activities, so I was amazed when it challenged me more! It’s one of the few activities where you really do get a full body workout, it works every single muscle in your body and the unique benefit is how relaxed you feel and how you can take that sensation into your life.
How often do you practice yoga yourself?
Generally speaking I was practising three times a week, sometimes five. At the moment, I’m practicing two times a week, but as soon as the business starts calming down, I’d like that to be four or five. One of my ambitions was setting up a place on my doorstep, with loads of fantastic teachers. We’ve got the fantastic teachers, it’s on my doorstop, but I can’t find the time to get into the classes! I’m trying to work out the balance.
Are there any plans to open another Yotopia in a different location?
Before setting up this one, I said I’d love to be able to take it out across the country. There are so many things to learn about setting up a business and I don’t want to feel like I’m taking my eye off the ball, on this studio. I don’t want to lose the personal touch, but if the time was right and I could still preserve the important aspects of the business, then I would do.
Yotopia is located at 13 Mercer Street, St. Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2H 9QJ. Classes start at £13.00. For more information visit www.yotopia.co.uk
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