Is Leeds-based running yoga start-up the new Zumba? – Yorkshire Evening Post


Is Leeds-based running yoga start-up the new Zumba?

A Roga workshop at Yoga Hero, Leeds Dock.

A Roga workshop at Yoga Hero, Leeds Dock.

11:14 Thursday 24 December 2015 06:00 Monday 28 December 2015

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On the face of it relaxing mindfulness and heart-pumping distance running don’t exactly go hand-in-hand.

They are, in many ways, at two ends of the health and wellbeing spectrum but the cofounders of a new exercise movement called Roga feel that they meet in the middle.

Founded in Leeds by food and fitness blogger and business consultant Jayne Rodgers and yoga entrepreneur Holly McFee, Roga is a new form of exercise designed to get the whole mind and body fit.

It is designed to both make injury-prone, inflexible runners supple and boost the cardio fitness and stamina of yoga enthusiasts while working on breathing and thought through mindfulness.

It is hoped that the trademarked Roga programme will grow, with plans to train licensed instructors and eventually spread the model nationwide and potentially further like Latin-inspired fitness craze Zumba.

Jayne, who writes the Veggie Runners blog with her daughter, explained that the Roga idea came from noticing a lack of truly integrated ‘yoga for runners’ classes.

A Roga workshop at Leeds Dock.

A Roga workshop at Leeds Dock.

“Roga is a structured and integrated approach to fitness. Each week you have a theme to make you a better and stronger runner and prevent injury while the cardio also helps to strengthen you for yoga,” she said.

“It’s a whole body fitness programme and it’s also got a lot of mindfulness – that really helps people who are running longer distances when they need to focus on positives and not get caught up in negatives about having to run 26 miles.”

The one hour and 15 minute classes start with yoga and mindfulness before focussing on a particular attribute like agility, the core or balance through drills and exercises.

Following sold-out sessions at Sweaty Betty, in the Victoria Quarter, The Tetley, in Hunslet, and at Holly’s Yoga Hero studio, the programme has been refined ahead of the first full eight-week programme which launches on January 10. The sessions will take place weekly at Yoga Hero at Leeds Dock.

A Roga workshop at Leeds Dock.

A Roga workshop at Leeds Dock.

“We’ve spend a lot of time planning it and it’s been really popular. All of our workshops have sold out,” Jayne added.

“What’s been really enlightening has been seeing people, who have felt they didn’t enjoy one or the other of the disciplines, grow to love it because they see how it works with the other one.”

It is hoped that Roga will expand rapidly once the first new instructors are trained in spring 2016, as it follows in the footsteps of Zumba.

The fitness classes, enjoyed regularly by more than 10million people worldwide as of 2010, originated in a Latin-inspired dance class that saw aerobics and Latin fuse in Colombia more than a decade earlier.

First training blocks set for Leeds

Agility, strength, the core, balance and coordination are all focuses of some of the eight introductory Roga sessions.

People of all ages are being invited to the first eight-week course running at Yoga Hero, at Leeds Dock, every Sunday from January 10 at 4.30pm.

The full course of eight sessions, each lasting one hour and 15 minutes, and a takeaway information toolkit costs £70.

For details visit or search for RogaRunYoga on Twitter or Facebook.


Is Leeds-based running yoga start-up the new Zumba? – Yorkshire Evening Post.

Yes to Yoga! | Relished blog |

Yes to Yoga!

Yesterday I attended my very first yoga class, and wanted to share my experience with you all. While I’m sure that groundbreaking results aren’t going to be apparent after just one session, I must say that today I woke up with a bigger smile and enhanced spinal strength! Going into the class, I informed my instructor that I was a beginner. She warmly smiled and told me that most people in attendance were beginners as well. Phew! At least I wouldn’t look like a complete dork.

The class started out fairly easy; we did some basic stretches to warm up our muscles. With the room dimly lit and calming music playing in the background, I immediately felt like I’d found my new hobby. Once our bodies were loose and limber, we moved on to the good stuff. Positions like Downward Dog, Mountain, and Warrior seemed simple enough – so simple, in fact, that I began to question whether or not I was doing them correctly. Downward Dog, perhaps the most recognizable yoga position, is said to boost circulation, build bone density, and eliminate stiffness and back pain. I quickly learned that the greatest challenge was not just nailing the position itself, but ensuring that you’re focusing on the correct muscle as well as maintaining consistent breathing throughout. During Mountain pose, I was almost positive I was doing something wrong – I mean, I was just standing there. I couldn’t quite figure out how such a seemingly passive pose would have any benefits to offer. However, the instructor then informed us that Mountain pose not only improves posture but it also helps balance and clear an individual’s focus, helping to strengthen one’s capacity for concentration. Who knew?

After flowing through repeated positions during what may have been the quickest and most relaxing hour of my life, I found myself in a meditation position. This was by far my favorite part. After noticing a release of tension from my shoulders as well as from the rest of my body, I sat serenely enjoying the music and centering my focus on that moment.

It seems that, with our busy lives, it’s difficult for us to even find the time to breathe deeply and fully. Branching out from my usual routine and trying yoga and meditation showed me that these activities may be the perfect antidote to the stress of daily life, offering the chance to shed that layer of tiredness and step into a refreshing new skin. If you haven’t tried yoga, I’d highly recommend it. Who knows, maybe you’ll find it to be the start of a new hobby, just as I did.

What are some of your favorite exercises that have become a part of your daily or weekly routine?
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Yes to Yoga! | Relished blog | ASOS Marketplace.

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Try out our pre-flight yoga, (we like to call it Floga), to feel at your best before your flight

The relaxing and de-stressing benefits of yoga for many people are well documented. At Gatwick, we offer many services to help you through the airport and now we can add our bespoke Floga routine to help you relax before your flight from Gatwick.

Working with a celebrity yoga guru, Shona Vertue, we’ve created a 20 minute yoga routine especially designed to help get your body prepared for a  long flight. Stretch with Shona as she guides you through the moves in a 20-minute pre-flight yoga video.

The renowned yogi has designed the routine to suit a wide variety of ages and abilities, so that all travellers can get the most out of preparing themselves for a flight, especially a long-haul one. Over the years, Shona has worked with a host of A-listers including Natalie Imbruglia and Lara Stone during her time at Bodyism, and has over 25,000 Instagram followers, making her a real yoga sensation.

We caught up with Shona behind the scenes to find out more about yoga, her life and her inspirations. Read our interview with Shona here

If you’re feeling inspired, then why not enter our competition to be in with a chance of winning a Jawbone UP2 fitness tracker. Simply copy Shona’s pose in the video below and post to our instagram account @gatwickairport, using #floga. Shona explains exactly what to do here:

Don’t forget that you can buy Jawbones, Fitbits and other wearable tech direct from Dixons Travel at Gatwick.