This Wear it with Pride segment features Chelsea Baker, a Yoga Instructor in Cheltenham. We have known Chelsea for a while, she helped us during the first lockdown and allowed us to shoot our Bamboo Collection at her studio. She also features in our 2021 Spring Summer Magalogue, giving you tips and tricks on the best yoga poses to do everyday!
How did you get into Yoga?
I started going to yoga classes when I lived in Australia in 2016 – not long ago at all! My dad had very recently passed away, and I was looking for a way to exercise and keep my mind off things! It was something that just immediately made me feel better. My amazing teacher would read us snippets of inspiring yoga texts, and the relaxation at the end would have me walking out of the studio feeling pretty wonderful! I knew I wanted to teach and share what I had found with others right from then. I remember thinking most of all, I wish I had this when I was a teenager!
Why is yoga so beneficial?
The physical part of yoga is great for both our bodies and our minds. Stretching releases tension in the body, which can build up over time – especially when we are sat down all day or experiencing stress.
Yoga postures can build strength and flexibility, whilst its philosophical background and the focus on the breath is what sets it aside from other exercise classes. When we focus on our breath, either moving from one posture to another or trying to stay in a posture for a bit longer, we are aware of the present moment. As we build this awareness, we become much more in tune with our bodies, and it can help to quiet our busy minds.
The real benefit is when we see this mindful awareness come into play when we’re going about our daily lives, not just on our yoga mat!
How long have you been teaching?
In 2016, I went to India to complete my yoga teacher training. This was where I learnt more about yoga philosophy, which changed my outlook on life for the better.
I returned to the UK in 2017, ready and raring to teach. I was very fresh off the yoga boat! Since then, I have continued to take training classes, as there is always so much more for me to learn. I have trained in teaching yoga to teenagers, those with anxiety, eating disorders and trauma. My real passion is the positive effect yoga can have on our mental well-being.
When did you decide to launch your Yoga studio?
I had the opportunity to launch my studio last year, which was so exciting. We opened Bloom in August 2020, after the first lockdown. I wanted to create a space that was, most of all, welcoming and inclusive.
I have so often heard people say that they don’t go to yoga because they aren’t flexible enough, find studios intimidating or, worst of all, that they don’t have the right clothes!! It is so important to me that yoga and wellness are accessible to all, regardless of body type, age, background or clothes that you wear! Yoga can be done anywhere, wearing anything, by anyone.
Bloom is a space that offers classes in yoga, dance, fitness, meditation and other things that help us feel good in mind, body and soul! We regularly run special events, and we have a café downstairs where you can chat after/before class! We also have a lovely treatment room from where therapists practice massage, acupuncture, reiki and more!
When the world returns to normal, I am so looking forward to running social events at Bloom such as film nights and art workshops! Community and connection is what keeps us humans going, and is at the heart of our studio.