Blog Archives

The opening of the new studio

  1. I opened the studio with all guns blazing. Except they weren’t because the electrician hadn’t been yet!
  2. So, I opened the studio with candles lit. Except they weren’t because NI was having a freak windstorm (like the end of a hurricane) which kept blowing all the candles out!
  3. So, I opened the studio to packed classes. Except they weren’t because the teachers hadn’t really advertised and neither had I as I was too busy creating the space to bother with advertising it!
  4. So, I opened the studio quietly and let it grow organically by telling all my friends and asking them to tell all their friends, and their friends, and so on, that the Stretch NI Studio is OPEN!
  5. So, get spreading the news for me please…


I got the keys!!!!

Today has been pretty momentous! I got the keys to the NEW Stretch NI Studio today! After months of planning (and years of dreaming) I am finally opening a yoga and Pilates studio in my home town…Mum came up with me and, in spite of the dust and dirt, she still feels positive about the place. Then Dad and Chris came up for a nosy and both were impressed with the size and the natural light in the place. They were also full of plans for how to improve the place so I have a feeling that this is going to be a real family affair!

I am doing a big clean-up tomorrow with help from some volunteers at St Vincent de Paul and Chris will be painting up a storm so that the place will be presentable for our 12th September start. Yes, that soon! THIS Monday! The new website (which Chris and I were also working on all through our hols) will be launched on Friday so have a look at to see more details about the studio including class times and teachers.


Late summer sunshine

I know it’s been nearly a month since I blogged but I have been up to my eyeballs with preparations for the NEW Stretch NI Studio which is due to open at 8a High Street, Lurgan, County Armagh on Monday 12th September!

In between trying to organise leases, utilities, props, retail products and a shiny new website to go with the studio I have been trying to make sure that there were other high quality local teachers available to take classes in the studio. So I put a call out and am very pleased with the response from local yoga and Pilates teachers. This means that instead of me running myself ragged trying to do everything (sound familiar??) there will be a full timetable staffed by some great teachers!

Bruce White from Banbridge will be delivering Monday morning’s yoga class; Roslyn Dobson from Portadown will be bringing her morning Pilates sessions to us on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings; Una Moriarty from Lurgan will be doing a Saturday morning session. In the afternoons we have Nina Armstrong and Karen Ingram from Portadown delivering some very interesting classes. In the evenings Karen Wasson from Armagh will be bringing us a Beginners Yoga course on a Monday and a Flow Yoga class on a Thursday; Nina will be delivering another yoga class on a Tuesday and Jane Tucker from Banbridge will be doing a mid-week yoga class on Wednesdays, followed by Lisa Donnelly (one of my Pilates Instructor graduates!).

In the middle of it all I’ll be getting to do some great work with yoga, Pilates and my newly-devised Yoga-Lattes class. This class is a calorie burning, core strengthening combo of yoga, Pilates and cardio moves. It’s like yoga with extra caffeine! I am also doing a 6-week Meditation course which will incorporate some Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction techniques.

I felt like I could do with some of that myself so I took Chris away for our 7-year wedding anniversary to the lovely Channel Islands in order to get some late summer sunshine. I think that I’ll get back to it now, instead of sitting in stressing out about the new studio. Just promise me you’ll come and see it and then I can relax!!

Check out my new FB welcome page!

Instead of having a lovely early night I am once again sitting at my laptop into the wee small hours looking at (mainly) rubbish online. Sometimes, however, I come across a wee gem and this is one I am especially proud of! Through my weekly email from the Yogipreneur I discovered how to create a welcome page for my Stretch NI page on Facebook using Pagemodo and, even if I do say so myself, it looks really professional and I’m proud of myself for doing it. So, if you haven’t popped over to FB please do so now and ‘like’ my page so that I think that all my midnight oil has been worth it. It contains this great shot of Chris I took 2 years ago in Jersey, which just typifies freedom for me.

Now, as of this evening, I have 56 peeps who like me and I’d like to get it up to 100 by the end of August!!! I think it’s achievable, especially if you help me out… At the risk of sounding like a whiny teenager mooning over a boy (yes -basically me throughout the 80s and early 90s), what else should I do to make people ‘like’ me??


August plotting and planning and bootcamping…

I didn’t blog as much as I’d have liked last month but the 2 solid weeks of Pilates Instructor Training preceeded by months of hard work and followed by a week of mooching around wondering what to do with myself meant that blogging was the last thing on my mind. I’d given so much of myself in the Pilates course that I didn’t think I had anything more to say to anyone. But I think I’m rediscovering my voice. I had a lovely day yesterday training Karina of Stressless Solutions in children’s yoga stretches which I am an expert in and which I think I had forgotten about. Then Chris and I sat for hours yesterday evening talking and planning and dreaming about the Stretch NI studio and what this will look like when it gets off the ground this autumn. And now that’s only a month away! So, it’s back to laptop so that my plans for world domination can continue unabated!

One thing I am hoping to do in the new studio is a Stretch NI Body Bootcamp. Basically, this will consist of three 45-minute sessions of yoga and Pilates moves a week combined with dietary advice (not by me who think a Mars Bar is a vegetable but by a real-life dietitian from the Southern Health Trust). This bootcamp will take 7 weeks which will make us all gorgeous just in time for Christmas! But the serious reason for doing a 7 week programme is that the yogis used to say it took 21 days to create a habit so 3 sessions over 7 weeks will give us 21 sessions and lead us into a new way of relating to food and fitness. It’s also much more achievable at this rate rather than 7 sessions a week for 3 weeks. I don’t want this to be a diet or a fitness fad. I want it to lead us into a healthier lifestyle… And, I’ve already started! I am going to be trying the bootcamp principles throughout August and will be reporting back my results. After all, it’s about time I started to practice what I preach! What do you think? Does this sound like something that might interest you?? And would you attend morning classes to make sure you get your 3 sessions a week?? Or does it all sound like too much hassle and you’d just prefer to do a regular ‘Weightwatchers/ Slimming World/ Unislim’ style weigh-in??? Cos that could be arranged!