Stockport yoga instructor leads fight to lift ban on indoor classes

A yoga instructor has launched a campaign to lift the “unfair” Level 3 ban on indoor classes.

Heidi Sanderson, who runs the Hot Lotus Wellness Hub at Pearl Mill, Bredbury in Stockport, Greater Manchester, is fighting what she calls a “vague and confusing” decision.

As Greater Manchester is at level 3, studio yoga classes are prohibited.

Thus, the mother of a Heidi, 49, is leading a new campaign launched by the British yoga community in the north to reopen studios.

Almost 8,000 people have so far signed a parliamentary petition launched last week by Heidi and other members of the UK Yoga Collective.

Stockport yoga instructor Heidi Sanderson is leading the fight to reopen indoor classes.
Heidi Sanderson runs the Hot Lotus Wellness Hub at Pearl Mill in Bredbury.

“Peaceful warrior” Heidi, who runs the studio with her husband Hugh and employs 14 people, calls on the government to review the “group exercise” classification.

She also says the ban is impacting the £ 926million industry which employs 16,400 people in more than 4,900 studios across the country.

While gyms and health clubs of all skill levels can operate with Covid compliance precautions in place, owners of yoga studios like Heidi are playing a “endless and stressful” game of closures with little hope. ‘open until February of next year.

Heidi said, “We have a real community here at Hot Lotus and our students are devastated that once again we cannot open our doors and welcome them to practice yoga which for many offers tremendous stress relief because it supports both mental and physical well-being.

“We are tracking perhaps the highest levels of Covid compliance. It is a devastating situation.

“I invested every penny in Hot Lotus and even sold my house to set it up two years ago, so I’m really worried about the future for myself and for all the studios in the UK.”

A yoga class at the Hot Lotus Wellness Hub at Pearl Mill in Bredbury.

An estimated 460,000 people participate in yoga classes each week and before Covid Heidi had 700 active members and 40 classes per week.

At its peak, his studio had 2,800 one-on-one bookings per month, with its youngest student at 14 and oldest at 76.

Hot Lotus also won Most Promising New Company at the 2019 Stockport Business Awards.

The British Wheel of Yoga, the UK’s national governing body under Sport England, supports the campaign’s call for a review.

Vice President Gillian Osborne said, “Yoga has therapeutic physical and mental benefits that go beyond those offered by regular physical activity.

“We believe this decision merits reconsideration.”

You can sign the petition here.

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