Preston yoga studio owner leads major campaign to fight Tier 3 ban on indoor group classes

A Lancashire mum has launched a petition and campaign to get yoga studios back open for the sake of people’s mental health, as the borough remains in Tier 3.

Monday, 21st December 2020, 12:34 pm
Updated Monday, 21st December 2020, 12:36 pm
Yoga instructor and business owner Madeline Diaz

Following the news on December 18, that majority of Tier 3 areas will remain in the same, half a million people who practise yoga every week continue to have their classes stopped.

But Preston mum-of-two Madeline Diaz, who runs Trybe in Preston alongside The Mill in Bolton and Hot Yoga in Adlington, kickstarted a campaign against yoga classes being stopped when Lancashire first went into Tier 3.

Following the news first announced on October 17, in response to a rise in coronavirus cases, Madeline launches her petition asking the Government to reconsider their ban on indoor yoga.

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Trybe Yoga in Penwortham

Madeline, 40, said: “I feel at this moment in time our industry really needs to pull together - as the gyms did initially when faced with similar restrictions. We need to stand our ground.

"As a studio owner, there are obvious financial implications, but my reason for putting the petition together goes way beyond that.

"For most of our clients, their yoga practice is a life-line that goes way beyond the physical realms of merely fitness. To not be able to offer this support to my students at a time when it is needed most, in times when people's mental health is at its lowest ebb in recent memory, is simply heartbreaking."

It is a big issue for the £926 million yoga industry in the UK which has brought much needed mental health support during the pandemic.

And up to 460,000 people take part in yoga classes each week for mental and physical wellbeing.

So far more than 8,000 people have signed the petition, which would be responded to by the Government at 10,000.

Madeline is campaigning alongside a group of fellow yoga studio owners, teachers and students from across the UK who have formed the UK Yoga Collective.

While gyms and health clubs across all Tiers can operate with Covid compliance precautions in place, yoga studio owners like Madeline are playing an "endless and stressful” game of closures, Tier changes and devastating financial strain, with little hope of studios reopening until February 2021 if Tier 3 restrictions stay in place in the new year.

And Madeline, who employs 17 people, stresses that yoga is a "lifeline" to thousands across Lancashire and a therapeutic practice, essential for mental health and wellbeing - offering a mental health lifeline to many since March.

The British Wheel of Yoga, the UK’s National Governing Body under Sport England, supports the campaign’s call for a review.

Vice-Chair Gillian Osborne, said: “Yoga has therapeutic benefits physically and mentally that go beyond those that are offered by regular exercise activities. We do think this decision warrants a review."

For more information on the campaign, visit here.

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