Wallingford: Yoga arrives at business park renowned for work-life balance

The opening of a yoga studio on Howbery Business Park offers people another way of relaxing on a site that prides itself on promoting a good work-life balance.

The Grace & Gravity studio offers a tranquil space with class times designed to fit round working patterns. Most are held at lunchtime, or directly before or straight after the ‘standard’ office day, but there are also options for flexible workers, 1:1 sessions and corporate groups.

“Our studio aims to offer relaxation and revitalisation options to suit everyone,” said Yasmin Strong, who runs the studio with co-founder Janine Bowers: “We offer different types of yoga and wellbeing classes, so whether you’re new to yoga, or a seasoned yogi, you’re into working up a sweat, or tuning in with meditation, we’ve got it covered. We work with a handful of instructors, who are all have different styles, backgrounds and personalities, which offers our student plenty of choice. All our instructors are highly qualified and super friendly so you can focus on what counts – feeling good at one of our quality classes.”

Strong and Bowers have decorated the studio, which was originally an office in a simplistic, calm style so that students feel tranquil and relaxed. As Strong is a firm believer in the mental health benefits of being outside, classes are held outdoors if weather conditions permit – in a shady tucked away corner of the park.

“There is a calm and friendly atmosphere at Howbery Business Park with all the outdoor space and greenery,” believes Strong. “I was set on opening a studio here as I’d previously run classes in the grounds and fallen in love with the park. In contrast, I had also given classes in village halls but there were often distractions or issues with the spaces I used. We all know that life can get pretty hectic. So we were keen to create a friendly, tranquil environment where you can get away from the noise and concentrate on your mind and body. Howbery Park was the perfect fit.”

Donna Bowles, estates manager, at the park, commented: “The Grace & Gravity studio fits well with the park’s ethos. We aim to help provide a healthy work-life balance for everyone on the park, which has spaces for group sports, tennis courts, allotments, free-to-use bicycles, and healthy eating options at the Manor House restaurant. The Lifestyles Gym & Personal Training Studio is also based here, and we have extensive grounds with many interesting species of trees and beehives, which are perfect for lunchtime walks.”