Coming into the Centre from the leafy street is a surprise. From the front it could be mistaken for a larger version of the terrace houses around it until you enter the tall, light hall with its large windows. Then the building’s former life as a chapel becomes evident.
For Frances Homewood, Director and founder of the Centre, it’s the place she dreamed of for years. “I always thought a converted chapel would have the right ambiance of peace and stillness. And that’s what people most often say when they come here” she says.
Now the Centre offers 19 classes a week, taught by Frances and a team of highly experienced teachers. Dedicated to Iyengar yoga, classes range from the popular 5-week New Starter courses through to General, Intermediate and Teacher Training classes.
A number of Specialist classes include yoga for women and for older people. Classes geared to people needing a more therapeutic approach include a “Rest and Restore” class and a therapy class for those with conditions such as MS or cancer who could not manage a regular class. Frances has studied regularly at the world renowned Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, India where she assists in medical classes.
“Our ethos here is that everyone can do yoga, no matter what age or physical condition. Young people are encouraged with special low prices. Stiffer people are helped with chairs or blocks so they can hold the pose.”
The Centre houses a cosy sitting room adorned with Indian fabrics brought back from Frances’ many trips. The Library is run by the Sheffield and District Iyengar Yoga Association, of which the Centre is a part. There is also a second smaller studio where the New Starter classes take place, and feedback on the weekly classes and monthly Saturday workshops has been excellent.