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A hidden yoga gem

With celebrities and sports men and women alike endorsing the discipline of yoga, it has fast become one of the most popular practices in the UK.

Nestled in the Suffolks in Cheltenham, owner of Cheltenham Yoga Classes, John Ferrabee, is just one of a few hundred people in the UK certified to teach a form of yoga named Iyengar.

Forget your mainstream, Hatha or Raja, the discipline of Iyengar is demanding but the most rewarding of them all. John, a talented sportsman, discovered yoga in 1988 while recovering from a serious car accident and said: “Yoga aided my recovery in a way drugs and physiotherapy could not and made me determined to pass on its benefits to others, and this is why I teach it, to give back what I got from it, saying just a mere thank you somehow wasn’t enough.”

Classes at Cheltenham Yoga Works cater for all levels of ability from raw beginners to experienced practitioners. John says: “Anyone of any age and any level of fitness can benefit from yoga but especially sportsmen and women for whom it provides additional muscle strength and flexibility.”

“Yoga is an organic process that can help people cope with all aspects of modern living. Your joints, your spine, even your internal organs will be energised by the positions that yoga teaches,” he added.

The Iyengar method of yoga is named after teacher, Yogacharya Sri B.K.S. Iyengar. The teaching helps you focus on correct alignment of the body in poses, ensuring you are working safely,with maximum benefit to your flexibility, strength and wellbeing. The Iyengar Yoga Certification Mark has is a guarantee of excellence, clarity and depth of understanding. Classes generally start with simple poses and gradually advance, ending with a period of relaxation.

Practicing Iyengar yoga will not only provide physical benefits such as; improved flexibility, increased stamina and help treat back pain and sports injuries, it provides medical benefits and can treat heart complaints and aid weight loss. Plus it also has great psychological benefits.

John highlights that “as you continue with your practice, psychological and personal transformation begins to appear, stress patterns are relieved and the mind is calmed.” With a passion to particularly target the leisure market, John is currently offering individually tailored yoga programs for sportsmen and women at a special rate of £99 for three one hour sessions. The sessions may involve; safe and effective stretching for hamstrings, a complete shoulder movement program, howto deal with back ache, working with painful knees, yoga Cardio workouts, strengthening and flexing all groups of muscles, working with tight hips and a postural assessment.

John said: “The classes can be hard work, as the poses involve intense stretching; but you will most certainly reap the benefits of Iyengar yoga.”

New classes, suitable for absolute beginners, are now being held at the Wheatsheaf, on Old Bath Road, every Thursday, £4.50. For more information visit