Always on the lookout for a hidden Sutton gem, I was delighted to spot Yogira yoga studio on Gordon Road on my way to the Carshalton Lavender Harvest. It has to be Sutton’s smallest yoga studio (although do let me know if you know of any others).
Yogira was set up by Sutton newcomer Irina Shtern. Here she talks about why yoga is so good for your body and wellbeing, and how she was surprised to meet a wizard in Sutton!
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Originally from Kazakhstan, we moved to the UK seven years ago and have been living in Sutton/Carshalton for about 3 years now. I’m a mother of two.
What inspired you to set up your own yoga business? Initially I was working at different banks as a personal banker and then at Bloomberg in the City, but since I needed to work long hours and commute, I decided that my own yoga business would allow me to spend more time with my kids.
I started practicing yoga when I was at the university. I was lucky to have a fantastic yoga teacher who inspired me so much. I felt incredibly relaxed, despite all the exams I needed to pass, and healthier and happier during this period.
As my passion for yoga grew more intense, I gradually moved into teaching. I’ve been practicing yoga for over ten years and teaching for six.
Why is yoga important to our wellbeing? Yoga is a spiritual, mental and physical practice that’s been around for centuries. Yoga helps to improve flexibility, posture and balance. It helps with weight loss and builds strong muscles, tendons and ligaments. Yoga also helps to quiet the mind, reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality and increase energy levels due to breathing exercises.
Any tips for anyone thinking of setting up their own business? When planning always overestimate expenses and underestimate revenues.
I would recommend to be who you are and not try to copy others who have the same profession because everyone is special and unique in their own way. Love what you are doing, be professional, friendly and sincere and people will always come back to you.
What makes Sutton such a great place to live? Sutton is known for its fantastic schools, beautiful parks, lovely high street and clean streets. In summer there are always fun free-of-charge activities going on in Sutton. Last week my daughter tried to play ping pong for the first time thanks to Sutton Council who put a ping pong table on the high street and there was mini golf for kids last year. It was very enjoyable!
What’s your favourite thing to do in Sutton? Shopping on the high street and bouldering at Craggy Island.
Where are the best place to eat and drink in Sutton? There are many lovely places to eat in Sutton. It depends really on what you are fancy to eat. When I want a great big juicy burger, the first choice will be O’Neill’s pub in Sutton. Their burgers are the best in the area. Ask for medium rare… And yes, I am not a vegetarian as many would think yoga teacher should be !
Tell us something surprising about Sutton… We never expected to see a wizard in Sutton, but as you surely know there is a real person, Conrad Pugsley, who is adorned in flowing robes and ornate jewellery. He even knows ‘the dragon craft’.
Yogira is located on Gordon Road, Carshalton Beeches.
See Irina’s website here for details of classes.