Six Years of Pause Yoga, Pilates and Barre Studio: In conversation with Founder Louise Jackson

Founder Louise shares how her passion created a thriving and inclusive community in the heart of Leyton, East London 

Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2023

Six Years of Pause Yoga, Pilates and Barre Studio: In conversation with Founder Louise Jackson

Hi Louise! Congratulations on reaching the 6-year milestone! What inspired you to start Pause Yoga and Pilates Studio, and how has the journey been so far?

Back in 2017, I started holding weekly yoga classes at Host of Leyton after completing my initial yoga teacher training. Over the course of six months, I had built up a really lovely community of regulars that I was teaching alongside my full-time job that I thought wouldn’t it be great to do this full time.

I found the listing for an empty unit on Francis Road next to Estates East so went to view it and the rest is history. The space needed a lot of work but Pause version 1.0 was open within 3 months.

We spent 5 years at our Francis Road studio. Within that time we’ve had some ups and downs, obviously covid being one of the downs. Many independent yoga and pilates studios didn't survive the pandemic and have since closed but we managed to scrape through due to our loyal customers and community.

About six months after the pandemic classes started to get really busy again, so much so that I realised we needed a bigger space. I sent an email to Neil from Estates East and within a minute he said he’d found the perfect space!

Again, it was time to roll up our sleeves and set to work on creating Pause 2.0. We signed the lease for the new space in December last year and opened the doors in April!

Tell us about everything Pause has to offer including workshops, classes, and special events.

Our previous studio was much smaller so we were limited on what we could offer. But now our new space is much bigger, we now have around 60 weekly yoga, pilates, reformer pilates and barre classes and we’re open 7 days a week.

We have two studio spaces, one offering mat classes (yoga, pilates and barre) and a Reformer Pilates studio.

We also have a dedicated treatment room where we have some brilliant therapists taking up residency including Physiotherapist Guy Watts who actually joined us during the pandemic. An Osteopath, Massage therapists, acupuncturists and much more! We also have monthly courses and workshops including Hypnobirthing with the Hypnobirthing Midwife and Baby Massage courses with @motherandmore Most importantly though, this Saturday we’re hosting our 6th birthday party in the form of an open day where we’ll be throwing open the doors of the studio for free classes, cake, prize draws, goody bags, bubbly, crazy discounts and much more.

We’d love for anyone to join us to take a look around the studio, join us for a free class or just a glass of bubbly and cake. The event is open to anyone, more info here

In the fast-paced world we live in, what unique aspects of your studio make it a sanctuary for those seeking balance and wellness in their lives?

Everyone who steps through the doors of our new studio instantly says what a calm and welcoming space it is.

Yoga and Pilates studios can sometimes feel like intimidating spaces to walk into if you’re new to that world, but Pause doesn’t feel like that, everyone is super friendly and welcoming so if you’re thinking about coming to Pause, don’t be worried. Just read our Google reviews and you’ll see what a friendly space it is.

Can you share some of the most memorable success stories or transformations from clients who have been a part of your studio over the years?

We’re invested in every single person that walks through the doors at Pause. We all go through a lot of highs and lows in our lives, so for many people, attending a regular class at Pause can provide a brief respite from the demands of everyday life.

Because of the pandemic, we’ve seen a lot of people get out of the habit of coming to a class so many people have taken long breaks, sometimes because they were very sick or because they were anxious about attending a class again in a group setting. What’s wonderful to see is how amazing they feel afterwards.

Community is essential in the wellness industry. How does your studio foster a sense of community among your clients and instructors?

The one thing I was most excited about in the new studio was having a waiting area and tea station. It sounds like a small thing, but this is something we didn't have in the old space, we didn't even have a reception!

Because of this, it means that we can foster a sense of community within the space. I love it when I see people making friends because they come to the same classes each week, or chatting before or after class over a cup of tea.

What are some of the core values or principles that guide your studio's approach to yoga and pilates, and how do they set you apart from other studios in the area?

Our teachers are all extremely knowledgeable but most importantly they’re always kind, compassionate and patient. It’s really important to me that people feel welcome as soon as they walk into the studio from our reception team to our teachers. I know that sometimes Yoga and Pilates studios can feel intimidating, especially when you’re
completely new to it.

We have classes suitable for all levels because of this including level 1 Reformer Pilates classes every day of the week, a free beginners reformer pilates taster class every Friday at
10am with me. This class is brilliant for anyone who’s completely new to Reformer Pilates. The machines can sometimes look scary so in this session we break it down and make it all a little bit less intimidating.

We also have gentle pilates classes, both mat and reformer pilates aimed at anyone over 60 or recovering from injury. Our Mat Pilates class is charged at a concession rate so
starts from £8 per session.

Over the past 6 years, what feedback or testimonials from clients have touched your heart or stood out as particularly meaningful?

We’ve had so many wonderful reviews over the years. Each one is really important to us as a studio and for the teachers too. These can all be found on Google and on our website.

Here are just a few recent ones:

Honestly, I haven't set foot in a gym space for so long as there is always something that doesn't fit: the atmosphere, the staff, the premises or the management. When I first came to Pause, I was pleasantly surprised by all of it. The premises are immaculate as when you enter you have to leave your shoes, even if you are coming just to have a look, management and staff are extremely welcoming and helpful and never seem rushed to give information and answer questions, and there is a very peaceful atmosphere in the place that feels relaxing and wanting to come more. I would definitely recommend coming and trying some classes, I am sure you can only fall in love with the whole concept.

I started my Pilates journey with Pause studio back in Jan 2023, when I completed the beginner's workshop. And since then I have been amazed at how I’ve gone from strength to strength, now a regular doing level 3 dynamic reformer Pilates! All of the teachers I’ve had - Louise, Scarlett, Vincente, Victoria, and Kalena - have been phenomenal and have helped me improve my technique to achieve maximum results. The studio is beautiful, exceptionally clean and has many options for different classes to suit my working schedule, whether I’m working from home or in town and only able to make evening classes. I would highly recommend giving Pause Studio a go - don’t delay, start your Pilates journey today!

I feel so lucky to have PAUSE on my doorstep. I recently moved to the area and going to PAUSE makes me feel part of the Leyton community even more. I first joined the mat pilates classes but then I tried reformer pilates and I loved it since the first lesson. All teachers are very friendly and patient with all of us making sure we're all using the machine properly and helping to achieve the right posture to avoid injuries and of course to get benefits from it. Can't wait for my next class!

This was my first class in 3 years, I'd got out of the habit due to the Pandemic. I
absolutely loved it, the people (both staff and group members) were so welcoming, the place was beautiful, and the class was great.

I just finished a Reformer taster session at Pause Studio. The space is amazing, very clean and very well looked after. The session was very informative: we were explained the reformer machine and then we even had time to do some exercises. It was amazing. I have always been intrigued and interested in the concept and I am very happy I went and tried. I can't wait to start my first class and get stronger with it. Another good point is, that the classes are small, 8 maximum for Reformer sessions, so the instructor has time to focus on each student. The studio manager is an amazing person and you can talk and ask her anything. Fantastic place just next to home.

Looking ahead, what exciting plans or goals does your studio have for the future? How do you envision continuing to support the health and happiness of your clients?

We’ve got so many plans for the future at Pause! For now, we’re just focusing on building out our weekly schedule as we settle into the new space over the next year. Building out our offering so more classes and different classes including Qi Gong. We’ll have some more amazing therapists in our treatment room. We’re potentially looking at building out a specialist postnatal recovery offering at the studio as this is an area which is fairly underserved.

Maybe next year some Pause retreats as I need a holiday :)

Watch this space for more existing things to come.

For more info check out their website and Instagram for regular updates.

Estates East Team

Call us >> 020 8520 9300

Follow us >> @estateseast

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