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Childhood friends celebrate 10 years of yoga in Fulham

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Image captionImage 1: The Power Yoga Company founders Amelie Uteza and Marie-Laure Desire

A boutique yoga centre founded by childhood friends in Fulham is celebrating its tenth year of keeping SW6 flexible.

The Power Yoga Company in Parsons Green was founded by Amelie Uteza and Marie-Laure Desire in April 2007 in a tiny rented room with space for just seven yoga mats. A decade later and the PYC now has its own dedicated two-storey centre, and offers more than 90 classes each week.

Tucked away in residential Lettice Street, between Fulham Road and New Kings Road, the inconspicuous centre could be hard to spot, except for the steady stream of people passing through its door.

And with regular workshops, teacher training, a yoga boutique shop and even its own fresh juice bar, what’s the secret behind the Power Yoga Company? “In 10 years, there has been an explosion in the number of yoga studios in London,” explains Amelie, who grew up in France with best friend Marie-Laure. “But the demand still goes up.”

The studio has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings a decade ago, and celebrated its anniversary recently by opening up the centre with donation-based classes all day.

Amelie says she and Marie-Laure – both now mothers to two children – never expected such growth, but were astonished to find their classes sold out just a few weeks after launching their business.

“We opened the studio and just worked to teach yoga, because that was what we wanted to do,” recalls Amelie, who first tried yoga when she was living and working in Miami, and became ‘immediately hooked’.

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Image caption: Image 2: Power Yoga Co studio in Lettice Street

The pair travelled to the US to study yoga intensively after Amelie made her friend try a classic sun salutation sequence, and they decided to train as teachers. “It was very important for us to open a studio close to where we were living in Parsons Green,” she explains. 

The main difference with the PYC compared to other yoga centres is that it’s focused on a very active form of yoga – which has its roots in the physically demanding Ashtanga style of yoga.

Power yoga is especially attractive to those keen to build strength, as well as feel more energised. But the dynamic sequence of movements is for everyone, says Amelie, and can be enjoyed by people of varying fitness levels, age and flexibility.

“Everyone finds something in it for them. They might sit differently, or walk differently. It’s really noticeable,” she points out. “People feel better in their space of mind. They feel healthier, more focused, more confident, and more positive.”

Diversification has also helped boost business, with the shop and juice bar a place for customers to hang out before and after their yoga sessions. Plus, with classes ranging from beginners to more advanced, pregnancy, flow and restore and even dedicated sessions for kids from five, up to classes for teens, there really is something for everyone.

Find out more about the Power Yoga Company.

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Image caption: Image 3: Caroline Pegna teaching a yoga class