Polmont yoga studio has the flexibility to stay open

Faced with closing to customers – for the second time this year – a yoga studio sought expert advice to stretch COVID-19 restriction guidelines to their advantage.

By James Trimble
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 8:35 am

Zen 2 Yoga, based in Greenpark Drive, Polmont, managed to teach fitness and yoga classes throughout the entire coronavirus crisis thanks to the commitment of its teachers, the loyalty of its customers and the wizardry of online technology.

During the lockdown period the business was even able to expand by moving into the former Vape shop next door and converting it into a fitness studio.

Director Chris Dickson, who runs Zen 2 Yoga with Nabila Muzaffar, said: “It’s been a really hard journey for us. We re-opened to customers in August and had people back and taking part in classes.

Zen 2 Yoga director Chris Dickson has had to put a number of measures in place to protect customers and instructors

“Everything was rolling along and then out of the blue we went into these level three restrictions where gyms could remain open but yoga studios couldn’t. We just thought, well here we go again.”

However, Mr Dickson has connections which he decided to take full advantage of.

“Fortunately I have a good contact at trading standards and he suggested we should re-brand as a gym. Trading standards are the ones who police the restrictions and they said they had no issues with us doing that.

“They said as long as we had robust risk assessments in place and continued doing the track and trace procedures we would be fine. One of our members is a health and safety guru and they helped us with our risk assessments.”

A quick word with Express Signs in Grangemouth and new signage was produced for the change.

Now people who do not have access to spin bikes at home can come in for a hour-long session at Zen 2 Fit and use any of the eight spin bikes – which are laid out more than two metres apart. They can also come along and work out in the Yoga Gym, which now has kettle bells for strength work.

Mr Dickson is careful not to allow anyone who comes from outwith the area – say someone from a level four restriction location – access to the facility.

“Some of our members come from Linlithgow and they respect the rules not to travel into a different area. We still have our online yoga classes – those will be ongoing.”

At the start of the year people from as far away as Aberdeen and Manchester and across the world – Australia, France, and US cities Los Angeles and Washington DC – were logging on to take part in Zen 2 Yoga classes.

The online side of the business took off to such an extent during the initial lockdown that Mr Dickson invested in new audio visual technology to create a better experience for customers and instructors taking part in online classes.

“The one good thing about COVID-19 is it has given us a jolt and made us think about things we can improve for the long term.”

The instructors at Zen 2 Yoga have been working constantly throughout the year and will be allowing themselves a three-week break over Christmas.

Visit www.zen2yoga.co.uk for more information.