Aerial yoga comes to Harrogate

PUBLISHED: 09:30 24 June 2014

Children love hanging out at GoYoga in Harrogate

Children love hanging out at GoYoga in Harrogate


Children get off to a flying start with aerial yoga

Colourful, fabric swings make yoga a fun option for kidsColourful, fabric swings make yoga a fun option for kids

Taking the children to the swings has taken on a whole new meaning in Harrogate, thanks to a new aerial yoga class specially designed to give mini-yogis a flying start.

Yoga instructor Sophie Bickerdike, who worked with anarchic comedian – and yoga fan – Russell Brand during his recent stay at Harrogate’s Hotel du Vin, has introduced a new workshop for parents and children aged 4+ using colourful, fabric swings securely attached to the ceiling of her custom-built GoYoga studio at The Zone in Hornbeam Park.

The twisting, spinning, airborne fun lasts for 90 minutes, but the results last for far longer.

‘Parents should be prepared to stay longer because children seem very attached to the swings once they get going in them,’ said Sophie, a former Coronation Street and Emmerdale actress who’s now a qualified yoga teacher and mum of two girls.

Children's aerial yoga workshops at The Zone in HarrogateChildren's aerial yoga workshops at The Zone in Harrogate

She set up GoYoga last year with Jo Blenkinsopp, a modern pilates teacher who’s been leading classes in Harrogate and Leeds for 13 years. Between them, they now offer classes for adults, children and babies, including hot yoga and sessions for pregnancy, climbers and dancers.

Sophie was inspired to set up GoYoga after attending classes at TriYoga in London. She loved the mixture of yoga and pilates, the variety of teachers and the effect it had on her health, both mentally and physically, but found it increasingly difficult to get to the capital (living 200 miles away and caring for two small children will do that for you).

‘I decided to create something similar here,’ she said. ‘I wanted to create a dedicated space for mind, body, yoga and pilates. Gyms and church halls seemed too impersonal and I was keen to create a specific space for GoYoga; when I found the studio at The Zone it seemed to fit my requirements perfectly as it’s warm, welcoming and relaxed.’

GoYoga started with four classes and now offers more than 20, alongside retreats and visits from celebrity yoga teachers like London-based aerial specialist Richard Holroyd.

GoYoga founder Sophie BickerdikeGoYoga founder Sophie Bickerdike

Its programme has been designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of people, whether they’re looking for relaxation or a vigorous workout.

‘Both yoga and pilates are surprisingly similar, but you tend to get a certain type of person who prefers yoga or pilates,’ Sophie explained. ‘Pilates concentrates entirely on the body, on your core and balance, whereas yoga concentrates on the body and the mind.

‘Both disciplines are brilliant for you and when performed effectively can have a myriad of benefits. They can help to improve your sleep quality, relieve stress, increase flexibility and decrease back pain as well as enhancing your state of mind.

‘My motto is: stop the downward spiral with a downward dog!’

For more information about Sophie Bickerdike and all the classes at GoYoga, visit

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