20-year-old Islington yoga studio forced to shut amid coronavirus pandemic
- Credit: Archant
An Islington yoga studio has closed its doors after 20 years of bending over backwards to help its clientele.
Having been trading from Liverpool Road for 20 years, Yogabase had to temporarily close in March when the coronavirus lockdown came into force.
Lucy Morris, 45, who took over Yogabase in 2006 and has been running the space for 15 years alongside silent partner Jo Robinson, said the financial strain of the pandemic has forced her to shut and relocate from the site for good.
She told the Gazette: “It has been pretty sad, there’s a sense of mourning about it.
READ MORE: Live life upside down says Hackney handbalancer“I’ve been calling people up and they’ve been crying. It’s like telling people that someone’s died. People really needed this space.”
Lucy said the studio was known for being a non-themed space, with inclusive classes and a great work ethic.
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She added: “It was a shock, I even painted the studio. I thought that I was negotiating (the rent) but I don’t think the landlord ever had any intention of helping at all, she basically wanted us out.
“I realise how much it meant to people, the teachers are losing the ability to earn decent money and the students have been coming for a long time.”
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Lucy said a few local residents have offered to help the business relocate, but as some of the teachers are shielding from Covid-19, she will reevaluate when the pandemic is over.
“It has been really nice to have the studio and the work that we’ve done be acknowledged, and to feel like people really did appreciate the kind of ethos of the studio,” Lucy added.
A spokesperson for Yogabases’ private landlord said since April Yogabase has only been able to offer rent payment of between 20 to 50 per cent.
She said: “Sadly with the existing mortgage repayment obligation we have on the premise, we are already in debt due to lockdown and we will be getting into even more debt by continuing with this arrangement. It is unsustainable for everyone involved.
“We wish them good luck and hope they will continue to provide yoga classes in the area, hopefully with a larger space so they can offer social distancing and making it financially viable for them.”
Although the studio space has closed, a small collective of independent teachers are offering their own classes on https://yogabase.org.uk/about-us-yogabase/