Meet Our Founders
CAMYOGA actually began a long time before the first studio was opened in 2010. It was back in October 2003 that founder Louise began teaching Ashtanga yoga in Grantchester Village Hall and CAMYOGA was born. Actually in the beginning we were called ‘Ashtanga Yoga Cambridge’ but the website was camyoga.co.uk and everyone just started to call us CAMYOGA.
It was Louise’s love of Ashtanga that was the cornerstone of CAMYOGA and the mission was, and still is, to bring together likeminded people to share in the practice and teachings of yoga.
Shortly after founding her first classes under the CAMYOGA banner, Louise became pregnant for the first time with Daisy, pictured on the left. When she took maternity leave she got cover for her classes, and when she returned rather than take the classes back, she left the teacher in place and just started new classes. Local Teacher Howard Daly was a big part of these early days covering most of Louise’s classes during maternity and beyond. In this way CAMYOGA grew. The same thing happened when in 2006 she fell pregnant again with Ilia, on the right, and by the time she returned from maternity the second time, more teachers were on board and Louise started to concentrate on growing the yoga business, something she could do from home with a young family.
CAMYOGA grew organically for the next few years, and it became increasingly obvious to Louise that it needed to find a permanent home. We had added workshops, retreats and from 2007 a teacher training programme to a busy class schedule. After many near ‘misses’ we managed to secure Central studios in 2010. By this time we had 16 classes a week running and had been piloting a membership system where people could pay a subscription and drop in to any class they wanted. So when we opened the doors in October 2010, it was an easy transition. But even so, we were absolutely BOWLED OVER by the response from the Cambridge community. The studios were busy from the outset and became a real hub for yoga in Cambridge.
Louise remembers ‘When we first opened I didn’t even know if we would need a full time desk person, but as soon as the doors opened, people came flooding in off the street, so we had to employ a full time staff. These staff have gone on to become the heart and soul of CAMYOGA - and in fact our very first desk person, Julia, has recently rejoined the team as our teacher training co-ordinator, so it is a real family story.’
Students from the early days will remember Louise’s babies on the mat at her baby yoga classes, some may remember her teaching Ashtanga at 8 1/2 months pregnant! Or her pregnancy and active birth sessions based around her own experiences of yoga through pregnancy, birth and recovery. Some of you might remember her trying to get her drop backs back after giving birth!
By the time the studios opened, Louise’s husband Jim was also working on the business. Their girls were 6 and 4 at the time, and as the girls grew, CAMYOGA grew and the family/yoga/business story was and still is completely intertwined.
The family now work from home, and more recent students may not even know any of this story.
But the background and story is embedded in the buildings, and with our staff and teachers many of whom have been with us from the start.
We still have students from those very early days before we opened a studio, and it is always a great pleasure when people return from the old days to reminisce.
But all students old and new are the life and soul of CAMYOGA. We welcome each and every one of you to share in your love and practice of yoga with us.
Now and for many more years to come.
Thank you all so much for your amazing support!
Louise, Jim, Daisy + Ilia xx