A YOGA teacher is hoping to build an inclusive wellness space for people of all abilities with her new studio.

Amy Barlow opened The Wellness Mill at Kendal’s Castle Mills last month and has already collaborated with neighbouring businesses to create wellness and social events.

Ms Barlow, who moved to Kendal five years ago, started practising yoga in 2016 and decided to complete a yoga teaching programme in Goa in 2018.

The Westmorland Gazette: EXPERIENCED: Amy Barlow completed her yoga training in India in 2018

She then went on to run classes and even workshops at festivals.

But the 26-year-old said she felt there was a need for more inclusive and accepting places for people to do yoga and wanted to set up her own business.

“I knew I wanted to teach because I’m in a bigger body I didn’t see that representation in yoga,” she said.

“I wanted to bring some diversity and representation for bigger people.

“People feel like they can come and are welcomed, and they don’t have to worry about what they wear or what they look like or what their yoga practice looks like or if they’ve done yoga before.

“I want them to walk through the door and feel ok.

“When I first started to practice, I didn’t see anyone like me and when I go to studios now it’s still the same and I think that’s a shame.

“I want to break that barrier.”

The Westmorland Gazette: SAFE: THe studio promotes inclusivity

The classes have been well received and Ms Barlow has teamed up with Yard 46 to offer pizza and yoga nights and Jade Hitchcox, who runs Lakeland Healing Hands.

The two women recently ran their first wellness workshop together-an hour of yoga followed by self-massage tutorial and essential oils-and are planning to do more.

The Westmorland Gazette: COLLABORATION: Amy Barlow with Jade Hitchcox of Lakeland Healing Hands

Ms Barlow is also preparing to hold beginner’s classes in the new year and is hoping to welcome more yoga teachers to her team.

And there are plans for a Christmas market to be held at the studio at the beginning of December with Wonderful Wild Women.