TWO Ryedale women are offering local people the opportunity to discover the benefits of yoga with internationally-recognised teachers.

Jules Watson, from Bransdale, and Ruth Smith, who lives in Harome, have set up the Little Yoga Company to organise events in North Yorkshire.

The pair both work at Kirkbymoorside Natural Health Centre – Jules is an aromatherapist and Ruth is a reflexologist. They said they get a lot of enquiries from people looking for yoga classes locally.

“We realise that a lot of people enjoy keeping fit and yoga is a brilliant tool for keeping the body supple and flexible as well as helping to de-stress from the pressures of work and busy lives,” said Jules.

“There really is a growing demand. People are realising that they can help to prevent many health problems by learning some simple relaxation techniques and gentle postures with a qualified teacher.”

Jules said yoga could be seen as the opposite to working out in the gym as it is aimed also at breathing and the mental state.

“A lot of teachers incorporate breathing relaxation and meditation techniques into their classes because the body can move more easily when we have reached a state of relaxation,” she said.

“Postures and gentle stretches become more attainable and range of movement increases as the breath and movement work together.”

Jules said the aim of Little Yoga Company was to bring international teachers to the area and give local people a chance to experience a more in-depth practice.

The first event is being held at Ampleforth Abbey over the weekend of June 7-9 when the teacher will be Billy Doyle.

“This will be a weekend retreat where people can literally step out of their daily lives for a few days and just immerse themselves in yoga meditation and relaxation,” she said.

“Everything is provided – food, accommodation and tuition – so that everyone can just focus on letting go and learning to be at peace with themselves. They will come away with tools to use in daily life that will stay with them a lifetime.”

Ruth and Jules hope to run at least four weekend retreats and also one-day events with specialist teachers.

For more information phone 01751 430335 or visit