A WOMAN, who has been practising yoga for nearly two decades, has fulfilled a lifelong dream of opening her own studio.

Emma Leaf is hoping to share her knowledge of positive wellbeing and connections with her community as she celebrates one month of running Infinite Yoga in Cockerton, Darlington.

Once known as Lamb’s Toys on West Auckland Road, Ms Leaf has transformed the former shop into a cosy hub for peaceful practice, making it Darlington's first ever yoga studio.

Ms Leaf, who has been practising yoga for 22 years and teaching for 10 years in her hometown of York, said opening her own studio has been a dream for a number of years.

She said: "I was close friends with quite a few studio owners in and around the York area so didn’t want to step on their toes by opening my own.

"It was only when my partner, who lives in Darlington, said there wasn’t a yoga studio here that I started thinking about the possibility of opening one."

The 42-year-old has been running weekly classes from beginner's yoga, wake-up yoga and a variety of 'flow' classes to suit all abilities.

The Northern Echo:

She also offers the option of meditation classes, for those seeking more stillness, pregnancy and post-natal courses, and one-to-ones for those looking for individual development.

Moving from York to Darlington with the opening of Infinite Yoga, Ms Leaf said she has been overwhelmed by the positive reaction from her community.

She said: “I have been really grateful for the studio and everyone who has been coming. It has been really lovely seeing people come back each week and the studio seems to be building a nice community.

"There has been some guys coming as well as women, which I love, and there has been a mixture of all ages. A woman in one of my classes, who is really strong and amazing, I have just learned is 78 which is fantastic.

"We’re here to honor and empower people's journey toward personal growth, great health and well-being. No matter your age or fitness level, we aim to inspire ease, confidence and a sense of possibility that lasts long after you roll up your mat."