Soo Yoga is an award-winning yoga and wellbeing centre in Northampton founded by Kristina Rihanoff, a former Strictly Come Dancing pro dancer, and Rugby World Cup winner Ben Cohen MBE. After leaving the TV world seven years ago, Rihanoff gained certifications in 15 yoga styles as well as reformer Pilates training. As a young mum, she felt that there was no suitable place in Northampton for mums and babies to enjoy yoga – and the idea for Soo Yoga was born.
After putting their thoughts and ideas together, the celebrity founders opened their centre in 2019. It includes seven stunning studios including a creche for members, cafe, changing rooms, purpose-built hot yoga studio, antigravity studio, reformer Pilates studios, as well as a gym where Cohen leads his own fitness classes.
"The priority was always to make our centre welcoming for everyone regardless of age, ability or disability," Rihanoff tells OM. "We cater for everyone: we have clients who bring their children and their grandparents to Soo Yoga. We have classes for mums with babies, for the elderly, and for everyone in between. We want to create a sense of 'home from', where our clients can stay after classes, enjoy a cup of tea at our cafe and catch up with friends while their kids are having fun in the creche."
Like many small businesses, Soo Yoga was hit hard by the lockdowns, and now the current cost of living crisis. But its celebrity founders are always trying to re-invent, pivot and find new ways to create an even more special space for their beloved clients. That includes plans for a new wellness academy. As a senior teacher with Yoga Alliance Professionals, Rihanoff hopes to delivery workshops, courses and teach training to help yoga devotees deepen their practice further and to develop their own thriving yoga business.
All are welcome at Soo Yoga, she says. The all-inclusive environment at the centre means everyone can be their natural and authentic self; there is no judgement or pressure to look a certain way, she adds. "We are about inclusivity and positivity. That's the ethos of our centre. Come along to Soo Yoga and find out for yourself."