Well done to YogaBugs Franchisee Karen Williams celebrating her 1st Year with YogaBugs!


yogabugs karen williams


We would like to say a BIG congratulation to Karen Williams our YogaBugs Teesside Regional Manager, who is celebrating her first year With YogaBugs in style by securing 45 hours per week in schools and nurseries in the Teesside area for the new school term in September.

Since Karen joined YogaBugs in August 2014, she has been off to a flying start with so many Head Teachers and PE Co-Ordinators loving the YogaBugs’ ethos and recommending her to others in the area – she is proud to be stretching the imagination of so many children in schools and nurseries in her territory.

Please see below a fantastic testimonial from one of the schools Karen is currently working in….

“The days Karen comes in to work with our nursery children are always so exciting for us all – children and staff love her!  She has a really good manner with the children and always tries to link with our curriculum which has been lovely to see.  As this year is progressing we can see how well the children are responding to the exercises she does with them, now she can say the name of one of the familiar postures and the children respond by getting themselves into the correct position.  We are all big advocators of YogaBugs in Nursery and Karen is doing a marvellous job with the children”.

Kate JukesNursery Teacher at Green Lane Primary Academy, Acklam. 

When we caught up with Karen and asked her what made her choose YogaBugs this time last year this is what she said…

“Following eleven years as a primary school teacher and after having my two children, I began looking for a better work/life balance that would allow me to combine my love of working with children and my desire to run my own business. When I came across YogaBugs I knew it was the right thing for me! Children can be introduced to the benefits of yoga whilst most importantly using their imagination and having fun I love seeing the impact that YogaBugs can have on children who take part in our classes”.

Karen has truly taken her first year with YogaBugs by storm, and we cannot wait to see the growing impact that she will have on schools and nurseries in her area in the 2015/16 new school term!

Well Done Karen,

Keep up the great work!

If you would like to find out if your area is available and how to become a successful YogaBugs’ franchisee like Karen, Please contact Lisa Applebee-O’Connor on 0121 777 7792 / franchise@yogabugs.com.

New Study Shows Benefits Of Teen Yoga

Readers of this blog will know about the remarkable changes our Impact & Change programme has brought to children in the UK’s primary schools. (For more information, see this story). So we were delighted to learn about a new study proving the mental and psychological effects of yoga for teens.

Harvard Medical School has just released a study about the psychological benefits of yoga on teenagers in 11th and 12th grade. Published in the April issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the study concluded that yoga may “serve a preventative role in adolescent mental health” by providing teens with beneficial ways to deal with stress and trauma, instead of falling into the dangerous and destructive behavioural patterns so common in high schools across the States.

51 high school students took part in the study.  They were randomly assigned to either regular PE classes, or Kripalu-style yoga classes that included asana, pranayama, relaxation exercises, and mediation. The students were given multiple tests and questionnaires, before and after the 10-week program, regarding their levels of anxiety and stress, their anger management abilities, and their mindfulness and resilience in the face of challenges. The results show that students who took yoga were better equipped to deal with life’s ups and downs than those in the regular PE classes. Since mental health disorders often form in the teenage years, learning effective healthy coping strategies for dealing with stress is essential during this time.

Although the study was small, its results are nevertheless promising.It’s great to see further evidence of how yoga teaches young adults positive ways to react and deal with life’s challenges.

Give It A Go 2012

We’re passionate about getting children and families physically active so we were very excited when we heard about the “Give It A Go 2012 campaign. This is the first, ever London-wide sports campaign and aims to support more people having a go at sport in their local area. All 33 London boroughs will be organising free sports provision for people of all ages and abilities over six weeks from Monday 13th February 2012.

With the Olympic and Paralympic Games fast approaching, 2012 is an exciting year for sport in London. Give it a Go 2012 offers to try a new sport or activity or rediscover one you once loved – all for free! There’s something on offer to suit everyone’s interests with over 150 free activities on offer across London ranging from Archery to Zumba!

You can find out more about the activities on offer at http://www.giveitago.org/. Have you got a similar initiative going on in your area?

Graduate and Young Entrepreneur, Simon Duong, Wins YogaBugs Franchise

More than 2000 applications, from graduates aiming to win a franchise opportunity with YogaBugs, were whittled down to one lucky winner! Simon Duong, who has a first class degree in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship from Coventry University, learnt that he had won the franchise at the Midland Business Awards on Friday evening.

In common with many budding young entrepreneurs, Simon has already tried his hand at running an online business. Passionate about health and fitness and inspired by the inventiveness of Richard Branson and James Dyson, Simon jumped at the opportunity to be part of a growing company which gets children and families active through its creative, story-style yoga inspired classes.

“I knew of YogaBugs through the company’s appearances on Dragons Den. Yoga is a tried and tested activity, and its popularity in this country is increasing. In the same way that Jamie Oliver’s campaign has been transforming school dinners, I believe the YogaBugs programmes have the potential to get more children active.”

The judges for the competition were Mark Goode, CEO of YogaBugs, Jabbar Khan, Director of leading Midlands restaurant Lasan and Professor Chris Prince, Executive Dean of Birmingham City Business School. Applicants had until 24 November 2011 to submit a short two-page business case. A short-list of candidates were invited to make a short presentation to the panel of three judges, and this was whittled down to three, all of whom were invited to the Midlands Business Awards on Friday, 3rd February.

Although thousands of graduates are still struggling to find work, YogaBugs CEO, Mark Goode, was nevertheless amazed when the company received more than 2000 applications in its competition to win a free franchise contract.

As a company, YogaBugs is passionate about helping the next generation so we thought we should give a chance to young adults to progress in these difficult times. Simon impressed me with his passion, determination and confidence. His entrepreneurial skills, attention to detail and enthusiasm are key attributes in a successful franchisee. I was very impressed with the high standards of applications. There were many young potential entrepreneurs who, if given the chance, could take this county forward in business. That’s why we will be meeting with the two runners-up to discuss them working with YogaBugs in a similar capacity.

Partnering with Birmingham City University was an obvious choice as we have an existing relationship with them. In summer 2010, we joined the student graduate scheme, employing Birmingham City University graduate, Oliver Tuck, as our graphic designer. We were extremely pleased with the hard work and high level of skills Oliver brought to the company.”

The competition was run in partnership with Birmingham University’s Research, Innovation & Enterprise Services (RIES) and open to competition to graduates and third year students from Midland Universities. Birmingham University has an impressive track record of supporting business start-ups – 200 since 2003 with 68% of those businesses still trading. As a creative University, it recognises that a number of students will enter self-employment. This franchise opportunity therefore fitted the ambitions of the University to support enterprise, employability and entrepreneurial skills in this uncertain economic climate.

Reflecting on his success, Simon Duong said:

“I really appreciate the opportunity YogaBugs has given to a young graduate like myself. The result was kept under wraps until the winner was announced at the Midland Business Awards on Friday evening. I’m over the moon to be given this break and can’t wait to get started so that children in South London get the yoga bug.”

New YogaBugs Classes Starting…..

We’re delighted that eight people have recently completed their training with YogaBugs and will be opening up new classes. Our franchisees run classes in primary schools, nurseries and children’s centres as well as in private settings. Our teacher representatives run private classes and after school clubs.


Angie Fitzpatrick – Derby

Angie has joined from us the Derbyshire area. She originally trained with us in Yoga’d Up back in 2006 and has now taken on a franchise. Angie is also a Yoga and Pilates instructor and used to run a franchise for Rosemary Conley. E: angie@yogabugs.com

Mandana Jones – Hampton, Twickenham

Mandana joins us from Hampton, Twickenham. Mandana is a self-employed actress working on classical theatre, popular drama and commercials. She has a 5 year old son and has been practicing yoga for over 20 years. E: mandana@yogabugs.com

Natasha Singh – Putney & Wimbledon, South West London

Natasha will be running classes in the SW London area of Putney and Wimbledon. By background, Natasha is a personal trainer and yoga teacher for Virgin Active. E: natasha@yogabugs.com

Rachel Keene – Alton, Surrey

Rachel is joining us from Alton, Surrey. Rachel has lots of experience in working with children as an assistant teacher in a nursery, as well as having four children of her own! She has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and is excited to be able to join her two passions, yoga and working with children. E: rachel@yogabugs.com

Teacher Representatives:

Anna Pryce – Dunstable, Bedfordshire

Anna has completed her teacher training with Teach Yoga (Yoga Alliance 250 hours) and has been looking for a way to offer yoga to children, whilst also being able to give her daughter the fantastic benefits of YogaBugs!

Amanda Ridgley – Winchester, Hampshire

Amanda completed her teacher training in March 2011 and she teaches at a detox retreat for the over 50’s. Amanda is passionate about the benefits of yoga for children and is excited to be joining the team.

Karen West – Swindon, Wiltshire

Karen completed her teacher training with the YYI in South Africa in 2007. She has two children aged 8 and 11. She is looking forward to being able to teach children how to combat stress, have fun and enjoy being physically active whilst stimulating their creative minds through YogaBugs.

Meenal Padhiar – South Croydon, Surrey

Meenal is also a yoga teacher, after completing her training at a Yoga Alliance certified school in India in May 2011. Meenal loves children and coming from a large family herself, is looking to inspire children and nuture their body, imagination and spirit through the great gift of yoga.

If this has inspired you to find out more about our franchise and teaching opportunities, you’ll find more information on our website. Alternative email lisa@yogabugs.com for a prospectus.


Spotlight On Our South Lincolnshire Franchise

Lynn Exley was working as a School Business Manager in 2008 when her Deputy Head first mentioned the idea of running yoga classes in the school where she worked. As she had a personal interest in yoga, Lynn offered to find out how the school could get a teacher. After an extensive internet search, she discovered that there were none to be found. However, her own yoga teacher directed her to YogaBugs and after an inspiring conversation with Fenella Lindsell, the founder of Yogabugs, she found herself buying the franchise for South Lincolnshire!

 “It wasn’t long before I left my job to concentrate on running the franchise. Currently I employ 4 teachers who help me run classes across a mainly rural area. I’ve also trained as an adult yoga teacher. Because of the absence of major urban towns, I’ve concentrated my efforts on running YogaBugs and Yoga’d up classes in local schools, nurseries and Children’s Centres.  In particular I’ve found that  including yoga as part of the school day as part of PE has really made a difference to the children and teachers alike.”

A teacher at a local primary school commented: 

“The Yogabugs programme has particularly benefited the less confident members of the class and those with low self-esteem.  In addition, I feel the weekly adventures have helped with writing. By using movement to tell a story, the children seem to be able to visualise better. This is so vital for creative writing.  Recently, they produced some simple poems which were brilliant for such young children. The course has been enjoyed by us all and I have been pleased with the unexpected benefits beyond the physical.”

If you’d like Lynn to run classes in your primary school, nursery or children’s centre, you can get in touch with her as follows:

T: 0845 899 7169

E: lynn@yogabugs.com

Spotlight On Our Newest Franchise: YogaBugs Birmingham & Solihull

We are delighted to welcome Michelle Best back to the YogaBugs family! Previously a Regional Manager, Michelle took time out to have her son, Dylan, and has just returned to take on her own franchise. Speaking about her reasons for re-joining the YogaBugs team, Michelle said:

“Originally I trained as a nursery nurse with Asquith Nurseries. I then went on to do degree in Early Childhood Studies at Wolverhampton University. Working as an early years teacher in Hertfordshire I was shocked to find pre-school children becoming obese and suffering from poor health, bad diet, asthma and allergies. Moving back to Birmingham in 2006, I went to work for a David LLoyd Fitness Club. I found that very few families encouraged their young children to exercise so when the opportunity came to work with YogaBugs, I saw that as my chance to make a change.

Whilst working as a Regional Manager for YogaBug, I saw at first hand the impact yoga classes were having on children in local schools. I now understand the importance of keeping flexible and mobile, and how an exercise such as yoga helps children to calm and focus. Through YogaBugs, I strongly believe we are helping children have a happier and healthier lifestyle.

I decided to buy my own franchise so that I could work around Dylan. Being a franchisee allows me the freedom to manage my own time. I now have a perfect work-life balance. I teach classes one day a week and have fantastic teachers who teach for me the other days.”

Michelle has always been interested in keeping fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When she was 13, she was diagnosed with scoliosis (which causes curvature of the spine). Michelle was advised not to exercise so that she didn’t cause any further pain and damage. Speaking about her experience, Michelle said:

“Now we know that this was the wrong advice. Gentle exercise and yoga especially, can aid injury recovery and is an excellent complement to other forms of sport. My condition was very painful growing up, but I loved sport so started to swim and run regularly. I went on to run for my school in the county school races, and even managed to complete the Great North Run. One day I would like to run the London Marathon….maybe the YogaBug man could run alongside me!

Michelle is now holding weekly classes at 2 local primary schools and has 5 private classes starting shortly.  MiniBugs and MightyBugs start at the Layca Centre, Shirley on Monday, 10th October whilst MIniBugs, MightyBugs and MegaBugs classes start at Rowheath Pavilion, Bournville on Friday, 7th November. You’ll find her classes at http://www.yogabugs.com/find_class.php?page_name=find.

Michelle is looking to recruit part time teachers. So if you love drama and story-telling, want to make a positive impact on local family life and practice yoga, do get in contact.

If you live in or around the Birmingham and Solihull areas, you can connect with Michelle via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=hp#!/group.php?gid=12515566857.

Welcoming Our Newest Franchise, YogaBugs Stratford Upon Avon

We are delighted to welcome our newest franchisee, Rhiannon Perkins, to the YogaBugs family. She is busy setting up classes in Stratford On Avon and the surrounding areas. By profession a primary school teacher, Rhiannon worked as a Foundation/ Key Stage 1 teacher in Stratford On Avon. Her first degree was in English Literature at Warwick University and then she did the PGCE in Primary Teaching and French at Newcastle University.

Speaking about her reasons for joining the YogaBugs team, Rhiannon said:

“It was at a yoga class in 2010 when I first came across YogaBugs and, although I loved my job in school, I knew that YogaBugs would offer a fantastic opportunity for me to combine my love of teaching with my passion for storytelling, music and, of course, yoga. Through my work as a Primary School teacher I have seen just how stressed and anxious even the smallest of children can be. I have also experienced working with children with various behavioural and physical difficulties. Through a combination of music, storytelling, physical activity and relaxation, many of the children I’ve worked with become calmer, more focused, less anxious and increased concentration. I wanted to do something to continue to help a wide variety of children in different settings and YogaBugs seemed the perfect opportunity for me. The rest, as they say is history! I have only been operating since the my training at the start of August but I already feel very much part of the YogaBugs team and the reaction from schools, nurseries and parents in the area has been phenomenal!”

Rhiannon has always been interested in keeping fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When she was younger, Rhiannon was a keen dancer and gymnast. She took up yoga aged 18, and has tried out many different styles. Now she mainly focuses on Ashtanga and Iyengar. Rhiannon says that her  practice of yoga has helped her to become a happier, healthier person.

“When I first started yoga I wrongly assumed it was just a physical practice of the asanas but now, although this physical practice continues to bring me great joy I feel my practice has also benefited my mental and spiritual well-being, affecting many aspects of my daily life.”

Quick off the mark, Rhiannon currently has MiniBugs and MightyBugs classes set up at Caring Kindergartens Nursery in Stratford On Avon, MightyBugs classes at the RSC Nursery in Shottery, an after-school club at Shipston Primary School as well as 3 private classes offering for MiniBugs, MightyBugs and MegaBugs. You’ll find her classes at http://www.yogabugs.com/find_class.php?page_name=find.

If you live in or around the Stratford On Avon area, you can connect with Rhiannon via Facebook and Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=hp#!/pages/YogaBugs-Stratford-Upon-Avon/221913974514694 and https://twitter.com/#!/YogabugsSOA.