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Decade of soul searching leads former firefighter back home to Preston to teach yoga

Posted on - 9th June, 2024 - 6:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, Broughton, Cadley, Health, Preston News
Amy Farnworth on the mat
Amy Farnworth has become a full-time yoga teacher

A former firefighter who returned home to Preston after a decade of soul searching has launched her own yoga business.

Amy Farnworth says yoga revolutionised her mental health, and she now wants to share her practice to help lift others.

Amy, who grew up in Ashton and now lives at Lane Ends, left her job in May to start teaching full time. She now leads classes throughout each week at venues in the local area.

Amy’s route to becoming a yoga teacher back in the area where she grew up has taken her around the world and through a variety of professions. We chatted to Amy to find out more.

When did you first move out of the area?

I went away to university in 2003 at the age of 18 and I couldn’t wait to leave, to be independent, and to just get out. To get away. Not from Preston itself, but from circumstances, situations… Looking back I think I was always, as a teenager and young adult, trying to run from something.

Then I just kept having these urges; seeking ‘happiness’ or ‘something more’  or ‘something bigger’. I thought I was running towards something better, when actually I was running from reality.

Amy Farnworth sat on a happiness bench
Nowadays Amy finds happiness in freedom to travel, live and love

What did you do after uni?

I moved to Glasgow in 2008 and worked as a firefighter. I went on to travel the world for the best part of three years, living, working and backpacking across Australia, SE Asia and parts of Europe.

After finally returning to the place I tried running from – Preston – I worked as a journalist and went on to set up my own yoga business. 

How did you feel coming back?

Eventually, after more than a decade of ‘soul searching’ or whatever cliched thing you want to call it, I was back home.

It was like I came full circle and realised it was where I was supposed to be all along. It’s a place I kept coming back to to seek comfort and familiarity.

Tell us about your journey as a yoga teacher.

I started teaching yoga pre-Covid at Larches and Savick Boxing Club and Sparkle Dance, plus Tessa Clemson Yoga in Great Harwood, before teaching regularly at Trybe before it closed almost a year ago. I taught online during Covid, mainly for free via my YouTube channel and also on Zoom. I even taught Bez from Happy Mondays as part of the Get Mellow with Bez YouTube series. 

Post Covid, I guess I just want to create community and help people be part of that – through mindful movement, and face to face interaction, rather than just on social media. I’m now really enjoying working with other local businesses. For example, I run classes at Ashton Sports Therapy in Lane Ends. It’s a sports rehab clinic run by a lovely lady called Qi. She opened in February, and she’s amazing. There’s also Paige King of Elite Chiropractor working out of the space, and she’s brilliant too. 

Amy Farnworth yoga pose
Amy loves yoga for its mental health benefits

Tell us more about the impact of yoga on mental health.

Yoga is extremely beneficial for helping to still the mind; it’s the whole purpose really. It has been proven to help manage stress, improve sleep quality, help with anxiety, and it has many other hidden benefits. It’s not just about the physical aspects.

Yoga changed my life in this respect and I’m a huge advocate for mental health and wish more people would take up practices such as yoga to help lift their mood.

What do you like most about being back in Preston, and why have you chosen to stay?

I went to school off Cadley Causeway, and played in Mill Lane Park and the rec near the old Cattle Market. My mum worked in a bank at Lane Ends, and my grandad drank in the pub there. We’d get pies from Galligans, use the butchers opposite the Spar at Cadley, get sweets from Bob and Margaret’s newsagents, and take the dog for a walk on Haslam Park.

It’s great seeing how Lane Ends and Ashton have started changing over the last four years. It’s becoming a little bit like Penwortham (slowly…fingers crossed).

I realised I want to be a part of that growing community. And it seems only right that I set some classes up in the area – a place that meant so much to me as a child.

Amy can be found teaching classes at the following places each week.

Mondays 9.30am-10.30am
Vinyasa flow at The Soul Studio, Broughton – all welcome 

Mondays 6pm-7pm and 7.30pm-8.30pm
Vinyasa flow at Ashton Sports Therapy, Lane Ends

Tuesdays 10am-11am
Accessible yoga for all at The Padua Room, Cadley Causeway. This class is suitable for anyone, especially those over 50, 60, 70 as we can incorporate the use of chairs for anyone feeling they’d rather sit down than be on a mat.

Every second Tuesday of the month 7pm-9pm
Yin and gin at The Aviary, Lane Ends. This is a slow, gentle, relaxing yoga that requires little movement and will include a drink afterwards and time to socialise.

Thursdays 9.30am-10.30am
Vinyasa flow at Halo Pole and Aerial (formerly Desire) off Raglan Street, Ashton – all welcome

Monthly Sundays 1pm-3pm
Extended practice, usually vinyasa, yin and yoga nidra (guided meditation) at the Soul Studio, Broughton

All classes can be booked via bookwhen.com/amyfarnworthyoga except Mondays at Soul Studio, which are booked through the studio itself, and Thursdays at Halo, which are booked through bookwhen.com/halopoleandaerialstudio. Follow Amy at on Instagram @amyfarnworthyoga.

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This story was made possible by support from you, our readers, and a host of organisations in the city, through our Crowdfund Lancashire appeal, which unlocked support from the Lancashire Culture and Sport Fund provided by Lancashire County Council. You can see all our coverage and, if you know of an arts project or event in the city we should be covering, send details to contactus@blogpreston.co.uk.

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