A Huddersfield mother and son have transformed a derelict building, which has been in their family for more than half a century, into a new boutique yoga studio.
Peter Lubelski, 37, and his mum Barbara Cafferty, have spent three years renovating the grade II-listed property on Trinity Street to create Connect Yoga and Wellness Centre, offering hot yoga therapy for the first time in Huddersfield.
The three-floor property has been lovingly restored to combine old with new, blending impressive Victorian features with state-of-the-art facilities to offer a wide range of yoga sessions including aerial, bikram, hatha, vinyasa flow and hot inferno pilates.
It’s the first time many of these sessions have taken place in Huddersfield, with a hot and humid climate required to make the classes as authentic as possible.
Peter, who lives in Netherton, said: “Bikram yoga is a strict discipline and there wasn’t anywhere in Huddersfield offering it. It involves a series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises practiced at a temperature of 40 degrees celsius and 40 per cent humidity.
“I think we’re the only ones offering hot pilates and aerial yoga too, so it’s very exciting that we’re bringing something new to Huddersfield, as well as improving the local area by renovating a derelict building which had become an eyesore.
“It looks great and we’ve had over 120 people coming through the doors since we opened three weeks ago.
“Now, we just want to spread the word that we’re open and invite people to come along and see what we’re doing here.”
A total of four yoga teachers run sessions throughout the week aimed at all abilities, with more instructors coming on board in the future.
Peter admits he was a yoga novice when he first came up with the idea of running yoga sessions, but says he’s living proof that the classes can cater for beginners, as well as more experienced yoga enthusiasts.
The dad-of-two added: “We have fully qualified teachers running the classes for all abilities. Believe it or not, I’d only ever done one yoga session before we opened. I couldn’t even touch my toes, but I’ve definitely felt the benefit and I’m getting better each week.”
It’s been a sentimental journey renovating the historic building for Peter and Barbara who took on the massive project after the former owner, Peter’s grandfather Nikodem Bujak, passed away.
He and his wife Halina had run a hotel in the building from the 1960s, but it had remained empty since the 1980s and fallen into disrepair.
Peter, who studied architecture at university and previously worked in construction, added: “There’s a lot of family history here – my parents even had their wedding reception here and when we were renovating the property we found a bottle of champagne from their wedding.
“It’s an amazing building, with so much character and original features. We’ve done quite a lot of it ourselves, but we got specialists in to restore things like the windows.”
The building was once an annex of Huddersfield’s New North Road hospital and later became the town’s first Ukranian club.
As well as a yoga studio, the upper floors have also been transformed to provide a conference room, wellness training and learning facilitiies.
For further information, visit the Connect Yoga and Wellness Centre website.