Into the Spotlight, kindly sponsored by Scriba PR, is a regular feature where we highlight some great small businesses. Here we profile Marsden-based Umbrella Yoga.

An award-winning community interest company is making well-being its mission in 2024.

Marsden-based Umbrella Yoga is helping people relax with the power of yoga. Its community group sessions are free and now the company wants to partner with businesses looking to support the community and improve the well-being of their staff.

Umbrella Yoga, set up by Ellie Firth, delivered almost 1,200 classes in 2023, worked with 25 partners and helped more than 700 individuals to benefit from specialised yoga classes.

Umbrella Yoga, which won New Start Up Social Enterprise in the Social Enterprise Yorkshire and the Humber Annual Awards in 2022, holds classes across Kirklees.

It helps people with additional needs, such as older adults, those with early onset dementia, those with learning disabilities, migrant communities and trauma survivors.

Umbrella Yoga co-director Pollyanna Steiner said: “While research that aims to understand the impacts of yoga is relatively scarce, the results are certainly positive.

“Studies have indicated benefits for people suffering from depression and anxiety, trauma, physical pain or injury, as well as people living with genetic conditions such as Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy and neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism.

“Over the last three years Umbrella Yoga has been privileged to work with more than 55 fantastic organisations spanning the third, public and private sectors, some of whom have remained long term partners such as Huddersfield Mission, Waves Group and Mencap in Kirklees.

“We have provided staff well-being sessions to businesses of all sizes, both in person and online, and helped increase staff performance and productivity as well as morale.”

Pollyanna now wants to reach out to more local businesses and said: “Businesses can book well-being classes for their staff with 50% of the cost re-invested back into community yoga provision.

“Businesses can also sponsor a class in their area or help by supporting fundraising events.”

Feedback for the yoga sessions has been great. Jeni Harvey, head of communications and research at Oldham Council, said: “As part of a staff training day, our team at Oldham Council enjoyed a yoga session with Ellie.

“The aim was to encourage members of the team to relax, to let their creativity flow and to enhance working relationships in an informal and non-hierarchical way.

“Ellie was inclusive, friendly and encouraging; adapting the session so all of our varied team members could take part and enjoy it, and even creating a sense of peace and calm in a corporate training room – which is no mean feat!

“Afterwards, many staff said it was the best training session they’d ever had. The session was fantastic, as well as being great value for money, and we would highly recommend it.”

Pollyanna added: “We’d love for businesses to work alongside us to make our contribution to Kirklees truly sustainable.”

Umbrella Yoga can be contacted via its website or e-mail or