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Stride & Edge Q&A - Yoga by the Lake

We caught up with Madeleine and Harry about their new venture in the Lake District...Stride & Edge!

Discover what it's like to step out onto Windermere Jetty, take in the Lake views, flow into some yoga and enjoy some coffee and cake to finish. What's not to love? We caught up with them to find out more about their incredible classes.


First of all, we’ve got to start with the name - Stride and Edge. What’s it all about?

Originally we wanted to name the company using something iconic from the Lake District within the title but without limiting us to being a location only business.  We love the walking route Striding Edge on Helvellyn and after playing around with this we shouted out "Stride & Edge".  There is a running joke about which one of us is Stride and which one of us is Edge, but really we just wanted to use something that inspires us form the local area. 

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background in Yoga.

We both started yoga together 6 years ago.  I have suffered with back and shoulder pain and because traditional routes such as prescriptions, physio and surgery did not work, the doctor and physio recommended yoga. 

Within months it was clear that regular practice was making everything better and then it was obvious to keep yoga as part of my regular weekly exercise plan.  If I don't do Yoga my pain comes back, it was that simple.

Over the last 6 years we really fell in love with practicing yoga and the benefits it brought to all the other sports and exercise we did.  

Our teaching journey started because Madeleine is an actor and was looking for what she could do in between working that was not as time restricting as the normal 9-5.  

We looked at what we were passionate about and explored the opportunities within Yoga.  We figured when she becomes a movie star I may need to sub her classes so I better learn too. 

This lead us to our teacher training where we went on a month long full time course to train in Vinyasa Yoga. 

So, why the Lake District? What inspired you to start your journey here? 

We have both grown up in the Lake District all our lives living in the local area so it was a natural route to start close to home.  We have both travelled the world and studied away but have always had our routes in the Lakes.  If you can create the opportunity why would you go anywhere else?

Where could we typically experience a Stride and Edge class? 

We teach regular classes in Bowness on Tuesday & Wednesday evenings at the Hydro Hotel and at the weekends we also teach Saturday morning at the Windermere Jetty Museum. 

This is a beautiful big room right on the lake shore with views over the water.  If it is warm and dry we will teach outside on the jetty which is an experience not to be missed

So I’ve just turned up to the studio and I’m ready to go! What does my typical Stride & Edge class consist of?

We teach a 75 minute Vinyasa class which flows through dynamic movements to build strength and stretch you out.  There are always great tunes playing in the background and it is going to get hot and sweaty.  It is always a well-rounded class building to a peak and chilling back out towards the end to leave you in a refreshed state ready to tackle your day. 

Just asking for a friend herebut say they’re a complete novice who can’t even touch their toes. Would they be welcome to take part in a Stride & Edge class too?

Perfect!  We always welcome a beginner to any class.  We started by diving straight in and figuring it out as we went.  It is going to be challenging and potentially awkward at points but you can just enjoy moving and try pick 1 or 2 things up for the next class. 

If someone was uncomfortable with this we always welcome them to come down early and have a quick 101 on some of the basic movements or join one of the monthly beginners workshops we put on.

Yoga seems like an alien concept to allot of us, and the thought of trying something new can seem pretty daunting.  So, what could you tell us that'll put our minds at ease?

Our big challenge is to shrug off the stereotype and help bring new people into Yoga.  It is a friendly environment and a feeling of community within the classes.  We have new people starting each week loving the style we are teaching and the new edge to this activity. 

There are so many benefits to yoga that include increased flexibility, mental focus, cardiovascular conditioning, calorie-burn and muscle development and these should be enough to get you into a class and give it a go. 

If you’re just looking for a good workout and don’t think yoga is tough enough, on average you will burn more calories than jogging or doing jumping jacks for the same length of time- so it still provides the burn!  Most people are surprised at the challenge it can provide. 

However it is about being king to yourself so it is always encouraged to rest when you want and there is no judgment if you take the easier variation to a movement. Finally if that is not enough, we finish at 10am and the café opens just on time and they have wicked pancakes and coffee by the water’s edge.

Why is Yoga so good for our body and soul? And why would you encourage people to get involved and give it a go?

We just touched on some of the physical benefits but the best benefit and maybe the secret sauce that you will notice over time is the ability it has to calm our minds.  Instead of any worries or thoughts you can shut off for 75 minutes and just think about breath and movement.  Making it into a moving meditation. 

Don’t let it scare you as it happens subconsciously by moving and listening to the cues on breath within a class.  Even when sweat is dripping you are dialled in to the inhale and exhaling cues as we move. 

You’re going to build core strength and decrease muscular tension keeping you supple and sharp.  If you have a favourite sport these benefits are going to keep you doing it longer and help prevent injuries relating to muscular over-use.  I am biased but adding regular yoga sessions into your week is going to elevate your life.

Can you share some of your feedback you’ve received? What do people enjoy most about your classes, and why do they love being part of the Stride & Edge community?

People have enjoyed the style and the tempo to our classes.  They love the location of our studio spaces and have welcomed us to put more on for a busier schedule. Most people have enjoyed the community feel to our classes with our light hearted approach to this movement.  Some of the best feedback comes from the people who really stepped out of their comfort zone to try a class and were shocked at the challenge and the benefits they felt. 

Finally, do I need to bring anything along with me? 

Nothing is needed as we provide the mats.  You may want a gym towel and water bottle but it is up to you.  Wear some gym clothes ready to workout. 

Class Details:

Visit the @stride&edge Facebook page to book

Vinyasa Yoga (75 minutes) 6.30 - 7.45pm
Tuesday at Hydro Hotel, Bowness-on-Windermere

Boys Night (Men's Yoga) (60 minutes) 7.30 - 8.30pm
Wednesday at Hydro Hotel, Bowness-on-Windermere

Vinyasa Yoga (Yoga by the Lake) (75 minutes) 8.45 - 10.00am
Saturday at Windermere Jetty Museum, Bowness-on-Windermere