Roger Love talks to Zoe Bertali of The Refinery E9 about its eclectic mix of fitness classes and her mission that drives the studio
Tell us about yourself
I was a sales director for a marketing agency, but I always knew I wanted to get out of the corporate environment and away from the 9 to 5. I have been practising yoga for 18 years and started teaching it five years ago while still in full-time employment. I have always been passionate about the benefits of yoga and a healthy lifestyle. It’s all about balance these days and making sure we have the tools to cope with modern life.
It is important to carve the time out for yourself to declutter the mind and the body. When opening The Refinery, it was really important to us to build not just fitness studios and therapy rooms that would help people get in the best physical and mental shape, but also a community of like-minded people.
What classes do you offer?
We have more than 100 classes a week from Dynamic, Power, Restorative and Yin yoga to Disco Barre and body conditioning, and cardio and HIIT to meditation and gong baths. We also have loads of complementary therapies on offer – including massage, physiotherapy, reiki, hypnotherapy and sound healing.
Who are your teachers?
We have amazing teachers and staff working with us – all with the same goal – to get you in your best shape in mind, body and soul. Even Marley the cockapoo makes an appearance occasionally – he has been known to throw out a Downward Dog or two on cue.
What makes your studio different from others?
We had been to lots of places where it was pretty intimidating entering the space – not sure if you were wearing the right gear or if you were good enough to be in the class. We want people to feel comfortable and included at any stage of their wellness journey so they stay committed to it – whether they are just starting out and have never attended a class before, or are experienced and looking for the best instruction. Life can get so serious, so we want people to have fun and make friends at the same time as finding a bit of headspace.
Describe your classes in three words:
Fierce, fun and fabulous!
What kind of person would like them?
Everyone, I hope!
Who would hate them?
I would hope no-one.
What makes you most proud of your studio?
Our fantastic clients, staff and teachers.
What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had at The Refinery E9?
Opening the doors and welcoming clients for the first time – it was magical. We still have loads of them coming today three years on so we are so grateful and feel pretty lucky.
Roger Love is a personal trainer based in Netil House E8.