A 19TH century building has been given a new lease of life by a yoga teacher who transformed it into a brand-new studio and therapy centre.

The old building on Market Street, Ruthin was silent since the former shop closed 30 years ago and it was in so much need of TLC that a hole in the roof went unnoticed by its new owner Ceri Lee for two months – by which time she had put in newly plastered walls.

“My heart dropped,” said Mrs Lee, who moved from Kent to start the business and live closer to her parents in Ruthin. “There was a deluge of rain, which had leaked in quite significantly through the flat roof onto the beautifully plastered and newly lined walls.”

The mum-of-two said she “took a deep breath” and after a few weeks found an experienced roofer to complete the job. After five months, Mrs Lee refurbished the dingy rooms to a bright and minimalist getaway and she is now set to launch the Yoga Light Centre for busy residents who want to start their own journey to a less stressful life.

“Yoga has become incredibly popular in the UK in the past 20 years,” Mrs Lee said. “Since training to teach in 2000 I’ve seen it snowball and become a mainstream activity in both the wellness and the fitness industry.”

However, she is cautious that the industry which can promote “a fashionable ‘yoga lifestyle’ – containing all the trappings of consumerism”.

“The true yoga lifestyle has nothing to do with wearing a certain brand of yoga pants, rather it’s about following the yogic code of ethics, living respectfully within a community and having a regular practice for a more positive outlook and peace of mind.”

The practice of yoga is much older than even the 19th century, as it originated about 5,000 years ago in ancient India.

“Hatha yoga is one strand of yoga that has become popular in the west because of its physical emphasis on postures and breathing techniques designed to strengthen the body and purify the mind,” Mrs Lee said.

“With regular practice Hatha yoga can benefit the body as it develops core stability, tones the body, improves flexibility, posture, coordination and balance, and keeps the body youthful.

“It also calms the mind and can help relieve stress, anxiety and depression by enhancing a general sense of well-being.”

The teacher approaches yoga as “the act of undoing” with the aim to “release tension and calm the mind”, adding that yoga is “suited to anyone wanting to better themselves on a mind-body level” and “is a perfect antidote to the increasing pressures of the modern world”.

As well as yoga classes, there are also Reiki and massage practitioners – who work in the ‘Green Room’ – as well Pilates classes and as other holistic treatments.

But residents may already have a head start because “Wales is a perfect place to feel the full benefits of yoga as there is a natural inclination to nature and respect for natural beauty, culture, community and connectedness,” Mrs Lee said.

“The most ancient three languages known to man are Sanskrit (the written language of the yoga scriptures), Hebrew, and Welsh. Wales’ ethics and culture echo many aspects of the yogic philosophy, and possibly no mistake that various ashrams, which are traditionally eastern spiritual communities, have found their western home in Wales.”

The class environment is non-competitive or comparative and there are several teachers who offer slightly different approaches based on posture, breath work and relaxation.

An open day will take place from 12-4pm on September 28. For more information visit www.yoga-light.com