Video: Yin Yan Yoga fills Liverpool empty offices as thousands take charge of their health and wellbeing

Chartered Surveyor Robin Ellis saw the potential to utilise empty city centre offices for classes and also tells how his own health was transformed by taking up yoga. Tony McDonough reports

Robin Ellis, founder of Yin Yan Yoga in Liverpool


An excruciating back condition and a “eureka moment” standing in an empty office gave entrepreneur Robin Ellis the inspiration set up his yoga and pilates venture.

As one of Liverpool’s most high-profile chartered surveyors Robin has spent 20 years marketing and letting offices.

He became aware of the potential to utilise empty office space for yoga and pilates classes and now,  less than two years after its May 2015 launch, his Yin Yan Yoga venture has just welcomed its 10,000th student.

City centre sessions

Yin Yan holds more than a dozen classes a week across the city centre that are open to all, mostly Yoga and Pilates, but also things like Karate and Spinal Health Workshops.

Click hear to watch a video about Yin Yan Yoga

Locations include The Port of Liverpool Building, Exchange Station, Exchange Flags and the Tempest, where its even uses a secret roof garden.

Painful fall

Robin’s own interest in yoga came about after a fall on ice led to him experiencing back pain.

Having tried all the recommended treatments and undergone surgery through his abdomen to insert an artificial disc in his lower spine, there was little improvement and he decided he had to take control rather than relying on a medical system that had failed to help.

He explained: “My mental and physical health was spiralling downwards when I started to practise yoga, pilates and meditation. I was depressed, in constant pain that wasn’t responding to treatment and hadn’t sat down for three years.

A Yin Yan Yoga class taking place in empty office space in Liverpool


“And I was surprised to discover that not only were they the most effective way of getting my life back on track and managing my problems. Instead of the negative side effects associated with popping pills and surgery, there were surprising benefits

“I was better able to deal with stress in and out of work, my performance and productivity jumped, and I was a lot happier – not just back to my old self but a better version of my old self.”

Taking control

Yin Yan has given many people their first taste of looking after their own mental and physical health.

From his own experience and the strain on the NHS, Robin knows there’s a need for innovative new ways for people to improve their mental and physical health.

Some of the Yin Yan Yoga classes take place outdoors


He added: “Today we all lead very busy lives and need convenience, that’s why we go to where people work and classes fit around your working day.

“We’re proud to work with the best teachers and our aim is to make everyone, no matter how nervous or unfit, feel comfortable so they can start feeling good, whether they want to tone up, de-stress or just start looking after themselves better.”     

Expansion drive

Robin is now taking Yin Yan to other locations such as Warrington and Bracknell. He said: “It’s been life changing and I wouldn’t change anything I’ve been through because of what I’ve gained and the people we’ve helped so far.

“There’s stress, depression, anxiety and pain in virtually every office in the country, that’s why Yin Yan exists. Everybody can benefit and that’s what excites me.”

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