Back in 1999 I moved to Harrogate from a village near Wetherby. I was pleasantly surprised to find that town living was much friendlier than anything I’d experienced during eighteen years of living in a village. In the terrace I moved to, my immediate neighbours had a technology expert in the family. Within a few weeks of ensconcing myself on the terrace, the techy expert – Leigh Richardson – introduced himself and suggested I should have a website. This was a novel idea to me. Only eighteen months previously, I’d done my best to dissuade my Son from laying a cable all the way across our landing carpet from the telephone socket in my bedroom, to get the internet into his bedroom. I couldn’t understand the point of it then. It’s strange to hark back and see how life has changed since those early days of the internet.
Anyhow, it was fortuitous to say the least, to have moved where there was such a clever, young man living next door (now owner of Vipertech). Within a short time Harrogate Yoga was born, domain name and all. I had really very little idea what to include on the first website. I’ve mostly forgotten now, but I think I just copied information off my publicity flyer, and there was only one page.
By 2005 things had moved on a lot and so a much more sophisticated website design was created by Richard England (who’s now specialising in making games and digital experiences). This design has served me well for eight years, but as many people now access information from mobile devices, something more streamlined and modern was needed. In addition, the new site could be created in WordPress, which would make it much easier for me to manage. Although I knew it should be done, I had a heavy heart at the thought of all the work involved. I forced myself to look at every detail of the website, which has taken hours of work, but a lot of good changes have been made as a result. What’s more, Leigh made the process as smooth as possible and has come up trumps with a great looking website. I hope you agree!
In my review of the old site, I felt I hadn’t done justice to the therapeutic work I do with individuals. So I decided to create a new page – Yoga Therapy. The page includes some beautiful testimonials that clients have kindly written for me about our work together.
This is an example from Dr Vivien Jeffs:
“Yoga is good for what ails you; that is a given. In my case, after being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, I gave up my yoga practice along with most everything else. I was essentially housebound when a friend told me about Amanda, and I decided to give her a try … probably one of my best decisions ever!
Amanda starts each session by inquiring about my psychological and physical wellbeing. From there, she tailors our class to address my specific needs. Her practice is totally client centered.
I have been to other yoga classes facilitated by a variety of other instructors. I can honestly say that they all pale in comparison to Amanda. She has changed my life for the better in more ways than I can count”.
In addition to the Yoga Therapy page, I wanted the new site to show pictures of classes in my recently enlarged yoga studio. But my own attempts at this were pretty dismal. Luckily an itinerant photographer friend happened to be around and he explained why my pics hadn’t worked. The studio is quite long compared to its width, so students near to me came out very large and those at the far end looked tiny. My friend used a fancy Fuji camera with a wide angle lens and took some great pictures of me adjusting students – as shown on this blog.
We decided the Wednesday classes were most suitable for the photos, because they take place during the day. The girls in my morning class met the challenge of appearing in the photographic session with enthusiasm, and arrived wearing clothes that would work well in the pics, i.e. light and/or colourful, plus hair and makeup done beautifully. The students in my lunchtime class were not so enthusiastic. This class includes some men who found lots of reasons why they should not be in the hot spot immediately in front of the camera. In the end it had to be the smaller of the three, because the photographer couldn’t fit the long arms and legs of the other two into the picture.
An important aim of the new website is that you will find it easier to get the information you need. The Classes page has given rise to the most ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’. I thought long and hard about an online booking system for classes. For better or worse, the reason in the end why I decided against it, is because I like to give my students a personal service. I wanted to continue to offer the payment in two instalments option and concessions for those on a low wage. And I thought I’d probably end up with just as much work through online booking as I have at the moment!
So I hope you enjoy the new look of the website and I especially hope that you find it easier to navigate to the information you need. Let me know how you experience it – feedback is welcome!