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Suffolk People: Talking to Carole Baker, Director of The Self Centre, Bury St Edmunds

The Self Centre in Bury St Edmunds is a ‘place of sanctuary’, where you can go to learn yoga, meditation, to generally de-stress and perhaps indulge in a complementary therapy or two.  A visit to Suffolk is a good de-stresser anyway, but if you visit the Self Centre as well, you could turn your visit into a really, really  relaxing break! Here we chat to a very chilled-out Carole Baker who is the director and yoga teacher at the centre.

Can you briefly describe your business:

the self centre is a special place to relax and unwind and simply be yourself – a place of sanctuary. We offer a wide range of Yoga Classes  as well as Pilates, Tai Chi and Meditation.

Professional therapists offer a wide choice of health-promoting and stress-relieving complementary therapies including Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Counselling, Homeopathy, Hypnotherapy & HypnoBirthing, Massage (Aromatherapy, Sports Therapy & Thai Yoga) & Reflexology to name but a few! We also have a hairdresser and beauty therapist  on site, as well as a fabulous  health food cafe.

Can you tell us a bit about your motivation for starting the self-centre?

I wanted to show people the benefits of yoga and staying healthy and for them to understand that their “health is their greatest wealth” which is our teaching philosphy.  Also – I was fed up with carting yoga mats around in my car and teaching in village halls and other people’s health clubs!

What new developments have you got planned?

We are expanding into health and wellbeing in the workplace and in schools. We will visit offices and classrooms to teach people about the simple changes they can make to their lives. We have recently launched a Desk Yoga Video and i pad / i phone app and plan more of these!

What are the most popular classes/workshops that you offer?

Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and Meditation

The Self Centre, Bury St Edmunds The Self Centre, Bury St Edmunds The Self Centre, Bury St Edmunds

Have you got a ‘most memorable moment’ relating to your business?

The man with the leopard skin thong! I’ve never recovered from catching a glimpse of that one under his very brief shorts. I’ve learned not to look now.

What three things do you like most about living/working in Suffolk?

The people who are open, genuine and friendly especially in business.

The beautiful countryside and the fact that the towns are not overcrowded and clogged with traffic.

The ease of travelling anywhere from here with London being only an hour and a half away.

The Self Centre, Bury St Edmunds

Where is your favourite place to eat in Suffolk?

Ooh tricky! There are so many good ones! I love The Fox Inn in Bury st Edmunds, I love the Zen Noodle Bar, I love Ravenwood Hall for special occasions too.

Where is your favourite place to go for a walk in Suffolk?

Love Hopton and Lopham Fen – lots of fond memories of taking my children there when they were littlies. To be honest it is all beautiful.

Favourite Suffolk event of the year?

Latitude and we are teaching Yoga there this year …sooo excited!!

Favourite Suffolk tipple?

In my younger years it would have been Abbot Ale but now I think it’s a small glass of Maynard House Apple Juice – my body is my temple you know –  I am a yoga teacher!!

Most fun/interesting fact about yourself?

My claim to fame is I once sent a text to Chris Evans and offered to sort out his wonky bits and the next day found myself live in the studio at BBC Radio 2, being interviewed by Chris about yoga and then putting Johnny Saunders through his paces. I can face any challenge life throws my way now after that experience.

Thought for the day/philosophy on life?

Change is the most consistent thing in our lives and it’s how we deal with it that shapes who we are. We need a perfect balance of everything; the strength of the eagle and the softness of the dove. If in doubt, just breathe out deeply and smile and place your hand on your heart and listen to what it whispers to you.

The Self Centre, Bury St Edmunds

For more information on The Self Centre, please visit their website. If you have already attended one of the classes or had some treatments there and would like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so below, we would love to hear from you.

You can also keep in touch by ‘liking’ us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. This is a community website and we welcome contributions from anyone who would like to write about Suffolk or leave comments about places they have visited. All you need to do is register (just your name and email address) and then you can start writing!

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Written by Mark



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