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Meet Emily of Bodhi Fitness

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

How post baby problems inspired new business – the story behind Bohdi Fitness

Emily is on a mission – to build a community with fitness and wellbeing at its heart. Bringing people together to have fun, make friends and nurture and strengthen the body.


Emily is the founder of Bodhi Fitness, a new health and fitness company based on the top floor of The Exchange 1856.


Bodhi Fitness offers a range of new fitness classes at time slots to slot all lifestyles.

We talked to Emily about her vision for Bodhi Fitness at The Exchange 1856.


Tell us about you and your background?

I’m originally from the North-East but moved down to Surrey with my then-partner. I trained as a make-up artist and model so have always been interested in helping myself and others look and feel good.


Fitness was a passion and I kept myself in good shape, but things changed drastically after the birth of my first son.


What happened after you had your son?

After I gave birth to my first son, my body seemed to fall to bits. I suffered from a really sore back and was always in pain. It got me down and I felt like I was never going to be me again. After a visit to the doctor, I was diagnosed with Diastasis Recti – that’s when the muscles that support your core, split during pregnancy and don’t fully repair.


My doctor told me the only way to fix it was through Pilates. I discovered a wonderful Pilates teacher who trained me really well and solved my back pain problem. I felt like me again.

It got me hooked on Pilates. There’s so much choice throughout the London area – all the latest fitness classes and methods, including reformer Pilates. It made me think how great it would be if the North East had the same breadth of choice. That was the first inkling of my idea for Bodhi Fitness.


Why the career change into fitness?

Being a make-up artist, I always loved making people feel good, but I realised this was only a momentary feeling that faded once the make-up did.


I wanted to give people more meaningful, longer-term feelings of confidence and wellbeing. The benefits I’d seen through Pilates inspired me to train as a Pilates instructor. When I returned to the North East three years ago, just before the birth of my second son, I began teaching Pilates classes and doing 1-1 sessions with individual clients.


When was Bodhi Fitness born?

My classes went from zero to sold out within just five months and clients were constantly asking me for more. I realised it was time to take the next step and set up my business in a dedicated space.


One of my clients told me about The Exchange 1856 and its community aims, particularly around health and well-being, and it seemed like the stars had aligned. Working with Paul Stonebanks OBE, the new custodian of The Exchange 1856, I’ve now been able to bring my dream for Bodhi Fitness alive.


What is your vision for The Exchange 1856?

People are moving away from the old traditions of going out and getting really drunk every weekend. It’s no longer cool and it’s now OK to say ‘No’ to getting off your face on a night out. People are much more focused on health and wellbeing.


I want to create something that captures all the fun, friendship and making memories on a night out but do it in a healthy way that leaves you feeling good and buzzing rather than hung over for days. A community of people with the same aims and goals.


I want to hold classes at least five days out of seven with regular morning and afternoon slots. And I plan to run specialist sessions from up-beat evening classes with dance music to classes for new mums and babies.


My goal is to bring the same choice and quality of fitness classes to the people of North Shields I experienced in London. I can’t wait to get started!


Booking to classes will become available soon.

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