KEIGHLEY yoga teacher Sarah-Jane Fortune has been named Inspirational Woman of the Year.

Sarah-Jane, who runs Yoga Wellbeing studio in East Parade, gained the accolade at the Simply Ladies Business Awards.

She was nominated as a ‘shero’ in the regional award scheme for her success building up her Wellbeing Group over the past seven years.

The Leeds awards night was hosted by the Simply Ladies Inc women’s lifestyle club to amazing deeds by women in business or the community.

The categories included rising star, freelancer, agent of change, girl boss, unsung hero, mentor and person with purpose.

Sarah-Jane set up Yoga Wellbeing in the former East Parade studios of her old dance teacher Pat Roberts in 2013, later expanding into the upstairs space and opening the Wellbeing Lounge.

Services at the premises include a vegan coffee shop, a holistic therapy room, regular yoga classes, and associated services such as reflexology and massage.

Sarah-Jane also provides accreditation and training for other yoga practitioners.

She said: “I started out on my own and now I have eight trainee yoga instructors, a team of six who work in the coffee shop, and two holistic therapists.

“We have people who come for lots of reasons, but I’d say 75% go because they’re stressed or anxious, or have issues such as depression.

“When I set up I wanted to create a one-stop shop where people could come to develop community spirit and feel at ease with their stress and anxiety.”

Sarah-Jane recently teamed up with other local therapists to host a new Talk and Thrive group at Yoga Wellbeing, providing, informal support for women with mental health issues.

This was a spin-off from a successful Talk and Thrive group for men in Cross Hills.