A husband and wife team have taken over an unloved Southsea building and given it a new purpose.
Lisa and Paul Murray, who met at a gym 15 years ago, now run a stockbroker business at street level in Marmion Road, with a hot yoga studio in the premises above, believed to be the first in the region.
Hot yoga is yoga conducted in a heated studio of up to 40C – similar to the heat and humidity it is practised at in India.
Mrs Murray, 53, a former bodybuilder, said: ‘I got into yoga initially through bodybuilding and weight training and being a fitness instructor teaching at local clubs.
‘I got into yoga and was travelling to Liverpool and London all the time with yoga in a heated studio, because we don’t have anything like it in the south at all.
‘That is when the idea came up. My husband was starting a business downstairs which he has been doing for five years in rented offices.
‘We bought this building because we used to live across the road from it in Victoria Road South.
‘We used to look at the building. It needed a lot of TLC and we could see it from our bedroom window.
‘We loved Southsea but never felt it was the right time to do anything. We noticed a shift in the people in Southsea. There’s a lot of energy now. A lot of people are starting their own businesses.
‘When the building came up, my husband bought the premises and moved his business. It was a huge leap of faith because the building was in poor condition.
‘It was always about downstairs for the business.
‘Upstairs was going to be a apartment to rent out to pay towards the mortgage. I went to bed one night and thought it would make a lovely hot yoga studio. My husband woke up the next day and said he had been thinking about it overnight and he said”‘let me support you”. He said it has always been about the teaching, why don’t you do it?
‘It’s something I have always wanted to do and never felt I was capable of doing it until my husband got behind me.
‘We have had an overwhelming response so far. Everybody leaves feeling amazing. It has been incredible.
‘People say they love what we have done with the building and say thank you for restoring the premises.
‘We have lived in Portsmouth all of our lives and we are very humble. We have thrown ourselves under the spotlight with this and it has been great.’
Mr Murray, who owns Paul Murray Investments Financial Planning, says he is excited to be offering the two services to the people of Portsmouth.
‘I believe I am the only broker who offers stockbroking and financial planning to people in Portsmouth. It was always a vision to eventually have two businesses,’ said Mr Murray, 51.
‘Lisa being a yoga teacher and me being a financial planner, the idea was that we found a suitable location and had the hot yoga studio with my office.
‘We have kept our careers quite separate in the past. She has always been in fitness and I have always been in financial planning. It was more about bringing on the one hand two elements of the business together and giving advice to older people in the area.
‘I am very passionate about that. This was about bringing two passions together, in particular hot yoga, and what I was doing. When I came across this building, it’s in central Southsea and in an ideal location.
‘It’s going incredibly well. I am more excited for Lisa because it’s her first business venture. She is excited to bring hot yoga to the people of Portsmouth.’