Interview With Liverpool Yoga Studios

The Checkfit team where invited down to Liverpool Yoga Studios to have a look around their facility and try out one of their fantastic classes. We then sat down with Victoria Willis to ask her some questions about Liverpool yoga Studios and their community.The class we took part in was Aerial Yoga; this was our first time trying this class and certainly won’t be our last.

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How Would You Describe Liverpool Yoga Studios?

We wanted to create a community that is non-judgmental, non-competitive and a safe environment for everyone. Any age and any ability can come and practise. Within yoga there are two ends of the spectrum, so you have got physical and meditative. So the physical the people who want to do the splits, be able to more challenging postures and then you’ve got your really meditative side and we wanted to be somewhere in the middle, attracting both but in a non-competitive, warm loving environment.

To engage the community more we have a tree in the reception and we encourage our members to write something positive or something they want to get out of their head, and they put it on the tree and that’s there for people to read.

We wanted to create yoga for all, so if you are a fitness person who has never tried yoga before we want you to try it, and if you are a yogi who hasn’t tried any of our fitness classes we want you to try them. That’s why we have a lot of different types of yoga, the spin and the ko8 studio.

 

Who Is Your Target Audience?

Everyone, all ages. We have a children section which is separate and for under 11s. but we would just like everyone to try yoga because I think the beauty of our schedule is that there is a class for everyone, so somatics, which can be linked in with yoga, somebody who has had an injury could come and its small movements, it’s about isolation of the bodies and it’s all to do with reprogramming from the mind. So it’s quite scientific, but those people can come to that class and they literally lie on the floor for the whole class doing tiny movements but the benefit their body will get is insane.  We have yin yang flow which would be suitable for people who may want to lose weight; we have a class for everyone.

 

What Barriers Do You Think People Face Getting Into Yoga?

I think there are many reasons, it’s reprogramming of behaviour. So if you are a guy who goes to the gym and you get your release in your weight training, for them to then come over into yoga it’s like a reprogramming of behaviour which some people don’t necessarily want or think that they need. But those type of people sometimes don’t see what the benefit is from yoga.

I think with some people, they have this thing where they need to be the best, and if they struggle they will think they’re failing.

How Did Yoga Bears Start And What Do Their Classes Include?

Estelle who created the studios she worked with early years before yoga, and once she started doing yoga herself and opened the studio for adults, she quickly realised that children need yoga. So originally it was organic and we had people who would come to adult classes would bring their children here and it’s now moved on. So we have created physical sequence manual posture classes that are done with the children. And then we have created a whole mental side which works with emotion, it all links back to yoga. We’ve got the A-Z of yoga bears which is 26 postures which are designed for children. And then we have the 7 bears, for example, for each energy centre in the body we have a bear, so Mula, who is the red bear, has the super power of happiness and he has a tree on his belly. What do trees need to keep then strong, strong  foundations and strong roots, so it teaches children how to be routed , how to lay strong foundations, how to display through sound , physical postures.

A class would be based around whatever bear’s month it is, so at the minute its Mulas month, so all the postures will be the ones that match Mula.

Why Do You Think Children Need Yoga? 

Is a complicated world we live in, as an adult working in the corporate for 12 years, it was only in later life I was introduced to the ice berg. So I used to always think I needed the most qualifications to display my intelligence to be the best person. Then someone introduced me to emotional intelligence, and that whole concept is massive.

We just want to equipped children with those life skills because a lot of it is lessons we learn as adults. So for example, this is the blue bear Sid and it’s about truth, and sometimes as adults we struggle to talk about our emotions. If something has happened we can hold them all inside but we are making children aware of their inner as well of their outer.

We have has such good progress, we have worked children with autism who the teachers have started one to one classes with and now they are able to go into full classes with other children, we also work with disabled children, there’s so much we can do and it is so powerful.

Do You Offer Different Classes For Different Levels?

Yes and no, our team are trained to be able to take on beginners and advanced. We have one specific advanced class on a Wednesday night which is the advanced ariel. Apart from that everyone can go to all the classes, and the teachers are amazing at being able to assist the beginners, it doesn’t slow the class down.

How Do You Build Relationships With Your Members?

We used to go on walks, in places like Snowden. But the winter came so we put a stop to that. We spend a lot of time with our members when they’re here, and just by constantly speaking with them we help grow this community. But now that the weather is getting better we can start doing the walks again.

What Different Types Of Classes Do You Offer?

We have around 13 different types of yoga, they stretch from the meditative and slower paced to your more intense flow based. We also let the lads from ko8 into our hot room and that was one of the best things we done because we got so many new people because of the strength and conditioning side. We have an abs class on a Wednesday. We have so many different classes and we will definitely have one to suit your personality. We have a class called wild, its one of our busiest classes and it gets all the lads because even though it’s yoga it’s really strength and stamina based and its in the hot room so that adds to the intensity.

What Is Aerial Yoga? 

Aerial yoga is sequnces of yoga postures but you’re supported by a hammock. The reason why people do aerial yoga is because the hammock is classed as a yoga prop, you will use the hammock to help you get into postures, it can be more supportive. For example some of the things I can do in the hammock I can’t do it freestanding. But we also use the hammocks for that elliment of fun.

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Do You Offer 1-1 Classes?

Yes, all of the teachers can offer 1-1s here. Tash and beck are the two who mainly do it, they have one to ones with people who are a bit shy of going into a room full of people so they help build their confidence, also they do one to ones with people who might want to take their practise into more depth, there’s always something you can do.

Do You Have Any Offers For People? 

Yes we have nhs, police force, fire service they all get 17% off, the same as students. We also have discount for people who work for the community. 

Whats Next For Liverpool Yoga Studios?

With yoga bears that’s expanding because hopefully that will be going into more of a community project, hopefully we will be working with schools. With yoga bears we are now in maghull and wavetree. My next step for yoga bears would be to expand over the water and into warrington.

In terms of the studio we are looking at something new to bring here becuase that’s the key for us, so yes we have got plans for something later this year. We are also looking at enhancing our aerial yoga class.