As a lifelong yoga practitioner, director Estelle Cartlidge, saw the opportunity to train as a Bikram teacher whilst on holiday and decided to turn her passion for health and wellbeing into her career.
Originally from Crosby, Estelle sparked her interest in the human body following a degree in advanced study of early years with human and biological science, which included a focussed study of anatomy, diet and nutrition.
Combining a love of working with children and healthy lifestyle, Estelle went on to run a wrap-around care facility in Crosby providing holiday services, tutoring and after school activities to children and young people.
It was when Estelle became pregnant with her first child, Michael, that her love of yoga developed and she knew at that moment that she wanted to bring the healing benefits the practice has on body and mind to a wider audience.
On a family holiday in Malta, Estelle came across a Bikram training programme and it was opportunity she had been searching for to make the break and follow her passion.
Estelle completed her training under the watchful eye of Bikram Choudhury himself in LA in April 2011, following a 10 week intensive course. Bikram is unique in that only those who receive training and accreditation from the founder are able to teach the practice.
Passionate about being the first person to bring Bikram to Liverpool, Estelle began her search for the perfect site for the state-of-the-art studio which she found in Liverpool’s business district.
As a mum of two, Estelle knows well the pressures of modern family life and the importance of taking time out to realign the body, centre the mind and benefit from the fulfilment that can be achieved through Bikram practice.
Estelle believes strongly in the power of the mind to enable people to realise and release the potential within and has worked to create an environment that is accessible to all.
Now as director of Bikram yoga Liverpool Estelle is able to bring Bikram yoga home! She wants everyone in Liverpool to know that Bikram Yoga is accessible to him or her. Yes it will make you more flexible, yes it will make you stronger but, its not about coming to your first class strong and flexible its about coming with an open heart and mind. The hardest part is getting yourself into the studio for the first time and then your Bikram Yoga journey begins......and who knows where it can take you.....
My Bikram Yoga adventure started seven years ago in Manchester, a friend of mine asked me to go along and try a class with her, I took up the introductory offer and by class six I had cancelled my gym membership and decided to stop competing in triathlons.
In a very short space of time this magical practice transformed the way I thought about health, fitness and general well being. Whilst being one of the most challenging things I have ever undertaken, and still is to this day, It also felt as though I was doing something special for myself. My previous training regime had left me drained and exhausted, Bikram made me feel energised, stronger, happier, more balanced and more compassionate both to myself and others.
Over the next five years I was lucky enough to visit over sixty studios throughout the world and experience the teachings of some incredibly inspiring and wonderful teachers. As my practice developed and I changed as a person it became abundantly clear as to what an incredibly positive impact Bikram was having on my life, it was at this point I decided that I wanted to become A Bikram teacher in order that I could share and help pass on this life and soul enhancing Yoga.
I attended teacher training in Los Angeles in 2012 and began the process of becoming a certified Bikram teacher, the training was tough and challenged me in ways that I could not even begin to imagine but becoming a Bikram teacher has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
I feel very privileged and lucky to be able to teach at Bikram yoga Liverpool, a feeling of warmth and compassion resonates throughout, from Michael and Estelle through all the staff, teachers and students. It is a special place indeed.
My very best Yoga moments have come whilst teaching at the studio here in Liverpool, I can think of several classes where the energy and focus in the room has been just electrifying, breathtaking and beautiful. Watching the students practice develop and change week by week is an absolute honour.
See you in the hot room soon, time to "shake and bake" !
I would have to say that the greatest moment of TT was staying in the room and finishing a 3 hour class with Bikram Choudhury! Bikram classes are never easy and often can be challenging but when you have been pushed to your limits and survived something like that, no matter how challenging a class gets now, I know I have the mental and physical resilience to carry on! Part of the great thing for me as a whole as a teacher is watching, developing and helping students progress their practice. It is great to witness a student overcome a mental or physical challenge in class, knowing that is has been assisted by your guidance and teaching.
I love that each Bikram yoga class is different. There is often a lot of talk about a Bikram class being the same postures each class and if this becomes repetitive. I really do not think that it does. Each time we come to class it is with a different mind and a different body. This is allows each class to be a unique experience. I really enjoy that sometimes class can be a challenge whether this be a mentally, physically or emotionally. And what makes Bikram great is no matter how you feel when you come to class, you ALWAYS, ALWAYS leave feel amazing! That is something no-one can dispute!
I love that Bikram Liverpool has an amazing, warm and friendly Bikram Yoga community. A Bikram community dedicated to the practice of Bikram Yoga. The studio is clean, modern and very friendly catering really well for first time students as well as regular, more long-term students.
When it comes to my class, I find it hard to describe my own style. I always teach from the perspective that each and every class is all about the students, and never about me. I have heard students say that I have a calming and relaxing voice, yet someone manage to still make them work really hard! Just like each class being different when you practice Bikram, each Bikram class you teach can be different too. I think it is really important to teach from the heart and understand the differing abilities, capabilities and personalities of each and every student in the room. When I think about a quote that reflects my teaching, I would have to quote:
“The greatest degree of inner tranquillity comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.”
I'm so passionate about Bikram yoga and how it can help so many people because I know it works, it literally turned my life around. To see people transform in only a few classes is a magical thing to witness and to be part of that process is something I adore and can't believe I'm lucky enough to call work.
I completed my training at Sivananda Ashram (yoga school) in Kerela India. My teacher was trained by Swami Vishnu-devananda, a direct disciple of Swami Sivananda; I feel very blessed to have this direct lineage passed down to me. Sivananda classes at Shakti take place in the non hot studio where I teach a traditional raja yoga, open level practice. We focus on asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), bhakti yoga (chanting), meditation, yoga philosophy and relaxation. I have also studied with the British Wheel of Yoga, the UK's governing body for yoga, here in Liverpool. I am Yoga Alliance certified, first aid trained and fully insured.
In our hot studio I teach Evolve - a grounding, enlightening movement series, created by Estelle and myself, aimed at intermediate level yogis and designed to be a natural progression for practitioners of Bikram and other forms of hot yoga. Set to uplifting music, it is a vinyasa practice where we focus on gradual progression, rather than perfect postures (which don't actually exist). We just try to relax and have fun with our practice. Evolve will undoubtedly help you to develop a strong, more flexible, body but most importantly it will also leave you feeling happy, centered, uplifted and relaxed.
Yoga is more than just stretching. When we practice, our energy centres open, flexibility of the spine increases, we strengthen our bones and stimulate the circulatory and immune system and it can bring us a deep sense of peace and harmony within. Our bodies are all different, so I believe that you should always listen to your own body - it is your best teacher. I simply guide and support my students to do that. By doing so I wish that my classes help you to create a strong, healthy body and a peaceful mind. That deep sense of peace and well-being, that makes you float out of class and into a great night's sleep, is the ultimate aim of yoga.
Bikram Yoga Liverpool, Focus Building, Great Crosshall Street, Liverpool City Centre L3 2AP