A Weegie Yogi Story
Linda started Bikram Yoga whilst working in London and found it the ultimate way to stay in shape… and stay sane whilst living in the rat race. It was the best stress buster she had every experienced. Louis was an unlikely, and like many guys initially reluctant yogi at first. However, when he found it helped rehabilitate a dislocated knee he acquired on his stag doo and sort him out after a heavy weekend, he was a convert.
The first ever Bikram Yoga studio in Scotland was in a two-bedroom flat in Byres Road run by Steven Clark. People travelled from all over Scotland and queued up in the close to practice in a sweaty living room on the 1st floor. Bedrooms were full as people also lived there so people used to get changed in his hall, old skool! And so it began… Six years later Linda and Louis Stewart opened Bikram Yoga Southside and the rest is history.
Linda’s background is in primary teaching and still does some supply work. She has practiced yoga since 2007 and has a degree in psychology and studied anatomy and yoga theory. She completed her Teacher Training in San Diago Fall 2010 and went on to study anatomy Londa co-founded Bikram Yoga Southside in June 2014 with her now hubby Louis.
“When we first got there, the place was an empty office shell. We designed the place from scratch and transformed it into a yoga haven. We put everything on the line and put our whole heart and soul into the place. It could not have been more worth it. I truly love what I do, love our studio, it’s community, the energy and love about the place. I love hearing the students’ stories and watching the practice change people’s lives.”
Previously a General Manager in Arnold Clark Vauxhall, Louis was with the company for ten years. Fed up of the 6-day week and the constant pressure Louis quit the motor industry this year. He now works as an international account manager with DHL. Louis has played an advisory role in the running of the studio since 2014.
“When we set out to build a Bikram studio one of the key factors for us was to nurture a yoga community. We feel we have now accomplished this and it’s growing all the time. Life is all about the people you meet and the experiences you have. It’s not always been sunshine in the garden, there have been tougher times when we wondered what the hell have we done! These have been far outstripped by the positive times. We wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Sport’s science graduate Gaynor Crawford, was sports coach for Stirling Council for 8 year. Living in Dubai 10 years ago she found Bikram yoga and completed her Teacher training in Dubai in Spring 2013.
“I taught and practised regularly till 8 days before I gave birth. I sincerely believe that Bikram massively contributed to my wonderful pregnancy and birth. Since my girl was born, she’s been so happy and content, sleeping 12/14 hours a night from week 5. I have no doubt my yoga has aided my entire venture into motherhood.”
Professional Dancer/ Choreographer Sara Gordon had recently been doing music videos and adverts for H&M, House of Fraser, Laura Mvula, Jungle, and Rae Morris. She practised yoga since 2003, graduated as a Bikram Teacher in 2011 and in 2015 became one of the founding teachers of ‘Fierce Grace Yoga’ a hot yoga system based on classic Hatha, Bikram and Ashtanga.
“My teaching style is always evolving. Three qualities I always convey in class are Sthira (steadiness & alertness), Sukha (comfort & lightness), and focus on the Breath.”
Photographer and film maker Fraz is a mentor in Shooters, a film making project that part of a Scottish children’s charity. He has worked as a documentary cameraman for the Spirit Aid filming their overseas projects in the Townships of South Africa and bush communities of Malawi. He also does independent videography work for the Conservatoire, Still Game and Barlinnie.
Fraz brings a unique energy, passion and compassion into the room. Don’t miss his classes for a dose of peace love and happiness
Sarah moved to Glasgow from Sweden a few years ago to study at the University of Glasgow, where she recently graduated with an M.A in Philosophy and Film studies. Her main research concerned the philosophy of mind, and the nature of consciousness.
Her interest in the essence of experience, introspection and the connection between mind and body attracted her both to the philosophy and practice of Yoga. She is excited to experience this trans-formative journey alongside her fellow students here at the studio.
Account manager Louise Gabrielle also works as a care worker, as well as helping her mum, with the family business. Their company Bunny&Co provides animal therapy for people with dementia and learning disabilities.
Passionate about herbal medicine and fundraising, Louise has done some really interesting things to raise money for good causes including; jumping out of a plane to raise money for Help for Heros and taking part in a charity boxing match for Cancer Research. She found Bikram Yoga in 2016 which she described as ‘medicine for her mind, body, and soul.
Louise completed her teacher training in 2017 with Fierce Grace in London and Italy and is passionate about helping others to experience the personal growth she has found through yoga.
“I am really excited to be teaching because I want people to be able to find their own strength and experience the immense healing that yoga has given me.”
Practicing GP Avi Sharma started Bikram in 2014 to help rehabilitate a knee injury. He completed teacher training in Thailand 2015
“Bikram Yoga helped me rehabilitate a recurring ligament injury and torn meniscus to my right knee. A combination of strength training and this yoga allowed me to cancel further keyhole surgery”.
I promise to bring a mix of Scottish, Welsh and Indian energy to my class. As a family doctor, I feel a wide variety of patients could really benefit from regularly practising Bikram Yoga.
Marketing manager Sherand Esser has been a Bikram Yoga teacher for 7 years. A former student of men’s world champion Zeb, Sherand was also mentored as a teacher by the repeat Australian men’s champ Darren Ma., Sherand has taught all over the globe and even taught the rockstar, Pink.
“We all come to this yoga with junk bodies and it takes time to undo the damage. Through regular practice, your body will change. You mind will change. Your life will change. Just be patient. If you can, you must. If you can’t, you must try.”