One of the meanings of Yoga is “to join” and when we first opened The Yoga Bank in 2015 we wanted to serve and create a community.
Five years later we are delighted that The Yoga Bank we have created is a safe haven, a place where you can come and relax and leave your worries at the door. To meet with like minded people, to form friendships, to feel comfortable and completely welcome.
Our classes are not about getting your leg behind your head, what you look like in a bikini or how many calories your burn. We care more about your insides than the skin that you are in – at The Yoga Bank we care about nurturing every body, hearts, minds and souls
The Yoga Bank was born in 2015 and originally our home was in a former bank building. We have reopened our doors in a beautiful listed building, only a moment’s walk from the original Yoga Bank.
Our address at “The Penthouse”, Victoria Buildings was a former cinema projection space, overlooking a fabulous art deco cinema room that is now where we hold our larger events.
There is a free of charge car park to the side of the building as well as on street parking.
Founder of The Yoga Bank, Jackie is a BWY Teacher, a former BWY Foundation Course Tutor, and an Independent Yoga Network Elder, as well as an IYN Yoga Teacher Trainer. ‘I don’t class myself as a YOGA teacher, I teach PEOPLE Yoga, and treat everyone as an individual, where one pose does not fit EVERY body.’
I have been practising yoga for almost 20 years, and teaching for over 16 years. I am PASSIONATE about people. Yoga is for EVERY BODY, regardless of age, shape, size. I have a love of anatomy and firmly believe that people should know how their own bodies’ work.
We forget what a miracle we are. When we start yoga, and we start to understand our own body, mind, and breath, we can really tune into the meaning of yoga, which is union. When we learn to quieten down, we can listen to the whispers of our body, and then adapt, and a real understanding can blossom, and we fall in love with ourselves, accepting ourselves as we are. Yoga is a MAGICAL journey, of the body and mind.
I love taking the ancient philosophy of yoga, and teaching in ways that we can apply to our daily life. I love theming classes, building in creative sequencing, that everybody can do.
My favourite poses are Triangle, Warrior 1 and 2, and ‘legs up the wall’!
I am passionate about food, and love cooking, I have just discovered a new love of climbing, and I love snuggling up with a Boxset and my dog Pip.
I am married to John (for ALMOST 30 years – gulp!), and have two grown up children, Jenny and Tom. All of whom are involved in our wonderful family yoga business.
Training and qualifications:
BWY Foundation Course (40 hours)
BWY Teaching Diploma (500 hr)
Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga (500 hr)
BWY FC Tutor Training (Levels 1 and 2)
Mythic Yoga Flow Trainings with Noah Maze and Sianna Sherman (100 hours)
Distance Learning with BWY – The Upanishads (20 hours)
The History of Yoga and the Bhagavad Gita – Oxford University – Department of Hindu Studies (40 hours)
4 Day Intensive with Leslie Kaminoff (30 hours)
Online and in-person anatomy courses with Leslie Dike (30 hours)
Anatomy Training with Dr Yogi (15 hours)
Workshops attended (well, SOME of them!) – Noah Maze, Sianna Sherman, Peter Blackaby, Jason Crandell, Cat Alip-Douglas, Joanna Najduch, Leslie Kaminoff, Dr Yogi (Andrew), Andrea Everingham, Jackie Morton, Deb Redcliffe, David Sye, Debbie Farrar, Callie Meakin
Yvonne began her yoga journey more than 30 years ago, having tried a number of yoga classes the one that was held in a bar piqued her interest!
Having completed a 200 hour Teacher training in the uk with yoga alliance plus the British Wheel of Yoga foundation course, Yvonne travelled to Rishikesh, India to deepen her knowledge with a further 300 hours teacher training.
Having practised and been inspired by a variety of styles Yvonne has completed a number of specialist additional trainings and workshops including Yin, Somatics, Scarvelli, Feldenkreis, vinyasa, kundalini, restorative yoga and anatomy
‘Yoga is ageless, it benefits everybody and unifies all generations. It doesn’t matter when or how you find yoga, the hardest part is step on the mat and the rest will follow.’
Ali’s love for yoga began like many students with a physical problem - a back injury that was managed without surgery thanks to yoga. She fell in love with the amazing effect yoga has on both her body and mind and having completed her British Wheel Foundation Course in 2010 she went onto to study a further 500 hour level 4 British Wheel Teaching Training course in 2012 with Sarah Beck.
Her love of the elements and seasons and cycles of nature has been reflected in further teacher training courses in Ayurveda, Seasonal Yoga, Prana Flow, Moonology as well as Vinyasa and Yoga for Stress and Burnout.
Ali spent 20 years as Marketing Director in a fast-paced commercial environment, working 14 hour days, managing teams and budgets of many millions of pounds. Having suffered from stress & burnout herself she found solace in the seasons and cycles of nature. Yoga has always been the Yin to her Yang and now she is able to fully immerse herself in her teaching and use her passion and skills learned in the corporate world to combine her two loves of yoga and marketing at The Yoga Bank.
I love to teach empowering classes. The media is so focused on the ‘perfect’ body shape but I want to show yogis that whatever shape their body is and whatever shape their asana is it’s already PERFECT.
My favourite posture is Kapotasana/Pigeon. Away from teaching my favourite things are being outside, my beautiful friends and family, laughing until my belly hurts and my two naughty cats. A question I often get asked: ‘I’m not bendy enough to do yoga, where would I even start?’ I used to say the same before I started my practice and throughout the years I have realised that the point isn’t to touch your toes; it’s to be present and content.
I am beyond excited to be back at The Yoga Bank and its wonderful community. It holds a special place in my heart; a space where I have met some beautiful friends, one of which is sadly no longer here but her memory lives on through the studio.
My yoga journey began around 10 years ago, in the midst of my teenage years, and like many yoga practitioners, I was looking for something: sort of, a way ‘out of my head’, to cope with trauma & anxiety. Over the years I fell in and out of love with yoga until I finished University, and once again, needed to find that part of me that was ‘just me’. Not the part that was in attempt to conform to what I ‘should be doing’ with my life right now. And yoga has been a huge part of my life ever since.
It’s every aspect - the community we create, the silence and the laugher, the movement and the stillness. It’s inspiring.
I completed my IYN 200-hour training with Jackie, here at The Yoga Bank, in 2020. Since then, well, the world hasn’t quite been as we’d expect, so I have quickly taken to the challenges of online and outdoor yoga (rain or shine!).
With my background of Health Psychology, I have developed a fascination with yoga & mental health, including the physiology behind breath control (pranayama), which I have studied through much online learning with Heather Mason of The Minded Insititute.
To me, teaching yoga is about sharing joy, and practising yoga is about liking ourselves that little bit more, exactly as we are right now. I love teaching mythic flow, incorporating philosophy into practice, and slower practices like restorative, and pranayama/relaxation.
Away from teaching, I live with my boyfriend Chris, our two chihuahuas (Ace & Stuart), and our new puppy Loki, the Australian Kelpie (yes, we have THREE dogs, and yes, we are crazy!!). And my spare time is finding gorgeous places to take family walks.
I can't wait to share the gift of yoga with you, because it really is the gift you give yourself.
Chloe May Smith
My yoga journey began in 1996 after suffering with repeated sports injuries due to the amount of high impact exercise I was doing at the time. It was recommended to me, but I did not think I would enjoy it, with having such an energetic personality and being someone who found relaxation difficult. However, I loved how slow and methodical the class was and I found a sense of serenity that I’d never experienced before, and I felt compelled to attend more classes.
Yoga has helped me to understand myself not only from a physical point of view but also emotionally and mentally. I have learnt that exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body.
I think I have visited pretty much every yoga studio in the North West but no space compares to that of The Yoga Bank. From the moment I stepped into The Yoga Bank for the first time, I knew it was a special space. I decided to complete my 200hr teacher training at The Yoga Bank to enable me to share my passion with others. Although we have now moved premises, the heart of The Yoga Bank remains due to the community and beautiful space created my Jackie.
To me, the essence of what being a yoga teacher is: sharing and spreading the joy and the transformational power that is yoga. I am passionate about making my classes inclusive, warm and welcoming to each and every person and will always aim to create a safe and supportive space for you to roll out your mat. A space for everyone to experience the benefits of yoga just like I have: to help people deal with the curveballs that life throws at us.
I have a very strong belief that yoga is for everybody, that everyone has something to gain from it, regardless of gender, age, body shape or whether you can touch your toes!
My favourite poses are Warrior 2, Bridge and Legs up the Wall.
I also enjoy spending time with my family, walking with our new pup Dougie, walking and reading.