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London Borough of Wandsworth, Greater London, United Kingdom
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Established by Vicky 'Skip' Oliver in 1999 whYoga runs pregnancy yoga classes and general yoga classes in Balham and Earlsfield Libraries on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Each class is unique, marrying laughter and focus with effortless ease. The classes are open to all levels of ability.

Vicky prefers to take her inspiration for teaching from a broad spectrum of discilplines. Philosophy and the Arts inform her approach to teaching as well as the plethora of Hatha yoga tradition. Vicky's classes own an eclectic style of yoga teaching that offers her students the chance to experience variation and exploration of yoga techniques including an application of posture work according to Ayurvedic principles. Her classes are both dynamic and meditative and suitable for those who wish to open their mind to health and self-realisation. The classes will at times explore sequencing, breathing, chanting, readings, and an innovative approach to asana practice. Vicky works in collaboration with Andrew Lawrence of One Long Hum Design to produce unique and classic illustrations of some of Vicky's most innovative sequencing work, they offer her students the freedom to practice at home. Andrew has also produced the illustrations for her book and designs all her promotional work.

whYoga also runs teacher training for children's yoga (see

whYoga inspires its yoga students to become interested in developing an awareness of the interconnection between the mind and the body. whYoga's founder Vicky Oliver (RYT500) discovered her own understanding of this as a junior competitive athlete in 1981. Vicky went on to study expressive movement between 1990 and 1991 with Desmond Jones at his physical theatre school. Desmond's training had a profound effect on Vicky's approach to teaching. He taught Vicky that a good teacher does not just reproduce what they have been taught. Evolvement comes from rigorous self-study. This is something that Vicky explores with her students in her classes and also those she trains for a professional yoga career.

In 1999 Vicky studied to train as a yoga therapist with Sunra. Narayani, a profoundly spiritual teacher was to be her main inspiration. The richness and uniqueness of Vicky's teaching lies in the way she has united all strands of her knowledge and experience into a coherent philosophy. This philosophy is memorably carried along by her personality and energy.

Between 2001 and 2004 Vicky has also lectured and taught at King's College Hospital as part of a wider programme; introducing complementary therapies to final year medical students of the major London hospitals.

Between 2003 and 2008 Vicky worked extensively on her project Yoga Bananas, yoga for balanced, bendy children, offering teacher training as well as specialist classes. Yoga Bananas has been commissioned by Selfridges, BBC and for the last four years an inner London state school to enhance their physical and spiritual curriculum. See for more information.

In 2004 Vicky completed a doula course with Michel Odent, natural birth pioneer, who for years had been an inspiration. Vicky had been an advocate of natural birth since her first self-managed labour and birth in 1995. Michel attended the lotus birth of her third son in 2005 where he told Vicky that he felt she should follow her path as a doula and that her strength and knowledge would be invaluable to women in the future. Since then Vicky has made the health of women during pregnancy, labour, birth and the post-partum phase a priority through teaching her pregnancy classes and pregnancy teacher training courses. whYoga for Pregnancy Teacher Training Courses now run regularly throughout the year. Both Yoga Bananas and whYoga For Pregnancy are recognised by the Yoga Alliance as part of a yoga teacher's continuing education programme.

In 2009 Vicky became sole subject matter expert in yoga for ITEC. ITEC is the largest international examination board offering a variety of qualifications worldwide. Vicky is embracing her new role and hopes to build a focused, relevant and in depth syllabus for prospective students to follow, reflecting the required level of knowledge and skill needed for a practicing therapist.

Vicky is currently studying her MA in Creative Writing at West Dean College in Chichester. She hopes that this discipline will further enhance the creative aspect of her classes.

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