Can anyone practice yoga?
Within my classes I try to ensure that everyone can practice each posture to their level of ability. For example, if you have difficulty kneeling then I could offer an alternative pose for you which allows you to fully participate. See the Testimonials section below to see what some of my former students have to say about this aspect of my yoga classes.
Do your classes provide for a range of capabilities and experience?
Yes. It is an important part of my role as the class leader to understand and monitor everyone's capabilities and progression and ensure that they are able to practice safely and develop at a pace that suits them. See the Testimonials section below to see what some of my former students have to say about this aspect of my yoga classes.
What equipment do I need?
Please bring a yoga mat. It is important to practice yoga safely and avoid slipping, which may lead to injury. Also, a blanket or towel can help ease discomfort in kneeling/sitting postures and a blanket can be useful to keep you warm during the relaxation at the end of the class when your body temperature quickly drops. You may also wish to bring a bottle of water.
Do I need to wear particular clothing?
Yes, it is advisable to wear comfortable clothing that allows the body to move freely. However, loose T-shirts can tend to roll up in forward bends, therefore you may prefer to wear a close fitting top. Also it is a good idea to wear layers to ensure that you don't become too hot or cold during your practice. Yoga is practiced in bare feet, therefore there is no need to purchase specialised footwear.
What should I expect to happen during the class?
The class will start with either a standing posture practice or a short relaxation (laying on the floor) followed by standing postures. The second half of the class includes sitting postures followed by a relaxation period of approximately 10-15 minutes. Throughout the class you will learn to practice correct yogic breathing and how to gently move your body into postures which enable you to stretch and release tension. During the relaxation, at the end of the class, you will learn techniques to help you relax.
Can I practice yoga while pregnant?
Yes, yoga can be very beneficial during pregnancy however a general yoga class may have a number of yoga postures that are not suitable for you. It would be far more beneficial for you to attend a class specifically designed for pregnancy.
"When I stopped working full time, I had some time on my hands and decided I would like to join a Yoga class. I am definitely not a sporty person, so it was with trepidation that I attended my first class. I need not have worried though, as Victoria has the ability to make new-comers feel very comfortable. She also tailors the classes to meet all needs and as a yoga newbie, I was gently guided through all the postures. I have been attending her classes for four years now and really look forward to going each week."
Jocelyn Slocombe (Englefield Green/Old Windsor class)
"I have been participating in Yoga classes with Victoria for the past 5 years, twice a week. She has been and still is a both inspiring and extremely competent Yoga teacher. Above all I find her being very kind and lovely. She helped me experience Yoga in a way I have never done before and inspired me to keep at it over all these years. For this I feel very grateful to her. I can recommend her Yoga classes very much to everyone."
Brigitte Haas (Englefield Green/Old Windsor class)
"Victoria is a great communicator . Her instructions were clear and easy to follow- even for difficult poses. She is also a great listener. Her composure during class was remarkable. Her depth of knowledge about yoga is commendable and her thoughts and readings were inspirational. I looked forward to Victoria's yoga class. Friendly and open she covered a variety of different poses and postures and routines appealing to different levels. Mentally I felt calm and relaxed. Physically I enjoyed the benefits of suppleness and toning"
"I have attended Vicki James's yoga class for approximately a year and started once a week and increased to twice a week. I found the classes relaxed and informative and mostly felt that it was benefitting my health and strength. I noticed that, having always suffered with a bad back, the lack of my flexibility was a factor and by gently improving flexibility over time, I improved my posture and made me more body aware, thus strengthening my weak areas. Being a complete beginner I found that I also gave thought to my mental state of mind and relaxation - something I had never done before"
"When I first started taking yoga, I couldn't even reach my toes and by the end of the six week session I was able to grab both my toes easily. I continued to gain flexibility during the 2 years Vicki was my instructor"
"I had attended some basic yoga classes on previous occasions, and am also a qualified aerobics instructor, so I really appreciated the classes in order to work on my own flexibility and balance. Vicki is always able to offer an alternative exercise to suit students of all abilities, from those with more limited range of movements, to those wanting to stretch themselves just a little bit further. Her instructions and demonstrations are clear, and she pays good attention to the students' different needs, encouraging them with positive feedback"
"As a teacher, Vicki has a unique ability to make students feel relaxed, and I was always a bit surprised that she was able to keep her more advanced students interested and holding poses while moving the rest of us through new steps and checking our positions to avoid injury"
"I appreciated deeply Vicki's classes as she is extremely clear in her explanations as well as demonstrations. All the lessons are strongly prepared and one of her biggest talents is that she is able to be attentive to each person. It is particularly appreciated in an international environment, where some, like me, don't understand English as a mother tongue. Vicki immediately realises if I get a little confused and will repeat without me feeling ill at ease. She is able to sense what to say to encourage. I felt very well the year I did yoga, the benefits were real - I was more flexible, more energetic and with greater strength"
Christel Le Corre
"As someone who wanted to try yoga for a while, after hearing the usual good things about mind calm & body strength, I was still nervous to attend my first class! - I was unsure if the reality of yoga might mean being entrenched in a scene of 'Geri Halliwell types' all in headstands, with me struggling to keep my legs straight on a simple bend - after all, I had years of lack of self care!
How happy I was then, to find Victoria, who welcomed me with her lovely smile and explained that she was going to do a routine that I could follow as much as or as little as I chose. Taking time to explain each move - I felt really comfortable. A year and a half later and with the pleasure of Victoria's beautiful calm presence twice a week, I adore attending each class! - For me they are appointments with peace, amidst my busy life. I am amazed at how much the yoga has brought about feelings of bliss to my life as well as toning my body.
As for the headstand, well no - that is not one for me as yet. But that's ok! There is no judgement in Victoria's class - I leave that to Kitty in our class who is as bendy as rubber!"