Throughout our lives there are always people that stick in our minds for whatever reason. We all remember a kind teacher from school, or a work colleague that helped us in an understanding way when we were struggling - there are always people we remember but we all have one that sticks in our minds in particular.
If you’ve read my About Me page you’ll know I started practising yoga almost twenty years ago now whilst looking for different ways to keep fit. I soon realised that yoga was something very different to normal exercise.
My first yoga teacher was a woman called Trixie Nevitt, she was the teacher that really made me want to learn more about yoga. I have taken most of my classes with Trixie, and even though I’ve met some truly wonderful and interesting instructors, students and fellow yogis over the years, I will always have a special place for Trixie.
Trixie lives in Cheshunt, and is still teaching locally at eighty two years of age. She still covers for me from time to time at Laura Trott Leisure Centre, and vice versa. It’s often said that people still find her classes their most challenging.
She found yoga in the late sixties, at a time long before social media and the commercialisation yoga has now. A small advert in a local newspaper for a yoga class in Waltham Abbey was how she found her first practice (without a hashtag, app or mobile phone in sight).
She is a kind, quiet woman, and I probably would have looked at yoga completely differently were it not for her.
I have great memories of yoga retreats abroad with Trixie as a friend, in places like Greece and France and I’m somewhat regretful that we haven’t been away together more recently.
Some of you might already know her, or even taken classes with her over the years but I thought some of you might find it interesting to know a bit more about her, how she got into yoga, and why she started teaching. Myself and Richard went round to ask her some questions this week, and here’s what she said.
Trixie Nevitt Q&A
How did you get into yoga, and where and when was your first class?
“I first got into yoga watching a TV programme from America with Richard Hittleman, called “Yoga For Health”. My first class was at Waltham Abbey, in King Harold School.”
How has yoga helped you, and what do you feel have been the major benefits?
“Yoga changed my life completely, the main benefits being an increase in stamina, strength and suppleness, plus having a purpose in life to help others.”
What do you enjoy about teaching? And why did you want to start?
“I enjoy teaching and being part of a group and seeing people improve. I wanted to start teaching to be able to give something back.”
Have you got a favourite book on yoga?
“Light on Yoga - B.K.S. Iyengar.”
What is your favourite yoga pose and why?
“Lotus posture - perfect for meditation.”
We know you you have always liked Iyengar yoga. What is it that you like about it?
“Having seen Iyengar talk and demonstrate the Asanas, I realised that though he has popularised yoga, he has not sacrificed the purity of its original teachings.”
Who did you do your training with and what sticks in your mind about it the most?
“I did the majority of my training with Ruth White and what I think about it most was the happy times spent in lessons with Ruth and John (Ruth’s husband).”
What’s the most unusual place you’ve practiced yoga?
“The most unusual place I’ve practiced yoga was in a clinic with Mentally handicapped children who gave me lots of love and hugs,”
Do you have any regrets relating to yoga that maybe you haven’t done, or somewhere/one you haven’t been met?
“I have no regrets relating to yoga but would like to continue with the mindfulness side of it.”
What has changed about yoga since you started teaching?
“Yoga has become too commercialised and needs more fully qualified and registered teachers.”
Videos (Click To Expand)
This is where Trixie saw B.K.S. Iyengar, and while it may look old and not what we're used to now, the teachings of yoga are all still the same. It's well worth a watch, and very interesting.
You can read more about B.K.S. Iyengar here.
These videos look almost as ancient as yoga itself by todays standards but they were a big part of mainstream television back in the early 70's, and some of you will probably even remember them now you've been reminded.
You can read more about him here.
Light On YogaLight On Yoga is considered as "the bible of yoga" by many people, and you could do a lot worse than make this your first book on yoga.
View on Amazon
Ruth WhiteTrixie did her teacher training with Ruth White. She's a yoga teacher, author, and also runs yoga retreats. She too was also inspired by B.K.S. Iyengar.
View her site