We always banter at House of Coco about how we missed Yoga this morning…making that 6 years in a row. But on a serious note we are huge fans and we really respect people that have the discipline to incorporate it in to their life on a consistent basis, just like Olivia.
Olivia Marley provides public group yoga classes and private one-to-one and small group tuition across London. She teaches both alone and as part of the award-winning Yogasphere team. Here she tells us more…
What kind of yoga do you teach?
There are so many different kinds of yoga out there at the moment, and new ones seem to be popping up all the time. It can be really confusing for people! For those that are familiar with these terms I’m trained in both vinyasa flow and anusara. For those that aren’t my classes involve some simple warm ups, then a lot of movement in the middle (so expect to work up a sweat!), and then a steady wind down to a few minutes relaxation at the end. I’m also a bit of an anatomy nerd and very keen on making sure people keep their bodies in healthy alignment and don’t injure themselves while we’re moving through the postures.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
I think probably the hardest challenge was trying to distinguish myself in the crowded market for yoga in London. I’m always surprised when I travel how few studios there are once you get outside the capital… whereas here it seems you can find a teacher on every corner! It was definitely tough getting started but I think if you stay honest and genuine then people tend to respond to that. I hope I’ve found my niche now – my classes are relaxed and down to earth, physically challenging but also fun and open to anyone. I love it when I arrive at class and students are sitting chatting to each other, to people they only know through going to class. I truly believe that since people are giving up their spare time to come to my classes that I owe it to them to make it an enjoyable and worthwhile experience!
What’s your background?
My working background is in the law. I originally was drawn to yoga for the benefits to my physical fitness – I basically just wanted a workout. I was always really inflexible too, I could never touch my toes (and was the worst person in my school gymnastics class!). Since then I’ve seen my strength, flexibility and balance steadily improve, and it sounds like a cliché but I’ve also found that this practice helps deal with the stresses of city life. It’s the breathing and mindfulness aspects that set yoga apart from being just fancy stretching.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
It sounds kind of cheesy but there are highlights in pretty much every class I teach – maybe a student touches their toes for the first time, or someone balances a handstand on their own for the first time, or just says to me after class, “I really needed that!”. Beyond the classes I guess a stand out point this year was getting a recommendation in the October 2015 issue of British Vogue. And being interviewed by House of Coco of course!
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
It’s got to be London! And for me it’s mainly about north of the river. I’ve been west (Camden) and now am east (Shoreditch), and just love it here. There’s always so much going on.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Well with skin as pale as mine I think sun protection has to be the first stop. I use Boots Time Delay as my daily moisturiser because it has spf 30 in it. Benefit They’re Real mascara gives enough colour to darken my light coloured lashes without making them stick together, and then some Bobbi Brown Blush in pale pink to finish.
Best thing about London to you?
Hmm that’s a tough one! I guess it’s that there’s always something happening. And something for everyone. You can’t get bored here!
Statement shoe or statement bag?
Since I spend most of my time barefoot as a yoga teacher this one is easy – statement bag! It’s got to be big enough to fit all my gear in, look good but not be too precious to be thrown on the floor and get a bit beaten up.
If you had to, what item from your wardrobe would you wear every day?
In my line of work I seem to spend a lot of my time in leggings. But if I can pick something else I’d go for my high waisted skinny jeans by BDG. They’re super flattering and the comfiest jeans I own.
Best place for a coffee?
The tiny but brilliant Slate Coffee on Curtain Road in Shoreditch. My partner is convinced they do the best flat white in London. Keep an eye out for my flyers on the shelf by the door…
A night out with friends. And staying up all the next day talking rubbish and making each other laugh! Not sure if that counts as a guilty pleasure… I suppose it does if people expect you to be a virtuous picture of healthy living!
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
We’ll be moving into offering retreats next year. Our website will have all the details once things are finalised.
Where can people find out more?
My website has information about all my classes and services: www.yogawitholivia.co.uk. Or you can keep in touch at facebook.com/oliviayogalondon or twitter/instagram @yogawitholivia. Feel free to send me a message with any questions. I’m always happy to hear from people!