The World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher (Probably?) – Vi de Ville, Rhosneigr, Wales

Meet Vi de Ville who lives just down the road and is a good advert for practising yoga regularly.  Vi must be one of the oldest yoga teachers around; 90 years old, a great gran, but ‘forever young’!

The Daily Post

Yoga teacher aged 90 still leading classes in Rhosneigr, Wales

A YOGA teacher is still leading classes – at the age of 90.

Vi de Ville celebrates her birthday on Monday – and is more agile than many women half her age.

The nonagenarian from Rhosneigr, Anglesey, said yoga has kept her “forever young” and she can’t wait for her next classes to start in September.

Last year the widow and great-gran of two was teaching 11 classes a week all over Anglesey – until her heart specialist advised her to reduce her workload to three a week.

Her pupils age range from 19 to 90.

Vi said: “There are several who are 80-odd. They work beautifully and sensibly. It’s a lifeline for them with yoga, as it is to me.

“Quite honestly, the flexibility of some women isn’t as good as their mothers.”

Vi has classes at Plas Arthur and Ysgol y Graig, Llangefni and the village hall at Rhosneigr.

She said: “My limit is 26.”

Vi intends to carry on with her yoga until her body tells her it’s “time to hand my cards in.”

She turned to yoga after 20 years as a keep-fit instructor, though ballet was her first love. She married local butcher Ted de Ville and gave up dance while her three daughters were growing up. She moved to Anglesey to be near one daughter in 1979, and yoga proved a lifeline when, 10 years later, her beloved Ted died.

But she isn’t contemplating stopping just yet.

“I wouldn’t know what to do with my time. I don’t play bridge or golf but I’m a social member of the local club. It’s inconceivable to me not to have the lovely girls around me. I am very lucky and very blessed. I love it.

“Apparently, the girls say that at the demonstrations I provide the information about the movements and what’s needed, I give out copiously. If they need help, I go and sort it out. They are friends now after 20 years.

“Without doing yoga, I am almost restless. I try to practise what I preach and get to enjoy my life. Yoga has been wonderful for me, I get all this love and support from my classes and I thank God for yoga.

“It’s brought a heightened sense of awareness and has made all the difference in the world to me, mentally, spiritually and physically. There is a real rapport, an affinity and kindred spirit.

Vi was born in Canada to an English father and Scottish mother but they returned to live in Scotland.

During the blitz, Vi was a nurse with the Volunteer Aid Detachment in Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton London. She said: “I was a Red Cross nurse for five years. It was a lovely war for me. I loved the work. When the doodlebugs fell, we dived into the first hedge.”

One of the limbless patients was World War II hero Douglas Bader.

She said: “We dusted his locker and put the picture of his wife back. I didn’t nurse him or even take his temperature. I can’t remember talking to him. He didn’t suffer us very kindly.”

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Sas Bullock said,

    You are an inspiration Vi and great that you are spreading the good word about yoga,I love it too.
    If you ran a class near to me I would definitely come.
    I practice Dru-yoga and have a wonderful time with my group as we have so much fun,so much tension release. I always feel very alive after my class.

    You look fabulous Vi,keep up the yogas classes,keep spreading the word.

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