Friday, January 22, 2016

Barbara Hicks, Honor Oak Yoga Teacher (1951-2015)

There's an obituary in The Guardian's 'Other Lives' section today for local yoga teacher Barbara Hicks (1951-2015), by her husband and colleague David Dayes. Barbara, who died last month from cancer, was a much appreciated teacher of Iyengar yoga at her and David's own Oakside Yoga Studio in Honor Oak, and at other local venues including the Telegraph Hill Centre.

'Barbara graduated from Goldsmiths College, London University, with a degree in child psychology and went on to become a primary school teacher, teaching yoga in the evenings. She was a sight to behold, with her flaming red hair and brightly coloured clothes (many she made herself), as she cycled to the next class, saddlebags full of yoga mats, children’s art work or unusual ingredients: she also ran adult education classes in wholefood cooking.

Barbara and I met in 1980 and our first son was born two years later. In 1985 the London Borough of Lewisham offered us the chance to join a self-build housing project run by the pioneering architect Walter Segal. In 1987 our home, one of 13 in Walters Way, was finished. We raised our four sons there, extending the house with a glass atrium to make a space that could accommodate the growing children and up to 25 yoga students for classes and Barbara’s yoga Sundays, for which she produced a delicious home-made lunch and tea with cake. Barbara retired from teaching at Fairlawn primary school in Honor Oak in 2012, and devoted more time to yoga'.

There's a lovely poem about her by Grace Evans, which includes these lines:

Barbara befriends
Warm hearted people,
Draws them to her:
the rebels
the seekers
the far from home
the old
the young
the sad
the happy
those with extraordinary talents
and those whose talents are hidden.
Then connects this one with that
Until it is just one large gathering
A joyful love fest...

Farewell, dear friend.
Farewell, dear guruji.

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