All posts tagged: yoga

(Ha) + (Tha)

People often confuse yoga for some sort of religion. They couldn’t be more wrong. It is in fact, as Yogi Bikram Choudhury states, “the science of living life correctly so that we can get to that point , our ultimate destination.” So why does Mr Bikram refer to it as the science of life? “Science helps us understand the physical world. Yoga helps us understand not just the physical body but also the mind and the Spirit. Yoga helps us understand nature; and nature helps us understand the voice of our spirit, or God.” The Symmetry of Hatha Hatha Yoga refers to the practice of yoga asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises) and relaxation. In Sanskrit, Ha means ‘Sun’ and Tha means ‘Moon’. Isn’t that just perfection in itself? I’ve known this truth for a long time, but I love the way Bikram expresses it so simply and aptly in his book, Bikram Yoga. Let me share it with you… “In nature there is a strong symbiotic movement between the Sun and the Moon, a balance between …

To Connect

“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” ― Brené Brown I had the privilege of assisting at one of the Township Yogi classes held in Inanda last Saturday, and WOW what a humbling, inspiring experience. There were about 30 students ranging from 5 to 65 years old, mostly men and teenagers. I was blown away by the level of dedication from the budding new yogis and the degree of focus held throughout the class. It was beautiful to watch how as the class unfolded the students softened and the divide between us (the teachers) and them seemed to fade. It felt as if as they relied on us for guidance and assistance, they became more open and vulnerable, creating space for a little light to shine through. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”  ― Brené Brown This reminded me of Brené Brown’s inspiring insights on vulnerability (watch her Ted Talk here) and how ““Courage starts with showing up and …

Township Yogi

I am so excited to be getting involved in this amazing initiative, headed up by Producer Elle Matthews from Green Shoot Films, an eco-friendly film production company. Township Yogi is a documentary about changing the lives of HIV Aids sufferers in KwaZulu-Natal through the power of yoga. Research shows that South Africa has the highest incidence of Aids in the world, and nearly 40% of the HIV Aids population live in townships in KwaZulu-Natal. The documentary will be shot over 6 months and will follow the lives of five people living in Inanda township as they embark on a journey of transformation through the practice of yoga. This will be the catalyst for establishing yoga studios within townships and to further train locals so that they can go out and teach yoga to the people suffering in their communities. This is exactly what we need here in SA! Christine Withiel from the Jivananda Centre (featured in the trailer above) will be training the initial 5 students to be documented in the film. Also, we have already begun teaching weekly …

Dear Yoga,

Oh how I’ve missed you. I’ve missed your sweet embrace, your warmth, your release. It’s been too long… It feels good to be back, even though it’s on new terms. Thank you for teaching me acceptance and how to let go – of my ego and my self-limiting beliefs. Thank you for teaching me patience. And for the gift of being present and totally at peace, breath by breath, moment by moment. Thank you for showing me my strength and my inherent ability to heal. Oh it feels good to be back :-)

Rishikesh – Land of the Sages

I am lucky enough to have been to India three times so far. I still yearn to go back and explore more, that’s what this magnificent land does to you. My first trip was back in 2008, and I went with my yoga teachers and a group of other students from the Jivananda Centre. I’m glad I didn’t go alone the first time, as it can be quite a shock. But now I feel confident to travel alone in India and actually prefer it, it’s such a spiritual experience and sometimes you just need the space to be alone with yourself. (The Mother Ganges river)  We spent one night in Delhi and caught the early train to the holy city of Haridwar. From there we travelled by taxi up to Rishikesh, often referred to as ‘the world capital of yoga’, and for good reason. Rishikesh is located in the foothills of the Himalayas, and embodies a very special kind of energy, you can try just about any kind of yoga and the town is abound with ashrams and …

Day 2: Accepting what is

Today I really wanted to go to tai chi, I mean REALLY wanted to go. But I couldn’t – I’ve had glandular fever for the past few months and symptoms seem to vary dramatically day-to-day. I was so excited because I haven’t been able to do any exercise at all and the idea of some movement was super appealing. Anyway, one thing I have learnt through this ordeal is the value in accepting what is, which doesn’t mean giving up and wallowing in negativity. It simply means “ok I feel like this today but it is going to pass and I will feel better soon”. I can reach for a better feeling place (even if that’s just a feeling of hope) and I can remember what it feels like to be well and healthy and energetic. I can imagine myself doing cartwheels on the sand and swimming in the ocean and having fun with my friends… I can almost feel it. It’s about finding that place of non-resistance instead of fighting against my body and …

Why I Meditate…

I meditate because: – when I don’t, I feel disconnected and get ever more caught up in my ‘monkey mind’ and all of its fears, uncertainties and contradictions – it sets the tone for the entire day. I seem to be able to handle situations better (not be so reactive), have more understanding and acceptance of people/situations and everything feels lighter and brighter – it is the only time (apart from sleeping) when we connect back to source, to our soul and universal consciousness. Everyday we live our lives distracted by the mind’s constant chattering… regrets about the past, worries about the future. Meditating brings us back into the present moment, it centres us and breeds clarity, opening us up to unimaginable spheres of love and creativity – it reminds me that we are all connected, everything and everyone on this planet. It helps reestablish that connection within me and brings about a sense of gratitude and appreciation of the beauty that surrounds me – of course it opens us up to new levels of …

Sometimes, all you need is a little perspective

I recently got back from a trip to the magical island of Bali. WOW is all I can say. What a little piece of heaven. Before visiting Bali, I hadn’t been outside of Japan for a whole year and was just coming out of what seemed to be the longest Winter ever. Honestly it felt like about 7 months of cold (and that’s rain and wind cold). I don’t do well in this kind of weather, perhaps its because I grew up in the ever sunny and humid Durban. My body, mind and soul just doesn’t like it. Living in Japan has taught me many things about myself and the greater world (more in another post), but the feeling that I felt when I stepped off that plane was indescribable. I was eagerly greeted by my best friend who was jumping around in excitement, where I could barely lift my arm to wave hello. I have felt as though the energy and life force has been sucked out of me whilst living in Tokyo; everything is …