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Yoga & You – Teachers

December 1, 2009

Elize Taljaard
Elize

Elize Taljaard, 47, Graphic Designer, turned Yoga Teacher

When did I start? In 1988.

Why? I was going through a divorce at the time and desperately needed to focus, relax and love myself. A dear friend suggested going to class with the kindest person she knew, Liz Titlestad, Iyengar teacher. I loved it from the first inhalation!

What keeps me going? My love affair with yoga keeps me going back to the mat. I have had major body issues in my life and I find that working with the body-mind-spirit in yoga has shifted so much of that in me. Asana, pranayama and dhyana keep on challenging and then silencing that inner critic and my overdeveloped saboteur. I just need to move (or not!) with the breath . . . I also love sharing and teaching all this inspiration and wisdom.

Where? I practice where I am – at home in Letsitele and Tzaneen, Limpopo Province. I practice with Johann Kotze and Jim Harrington when I travel to Cape Town and love classes at Yoga Warrior and also with Kerry Weavind at Haum of Yoga in Johannesburg, where I trained as a teacher.

What style? Hatha Yoga, with a sprinkling of Iyengar and once a week a session of Ashtanga to build strength.

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Magda Stander Magda Stander, Iyengar Yoga Teacher

My yoga story…

Yoga has been like a close companion to me for a long time.  As I grew up, there were yoga books and records in our house, and before my teens I started working (playing) out of these. The poses felt familiar, natural and delicious and gave me a sense of immense well-being. I continued yoga on my own sporadically through the years and attended classes while at UCT.  In my early twenties I bought ‘Light on Yoga’.  I was immediately intrigued and further drawn to yoga. When overseas for a spell of 7 years I attended classes in Houston, Texas, and did more of my own yoga in Paris, France.

It was only when I came to live in Somerset West, that I found my Iyengar yoga teacher and dusted off my Light on Yoga, more thoroughly this time. Errors that crept into my asanas during self practice were smartly picked up by my teacher and we slowly refined them. The joy of doing yoga continued, as well as the surprises of the small transformations that came about between entering a class, and completing it.

The heart of yoga is in your self-practice. It is here, in the quiet of your own company, where you can go the deepest, encountering the honesty of the body and what it communicates about you. It brings you to new places within yourself as it slowly strengthens and opens up the body. Through skin, muscle, bone, inner organs – the growing awareness of these and the breath in the asanas, you get to unveil what is true and real about yourself.

When I started teaching, it was to one student.  She was ambivalent about new students joining our class, but eventually enjoyed it more! Ten to fourteen students fit comfortably into my studio which is in the back of my garden.  It is embedded in nature with morning glories peeping through the window.  The glories of nature and gardening being two of my other loves, I find that taking the longer route to my studio, through the garden – is just the right way to get there.

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Juanita CaprariJuanita Linda Caprari, 37, Public Relations Practitioner and Yoga Teacher

My story…

My educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree with majors in French

and Italian from the University of Cape Town and a certificate with distinction in Public Relations from the Public Relations Institute of South Africa.

After 9 years of smoking I decided it was time for healthier living and respecting my body and nurturing my mind and soul. I began this journey with Thai Chi, which I loved from the very first class. I found serenity and overall well being instantly. Unfortunately my wonderful teacher had to leave. I turned to the gym to maintain a physical fitness regime. However after 2 years I realized that my body was been attended to but my mind and spirit were not being nurtured and again stress began to dominate my well being. This is when I turned to exploring Yoga.

I started my yoga practice with Iyengar yoga training in 2002 at the Mind, Body & Balance studio in Greenpoint. I later joined The Centre Yoga Meditation in February 2005 where I completed a two year Teacher Training Course.

I have been teaching yoga since January 2007 and my style is influenced by the Iyengar and Sivananda Yoga teachings. I have recently completed another one year Teacher Training course through Ananda Kutir Ashram, which follows the teachings of Sivananda Integral Yoga. The desire to study further is to deepen my knowledge and love of Yoga and to be able to grow my own yoga practice and to share the multitudes of gifts that yoga has to offer to aspiring yoga practitioners. I would like to show people the joy of experiencing ultimate health and serenity through the integration of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being that only Yoga can provide.

Are you a yoga teacher? Would you like to share your yoga story with others? Email stories to nina@yogaaa.co.za

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