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Yoga & You – Students

December 2, 2009

Genie Erasmus, 27, Marketer

When did you start practicing yoga? August 2008

Why did you start practicing yoga? I was looking for something more than exercise, something that trains your mind and spirit and has benefits for the body, such as calming, relaxing and stress release, while at the same time toning muscles and getting the blood flowing.

What keeps you doing it? The fact that its not like normal (gym) exercise, there’s no forcing or pushing till exhaustion, I work at my own pace and to my own limits, I feel relaxed and restored after a session, and I can see and feel the results in my body. I love how we get reminded in yoga class that we are not our bodies, it puts life back into perspective, and helps me remember that our everyday life worries are insignificant, and not why we are on earth. I also feel that doing yoga makes me get in touch with my true self and helps me be a better person to those around me.

Where do you practice? At Elize Taljaards class, in Tzaneen, Limpopo Province

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Rex Schelling, 36, Entrepreneur

When did you start practicing yoga? My mother encouraged me to do headstands and breathing exercises when I was still at school, especially before exams! I also used to do a lot of the stretching exercises with yoga breathing before sport, as I participated in running, surfing and soccer. This has obviously stood me on good ground, literally, as a result I can touch my toes, because I used to run a lot and running is supposed to tighten up the hamstrings making flexibility more of a challenge.                                          .

What style and where? My first proper yoga class was in 2008 with Nina Saacks. I practice Hatha Yoga at Yoga Ayana and at home sometimes before work.

My yoga story…

I kept hearing this voice in the back of my head saying, “You need to at least try doing a yoga class”. Perhaps it was a combination of my wife and my higher self. It has been a hectic year for me and my family, with business commitments across the country, starting new business ventures and the world economic situation. I have to say, if it was not for yoga, I would have snapped long ago. Yoga has given me more than any Lamborghini, Ferrari or Porsche could ever give me. Yoga has given me inner peace and the strength to cope with anything that comes my way! Namasté.

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Saira Naidoo, 38, Administrator

When did you start practising yoga? May 2008.

What style and where? Kundalini yoga in Springs

My story…

I started with yoga when I was diagnosed with a chronic disorder (Connective Tissue order and Yippee flu) and was told that I have a colon problem.  The doctor kept on talking about restful exercises and how I should practice calmness and being still for a while.  I tried various medications and was very depressed at times.  Then one day, I saw an advert in the local newspapers for the yoga classes.  My husband encouraged me to join and I did.  At first, I found the stretching exercises difficult, as I never exercised before.  And I couldn’t concentrate or settle when the meditation session started.  But with each class that I attended, I began making progress and started to not only enjoy the lesson, but also the people in my class.  They were all older than me, but very fit, focused and calm minded people. The teachers are a really Godsend to me as whenever I am down or sad, I email them and get such encouraging words back from them.

Soon, I started to feel calm myself and began practicing yoga at home.  I bought the cds, read about the various yoga meditations and started downloading tons of stuff from the Internet.  I opened a file and started building up my own library on the subject.  This year, I joined the Yoga Teachers Fellowship of South Africa, and have started saving up for when I can do the yoga courses and be able to teach others.

I have stopped all my medication and practicing meditation and yoga has become my daily pill for survival.  When I miss a class or don’t meditate, I feel lost and uneasy, like something is a miss.  I have also started teaching my sons (4 and 8 years old),  yoga and have found the benefits of it to be so satisfying to all.

The breathing exercises clam me down when I am stressed or upset with the children.  Even at work, I just breathe deeply when faced with stressful events or people.  Before, I would start a fight with co-workers or want to scold my children, but now I just breath and calm myself down before I do anything. I have also noticed that the type of people I now meet are more positive and encouraging of situations and events, whilst before yoga, I would meet or associate with people who didn’t contribute in a good light to my life.  I think that because I am more focused and healthier than before, I attract positive, good things and people in my life and this makes others and me happier and more peaceful and tolerate.  I now smile more and listen to what is said.  I am no more irritable and now seem to even enjoy nature more.

Yoga has taught me to listen to my body and ease the pain away, it has also taught me to cure my body through my mind by thinking positive and happy thoughts and by being at peace with others and myself around me.

I also look better now; I am much more toned and slimmer looking than before, my hair is starting to grow, glow and look so much better now.  I could go on and on, writing, but must stop now!!!.

The benefits of yoga and being in a good yoga class are too great to mention.  The only way to experience all of it is to take a class with a good teacher and experience it for yourself!

Do you practice yoga? Would you like to share your story with others? Email stories to nina@yogaaa.co.za

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda Landman permalink
    January 25, 2010 6:01 pm

    I am also a student of Elize Taljaard in Tzaneen in Limpopo, she is an excellent teacher and has given us all a rare but much appreciated oppurtunity to discover the joy of Yoga. She is much appreciated and valued for her beautiful style of teaching. Kind regards. Amanda Landman.

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