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Yoga & You July 2010 – Students

July 5, 2010

Maurice Barker. Qualified civil engineer, specialist diamond consultant in the diamond mining industry and aspiring artist, age 48.

When did you start practicing yoga?

I started practicing yoga about 8 years ago.

Why did you start?

A yoga teacher in the area, Jonathan, came to us one day and asked if he could use some space on our premises to teach his yoga classes from. We agreed and I decided to join his classes to see what yoga was all about.

Can you describe your yoga journey?

I ended up doing Iyengar yoga with Jonathan for some years until work commitments got in the way and my yoga practice fell by the wayside. During this time, Leela and I continued traveling overseas for teaching and meditation retreats, and I learnt stick yoga at a Zen Buddhist Monastery in France. Stick Yoga is very similar to Chi Gong but with a stick, it encompasses 16 set movements that you do slowly as a flow. Then Leela did her yoga teacher training in India (Sivananda style Hatha yoga) and started teaching yoga at Sat Chit Anand, so of course I had to join her classes. I now attend regular weekly yoga classes, which I love. Often at the beginning of the class I am feeling lazy and don’t really feel like doing yoga, but by the end of the class, I am feeling great – my mind is relaxed and my body feels like it wants to fly!

_________________________________________

Shelley Maisel.

I discovered Yoga at a time when I was searching for meaning, it was an overheard conversation, a commitment to go to class and a new love found. A love for myself, for the yoga and for all others. Many changes were happening in my life, the yoga began to speed these changes up, it began to integrate me into myself, it taught me who I am and it is still teaching me 12 years later.

I began an Iyengar yoga class when I was 24 and for the first time in my life I began to enjoy a routine. I went three times a week and loved it. I stayed with one teacher, in this one discipline for two years until a friend came back from London, stormed into my room and declared that my partner and I had to try Kundalini Yoga, a yoga form she had been introduced to by a chance encounter with a Parisian man.

We all went to class together and I was so touched by the music, the chanting, the movement and the truth that began to pulsate through me, that I stayed and did not return to another Iyengar class. After many years of disciplined practice, with and without a physical teacher, I have now done my teacher training which spanned a two year period with four intensives in the Magaliesburg. The experience of this training was phenomenal, breaking down barriers, building strength, physical and spiritual and reaching bliss.

At present I am not teaching as I work full time, but whenever I experience a class or attend a workshop I feel a deep desire to share these teachings. They are life changing, they are all encompassing, and they become your way of life.

My name is Shelley Maisel, my spiritual name is Nitnem, which means one who follows a daily spiritual practise; I am a ceramist by day, a yoga practitioner, physically every morning and spiritually all day.

My awareness has changed and grown, I found my spiritual family through Kundalini Yoga and I feel their presence around me, always.

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