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16-18 Sept – The week that’s been

September 20, 2011

So the week started off on Friday afternoon again, heading to the CTICC to see what was happening at the Look & Feel Good Expo this year. This was the third year it was up and running, and albeit a little smaller than last year, it did seem like there were more people attending. From a whole host of goodies that were on sale, to regular performances on stage it was a good place to connect with more like minded practitioners.

After visiting the expo, it was off to Shanti Cape Town, for Carryn Smit’s 17:30 Ashtanga yoga class. Not being a natural ashtangi, and knowing that Ashtanga yoga is very demanding, I was a little nervous and not quite sure what was in store for us that evening. Carryn lead the small group through a variety of ashtanga yoga sequences and postures with care and gentleness, (which I never really anticipated an Ashtanga yoga teacher to be, first rule of the 4 agreements by Don Ruiz, never make assumptions Nina!). Carryn is a lovely young teacher who started her yoga journey when she was only 16, and you can see that she has a deep understanding of philosophy and psychology when she teachers. She has a lovely disposition, making gentle and meaningful adjustments where appropriate. So for those who have a stable upper body and need to strengthen their arms and shoulders a little more, I would suggest you head off to an Ashtanga yoga class. I don’t think I have ever really done that many Salute to the Suns in my life and my legs and shoulders definitely felt it the next day!

So luckily, after a challenging Friday evening session, Saturday lead me to Somerset West to Ananda Sanga for a Restorative Yoga session in the morning with Anne Combrinck. Anne has been doing and teaching yoga and Ayurveda for many years now, and her beautiful space is one of the first teacher training schools in Cape Town. Anne is such a knowledgeable teacher and we started off going through gentle yoga postures and a number of reclining and supported restorative yoga asansa as well. It really was a session that is perfect for all people, no matter if you are an experienced and competent practitioner, to a total beginner. It was a lovely workshop where we all worked at our own capabilities and learned to slow down the mind and our practice.

After a short break, the next session started. It was on the deeper aspects of pranayama, where we discussed and explored the different airs or the body, from prana in the chest, to apana in the lower extremities, to samana in the abdomen, and uddana in the throat area and vyana as the all expanding air. She explained everything in simple terms, and how asanas and pranayama practices can help to settle and balance energies and prana in those specific areas of the body. It really was a great reminder of the deeper aspects as to why pranayama practices are so vital in our yoga classes.

For those who are a stressed or would like a gentle and mindful yoga work and be reminded of restorative yoga postures, I would suggest heading to the next restorative workshop Anne will be hosting in a month or two’s time. For those yoga teachers, who would like to expand their knowledge on the deeper aspects of pranayama and yoga in general, I suggest you subscribe to Anne’s mailing list so that you can be informed when she next hosts “teacher” classes.

To both Anne and Carryn, thanks for a lovely yoga weekend filled with inspiring and motivating yoga.



Shanti Cape Town –

Ananda Sanga – 



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