started Yoga when I was fresh out of school on my gap year, in a tiny apartment
in Bedfordshire in the UK. I practiced basic, simple postures with the guidance
from a page out of Yoga Journal online and a woman wearing very small yoga
shorts. No real classes or even videos.
I discovered my practice when I
returned to South Africa in 2010 and decided right there and then that I wanted
to teach. I did my training with Clara at Yoga Warrior that same year and
discovered things about myself that never would have come up had I not been so
deeply focused on my own being and mind.
I fell pregnant in early 2012 and
continued to practice throughout. After my baby boy, Mason, was born in
September 2012, I found that the only true way to relax and be something other
than just a mom, was on my matt. For me, essentially, the practice of yoga
isn’t about finding myself or escaping from anything; I think many of us who
are privileged enough to be able
to practice Yoga daily don’t have to escape from all that much.
So much of the
business of yoga has been revolutionised into what we get out of Yoga if we
practice religiously: the yoga body, the yoga mind, the yoga way, and so forth.
When beneath the surface it isn’t really all we see on Instagram. Yoga is not
superficial, nor does it advocate for the practitioner to become kinder, more
patient, or more mindful. Those things can happen, yes, but they can be
forgotten as soon as you get into morning traffic or home to your kids, because
we are human.
Yoga never demands perfection and there shouldn’t be pressure to
perform – whether it’s in or out the studio. It doesn’t require any display of
your progress. That is just “stuff”. Yoga invokes vulnerability. So much of
life is spent acquiring more things, more “stuff”, and yoga takes it off. It
doesn’t ask that you forget about anything, nor does it bring about instant
gratification or peace of mind. It reveals everything and asks you to
acknowledge it. It honours the minimal without painting glorious pictures
of how beautiful the asana is when actually yoga is tough, it is frustrating at
times, it tests you and pushes you and reveals all your weaknesses, and all of
your strengths. It reminds us, again, that we are human. This other “stuff”
that has been superimposed is really what we are trying to get rid of.
do yoga to become a better person. Yoga isn’t about gaining anything; it is
selfless. Yoga is about taking one small part of your day and not doing that.
It’s about taking some time that isn’t spent wondering what you will get from
it. “Stuff” gets taken away, but it’s the stuff you don’t need. And after a
while, you find you don’t actually want it.