It was such a strange and wonderful experience to wake up on Saturday morning and know that I was going to be presenting my first joint yoga workshop with my friend and fellow-teacher, Leli Hoch. She is one of those passionate people who makes things happen, and it almost seemed surreal to realise that we weren’t just in the planning phase anymore, but were actually about to roll it out! I lay in bed for a few extra minutes, visualising all the yogis who were also starting to stir and stretch and wake up in their own parts of the Cape, before beginning to make their way towards Stanford.
After picking up my dear friend Claire in Somerset West, we stuck to the N2 to get to Stanford as quickly as possible (even so it took a bit longer than I anticipated, what with getting lost in conversation and admiring the stunning scenery along the way). It was a perfect morning, quite cool but with vibrant patches of blue sky and a beautiful warm sun peeping through the clouds. The venue itself could not have been more lovely. Leli really did herself proud by finding it. The yoga ‘studio’ itself is a renovated old barn with gorgeous reed ceilings, simple wrought iron chandeliers, Cape Dutch windows looking out towards the beautiful mountains and huge expanses of fynbos. The cottages on the farm are all whitewashed with green doors and windowframes, and all in all it was just so tranquil and picturesque.
In the end the studio was pretty much filled to capacity – we had 18 people in total, and it really did lend itself to a very special energy. Once we got started, I experienced a now-familiar sense of wanting to pinch myself to remind myself that this was actually happening, that these people were all here for us, because of us, and reminding myself that my dream of becoming a yoga teacher has actually become a reality! It was a very special moment indeed, and although it felt to me like the morning was over way too quickly, I enjoyed every single minute of it. One of the things that I most enjoyed is the diversity of the people that came to join us: from all sorts of backgrounds, differing levels of ability (we had some teachers and some beginners and many inbetween) and all ages and stages of life. I truly embrace the fact that yoga can be such a wonderful leveler, helping us all to forget about all the superficial layers of life, and to focus rather on what we have in common and how connected we all are. I had a really powerful, quite emotional moment where we were moving through a sequence of asanas and I found myself marveling at all these beautiful women (interesting that there were no men) who had made the conscious decision to do something so peaceful, so spiritual, so gentle, so positive on a Saturday morning. There wasn’t the chance to have any indepth conversations with anyone afterwards, but I genuinely felt a very real connection to every single person who was there, and I feel inordinately privileged to have the opportunity to come into contact with them, even just for a few hours of my life.
We closed the workshop with tea and Leli’s spectacular ginger cake and crunchies in the sunshine afterwards (is there no end to this woman’s talent?!) before all going our seperate ways. I hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as Leli and I did. We have a lot to learn and have had some very valuable feedback from some of those who attended, so we look forward to getting better and better, and appreciate the learning opportunity.
Claire and I took a slow drive back to Stellenbosch, going via Kleinmond to pop in to visit another friend and fellow-teacher, Corinne, who is also The Potter (I put it in capitals as she really is the only one who is worthy of wearing that crown) – another supremely talented person who is a wonderful artist both in and out of her yoga studio. Clarence Drive was as spectacular as ever, with beautiful stormy weather and clouds pouring down over the mountains towards the sea. A perfect ending to a very special morning.
A big thank you to everyone who came, and also to the lovely Nina from Yoga Awakening Africa for donating all the YAA magazines.
Some of the comments we have received:
“Thank you for the lovely Chakra Yoga class. It was a wonderful experience! We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the class, specifically the walking and eating meditation. We also loved the gentle breath work and visualization techniques that accompanied the various sets of asana’s. There is nothing that we would change about the practice, however we would love to try the Rainbow meditation next time. We would also like to thank you for the lovely tea and cake. ”
“You two make a lovely yoga teaching team…so we were blessed as well! Thanks for a stunning time!!! My only complaint is that it was to short…maybe till 13h would have been good. I would also like to have a full day in the winter months when I’m not so busy at the guest house!”
“Loved the morning… really liked the venue, the light, the meditations, the quietness, the sequence, the enjoyed the sway between the two of you, the cake and crunchies ofcourse delicious, inspiration as one finds in such spaces of intention… to connect… ofcourse… needed more hands on adjustment where needed if needed. Maybe some more time during savasana … I was just so happy to be there and receiving all the benefits that these small details really are small in comparison to the goodness of the experience – thank both so much! Hope we can look forward to more classes of this nature.”