I’ve been a student of yoga for over twenty years but it’s only since I used it as a tool and a lifeline in my own recovery and healing from addiction and childhood trauma that I’ve really grasped what a game changer it is.
One of my biggest joys and privileges is sharing this ancient, simple yet profound practice with others. I don’t take my practice – or life – too seriously and I am as fallible as the next person: I have cellulite, I drop the occasional F-bomb, I get ratty with my kids, I can’t do an unsupported handstand (after all these years!) and I eat too much dark chocolate. I am human, in other words, and I am told that the fact that I am not claiming to be an airbrushed super-yogi with perfectly sculpted muscles and a direct hotline to the Universe, means that the yoga, meditation and mindfulness that I teach is accessible and relevant to the rainbow of chaos that is life on Earth. All welcome. Come as you are. I’ll meet you there.
What I can offer as a teacher is patience, compassion, tolerance, acceptance and a non-judgemental, respectful yet lighthearted approach to yoga, grounded in a solid understanding of both the physical side of yoga as well as the philosophy behind the practice. I have studied with Anne and Martin Combrink at Ananda Sangha Educational Institute in Somerset West, Patti Quintero and Billy Asad of YogaWorks in Southern California, Susie Roy and Mansoor in India, as well as many other teachers over the past two decades. Aside from my 200 hour YTT certification with Yoga Alliance, I have completed additional training modules including Specialised Pregnancy Training in 2011.
My home yoga studio in Stellenbosch is called Riverside Studio and is managed by Victoria Albrektsen aka Northern Lights Yoga. Together we offer Hatha Yoga in the vinyasa style as well as yin yoga, power yoga and we host regular guest teachers and do all sorts of courses and workshops.
Aside from teaching at our beautiful, rustic yoga studio in Die Laan, I focus on corporate well being, including mindfulness meditation training and corporate yoga workshops, private lessons, and yoga and meditation workshops for non-profits, educational institutions and more.
I’m particularly passionate about the benefits of yoga, meditation and mindfulness for healing from trauma, recovery from addiction, for fertility and pregnancy, and for depression and anxiety.
These areas of interest stem from my personal life experience: of how yoga helped me heal from the physical, emotional and spiritual damage that came from being a rape survivor as a teenager, the ensuing substance abuse and my subsequent recovery; from my own fertility issues before eventually being fortunate to give birth to two perfect children whom I love with all my heart and soul (and then some); and from my own experience of anxiety and depression – both postnatal and the common garden variety, which runs rampant in my family. Some people have cholesterol, we have the Black Dog.
I would consider it a huge achievement if I were to make yoga even a little more accessible to the people I come into contact with, and to break through some of the misconceptions that one needs to be a certain body shape, have a specific spiritual leaning or world view or be a vegetarian tied-dyed hippy in order to be a yogi. A lot of us are all that, but it’s a choice, not a prerequisite!
My teaching style is relaxed and down to earth and I live by my principle that you don’t have to be on your mat twisted into a pretzel shape in order to practice yoga – it can and should be incorporated into our every day lives through mindfulness, awareness, tolerance and compassion.
“I am rooted, but I flow” – Virginia Woolfe