3. What style of yoga do you teach?
4. Where do you teach?
I teach group classes at a studio at Renaissance Body Science Institute, 183 Bree Street, Cape Town, corporate yoga classes at the client’s work premises and private sessions in the privacy of clients’ homes.
5. How long have you been practicing yoga?
6. How long have you been teaching yoga?
Since January 2007.
7. Who have you trained with and where?
I started my Yoga practice with Iyengar Yoga training in 2002 at the Mind, Body & Balance studio in Greenpoint. I later practised at The Centre Yoga Meditation, then a registered Yoga School with Yoga Alliance, in February 2005, where I completed a two year Teacher Training course. I have been teaching Yoga since 2007 and I am influenced by the Iyengar and Sivananda Yoga teachings. My journey led me to explore further options and I completed a second one year Teacher Training course through Ananda Kutir Ashram in 2009, which follows the teaching of Sivananda Integral Yoga and is registered with the Africa Yoga Federation. I further studied a post-graduate and a master course at Ananda Kutir in 2010. In 2013 I did an advanced Teacher Training module with Jim Harrington at Phool Chatti Ashram in Rishikesh, India.
8. What lead you to teaching yoga and at what point did you decide that you wanted to teach?
I fell in love with Yoga from the very first class and had a wish to teach in the future. Discovering Yoga was the best thing that happened to me, it changed me on all levels and made me become a better person. It was in late 2004 that my then teacher inquired if I would be interested in becoming a teacher and the dream became a reality when I knew the time had come to study. So my path to teaching began in 2005.
I loves to show people the joy of experiencing ultimate health and serenity through the integration of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being that only Yoga can provide. The transformation of healing that I experience witnessing my students is incredibly rewarding and to know that I can facilitate this positive transformation on any level that is needed is a true blessing.
10. Is there a focus in your teaching style?
I focus on the alignment of each asana as I believe maintaining the postural integrity of each pose is essential to gaining the maximum benefits of each asana relative to each individual’s flexibility and capability levels moving with the guidance of the breath. For people to feel better on all levels and most importantly for students to enjoy and to smile while they practise!
11. What do you love most about yoga?
The healing power it has, the beauty of positive transformation, the serenity it brings, the spiritual awareness, the feeling of health and strength and the sense of belonging. Knowing there is always so much more to learn.
12. What is the greatest challenge you have overcome with the help of yoga?
There have been many from personal loss, to financial loss, to severe physical pain due to lower back and sciaitc pain. Throughout the challenges over the years, yoga has remained constant in my life and kept me “sane” in the midst of despair. It has helped me to heal. It remains my friend and confidant, never letting me down and always making me stronger. It has taught me perseverance, patience and to be more compassionate.
13. What advice do you have for people who have never tried yoga?
Get on the mat and try it! Try different teachers in order to find the one that connects with you because each teacher has a different style and approach so you need to find the one that resonates best with you. Once you discover the gift, enjoy the journey!
14. Do you have a regular practice?
Yes, 6 times in the week.
15. Favourite Asana.
Does there have to be one? All the asanas I practice have their best benefit for me, I only wish I could learn more postures and practice the ones I hardly do far more often. I do love Bhujangasana, I enjoy the deep stretch of Trikonasana and I have a love for standing balances.
16. Strongest Asana?
The asanas I find the most challenging are Bakasana / The Crow and Mayurasana / The Peacock.
17. Any religious affiliations?
I consider my affiliation to be far more spiritual than religious.
18. What are your other interests?
I love to read, eating good food, spending time with loved ones, walking up Lions Head, albeit not often enough. Thanks to my Public Relations studies and experience, I discovered a love for writing and since 2007, after editing a book on Yoga, I continued my love of the creative word by writing press releases, newsletters and articles ranging from the tourism industry, to the jewellery world, to the topic and philosophy I love the most, Yoga. Thank you to Nina and Yoga Awakening Africa for allowing me to express and share my passion of yoga and writing with the yoga community.
19. Any Thank yous?
Sincere gratitude from the beginning of my journey to Brett Wearne and Daniel Erasmus, who taught me with sincerity, discipline and compassion in the Iyengar method. To Swami Parvathiananda and Mother Yogeshwari of Ananda Kutir for their dedication, infinite wisdom, and love for sharing the teachings of Swami Sivananda and Integral Yoga, two very special teachers who have contributed significantly to my Yoga practice and my Yoga teachings. To Jennifer Stephens, Jim Harrington and Aditi Gaur for sharing their experience and for inspiring me. To past and current Masters of Yoga, namely B.K.S.Iyengar and Swami Sivananda for sharing their gift. My deepest gratitude to all my past, present and future students for sharing my journey with me and for teaching me to be the best I can be – a lesson I learn with each class I teach. Infinite thanks to Nina Saacks for being the beautiful soul that she is, for having me on this journey with her and for her friendship.
Juanita is also the editor of and overseas the advertising for Yoga Awakening Africa