Owner and Teacher – Stella Douglas
Stella is a professionally certified and internationally accredited Yoga teacher who has been practicing yoga for at least 16 years. She’s so wise, she’s lost count. She has loved Jesus for 12 of those years and stopped doing Yoga for a time for many of the reasons you would expect, but Stella has since learned, Jesus means so much more than being bound by ‘religion’. She received her training in India, in traditional Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. As an asthmatic, who suffered from a severe case of burn out, she took Yoga to a deeper level when she suffered from a major lung inflammation. Yoga was the only thing that didn’t over exert or stress out her body while still strengthening and toning. Yoga helped restore balance and peace at a time when her circumstances said otherwise. “My Yoga practice has brought me closer to God. But you don’t have to do Yoga for that reason. You can do Yoga because you’ll feel all the benefits, be they physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Also, it’s fun!”
Thembi first stepped onto a Yoga mat 12 years ago. As someone who used to be a gymnast and springboard diver, her body took to it immediately – loving the movement, stretch and strength that Yoga provides. She also just loves being upside down! She took classes whenever she could over the subsequent years, however, Yoga is more than a physical practice and her heart and mind needed to be ready before she could commit to a more consistent practice. As someone with a history of an eating disorder, she first needed to develop greater compassion for herself and her body before she could undertake a loving and healing practice, which is what her yoga practice has become. In 2015 she moved to Johannesburg and accidentally walked into Stella’s class – was given Yoga pants to wear and immediately found a space of care and play, in which she could nurture a joyful practice. After activist burn out, she committed herself to a Vinyasa Teacher Training as a way of deepening her practice, grounding herself, and sharing her joy with others.
Sheena has an eclectic upbringing with an Indian mother and a Belgian father and attributes the ever present pull in her life to Yoga, to her Indian heritage. Sheena’s style is one that doesn’t take itself to seriously, leaving room for play as well strength in her practice. Sheena feels a deep connection with the eight limbs of Yoga, demonstrating a commitment to her faith as a Christian, giving grace, tolerance and non-violence as often as she can. She loves animals and travel to broaden her understanding and compassion. After years of practice, Sheena believes that Yoga has become her lifestyle, on and off that mat. “I enjoy all yoga forms but my favorite is Vinyasa flow. I love animals especially dogs!”
Aimee Angelique Howard
Aimee is not only a Yoga teacher, she is also a special needs teacher. Her own journey thus far has shown her that her aim is the same same for both: to be a guide our true intuition. Aimee has always had a love of moving her body and mainly channeled that through marathon running over the years. She also considers herself to be a spiritual seeker and has a great love for God. Yoga is where these two loves came together for her in perfect harmony. She says, “The first time I practiced Yoga, I felt at home in my body and my spirit.” Yoga is a way for Aimee to express herself and it provides her with an outlet to work through life’s challenges. Aimee’s Sankalpa (intention) is to endeavor to choose love in every situation, whether with her body, her mind or her heart.
Lucia van Zyl
Lucia has practiced Yoga for several years. As a child, she enjoyed tying herself into knots so when she went to her first Yoga class with Stella, she was hooked. What Lucia soon discovered, however, is that sometimes tying yourself into knots closes you off, and that is not what Yoga is about. Practicing Yoga has made her look at both sides of the coin; there is a time to look inward, but there is also a time to open our hearts and receive from the people around us and from God. “I would call myself and introverted extrovert, only showing my true colours where I feel safe, loved and supported. This is what Yoga is for me, a space where I get to be in my body going from strength to strength with a community of people who have taught me how to love myself, how to challenge my perceptions and how to connect with God through compassion, for myself first, and rest”. Lucia has felt increasingly drawn towards fostering spiritual connection through the practices of Yoga and sees her own practice as a prayer of gratitude and love.