Even though yoga lends itself so well to an ‘anytime, anywhere approach’, it sure is hard to set up a home practice.
 
I’ve been trying for more than 10 years and only recently managed to carve out at least 3 hours a week for at-home yoga.
 
One of the main reasons for this little success is the fact that I started my 200hr yoga teacher training (YTT) course in August. Apart from having to practice a certain number of hours per week, I was also given specific poses to work on improving.
 
While joining a yoga class is great for getting into a delicious flow, an at-home practice is the perfect way to get better at things you’re not that good at. Yet.
 
Being committed to arriving on your mat in your own space can also save you a lot of money when studio/gym costs are hard to scrape together. Which – let’s face it – is a reality for many of us.
 
So, if you’ve also been struggling to get a yoga practice going at home, here are a few things that helped me set mine up:
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I’ve been thinking about happiness a lot lately and how each of us seems to have a blueprint for how it should manifest in our lives.

We collect moments and images and places and carefully constructed ideas of perfect people to create a bright and colourful collage against which we constantly compare our own lived experiences.

Of course, it rarely measures up. Yet, still, we wonder why.

My thoughts on this topic were sparked when a much younger friend – who at a glance seems to be living his best life, travelling, exploring, meeting new people, the whole shebang – expressed concern that he was not doing enough to fill his time with true happiness. That, somehow, despite his best efforts, happiness continued to elude him.

I sensed the anguish in his words and felt like I was having a conversation with my own 18- or 22- or 27-year-old-self. That wild-eyed girl for whom nothing was ever enough.

Although she still surfaces every once in a while, I dare say I’ve gotten better with age. Like crossing over into my 30s has allowed me to loosen my grip. To hold my ideas of happiness – everything, really – a little more loosely.

While I certainly wouldn’t lend myself out as a guru on the topic and – at 33 – still have a lot to (un)learn, I do believe I’ve come to understand a few things about happiness that I might as well share:

Continue Reading "A few thoughts on happiness"

‘The Wild Woman Interviews’ is a series of Q&As with women who do interesting, brave and inspiring things. The name hints at how nature, the outdoors, travel, the natural cycles of life etc. motivate and influence their passions and pursuits.

This month, I’d like to introduce you to Lerato Bambo, the blogger behind Life from a Bag. Lerato is one heck of a well-travelled woman and completely unafraid of hitting the road solo. In this interview, she shares some insights gained from living in different countries around the globe and tips for other women who are curious about travelling alone. 

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For the past few days, my creativity has been at a bit of a low ebb.

Since I’m quite comfortable with the idea that things move in cycles and we can’t always be at peak performance, it doesn’t alarm me too much.

However, I don’t like wallowing in this state for too long.

Something I enjoy doing to help myself snap out of it is leaving the confines of my flat and heading out into the city for a walkabout. Cape Town’s streets always have something interesting, thought-provoking, humorous and beautiful on offer to get those creative juices flowing again.

Today, was an especially good day to seek out the Mother City’s streets, as earth warriors from across the peninsula gathered to participate in the Global Climate Strike.

In all honesty, I hadn’t intended to join the march – not because I don’t love mama earth, just because taking to the streets in protest isn’t really something I do.

But, when I found myself falling deeper into the creative funk, I thought being part of something bigger might just offer me some much-needed perspective.

Also, I’ve always loved protest photographs, so this was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at taking some too. (I do, of course, also realise that my camera, notebook and observation skills often serve as a safety blanket in situations like these).

Anyway, so here are some images snapped at the Global Climate Strike in Cape Town:

Continue Reading "Snaps: Global Climate Strike – Cape Town"

I recently had the opportunity to cover an event at the University of Cape Town, where Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng (aka Fab Academic on Twitter and Instagram) shared some career advice with postgraduate students.

While I long ago closed the chapter on pursuing any kind of academic career, I found a wealth of wisdom in the VC’s address, which can be applied to any professional path you choose to follow.

Here are my top five takeaways:

Continue Reading "Career advice from a Fab Academic"

‘The Wild Woman Interviews’ is a series of Q&As with women who do interesting, brave and inspiring things. The name hints at how nature, the outdoors, travel, the natural cycles of life etc. motivate and influence their passions and pursuits.

This month’s Wild Woman is Saray Khumalo and actually needs no introduction. Earlier this year, Saray became the first black African woman to summit Mount Everest. She is an award-winning mountaineer and a business executive with over 15 years’ experience in industry-leading blue-chip companies which drive innovation and change both locally and internationally. I chatted to her about her love for mountaineering, her passion for inspiring other African women and also about ‘Summits with a Purpose’, her initiative to help educate South Africa’s youth. 

Continue Reading "Wild Woman Interview: Seven Summits and Breaking Stereotypes with Saray Khumalo"

Every so often, when my schedule allows and deadlines aren’t coming at me as thick and fast as they normally do, I spend an hour or two volunteering at an urban farm close to my home in Cape Town.

Sometimes, I help place tiny seeds in polystyrene planting trays and other times I clear weeds from the veggie beds. It’s nothing fancy and I love it precisely because of this. A couple of hours away from my laptop, feeling the sun on my shoulders and inhaling the scent of earth and soil.

Continue Reading "Random Thought: Of Our National Anthem and the Ones Who Love It Most"

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of taking a whirlwind trip around the Overberg as part of #OverbergFam2019 – a familiarisation trip supported by Wesgro and SATSA – to explore this special region in a little more depth.

Veering off the beaten track (i.e. the N2) as far as possible, our itinerary took us from Elgin to Barrydale to Swellendam to Malgas and finally De Hoop. Along the way, we enjoyed an incredible array of experiences – from a chilly morning game drive at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve to an exquisite overnight stay at Schoone Oordt Country House and all manner of treats in between.

While I’m no stranger to the Overberg, this trip introduced me to a few quirky new experiences. Here are five I’d highly recommend to anyone who might be craving a leisurely spring road trip:

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It’s slightly terrifying how fast this year is going, isn’t it?

And also how it’s becoming increasingly difficult to connect and enjoy quality time with the people who matter most. Unless you actually pin down a date, time and venue for getting together, it’s definitely not going to happen spontaneously. (I’m sure the world was different at some point not too very long ago.)

So, when my mom recently managed to round us all up for a quick two-night break at Duinepos Eco Cottages in the West Coast National Park, it felt like nothing short of a miracle!

Continue Reading "Snaps: A Quick Break in the West Coast National Park"