Shadow Illumination Classes in Cape Town
Studio Classes & Private Sessions
Observatory, Claremont and Cape Town
Yoga classes with Monet
My teaching style
Past psychological and physiological dis-ease, rooted in an excessive need to control, led me to a life-long quest to gain more knowledge on the link between the brain (/mind), consciousness and the body. This was the inspiration behind obtaining a doctorate in neurophysiology and pursuing the wisdom traditions of the Orient and Western mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I was first introduced to the yoga asana practice - Sanskrit for “seat, connection or relationship to the Earth”-, within the Vaishnava tradition, when I started becoming aware of how destructive some of my thought patterns and behaviours really were. This was as a result of being less “in my head” and more in my body, with increasing mindfulness of the mind-body connection. Initiation into the path of faith (the opposite of control) and transformation from the inside out then occurred. Not only did I start noticing the interconnectedness of the mind and body, but I could also come to understand the relationships between us and all other beings, and Mother Nature, as a whole. This led me to complete yoga teacher training course, heavily influenced by the the tenets of Jivamukti Yoga. The foundations of this type of yoga is devoid of constricting dogma, but is instead dedicated to living in harmony with the Earth and all of life according to the timeless traditions of Yoga. Jiva means “individual soul” and mukti means “liberation”, implying a lifestyle that is happy, wild and free and also contributes to the happiness, wildness and freedom for others.
Jivamukti-inspired Yoga Classes in Cape Town
Assisting in resolving deep karmic issues and trauma
Based on this philosophy of Jivamukti, I teach from a place where yoga is much more than physical exercise to keep one’s body fit or to increase strength or flexibility; because the physical body represents all of our past thoughts, words and actions – including our relationships with others that have been left unresolved – with the asana practice we are working to resolve deep karmic issues and traumas, which have been lodged in the cells and tissues of our bodies. In addition to the vigorous vinyasa-based physical style, teachings adhere to five central tenets: shastra (the study of Vedic scripture), bhakti (devotional service through chanting and the setting of a high intention), ahimsa (non-harming, extending to all living beings and the environment), nāda (conscious music), and dhyana (meditation, connecting to that eternal unchanging reality within). Classes thereby facilitate a consistent, mutually beneficial, steady and joyful relationship to one-self, to all others and to something bigger than ourselves (based on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra: sthira sukham asanam “The connection to the earth should be steady and joyful” PYS II.46). Classes also contain a dharma talk - a short but poignant philosophical discussion- where I endeavor to fuse my background in Western neuro-physiological research, with the Eastern teachings of the Vedas as well as mindfulness-based behaviour paradigm, relating it to the experience on the mat and beyond.
Yoga classes in Claremont and beyond
Private yoga sessions are for both men and women and takes place either at Avalon Ashram (and view below)
in Claremont, Cape Town, at our home temple space(view below), or in the comfort of your own home. For male students, the first session will be at Avalon Ashram.
The duration of private classes are 90 minutes, and classes are fairly intensive, largely “yang” in nature. Classes also consist of a
10-15 minute dharma talk - a short but poignant philosophical discussion. “Dharma” means “to uphold the truth, purpose & teachings” as well as be committed to it.
To get a feel for the beautiful, spacious Avalon Ashram sanctuary, please visit their Facebook page.
"Deep in the wintry parts of our minds, we are hardy stock and we know there is no such things as a work-free transformation. We know that we will have to burn to the ground in one way or another, and sit right in the ashes of who we once thought we were and go on from there.
Difficult and rich - this is what a person in an authentic maturation finds at the essence of it all - and it show both inside and outside, on the person who strives toward it."
In the wise words of Dr Clarissa Pinkoles Estes.
Our cosy, bohemian, home temple space.
Yoga classes in Observatory
Thursdays, 70 minute group classes at 7pm, at the Observatory Community Center (Observatory, Cape Town). Please bring your own, personal yoga mat.
Fees: R100 drop-in or R80 per class, 4 times a month (sum of R320 to be paid during the first week of every month).
Level 1 classes:
Focus will be on safety and alignment, and making you more comfortable and familiar with common yoga postures.
R800, to be paid up front - plus R150 per extra person joining.
Discounted package price for 5 classes (save R500): R3500, to be paid in full or in two installments at R1750/installment, up front.
Discounted package price for 7 classes (save R700): R4900, to be paid in full or in two installments at R2450/installment, up front.
Discounted package price for 8 classes (save 800): R5600, to be paid in full or in three installments at R1867/installment, up front.
Level 2 Vinyasa classes:
Classes assume a working knowledge of yoga and proceed at a faster pace.
R800 to be paid up front - plus R150 per extra person joining.
The same discounted package prices applies as above.
Consists of 7, level 2 weekly classes, at R700 per class. The focus of each class will be on one of the seven chakras, with the dharma talk and asana practice adapted accordingly.
The total package price of R 4900 can be paid in two installments, prior to session commencement.
Consists of 5, level 2 weekly classes, at R700 per class. In addition to the asana practice, I teach a curated 5-step shadow work practice - one practice per class- ,fusing tools derived from ACT, Internal Family Systems and depth psychology. With a strong foundation in Greek mythology, this "Life as mythical stage show" (TM) practice facilitates the systematic rewriting of one’s unconscious limiting beliefs/stories/schemas, to create one’s reality from a space of love, in line with your values and life purpose. For objectives and rationale, please see WHY SHADOW WORK?.
The total package price of R 3500 includes a comprehensive shadow work manual, and can be paid in two installments, prior to session commencement.
Paying homage to our gurus:
Jivamukti yoga is based on a parampara (a succession of teachers and disciples in traditional Vedic culture) which originated thousands of years ago, and first appeared in a written format in the sutras of Master Patanjali, the father of modern yoga. The strength of subscribing to a yoga lineage lies in that we are staying true to the teachings of the rishis and sages, who have explored, navigated and mastered the workings of the koshas (energetic sheaths) - the physical body, the energetic body, the emotional body, the intellect body, as well as the bliss body or individual Soul -, through years of being in retreat and devotion to union with a Higher Self (or whatever concept of God/Goddess your world view accommodates). In the West, there are many “watered down” versions of yoga available – Jivamukti is not one. Considering the lineage of Jivamukti in the last century only, it is largely based on the teachings of Sharon Gannon and David Life, and their Indian guru Sri K. Pattabhi Jois:
Sharon Gannon and David Life, the gurus and founders of the Jivamukti Yoga method are both also artists. They met in 1983 when her band played at his restaurant, the iconic Life Cafe in the East Village of New York City, hosting poetry, readings, performance, musical and visual art shows. They were deeply involved in art, painting, poetry, music, and 80s counterculture and they soon began to practice yoga together, as well as teaching down the Street from Life Café. In 1984, they founded the Jivamukti school, one of the first hybrid yoga styles to emerge in the United States with a strong foundation of spiritual activism/activation. Jivamukti is a hybrid because its methodology and philosophy synthesize elements from the teachings of their three most influential teachers: Swami Nirmalanda, Ashtanga guru Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati. They bring the ancient teachings alive, making it relevant to the contemporary world, and they incorporate their profound talents and experiences as artists, performers (dancers) and musicians into their teaching styles, making their teachings compelling, exciting and empowering.
One of Sharon and David’s gurus is Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who developed and popularized the vinyāsa style of yoga referred to as the eight-limbed path of Ashtanga Yoga (the limbs being: moral codes, self-purification and study, posture, breath control, withdrawing of the mind from the senses, concentration, deep meditation, and union with the object of meditation). This style of yoga clearly indicates that yoga is so much more than just the physical postures we take on, on the mat. The purpose of yoga is to ‘yoke’, unite or connect the dualities of life so that we can attain Self-realization. In the East, Self-realization refers to recognizing your Divine Nature and in Western, psychological understanding, it is the "fulfillment by oneself of the possibilities of one's character or personality", which is non-different from Jung’s notion of individuation. The eight-limbed path gives us some of the tools to do just that.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu (“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”)
Photo credit: Cheri Warrington at SILVERWOLF PHOTOGRAPHY.