What does the Young Yoga Institute teach?
Adopting the path of Hatha Yoga means to adopt a responsible and compassionate attitude towards life, to yourself and to others.
Secondly to bring the body to it’s full potential through the practice of asanas, and to gain breath control through the various breathing techniques.
Thirdly, to train the heart and mind for contemplation – a state of tranquility and silence, undisturbed by the activity of the senses or the distractions of one’s own wandering thoughts.
What happens in this school of Yoga?
Activities are confined to the teaching of the asanas, the art of relaxation, basic breathing techniques, contemplation and meditation.
Does Hatha Yoga deal only with the body?
Hatha yoga brings body, mind and spirit to a state of equilibrium.
“YOU” are more than just a body ….
“YOU” are a body, mind and spirit.
These three entities make up the human personality. As yoga aims to bring you to your full potential, to make you a “complete” human being, yoga must, of necessity, affect not only your body, but your mind and spirit as well.
Is Yoga a religion?
Yoga is not a religion but because dedicated practice affects the entire person in body, mind and spirit, it may have an effect on the yogi in religious spheres. Any spiritual beliefs held by a yogi are deepened and strengthened.
What are the advantages?
Muscles are toned. Vital organs are rejuvenated, kept in place and enabled to function correctly. The body is brought to a state of good health where it can cope with disease.
A state of tension is transformed into a more relaxed attitude to life. The body reaches it’s full potential because avenues of communication are opened up between the brain and the body.
One achieves a state of awareness, not only confined to the self, but also one that reaches out to embrace everyone and everything that comes within one’s orbit.
Is there a spiritual aim?
Yoga enhances your own spiritually or your personal religious belief.
How does it work?
Disciplines the body; clarifies the mind; steadies emotions; raises awareness from the mundane towards a more spiritual way of being.
Where does Yoga come from?
Yoga originated in the East, many thousands of years ago. It was a means of bringing people to God.
Has this been proven?
Yes. Many thousands of yogis testify to the fact that once they took up yoga, they were brought back to an awareness of the spirit and to a better way of life.
Yoga does not dissuade people from their own beliefs.
DOREEN SMIT – REST IN PEACE ‘ON THE OTHER SIDE’
Doreen served the YYI as principal, secretary, treasurer and head of tutorials. Her devotion to yoga was at all times visible – but she was also devoted to her family and friends. I remember coming to Jabula for yoga classes nearly 30 years ago. Ever on the lookout for ways to avoid having to cook supper, I was surprised and delighted by the sprightly silver-haired lady who led the classes with grace and kindness… but also held a powerful chaturanga and lifted into sirsa effortlessly.
I quickly signed up for two classes a week, and I can honestly say that I learned something new in EVERY class. Soon, I was arriving a little earlier to class and leaving a little later, so that I could ask her questions about yoga (and life). Wise and compassionate answers were always forthcoming.
Doreen welcomed everyone to Jabula, and encouraged us to join the YYI, read the books and attend the annual charity Jabula Day. She took care to ensure that everyone in class was safe yet trying their best; working hard yet becoming still.
She invited me to attend tutorials and here I continued my yoga journey, lapping up her knowledge and eagerly teaching poses during some classes. I did not miss one tutorial! Her leadership and guidance were unequalled – perhaps they still are.
Doreen shared stories about Winnie, La Verna, Geeta, oki yoga… and every time this happened, I longed to learn more and meet the people concerned.
I remember my first silent retreat, led by Winnie at this centre on the Bluff. We had shared the drive down to KZN, and then experienced the agony and ecstasy of no words till sundown!
As a tutor, Doreen patiently guided us – addressing not only Sanskrit, anatomy and yoga terms, but also leading us in the yoga way: the way of kindness, determination, tolerance and compassion.
When her mother was ailing and passed, she asked me to look after her classes. What a privilege to be entrusted with duty. I especially admired her courage when she was dealing with the loss of her parents, husband, and son. She bore all that hurt with her own quiet dignity and grace.
And then I remember learning of her shenanigans on Retreat – dressing up as a Playboy bunny! (Jeanette has photos, if you need verification!) I loved it when she’d visit on the way to class – just ‘popping in’ she’d say, but there’s always be some biscuits, and gifts for my daughters too!
I remember how delighted Doreen was to be a granny. She had photos and stories – always proud of achievements, big or small. And she took pride in the achievements of her tutorial students in much the same way.
In class, she’d sometimes take a while to correct folk, and we’d groan. She’d chuckle, and say, “If you have the energy to grumble, you can hold it a bit longer! Resilience is needed!” And she’d often quip, “and over to the other side… by the way, that must be on my tombstone: ‘Gone to the other side!’ “
Ever ready with a hug, some wise, understated words or simply to listen, I often had the sense that she experienced genuine joy from watching the pleasure of others.
When she retired from working her day job, she left Jabula … and left it to me. More generosity. She had this request: “Please keep it YYI; please keep encouraging new folk to be teachers!”
When I started tutorials and asked her how to plan them, hinting that I’d need some resources, she said, “Do it your way, in the spirit of the YYI.”
I only heard her express regret once – she had watched Even and I dance, and she said she wished she and her husband had had a chance to do ballroom, but his foot injury prevented this.
What a wonderful opportunity we had, when she turned 80, to surprise her for her birthday, and do a collection for her wish – a hot air balloon ride. Goodness, well done for co-ordinating this! Do you remember ALL those students and teachers gathering to pay homage to this legend?
Dearest Doreen, I hope that you are dancing and doing sun salutations up above. Namaste, friend, teacher, tutor. Thank you for changing so many of our lives.