Clouded walls with glossy, fine golden lines spiraling around each other, the interior of The Yoga Room creates a comforting and safe feel as you walk in.
Situated up in Vredehoek, the studio opened doors in July 2017. Suited for all levels, no matter where you’re at, the small classes are created to fit each yogi. I spent some time here during Celebrate Spring with 30 days of Yoga by Yoom. It involved some dedicated early mornings, of which now have become a healthy routine in my life.
I spoke to Elsa van Niekerk, the founder of The Yoga Room, about her goals with regards to the studio and asked her to invite us a little into her background.
E: It is just over a year old and I love what it is growing into. I wanted to create a smaller, more intimate yoga space in Cape Town and offer authentic yoga, i.e slow it down a bit, allow space for meditation, breathing, just being. My aim is to make it as inclusive as possible and it’s wonderful to know that many of our clients started doing yoga here for the first time. It really is a studio that caters for all shapes, sizes, and ages. Our teachers are also very experienced which allows us to focus on individual attention and guidance. It has been a great experience so far to build this studio right in the heart of the community.
The first time I did yoga was at a gym in London. The class was taught by a woman well into her 60’s – I was fascinated by her energy and walked out of class feeling great. It took some time to build up a practice though, but now it is a great way to tune into myself. To really get in touch with my mind and body. I did my training in New York at the renowned ISHTA Yoga School where I found my spiritual home – their teaching philosophy of focusing on the individual and drawing from the teachings of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda inspires me.
Physically it’s made me much stronger and being an asthmatic since birth it has helped me tremendously to learn how to breathe properly. I’ve seen countless times at the studio how much benefit people get from being in a calm space, away from the rush of life, focused on breathing and moving and tapping into themselves
Elsa, what advice could you provide the beginner yogi, or perhaps someone that has never tried it?
E: I realise it’s daunting to start something new and it seems there is an expectation that you need to look or be a certain way to do yoga. But you really don’t need to live a certain lifestyle, chant, say ohm or be able to touch your toes to start a practice. It really is not about that! So my advice would be to find a beginners class and try to stick to a routine, come a few weeks in a row and slowly build up the confidence to get to know the different poses and breathing techniques.
The diversity of our classes – it ranges from Gentle Yoga for the older practitioner to moms & babies yoga.