In the first of a series of articles on YTF Member’s Yoga Studios, this week we look at Johannesburg’s “The Heart of Yoga Studio”, the name of which conveniently ties in with February’s Heart theme.
THE HEART OF YOGA STUDIO based in Fairland, Johannesburg, is rooted in the teachings of Sri Swami Sivananda (1887-1963) of Rishikesh, India. His life was a radiant example of service to humanity. He taught disciples ‘To serve all, love all, to mix with all and to see God in all beings’. In order to achieve his goal, Sivananda advocated a path that would recognise and synthesize each level of the human experience, including intellect, heart, body and mind.
The Heart of Yoga, embraces these ideals and focuses on his teachings of the path to well-being which concentrates on proper exercise (Asana), proper breathing (Pranayama), positive thinking, meditation and proper relaxation (Savasana). Swami Sivananda taught that Yoga is the art of right living. The Yogin who has learnt this is ‘happy, harmonious, peaceful and free from tension’.
The teacher at the Heart of Yoga, Lisa Heath, was first introduced and inspired to continue her own personal practice of yoga after travelling to India on a spiritual journey in 2004, with other seekers from around the world. Living in the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh was the highlight of her trip. The experience was life changing.
In 2006, Lisa completed a 200hr Hatha Yoga Teacher Training with Kerry Weavind, founder of the Haum of Yoga, Johannesburg. The Heart of Yoga Studio was opened that same year on Lisas’ home premises, which offers a peaceful, calm environment for the student to come along and explore all these paths at their own personal level.
Wanting to dive in deeper, and following her passion and joy for Yoga, in 2011, Lisa travelled to the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram in France where she completed a 200hr Yoga Siromani Teacher Training. Another extraordinary experience.
Lisa continues to stay inspired with the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga by continuing her studies of philosophy and attending regular workshops and training. Lisa is registered with the International Yoga Alliance, True World Order, ACI (Asian Classics Institute) & YTF of SA (Yoga Teachers Fellowship).
From her viewpoint Lisa says, “It’s been an interesting journey so far….the last 9 years. It’s brought me to this point where I am now more consciously aware of the choices I make in my daily life. By following a vegetarian diet I feel lighter and more energetic on and off the mat; the gift and power of daily meditation teaches me how to handle stress and life in a more mindful, present way; my continuous interest and study of yoga philosophy – I have a library of books I’ve collected over the years, has opened my eyes to the world around me and I have a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for the inter- connectedness of all living things. I can honestly say that Yoga has shifted my perceptions and given me a new perspective to the mind body soul connection. I love life and feel more joyful and alive in every moment. In Swami Sivanandas words, “Yoga is the art of right living”…. And this is why I teach”.
At the Heart of Yoga, Lisa teaches Hatha, Sivananda and Tibetan Heart Yoga. All these styles guide the students into aligning with a beautiful natural flow that links body movement with breath, becoming a meditation in motion.
For further info about the Heart of Yoga, fees & class times, please have a look at the website www.heartofyoga.co.za. Alternatively, contact Lisa on 082 565 8033.
“Love all of God’s creation, both the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of god’s light. Love animals, love plants, love each thing. If you love each thing, you will perceive the mystery of god in things. Once you have perceived it, you will begin tirelessly to perceive more and more of it every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an entire, universal love.” – Dostoevsky