The Mother City is a sports haven in which yoga has become quite a growing trend. Promoting spiritual and physical body togetherness, yoga has been embraced by Capetonians of all ages.

During the 1960s, South Africa saw a rise in yoga teachers, with many of them leaving the country in order to learn more about the art in India where it originated. Over the years both local and foreign gurus have come back to SA to form their own yoga schools and organisations, and it is this that is driving this significant movement onto the mat.

“Over the last 5 years, more and more people are realising that yoga is not a fad or something for a selected few, but rather a powerful way to quiet the mind and strengthen the body,” says Dave Porter from Yoga Life.

From its humble beginnings in the 1940’s with the opening of Swami Sivananda’s Divine Life Society and Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy, to the dozens of studios today, Cape Town has truly embraced yoga as a part of its regular lifestyle.

YogaZone’s Fulvio Grandin, says, “With up to 3 times as many studios today as there were 8 years ago opening up around the city, people have been given a choice of yoga styles, studio types and locations and this has inspired many to at least try it, and most end up going back.”

Meaning “union”, yoga has city dwellers unifying their minds, bodies and souls despite the hustle and bustle of city life, or perhaps because of it!

“I definitely think that yoga has assisted people in managing their busy city lives. It allows them to slow down, become present and then step back into their busy life completely re-energized. Yoga allows people to find peace and allows them to reduce their stress levels,” says Porter.

Particularly popular in modern urban centers, the practice is most appealing because of its multi-faceted benefits, especially the fitness and body-work – (trim and tone and cleanse – the obvious and visible physical benefits).

Grandin says, “The practice of yoga, especially that of the more contemporary form of practice, fits in perfectly with urban lifestyles as it is increasingly accessible, professional and even trendy and its benefits are no longer just the mystical teachings of ancient yoga practice but demonstrated to have wide application and benefit to all levels of yoga practice.”

So when you’re feeling a little stressed and the urban jungle begins to swallow you up, all you have to do is find a studio, roll out your mat and assume the downward facing dog position. Namaste.

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