I tried to do something interesting this weekend and write about it. But I didn’t really accomplish much except go to two yoga classes (and watch Pocahontas with my niece), so I thought I’d write about where to do yoga in Pretoria instead.
If you do a Google search there are a number of studios that come up when you type in “yoga in Pretoria”. Some with more current websites than others.
Also, there was an event that took place in 2016 that came up on the first page, so I think it’s safe to say that there isn’t really a lot of consistent content being written about yoga in Pretoria, besides from static studio information and timetables.
Which is absolutely fine, but it crossed my mind that someone who lives in Pretoria, who is interested in starting yoga, might do an online search and not know where to start.
So as someone who does yoga in the Pretoria East area regularly, and is in the process of learning to become a yoga teacher, I thought I’d switch from writing about getting drunk to sharing some possibly helpful information.
Some Suggestions on Where to Do Yoga in Pretoria
1. Your Nearest Suburban Yoga Studio
If the first page of the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is anything to go by, there are actually a lot more yoga studios in the Pretoria East suburbs than you might think.
(Including the yoga studio I am doing my teacher training with, Mindful, which doesn’t show up on the first results page but which you should definitely check out if you live in and around Menlo Park).
I think the number of studios surprises me because I don’t think many of them make a massive effort to punt themselves online, and may prefer to attract people via word of mouth.
(Which is also totally fine, but as someone who works in online marketing for a living, I feel like they could do more, if they wanted to, and have the budget for online advertising).
In my own personal experience, there might even be a yoga studio down the road from your home, without you realising it. For me in Ashlea Gardens, I’m just a few minutes away from Yoga Harmony, which is a very laid-back, friendly and inviting yoga studio.
I used to go there regularly, and can definitely recommend it, especially if you’re new to yoga. The gentle candlelight yoga on a Friday evening with Helen is particularly relaxing, and a wonderful way to wind down after the week.
Unfortunately, I don’t go there as often as I used to anymore, because as you might have read in a recent about Planet Fitness, I decided to join the gym (which leads me to my next point).
2. Your Nearest Gym
As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent most of my life not being a fan of the gym, but have been converted thanks to the introduction of hot yoga (and cardio dance) at certain gyms.
I can only speak for the Planet Fitness in Waterkloof, but if you’re a member, this could also be a great way to start your yoga practice, if you’re looking for a more vigorous workout.
Unfortunately, as we repeatedly mention in our training (to the point where it has become a running joke), the classes at the gym aren’t suited to anyone who is pregnant, and with anyone with any kind of serious injury or illness.
The truth is that the classes are often really full, so it isn’t the ideal place to learn if you need individual attention. But, if you’re willing to feel like a tool (like I did when I started yoga) and just keep going to class (an try to figure out what the fuck is going on), the gym could be the place for you.
However, that being said, the Friday morning yin class has a much slower pace, so I definitely recommend trying that.
(Although I understand that not everyone has a freelance schedule and can afford to take time out on a weekday morning).
3. Outside Under a Tree
I really enjoyed Annindita’s style of teaching during this event, and the fact that she brings a psychology angle to the process, as she is busy qualifying to be a yoga therapist.
She invited me to join her Whatsapp broadcast group soon after, but it was only last week that I eventually got around to going to one of her outdoor yoga classes at Rotsvas Private Reserve in Wapadrand.
I ended up being the only one in the class, so I got all the benefits of a private session, including a visit from a juvenile nyala deer that slowly approached us and then quickly ran past as we were in the middle of a standing pose.
If you’re new to yoga or intimidated by the process of learning it, I can definitely recommend doing one of her hatha and yin syle classes, as there is more of a restorative focus.
(Being under a massive tree on the top of a hill at sunset with bushveld all around you while doing it doesn’t hurt either).
4. On a Lawn
People often complain about hadedas in the city, but I don’t think many people consider the ratio of massive rolling garden lawns in the suburbs to the large number of these bizarre, squawking dinosaur birds.
This is because, in my opinion, we’ve pretty much created all you can eat worm buffets for them all over the suburbs.
But even with the hadedas, who always run off awkwardly when you approach them, lawns are also the perfect place to do yoga (even if the ground can be slightly uneven).
So while you might not feel confident enough to do it on your own, if you live in suburbia, there’s a high chance that you probably have your own makeshift yoga studio right outside your patio door.
I don’t at the moment, since walking out my enclosed balcony window would mean a 20 metre drop onto concrete, but at the bottom there is one of the longest and well maintained communal lawns I’ve ever lived around.
So just to prove that I’m serious about utilising this often empty green space, as soon as I’m qualified I’m going to try and host some classes on it. All welcome.
Do you do yoga? If you do, and you live in Pretoria (or anywhere else), where is your favourite place to do classes? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.