The Teachers

Catherine Harper-Tee

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International Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Instructor and Senior Teacher, REPs (UK) Certified Advanced Level Personal Trainer and Dietician/ Nutritionist. Owner of Marulamala Yoga Studio, Hoedspruit, South Africa.

I have practiced yoga since 1998 and taught since 2006. Creating the studio in Hoedspruit is the fulfillment of a longstanding dream which honestly began ruminating when I was in Japan and first started practicing yoga seriously. The studio space I virtually “lived” in there (as I was there most days) created by my dear friend and first real yoga teacher Leza Lowitz, became an oasis, a safe haven, my retreat from a busy life and head. I intended to re-create in a sense the same feeling, atmosphere and environment for my own studio (as I knew it would happen one day) and here it is – a world apart –  in Hoedspruit where I now call home. Many of the detail and influences in creating Marulamala have been drawn from my early experiences in Tokyo as well as from around the world, but at the same time I have tried to cultivate and embrace the local influences as well. I am very happy with the result and I hope you love Marulamala Yoga Studio as much as I do and that it also becomes your oasis and special place to retreat. I presently teach a variety of group and private classes together with a team of wonderful teachers.

Prior to landing in Hoedspruit I was engaged exclusively by a well known IT entrepreneur for three years as his Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer and nutrition adviser. I travelled the world and spent a lot of time with him in South Africa as a consequence. I fell deeply fell in love with the African continent and feeling grounded finally I felt this was the place I wanted to stay for at least a while after my global wanderings. Now (despite Japan always being close to my heart) I really feel this is home now and don’t want to be anywhere else!

Before coming to teaching I had a successful career as a corporate lawyer. While working in Japan, and soaking up the influences there, my fledgling yoga practice grew into my passion and it became an integral part of my life. This passion grew into a love for teaching and sharing that passion. My natural tendencies are to favour dynamic movement and anything physically challenging. My early background as a competitive runner and tri-athlete swayed me towards the more dynamic forms of yoga initially. My foundations lie in the vinyasa flow style and the traditional practice of Ashtanga, which I studied intensively for many years, including a teacher apprenticeship in Sydney Australia and travels to India to study with the founder Sri K. Patthabi Jois and his grandson Sharath Rangaswamy. Graeme Northfield, one of the first westerners to learn the Ashtanga system, became my primary teacher and mentor from 2007. The Ashtanga practice still largely shapes my personal practice, but a combination of experience and many years teaching has also brought to the fore the importance of finding balance with restorative and therapeutic practices combined with a strong focus on meditation.

Fascinated with anatomy study and injury recovery, I also qualified as a personal trainer in the UK at an advanced level. I work successfully with clients combining both modalities. Currently I am also exploring the connection with yoga therapy and the trauma release exercise method (TRE) together with the benefits of Thai Yoga Massage.

I am very grateful to have studied with and be mentored by some of the most experienced, inspiring and leading teachers in the yoga world as well as in life. Education and continuing self-development is vital and I love to study and adapt new interpretations as they link to the more traditional practices (and of course from my students). Maintaining the traditional lineage of teaching however, I hope to pass on my experience, share my practice and encourage you to play, have fun and to continue the exploration for yourselves.

Ena During

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Yoga Alliance Professionals –  Senior Teacher
Co-owner/ partner of Devahiti Yoga and Bodywork

“I cannot recall precisely how I first came to know of Yoga years ago but I knew I was destined to practice it. A small studio opened in Randburg when I was in my early twenties and I set my foot on the Path. I moved to the Cape soon after and there I fell into a cauldron of Iyengar Yoga teachers and the rest is, as can be said, ‘herstory’.
Yoga is not what I practice, Yoga is my Path which I walk in gratitude for the gift of strength and flexibility on all levels, Body, Mind and Spirit. I would never have coped with my Earth walk without it. Never.”

Devahiti Yoga and Bodywork draws awareness to yoga within the context of Ayurveda to arrive at asana aligned with both gravity and cosmic intelligence.

Judit

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I recently moved to Hoedspruit from Barcelona, Spain. I have been studying yoga for four years and practising for six, and I’ve been teaching classes for three years now. I’m so grateful that yoga arrived into my life, I experience this as a gift, and I’m so glad I have chosen this path as my way of living in so many kinds of ways. It has brought conscious and balance into my life and has brought me the opportunity of knowing myself better, my body, my mind and my soul. I practise traditional Hatha yoga and Yoga Nidra. No special skills are required to do these classes –  your age, physical condition or gender does not matter, everyone is welcome to come and try.

I also have the first level of Reiki. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

Donna Smook

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I had a nervous breakdown and was diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder and depression. My whole life fell apart. I ended up in a clinic . While I was in there we did guided meditation everyday.

It was the best part of my day! I couldn’t believe how wonderful it was. I’ve always been a spiritual person and fascinated by the eastern way. I realised that the way I’d been living and thinking my whole life needn’t be so. I could change it. I found a wonderful yoga teacher and began my personal practice and journey. It changed my life! Through breathing, pranayama, meditation and asana, I am consciously able to manage my anxiety to a point where it doesn’t exist. Having lived my whole life with this severe disorder and finally finding a new path through yoga is the most amazing thing because I never knew that life could be different.

Growing up, living and working in Joburg was a huge factor to my disorder and after a month or two of practicing yoga I realised I needed to make a change. And that’s when it happened. A friend in my yoga class introduced me to the most wonderful man who is now my fiancé. He’s a guide and we decided to move to my family’s farm in hoedspruit. But what about yoga? I really couldn’t give that up but to my surprise there is a whole community of yogis! I became a yoga teacher so that I could share the benefits of yoga with others! Without it I would never have met my fiancé, I would never have had the courage to pack up everything and move here to live a simple life and be my true authentic self. I practiced hatha yoga before training in Iyenger yoga but prefer to practice Iyenger style because of the focus it gives to alignment of the body and the slower pace.

Fathima Osman

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Dr Fathima Osman is a Complementary Alternative Medicine practitioner, trained in Unani-Tibb/Ayurvedic medicine. She recently completed her 200 hours Yoga Teachers Training in Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Hatha yoga in Mysore, India.

Passionate about yoga, she loves sharing its goodness with those around her and hopes to equip people with the correct tools to heal themselves.

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself, the challenge is to silence the mind.”

Patricia Spahn

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Patricia Spahn Borrageiro has been teaching mind /body disciplines since 2001. She qualified in NYC as a fully certified Pilates instructor under Bob Leikens and Power Pilates. Shortly after she opened Core Pilates NYC. Yoga studies and philosophies were always woven into her Pilates repertoire, and in 2007 she qualified to teach Vinyassa Flow with Frog Lotus School International under Vydia Heisel. With both disciplines under her belt she sold her share of the Pilates Studio and started traveling and working. She began teaching and assisting to shape Pilates and Yoga programs between Istanbul and New York’s summer playground the Hamptons.

In 2010, she was recruited by the Hospitality brand COMO Shambhala and was the Yoga/Wellness co coordinator for their premiere property COMO Shambhala Estate, in Ubud Bali. After Bali the next stop was Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos teaching yoga, meditation, pilates, organizing retreats, and looking after an award winning million dollar spa for COMO. She now resides with her Husband in the South African Bush. J

Recently (August 2016) Patricia returned to Bali to assist a 200 hr Yoga Teacher Certification course for Shades of Yoga. Big influencers and mentors of her practice and teaching style are Elena Brower, Tara Judel, Anusara Yoga and John Friend, Sean Corne among others. She believes the mat is a microcosm of life. Through Yoga, connecting to your breath, unwrapping the beauty and potential of the body and mind through Asana practice will change your life!