Tweshi’s Journey To The Self
An ancient practice, Yoga is more than 10,000 years old with the earliest mention of the tradition found in the worlds oldest surviving literature. There are reasons why this practice has survived to still be part of society today, as science discovers more of these benefits. From regulating adrenal glands, to reducing blood pressure, the list of benefits to a regular Yoga practice seem to know no bounds.
“That’s when I stumbled upon a few that spoke on how Yoga relieves neck pain, makes you flexible and is relaxing. Then I tried it.”
As the practice of Yoga has grown in Namibia, so too have the number of practitioners. Currently, a competition is underway to award one Namibian with a full bursary to become a Yoga instructor. 99FM’s MYD Heart, spoke to one of the contestants hopeful to win this coveted prize, Tweshi Katonyala, to find out what Yoga has meant to her and why she is competing to win the training.
“Someone very close to me was struggling with severe neck pains and while they where busy with doctors, I kept reading self help articles. That’s when I stumbled upon a few that spoke on how Yoga relieves neck pain, makes you flexible and is relaxing. Then I tried it.” Says Tweshi, who like most initially was surprised by the slow pace of the class, although found the practice physically challenging.
“Fast forward to a few months to when my life was taking challenging turn, and I found myself gravitating to Yoga where I found self actualisation and happiness.”
“There are days where I don’t love it unconditionally, days when it’s hard and everything aches. On these days, I keep at it because its good for me, keeps me healthy, clears my mind and shows me what I’m capable of.”
One of the beauties of Yoga is that the poses support and sustain you no matter how old or young, or fit or frail you are. In fact, most practitioners will tell you that many of the poses, are movements we naturally do as babies. It is with ageing, and our mostly stationary lives that stiffness and inflexibility creep in. Which is why the practice of releasing this tension, can be hard.
“There are days where I don’t love it unconditionally, days when it’s hard and everything aches. On these days, I keep at it because its good for me, keeps me healthy, clears my mind and shows me what I’m capable of. It’s this love and appreciation that brings me back to my mat and keeps me from tossing it all away.” Says Tweshi.
“Yoga helps you build muscle strength, and strong muscles do more than look good, they protect us from conditions such as back pain.”
Encouraging of more Namibians to try the practice of Yoga, Tweshi says, “There are a handful of benefits that everyone can enjoy. Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits. Yoga helps you build muscle strength, and strong muscles do more than look good, they protect us from conditions such as back pain.”
“Yoga has empowered me to develop my independence.”
“On my mat, I am empowered to try. Empowered to make mistakes and still be accepted fully. I had a wrist injury from AcroYoga that took long to heal, and it was through the practice I learned to eliminate the need to be dependent on outer forms such as doctors and medication. This is not to say that I will not take help when I need it, but my practice strengthens me so that I do not have to rely on external factors to maintain my health. Yoga has empowered me to develop my independence.”
Now Tweshi is planning on taking her love for Yoga to the next level. “The Source Cape Town is a Yoga, Pilates and Teacher Training centre that is giving away fully funded bursaries for Yoga teacher training to four deserving yogis from four selected cities. I am lucky to have Windhoek make part of that list. The top four candidates with the highest votes from each city, will be interviewed and one yogi will be chosen and awarded the bursary. I am proud to say Windhoek has seven entrants and these are all yogis who would like to share their passion with the Namibian community.”
To win, Tweshi says, would be a dream come true. “This would otherwise be financially inaccessible to me. Winning this bursary would allow me to deepen my Yoga education, advance me in my journey and allow me to develop my skill and knowledge of how to share my passion.”
When asked how and why we should support her in this, Tweshi explains that “We live in a small village, Namibia, for us to posses something that we do not have yet, we must be willing to plant something that we do have. Sow into someone else’s dreams.”
Voting closes on Monday the 24th of April, so do you part and help our Namibian Yogi’s up-skill themselves.