Self-care for therapists and other wellness workers is non-negotiable.
I asked yogi, Elize Taljaard of the Anahat Yoga & Wellness Studio in Die Boord, Stellenbosch about her views on massage and yoga for self-care.
Massage is a very versatile therapy that can act as a catalyst for huge change in body, brain and mind.
But it cannot do it all.
Very often I refer clients to therapists who do other modalities and yoga is one of those.
The reason? Unlike a massage treatment where the client is passively engaged, yoga requires a more active involvement. And for those who spend their days sitting in front of the computer or in a car, stretching the body (and mind) is a must. Also yoga is better at strengthening weak muscles than massage.
Over the years I have built up good relationships with yoga teachers in the Somerset West and Stellenbosch areas.
One of the very special teachers is my school friend of nearly 50 years, Elize Taljaard who established the Anahat Yoga & Wellness Studio in Die Boord, Stellenbosch with Candice Jones about three years ago.
1. I wanted to know more about Elize's views on massage and yoga for self-care.1. You are an experienced yoga teacher and you are the owner of Anahat Yoga studio in Stellenbosch. What is the meaning of the name?
The name Anahat refers to the Sanskrit name for the heart chakra, anahata which means “unstruck” or “unhurt. It implies that underneath our human existence lies a wholeness that is eternal and boundless.
We chose Anahat for the name of our studio because it beautifully brings the energy of “the heart of yoga” to our studio and we wanted our studio to resonate with the love of the path of yoga, shared from the heart, with the people of Stellenbosch.
2. I also know that you go for massage regularly. What role does massage and yoga play in your personal self-care plan?
Massage and yoga flow hand in hand for me as self-care. This is the reason I partnered with Candice Jones in a yoga and wellness business. As a therapist with a thorough knowledge of the mechanics of the body, her treatments enhance and support my asana (posture) practice.
Yoga in itself is a kind of self massage, for muscles, internal organs and also the massage that the pranayama (breath work) provide. But sometimes an intervention is necessary to sweep through the body towards integration and transformation. Regular massage especially supports and targets injuries.
3. What planted the seed to learn and teach yoga?
My yoga journey started in 1988 during a difficult time in my personal life. The support of two sessions a week connected me on a deep level with myself and created a safe space for me.
When I moved away from my first teacher after two years, I continued a gentle self-practise based on what she had taught me. I joined a yoga group later on again and worked at my own practice until I felt ready to do yoga teacher's training in 2008.
I have travelled to India three times for specialised training in chakra work and classes with international yoga teachers in asana, pranayama and meditation.
4. What type of yoga do you teach and who are your clients?
At Anahat we teach Hatha Yoga, mindfulness meditation and other courses related to health and wellness. We also offer therapies such as therapeutic massage, soul journey work, reiki and reflexology. The centre also lends itself to workshops with mind-body focus.
Our clients range from students who need stress relief to mature people who want to connect to yoga and the body in a quiet, calm space.
5. What do you think, the two modalities, yoga and massage, have in common? And how do they differ in terms of outcomes and method?
Both yoga and massage relax, detoxify and increase lymphatic drainage - creating balance not only on physical, but also mental and emotional levels.
Yoga and massage differ in the sense that in yoga practice the student is encouraged to sense and trust herself for what is needed.
Of course, as with trust in the massage therapist, there need to be trust and communication between yoga teacher and student.
Thank you, Elize, for sharing your insights with SomaSense readers. I am privileged to have you and Candice as part of my network of professionals.
More information is available on the Anahat Yoga & Wellness website. Click the button below:
Which form of self-care do you prefer? Massage? Yoga? Or both? Let me know.
PS. This is my blogpost for Day Seven of the 7 Day Bizblog Challenge put out by South African Business & Blogger Tribe and Sam Posselt, Speaker of Hashtags #rsabizblogs
Body-mind or mind-body? If you are struggling with physical and mental pain and feel that the dominant health paradigm’s dualistic approach to mind and body seems inadequate to explain anything, I want to talk to you. Join me under the tree in my garden for a cup of rooibos tea and let’s talk massage and SomaSense!