Monique has a background in Architecture and Sustainable Development, and has completed degrees in both. Since 2015, Monique has changed her career radically from Architecture to teaching yoga full time. She is passionate about teaching yoga because she believes it guides people to live more connected, authentic, fulfilled and sustainable lives. She has been practicing yoga for 13 years and teaching for 6, and believes in the powerful effects of yoga on the body and mind. Monique teaches the traditional style of Iyengar yoga in Constantia and Kalk Bay. Her classes have an alignment focus, which is characteristic of Iyengar yoga. She believes that it is in the alignment that one finds true freedom in yoga, and that alignment can help one go much deeper into one’s yoga practice. In her spare time Monique enjoys hiking, surfing, nutrition and general adventures that involve the outdoors!
The Sanskrit word Ayama summarises her experience of yoga: extension, expansion and ascension.
About Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar yoga teachers must complete intensive teacher training for 3 years before undergoing an independent and rigorous assessment process. Iyengar yoga is known for its focus on the anatomical alignment of asanas (postures), therapeutic use of sequencing, and use of props. Props like belts, blocks and blankets help ensure that the body is well aligned during the class, which removes strain and injury while unlocking more advanced poses. The props also help make yoga accessible to those of all ages and all walks of life. This is truly a yoga for every-body.
Here are a couple of points to take note of to prepare for class:
- Remember to wear clothing that will not restrict movement. Tights, leggings, shorts.
- Clothes should not be too tight that they restrict blood flow and movement, but fitted enough to enable the instructor to observe the correct alignment in the poses
- No shoes. Yoga is done barefoot so that the unnatural shape of the shoe does not disrupt the body further up.
- Empty stomach required! One should generally wait 3-4 hours after a meal before practicing yoga, and 30 minutes after a light snack. Doing yoga soon after eating will disrupt your practice and cause nausea, lightheadedness and fatigue.
- No water or towel is necessary.
- Arrive at class 5-10 minutes early to get the necessary props and be ready to start on time.
- If it’s your first time, please arrive 15 minutes early so that you can mention any injuries, limitations or concerns you may have.
See you on the mat!
What is Yoga?
Extension, expansion and ascension: this is the meaning of Ayama and it summarises what yoga is about. The word yoga means to connect or join in ancient Sanskrit. This connection or joining refers to the connection and joining of the mind, body and spirit, and ultimately of the mind, body and spirit with the supreme consciousness, or the universe.
The practice of yoga is a discipline, most famous in the West for its asanas, or postures. These postures aim to bring about self-realisation to help create a state of union, peace and harmony of oneself with the outside world, and oneself with the divine. The practice of yoga aims to purify the body so that it becomes a fit vehicle for the soul. Through asana one begins to access and train the mind, and as such yoga becomes a method of mindfulness. Yoga is meditation in action.
Why Choose Yoga?
Yoga has many benefits for the mind, body and soul. The longer one practices yoga, the more subtle and energetic the improvements. The first noticeable benefits tend to be physical; lessened back pain and increased strength. Continued practice results in increased energy, vitality and a better sense of well-being. Years of practice begins to work on the inner sheaths of the body, mind and soul, and one can begin to benefit from mental clarity, connection to the higher self, or God, and a blissful state of being.