Featuring Natasha Mayet from South Africa

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

by Justine of Just Yoga

Budding actress and acting coach, Natasha Mayet lives firmly by Maya Angelou's words "When you learn, teach. When you get, give". Seeing the positive changes in her own life, since starting yoga, she felt inspired to share that with others and so she added another feather to her cap and trained as a yoga teacher. 
"For the first time in my life, I became still and actually breathed. I feel like I finally saw my authentic self and got a chance to go inward to discover that my breath was my superpower. Since then, my life has changed."
Since starting yoga, Natasha made a lot of changes to her lifestyle, becoming more conscious of herself and her impact on her surroundings. She started eating more mindfully and carefully selected what food she ate. To her it was a no-brainer that she would eventually become a vegan. Yoga has had a very positive impact on her health, both physically and mentally. She can definitely feel a change in her body, feeling stronger yet lighter. Natasha finds it very empowering when she experiences something new in a yoga pose. To her it feels like she can meet any challenge on and off her yoga mat. She was also able to ease her body back to normal after a few minor sports injuries over the years. She once had a knee injury from running and was able to practice a modified version of Heroes pose as she started healing from the injury. This asana was quite comforting on her knees.

The low impact nature of yoga is another reason that Natasha prefers yoga over other activities. She also enjoys the fact that one can modify any asana. To reduce the pressure on her wrist, which she injured while doing push-ups, she has modified some asanas to carry her body weight in her forearms rather than her wrists.
"Modifying a pose doesn't make us less of a yogi. Yoga is about meeting ourselves where we are at today. It’s about self-love, self-compassion, and being kind and gentle with ourselves. For me, modifying a pose is an act of self-love. It means listening to what is best for your body and what your body needs."
The clarity that yoga gave Natasha also allowed her to take a leap of faith and follow her passion for acting, creating, teaching and inspiring. She also practices meditation regularly and believes that it has strengthened her mind and self-control. It has taught her to believe in herself more, and not to give up when things get tough. This is where, she believes, the realization that her breath is her super power, came in handy. It has enabled her to be present and control her actions through controlling her breathe. She also recently started a podcast focused on self-love where she shares her self-love journey and interviews guests who inspire her. She believes that part of us learning something from the challenges we face is sharing our thoughts and feelings with others.
"I wonder what it would be like to live each day knowing we are enough? We go through life wearing masks. What if we choose to be present and feel? What happens if we breathe into fear and move towards what scares us."
For most of us at some point, when we are challenged with a new pose, there can be a million critics running through our heads telling us that our body has had enough and we should probably just give up. Natasha believes that if you just approach those challenging asanas without judgement, you might surprise yourself. Natasha finds the crow pose the most challenging and is consistently trying to improve her technique with this asana. She has learnt to approach this pose without judgement and has stopped listening to her inner critics. Her challenges with the crow pose have taught her that yoga is not a competition. It's about meeting yourself where you are at and growing from there. 
"I am a creative being and that I am here to be my authentic self. I think yoga is a way of life, and we practice it on our mats and then take it off our mats to our lives."

Yogi Natasha Mayet's final message to anyone thinking of taking up yoga is that, yoga is a life changer. It has changed her life in so many amazing ways that one article is too short to describe. She remembers something one of her instructors once said to her, "the more we keep showing up to our mat, the more we will begin to see changes in our life." That is what happened to her. She also believes that you should do what you can. That is something that she uses not only on her mat but also in her life. Her motto is: Do what you can, meet yourself where you are at, and leave the rest to the universe.

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