Featuring Rashree Maharaj from South Africa

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Written by Rashree Maharaj
Edited by Justine of Just Yoga

My name is Rashree Maharaj. I am in my late thirties and I have spent my most of my life living in Johannesburg, South Africa. I founded my own yoga studio, Young Yogi, where I teach yoga to children between the ages of three and eleven.
My yoga journey began about a few years ago. I was working in a corporate role and attended a professional business coaching course where the facilitator asked: “If you could do any job than the one you are doing right now, what would it be?”; I replied, “I would love to teach yoga to children”. And so , this is where my journey began, as yoga slowly found its way into my life, in various ways and forms. I recently fulfilled this calling by taking a break from the corporate world to follow my dream. I took the plunge, got a yoga mat and started going for classes and soon found out that this is my real happy place.
Being on my yoga mat makes me smile. Yoga ignited my body and mind to a different level. It’s the place that brings me peace, rejuvenates my body and clears my mind with divine consciousness.

The universe sent me signs as I asked for them and I allowed myself to adopt an accepting mindset as I was led on a journey of self discovery and unique life experiences. I always followed my heart with all the decisions I made on my yoga journey and each one has led me down the right path. So here I am - a qualified Yoga for Kids Teacher and my 200-hour YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) qualification affiliated with International Yoga Alliance. I had the immediate realisation that I am on the right path and the journey thus far has been an extremely fulfilling one.

I am a mum, student, yogi and a business owner. I try to juggle these as best as I can because they are all things I am passionate about. During the day I teach yoga to children, including my own and in my spare time, I am working on multiple upcoming projects to realise my vision for Young Yogi. I am also working on an MBA so that I can enhance my skills to run and grow a successful business.
My passion for yoga and inspiration, comes from the children that I teach yoga to. They are indeed the beacon of light in my life as they bring a new meaning to yoga and accentuate it to a level beyond imagination. 
Through the work that I do, my vision is to build an empire of children who in their foundation stages of life are introduced to yoga and can carry the teachings, wisdom and knowledge throughout their life to bring happiness and love to themselves and those around them. I am a firm believer that if we all do a little bit to make this world a better place, it will be better eventually.

I believe that there is nothing more beautiful than watching how children grow and transform through their practice of the yoga asanas I teach them. Seeing them learn to bring balance between their mind, body and hearts is something I find truly inspiring; something that keeps me motivated to do what I do. With the lockdown that started in March, I have had to shift my classes online, now offering group and individual classes.

I actively seek out the opportunity to practice karma yoga, which is embedded in the foundation of the teachings of yoga; to spend my time on unselfish acts for the good of others.
I am signed up with a few charity organisations, working on projects that involve teaching yoga to children in underprivileged communities. I believe that yoga can help ease the suffering of many and having read Roseline Nyman's journey, I am now, even more than ever, dedicated to this cause.

People that have been such a great inspiration to me is my family and friends who have continually supported me by taking lessons to keep fit and keeping us connected during the lockdown in South Africa. They are my students who have become the greatest advocates of my teaching capability. Through my training journey, my inspiration has come from my yoga gurus Suzie Manson and Katya Salvador who both spread the love of yoga to children all over South Africa and beyond. Another inspiration has been Kashish Yoga International where I did my 200-hour YTT. My experience there was lifechanging because it was the most authentic experience of yoga that I have ever had.  


My best asanas are the ones that allow you to be grounded and allow deep concentration and balance like Vrksasana (tree pose), Sukhasana (easy pose) also good for meditation and the Sirsasana (head stand pose). All three asana’s improve blood circulation that benefits the digestive system and other important organs in your body. They support whole body transformation for the mind, physical strength and overall wellbeing.
Yoga has no boundaries and no criticism. It allows you to grow at your own pace.
The key to being able to hold an asana is to keep practicing. I remember watching videos of others doing yoga poses and wondered if I could do such poses or had the ability to perform it as well as them. My advice to anyone wanting to start yoga, is to follow your own pace; you begin to attune yourself by being comfortable with the smallest improvements you make. You soon will realize as I have, that yoga is a way of life.

Yoga has changed my life in many ways. Once you start the journey, it draws the positive energy and vibrations of the universe to you. It is simply a feeling I can’t explain and can only recommend that if you haven’t tried yoga as yet, you do so that you can experience this feeling yourself. I have learnt to be patient with myself and to see the beauty in all that I do and in those that I engage with. I have learnt to be less of a perfectionist and to allow my body, mind and heart to be in sync with each other. My biggest learning with yoga is that your mind is so powerful and to live a life worth living, you must feed your mind with positivity. You are the creator of your own; Live a life worth living.

Om Shanti,
Rashree Maharaj

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