IT was a day of connecting one’s body mind and soul and sharing with other like-minded women.
It was a master class in self-love, which is often last on many South African women’s agendas as they work to make ends meet and care for their partners and children.
Hosted by popular Albany brand ambassador DJ Zinhle and organised to celebrate Women’s Day at the gorgeous Toadbury Hall in Lanseria, the master class was geared towards teaching the more than 30 participants achievable tips and tricks to achieve overall well-being.
First up was yoga with Anesu Mbizvo, a qualified medical doctor and yoga instructor, who is passionate about holistic health and natural medicine.
She was introduced to yoga when she attended sessions with her mother at a young age.
But it wasn’t until she was at medical school and feeling overwhelmed and stressed by the weight of her studies that she delved deeper into the practice.
“The beauty about yoga is that it isn’t at all about your fitness level or how flexible you are,” Mbizvo said. “It’s about connecting to your breath so you can connect to your body and core.”
And so as dutiful students to the practice, we closed our eyes as requested, becoming aware of the depth and pace of our breath while making gentle movements to awaken our muscles.
DJ Zinhle, who is a fitness enthusiast, joined the session. She tried yoga once but it left her with traumatic after-effects.
The DJ said she was struggling to find balance in her life.
“It’s hard. I take it day by day. My trainer comes to my house at 6am because, of course, winners start the day early,” she said.
She has various roles to play as a businesswoman, mother, friend, girlfriend and DJ.
“Some days I have my daughter sitting playing in the office while I work so that I am able to spend time with her and still work.”
Zinhle said it was important for women to be aware of what they exposed their minds to.
“Our minds are like gardens and the bad things we read about daily and see on social media, all the negativity, really has an impact. We, as women, should protect our gardens”.
Having difficulty juggling their various roles was a sentiment many of the women shared during the breaks between yoga and meditation.
One of them, who preferred not to be named, said she often struggled to find a balance between being a mother and wife and caring for the household. “Your needs are always last on the list as a woman”, she said. “But it’s at events like these when you are reminded that you too, are important”.
The women were taken to a meditation workshop where they were taught mirror-work techniques - saying loving and kind words to themselves while looking into a mirror. This stirred up emotions in many.
Even though it at first sounded silly to me to look into the mirror and repeat and internalise phrases such as “I like you” and “I’m going to start taking better care of you”, it had a profound effect.
Esteemed chef Philippe Wagenfuhrer gave us tips and recipes for quick meals.
Set in the picturesque surroundings where nature and calm meet on the outskirts of Joburg, I can attest to the power and mentally refreshing fruits of a day spent just loving and appreciating yourself.