It is such an honour to have this Yogi as our last Inspirational Yogi. When I started following him on Instagram, I knew he had to be featured. To me, he embodies being a Yogi through his cheer, form and influence as a human being. Tawana is a native to my home of South Africa.
Please, be inspired by Tawana Randall
1. When did you start teaching?
I completed my teacher-training in November 2016 but I’ve been teaching since July 2016. I was lucky to have been a part of a gym that allowed me to teach when I reached a level where I could teach Hatha classes. It was after going through 3 trial classes with experienced teachers.
2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?
I was very sceptical about starting yoga. My bestfriend’s fiancé convinced me to attend a class. Yoga resonated with me from the very first class that I attended. My motivation for teaching was challenging my mind to open up to possibilities I never before imagined. The challenge of a truly never-ending journey.My greatest lesson in teaching has been that every person I teach is, in their own ,right my teacher. I learn something in the process of teaching each and every person I guide on the mat.
3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?
I’ve learnt to be myself in the way that I teach. I tried to emulate other teachers when I started finding my feet on the mat as a teacher. That didn’t seem genuine and even the students could see it. Luckily some of them were comfortable enough to approach me and tell me to relax and be myself.
4. How many times a week do you practice?
I practice yoga everyday and that’s in the broad sense of the word. In terms of asana practice, now I can say I do so everyday simply because of my #handstand365 challenge to myself. Besides that, I self-practice at least 3 times a week and I try to attend at least 3 classes a week. As a teacher, one has to keep up their practice and attend some classes.
5. Who inspires your practice?
I draw inspiration from many people. The first being Demz, my best friend’s fiancé, my asana practice may be more on the advanced side but her strength is far beyond what I can even imagine. That’s from all she has conquered through yoga mentally and physically.
My asana practice in my personal capacity was first inspired by Briohny Smyth, her video by Equinox was the very first yoga video I watched that I recognized as yoga. Her grace and flow took my breath away, at that time I couldn’t even hold a headstand. Now I am mostly inspired by the likes of Patrick Beach, Dylan Werner, Kenzie @yogoskenz on Instagram, Erin Kelly @erinkellyart, Andrew Sealey. In the world of social media, inspiration is literally at the touch of a finger so my list could go further than the few mentioned.
6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?
Yoga helps me balance so much in my life. Coming from a legal background where winning at all costs is the goal, it seeps into your character as a person. I am constantly trying to balance that out. I wish to inspire people to be better and for that to happen, I need to start with myself.
7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?
For people to get out of their heads. Often the most limiting factor in what one can do on or off the mat is the power of the mind. First conquering that by getting out the mind, allowing the body to be instinctive and then later unifying mind body and spirit. I feel like this gives one confidence and trust in themselves beyond what the mind limits.
8. Where are you currently teaching?
I decided to leave law behind me and throw myself into yoga and a career full-time. I teach at a few studios in Johannesburg these being, Zen Hot Yoga World, Yoga Experience, Wellness In Motion, Earth Yoga and Indie Hot Yoga. I also have private clients that I teach in between my crazy schedule.
9. How has yoga helped your character develop?
I used to hold on to a lot of negative emotions. With yoga I have learnt to let go. The only one that suffers is myself when I allow those emotions to remain. For as long as I hold on to them, they maintain a stronghold on me.
10. What has kept you practicing all these years?
My fascination with learning more each day keeps me practicing. Yoga is a journey with no destination and that is the beauty of it all.
11. What would you tell yourself when you started teaching yoga?
I would always tell myself to calm down. As a new teacher, I would worry about whether or not the students would resonate with my teaching. I had to tell myself that there is energy transference taking place so the negative energy will impact my teaching negatively despite having a good sequence.
12. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio?
You will need to show that you have been teaching somewhere so start at a gym and gain some teaching experience. In fact, the gym is the best because you can get a mixed bag of levels in one class and you have to learn to deal with that and with larger numbers. The best way to start teaching at a studio as a new teacher is to attend classes at the studio, offer to be a fill-in teacher for when the regulars can’t take class. Attend workshops, be seen and let people feel your awesome energy that you can share.
13. Why is breath so important in your practice?
Breath is the connection to all. Without breath, I cannot reach a point where I am able to meditate in asana which is something that I ultimately want. That may seem like a cliché answer but it is the something I would want. At the moment I’ve learnt how the breath relaxes the nervous system, allowing the body to soften, allowing my mind to quieten. This is just a very short version that I can give, I could explain breath all day.
14. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter?
Tawana Randall (fb)
I have twitter but I don’t use it much, it’s too time consuming