Some of us are very familiar with the struggle between keeping fit and registering at an expensive gym. Humbulani Ravhura learned yoga from a DVD and enjoyed it so much she went on to train as a yoga teacher.
Now Humbulani is the founder of PeachBerry Wellness, a yoga-focused initiative that aims to bring yoga to black South Africans in Pretoria. Read on to find out why Humulani believes wellness is integral to the growth of the African continent.
How did you find yourself where you are now?
I have always been interested in exercise but I could not find a form of exercise that I enjoyed. Yoga and pilates were in some way at the back of my mind, but gym rates were too high. So, I would run once a week and workout at home on some days. After I got a yoga DVD from a friend and a yoga mat for my birthday in 2015, I decided to follow the DVD as my instructor every morning for two weeks.
After that period, the results were amazing. My body felt really light, the bloating I had grown to expect was no longer an issue, my body started to tone, I was sleeping better, more flexible and I began to lose weight. That gave me the motivation to practice regularly.
I got to know a different side of my body, I was more aware of everything that happened in it and began to appreciate it even more. I fell in love with the practice of yoga. So I decided to register for a yoga teacher training course in February 2016.
How do you combine wellness with development of the African continent at PeachBerry?
Africa is now the fastest growing continent in the world. The growth of the continent is attributed to the works of people across all fields of expertise from science, economics, health sciences, humanities, the entertainment industry and others.
But I do not see how any of the things we do or aspire to do can be sustainable if our bodies are not taken care of. Our bodies are very precious possessions and without them we can’t be.
The African dream and narrative that we are working towards every day will not happen if our bodies are dying. We need sharp physical and mental health to be effective. I would like to contribute to that by introducing yoga, general physical activities and healthy eating habits.
To grow PeachBerry wellness, what do you think is more important; mentorship or funding?
To grow PeachBerry wellness, both mentorship and funding are equally important. It is essential to have mentorship and learn from people that are more experienced and have been entrepreneurs for years.
I believe that you do not only learn from your own experiences, but can also learn from other people’s experiences. It is also very important to get opinions from people that think differently from you, to get challenged by different mindsets and to get support in all possible ways from mentors.
But most important, I need to remain rooted in the vision I have for my entrepreneurial path because nobody knows it as well as I do. Funding would help PeachBerry reach both its short term and long term goals, which are studio space and an integrated wellness centre, respectively.Humbulani Ravhura: I could not find a form of exercise that I enjoyed Click To Tweet
What will a “wellness conscious” African continent look like?
A wellness-conscious African continent would be a continent of people that prioritize physical activity, eating well and hydrating well.
It would have people that treat their bodies as the precious temples that they are. We can’t be a growing continent with decaying bodies.
How does one turn wellness- in this case yoga, into a profitable business?
Firstly, just like any other business, you have to create your own opportunities. You have to identify gaps and obstacles that people encounter when they are trying to live healthy lives and try to figure out how you can ease their journey.
Try to come up with ideas that will help you meet your potential clients’ needs. Like making yoga easily accessible and teaching yoga sequences that compliment your potential clients’ everyday jobs. If you have athletes as potential clients, learn about their careers and training methods to see how you can help them reach their goals in a more holistic way.
Blend other health and wellness modalities such as massage therapy and aromatherapy because they are complimentary tools. Potential clients may find this to be more interesting.Humbulani Ravhura: Our bodies are very precious possessions and without them we can’t be Click To Tweet
What would you like to achieve in the next three years? How do you plan to achieve it?
In the next three years, I would like to have my own yoga studio. Also, I’d like to be a mobile yogi offering corporate yoga at work places, schools, and every corner of Pretoria.
I would love to make yoga more accessible to black people. I have realized that most yoga studios are in regions that are not easily accessible to them. This makes it harder for most black people to practice yoga.
To reach my goals, knocking on as many doors as possible and exhausting every avenue will be key. Practising every day to perfect my skills so that I can deliver the best yoga sessions will also contribute greatly.
What is your favourite yoga position? Do you think it says anything about you/your personality?
My favourite yoga position is called Pincha Mayurasana, which is a forearm stand. I do not think it says much about my personality, however, it helps me realize the limitless capabilities that lie within me.
For example, the first time I saw this pose in a picture, I thought I would never ever be able to do it because it looked so difficult. After a number of trials, I got it right, although with a fall every now and then. It also reminds me of the fact that no matter how much I know, I will always be a learner. There are times that I nail it and there are times that I fall. This pose brings out the best yogi in me!
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