Marisa Van Vuuren Nungwi Village, Zanzibar Is, Africa

Now here is a girl after my own heart! Not only does she acknowledge Quantum Physics, but she links the concept of the science in yoga….a real soul sister! But will get to that in a minute. First, have a read…in her own words, her first experience with yoga…I love this!…

…“Hahaha my first yoga class was after practicing yoga by myself out of a book for six years. I was 14 years old when I discovered yoga. I found an old 1960’s Fitness Book in our house and there was one chapter on Yoga. I remember so clearly what I felt like when I came across this chapter seeing the Sun Salutation photos and reading about yoga. I felt so excited, like I came across a treasure! I was completely captivated and started doing the Sun Salutations and postures from the book. Everyday! It was much more interesting to me than Jane Fonda’s aerobics! ;-) I grew up in a very small, conservative town in South Africa and my father being a Pastor “advised “me that yoga was some “strange Indian religion worshipping the sun.” So I continued in secret in my room with my one chapter on yoga. Eventually when I visited Thailand when I was twenty, I attended my first yoga class. What made a big impact on me was walking accidentally into an Ashtanga Yoga Class in England a couple years later. The sound of everyone breathing the audible Ujjayi breath, the concentration, flow, grace and strength in each movement was something I had never seen before and the atmosphere was almost tangible with the energy in the room. I was hooked on Asthanga yoga from that day onwards!”…That’s my girl!

Today, needless to say, Marisa teaches Ashtanga based yoga (for the systematic, transformational approach) as well as Vinyasa Flow (for its creative freedom)…and has a personal love of Kundalini Yoga and the power of it. This reflects the dreamy beauty mixed with intelligent practice that Marisa carries.

Like most people who have practiced for some time, various aspects of yoga become more prominent at times, receding at others, so what Marisa enjoys about yoga “has changed through the years. When I just started yoga it was definitely the physical asanas that was my favorite part. I needed to crack down on “hardcore Ashtanga yoga” to purify on every level, and the funky part is that it just happens over time without one’s knowledge even. The yoga just “does the job”, you just have to show up and do it, whichever form of it! Now I am more drawn to observing myself and realizing where I am acting from, like a full-time “meditation”. At the end of the day, everything boils down to love! To access and live from love, not fear. With all my heart, I believe that if we do what we love the natural byproduct is flow, abundance and grace.”

Marisa is very tuned in to the “practical psychology” of yoga…the many tools it offers for facing life challenges. This also happens to be her favourite aspect of yoga. “Yoga is not just happening when you are on your mat doing asanas, pranayama, meditation, chanting etc….it is a way of living and being….all the Limbs of yoga help us get there”. So it has helped her in the way that seems most pertinent to all of us..self-acceptance, and knowing and loving yourself, thus extending it to others and the whole. She strongly understands this relationship…“The path of yoga is the study of self and our relationship with the people and environment around us. Going on this internal quest is not easy. You become aware of your triggers, habits, projections….and no one likes to admit those at first. It is so much easier to point fingers, but yoga helps us realize that how we experience or perceive our reality is only a reflection of what is going on within you. This is a tough job and responsibility. We attract and are responsible for everything in our lives.”

This can create a push-pull for people in yoga, a feeling of struggle before the challenge. Does Marisa ever struggle with it?: “Of course! Yes, and again yes! Hahaha.” What Marisa wants is to teach others how to apply the tools of yoga in their lives, for the benefit of reaching beyond face value and reaching into ”…inner essence. The mind and ego is limiting, living from our heart and soul is limitless, radiating love, acceptance and inspiration. Living from our inner essence allows us to live to our full capacity and to live our dreams”. This is the inspiration she hopes for others, by helping them to realign with this.

It’s the science of yoga that really resonates with Marisa…”we don’t need to fluff it up with jargon”… and why she is so passionate about living to our fullest potential. That seeing something in the mind’s eye is enough, we don’t need to perceive it with the limitations of our five senses in order to validate the existence of something. Science of today is only beginning to catch up with what yoga has been saying for thousands of years. “It’s a huge topic and very exciting and fascinating for me. I feel very passionate about it! I think bringing *Noetic sciences into our yoga teachings gives more substance, and this will eventually influence the different systems of how we operate in the world. The medical system, physiological systems, educational system and business will eventually change as we gain more knowledge through the latest cutting edge Noetic sciences and Quantum Physics which closely correlates to what the yoga system is about. Reality and the human experience is more complex, subtle, and mysterious than conventional science had led us to believe before (For those of you interested in this cutting edge science you can visit http://www.noetic.org)”.

From this magical combination of Quantum Physics and Yoga, Marisa states, “Each one of us is capable – in this lifetime – to progress far past our current level of thinking, feeling and functioning – if we choose so. We can realize our dreams above our wildest imagination. It is a choice, a dedication a commitment, tapping into our passions and following it! If it is important to you, you will find a way, if not, you will find an excuse. Yoga can assist us on living our full capacity so that we can express ourselves and be of service in this world to the most optimum, efficient and creative way! What are we willing to live and express that we have inside of us?”

* The noetic sciences apply a scientific lens to the study of subjective experience and to ways that consciousness may influence the physical world, and the data to date have raised plenty of provocative new questions. (notation applied by Marisa van Vuuren)

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