My mum and my granny - two of the wisest, most beautiful and spiritual female role models in my life - were yoginis and in the same way that a love of animals, belly-laughing and music were instilled in me from an early age, perhaps it's inevitable that yoga would become an integral part of my life.  

 

The first formal yoga classes I attended were around 1997 with Johann Kotze in my home town, Stellenbosch at the Black Horse Centre. I was at university, in a relationship that was (sadly) going nowhere and, to my delight, found that this space – the studio itself and within my own head – was just what I needed to bring myself into the moment, to get a clearer look at who I was and gain perspective on what I wanted from my life. At a time when I was struggling with my past, eagerly seeking clarity and a glimpse of how to move forward, I found yoga. It gave me pause for thought, helped me to start believing in myself, to better understand my connection with others and the universe, and ultimately to make some decisions that changed the course of my life.

 

After graduating I left South Africa to see a bit of the world and in the next eight years or so practiced on and off. Whilst in London, sneaking off during my lunch hour for one yoga class a week was sometimes the most I got to do but it was when I moved to Southern California in 2006 that I really fell head over heels (literally and physically) with the practice. Living in Laguna Beach with access to dozens of studios, styles and levels of classes to choose from, I embraced it and immersed myself in the practice. 

 

It was after attending an intensive Teachers’ Training Immersion course in Santa Monica in 2007 with Patti Quintero and Billy Asad that I knew I wanted to teach and after returning to South Africa with my husband and having our two beautiful children, the time was right to train as a yoga teacher.

 

My first 200 Hour Teachers Training course was with Anne and Martin Combrinck at Ananda Sanga in Somerset West, and it truly was the life-transforming experience that they predicted it would be. 

 

In November 2011, I achieved my certification for specialised prenatal yoga teachers training (which counts towards my 500 Hour YTT) and I am currently busy with my second 200 Hour YTT with Sandra Smith at Durbanville Yoga Centre.

 

I teach one class a week (Wednesday) at my beautiful rustic home studio, Riverside Studio, which is managed by my dear friend and colleague, Victoria Albreksen.

 

My main offerings, however, are corporate yoga, yoga retreats, yoga workshops, meditation work, meditation workshops and workshops on yoga for addiction and yoga for pregnancy and / or fertility. In these group settings, I tailor the class and the teachings specifically towards the needs and the objectives of the client. 

 

I'm particularly passionate about the benefits of yoga, meditation and mindfulness for addiction and healing, and for fertility and pregnancy. Both areas of interest stem from my personal experience of how yoga helped me (and continues to help me, every single day) to heal from the physical, emotional and spiritual bruising that is an inevitable result of being a survivor of rape as a teenager, the ensuing substance abuse and my subsequent long term recovery, as well as my own fertility issues before eventually being fortunate to give birth to two perfect children. 

   

I teach Hatha Yoga in the Integral Vinyasa style. It is gentle, flowing, and accessible. It is down to earth. It is light. It's not trendy yoga and it's never heated - we heat the body up slowly and through breath and movement. It is grounded in the philosophy of the ancient practice and it's framed by the teachings of Sivandanda and Vishnudevananda. It's always real and we tend to laugh a lot. Sometimes people cry. Because yoga has the capacity to transform and to hold up a mirror to how we actually are feeling or where we are in our lives, and sometime that can be great and sometimes that can be hard. But on our mat, we hold a safe place to look at what's there and to lovingly - or at least gently - accept it without judging, without critisizing. I'm no therapist and will never claim to be - the practice itself is a therapist that allows us to potentially start seeing things for what they really are and to potentially start making changes that support us, and allow us to become the very best version of ourselves that we can possibly be. 

 

"Nicci completed her Yoga Teacher training with distinction, in 2011. She has subsequently gone on to complete a Pregnancy Yoga Teacher training also and is a confident, competent and wonderful Yoga Teacher."

Anne Combrinck - Principal Educator at Ananda Sanga