A Better Life

A Better Life

It’s a new year and time to get fit and healthy! To help you find the motivation, we speak to Mbombela’s oracle, Shameen Yacoob, about yoga, its benefits and an upcoming retreat for enthusiasts.

Yoga Wena
“Yoga is transformative, it opens the door to more,” says Shameen. She is the founder of Yoga Wena, an organisation which provides a service to yoga teachers in the Lowveld. More and more people enquire about the ancient art on a daily basis which is why Yoga Wena was established.

Along with her co-founders Melissa Addey and Melanie Rheeder-Powell, she tells us of its success. With Yoga Wena in place, you can now simply go online and find a listing of local yoga teachers, along with their schedules. Fully supportive of the organisation, they assist with yoga in the Lowveld National Botanical Garden on the first Saturday of every month.

The events are always a huge success, and up to 100 people have attended in one go. “It’s a safe environment to be in and a beautiful space. The botanical garden is the perfect place for yoga with its peace and tranquillity,” she says.


There are many forms of yoga with hatha, sivananda and astanga being the most popular. Shameen prefers kundalini, known as the diamond of yoga, which focuses on stimulating, accessing and directing your energy.

It is fast working and offers more spiritual growth and more kriyas and meditation techniques to manifest a particular outcome. It increases awareness, and improves the glandular and nervous systems, enhances circulation, and overall it leaves you feeling absolutely fabulous.

A typical class, Shameen explains, includes breathing, stretching, movement, mantra and meditation, and mudras – hand movements used to seal energy in the body.

How It Changed Her Life
Shameen is a typical A-type personality. Almost 10 years ago while working in television she realised she needed to make a lifestyle change, and had subsequently discovered a passion for yoga. “I was very driven and stressed out. I started yoga and it really helped me to change my life.”

She teaches once a week at her home in Steiltes, on Thursdays in Barberton, and also does private classes for anyone who’s interested. She explains that teaching is not about the money for her, but about sharing her love of yoga. Shameen is also a business entrepreneur and owns a market research company, Mploy, which she runs when she isn’t teaching.

“People are searching for inner peace and presence, that’s why I encourage them to do yoga. You live a better, healthier life. You become more conscious, a better person.” She explains that as human beings we all spend a great deal of time in our minds, yoga teaches you to be 100% present, to live in the now and to react less to stuff that does not matter. It also has healing qualities.

“What doesn’t yoga do?” she laughs. “It really energises you. I treat myself with it, it’s my form of medicine. If I have back pain I do yoga and it goes away. It’s when I am not practising it that I find I have all this pain and feel fatigued.”

The Retreat
During Shameen’s journey, she came across gastroenterologist Zaheer Adham, a man who shares her common interest for alternative therapies. Although he comes from the medical world, he believes there are ways to have a healthy body and mind without the use of medication, or before getting to the point that you need to see a doctor.
Zaheer recently moved to Mbombela from Joburg and says he absolutely loves the beauty of the Lowveld. Since living in the area he has noticed there are many obesity-related issues which he believes are all tied to emotions. “The solution is to have a routine and establish basic eating principles.”

He was discussing this with Shameen when they came up with a fabulous idea: to host an integrated wellness retreat and help people to take control of their lives and bodies. The retreat will be held from February 3 to 6 at the picturesque Ligna Lodge in Sabie. It costs R3 500 per person and proceeds will go to a worthy cause. Booking can be done through Shameen. The retreat will be a multidisciplinary approach to wellness led by Zaheer and Shameen. There will be talks by renowned teachers and various activities including yoga, aikido and hiking.


Yoga is good for numerous reasons, and although the health benefits are very real, it is about so much more than that. It’ll give you a completely different mindset and a new lease on life. Go on… give it a try.

• Improves circulation
• Tension and stress release
• Weight loss
• Improves flexibility, strength and muscle tone
• Stimulates the nervous and glandular systems
• Improves focus, overall balance and well-being.

Get in touch
Contact Shameen on 083-785-5695 or

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