Yogi helps Joburgers find inner peace while exploring the inner city

Steven Heyman of Yoga Worx is on a mission to take yoga out of the studio and onto the streets of Johannesburg by organising fun events everywhere from inner-city rooftops to art galleries

12 April 2018 - 00:00 By Lucy Sarah O’Connell
Yoga Works owner Steven Heyman says he wants to bring yoga to exciting locations like rooftops.
Yoga Works owner Steven Heyman says he wants to bring yoga to exciting locations like rooftops.
Image: Supplied

As a full-time yoga teacher and the owner of Joburg studio Yoga Works, Steven Heyman shares the benefits of yoga and mindfulness with as many people as possible and organises fun events throughout the city.

He tells us more:

What drew you to yoga?

Actually, I wasn’t drawn to yoga at all in the beginning. When my partner introduced me to yoga about 10 years ago, my first reaction was, “What a waste of time!” It was only when we went to India (in 2009) for a six-week trip that I started doing yoga more regularly and appreciating the positive e­ffects it had on my body and mind. I’ve practised yoga ever since and left my corporate job to teach it full time four years ago.

Why did you decide to settle in South Africa?

I came to South Africa as an expatriate, working for a head o­ffice in Belgium, and I lived in Nigeria for two-and-a-half years before coming to Joburg. I really felt at home the moment I arrived in South Africa – I’ve lived here for 12 years now.

Many of your classes take place in unusual places; how does that change the sessions?

My goal is to take yoga out of the studios and gyms, where only a limited number of people will ever come into contact with it. Instead, I want to bring yoga to exciting locations like rooftops, parks, art galleries, townships and even the water on paddleboards.

One of the Yoga Works' events.
One of the Yoga Works' events.
Image: Supplied

The changing environments add extra dimensions to the sessions and participants can combine a healthy activity with exploring new locations in their city. Yoga is all about unity and openness, so exploring di­fferent environments fits in nicely with the practice.

What inspires you?

I feel very lucky to meet so many people who want to make a positive change in their own and other people’s lives, and they inspire me to create exceptional yoga experiences in my events, workshops and retreats. In my previous corporate job, I can’t recall a single customer thanking me for the order I delivered. But after teaching a yoga session, I can see and feel the positive shifts that happen when people dedicate time and e­ffort to realising their full potential.

This article was originally published in one of the Sunday Times Neighbourhood Property and Lifestyle guides. Visit