Khabonina: Dear black Africans, yoga isn't only for 'whites or slim people'

21 April 2018 - 10:15 By Chrizelda Kekana
Khabonina is determined to make Afro-yoga a thing in black communities.
Khabonina is determined to make Afro-yoga a thing in black communities.
Image: Via Instagram

Most people, including us, think yoga is an extreme sport...yes thee yoga! However, Khabonina Qubeka doesn't think so, in fact she's here to help change the mindsets of many Africans about yoga through #KhaboYoga.

*So we picked her brain on all things yoga. Is she captured or on to something*

Fresh from a recent trip to Hong Kong where she introduced yoga fanatics to Afro yoga, , a type of yoga infused with Africanism and African inspired moves.

"The problem is they have 'white painted' yoga. Yoga has become something reserved for the slim or the white or a certain exclusive group but that is not how it should be. Black people should happily do yoga, it is also for them and in fact there are traces of the origins of yoga in Egypt, Africa."

*Okay, thats all cool but yoga also looks like a trap waiting to get you killed*

Khabonina explained that essentially yoga was an exercise but one that caters for both the body, mind and the soul. She said there was no need to be intimidated by the poses - some of which apparently look complicated when they are actually not.

The Isidingo actress went on to explain how powerful yoga was and why she felt oppressors felt the need to strip black people of the necessary knowledge around it.

"We were made to believe that we don't belong there. 'Black people doing yoga, well that just won't do,' many of them say. But I am doing research and the more I learn about yoga, the art and the origin, the more I realise they did so because they knew how much power they would be leaving in our hands. Because yoga forces you to introspect and to question a lot of things."

*Deep. That's deep but like Trevor Noah said, 'apartheid was our extreme sport' and uhm... we are really not trying to break our necks for yoga.*

Khabonina admitted that most South Africans had reservations to yoga because they see some of the poses and automatically associate it with danger.

However, she said she was now in the business of actively changing that perception and would help teach South Africans the basics.

Khabonina said doing yoga changed her life for the better and she wanted wholeheartedly to share the life-changing lessons with Mzansi. She also wished to help people better understand what it was all about.

"If we can help clear the misconception or misunderstanding around yoga, then teaching it will be a breeze. Because once the body experiences yoga it will let you know of the benefits there. It's truly amazing."

In the long run, she would go all over Africa including Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and other countries. In SA, she would start in schools in July as part of her #MandelaMonth plan.

Khabo knows she has a huge task ahead of her because of the current perception of yoga but she's ready and promised to start teaching people slowly and with the basics.

*Okay if you say so, we'll give it a try*