Meine erste Yogalehrerin und was es bringt, auch noch mit 50 was Neues zu beginnen

Ich traf Marlene zum ersten Mal 5.45 Uhr am Morgen, im Juni 2019. Sie hatte gerade den Gong geläutet und es hieß Schweigemeditation. Nach einer kurzen Einführung war gemeinsames Schweigen angesagt. Danach Yoga. Marleen brach sofort den Bann und meine Angst, mich beim Yoga dumm oder ungeschickt anzustellen, nahm sie mir sofort. Ich bin so dankbar, dass sie mir ein Interview gewährt hat.

Jana Wieduwilt: When did you start doing Yoga?

Marlene Parkes: I started when I was 50 years old and I wish I started sooner, because doing Yoga comes with so much benefits and you learn so much, that I felt sorry I didn’t start earlier. Yoga has completely enriched, completed and fulfilled my life for the better. That’s why I started, because my body started aching and I thought I try doing yoga and couldn’t believe how much it changed and improved my body. I became so much stronger and healthier.

Jana Wieduwilt: How did you start with Yoga?

Marlene Parkes: I started with Yoga by going to classes in my home country South Africa and when I became stronger and healthier trough Yoga, I wanted to share that with other people and make them feel how I feel, because I was feeling fantastic.

Started teaching

So, I started teaching, but that came with some difficulties in the beginning since people told me: “So you want to teach Yoga? I think I am more qualified than you are…” That’s when I decided to go to courses and workshops to become ready for teaching Yoga. But it is a long path and I am still working on it.

Jana Wieduwilt: Is Yoga your full-time profession?

Marlene Parkes: I am only teaching Yoga part-time, however. I do teach on a regular basis several times a week. And I do volunteer. Every year I take my vacation for one month and volunteer as a Yoga teacher.

Volunteer as a Yoga teacher

I was in Thailand a few years ago, last year in Manila and this year in Bali and I will be coming back here as it takes me much deeper into yoga and meditation. I am getting old and many people only focus on the physical part of Yoga and neglect the spiritual part. But it goes together and that’s what they do here, I teach meditation every day.

Jana Wieduwilt: You started to learn meditation together with Yoga?

Marlene Parkes: Yes, I started to learn meditation together with Yoga, but some people do physical Yoga first and then meditation. But Yoga and meditation do really work together. I am hoping that our guided meditation is helping people who are not used to meditation being able to sit still.

Jana Wieduwilt: Please, can you tell me a bit more about Yoga, its philosophy and what’s behind?

Marlene Parkes: It is a mind, body, soul experience. And it all goes together: a strong mind, a strong body and a strong spirit, so that’s what we keep in our heart. Yoga itself is an extraordinary healing system for your body and your mind and that’s all I can say about it: strong body, strong mind and then spirit – when your body is strong you are able to handle situations in a calm and coherent way.

Yoga in school

They should actually teach it in school as the kids really need it. A few high schools in South Africa actually started offering Yoga, but only a few selected ones, some private schools, but it should be a government thing and should be introduced to all schools.

Yoga is powerful

Yoga is now so powerful that they started this International Yoga Day on June 21st which is around solstice day. The prime minister of India said, that it comes from India and that is that powerful and strong and put it forward to the UN and told them, that we clearly need an International Yoga Day to make it clear where it comes from and where it leads us to.

Jana Wieduwilt: How long have you been doing Yoga now and do you practice every day?

Marlene Parkes:

I have been doing Yoga for ten years now and I do it every day, even if it is just the sun salutation when I am busy, which is a basic set of Yoga movements , but if you do 3-4 sun salutations you did a complete Yoga practice. Even if it is just a few stretches and a bit of meditation, but I do it every day as it is part of my life now.

Jana Wieduwilt: What do you recommend to busy people like me, who run their own company, their family, etc., which many of my readers do, e.g. business women who do not have the time to go to Yoga class or do meditation every day?

Marlene Parkes: It is so hard if you are in the corporate world or run your own business, when you often do not have that little time to do Yoga or meditation. So I recommend that they use the time when they are in the car or public transportation or anything similar where you can take some time and reflect the joys of life or just listen to some music, when you have to concentrate on where you are going to.

Reflect the joys of life

But, when starting your car or your way of transport, do not think about your work but make it your time-out time and think about something else, about anything except work. So, start there and grab every moment where you can be by yourself, be quiet and peaceful. E.g. when you make some tea at work, just make it calmly and sit down and have your tea. So, find those moments in life and do them slower, just do things slowly, I think that helps a lot.

Jana Wieduwilt: Thanks a lot, Marlene, and I’ll never forget that you are my first yoga teacher. Thanks. Yoga was the element I even missed in my Half Day Pilgrims activities.

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