A DORCHESTER yoga teacher is hoping to use her eye opening experiences from an African adventure to inspire her teaching in the county town.
Rosannah Woodward, 23, has started teaching at the Dorset Yoga Centre in Trinity Street after returning from the trip of a lifetime to South Africa.
She trained at the Yoga Life Studios in Cape Town while also teaching children in the townships with the Earth Child Project.
Rosannah said it was hard to put into words just what she had gained from the experience.
She said: “I was amazed at the children’s willingness to practice yoga.
“Our lessons were not mandatory for the children to attend. Each lesson had about ten to fifteen children from the age of five to 13.
“With two lessons every day the classes were always full.”
Rosannah said her yoga lessons offered somewhere for the disadvantaged youngsters to experience some peace as well as somewhere safe to share their feelings.
The former Bryanston School pupil said: “In one of my first lessons with these children a girl shared how she was feeling sad because her uncle had been shot in the face fifteen times by another family member.
“The class was asked to give feedback to help her, I was completely overwhelmed by the camaraderie between them and their strength.
“What was more shocking was how this seemed like something completely normal to them.”
Rosannah said the youngsters claimed that the yoga classes were their favourite thing to do at school and helped them feel more confident and calm.
She said: “Teaching these children taught me more than my yoga teacher training.
“Even though they were surrounded by violence and poverty they were completely free.
“They brought me so much happiness, I will never forget the lessons I learned with them.
“I often think of them when I teach my classes and attempt to bring their spirit and strength.”
Rosannah, who is trained to teach Vinyasa Yoga, says she wants to get across the message that yoga is for everyone and a great way to keep fit as well as achieving peace of mind.
Her sessions are held at 7.30pm on Tuesdays and 6pm on Thursdays in the county town and she also teaches in Bridport from 6.30pm on Monday and Wednesday at the Bridport Arts Centre.
For more information visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/oyogame or check out her Instagram and Twitter updates from @oyogame.