Cape Town is the kind of place where you can find yourself and inner peace. With meditation being praised as a combatant against anxiety, depression, stress, loneliness and pain, there’s no time like the present to find your zen in the Mother City. We take a look at meditation and yoga centres where you can find peace, calm and enlightenment at the southern tip of Africa:
Shambhala South Africa
A registered non-profit organisation, Shambhala South Africa believes in a basic, universal human wisdom not belonging to any particular religious tradition. The practical spirituality nevertheless retains a strong Tibetan influence and many of Mahayana Buddhism’s methodologies are used in the pursuit of an authentic and joyful life. Free meditation classes are offered every Thursday at Erin Hall. There is also a secular meditation training program that takes place over five-weekend workshops.
De Waterkant’s Yoga Life offers new students an entire week of free classes to experience all the offerings on their schedule for seven consecutive days. Set on a picturesque road just behind Cape Quarter, YogaLife is beginner-friendly and has a range of great classes every day of the week. Drop in and enjoy a challenging power yoga session, or find zen again in a slower, choreographed Vinyasa class.
Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre
The Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre is a Mahanyana Buddhist school offering introductory meditation classes suitable for both beginners are those with some knowledge. TThese classes consist of a short talk about the power of meditation in everyday life, and of course a guided meditation session. The centre also provides a space where you can learn more about the practice of Dharma (teachings of Buddha) from Buddhist monks and nuns. While these classes are free, they do suggest a donation of R60 or more in order to support the centre and its programs.
The Art of Living
Present in 152 countries and working with nearly 370 million people, The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian organisation that offers stress management courses including breathing technique, yoga and meditation. It offers a variety of courses (on subjects like self-discovery, yoga, silence, wisdom, family and relationships) and lifestyle programs (such as introduction to yoga, yoga for modern men, losing weight with yoga, introduction to meditation, teenagers and meditation and anger management). Courses usually take place over a number of days, contact your nearest centre to learn more about dates and times.
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Kagyu Buddhist Centre
Kagyu Buddhist Centre in Kenilworth bases its teaching on the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and offers traditional Buddhist classes and meditation (including yoga), Tara Rokpa Therapy (a form of Buddhist psychotherapy), and work with the environment and charitable causes. Classes cover subjects like meditation, mindfulness and mind, yoga, listening and kindness, compassion practice, healing energy and laughter yoga. Most courses are free while some donation is encouraged for others.
The OM Revolution
Become one with the natural beauty of Cape Town with the mobile yogis the OM Revolution, who offer weekly classes in outdoor locations like the Company Gardens and the beach. Tailore-made yoga classes are also an option and as they’re mobile, they can give classes pretty much anywhere.
Diamond Way Buddhism
One of 600 Diamond Way Buddhist Centres across the world, the Vredehoek centre offers free guided meditation sessions, with the goal of “effortlessly maintaining in what is.” Each session takes between 30-40 minutes with an opportunity for questions and there is no obligation to donate. Classes are every Wednesday at 7pm. Arrive half an hour earlier for free teaching and explanation.