Yoga Awakening Interview: Swami Kamalavidya (2012)

YAA Interview: Swami Kamalavidya

March 14, 2012

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1. Name:
Swami Kamalavidya Saraswati, ( Elvira Banchetti)

2. Date Of Birth:
8 January

A photo taken at an Indian festival attended by Kamala and Lorenzo (her son) in 2012

 

3. What style of yoga do you teach?

Satyananda/Bihar Yoga Tradition

4. Where do you teach?
My School— The South African School of Yoga
42 Morsim Road,
Hyde Park,
Johannesburg,
South Africa

5. How long have you been practicing yoga?
34 Years

6. How long have you been teaching yoga?
24 Years

7. Who have you trained with and where?
I started first with Swami Manifinger who then passed away.

I then went to India and met Swami Niranjanananda Sarawati. I studied at Satyananda/ Bihar Yoga Institute India 16 years ago and have been visiting every year since under the guidance of Swami Niranjananda Saraswati.

Swami Kamalavidya arriving at the Ashram gates 2011

 

8. What lead you to teaching yoga and at what point did you decide that you wanted to teach?
I felt so at ease and at home from day one. I knew that this would become a lifestyle for me———which it has. I was inspired and decided within myself to commit to the science and eventually 3 years later I was teaching. I felt super wonderful from the very first class that I attended and I felt the need to share what I had discovered with everybody!

9. What do you love most about teaching?
Uplifting others and seeing them grow before my very eyes and making a difference in their lives.

10. Is there a focus in your teaching style?
Yes. Its slow, steady and systematic.

11. What do you love most about yoga?
I love most that it has given me the ability to handle and manage my life on a daily basis. I can manipulate the Asanas and Pranayama according the state of affairs that I am challenged with.

12. What is the greatest challenge you have overcome with the help of yoga?
Managing my mind and my daily life.

13. What advice do you have for people who have never tried yoga?
Drop your guard, have courage and take a risk and dive deep into the science! Yoga gives you the tools, (techniques), that will look after you holistically on all levels— have blind faith!

14. Do you have a regular practice?
Yes. I have my daily Sadhana practices every morning and evening.

15. Favourite Asana?
For me personally I love Surya Namaskar as you can perform it on a basic intermediate and advanced level.

16. Strongest Asana?
I love shoulder stands and all the variations!

17. Least Favourite Asana?
They all wonderful—I don’t have a least favourite!

18. Any religious affiliations?
I embrace all religions and personally I am a born Catholic. It has been a steady and amazing platform for me to start from when I began venturing into the yogic science.

19. What are your other interests?
Movies and eating wheatless chocolate cake after a hard day’s work with the computer——- with Dharmisha! My very best is serving, loving and giving to the abused ‘Childline’ African children project at our school.

 

Kamala at The Good Shepard retreat where the Childline students where in training into the Yoga Capsule Program

 

20. Any thank you’s?
To my beloved Swami’s that have been my inspiration motivation and representations of the divine.