Every Instagram post is envy and fomo-inducing exercise for the rest of us who are not Khabonina Qubeka. Or even her fitness squad. She does yoga so effortlessly, we’re asking our bodies to respect us and do as hers does. Alas, that’s not how life works, and as with everything else, it’s only practice that makes perfect. But as Khabonina puts it ‘anybody can start a yoga practice’. All we have to do really is just start. ‘Yoga doesn’t body shame and doesn’t discriminate.’
But, of course, you have to want it and have love and for it. Something which lead Khabonina to her first global yogathon, starting off in Hong Kong and spreading out to Botswana, Tanzania, and various cities, locally.
She describes her experience in Hong Kong as incredible and even more because she was in the same space as yoga icon, Mr Yogaraji C.P. ‘The people there were so excited about doing yoga because they have never done Afro yoga [before] and they were [also] excited to experience African culture that I brought through yoga.’
‘What I took away from the experience was that we have a big yoga community out there in the world.’
The yogi explains that through her research, she’s learned that yoga is not a foreign exercise concept in Africa, that there are traces of Kemetic yoga in the African history. This is why her focal teaching point for her upcoming yogathons is to enlighten Africans, particularly African kids, about yoga and its benefits.
‘There are so many stories of young kids committing suicide. [And] other homes are child-run homes, you know, so there’s a lot of stress, especially with young black kids. Doing yoga will be a stress release.’
Yoga works body mind and soul. It helps with stretching the body. Other benefits of yoga include an increase in muscle strength and flexibility. It also helps with maintaining a balanced metabolism.
‘Ever since I started practicing yoga I keep realising that there are some things that I don’t need. I stopped eating meat as I realised that I did not need it.’
‘Yoga changes the way you think. [And] the more Africans start practicing yoga, the more their bodies will start changing their forms, becoming stronger and ultimately become fitter.’
The actress also runs a fitness and nutrition programme called Khafs. ‘So I’ve been running this programme for over ten years. The great thing about it now is that because people know about it, it runs itself.’
‘It’s basically a programme that assists healthy eating and lifestyles but without making you feel awkward. I don’t preach about what not to eat. I discuss with you so that you can understand the changes that you need to make.’