There's no place like hOHM
Make your way through a tropical jungle on the wooden walkways of Mantis & Moon Backpacker's Lodge, in the heart of Umzumbe KwaZulu-Natal... there you will find hOHM Sanctuary nestled between banana & papaya trees. Greeted by a giant Ganesha, you will feel the enchantment as you step through the ancient indian doors. The serene and positive energy welcomes you with open arms.
It is as if you are coming hOHM.
What started off as a vision, has lead to one of the most beautiful yoga studios in South Africa. We got in touch with Simmi Fink, owner and yoga instructor at hOHM Yoga Sanctuary, to hear all about her experiences of owning a studio and hosting retreats.
hOHM Yoga Sanctuary is based on Simmi's most focused part of her practice; Breathing/ Pranayama. She believes that by using just the breath alone, you can heal your body & your mind. The shape of the studio, made of 8 glass sides, is similar to that of oxygen molecules. As you look down, a beautiful ohm symbol painted on the large floor, providing a foundation for each student's yoga practice. In the middle, a massive pole providing the support for 8 aerial yoga hammocks on the super high beams. And all around, a 360 degree view allowing you to truly connect with nature. This space has become the home to many yoga students.
"The only way I could describe the people are as rainbows." says Simmi. "It is really mixed which is what I really love about teaching - you never know who is going to arrive." hOHM Yoga Sanctuary has become a popular stop for travellers who are on the Baz Bus (Hop-on Hop-off backpacker bus). Travellers from all over the world make their way into the studio as beginners, or more advanced; each student getting the same attention as the other. "I go with the flow of the energy of the class", Simmi goes on to explain, highlighting the importance of creating a class that focuses on each person as they move through their personal struggles and achievements on the mat.
"As a teacher, the most important thing to Simmi is that the students learn to be aware of where they are at in all facets of their lives. To take responsibility for their own health & wellbeing and know that you have what it takes to create your own dream reality out of any circumstances. You just have to trust the universe and live in the present moment. Get out of your head and into your body.
Simmi is a mother of two beautiful children, aged 2 and 4. Since becoming a mother, her personal practice has slowed down, allowing her to open up the studio to many great yogis. hOHM Sanctuary has been the host to a range of teachers from all over the globe at different times of year, specialising in retreats, daily classes, workshops as well as Immersion TTC's. She been able to take the best & the worst out of all the retreats and really present something beautiful. Simmi now hosts 7 day retreats where you can experience the wonder of yoga in this Sanctuary.
So what you can experience at a 7 day Sanctuary retreat? "You will feel right at hOHM from the minute you arrive", says Simmi. The retreats have become her passion; watching people open up, let go & connect with themselves and each other. All attendees learn about yoga philosophy as you cover each of Patanjali’s 8 limbs, writing furiously & lovingly in your journals. Evenings are spent sitting by the fire; singing & learning to play the drums as the moon rises. Days are filled with adventures, hikes and yoga classes followed by restorative relaxation and meditation. The motto throughout the retreat is “Go Love Yourself” (And Simmi swears Justin Bieber stole those lyrics from her!) Throughout the week you start to feel love all around- for yourself & for the souls surrounding you. Each day is a journey on its own, focusing on different elements that will leave you feel connected, rejuvenated an revitalised.
"I always walk away from a retreat feeling my heart booming with love & my whole body is vibrating at a higher frequency. We all journey together & I learn more about myself through each retreat, that only helps me to catapult through the amazing journey of connecting to my higher self & finding peace within."
Simmi expressed the countless experiences in this beautiful space. Each moment engraved into memory and unforgettable.
"When I sit close to the middle pole, there is almost an echo when I talk or sing. I love to meditate in this spot- There is something magical about it & I always get visions or tingles. I love the studio for all the laughs, card reading sessions and full on guided relaxations that have taken place. I love teaching when it is raining; the pitter patter on the canvas roof. I love it when people fall asleep & I encourage them to stay there as long as they want." So much to love, after all, hOHM is where the heart is.