Alex youth use yoga to win in life

Alex youth use yoga to win in lifeChild yoga

What started out as a small yoga practice for stressed teenagers in Alexandra township has grown into a large health club with almost 500 members – many of them using yoga to deal with life.

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Many of the young people who have joined the Yoga4Alex initiative believe it is the reason why they have been able to overcome immense challenges and adversity, maintaining a positive outlook and firm belief in their own success.

When Dr Marianne Felix, a medical doctor who specialises in occupational lung diseases started Yoga4Alex in 2011, she had no idea that six years later she would have helped about 470 young people from various schools in the township who have benefited from her programme.

Dr Felix used it to help youngsters to cope with the anxiety they experienced when facing their final Grade 12 exams. She was motivated by her personal success using Kundalini Yoga as a tool to overcome personal obstacles and find day-to-day harmony.

“In an environment where there are frustrations and negativity, yoga brings feelings of hope and optimism. Yoga4Alex strives to eliminate the fear of failure that some youngsters in Alex have and replace it with the remarkable self-confidence that each individual is capable of succeeding in all aspects of their lives. Youngsters who persist through Yoga4Alex establish a work ethic and sense of personal responsibility that enables them to be self-reliant,” she explained.

Proven benefits

Felix believes her members experience enhanced general health and well-being by capitalizing on the proven benefits of yoga, meditation and relaxation.

“The exercises and positions are physically challenging, improve flexibility, build muscle strength and increase endurance. The yoga sessions also have health benefits such as increasing blood flow, boosting the immune system, and inducing healthier sleep patterns.” 

She was motivated by her personal success using Kundalini Yoga as a tool to overcome personal obstacles and find day-to-day harmony.


One of the youngsters who benefited from this, Fulufhelo Ramango, said yoga helped her overcome an extremely difficult period in her life.

“A dark cloud settled over my family when my mother and father both passed away within a year of each other. Money was very scarce. Yoga classes taught me to be positive, honest, courageous and to believe in my self-worth. In my school, very few students passed my matric year. I am proud to be one of those few,” she said. 

Lufuno Moleya says through yoga she has found her purpose in life: “In Alex, the crime rate is high and people are afraid of walking outside at night. I live with my parents and two brothers in a single small room. We use a public toilet on the pavement. There is no peace in my home because of financial problems. Through doing yoga I have come to realise that I have a purpose in life, and I am able to further my studies and follow my dreams of becoming an accountant.” – Health-e News.