Meet Zim’s yoga queen

Tendai Jambga

Tendai Jambga

Innocent Choga Fitness
It is a wonder how fate unravels talents at various stages of people’s lives and it is interesting how some people discover their talents, or rather how their talents find them. Twelve years ago Tendai Jambga’s mother Rose Jambga slipped discs in her lower back. Her neurologist suggested she should take up yoga as a rehabilitation activity. In support Tendai habitually accompanied her mother to her yoga therapy sessions.

Though the sessions were meant for her mother, Tendai was getting hypnotised by the activity. Yoga was doing something to her and she did not know it. Somehow it was relieving the stress that had been unknowingly caused by her mother’s illness, and before she realised it she was hooked.

Tendai (25) is the last born in a family of five; comprising her parents and two other siblings, a brother and a sister. Her father Batsirai Jambga is a former Caps United player. Tendai says all members of the family support her and for that she is truly grateful. She also expresses gratitude to her teachers Daphne Charles from Singapore and Anton Jager from Austria.

Tendai is now making waves in the fitness industry at home and abroad .At the moment she is the only black female yoga instructor in the country. She is beautiful, vivacious, assertive, confident and sharp. She carries her world in her hands and not on her shoulders, thus her life is not a burden to her because she controls it. She is a ‘positive spirit’ and for all that she gives credit to yoga.

Tendai is very flexible and she can make all kinds of unique shapes with her physique (yoga poses). These postures are a major part of yoga practice. But she does not expect that out of everybody.

There are so many different kinds of yoga practices; it is possible for anyone to start. “Whether you’re a couch potato or a professional athlete, size and fitness levels do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose and beginner classes in every style. The idea is to explore your limits, not strive for perfection. It is a great way to get in tune with your body and your inner self”.

The advanced world of sport today requires athletes to seek clean ways of gaining competitive edge over rivals and there is an increasing emphasis on the mental aspect .It has become necessary to rope in effective mind experts like Tendai.

These assist by analysing the various psychological factors that affect athletes’ health, fitness and performance. These experts will then help athletes to learn to control their emotions and enhance their performance by using various mental strategies so that they realise their full potential and execute their duties effectively and efficiently.

They have to be motivated to be free of the inhibiting psychological factors for them to have effective training sessions and matches.

Mind experts help clear stress, anxiety, overcome obstacles and maintain focus during training and competition, thereby resulting maximum performances and clear communication with teammates and coaches. Coaches have to build up motivated teams that are coherent and will work together in harmony as single units to achieve common goals. The same applies to companies.

So Tendai’s sessions are also attended by individual athletes, but she is expecting to work with teams from various sporting disciplines in future. Currently she is also dealing with large corporate companies and small business that have started to approach her to bring in yoga sessions into their work spaces to help create better work environments and increase productivity.

Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life. Yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being. Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness, increases body awareness, relieves chronic stress patterns, relaxes the mind, and sharpens concentration.

The physical benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone and improved respiration and circulatory health. It increases, energy and vitality and protects individuals from injury, therefore it improves athletic performance .It assists in the maintenance of balanced metabolism leading to weight reduction

Often Tendai finds herself thinking of what she can do for her country .Sometime back upon returning to Zimbabwe after attending yoga training in Bali she decided to offer free yoga sessions to women with endometriosis, (disorder that affects the uterus). At the moment she is learning sign language because she will be teaching deaf children at a school in Harare.

I challenged her to take the discipline to high density areas, so she hopes to take it to areas like Mufakose in future. On a Yoga Commemoration Day held at the Indian Ambassador’s residence Tendai and two other instructors had the opportunity to take classes’ in the presence of The minister of Sports and Recreation who expressed interest in having yoga as part of schools’ systems.

The practice of yoga originated from ancient India, but ‘More Africans are attending yoga classes and it is beautiful to see how people of all ages and gender are investing in their health and wellness through yoga. Many people are drawn towards it because it is an all encompassing workout. The wellness industry is a growing trend around the globe; many people incorporating positive habits into their lifestyles’.

Although my visit was expected, I budged into Tendai’s session unannounced. Somehow the atmosphere was enchanting. I caught a whiff of burning incense, but I was not aware of the soft instrumental music playing in the background until she switched it off at the end of the interview .Then I realised its powerful effect.

As Tendai lectured to me about the realisation of an individual’s maximum potential, I marvelled at her wealth of information and ability to motivate. I found myself thinking aloud who the older person was between us. In appreciation of her amazing talent, people from different countries have invited her. So she has been to many countries; too numerous to mention.

I think whatever our talents are, The Almighty will always reveal them to us at one stage .What we do with our talents is another issue, we can keep them to ourselves, sit on them, admire and begrudge other people’s talents because they come with a lot of money and fancy titles, but I think those who spread their works around are rewarded the most in terms of appreciation, finance and job satisfaction.

I often read and hear sports reporters Robson Sharuko and Charles Mabika imply that ‘Zim’s got talent’. Sure, there is no doubt about that .If only our children can learn to pull and push each other up unconditionally, I am certain despite the size of our country in (physical stature and population), we can become a colossus that will regularly shake the world in every positive facet of life.

  •  Innocent Choga is a six time National Bodybuilding Champion with international experience. He is studying for a science degree in Physical Education and Sport.

Article Source: The Herald

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