The Nest Space: Holistic Wellness in an African Context

Anesu and Banesa from The Nest Yoga Studio

The Nest Space is a holistic wellness space owned by a two remarkable women – Anesu Mbizvo, and Banesa Tseki. Situated in the upmarket suburb of Randburg in South Africa, The Nest Space is the result of their vision to create a safe space for healing and inclusiveness.

Featuring a beautifully curated yoga studio, an alternative healing therapy room, vegan café and zero waste grocer, Anesu and Banesa welcome you to a place where healing, transformation and self-discovery take place.

We admire these women, and just had to feature this immaculate space they have created!

The Nest Space

Romi: Could you tell us a little bit of your background and how you got into yoga?

Anesu: I am a trained medical doctor and was first introduced to yoga when I was a young girl. My mother would take me along to a small yoga studio when we lived in Zimbabwe. After starting medical school I began to explore yoga in order to reduce my stress. During my final year in medical school I decided to become a yoga teacher. I started teaching while working as a medical doctor. 

Banesa: I am a brand management specialist and my yoga journey also began in university. Yoga and meditation were two practices which really helped me manage my mental health and well-being. I began to practice Vipashana meditation and became interested in the style of Kundalini Yoga. Thereafter I decided to train to become a Kundalini teacher through Kundalini Africa Rising

Romi: When did you open The Nest Space? And what was the journey like opening up a beautifully inclusive wellness space?

Anesu: After working as a medical doctor for some years, I began to feel unfulfilled in my work in medicine. I was working in corporate as an eHealth business consultant while teaching yoga more regularly. This eventually led me on a journey of re-discovering my purpose.

In August 2018, The Nest Space was born. It was a dream to create a studio that was founded on the ethos of inclusiveness. I wanted to welcome all bodies regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, culture, age and physical ability.

Then roughly 6 months after the studio opened, I met Banesa. We quickly realised that we shared the same passion and purpose and decided to become a team.

Romi: How did The Nest Space evolve with bringing instructors from different backgrounds and different styles in? It seems like you have specialised instructors for specific styles which is profound!

Anesu & Banesa: We wanted to create a safe space, where yoga could be taught inclusively and within an African context. This vision also applies to the family of people chosen to serve as teachers to our community.

We specifically hire teachers of colour to ensure there is a clear representation of brown bodies in our space. This provides yoga teachers of colour the platform to teach. Plus it provides yogis of colour the experience of being taught by teachers of colour, who share a similar life experience. 

We also made a conscious effort to find teachers who were experienced in teaching diverse styles of yoga. This was done to provide our community with a varied offering of yoga. But also to draw upon the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the different lineages of yoga. 

In the quest of searching for how yoga linked to the African context, we were also guided towards finding an Egyptian Kemetic Yoga teacher. As we evolve as a studio we continue to grasp for ways to integrate African culture and indigenous knowledge into the yoga practice. 

The Nest Space

Romi: I see you also have a meditation instructor at the studio, do you practice meditation daily? If so, what type of meditation do you practice?

Anesu & Banesa: Our mission at The Nest Space is to provide a holistic conscious lifestyle to our clients. In this regard we see yoga not just as a physical practice but as a lifestyle. One which encourages mindfulness and healing in all facets of life. This was our reason for incorporating meditation and sound therapy classes to our class schedule.

Our meditation classes draw on techniques from a variety of different lineages depending on the teacher taking the class. Currently Anesu is our meditation teacher. Her classes are based on the Satyananda practice of Yoga Nidra. Both of our co-owners are avid meditators.

Romi: Could you tell us a bit more about hypnotherapy? It seems like a powerful tool we all need in our lives.

Anesu & Banesa: Apart from our yoga and meditation classes, The Nest also has an alternative therapy room. One of the therapies we offer is hypnotherapy. During these sessions, our resident hypnotherapist guides clients into their own psyche to assist with self healing. Hypnotherapy is another service we offer which aligns with our mission of being a holistic lifestyle and wellness centre.

Like our other holistic therapies, i.e. reiki, reflexology, massage therapy, we believe that hypnotherapy plays a vital role in self-reflection, self-mastery and self-evolution.

Romi: Regarding COVID-19, how did you cope through the lockdown? Did all of the instructors at The Nest Space continue by teaching classes online? 

Anesu & Banesa: COVID-19 really forced us to bolster our online offerings. We were lucky to be able to move all of our classes online and keep our studio open. We have also been really fortunate to be able to continue to pay and retain our staff.

Romi: Which tools helped you to connect with your students?

Anesu & Banesa: Bookamat has been a huge help with regards to moving our studio online. We had been using the online payment and booking system since June 2019. Then when lockdown hit, Bookamat were quick to adapt for online classes. Because of the changes they made, we have been able to continue to provide our services to our clients.

We currently use Zoom as our online hosting platform. It has really helped us to continue to provide a safe and intimate space (albeit online) for our community.

The Nest Space

Romi: Are you able to teach classes in studio again with measures in place?

Anesu & Banesa: Currently we are not able to teach in the studio. South African government COVID-19 restrictions do not currently permit fitness centres to operate. Our view is that the safety of our community and staff comes before anything else. That is why we have made a resolve to only open our doors once we can ensure the safety of our family.

Romi: Could you tell us a bit more about your vegan cafe and zero waste grocer? It sounds like such a beautiful combination!

Anesu & Banesa: Our vegan cafe and zero-waste grocer are the newest editions to our wellness centre. After yoga classes and alternative therapies, our next step was to provide affordable, delicious and healthy vegan food. This includes a place where our community could shop for their food and household items.

Our space has always emphasised the importance of acknowledging our connection to the planet and the beings we share our home with. So when opening up our cafe and store, the tenants of sustainability, veganism, zero-waste and locality were paramount. All of our suppliers are female owned South African small businesses. 

We pride ourselves on being a vegan and zero-waste space. Our cafe and store offerings are part of the parcel to us achieving our mission of being a proudly African and inclusive holistic, conscious wellness centre. All of our vegan meals are available for delivery or pick up. Our zero-waste products are available for purchase online due to COVID-19.

The Nest Space

Check out The Nest Space and the incredible community they have built in this beautifully inclusive wellness space


Social Media : @thenestspaceza

Email: [email protected]

Cell: +27 72 200 9953

Romi has been writing for Bookamat since 2020. She loves adventuring, practicing yoga and writing about the latest fitness trends.
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