Searching for the purpose in her life, she found that mindful living and yoga made it easier to focus. We caught up with Camille Gardiner from Meyersdal to find out more about making the mindset shift and how to reconnect with yourself.
She grew up in the beautiful Garden Route city of George and describes herself as blessed with incredible parents and a sister, who is often mistaken as her twin, with whom she is very close.
Today, she is married to her best friend and biggest supporter, Enslin. The two started dating in their matric year and got married in 2017.
Camille has been in the South since 2016.
“I enjoy staying here as it has the combination of being close enough to the hustle and bustle, yet still holds a peacefulness that you don’t find easily in the rest of Joburg.”
When weekends arrive, you will often find Camille and her hubby out hiking and exploring nature or you will find them doing a functional outdoor workout.
Holding a degree in chemical engineering, Camille is working as a business analyst, but she somehow, in the midst of everyday life and her career, felt something was amiss, and so Fitreat was born.
“In 2018, my friend Alyssa and I felt that there was a need to create a peaceful space where women can go to have fun and reconnect with themselves. A place where they can be active, eat nourishing food and practise mindfulness. So we started Fitreat, a company hosting wellness day retreats for women.
* Photo: Gypsy Dreams Photography
Reconnect and empower
Camille completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2019 and now shares this practice at events and retreats.
“The most satisfying part of this job is when people who have never done yoga before leave my class having connected with themselves and feel empowered.
“I love sharing the practice of yoga and mindfulness and meditation as tools with others. It really can make such a big impact in one’s life.
“Moving forward and growing my own experience, I would love to merge my passion of sharing accessible health and wellness with my love of travelling.”
Making the mindset shift
When we stumbled upon Camille, we were told she is quite good at conscious living, and we obviously wanted to know how she managed that.
“From the moment I started yoga, it provided a mindset shift which organically grew into a more conscious lifestyle. Mindful practices like yoga, meditation, journalling and breathwork help very much with shifting to more conscious living.
“It’s about making the decision to live with intention. I try to incorporate some aspects daily, but believe me, I don’t always get it right!
“It is also something that came about later in my life. I was never really aware of yoga and mindfulness as a child, as it wasn’t really visible in my community.”
Start small and let it grow
We could not help but ask about the challenges for individuals who want to make the shift.
“It’s difficult to bring conscious habits into your routine. When you’re busy, stressed and distracted, it’s often the first thing to be put on hold. But that’s exactly when you need it the most!” she said.
And the best thing you get out of living life this way?
“I have greater self-awareness. Mindfulness also helps with minimising stress and anxiety in other areas of my life. I am very much still on this journey and fail often, but when I live mindfully I am more equipped to approach difficult situations.
“I was inspired to start living a more mindful life while I was searching for what my purpose in life is and I wanted to connect more deeply to myself. Everything has unfolded from there. It truly is an amazing journey.”
Any pointers for those who are still not quite there – how can they go about in making the shift?
“Don’t try to make too many big changes at once. Start with something small and grow from there.
“For example, meditation is a difficult practice because in this society it’s not the norm to be without distraction. Start by setting a timer on your phone for just a few minutes and if it’s too challenging to focus your attention on your breathing, try a guided meditation online or on an app.
“But most of all, enjoy your journey to a new, focused and balanced life,” she added.
Details: Contact Camille via the website www.yogasouthafrica.co.za/teachers/camille-gardiner or connect on Instagram at @camille_themovementgirl.
- Do you prefer travel, art or food?
- Rain vs sunshine?
- City girl or outdoor living?
- What is your ultimate spoil?
A holiday or an adventure.
- What is your guilty pleasure?
- What are your pet peeves?
- Care to share the motto you live by?
Maybe more of an affirmation:
I choose faith over fear.
- Who inspires you?
* Photo: Enslin Gardiner
* Text: Carina van der Walt