We live in a world, which doesn’t allow us to stop.

Every waking second is filled with stuff to do.

Our minds race fifteen minutes ahead of our bodies, always chasing the next thing, the next action, the next box to tick.

It seems that everything we do, even when it’s fun, becomes a shallow interaction.

Yoga Warrior offers people the chance to press pause.

To stop, to step into a yoga class and, through its movements and flow, connect breath, body and mind in one single moment.

A moment where you are able to go deeper and discover your true self.


Founded by Clara Woodburn in 2006 and acquired by Genna Pearson in 2016, the name ‘Yoga Warrior’ exudes the strength and courage of not only the women who have played a role in growing this yoga brand but the people of Johannesburg as well, for whom the studio serves as a sanctuary. The Warrior pose is symbolic of building strength, both inner and outer, that the studio offers to all.

The foundation of Yoga Warrior lies in hatha vinyasa: a traditional blend of flowing yoga poses guided by precise attention to alignment and connection with the breath.

The studio aims to share the numerous benefits of yoga with as many people as possible and provide old and new practitioners a sanctuary where they may continue to learn, grow, and find the path to their inner peace.


“My journey with yoga started in 2005 in UK, where I joined some Hatha Yoga classes at the local gym out of curiosity, during a trying time in my life – physically, mentally and emotionally. I was living overseas, all alone, having completed a grueling MBA and subsequently landing a new and very demanding job in a new city, trying to find my feet the same year I lost my father.

I met Clara and her husband Andrew on one of many frequent business trips back to Joburg in 2006 when I first saw the intriguing name ‘Yoga Warrior’. Upon moving back to Joburg in 2007 I joined the Yoga Warrior studio that belonged to my friend and dived into the teacher training the following year to take my practice deeper and explore this 5000-year-old practice. I was, and still am, a perpetual yoga student on a journey exploring different styles, teachers and locations whenever I can and am always on a quest to learn more.

Everyone can do yoga and benefit from it – it is my purpose to facilitate this by making it accessible and continue the superlative training for new yogis as well as new teachers through our yoga school. I am proud do say that our offering is broad catering to all levels, as well as pre and postnatal moms.  Through my hot studios under Hotpod Yoga, we also have a hot yoga offering – great to work up a sweat.  Whatever yoga practice appeals to students, the benefits are immense and I will continue to offer this as long as I can.”

Yoga Warrior, Genevieve (Genna) Pearson
Owner of Yoga Warrior

“Originally from England, I ended up in a stressful career in NYC, having lost my mother in 1999. I felt alone and unable to cope. I was dragged to my first yoga class in 2000 in NY and slowly healed myself as I immersed myself in yoga, learning to be ‘present’.

After experiencing 9/11 first-hand, and questioning what to do with my life, I woke up one day and realised that yoga was it. I completed my teacher training in 2003, reconnected with an old flame as I returned to UK and joined him in SA in 2004. Finding a scarcity of yoga offerings in Joburg, I started offering my own classes to share the benefits I had experienced.

Yoga Warrior evolved as did my life in South Africa, reflecting beauty, strength and simplicity. ‘Yoga Warrior’ was me, and even now, having evolved to Living Warrior, the Warrior remains the symbolic thread that has woven through my life tapestry, embracing physical, mental and emotional challenges and drawing on that strength to overcome these.”

Clara Woodburn
Founder of Yoga Warrior

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