Meet Dr Ela Manga

Meet Dr Ela Manga

Tell us a bit about yourself… 

I am South African born and of Indian descent and live in the vibrant city of Johannesburg, South Africa. I see myself as curious creative who finds joy in learning and experiencing life through the language of art, nature, breath and healing.  I am passionate about exploring and sharing the idea of healing as a creative endeavor, inspiring others to do the same. My work as an Integrative Medical Doctor and as a founder of Breathwork Africa affords me the profound opportunity to share my passion. 

What does a typical day look like for you? 

I ease into the morning from the dream state soon after sunrise and enjoy starting the day with some journaling or reading. On most days , I’ll do some form of movement whether that is a long walk, yoga session or functional movement. I consult with patients two days a week, and the rest of any week is dedicated to writing, planning my workshops, teaching, facilitating workshops and spending time with the Breathwork Africa Team. When I need a change of pace, I love reading, painting, being in nature and having inspiring conversations with interesting people. 

Where does your interest in Burnout come from?

About 12 years ago I noticed an interesting trend in my practice in people who seemed to be “ high energy” – entrepreneurs, activists, leaders and who were experiencing similar symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, gut disturbances, and headaches. I recognised these as warning signs for burnout. It occurred to me that there was a difference between “authentic energy” which is governed by natural rhythms and cycles versus “ adrenalised energy” which gets us trapped in the cycle of being ” wired and tired”. I realised that if people were more equipped to work with their authentic energy, it would be an important step in addressing the epidemic of burnout that we are experiencing globally. 

How did your journey with Breathwork begin? 

My first experiences of conscious breathing was through my Yoga practice. I was awakened to the power and potential for breathwork after having experienced my first conscious connected breathing session in 2011 with Dan Brulé. 

I was curious to understand the science behind conscious breathing and to work with the  full spectrum of breathing practices as a way to make healing and energy management more accessible to more people especially those who feel disempowered in relation to their physical and mental wellbeing.

What inspired you to create Breathwork Africa?

Breathwork Africa evolved organically to the response we received in sharing a tool that is so simple, accessible and empowering. Through conscious breathing we are able to access self awareness, self regulation and healing on both individual and collective levels. Breath is the language of our humanity. Living and working in Africa has inspired an approach to breathwork that is accessible, grounded in science, practical and informed by ancient wisdom.  

How have you seen Breathwork benefit your patients? 

Even though I have been facilitating breathwork for over 13 years, it never ceases to amaze me when people experience themselves through the breath. The benefits are both immediate in terms of energy, focus, renewed perspective and over time it becomes a catalyst of and support for profound healing and transformation. Patients have found relief for pain, anxiety, insomnia and many have reduced or stopped their chronic medication. They leave with more creativity, less fear and more possibility, more in tune with a sense of wholeness versus being identified with pathology. 

What is your favorite quote or life motto?

We are all walking each other home – Ram Das

What’s coming up for you in 2024?

We are so looking forward to our upcoming Pneumanity Breathwork Foundation Course that we are facilitating with Véronique in May in Portugal. I am also very excited about the book I’m currently writing on Pneumanity Breathwork which will be published towards the latter part of the year. 

Find out more about Dr Ela Manga


Instagram: @elamanga

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