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If waking up is one of the side effects of sleeping, waking up to exercise is a nightmare. Maybe that’s why Secret Sunrise and it’s cult following keeps winning over participants in Johannesburg and Cape Town. It’s a clever infusion of yoga and cardio under the ruse of it being a music listening session with 300 of your closest friends. “Secret Sunrises are a gathering of like-minded individuals who are not scared of radical self-expression, movement, love, connection and to make the time to celebrate the rising sun,” the organisers say. “We believe the city is our playground, so Secret...
If waking up is one of the side effects of sleeping, waking up to exercise is a nightmare. Maybe that’s why Secret Sunrise and it’s cult following keeps winning over participants in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

It’s a clever infusion of yoga and cardio under the ruse of it being a music listening session with 300 of your closest friends.

“Secret Sunrises are a gathering of like-minded individuals who are not scared of radical self-expression, movement, love, connection and to make the time to celebrate the rising sun,” the organisers say.

“We believe the city is our playground, so Secret Sunrise venues are kept a secret until the last minute.”

After participants secure a spot through online bookings, they are told 24 hours ahead of the event where their Secret Sunrise will take place. Luckily, today there is no mystery.

Secret Sunrise Dance at Chartwell Castle in Fourways is an event for the whole family. This time the venue is set in the somewhat beautiful castle-style setting, on the sprawling lawns of Chartwell Castle, under the shade of the trees.

This time you will join the usual dance and then spend the morning relaxing with a bunch of like-minded strangers. If you’ve ever been to a Secret Sunrise session, you know participants are asked to form a giant circle holding hands at the end.

If you were without earphones you would hear how some people wildly shout how beautiful the hand-holding ceremony is. Of course, post-exercise endorphins could be blamed for this, but the occasion makes you realise how the simplest of actions can be beautiful.

The novelty of the moment is, however, short-lived. After posting a picture of Secret Sunrise on Instagram a previous time, one of my friends immediately pointed out the whiteness of the event, commenting: “Where in Europe is this?”

During the morning’s activities, nearby shack-dwellers from Thabo Mbeki Village can’t be ignored. While you’re basking in the early morning rays, it’s important to remember that nearby people aren’t afforded the luxury of early morning exercise with wireless earphones and some silly costumes. Some have to work.

Secret Sunrise participants, basking in the morning rays are often unaware of their own privilege. To focus on your own mind, while listening to music through wireless technology and having the means to dress up and exercise is not something everybody has the opportunity to do.

Participants can claim they take part in events of this sort to transform the city into the playground they would like to see, but it’s a hell of an exclusive club. If you ever have the opportunity to join the Secret Sunrise cult, use the time to reflect how lucky you are. Namaste.

Info:

Swimming and a picnic under the trees is part of the experience this weekend (take your own picnic baskets).
Chartwell Castle has the third largest maze in the world, with over 900 conifers.
It is five times bigger than the Hampton Court maze and tomorrow the centre will have all sorts of treats for those who make it to the middle.
Entrance is R160 for adults, R100 for kids and R420 for families of four.
Starts at 9am (collect headphones 15 min before).


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