yoga blog

Don’t skip Shavasana

There are usually two kinds of yogis: those who love Shavasana and those who skip it if any possible. Yogis, please don’t skip – and I know what I’m talking about, as I rather belong to the second group, particularly when practicing by myself at home.

Let me tell you a bit more about this final posture. Shavasana can be translated as corps pose. It’s said that Shavasana is a process of rebirth! How beautiful is that? Honestly, think about it! You are reborn after each practice…. Just this should already convince you to never skip again. But hey, there’s much more:

In Shavasana we are getting our bodies quite after practice, it’s the time to rest and release, to slip into a blissful neutrality and stillness. It’s also said that we need this time to get the practice and all learnings settled in and assimilate. Shavasana gives the nervous system a chance to integrate all the new neuromuscular information generated in the asana practice and prepares you to deal with daily life once again. So don’t underestimate the effect of this final posture.

While it looks easy, it might not be. It’s not a time to sleep and it takes practice and patience to surrender easily. It can be a challenge for the mind to get out of this “wasting of time” mode. Even if your body weaves easily into a relaxing state, allow your mind to follow. Send your thoughts away, just let them pass by. Stop moving, stop judging. Face the stillness and your own inner fear, which unconsciously rules many of your actions. Immerse into the friendly darkness and just be there, observe.

Yogis, allow Shavasana to do its work – to rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit!

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Be happy

Every time your feet touch the mat is the moment you meet yourself. Your practice is special, it’s not about doing quickly some exercise. It’s your time to go internal, to flow, to move, to be with yourself. Challenge yourself and release, find your individual moment of steadiness and ease in each posture.

Make a decision to be happy, each time you step on your mat. No matter what mood you’re in, no matter the circumstances. Let happiness flow through you, let it fill you. This kind of happiness that arises within, independent of the situation or people. Your practice is the time you spend with yourself. Be gentle, treat yourself good, accept where you are that day and keep your face relaxed. Make your practice a beautiful moving meditation, make it count.

The moment you feel your mat underneath, allow your lips to smile. Take a deep long breath in and slowly let it go. Allow your body to release. Nothing that happened before has any meaning, it’s past. Whatever might happen after your practice has no meaning either, it’s future, not yet there. All you have it just this moment. There’s no time, but this moment.

Meet yourself in each precious moment on your mat and be happy, aim true, be you.

The place to be

No no no, this isn’t a review of a stunning beach spot…! Sorry, come out of your dream yogi, back to life, back to the yoga blog.

Back to your mat. Your mat knows more about you than anyone else. Your mat knows all about your highs and downs, your success, your happiness, all your yippee yeah’s. Your mat knows all about your fears, your worries, your sadness, your failures.

Yes, your mat is well experienced in absorbing your tears. Your mat is your partner in crime, keeping your secrets, knowing all details about your progress.

Your mat is your friend. Pushing you to your limits, catch you when falling. Listening. Stop you when slipping.

Your mat is your dance floor, your bolster, your everything. Let’s honor our mats! Yogis, keep them clean, nourish them, love them!

Unexpected feelings

We put so much focus on our physical wellbeing, but what about our emotional and mental? When practicing yoga, we do both, we work on our body and mind. I’m not referring to any yoga practice off the mat, for now it’s still about practicing asanas.

A way to recognize that we are working on other layers too, is when unexpected feelings pop up. Are you sometimes getting emotional during or after practice? No worries, you’re not alone! Sometimes all of a sudden we face certain reactions in class, that might feel strange. We feel tears running down our face, we get upset or sad… without really knowing why. As if a button was pushed and the doors are wide open for any kind of emotions to flow.

What happened? Well, yoga isn’t just a workout for our muscles! When we reach deeper levels, we do exactly this, we open doors. Particularly in yin yoga, when we’re working on the connective tissues and facia, it’s all about opening and release. Yin yoga is the art of letting go. When touching areas where we store our emotions, such as the hips, it can be really liberating, but same time we also face those emotions we’re about to let go.

Yoga works on different levels. And if you feel emotional, no matter what kind of yoga you’re practicing, it shows you, that something happens within and this is just stunning beautiful. Accept it, embrace it! Allow these feelings to be there, go into them, see, look at the details, feel, give room, be a mental observer, without any judgement.

Guide your breathe into this sections, take a deep inhale and exhale everything out that you don’t need anymore. Let it go. Try a little smile, enjoy what you are capable of! You’re pure magic!

Get ready for the next season

Do you feel it too? Summer is gone in Europe and my body speaks loud to me, telling me to slow down, be mindful while adjusting to the changes. Well, getting more receptive to what’s going on around might be also a matter of age, what can I say? It’s hard staying young 😉

During this period of time, I feel my joints cracking, as if they ask to be lubrified. My hamstrings behave like the strings of a guitar with too much tension.

So, what to do? Embrace your body and its awesome capabilities! Accept where you are in this moment and adjust your practice. This is what I did this morning:

I turned on music. Yes, I’m practicing Ashtanga, so what! My favorite music made it easier to release and just flow. I have to admit, between Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana and Ardha baddha padmottanasana I lost my focus and started dancing. I had a huge smile on my face, it all felt so right. It was ok. It’s MY practice. And my body found its rhythm, tuned in, opened and turned into its softness. It’s all about steadiness and ease isn’t it? So don’t be so hard on yourself and remember the second part, „ease“. Finding ease in our steadiness is the moment we start doing yoga.

All you need to do is listen to your body. Be aware and only do good to you. Hehe, this doesn’t mean shavasana only, well it might…. It’s your practice! Even being an Ashtangi might mean yin yoga for one day. If it feels right, it is right. Just show up, adjust your practice and get your blood flowing. And please, always keep a good sense of humor!

10 reasons to go on a Yoga Retreat

Honestly a yoga retreat isn’t an insider tip any longer, it’s hip and trendy, not just women, but also men are in on it. Destination yoga. Why’s everyone so crazy about it? And is it interesting for you too?
Well if you like to practice yoga, no matter how often or intense, the answer is quite easy: absolutely yes!
My first retreat was mind blowing, my life changed amazingly. So, let me tell you what I believe are the 10 reasons why you should go:

1. Your yoga practice will get a huge boost. Usually there are 2 classes daily, every day, so your body will be so happy to get the attention it should. Your body will feel like new born after a week!

2. Labels don’t count. Are you rather new to yoga or do you call yourself an advanced practitioner? Don’t worry, a retreat is a place filled with yoga and this is not just happening on the mat. In clear words: nobody cares if you can do fancy postures or not. Nobody is interested in your weight, age or your skin color. But everyone will be interested in meeting YOU.

3. You’ll detox on different levels. Detox? Yes! The intense asana practice will feel like a detox for your body. Usually there are also meditations integrated, as well as pranayama (breathing techniques) and much more that will get your mind back to a clear and joyful state. Plus not to underestimate the digital detox. While you might have wifi everywhere, it gets less important to be online every second.

4. You’ll be served the most amazing and healthy food. One of the best! For sure you’ll get pampered with the most yummie food, mainly vegetarian or vegan – give it a try, I’m sure you’ll eat things you never tried before and they’ll be sooooo good!

5. You’ll make new friends. You’ll meet like-minded people and don’t worry about traveling just by yourself, it’ll be absolutely fine.

6.You’ll see your life from a new (loving) perspective. Maybe you do already, maybe not. Where ever your starting point is, your view on life might get a shift and be filled with much more love. This is the beauty of yoga, it has so much more for you to offer, you just need to be open.

7. The days are structured, not ordained. There will be a fixed schedule, which might look filled, but you will always have a lot of free time. You decide how to spend it – relaxing, maybe at the beach (depending where the retreat is of course) or going on an adventure. No need to organize it yourself, you’ll get the right local connections to get the best guidance available.

8. You’ll feel like a houseguest, instead of a hotel guest. A retreat is like family. You’re in a save group, surrounded by people pampering you and treating you like a friend or family. Something really special!

9. Because you deserve it! Do I need to spend more words here? You’re worth it!

10. You decide if this is a reason: My retreat in Bali is coming up next year May! YES! So now the advertising part 🙂 If you would like to join me for an awesome week in beautiful Bali, click here for the details. For sure all previous reasons to go on a retreat will be more than fulfilled!

TUNEin:BALI

Close your eyes and start your mental journey…. imagine you are already there…. see the beautiful nature, all shades of green, the ocean…. smell the heat, the greens, the salty air…. listen to the sounds of the waves, the birds, the Balinese gamelan… feel the breeze on your skin, the sun… and inhale the energy of this paradise.

Sunshine is a state of mind – let the sun in, come join us for a magical week in Bali, 26th May 2018! 

Dive into the power of the yoga frequency – we will flow and sweat, stretch and relax, breathe and tune in, talk and laugh, relax and enjoy…. we will practice yoga as the journey to ourselves and increase flexibility on both, body and mind.

See all details here