yoga blog

The booking is open!

Yogis!

Get your plans sorted for May 2018 and join me for a magical week in Bali! We will flow and sweat, stretch and relax, talk and laugh, relax and enjoy…. pampered by the beautiful Kura Kura family 🙂

Secure yourself a place on our retreat by booking now! Let’s get in contact, the ball’s in your court now! Find the details here or at the Kura Kura webpage.

 

  

What does yoga mean to you?

This is what I asked my students in yesterdays’ classes to think about. The answer doesn’t matter, just think about what yoga mean to YOU. There’s no right or wrong, good or bad, it’s about being aware of what it is for you. I like the idea on a day like this – international yoga day – to visualize millions of people all over the world practicing, same time, same day. It makes me feel connected. Connected to a community that is real, but same time not tangible, as the wider relation is rather mind based.

“But how many people know exactly what yoga is?” asks Dr Manmath Gharote, director of the Lonavla Yoga Institute, located south-east of Mumbai. “Integration of personality is the prime aim of yoga.” The five aspects of “personality” which “should work harmoniously,” he told BBC Radio 4, are physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. The physical aspects of yoga – which improve flexibility of the spine, joints and muscles – are important, he adds, but the function of “asanas” (postures) are ultimately to benefit the mind. (Quote from BBC World News)

What does yoga mean to you? Take a moment and think about it, without judging. If yoga is your fitness tool, excellent. If yoga is your entry point to your spiritual practice, great. Anything in between, wonderful. Yoga has a plenty of variety to offer and it’s up to you how you want to benefit. For me yoga is about discovering Svatma, my true nature. Connect to myself, immerse into myself sometimes feels like the world stops. It’s just me, sometimes not even that, while my light starts shining.

Make space

I have to admit, even if I’m preaching it, sometimes I have to shout out loud, that being on my mat isn’t all that counts. From time to time – particularly when struggling or even being thrown back in certain postures – I need to tell myself “don’t define your practice through asanas!”. Yoga has become my way of life and it should be honored as such.

The older I get, the more difficult it is to keep balance. The balance in my asana practice reflects my balance in life. Too many duties and instead of stepping back, I have more ideas and put myself in situations where even little things all of a sudden get massive. More, faster, running, rushing through life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love what I do, I love my life, however body and mind also need to rest and recharge.

And that’s my challenge: make space for myself. To not rush from one task to another, but implement mindfulness instead. Do what I teach! Particularly to not reduce my own practice to quickly do the primary series, to press it somehow into my busy schedule. It’s not about the practice itself, but making space for myself. When on my mat, practice passionately, aware, dedicated. Not just tick the box. Make space and allow myself to be there, in the moment, nothing else.

How about you? Are you properly caring for yourself? What helps me a lot in general, but particularly when going through tough days, is implementing regular short breaks to focus on my breath. Just that. As soon as I breathe deep into my belly, I’m back. I’m reconnected after just some minutes. Easy and very efficient. Give it a try!

I have to learn to be more patient with myself, fully accepting that progress sometimes means to step back. The transformation my life has undergone is sometimes not even recognizable, sometimes it’s rather a big break through. So I keep on moving, trust in me, trust in my magic.

TUNEin:YOGA goes facebook!

Next step, TUNEin:YOGA has its own facebook page! Woop woop…..

Is this really needed? YES, it is! All events will be set up there, so you can directly sign in, it’s much easier to get in contact and/or comment, and so much more.

So why don’t you have a look?  Of course I would love to see you liking my page 🙂

Let’s get go for the next step together – TUNEin:YOGA

Ashtanga yoga and Yin yoga are the same

Ups. What? Ashtanga yoga and Yin yoga are the same.

Let this melt in your mouth, and even more, swallow it. Don’t reply darling, read first:

What we do in Yin yoga: we hold a posture, we connect, we tune in, we feel what we’re doing. We breathe intense, we relax. We meditate.

What we do in Ashtanga, a Yang yoga practice: the same. Really? Well, we don’t relax, but it’s about finding ease. We make our practice a meditation. Yes, when practicing Ashtanga, we move a lot, we sweat. And best case we find ourselves in a moving meditation.

If you look at the Yin/Yang symbol, you can see there’s a black dot in the white and a white dot in the black. There’s always both, there’s a little Yin in every Yang, there’s a little Yang in every Yin. It’s all about balance. Obviously not just in yoga, it’s everywhere, literally.

So, where exactly is the Yin in Ashtanga? Think about it. It might be different for you, but for me it’s this: when holding a posture for 5 counts (or more in the closing sequence). We connect, we aim for stillness, we are in deep ujjay breath, looking for steadiness as well as ease. That’s Yin! Even if we don’t relax, we get kind of soft in all our stability. We don’t close our eyes like we do in Yin yoga, but we practice drishti. A focus point that supports us to go internal. We tune in, we feel our body, we feel what we’re doing. Same as we do in Yin, right.

I like the idea of balancing. Doing some Yin to balance my Ashtanga practice, but also being aware of where there’s Yang in my Yin practice and of course the other way around, where I find Yin in Ashtanga.

Same objectives, same tools. Just such a different implementation!

Let your breath be my music

In yesterdays Ashtanga class I asked my students to concentrate and to keep a strong focus on their breath, bandhas and drishti. I asked them to let each inhale and exhale initiate a movement. I asked them to follow my instructions and even if it’s not their pace, to make it their pace. There’s no such thing as a pause when practicing Ashtanga. We keep the focus, we keep on moving. We flow to the final rest, shavasana.

The stronger the focus the easier it gets to let upcoming thoughts just pass by, to tune in, to find yourself in your own bubble, while the breath of your neighbor yogis constantly confirm the frequency you’re connected to. Be in your body, feel what you are doing, align your body, check in to yourself.

My students yesterday seem to ride the same wave, it was such a precious and beautiful energy – I love your music, let’s play it again!