Concentration

My practice is different each day. While practicing the same series of postures, everything else differs. One day my body is soft and bendy, the other day stiff and kind of heavy and obviously, anything in between. My mind sometimes very focussed, sometimes distracted. Not to mention my mood…

These factors shouldn’t be underestimated, as they need to be managed. I have these moments when all of a sudden, I don’t have a clue where in my practice I am. What asana comes now? What did I just do? No idea. Or I notice, that I even missed some asanas out. 

Well, does it matter? It does! On a physical level we need a strong focus to challenge our body exactly the right way. No one needs injuries, right. On the other hand, we also don’t want to go through the practice on a low level, just doing some movements without meaning. Finally, our practice is supposed to help us going into a meditative state. For all this being possible, we have to take it serious and create the base for it. 

In Ashtanga Yoga, we use drishti, or focus point, as a tool to concentrate and guide our attention same time inwardly. Engaging the bandhas gives us balance and stability, while ujjayi breath creates the rhythm of our movements. 

There are these moments, when I loose connection and my mind jumps in, starting to wander. Not noticing it is exactly the point. I am not here, not in the moment, I’m not practicing properly. As soon as I bring my focus back to my breath, drishti and engage my bandhas, I’m back. Back on the mat, back in my practice. 

Practice properly yogis! Respect your body, your mind and your spirit, guide yourself with full awareness through your practice. No matter if you practice on your own or attend a class, always keep the connection to yourself!

Make your practice yours

There’s a change happening right now. Many of us are looking for more mindful, sustainable, and harmonious ways of living. Covered in concrete, we now start to value nature again and look for a way to reconnect. This doesn’t only mean to go for a walk in a forest or beach once in a while, it’s a longing inside, which is exactly about that: inside. Us. We lost ourselves in this over-active and busy lives; now is the time to step back from competition and stress.

I believe this change will also affect our yoga practice. We are more and more seeking for a quieter practice, rediscover our intuition and connect to ourselves. Same time bringing any new experiences and learnings into our every-day life, so it can work there too.

This is the start of a home practice. Leaving the stressful life aside to connect with our own nature. Learning to breathe again, to listen to our bodies, to feel, to understand. Instead of running from the office to make it in time to a class, why not practicing at home? It is a change, particularly if you are not living alone and the family is requesting your time. The right moment to claim some me-time. One hour and then you’ll be there for your family. Yes, it is possible and it will also change your family by respecting individual boundaries and resources.

Get a teacher for a one-to-one teaching from time to time, so you can set up your routine together and also to get aligned and adjusted. Step out of your routine and the crazy life – start looking for you. Understanding your body, your emotions, desires, and also your fears and doubts, by reconnecting to your nature. It is your practice, make it yours. 

Are you in Switzerland? I’m available for one to one teaching from end October – book your slot and experience the difference!

How do you treat yourself?

Do you know the situation when asking a doctor for help and all he does is looking at the problem, prescribes some medicine to treat it without searching  for the source, what’s causing the problem? And what else might be linked to it?

Don‘t do the same. Treat yourself as a whole, always, not only if issues arise. You are made of body, mind and spirit — everything is energy and everything is connected.

You can use essential oils to cure an issue, but no matter if you put them on your skin or take them internally, without working on your body and mind, it won’t help for long. 

Exercise your body, think the thoughts you want to think, be in stillness, love yourself. Treat your entire being, every single cell is working hard for you and only deserves the best in return!

Are you ready to bring pure, natural essential oils into your life? I would love to help you get started! Drop me a message or email me to get connected: live@tuneinyoga.com

Change is in the air

It’s time to make space. Time to let go. I will give up one of my weekly yoga classes from October and this wasn’t an easy decision. A very special group of yogis, many of them are with me since day one. We grew together and it was a journey! All of us learned a lot over the last years and it’s so beautiful to see the progress.

Letting go isn’t easy, but we can’t hold what isn’t meant to stay. Filled with gratitude, I’m sending a huge THANK YOU out – particularly to this group, but honestly to all yogis, that work so hard and are willing to take this path, the path to work on themselves.

So what now? I will continue to teach weekly classes and workshops in Zurich and on the weekend, either Saturday or Sunday in Winterthur (announced here and on FB).

My new focus will be on private classes, one to one or slightly opened up to max 3 yogis. This way we can go much deeper and and each class will be personalized on the individual needs. A different approach to physically and mentally lift my students to a higher level, and finally to move in step with them in the direction of achieving objectives. Are you interested to bring your practice to the next level? Let’s get in contact!

Otherwise, I’ll keep myself open for anything the universe will throw my way! Isn’t this the reason to let go? An outdated model has to be released and the space can be filled with something new. I will always honor this class, this chapter of my life. Thanks a mill to all the beautiful people who supported me! Let’s take the next step.

There’s more

Many people practice yoga as their fitness regime – which I believe is totally fine, if this is what they want. However, yoga shouldn’t be placed in the fitness realm. Getting a strong and flexible body might happen through regular practice, but yoga isn’t just moving from one pose to another. It’s about ourselves, establish a deep connection to the self and learn on the way.

If you’re after competition and judgment, the yoga studio is the wrong place to be, as yoga isn’t competitive at all, it’s not about can or can’t, it’s not about the student next to you. We are using asanas to quieten our mind, to slide into a moving meditation.

That doesn’t mean we can’t do some of the fancy stuff that is popular right now! Go, try everything that catches your attention, but also understand there is more. 

When attending a yoga class, be prepared that you might not get what you want. Instead, be open to receive what the teacher is ready to give to you. Encouraging and guiding you to look inward, and become rooted in the deeper sense of yoga.

It’s a slow process, there’s no rush.

Photocredit Pasindu Madushan Photography

Urdhva Padmasana

Turn your lotus position upside down. No worries if full lotus isn’t available for you yet, whatever your variation is works – full lotus, half lotus or cross-legged. Even if full lotus is preferred as it makes the posture much more compact and stable, we all know that it’s not always accessible.

Once in the posture and your thighs are parallel to the floor, press the knees into the hands (yes, this way!). Start to lengthen your spine (feels sooooo good!) and lift your chin slightly, so there’s no pressure on your neck.

For the next few breaths, allow your world to move this way. Upside down. Notice what‘s different – is there any difference?

Physically this posture does a lot – it opens the hips, strengthens the shoulder frame, the muscles along the spine, the erector spinae is activated, just to name a few. In addition, your inner organs benefit, particularly as this pose utilizes specific pressure points at the thyroid and the kidneys.

As in all inversions, the blood flow increases and the brain is offered a surge of oxygen.
Don’t you wonder if you would suddenly feel your thoughts streaming with better clarity. If holding this posture a bit longer, maybe even a few minutes, you will notice that all your doubts, blank mental notes, and confusing stimulus will clear up.

Really? Well, you tell me, try it 🙂

Home Practice

Have you established a home practice yet? No? Let me tell you why this is a great idea and what helps to set it up. It’s so much more than just move and stretch your muscles! Commitment to a home practice – ideally 6 days a week (I know…!)  is a commitment to self-discipline and part of a transformation into a healthy body and mind. It will be the start of something great, it will change you. And yes, the difficult part is showing up on the mat. The easy part is, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing and how long, as long as you’re practicing. Even this will change over time!

First things first – why it’s so damn good for you

  • You will develop a personal discipline, which won’t stop at your mat, but support you in all parts of your life
  • You will create a healthy habit, which might make you more aware of health in general
  • It will allow you to tune and play your own instrument: the body
  • It will soothe your soul, feed your spirit and make you a more efficient practitioner in the world
  • You will learn and appreciate to be alone

Bring it on – how you will succeed

  • Set a fix time that suits your daily schedule. Even if morning first thing is most efficient and recommended, it has to fit into your life so you can stick to it. Of course it can be different during the week and on the weekends! Whatever works for you.
  • Create an inspiring surrounding – if you have a spare room, decorate it to feel good there. If not, no problem at all, make it nice wherever you enroll your mat. Maybe a nice view out, you might want to light a candle, turn music on, diffuse essential oils, whatever it is that makes it inspiring for you, will make it easier.
  • Be committed to show up, no matter how long. Start easy. Define how many times a week and go from there. Even if everything inside tells you no no no, not today! Roll out your mat and practice.
  • There might be days you just sit down to breathe for 5 minutes. Alternatively, a 10 minutes meditation, maybe a 60 minutes asana practice. That’s great, job done.

Take it easy, but stick to your commitment! It is a huge step, but so worth it…. Go for it yogi! Remember, you don’t have to start at 100%, a step by step approach will help to slowly get used to it. Whenever you don’t manage to stick to your commitment, notice how this feels. Laugh and call it a day, you’re not supposed to be wonderwoman or superman 🙂