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.

It’s about you.

When you step on your mat next time, no matter if you’re in class or practicing on your own, do one thing: take your practice serious. It’s not a fun tool, a fitness regime or anything to tone your body. It’s about you. It’s about quietening your mind, while your body is moving.

No matter how many people are around you or if you’re on your own: your practice is about you, only you. Don’t care about the postures. Do it. Flow through.

Keep on going, stop complaining. No, it‘s not too hot, it’s not too cold and no, you are not too busy. Practice. Move your body and give your mind a conscious break. Find peace in yourself. This little smile that no one can see and everyone sees.

Just that. 

Steadiness and ease

I remember quite well when I heard this for the first time; it was in my teacher training and my only thought was: now she (my teacher) lost her mind.

I was sweating my heart out, my concentration at a peak, my muscles sore, my entire body a mess of tension. Ease? Really? I rather felt like made of concrete, ease was a term I wasn’t even dreaming of!

It took some time to get an idea of what this means, to find steadiness and same time ease in a posture. Stability and consistency without effort. When holding a posture, while being in correct alignment, there’s a certain moment when it feels just easy, almost like a relief! This is ease.

The best postures to understand the concept of steadiness and ease for me are headstand and handstand. There is this moment, when all of a sudden you feel weightless, your body is in every detail in the right alignment. As if you can stay forever in this posture, almost levitating.

This happens when it all comes together: concentration and an inward view through drishti (focus point), proper ujjayi breath, stability through activating  the bandhas and correct alignment. For me it’s additionally about not thinking how to do a pose, but just do it. 

Then your yoga starts.

The beauty of Aging

Many of us experience some changes around the age of 50. I’m not talking about any kind of midlife crisis or menopause for women, while this might also be a trigger to rethink where we are in life. No matter the reason, it seems to be the time to reinvent oneself.

A friend of mine, who turns 50 this year, takes this as an option to rethink what he wants his life to be and he takes the necessary changes. Those changes can be quite big things; it might even come to a real turn over.

I heard from another friend who had a rigorous 6 days a week Ashtanga practice, that with her menopause starting, she allowed herself to be less strict and her yoga practice turned to be more calm, slow and gentle, always listening to what her body needs that day.

This time might be an entry point into a new phase of life, with new options, new strength, and the courage to change and eventually start something new. It might concern the job, the place we live, relationships, our practice or the entire life set-up; no matter what direction we’re aiming to go, if you feel called, do it. Even if aging shows us at this stage the first indications that not only the outer appearance is transforming, but also the body complains more. And hey, where is that fear coming from all of a sudden?

Many yogis start taking it easier at that point, while for me the full story started then. At the age of 49 I did my first teacher training and instead of getting calmer, my yoga journey took off and was at its best around 52. I’m 54 now and my body talks to me loud and clear, mostly not what I want to hear and I learned that it’s not always about doing the full Ashtanga series each day, it’s about showing up. Being on the mat every day, doing what I can. Luckily, my body is still improving, still learning, adapting, bending more, even if progress takes much longer. My practice teaches me to be patient, the most difficult thing to learn for me! To accept, that it’s totally fine where I am on my journey and not just that, it is phenomenal how my body and mind changed over the past few years.

We move on, the three of us, together, body and mind and soul. We keep on changing, improving, learning and the very new thing: we take it easy.