PAUSE

Today is new moon. The moment of stillness. The old does not longer exist, the new is not yet there. Time to rest. Time to look inward. Get clarity on what you really want and set an intention.

I never felt like this before. My body is tired and so is my mind. Empty. Done. I need a proper rest. Not just a few hours. It‘s time to leave the business behind and take it really slow. Do something different, go where there‘s nothing to do. Start breathing. Feel the nature around and also feel me.

Connect to my floors:

  • The bottom, re-ground myself and connect to my stability
  • The middle, appreciate my ability to handle the world
  • The top, activate my vision to play imaginatively

One week to keep on going in the center of the craziness. Followed by some time to exactly do that. Pause. Reset. Refill.

Go for some yummy yin yoga today, respect the new moon and its energy. Practice slow today. I just did, it felt so good!

Parivrtta Trikonasana

Parivrtta Trikonasana — twisting, balancing, steady and comfortable. The union of sthira and sukha, effort and ease, hard and soft, expanding and contracting, ascending and descending, solar and lunar.

The moment you plant your hand next to your foot, you feel fully grounded. While same time your other arm reach up, your gaze follows. Deeply rooted, reaching for the sky — strong Ujjayi breath connects both, steadiness and ease.

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.

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!

Be proud yogis

My practice is difficult at the moment. Due to a couple of things happening in my life, it was and still is a huge challenge to keep my regular practice. On the mat I’m currently experiencing a lack of balance and focus. Plus a busy mind, terribly noisy. All thoughts just about what part of my practice I might skip. Restless. In a rush.

Today all of a sudden a much stronger thought took my attention: be proud, you showed up! You ARE practicing!

Yogis, this is so true. Even if it’s tough for me right now, I’m practicing. Even if sometimes I skip postures, I’m practicing. Even if my mind doesn’t stop talking, I’m practicing. Even if I don’t feel like, I’m on my mat. And yes, I AM proud.

Whatever is going on in your life yogis, always remember, it’s not about asanas, it’s about practicing. Just show up and practice. Do whatever you can and allow yourself to feel good about it.

Just not tomorrow, it’s full moon — so enjoy your day off 🙂