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.

A new Chapter

No, I’m not bored. No, I don’t have any spare time. But. I love essential oils – PURE BLISS! – and I love dōTERRA. Essential oils are a trigger. They stimulate and calm, they support on an emotional, mental and physical level. I was very skeptical at the beginning and wondering if this is more than a nice smell – it is indeed. But essential oils and yoga? Yes, same here, it took a while to convince me, but I love them in my practice now, at least in shavasana…. read more about it here.

Slowly they became part of my daily routines – in my drinking water, in the diffuser, on my skin, in my yoga classes and reiki sessions. But what really convinced me is that they are an important tool when it comes to my health. Their awesome smells do not just pamper my soul, but they help my body to stay healthy.

That’s why I took the next step now – not just using them, but become a dōTERRA Wellness Advocate. No matter how this continues, I just want to share what I love and what makes a difference.

So beautiful people out there, if you are curious now, let’s chat! And if you are interested, read more here or visit my dōTERRA page for some videos and an introduction of the best oils to start with.

Get back on track

I lost myself a bit over the last weeks, well even months. Under the flag of „common, let’s enjoy life“, I finally lost the connection to myself, which was so hard to build up. The good news, I know what I have to do. The difficult thing is, not to get distracted. But just do it.

My theme is all about ahimsa. This is one of the yamas (ethical precepts), part of the yoga sutras. Ahimsa translates into non violence — violence in all aspects, physical and also mental violence, such as words or thoughts.

How you treat others and yourself, what you say and think of others and yourself. This is where everything has to start, within ourselves. Be kind to the people around you. Be kind to yourself.

Non harming is the basis of every practice and it all boils down to the relationship with yourself. Repeat this: it’s about the relationship with yourself.

On the mat, it means to be kind to your body. To not push yourself into postures that you are not ready for, as you may cause injury.

Off the mat it’s about speech, food, clothing, how you treat others, the environment, yourself. Living healthy. You decide.

I decided to get back on track, back to a life of practicing ahimsa. Particularly when it comes to myself. And you know what? I know it will feel amazing, even if it needs discipline to get back. 

I’m in, how about you?

Looking for an individual Christmas present?

I’ve got you covered — how about a private session? For a best friend, for yourself or both of you?

Make giving meaningful — a Reiki treatment is a great option for experiencing a deep relaxation while the self-healing capabilities will get a major boost. Read more about it here

A yoga private session is the best way to learn and deepen your practice. No matter what your friends’ and your practice look like right now, be it group classes in a studio, home practice or if new to yoga, a private class will make a difference. It will be tailor made for you, meaning you decide if it’s about receiving adjustments to improve postures, learn something about the yoga philosophy, breathing techniques, meditation, better adapt your practice to your needs, or get a smooth start into it all.

Are you new to yoga? Read here how to get started.

Make a difference! A present like this will be beneficial for body and mind and it’ll be fun! Let’s have a chat, I’ll be happy to design a beautiful e-card for you.

4 IDEAS TO INTEGRATE MINDFULNESS

You might have read already about it, here on my site or somewhere else, however it’s such an important topic, that I will continue writing about it! Just some main values and ideas today on how to implement the mindfulness approach easily, no matter if into your yoga practice or your daily life as such.

A QUICK RECAP

Mindfulness is being in the present moment without judging; being fully aware of what we are thinking and doing, by keeping our focus on just that. 

WHAT VALUE WOULD YOU PLACE ON…

  • A shift from reacting to acting
  • Reduced distractions
  • Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increased awareness
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Increased clarity in thinking and perception
  • Lowered anxiety
  • Experience of being calm and internally still

4 IDEAS TO INTEGRATE MINDFULNESS INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINES

  1. BE PROUD! Just repeat this phrase mentally again and again and again during the day, as often as possible. What will happen is a shift in your mindset – don’t think about what you are proud of, just be it, feel it! There’s always something to be proud of, don’t care about the details. Not just your mind but also your body will react on it: your posture will improve, your spine will lengthen, your chest lifts, your shoulders will slightly go down and back. You will radiate a positive and confident attitude. Wow!
  2. MOVE YOUR BODY! Of course you do that already when adding the mindfulness approach to your yoga practice. Think of it the rest of the day too! Many of us are sitting all day long, starring at a screen or any other devices. Sitting is said to be the new smoking – move as often as you can. Standing doesn’t do the work, your body needs movement. No need for a workout, just tiny little stretches work perfectly. Sitting or standing – do shoulder stretches, twists, side bends, balance, move the spine and many more. Easy little things that can be integrated without any effort.
  3. BREATHE! One of the most powerful tools with the purpose to either control our prana (life force, life energy) or to heal on a mental and/or physical level. We have loads of great techniques in yoga (so called pranayama) that we can use, however very basic techniques will already do the job, such as equal breathing (count your breath, inhale/exhale for 4) or lengthen your exhales (inhale for 4/exhale for 6) to squeeze your inner organs and get the toxins out. While we are used to breathe in a certain way during the yoga practice (e.g. Ujjayi breath), you can use the described techniques during the day and nobody will even recognize what you’re doing! It will immediately calm you down; do it in a train, car, plane, while waiting in a queue, during meetings, you name it.
  4. BE STILL! Meditation is a great tool to get ourselves into stillness, which is really needed in today’s stressful set up. Many of us struggle with meditation and I suggest to replace the term. Call it whatever works for you, it is just about going into stillness for a moment, you decide if 5 minutes, 30 or anything in-between. Bring your awareness internal, focus on your breath, allow any thoughts to pop up and pass by without giving them any further attention.

Go for it, it will change everything – to the better!

Feel

How do you feel? I’m not after good or bad, but the details. No judgment. Take a moment and close your eyes, bring your attention inside and just do one thing: feel. Start with the easy things, like the temperature. Find different temperature zones in your body. Notice any tension, maybe even pain. You can use your breathe to guide you through your body and continue observing. Can you feel your breath? Your blood? Your veins and arteries? Your inner organs, muscles? Smile. Yes, just do it, smile. Feel the difference. What changed in your body following your lips going up? Now ask yourself: how do I feel? 

Instead of asking yourself if something is right or wrong, good or bad, ask yourself, how does it make me feel? And go from there. This is more important than anything else.

The same approach works in you yoga practice. You need to feel what you do, feel your body, your muscles, fascia, organs and and and. Every movement, every posture has to be felt and yeah, it should feel good! I know, sometimes it’s a bit challenging at the beginning, but again, you’ll find the moment of steadiness and ease, the moment you feel arrived in an asana. Listen to your body. Stop pushing, start feeling. Not saying this is easy, I even think it’s the most difficult part! If you are flexible, you might easily jump into a pretzel, but without that connection to your body, it’s no asana, but just a pretzel. Works for your Instagram account, but meaningless for your practice and your progress.

Start by sharpening your awareness to your feelings and what you feel. All the details! You will learn about your body in a total different way! Do some sun salutations blindfolded. This will support your focus. This can then be replaced with drishti, the focused gaze. It takes practice, as everything, but it will take your practice on a new level!

Just be prepared, that eventually you will never ever be able to answer the question ‚how do you feel‘ with just one word…. 

Yes!

I’ve got news! The journey goes on and on…. I’m so grateful to be certified to teach the MINDFRESH approach in Switzerland!

As I’m working myself all day long in the office, sitting in front of a computer, in a stressful surrounding, driven by deadlines, I know very well what effects this has on our health. And I’m talking about body and mind. Bad posture, neck and back pain, multitasking, shallow breathing… to name just a few. Having a fitness program is great, eating healthy awesome, but not enough. We need to work on body and mind to better destress and recharge. The good news is, that very simple tools can do that job.

Read more here, and if you think this could be a good idea for your office, let me know!

 

Photocredit Nadja Kappeler