Upavista Konasana

Upavista Konasana was a long journey for me and I thought I will never reach the ground with my upper body. Even if not flat yet, I‘m down! It was never a posture that had too much of my attention, as I know it’s a matter of open hips and long hamstrings and it’s an intense stretch of the insides of the legs. Nothing to force, but slowly develop. It’s all about patience. Haha, my strength! Not. At. All.

This posture is a fabulous teacher. Everything is possible and comes when the time is right. When we are ready. The body open, the mind without the intent to push. Allowing the body to immerse into the asana and eventually one day we’re in. And if not? Well, I don‘t worry anymore, I just practice. 

Feel it darling

Where are your feelings coming from? Check in to yourself and figure that out. Where do they sit in your body? Are they truly yours? Or are you adapting to the mood of the person you’re talking to? To the news you’re reading? To what you think you should feel? Do you know the situation when facing an angry person and how this affect you? Even if the anger isn’t pointed to you? It is ok to be compassionate, but not to take these feelings over. They are not yours. At your core, stay with what you feel, what’s yours. It might not seem to be appropriate in certain circumstances, anyhow own them and stay true to yourself. 

We are driven by our thoughts and believes, which express themselves through what or how we feel. Your feelings are dependent on your thoughts and vice versa. Meaning, allowing yourself to smile and feel happy (even if you don’t feel like at that moment) will also change your thoughts. A powerful interaction!

Put a drop of your favourite uplifting oil into the palms of your hands, rub them and hold them in front of your nose, so you can inhale the support they give. They do their work in your body, you will feel it immediately. I love Bergamot to lift me up, Sandalwood to ground me, Cardamon to make me feel cosy and home, Tumeric to make me „fly“ and the new Adaptiv, which allows me to deal much better with my daily duties and not get overwhelmed.

Own your feelings, change them if you want to, but always stay true to yourself.

Go for it

These babysteps. They are progress too. Don‘t underestimate the little things, they do count. Armbalances are difficult for me. I have the strength, the balance, know the technique, but there‘s something in my mind holding me back. It‘s called fear. Hard to get hold of it, particularly when it doesn‘t make sense. What for? Falling? Against the wall? It even gets worse with age. However, I’m so grateful to still be able to overcome the fears and just progress. Even if it takes time, babysteps. Kick age!

I‘m practicing hand- and forearmstand since some time and finally could hold it long enough for some pics today. It felt amazing to not only be off the wall, but hold it a bit. Once there, it‘s kind of easy, weightless. I know, not fully straight, this play starts now!

Another point to be aware of is, that technique and knowledge is in your mind, you need to translate and integrate it into your body language to be able to practice it. Any technique is worthless when you don‘t feel it in your body.

Props – yes/no?

When practicing Ashtanga, we usually don’t use any other resources but our body and breath. However, from time to time I find it quite useful to get some support. Never to force the body into something, but some help to get used to a certain posture.

It can also be beneficial particularly for rather stiff bodies, to simply extend the arms, which might enable them to get a better understanding of the posture.

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

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!

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. 

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

Too hot to practice?

Finally! Summer arrived with very high temperatures and this week makes us sweating by doing nothing, no need to be in the sun for this. In the radio they advised to not do any fitness during the day. That hot. 

And I love it! How about you?

So, is it too hot to practice yoga? To be honest, I really don’t get the point. I see many yogis traveling to countries where they face high temperatures and humidity, and there’s no question to practice or not. So why here? 

There are some options and it depends on how your body deals with the heat. I love the fact that my joints feel like lubricated, my body is soft and flexible. However, one should be more aware of any cardiovascular problems, and effects such as dizziness should been taken serious. Not much difference to what we do anyhow: listen to our bodies! And yes, practice early morning if any possible, as this makes it easier for your body.

Another option would be a slower pace. Reducing the sweaty parts and choose more calmer elements. Yin yoga would be great too. 

There is no right or wrong, let your body decide what’s right for you and be aware, so you notice the signals. Care for your body, keep it hydrated – this is what you should do anyhow.

No excuse for the lazy ones or those who are too busy to practice 🙂

Photocredit Pasindu Madushan Photography

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.